Monday, September 13, 2010

Zellie "Be The Adventure You Dream"

September fifth Zellie Blake - fellow writer, friend, and inspiration - passed away. She had type 4 lung cancer and I am not being poetic when I say the world is a little duller for her absence. She was light - a ray of sunshine - positive and cheerful and supportive.

She never let the cancer bring her down. From personal experience of battling pneumonia I know how hard this can be. I let the fluid in my lungs drown me and lost a year of my life to severe depression and sickness. It wasn't cancer but dealing with any severe, debilitating illness, is excruciatingly difficult. When I think of Zellie and how sick she was, how positive and bright she stayed until the very end I'm amazed. Inspired. Shocked. Awed. I can't understand how she did it. Knowing her, both as a person and how well she coped, has shed new illumination on my nine year struggle with reoccurring pneumonia, made me appreciate my life and every single day (no matter how bad it may seem) in an entirely new way. She was such a strong, encouraging person.

Callie, her best friend, came up with the brilliant idea to make 1,000 paper cranes for Zellie, to use the power of positive thought to heal her. She ended up with 1,500 but that's the kind of support a person like Zellie inspires. I'm so happy that the cranes I folded were with Zellie before the end, because all my wishes and thoughts and, in turn, (I like to think that) I was with her in some way.

Zellie,  her dedication unwavering, got her book - that she worked on for ten years - self published. My copy is in the mail and should arrive this week. Now, I get to keep a bit of Zellie with me forever. I know she was talented, I've seen a few snippets of another novel she was working on and she always had insightful advice for me when I shared some of my own work with her, Erica and Callie. I'm so excited to read it. To hold it. To know that, in some way, Zellie will never truly leave us.

I feel incredibly blessed that I got a chance to get to know her, to experience her wit and charm and vivacity.

You can get to know her as well by purchasing her book Lightning Spliced because as writers we know that a piece of us, of our soul always finds its way into our writing. Here's the cover flap description:

When sickly Analee welcomes a cure for her gene disorder, a side effect makes her the most powerful weapon in a war between patients like her and the genetics corporation that betrayed them.  Awesome, except her touch is lethal. Wielding lightning, she faces off against a control-freak CEO, her adopted father James Gandon.  As if her disobedience didn’t piss him off enough, she falls for his first victim.  Skilled with knives, Jared is vengeful, fiercely loyal and way hot.
But Gandon's got kamikaze soldiers on his side and his latest plot stinks worse than his egg salad breath. He doesn't just want to just kill Jared. He wants Analee to do it. Yeah, right. Not gonna happen. Until she discovers the reason everyone obeys him like a pack of brain dead pit bulls: mind control. She must derail this experiment or become his next slave

You can purchase the paperback for $20 or the Ebook for $7.99 from LULU and all proceeds are being donated to the American Cancer Society. In 6-8 weeks the book will be available on Amazon and Barnes& if you feel more comfortable with these forms of online shopping.

So far, the first royalty check has been sent to the American Cancer Society which is super exciting.

You can learn more about the book by going to Zellie's website

Also, feel free to spread the word about Zellie and Lightning Spliced. If enough people get involved, maybe we can get her book into bookstores. Eragon did it. So can Lightning Spliced. With your help, of course.

I also urge you to check out these great posts about Zellie (because they are touching and articulated much better than this attempt.):

J.C. Hutchins, her favorite author.

Callie, her best friend, critique partner and fellow Chimera.

Erica, friend, critique partner and fellow Chimera has one, two, three(writing advice by Zellie).

Callie also made a gorgeous memorial slideshow that captures the kind of girl Zellie was.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, checking the links, and (if you decide to do either of these) for buying her book  and spreading the word.


  1. What a wonderful post Melissa. I think it's so touching that you guys are making her dream a reality by spreading the word about her book. I love that the proceeds go to Cancer research. Cancer is a wretched disease, we lost my sister-in-law a few years back so I can relate. Thanks for all of the great links to help us get to know Zellie better.

  2. I just placed my order for the book and will put this post up on my blog. This is a great thing that you're doing for Zellie.

  3. I'm sorry about your friend. This was a great post to honor her.

    And that book sounds crazy awesome!
    thanks for that!

  4. What a wonderful tribute! I have her book on my to-do list already! So I should just get my butt moving!

  5. This was really sweet and so thoughtful for you to do this post on Zellie. You really captured her spirit and I know the two of you had talked on the forum about you battle with pneumonia so I know you understand better than I, or anyone knows what she went through.
    I'm so glad your cranes made it! It was gorgeous when it was all put together and it hung in their front room so it was like BAM when you walked through the door.
    Zellie was every bit the light we have ALL said she was and no its not because of the poetic tendancy of this is what you "say" in this time. Zellie truley was a light in this world and I'm glad I got to know her, be her friend and critique partner. She's touched so many lives and now she can touch even more with her book!
    Beautifully done m'dear and I can't wait till you get your copy. :)
    I am back off to bed cause someone has a sinus infection >.< but I wanted to make sure I commented today because I knew you had Zel's tribute today. <33333 U!!!!

  6. so sorry you lost your friend. :o\ but isn't it wonderful to leave something behind like that... ((hugs))

  7. ...what an emotional loss for you. Linking her publication is a wonderful tribute, a way of celebrating her life. Good for you.

  8. Zellie sounds like an incredible inspiration. Thank you so much for letting me know about her book - headed over to check it out right now!

  9. I'll add her book to my TBR list. Placing an order now...Thank you for sharing her with us!


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