Thoughts & Well Wishes

Jen Grogan | Mar 21, 2019

I was lucky enough to be one of a small group of sci-fi and fantasy editors who met up with you at the Potlatch convention at Hotel Deca in the University District some years ago (2015, perhaps?). We all had a fabulous chat out in the lobby about everything from writing to local hiking spots. I wasn't able to go out to dinner with you and the rest of the group that evening, so (in addition to missing out on more delightful conversation) I never quite worked up the nerve to tell you how much your short story "Dreamsnake" meant to me as a child. I found it in an anthology that my dad gave me, and I think I read that particular story at least a dozen times. As a rather odd, introverted, socially awkward pre-teen (how many of us who end up sci-fi and fantasy weren't at least some of that, I suppose?), and particularly one who adores snakes and other misunderstood animals, I was enchanted by that story and, later, equally delighted and fascinated by The Moon and the Sun

This is all to say that your work has been exceedingly important and touched a lot of people, and that I'm thinking of you and wishing you the very best. 

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Janet Lafler | Mar 21, 2019
Vonda, I just heard today. I'm glad to know that you have friends around you, and that you have been able to complete your book, which I know must mean a lot to you, as it does to me and all fans of your work. I have one of your beaded sea creatures with me now. Much love.
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Amy Hay | Mar 21, 2019
Thank you so much for the worlds you built and for sharing them with us. I am a better human for reading all the stories about alien worlds. Or maybe there were just places that might have been or still could be. Your words, your craft, and your vision live forever. 
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Carol Ryles | Mar 20, 2019
You are in my thoughts  everyday, Vonda. You know how I've loved reading your work since I first discovered The Exile Awaiting back in the 70s. I've recommended it to a lot of friends over the years, along with Dreamsnake. I felt so blessed meeting you in 2008 when you welcomed me into your home and showed me around Seattle before Clarion. I often think of all your lovely crocheted sea creatures and still have the one you gave me. Much love and gratitude, Carol xx
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LadyWillow | Mar 19, 2019
Thank you for sharing your beautiful Bead Work (especially the glowing Octopi), the tips about Hyperbolic Crochet techniques and of course your unique wordsmith abilities which will delight and educate countless curious minds for years to come. /;)

Continuing to use your Crochet tips in my projects to create large to medium Hyperbolic Stress Balls (crocheted very tightly) and smaller Balls to attach to Twiddle (Sensitivity) Muffs for the Developmentally Disabled and Alzheimer Patients, also to make Hyperbolic style Ruffled edges for Donated Pet Cage Pads and Welcome Blankets for new Refuge Families. (See pix below.)


You are treasured and appreciated for your beautiful spirit and for generously sharing your creative talents.

Thank you especially for sharing your journey with all of us.



Lynn Johanna AKA LadyWillow



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Jo Hawkins | Mar 19, 2019
Thank you so much for being such a true friend to our beloved Jane...and to so many others, I'm seeing!  Dunno what happens after this life.  I prefer to think of it as our next great adventure.  I hope your next great adventure is spectacular.  
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Frank Catalano | Mar 18, 2019
Vonda, I've been thinking about you and this news for several weeks. 

You were very generous to me when I moved to the Seattle area in the 1980s as a hyperactive newish writer and I took on the task of administering SFWA's Nebula Awards. I recall how we and a small crew of volunteers stuffed and stamped Nebula Awards Reports in my Queen Anne apartment, the lively convention panels we were both on, and your ongoing gentle but direct encouragement that I write. To this day, I recommend your books to colleagues and others who aren't quite sure what "science fiction" can encompass. 

I really look forward to reading this new book, and continuing to recommend your work for years to come. My very, very best to you.

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Amy Sterling Casil | Feb 23, 2019

My daughter is just now getting more mature (she's a young adult). She hasn't known or known of many of my writing friends, nor been much aware of anything I've written. Like millions of other Millennials, she's back at home with me and my husband and staying in my former office/library. She also doesn't know much about my family background though she knows my mother died when I was a baby and was the artist who redesigned Mr. Magoo and other well-known 50s animated characters.

So I also didn't know much about my mom and only learned things over time through many coincidences. 

I went into my former office yesterday and said to my daughter, "see up on that shelf on the bookcase? Those are books by people who are my friends. People I care very much about. Some of them are very important, valuable books." I told her if something happened to me, she didn't have to keep the books but she should distribute them responsibly.

"This beautiful one, the Moon and the Sun, is by a friend," I said. "The closest friend I have I've never physically met."

I told her about Vonda and said, "This has hit all of us very hard. We all care very much about her. She's one of the most wonderful people we've ever known."

"Honey," I said. "For me it was very hard to hear because she has the same disease that took my mother's life. She has pancreatic cancer."

A few years ago, my brother casually dropped the information to me at a family meal that my mother had been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer for about three years before I was born. When she became pregnant, she stopped all treatment. She died three months after I was born, and I was three months premature: in 1962. 

I had no physical connection with my mother, just spiritual and emotional. She was home from the hospital only a few days with me before having to go back in. During this time she went shopping at the Farmers Market (Fairfax/La Brea) and bought a sugar Easter egg for me, which I still have. I put it in a Russian tin, one of the few things I have from my Grandma Mary (my Dad's mom). Grandma Mary lived right by Farmer's Market so I'm almost positive the two would have been there together. 

I never met Vonda in person. By the time she was helping me format my books or we were corresponding about Ursula Le Guin's Nobel Prize, I was no longer attending the type of event where I would have been able to spend time with her. I know her through her words. And deeds.

What happened to Vonda is what my mother experienced. Not just pancreatic cancer, the exact type and order of events and diagnosis.

Our lives are woven in a fabric and sometimes a thread is pulled. We see how alike we all are. We see that we are all interconnected and we see that our joys and our sorrows are what it means to be alive.

Sometimes I think, "You shouldn't be here" because of what happened with my mother. But then I realize my mother would have hated my thinking that. I think of how strong she must have been and I know that Vonda is also so strong. So gentle and kind and honorable and gifted and so very strong.

All of my love, Vonda - always and forever. 


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