Carol Wills, a friend, mentor, teacher and co-worker, I knew because the net shrunk our world to where our fingertips touched. She in Britain, me in the United States.
We met on Bookrix four years ago in 2010, at that time, a new site that has grown into its potential as a publishing site.
Most meetings with the new folks in town was accomplished by the site run contests. Both Carol and I wrote to the themes fitting stories into slots, and while we strived to do our best, and at times made it into first place before other entries overtook, we would slide back and watch as others took home the prize.
This did not overly bother us. We were there to hone our skills. We liked one another’s output, and it was easy to stay connected through a friendship that quickly grew. Carol and I had many things in common and grew to realize we were sisters joined in spirit, separated by birth an ocean apart. Her profile could have been mine:
Oh… um… I suppose it’s about time I put something real in here. Well, my name is Carol. I love to read (anything from Dickens to the cornflakes packet) in fact, if I don’t have something to read I go into anaphylactic shock. I am married with a grown up family. I live with my husband in Chesham amid the beautiful Chilton Hills. My children’s stories are all about a little bird called Titus, who has many adventures. I also write short stories and flash fiction. You can also find me at:
Carol’s teaching was subtle as I watched her adroitly write flash fiction with verve, humor, and a twist. Her book entitled Five Minute Fiction ~
is a collection of short stories that earned her my respect and the name Queen of Flash. I strove to emulate her brevity, if not her humor, and twist. There were times I succeed and her words of praise an impetus to continue in the slash and burn quest of a hard hitting story.
Carol, like me, came to publishing, late in our life’s journey, although story telling was a lifelong ingrained quality. It was not until we retired from the ‘workforce’ did the luxury of writing and sharing our stories with the public become possible because of the internet. We both have blogs and websites, but Carol was more dedicated.
During the Christmas holiday season in the year 2011, I asked for submissions for a projected series of children’s stories. The response was not only gratifying, but a plea for giving went up and was agreed upon quickly and unanimously.
We named ourselves The Peacock Writers, a suggestion by Carolyn Tody who designed our logo. The Peacock name came as a symbol denoting our diverse creative abilities, each with a jewel like shine. Our mission was born.
The first five writers were Janice Abel, Gwenna D’Young, Paula Shene, Carolyn Tody, and Carol Wills. Our biographical section listed us as four Yanks and a Brit.
We all have been composing other stories, books, or articles, but have set our stories for children and charity on the front burner twice a year. For slightly less than two and a half years, we have produced five collections with the sixth one in progress.
Our first collection caught the eye of the advertising staff on Amazon and without any monetary allowance by our group, promoted our book A Whimsical Holiday for Children. I was lucky to see the ad on my tried and true hang out, Dictionary dot com.
Several of our ladies have risen to the top to become our Production Administrator and the other, our Site Sound, and SEO Administrator.
Carol Wills was our ‘go to’ gal in house. If Gwen can’t do it, you can expect Carol could. You want your head straighten out, she could help with that too. When she answered the call for authors needed, she was one of the first there and willing to do a story. Cedric, the Blue Nose Reindeer was born – fitting as Carol was our Brit from the first collection.
She was our site Administrator at The Peacock Writers. And she was much more. Everyone she touched was enriched by her friendship. A helping hand was given when asked, explaining, teaching, proofing, site development were all tools in her arsenal of giving. No task was too big nor too menial, if needed, it was done.
Many times, I would be on my way to bed, as she was rising. We had coffee and talk in the quiet, and then be on our way to our destination.
These past months, during her fierce fight with lung cancer robbed us of our time, and I impatiently awaited her return, only to find she had completed her life assignment, and went on. I hope to see her in the crowd waiting for me. There are still many stories we need to share.
Carol, in the short time we had together on this side, you have accomplished much and with tears, to you I say, “Kudos girl. I miss you.”