Shu Hoong, Deepika and I got the news from the staff at Darwin's WordStorm Festival this morning. We'd met her there, had a great time with her, had no clue she was battling cancer.
She was a poet who wrote best-selling crime novels in verse (including The Monkey's Mask), and a very out lesbian. I'd just asked NAC to invite her over for the Writers' Festival next year. I figured I'd interview her then for Fridae.com.
I only knew her for three days, but she sure as hell made an impression. We liked each other's work, you know. She gave me a copy of "Akhenaten" and I gave her a copy of "last boy".
She was cool. Very cool.
No-one teaches us how to mourn for friends like that. Ones you barely know, but feel an automatic kinship with. You feel false for feeling something, then feel cold for not feeling enough.