Monday, February 21, 2022

My dear friend Kathy, a celebration of life and crazyness, by Diane Scott Lewis


“A rich plot with building suspense, the writing is perfect and flows well. I loved this story.”   ~History and Women~

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On January 3rd I lost a dear friend to cancer. She flew into the realm of the gods and goddesses, the fairy world we often spoke about. She liked to envision chants around bonfires and other mystical rituals.

We met in an on-line critique group, nine years ago. When my mother passed, Kathy was there for me, understanding the difficult relationships we both had with our respective families. We spoke almost every day over the internet after that. Her loss, her advance to a higher plain, is a big hole in my heart.

We almost met in person, while three hours apart when I attended the Historical Novel Society conference in Portland, OR, six years ago. She was to drive down from Seattle to meet. But that was when she'd found out her cancer had returned after fifteen years in remission. She cancelled to set up doctors appointments.

But I want to celebrate our dark humor, talk of witches, and fairies, the pagan souls we both shared.

Kathy was a dedicated Pagan, in her thoughts, not her actions. Our bon fires were metaphorical, as well as our flying away on brooms to cure the world of its ills. We had the 'what's the matter you-snap out of it!' attitude, and laughed at the craziness of life, the perilous political scene, and the irony of so many things. Her father had soured her on religion, so this was her 'feel good' place.

We had a third witch in our imagined coven, but for privacy reasons, I won't name her. We Three had a ball whirling through the flames of the pretend bon fires, stirring our cauldron. Imagining we had some control over the insanity of the world.

I'd send her funny jpegs to cheer her, though Kathy rarely complained about her own health. She was the strongest woman I knew.

When the doctors had to put a new port into her for her chemo, I sent her the above jpeg and she loved it. When things got iffy in the world around us, we'd say 'gird your loins' because that phrase is often found in historical novels and people scratch their heads about it.

Her last completed novel was a fictionalized tale of when, after a divorce, she took her two boys to England to research another novel. Her bravery to do that amazed me. (also available at  )

It's difficult not to mourn such losses, but I need to celebrate what we had, short though it seems now. I'm girding my loins! I'd like to think that she's flying about the stratosphere on a magic cloud, laughing at us mere mortals. We never did get to meet in person, and only spoke once on the phone (she sounded so young). But maybe that's how we kept the mystical part of our friendship intact. I was blessed to have her as my friend. We made each other laugh right to the very end.

A funny, brave woman with wit and talent, the gods must have needed her wry and steady advice. She told me she wasn't afraid of dying, she said 'energy' never dies, but she often wished she could stay longer. 

Fair winds, my dear sister of the heart! And strength to your loving husband who also had to say goodbye.

Kathy's expertise was the seventeenth century; check out her other wonderful historical novels.

Katherine Pym Novels

Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund.

She's trying to set up a new website on Blogger: wish her/me luck!


  1. Losing a friend is always painful esepcially when writing has brought you together, I was reminded of my critique partner when I came across some old pictures of my critique group. Katherine Prym's historicals are indeed wonderful

  2. Thanks, Janet. It is difficult to lose a close friend. I hope more people discover her wonderful novels.

  3. Thanks, Diane for sharing your experience of Kathy. Even though I didn't know her, I have a sense of who she was. She sounds like a wonderful person.

  4. Thanks for commenting, she was a wonderful person.

  5. Kathy was a wonderful person. I miss her.

    1. It's true, the good die young, it seems. I guess I'll be around until I'm 100. Thanks for commenting.

  6. So sorry for your loss, but you have written a lovely tribute to your friend x

  7. What a beautiful, heart-felt tribute to Kathy. She will live forever through her books. Thanks for sharing, Diane.


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