I feel as though I've lost a family member. Brooke and I joined Fanstory around the same time over a decade ago and became good friends in a short period of time. We were two new members trying to learn the system together. Back in those days, there weren't very many new members joining Fanstory. Nothing like the surge we have today. So, we helped each other along the way. And by that, I mean learning the various rules and all the different formats. Brooke certainly didn't need any assistance when it came to writing, she was already a professional writer when she joined Fanstory.
Well, it didn't take long for me to realize, along with many other members who had been here for several years, that Brooke would immediately become a rising star. Shortly after we had joined Fanstory, she told me that she loved this site and would like to become the number 1 ranked poet. I remember responding to her by saying, "Well Brooke, with your talent and love of poetry, it shouldn't take you very long." Before her first year was over she had achieved that goal and remained in the number one slot until she was forced to leave Fanstory due to health issues. There were so many of us hoping and praying that she would return to Fanstory, however, it was not meant to be.
Her favorite style of poetry was the Quatrain form, rhyming four-line stanzas about nature. Every poem that she posted would receive a large number of reviews, many with 100 or more and with very little promotion. Brooke was the only writer that I've ever seen in my eleven years who had the popularity, desire, and talent to accomplish that. Many of us would post our work and promote it to a much higher level and not even receive half of the reviews that she did. That's simply because everyone loved to read Brooke's beautiful well-crafted poetry and they also admired her as a close friend and teacher.
One of my favorite reviews came from Brooke several years ago right after coming to Fanstory. I had joined a humorous Quatrain poem contest and she reviewed it. I can still remember her first line of the review. It read, "ROTFLMBO, I think you've got a winner here." When I first read her review I didn't have the slightest idea what all those letters meant, so I asked her. She replied, "rolling on the floor laughing my butt off." I knew in my heart at that moment that if I could receive a review like that from a lady of Brooke's caliber and knowledge that I would be just fine here at Fanstory.
Many of the members have already stated how much Brooke loved dandelions. Well, that is certainly true. When I first started reviewing her poems about dandelions I would tell her that they're just weeds and needed to be cut down. I wouldn't have told her that if we had not been good friends. She would always reply, "Now Bill, I'm not going to cut them down, I think they make beautiful yard decorations." After she told me that several times I began to think the same way. So even today, when I see a dandelion in my yard I mow around it. She had that kind of influence over people.
What a wonderful woman Brooke was, in every way. She adored her family, especially her grandson Sawyer. She had a strong faith in God and participated in her Church activities, and her knowledge of writing was beyond compare. She was a lady with poetic grace and dignity, always willing to share her wisdom with anyone without hesitation. That was one of her great joys, sharing her God-given talent with those who wanted to learn. She was a "superstar" here at Fanstory, one that I think shall never be replaced.
Brooke: What a privilege and honor it was to have you as a good friend for many years, I will cherish those memories.
Miranda, Sawyer, and all your family, I offer you my heartfelt sympathy. She was a remarkable woman...Bill
Goodbyes are not forever
Goodbyes are not the end
They only mean I'll miss you
Until we meet again...