March 11, 2010

RIP Karol Griffin

Karol Griffin Young died last week. She was a writer. Her essays in Skin Deep: Tattoos, the Disappearing West, Very Bad Men, and My Deep Love for Them All are blisteringly insightful and nuanced. She was built like Courtney Love, with sleeve tats, severe bangs on dyed coal black hair, and a love for lacy skirts and combat boots. She was 47.

I will be hard pressed to say anything more eloquent than Jeffe Kennedy on her blog Love, Power & Fairytale Endings.

The thing is, I didn’t know Karol well. We were on the fringes of each others circles. Along with Jeffe, she was a member of the Silver Sage Writers Alliance, a writers group I would’ve loved to have been in. But since last week, everyone I’ve talked with knew Karol, people I would never suspect.

I wish I’d had the chance to sit down over coffee ~ or something stronger ~ and talk with her about being a woman in the West. About the violence that is our heritage. About the clash of cultures that takes place every day in this little town I call home.

The urge to write clichés is especially strong when talking about something like this. Because she was so full of life. Her words will live on in the minds of others. Her death feels tragic ~ not in the sense that everyone is labeled a hero, but in the sense that she had a tragic flaw, an attraction to the dark side, that drove her.

A supernova mind, a whole existence, gone.

What I’m Reading Today: Karol’s essays.

PS I sent my first tweet yesterday, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. If you’d like to follow me, I’m TamaraLinse. I’d love to follow you too ~ just let me know your handle.

PPS A very nice rejection on a partial of the novel today.


Jeffe said...

I thought this was lovely, Tamara. And I'm pleased you thought what I wrote went some small way to doing Karol justice. Silver Sage has been on my mind with all of this. I miss that time. You would have been a great addition to it. Maybe someone needs to take up that torch again?

Tamara said...

Thank you, Jeffe, for your kind words. Yes, your tribute was wonderful. A good writing group is hard to find - it looks like everyone in SS has been very successful!