I’d never even been to Mistley

I’m just writing because totally ‘by chance’ (nothing really ever is) I picked up Before I Say Goodbye – the Ruth Picardie book about her cancer – and started reading it. I knew her a bit (I remember she edited a mag called Producer that I interviewed Jim Jarmusch for in 1989!). But she was friends with L much more.

I suppose because it’s made up of emails it just reminds me of this. And just the voice – your raging. Maybe someone’s said this to you before? Anyway, I just wondered whether you’d read it, whether you want to, and so on. It’s one of those things that meant a little when I read it the first time, and so much more when I read it now. I confess the floodgates have opened, more or less: not just because of what’s in the book, but because of everything. I hope you understand! If you don’t, no one will.

Anyway, in case you HAVEN’T read it, I could send you a copy. And of course, because HER book ends with her saying goodbye, it doesn’t mean that yours will! Obviously, you know that, but it doesn’t do any harm repeating it again and again.

Anyway, the book – published after she died – was no-holds-barred stuff, and very moving, and also – I have to say – ‘artistically significant’ in that it was composed of emails, which in 1997 was an interesting way to go… And ‘artistically significant‘ was crucial because it gave me a place to put it instead of just admitting how powerful it was. Ruth’s book, so interesting because…

She was 32 when she died. I already have a whole life after that: children, love, screenplays. When she died, I’d never even been to Mistley…


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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