davekirtley (davekirtley) wrote,

Ann Cecil

I'm very sad to hear that Ann Cecil died a few hours ago, of cancer. Ann was one of our regular staffers at the Alpha young writers workshop, where she took great delight in baking platefuls of cookies for the students. She was also extremely diligent about reading student's work and providing comprehensive notes, and was always saying stuff like, "It wasn't until I read it the fourth time that I noticed that..." She was well-practiced at evaluating writing, as she owned a massive science fiction library and would write notes in each book analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. A lot of author friends knew this, and when they visited her home they would have to decide whether they dared take a peek at their own books and learn what she thought of them. There was about a two-year run at Alpha where Ann and I were in all the same critique groups, and I would give my critique and then she'd correct me and point out all these things I missed. It got to be kind of a running joke. Finally with one story I went first and gave my critique, having completely missed the fact that the piece was a retelling of a Bible story, and when the next person started talking I just groaned, and Ann laughed. She was always laughing, always smiling. She took great delight in reading and writing, in helping other people, and in fandom, which she was heavily involved with for many years. We'll really miss her.


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