Back in 2008, the discovery of Jay’s tumor rattled us all. I’d had my own tumor scare in 2005, so I knew that keeping a sense of humor about the situation was the most important thing. Jay had that in spades. Trouble was…this tumor was not benign. Jay had colon cancer. For real and for true. The freakout ran deep.
But still we kept our spirits up…or tried to. We stayed in touch online. A lot. A bunch of us got together and wrote stories for a private anthology, just for Jay. STARRING Jay.
The editor made a secret link available for the contributors to order a copy if they so desired, but few of those stories ever saw the light of day. One such tale was Eric James Stone’s “The Six Billion Dollar Colon,” which he made public on his blog a year later on International Pixel-Stained Techno-Peasant Day.
Mine was a story of a slightly more personal nature, based on one of my favorite movies of all time: Joe Versus the Volcano. It’s called, appropriately, “Jay Versus the Volcano.” Possibly the closest thing I’ve ever written to fan fiction…and yet, an amazing adventure story all its own.
I just read it over again for the first time in probably six years…I got teary-eyed a couple of times, but I only wept at the very end. This may be one of the best stories I’ve ever written. I’m glad I did it. And I’m glad it was for Jay.
Jay was very much my Epic Hero in Real Life, and I suspect he will continue to inspire me–and my writing–for many years to come.
My toast to Jay:
Jay’s soul brother Ken Scholes is also releasing a story today on Tor.com with Jay in the starring role. Do be sure to click on over to read “Jay Lake and the Last Temple of the Monkey King.”
Break out your Hawaiian shirts, socks, sandals, and tiaras today, folks.
May Jay’s legacy of kindness live in our hearts forever.