Marilyn died yesterday. I feel a little strange writing about her because, although we’d been good friends at one time, we lost touch with each other about five years ago. Still, this isn’t about me.
I met Marilyn in 1986 at the Baltimore B’con. I liked her immediately. She was funny and smart and we clicked. I think I’d read her first novel, A Case of Loyalties, and liked it, but maybe I read it after I met her. She published seven novels and edited many anthologies.
I don’t think I’ve known anyone with highter standards. Mostly for herself. But she had them for you, too. She wanted you to be the best you could be. Though she was hard on herself in that way she never was hard on you.
She had a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh, which I can hear right now.
Marilyn and Bruce, her husband, and my partner and I became good friends. They even spent a weekend with us here on Long Island. I say even because we almost never have guests. I recall that we had a wonderful time. In NYC we had dinner together, our house or theirs, sometimes at a restaurant.
The last time I saw Marilyn was when she came here to see my new house with two other writer friends, Annette Meyers and Camilla Crespi. And then we all went out to lunch.
I talked with her on the phone after that and then….then I don’t know what happened. Nothing bad. No fight or falling out. Laziness, I think. Who can say? I imagine she didn’t know either. I kept meaning to get in touch, you know how that is, but I never did. It’s too late now.
I’ve learned a painful lesson. Friendship is a precious thing and one has to work at it to keep it.
As a writer and a friend, Marilyn will be missed by many.