I read the news on Saturday, but couldn't bring myself to post about it until now.
I assumed that you'd already have heard, and if you hadn't, I didn't want to be the one to tell you.
Everyone leaves a themselves-shaped hole when they go, and we all feel it, whether we know or recognise the individual holes or not. No one is an island, as John Donne almost said, each human death diminishes me. But Diana was a bigger piece of the promontory than most. This is not the same world without her in it.
Neil Gaiman's post was the one to make me finally sit down and big sob. Because this loss -- and I know I'm not remotely the only reader to be feeling this -- this loss is a painful one. But, true to form -- both DWJ's and Gaiman's -- that post also made me laugh out loud.
The stories that have been coming out about her have been making me laugh -- the bubbling ceiling and Beatrix Potter's slap and mention after mention of her traveling/techno jinxes -- and they've also made me wonder how much of the magic in her books was invented, and how much she actually experienced. Because it seems, from reading these essays, that Things Happened When She Was Around. That, possibly, she was secretly related to Joan Aiken's Armitage family.
I was in elementary school, and already a huge reader when I discovered Diana Wynne Jones. But her words, and her humor, and her truth... For me, she was the first author who made reading more than just a hugely enjoyable way of spending time -- for me, she was the one who first made reading into something magic.