I first met Jay Lake in at World Fantasy 2009, the first World Fantasy convention, indeed first SF convention of any kind I had attended.
Somewhat bewildered and unsure of what I was doing there, I was sitting in the lobby area/bar when a fellow with outrageously long locks and a beard sat beside me at another small table. A steady stream of friends and fellow writers approaching him, engaging in funny, friendly banter. He took a moment during the fun to meet and subsequently include the balding, bewildered fellow seated near him in his conversations.
That fellow was me.
My time with Jay on that occasion did not last very long, but it was very, very informative to my experience of World Fantasy. As anybody who knows me can tell you: I love World Fantasy Convention. Part of that love had its genesis in Jay’s inclusion and initiation of me into this world of writers and their society.
I didn’t get the chance to speak directly to Jay very often on the subsequent occasions we saw one another, just exchanging a friendly nod and kind word in passing. He always remembered my name, despite our limited experience of one another, and even when he was complaining about the devastating effects chemotherapy was having on his prodigious mind.
I read his blog, keeping up with his thoughts in that manner.
Two years ago yesterday, I was in the process of making my first fiction sale. I sent Jay a private message on Facebook:
I took all your advice, Jay.
Good luck and safe journey on your travels, wherever they may take your essence.