[DWJ] memorial being recorded?

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at netvision.net.il
Thu Apr 26 13:18:02 EDT 2012

I planned on writing my thoughts and impressions, but I was just
overwhelmed, both by what I wanted to write and by the chaos of coming home
directly to a school holiday.

The bottom line: it was a deeply moving and very impressive event.
Impressive in a quiet, modest way, because I don't think anyone was out to
impress, but when so many speakers come up one after the other, and they
are all articulate, and interesting in their own different ways, yet each
and every one devoted to Diana - it's hard not to be impressed. I mean, I
know Diana was very hard on her parents and what some of her family members
said corroborated this, but to have raised three girls who are each and
every one talented, accomplished and seemingly so confident, they must have
done something right as well. Or had fantastic genes, in any case. Which
also carried over into the next generation because Diana's sons projected
the same kind of confidence. Except maybe Mickey, the middle son, who was
endearingly different - Richard and Colin both came in suits and ties,
Mickey wore a t-shirt that said "So Many Books, So Little Time" with a cute
illustration (Edward Gorey?) and I think that says it all right there!

I wish I had more time to spend in the crypt, looking at the tiny exhibit
of first pages from Diana's manuscripts, some from her typewriter, some in
her handwriting. There was a tower built of her translations which they
were trying to sell for charity (and another crate full of translations in
her study back at home) and I wish I could have adopted them all. I hope
there's a university or archive that will take them all in.

EVERYONE who spoke was worth listening too. It's such a jumble in my head
now, I only remember bits and pieces, but one of my favorites was son Colin
(I think) saying he will always remember his mother sitting in her favorite
armchair, a pen in one hand, a cup of strong coffee in her other, a
cigarette in her third and stroking a cat with her fourth. And yes, he
realizes that adds up to four but that's his image of her.

Stella Paskins, Diana's editor at Harper Collins, described the process of
editing her books: she would receive a new manuscript, promise herself that
this time she would read it slowly and attentively, then rush through the
whole thing at whirlwind pace enjoying herself tremendously, then read it
again slowly. Her manuscripts needed very little editing because she
self-edited in the process  of her writing (which was described earlier in
detail by Laura Cecil, Diana's agent).

Sister Isobel Armstrong described the two books that Diana wrote for her
sisters and read to them when she was about 12 years old. Isobel was the
one who was nearly hung on a rope made of bathrobe sashes while trying to
recreate the fairy flying scene from "Giselle" (?), and incident that made
it into "Time of the Ghost" and also to the introduction of one of Ursula's
books, though Ursula contends it was Peter Pan they were doing, and that
they cut Isobel down with nail scissors, while Isobel remembers being
hauled up all choking. Nick Tucker read a letter that Diana had written to
his brother. Sharyn November talked about smoking with Diana. Several
people mentioned that Diana would take revenge on people by writing them
into her books. Neil Gaiman (via Sharyn November) wrote that he still had
some unread books by Diana that he's looking forward to reading, and that
he wished he could have some unspent time with her saved up as well. Dave
Devereux told about being Diana's friend, without even having read her
books for a while. Just about everyone spoke of her energy, her sparkle,
her brilliant blue eyes, her sense of fashion, nephew Tom chipped in that
she was an excellent cook and made the best roast potatoes.

Robin McKinley has posted what she said, I hope other will follow suit:

As for me, my husband recorded me on the iPhone, I'm trying to figure out
how to upload and post the clip. I do quite a lot of public speaking, but I
don't remember the last time I was as nervous as I was this Sunday, perhaps
because all the people speaking before me were not an easy act to follow!

I see that Gill Othen has written up her impressions:
http://dianawynnejones.livejournal.com/192833.html  Off I go to read them!


On Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM, Martha Hixon <marthahixon at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ahem,
> those of us who did not get to attend the memorial are eagerly awaiting a
> report on the event from those of you who did. :-)
> Martha
> Dr. Martha P. Hixon
> Department of English
> Middle Tennessee State University
> Murfreesboro, TN 37132
> 615-898-2599 / martha.hixon at mtsu.edu
> On Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 4:26 AM, <minnow at belfry.org.uk> wrote:
> > On Thu, 19 Apr 2012 16:38:56 -0500
> > Martha Hixon <marthahixon at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Did anyone ever announce whether there is going to be any sort of
> > > recording of the memorial event, either live or for viewing
> > > afterwards, and visual or audio?
> >
> > I didn't announce anything because I didn't know.
> >
> > I can now say definitely that we have not arranged this.  I'm sorry: it
> > was just too complicated.  The venue has a public performance
> > licence (it is used for Radio 3 lunchtime concerts), so they have a
> > bunch of requirements for recording and visual recording that I don't
> > think we could have met.
> >
> > Minnow
> >
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> >
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