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aresmist

December 2011

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aresmist

A tribute to Tham

A mutual friend emailed me with very sad news.  There is a great void in the Herc/Xenaverse now - a great writer and long-time friend has died after a battle with breast cancer.  Those who have been in the fandom for many years will remember her as Thamiris: founder of the KSmithAres list, gifted writer and story-teller.  She left us way too soon - at 42- with so many stories left unwritten.  I choose to remember her as "Tham" - mutual Ares lover, occasional debater, arbitor of differences, and most of all, friend.

Tham and I go way, way back,  to the beginnings of the Herc/Xena fandom.  We had our occasional differences and debates about slash fanfic vs gen/het fan fic, but we genuinely liked and admired each other as friends first.  All those differences in taste and style became unimportant over time and we let them drift away to revel in our shared rememberances of the laughter and fun that brought us together as friends in the first place.  Tham always had my back in the old days and even when we weren't on the best of terms, I admired her for being willing to speak up for what she believed in.

We met once in person,  at a con in NYC, and we kept in touch over the years, mostly on each other's birthdays.  Every year, we sent each other some XXX rated, Ares-inspired birthday email.  We'd catch up for a few days chatting by email, and neither of us ever missed a birthday.  I always knew that there would be a birthday email from Tham in my inbox on Nov. 10th.  This year, when I sent my usual birthday email to her on March 27th, and I didn't get a response, I knew something was wrong.  I hoped that maybe she had run off to some exotic vacation spot with a new man, or was busy researching material for another story.  But my gut told me it was more than that.  This is her obituary:

http://www.legacy.com/CAN-Montreal/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=87076590

Tham was a dedicated slash writer.  She was one of the few who could get me to read slash, simply because of her superb writing.  She could tell a story with the finest of the fanfic writers.  She was simply one of the best writers of any genre to ever take the characters so loved by the Herc/Xenaverse Nation and weave them into stories.  Period.  

Tham knew that I rarely read any slash and was (and am) a dedicated het/ gen lover.  But she also knew that I read hers for the superb writing and admired her work immensely.  We joked many times that she knew that I skimmed through the explicit slash sex scenes in her stories with a grimmace on my face when they involved Ares!  One of our favorite long-standing jokes was Iphicles's orange hair in "War Wounds".

Even though she wrote very little het in her later years, she knew how much I had always loved the het she wrote early on, particularly her wonderful "Songs My Grandmother Taught Me", which I nominated in a fanfic contest as one of the best Herc/Xena gen stories ever written.  As a special birthday present to me one year, she sent me a story she had written especially for me, after a discussion we had about whay would have happened if just once, Xena had given in to Ares.  It was originally written as a private gift from a special friend, but it was so wonderful that I encouraged her to submit it to several fan fic archives and has since become one of the best loved of her stories.  There can be no greater tribute to a writer like Tham than to be remembered for her work - the work that gave so many readers so much pleasure and so much inspiration.  As my lasting tribute to my friend Tham, I am posting the story link here.

Rest well, my friend.  Your battle is over now and you've won the peace you deserve.  I am a better person and a better writer for having known you and your work.  You will be very missed in your many fandoms, but you will always be with me when I read your stories and remember you as a superb storyteller and as a friend who always had my back.

Clink below to read "Vibrations of a Bell" - Thamiris

Comments

I didn't know Tham, but I remember you talking about her. I'm sorry for your loss and for her family. She will live on in your hearts and memories. (Great stories here... I enjoyed reading them.)
Thanks, hun. I knew she had been fighting the Big C, but didn't know that it was bilateral and a very agressive form of the disease that wasn't responding to any treatments. From what I understand, she knew it was terminal and knew she was going to die, but didn't want to spend what time she had left worrying her friends, so she didn't talk about it much.

The thing that really sticks with me is that for many years, she was a heavy smoker and was always trying to quit, but never completely did. She'd post in her journal that she was giving it another attempt and we'd all cheer her on, but she never quite gave it up completely and fell back into smoking. I can't help buy wonder if that long history of heavy smoking may have contributed to her cancer in some way.

Love ya, LOTS!