Earlier this week, I was thinking of my critique partner–Ken Rahmoeller. Many of you know him as he’s been a member of the IWSG for longer than me. I had the honor of beta-reading his novel and I enjoyed his Hogwarts fan fiction on WattPad, even though it remains unfinished. I even got to read his reader magnet short story.
I hadn’t heard from Ken in a while. It was with terrible sadness that I discovered the reason. He’d opened up in December about his late-stage brain cancer. It’d been a couple months since he’d last posted, but I kept hoping for the best.
Finding that obituary online was a depressing blow.
In the wake of that, I didn’t feel my planned post answering the question of the month was really appropriate. How could I switch to a happy tone of family life, art projects, and writing progress when I found out my friend was dead?
So I’m not going to. I’m skipping the question of the month and reflecting on Ken’s impact on my life and writing.
He was an excellent writer. One of the things I liked best was the voice he infused in his work. He had a couple different styles–one for his fanfic, another for his urban fantasy. Both were engaging and entertaining. I hope his family takes the steps to publish his novel, Accidental Alchemist, because it was well done and creative. I count myself lucky to have been a beta-reader.
He was also a great critique partner. He could spot things I couldn’t, like when I included too much information that wasn’t necessary or when I didn’t include details to make the story understandable. It always makes sense in my head, so his input was invaluable. He was also kind with his honesty. Maybe that came from his tutoring side job and I was another student who didn’t quite get the nuances. Regardless, he was helpful, encouraging, and inspirational.
I’m sad he passed, and my thoughts are with his family. I’ll miss him.
Did you know Ken? Do you have any thoughts to share? Have you ever lost anyone within your writing circle?