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October 25th, 2006


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11:16 am - A question for fellow writers
Hopefully, this won't sound too morbid. ;-)

Over on fanthropology several weeks back, there was a discussion about how people handle their fannish identities--stories about how people have put plans in place in the event of their death, for fellow fen to delete slash fic off of their computers or whatever.

This isn't what I'm asking about, but the discussion made me revisit an old line of thinking that I hadn't pondered in several years:

What do I want done with my stories (fic and original) in the event of my death?

Some authors want their journals, etc., burned. I'm not sure about that, but I'm also not sure I would want to risk just anyone reading them. What about fic? I'd love it if my stories lived on, in their archives, after I'm gone--but I'd need someone to keep an eye on said archives and be my proxy person, wouldn't I?

What about half-written ideas?

Part of me says, you know, it'd be easier to just say I want the hard drive wiped and all my papers burned. Words to dust just as my body returns to dust.

Another part of me thinks I should at least specify someone to look at the stuff and see if there's anything worth salvaging.

I'd love to hear the thoughts of other writers on this topic.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(40 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:October 25th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
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You know, this might sound bad, but I don't put a whole lot of thought into it, not because I think it's morbid, but because, well, I won't be around to care. I mean, I've made out my will for my RL stuff. Fannish stuff, I guess I figure it will float around cyberspace until the sites it's on all become defunct or whatever. Stuff on my laptop? Hm . . . I don't know. Like I said, I won't be around to care.

My good stuff, I'd probably ask someone to take care of it, leaving it to that person's own discretion as to what that means--maintaining it in an archive or removing it from the 'Net. Half-finished stories? I'll contact you privately. :-)

More important to me is that my friends and close acquaintances in fandom know that I'm gone at all. What happens to my fannish stuff is secondary to that, I guess.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 25th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
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I mean, I've made out my will for my RL stuff.

I haven't. Not since my first attempt at age 14, anyway. :-) (Good lord, that's probably still in my papers somewhere.) Mostly because what do I have to leave to anyone? Books, a car, a violin. That's it. Might as well go to my parents and get sold to help pay for the sibling's college tuition or something....

The rest of me is bound up in my writing.

Fannish stuff, I guess I figure it will float around cyberspace until the sites it's on all become defunct or whatever. Stuff on my laptop? Hm . . . I don't know. Like I said, I won't be around to care.

I've used that thought/excuse for just about everything related to what should happen to me/my belongings after I die. It's only lately that I've started thinking that's kind of selfish--shouldn't one make provision to clean up one's own mess? I just recently put all my online information in one place, to facilitate that particular cleanup; I told my mom I don't want a fancy coffin, and that if anyone at my memorial says, "don't cry" I will come back and haunt them from beyond the grave; and I finally decided to be an organ donor.

No, I won't be around. But I have enough of a responsibility complex that I think I should at least decide what I want, to make it easier for those who are left behind and grieving. You know?

My good stuff, I'd probably ask someone to take care of it, leaving it to that person's own discretion as to what that means--maintaining it in an archive or removing it from the 'Net. Half-finished stories? I'll contact you privately. :-)

Yeah, I should make a decision along those lines. And re: the last bit there...right back atcha. :-)

More important to me is that my friends and close acquaintances in fandom know that I'm gone at all.

Exactly.
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:October 25th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
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I've used that thought/excuse for just about everything related to what should happen to me/my belongings after I die. It's only lately that I've started thinking that's kind of selfish--shouldn't one make provision to clean up one's own mess?

I guess I'm trying to do that now, what with the move and all. And I try to make it a habit not to give or request useless things as presents, you know? I mean, small tokens that mean something are one thing, but just knicky-knacky stuff doesn't do anyone any good from my POV. Part of this might be coming from the fact that I just got done with a garage sale, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with what didn't sell. I mean really. How many promotional make-up pouches does a girl need?

I told my mom I don't want a fancy coffin, and that if anyone at my memorial says, "don't cry" I will come back and haunt them from beyond the grave; and I finally decided to be an organ donor.

I've been an organ donor for as long as I can remember. I want as much of me recycled as possible. After that, I haven't decided if I want burial or cremation, though a lot of the time I lean toward cremation.

I have enough of a responsibility complex that I think I should at least decide what I want, to make it easier for those who are left behind and grieving. You know?

My grandmother had almost everything in her house labeled as to who was supposed to receive what or what was to be done with what. I'm not that organized. :-/

Though I will say, having a list of forums, e-mails, IDs, and passwords isn't a bad idea.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 25th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
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I guess I'm trying to do that now, what with the move and all.

Makes sense. :-) I kept a lot of trinkets, etc, around when I was younger, but since I've moved about six times during and after college, I don't have a ton left. And I think I shall try to keep it that way.

I want as much of me recycled as possible. After that, I haven't decided if I want burial or cremation, though a lot of the time I lean toward cremation.

I told my mom that would be fine, too; I just don't want to shock the older generations of my family too much, assuming they're still around when I die. My mom's family are all very conservative Baptists and are not very cool with the whole cremation thing. *eyeroll*

My grandmother had almost everything in her house labeled as to who was supposed to receive what or what was to be done with what.

Wow, just like Bilbo at the beginning of Lord of the Rings! Hee. I'm not that organized either.
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:October 25th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
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My mom's family are all very conservative Baptists and are not very cool with the whole cremation thing. *eyeroll*

'Splain, please? I've heard one other time that there's some small amount controversy involved in the issue of cremation, but I've never read or heard why. And it's never been an issue in my family, to my knowledge. I mean, yeah, my family usually buries, but my cousin was cremated.

(And if you're really interested, I can tell you how many cremation urns/boxes can be placed in one cemetery plot. In Ohio, at any rate. But that might be TMI . . .)

[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 25th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
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'Splain, please? I've heard one other time that there's some small amount controversy involved in the issue of cremation, but I've never read or heard why.

Um. Okay. Mind you, I think the family thing is more just a tradition thing--we've always buried, and that's the proper way to honor the dead, that sort of thing.

But once upon a time (and apparently some people are still made uncomfortable by this idea) it was believed that a body should be buried whole and unburned because our bodies will one day be resurrected at the return of Christ. My take on this is: unmitigated supersitious nonsense, though I can imagine and sympathize with the fear of not only being dead, but having what is left, your body, be essentially dismembered.

I'd have to do research, but it's also possible that the practice of burning the dead had links back to pre-Christian practices, and that there was a reaction from the Church over the issue many hundreds of years ago.

(And if you're really interested, I can tell you how many cremation urns/boxes can be placed in one cemetery plot. In Ohio, at any rate. But that might be TMI . . .)

LOL. If I'm creamated, I'd prefer that my ashes return to the earth, I think. I'm quite squicked at the idea that someone could keep my urn in or near their house (as people I know have done).

Hahaha. Now this comment really is a little morbid. I need a Death icon.
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:October 26th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
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I'm quite squicked at the idea that someone could keep my urn in or near their house (as people I know have done).

I have often told my mom, who wants to be cremated, that she's got to decide where she wants her ashes scattered, because she *will* be scattered somewhere. It's either that or she'll get dust-busted, because if she were in an urn on my mantel, it would only be a matter of time before one of the cats knocked her off and she's have to be dust busted.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 26th, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
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Ha. Too right. I can just imagine Isis poking at the urn and...whoops. :-)
[User Picture]
From:jd3000
Date:October 26th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
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But once upon a time (and apparently some people are still made uncomfortable by this idea) it was believed that a body should be buried whole and unburned because our bodies will one day be resurrected at the return of Christ.

This I also find laughable. As if reducing oneself to ashes will somehow negate the power of God to resurrect a body that has decayed naturally to elements and bones, and if enough time, back to dust.

-JD
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 26th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
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YES. My point exactly. *sigh*
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:October 26th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
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Now this comment really is a little morbid. I need a Death icon.

Would this one do? It's not exactly Death, but it fits the topic. (See here for The Official Place To Snurch This Icon)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 26th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
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I love that icon. So I may snurch it? Yay! *runs off to do so*
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:October 26th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad you like it -- it's one of my favourites, in the "it all came together" stakes.

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