I have a bad habit of checking Facebook on my phone when I get up, which is how I started off yesterday morning by learning that Jay Lake had died.
I'm pretty sure it was Diana Sherman who introduced me to Jay. (Diana Sherman has introduced me to many of my favorite people, so it's the way to bet, anyway.) Most of my memories of Jay don't make for great anecdotes, although I was present for the great Lake/Levine/Pratt Campbell Award Smackdown
, where I learned that the pen is mightier than the foam noodle.
But most of my memories of Jay are of talking about writing. And what I mostly remember is his kindness and generosity towards other writers. Despite being one of the most prolific writers I've ever encountered, he was more than capable of lending a sympathetic ear and good advice to someone struggling with writers' block. He was a great guy to kick around story ideas with. I know countless writers, myself included, who benefited at one time or another from his advice and encouragement. I remember lots of little kindnesses from Jay, over the years.
He'll be missed.