Julia Darling has been an inspiration to me, as she has been to so many others, in my attempts over the last few years to set pen to paper. I first came across her when she performed as a member of the Poetry Virgins and then when I went along to an early Proud Words workshop she led at Pride on Tyne about eight years ago. I love all her plays, her poems and stories and both of her published novels.
She has been an inspiration to me not only as a writer but as a member of the lesbian community in Newcastle. Her warmth, creativity, enthusiasm, generosity and love of life was unique and uniquely infectious. Her presence here as a writer and as a human being battling with cancer has made a huge impact on me which will now always be a part of who I am.
Julia wrote in January’s Mslexia that shoes in a tree can represent souls after death. No doubt I will not be alone in remembering Julia every time I walk past the ‘tree of shoes’ in Heaton Park. As the shoes have spread from tree to tree so has the effect of her spirit and imagination on those who have read her writings, attended her performances, heard her voice on radio, seen her brief appearance on TV or enjoyed the privilege of knowing her personally.
Thank you Julia for being remarkable.