Smiling Through the Tears

Eileen Kernaghan, the leader of the writing workshop I used to attend, posted yesterday that one of our members, David Glyn-Jones had passed away, just before his 91st birthday. Every workshop meeting, he was even more energetic and enthusiastic than me, which is saying a lot. He and I used to talk about his swimming and strength training and his exuberance was a breath of fresh air.

David Glyn-Jones

I attended the launch of his first novel, The Queen’s Sword, published by Fireship Press* back in 2010 and was so inspired, I blogged about at the Inkpunks in a post titled, Never Quit. I definitely learned that lesson from David.

At the launch he told us, with a twinkle in his eye, that he’d been a professional author since the age of ten. He received fifteen shillings for his short story in a contest, and then, he says with a grin, there was a 60 year gap. You couldn’t help but laugh with him, David was as charismatic as they come, a former professional musician, stage and screen actor and singer. Wait, there’s more. He got his Royal Air Force pilot’s wings in 1942 and did “34 missions in Lancasters. From there [he] was seconded to the UK Foreign Office on Political Intelligence and played out the war in London.”** He also had an accounting degree, occasionally directed and he recorded nearly 400 books on tape for the handicapped.

One of my favourite David memories is from one of our workshop sessions. After the group had verbally critiqued David’s submission, he collected all our page comments, tapped them neatly on the table top and said, “Thank you. I hate you all.” His delivery was perfect and the way he summed up how we all sometimes feel after being critiqued was spot on. We all cracked up laughing and I’ll never forget it.

Truly, David was an example of living life to its fullest, but he also shows us the importance of never giving up. If writing is your passion, your dream, pursue it. Never quit. I know that’s what David would tell each and every one of you, right after he cracked a joke to make you smile and tried to sell you one of his books. There are tears now, but every time I think of David I will smile and be strengthened along my writing journey.

David, you will be missed.

*Also published by Fireship Press, David’s second book in the series is The Queen’s Jewels. The Fireship website describes David’s books as fast-paced and intrigued- filled novels set in 1599 at the court of Queen Elizabeth. Sworn to defend the Queen, Michael finds himself embroiled in treacherous plots, and undercover investigations, some which lead to his own arrest. England’s most vigorous and colourful era is captured in this stirring tale of intrigue, treachery, and dedication to duty.”

**from David’s website

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5 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Writing

5 responses to “Smiling Through the Tears

  1. Lovely tribute. I wish I’d met him.

  2. Wendy Munro

    David was my mother’s cousin and they grew up together in Wales. They always kept in touch until her death in 1989, despite the fact he lived in Canada and we are from Australia. I was gutted to read on his Facebook page that he had died but knew no details. Thank you Sandra for the lovely tribute and it confirmed for me that he is indeed no longer with us. It helps to know for sure…thank you.
    Wendy Munro

  3. Julie Downsbrough

    Wonderful tribute, Sandra.
    You have really captured the essence of David’s personality. I will miss David but it warms my heart to remember what a cheerful soul he was while on this earth. When you write about his life it reminds me that even though we have obstacles along the way, we should always strive to be happy and pursue our dreams!
    Julie Downsbrough, Writing Workshop

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