A Long Overdue Update

Image of A.L.S. Vossler’s Funeral Folder taken 2019 by Chris Vossler

This update is coming far too late in the process, but it’s been far too difficult to make this public on this forum before now.

Tragically, A.L.S. Vossler (Amy) lost her decade-plus battle with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, and suicidal thoughts on December 5, 2018.  She had struggled to fight off the depression that threatened to drown her ever since her parents’ deaths in December 2017, but on that fateful night, the depression overwhelmed her.  Her death has left a gaping hole in the hearts of all who knew and loved her, one which will never be filled.

Amy left an enormous body of unfinished writings, from Scylla, the sequel to her debut novel Charybda, to two entire planned trilogies of books set in entirely different universes and working within entirely different magical structures.  And everything in between.  It will be impossible to publish these novels exactly as Amy intended – some are little more than basic story concepts – but I intend to publish as much as I can as best as I can.  Unfortunately, this means that there may be a long wait for books like Scylla to be published.

Scylla is already very far along; Amy had finished writing it (mostly) before she published Charybda.  However, she had only managed to edit the first third or so of Scylla before her death, and she was planning to make some major changes to the ending, changes which she was waiting to make after editing the rest of the book.  Unfortunately, it will be difficult to reconstruct exactly what Amy wanted (even though she included me in a lot of the creative process).  For this reason, Scylla will not be published for at least 2 years, while I figure out exactly how to proceed with it.

In the meantime, I plan to publish at least 4 other shorter books.

The first, which will hopefully be published this spring or summer, is titled When Words Collide, and is a basic introduction to writing poetry.  Amy wrote it as a Christmas gift for a couple friends during the last week of October; she brought it to a local print shop the day before her death, making this the last book she “published.”

On the anniversary of Amy’s death, I will publish a short book of her poetry called Darkness into Light (the title Amy planned to give it).  This collection will contain some of the poems she wrote while in the grips of her depression and self-harm, as well as the poems she wrote to catalog her battle against the depression that seemed to overwhelm her.  Unfortunately, she did not have the opportunity to write more of the “Light” poems; she was still in the midst of the “Darkness.”  I hope that this collection will provide comfort not only to Amy’s friends and family but also to those who are struggling with the same disease that claimed her life.

Next year I plan to publish another poetry collection called Phantasies and Truths (also her title) which brings together a number of more “fantastical” poems.  In addition, I will publish a collection of her short stories and flash fictions, including ones previously published on this blog.  By that time I hope to have a better handle on things to be able to finish and publish Scylla.

I will try to keep you updated on my progress as I prepare A.L.S. Vossler’s unpublished works for publication, especially once they are published.  In the meantime, I will leave you with a poem that Amy wrote a couple years after her Bipolar diagnosis.  It has brought me great comfort during this time.

Chris Vossler, husband of the late A.L.S. Vossler


“Identity”

by A.L.S. Vossler

I am depression.
I am elation.
I am all bravery.
I am trepidation.
I stand alone,
and I am dependent.
I am deserted
but also befriended.

I am elation.
I am depression.
It is to the latter
that I give concession.
For though I love joy,
it is hard to maintain;
emotions continually
course through my brain.

I am depression.
I am elation.
I ride the waves
of bipolar sensation.
I am together
and I am undone;
I am quite popular,
and I am quite shunned.

I am elation.
I am depression.
I am a sinner.
I am confession.
I am absolution,
and new mercy given.
I am a child,
possession of heaven.


“Identity” copyright 2011 by A.L.S. Vossler


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One thought on “A Long Overdue Update”

  1. Chris, I was a friend of Amy’s mother who also homeschooled my daughters in Colorado. Laura and my younger daughter were good friends, and Amy and my older daughter, Elisabeth were very close, though they were 5 years apart in age. Elisabeth was the only 15 year old at Amy’s 10th birthday slumber party. I think they were such good friends because they were both so intelligent. Elisabeth is now married to a bipolar young man who also suffers with depression. And my daughter Catherine is a poet and professor of English. I have also had a number of poems and articles published and I was participating with Amy in the November novel challenge. I have just completed a novel about growing up at a boarding school in Nigeria. I am now teaching Speech at Bethany college in LIndsborg, KS. All this as a preface to say that this is such a beautiful and heart wrenching poem. I do so commend your aspirations to complete all these publications. Dr. Cynthia Shigo

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