I've known Adam Finley since 2002 when he wrote about Brad Sucks in Lockergnome. We struck up a friendship and stayed in email contact since then. He was a very talented writer and we shared the experience of having large creative aspirations but being stuck in small towns. I encouraged (code for hassled) him to put his writing online, to start a blog, to get into blogging commercially, to get RSS feeds, to fix his RSS feeds, etc, etc. With my nerdy faith I knew that if he got his writing out there, nice things would happen for him as they have for me.
Earlier today I received an email from his brother saying Adam had been struck and killed by a school bus on Thursday. I didn't believe it at first because Adam's most recent post on TV Squad was this morning (and made me laugh). But I knew it was possible the posts were pre-written and queued. I held out hope it was a sick joke, but Google News backed it up (1, 2). Awful.
As is common these days, I had never met Adam. We spoke on the phone once or twice and got along great. He interviewed me for Flak magazine and it was like talking to an old friend. In email we tossed bits and pieces back and forth, checking in for life/career/project updates whenever we had gone too long without contact. I always asked him what he was working on. I knew that he'd go on to be an extremely successful writer. It was only a matter of time.
There are huge gaps in my knowledge of Adam. I really didn't know him the way his family and friends did and it would be disingenuous to even put my sense of loss on the same level of what they must be feeling. But I do know Adam was thoughtful, funny, caring, talented and unique. I'll miss him and I'm very sad he's gone.