Dear Walt,

I miss you.

I have to start writing again. For one thing, income. For another, I need to fill my mind with more than missing you and what ifs and second guesses and if onlys. Those don’t do me any good because understanding exactly what happened on December 21st won’t change a thing.

You’re not here. I am.

I miss you.

icefallThe other day, I pulled up one of our shared Icefall docs, one I’d not seen before where you’d jotted down notes and ideas. One had to do with a particular character whose role in the plot you’d explained to me. What you hadn’t explained was his background. And his hobby.

His hobby, or his new vocation, made me smile, as did the exclamation points you put in parenthesis. It tickled you, and I’m so glad i found it. We would’ve talked about it eventually, but I love that you came up with the idea. I love that you came up with all of Icefall. It’s brilliant.

I have to do my work, the writing that pays the bills, but I’m going to finish Icefall for you. For us. You’ve already drafted 85% of the second book and we’d talked through most of the rest. The epigraphs or interstitials as you called them are going to be a challenge. I don’t know if I’ll remember any of the ones you mentioned but I’ll make it work. Your son told me to be as true to your story as possible and nothing else matters.

I’m trusting myself as an author who’s been at this a while and as your co-author who brainstormed this series for years. We talked about it early in December and we were both so excited at the prospect of releasing book two this year. I’m glad we did talk about it.

I felt guilty about not spending more time on it long before you left. I’ve been in a terrible writing funk for two years. I know that ate at you as much as it did me. Maybe more so. Your faith in me, your belief was stronger than my own. You talked me off many a ledge of quitting, of giving up, of frustration, of anger at how hard it had become to do what I love. You hated my tears.

Please trust me to do this right. Please hold my hand as I work my way through all the words you’ve written: the text, the ideas, the questions. Please remind me of what I forget. Please listen as I talk it out. Please send the answers to my dreams.

I miss you.