Dear Walt,

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you. A couple of weeks at least. I still talk to you every day and I don’t imagine that will ever stop. I change out which of your photos I talk to and that’s fun, seeing your different expressions, all of them with those eyes. I probably never told you how much I loved the way you looked at me. I see it in the pictures still. It makes me smile. It makes me cry. I don’t imagine that will ever stop either.

I miss you so very much.

I had some prints made of my favorite shots. It’s so easy to do this stuff. Tell Shutterfly which photos from your phone’s gallery to print, and voila. They show up in your mailbox a week later. We never had framed photos of any family in either of the houses we lived in. But I’m going to frame you so I can have you in my new bedroom that now has a new bed with a footboard which you never wanted because you were too tall, and a brand new never-sexed-up mattress because you’re not here, and new sheets to match the newly painted walls, and a new quilt. Always a quilt because you loved quilts. I’ll get frames to match and go to sleep to your beautiful eyes then see you first thing every morning. It’s not as good as sex but it is what it is.

The new normal.

I hate it.

I will never not hate it. You were supposed to be here at least twenty more years.

That was our promise.

I’m doing some writing. I got great feedback on one project and it’s a fun one I wish you were here to write with me. I’ve sent out something else for some initial feedback because I no longer trust anything I put down on the page. But it feels good when the words start to flow. It feels as if maybe I can get back to doing this for more than five minutes and ten words at a time. I’ve never fallen into a groove or lost myself in the story the way so many authors do. I’ve always been analytical about what I’m writing. I mean sure there are times the dialogue comes so fast and furious that I rush to get it down and dictating it works better because my fingers cannot fly that fast.

But that doesn’t happen for the story as a whole. I’m so particular about word usage and rhythm, things that drove you nuts when I edited Icefall. The common wisdom is to draft, to fix later. That doesn’t work for me because the moment the words appear is THE ONLY MOMENT when that bit of the story is alive. I have to get it right right then. Later, it’s just words on the page. It’s not a living breathing creation that I can mold to my will.


I’ve decided to write my way just as I must grieve my way. They’re both pretty messy. I’m writing back and forth on projects in three genres but the words are coming out and right now that’s all that matters to me. Forcing myself to stick to one idea hamstrings me as much as trying not to cry when grief punches me out of the blue. So many memories are doing that lately. I love them. I laugh about them. I hate them. I never want to think of them again. I can’t stand the idea of forgetting a single moment of our life. I want to move on. I want to stay put.

Mostly I want to go back.