beyondpoolstarsI generally put a little thought into each book dedication I write, but yesterday the one I drafted stopped me cold and left a very long shadow through the rest of the day.

As I’d hoped, I finished revising my fourth Pathfinder novel last week and sent it back in first thing Monday morning. The only part left on its to-do list when I got up was to draft the acknowledgments and dedication. The acknowledgments were simple enough — I was grateful to several people who’d provided guided and feedback, and thanked them accordingly.

But the dedication… When I sat down to write this book two summers ago, my friend Kris was alive and well. And last summer, when I revised it, he was doing fine. Last fall he passed away on an operating procedure after a perfectly normal minor surgery went terribly wrong. And so the book is now dedicated to his memory.

I still recall when I pitched the book to James Sutter while we sat in a noisy hallway at GenCon (we couldn’t find an empty room!). I’ll never forget working on the outline at The Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Dr_Kris_GhoshHow could I have known that when it was finally ready for publication I’d be dedicating it to the memory of a man who’s been like a brother to me since grade school?

Had I know this was how it was going to end I sure as hell would have found a way to get to San Diego to spend a week with him instead of putting it off for another year. Man, I miss hearing the sound of his voice.

Don’t delay time with the ones you love, people. All I’ve got now are the memories and a handful of photographs.  I’d rather hear the phone ring, see it’s from San Diego, and smile as I readied myself for the tale of Kris’ newest adventure.

4 Comments on “Dedications

  1. I’m sorry for your loss, Howard. Thanks for the good advice in the final paragraph. I’ve been thinking along those lines myself lately.

  2. I’m so sorry, Howard. It’s not easy and the pain takes a while before it becomes a dull wintery ache. My deepest condolences.

  3. Keith, Woelf, Fletcher,

    I thank you for your kind thoughts.

    It’s hard to keep that lesson in mind. I keep having to remind myself to savor things more. I’m getting better, but sometimes I’m still not appreciating the moment enough. I’m also trying to waste fewer of them. That, too, can be hard, especially when you’re tired. What’s “wasting” and what’s “relaxing?” There’s a fine line, I know. I haven’t quite found it yet because I know it varies from instance to instance.

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