My Baby Brother

Shared by Jacquelyn Stone on July 11, 2019

Chris came into my life when I was 16 years old.  This sweet baby brother joined our family when most of his siblings were teenagers.  I remember the first time I saw him.  That was back when newborn babies were kept in glassed-in areas of the hospital & visitors had to stand outside the glass & look in.  I knew instantly which baby was my brother - he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  He was a special gift - almost like a son to me.  I watched him as he grew and learned how to talk, walk, read.  It was delightful to watch him grow into the fine human being he turned out to be.  So brilliant.  So kind.  So talented.  So accepting.  So loving.  It's been wonderful reading all of the posts from friends & coworkers - hearing about a side of his life that was different from his family.  It seems his family isn't alone in our love for him, our appreciation of him and our awe at his brilliance.  I will miss him always and am so honored to be able to say he was my brother. 

Shared by Catherine SchaffStump on June 30, 2019

Chris came into my life at Viable Paradise 2009, and you know, he was a guy I knew. It wasn't until he came back into my life about 5 years later that we became close. 

While we were both attending Paradise Lost, a writing retreat in San Antonio, that's when we started to bond. I was SO SICK. Like an idiot, I decided to travel with a cold and turned it into bronchitis. Chris took really good care of me, making sure I made it to the drugstore, taking the time to walk with me as I lagged behind the group. He was the quintessential good guy. 

He, George Galuschak, and I started hanging out online once a week, to talk about our writing projects. Chris and I went with Debbie Goelz to the San Francisco Writers conference to pitch agents, and again to the Writer's Digest conference with George and Miranda Suri. On the New York trip, we hooked up with Chia Evers again, and shortly after that, The Unreliable Narrators podcast started, because we wanted to put something positive out into the world. We did, with interviews Chris edited and produced. We also recorded E'ville, the radio show, together.

Chris was a supportive writing friend. He read all my manuscripts and returned insightful credits. Heck, when my first Klaereon book came out, he made me a monster truck ad for it, because it was a joke, I said I'd love to hear it, and he did it. 

It was the great pleasure of my life to attend writing conferences with Chris. Together, we took the Writing Excuses cruise of Europe, Chris was one of the regulars at our Icon workshop, and we journeyed to Vancouver to the Surrey International Writers Conference. We went to a couple of World Cons together. 

At one of those World Cons in Kansas City, Chris and I kept ending up in pocket dimensions. I went into a space where I could see the convention floor, but couldn't get to it, because I was in the off limits space of the convention center. Chris ended up in an abandoned hotel lobby, because one of the downtown hotels had bought a competitor and hadn't remodeled the space yet. I jumped off a tram, but in an alternate timeline, there was no door for Chris, and he moved on down the road to the next stop and circled back to my dimension. 

If only I had realized the other dimension was still greedy for him, I would have said something. I miss you, my friend. I miss you so much.

"Oh, We'll Get There."

Shared by John Connelly on June 30, 2019

I have dozens of stories about Chris, but my favorite one is when Chris was driving Robert and me down the freeway in Phoenix, maybe 1987. I don't remember where we were going, but I do remeber Robert being anxious to get there (Robert was always.... anxious). 

As our offramp approached ... and then went right by as Chris missed it, Robert was beside himself. "CHRIS! YOU JUST MISSED THE EXIT!!!"

Chris just camly replied: "Oh, we'll get there."

That one phrase really stuck with me, and to this day my wife and I use it to remind ourselves that life doesn't have to be so rigid and timetabled and uptight. When we're stuck in traffic, or taking the "wrong" turn, or sometimes just being out for a drive, the phrase usually comes out: "Oh, we'll get there."

Thanks Chris.

My Pal Chris

Shared by Debbie Goelz on June 29, 2019

I first became acquainted with Chris, in 2014 when I read his humorous, brilliant novel, "PCH Roadkill" in preparation for an intensive writing workshop called Taos Toolbox. From the beginning of the manuscript, I knew I would like this guy, with his ability to observe the world and distill it into something profound yet funny.

When we met as real humans, my guess proved correct. I did like him! He, Stephanie, Owen, Kelly, Barbara, and I formed a group at Taos called the Amazeballs. Together we had many laughs and supported one another through two challenging weeks. Although I never quite forgave Owen and Chris for having the best room, once they let me cook them breakfast in their kitchen, I was somewhat placated.

One of the best things about Chris was the fact that he lived in the Bay Area! Which meant I could actually hang out with this amazing writer on a regular basis! That happened! He joined Left Coast Writers, which meant that the first Monday of each month Chris and I would have dinner and then go to the meeting. I cannot tell you how much I looked forward to this every month.

Then, two years ago, he and I embarked on a Writing Excuses Cruise to the Bahamas. There were so many fun moments on that trip. From taking silly photos with Julia and Moss all over the ship, to checking out the Pirate Museum (It was air conditioned!), to attending a costume party as Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. (Fortunately I got to keep my head the whole night!) Yeah, there were some less fun moments, like when the sea claimed Chris's brand new sunglasses and when the bathing suit I wore disintegrated in the waves (I didn't know it was THAT old!), but I will treasure each and every memory.

Last year Chris asked me if he could read my very first novel, Kohlrabi, about a wacky town in West Marin where a woman lost her mom to a cult. I didn't want to give it to him, because letting someone read your first novel is like giving a person a peek inside your underwear drawer, but I trusted Chris. After he read it, he said he thought it would make a great TV series. We began development and had a blast arguing about whether or not there should be a supernatural element. (I said yes, he said no.)

Chris made my life infinitely better. I am devastated that we won't have any more adventures together. But I am beyond grateful for the ones I got.

Love you, Chris!

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