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If a tree falls in the forest ... should it be used to make the paper for my novel?

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I’ve been working on a novel for the past year and a half, a process which has made doing any kind of creative writing here in this space more and more difficult. I’ve kept up with my book-to-movie blog at Chapter1-Take1.com but that’s a very different kind of writing. When giving out factual information, I don’t require inspiration. 

Now I’ve finished the book and I’ve begun reaching out, searching for an agent. An easy sentence to write, a horrifying, intimidating, paralyzing process to undertake. The first chapter, one I was happy with before, now strikes me as sophomoric, tedious, garbage and any number of cliche criticisms. Is it? Or is that my fear talking? I don’t know. I’m in a place where I can’t imagine my novel is worth the paper it’s written on—about 1/3 of your typical paper-suitable tree. Which is why I still can’t find the energy to get back to memoir pieces. My writing brain needs a break. 

So in lieu of a writerly post, I’m posting photos instead. If you follow me on In…

Happy Birthday Daddy-o


Happy Birthday Dad!


Gosh, you're looking as handsome as ever. I always did think you looked like a movie star and here you are in this sepia tint print as suave and debonair as David Niven. An officer and a gentleman, immortalized at age 26. Twenty six! Don't be offended if I say you looked older, that's the way it was back then. It's only these days, with fewer responsibilities on our shoulders, that we try to look like kids for as long as possible. 

You left home in England at seventeen, lived in Egypt, danced the night away in Alexandria and told us you tried 'hashish' in an Egyptian bath but didn't feel a thing. We didn't believe you, by the way, you know that right? By the time you enlisted to fight for England in World War II you spoke Arabic, French and Italian fluently. Imagine! A boy from Preston in the North of England teaching himself to speak Arabic. No wonder you served in the North African campaign. 

You'd be 102 today, if you'd lived. A ridiculous thing to say because of course, you didn't. You've been gone twenty five years, as long as I've been married. I'm not going to get all soppy, dad. I just wanted you to know I still have that old cherrywood desk of yours, the one you and mum picked up at the used furniture store in Santa Monica. I can still see you sitting at the desk in that pale blue button up sweater that you used to wear at home, a shirt and tie under it, even when you were just working on your pools. I write at the desk sometimes, overlooking our grassy courtyard. Your son-in-law is sitting at it right this minute doing some work on his Mac, or playing a computer game, I'm not sure which. One day we'll pass it down to your grandson who'll double check for the tenth time to see if it has any secret compartments. We've got the ID card from your days with British Intelligence; to us that means spy. And any spy worth his salt would have a secret compartment hidden somewhere.

Nancy has that old button up sweater now, that and the cool black raincoat straight out of the 1960's. I don't know what Russell has. There's the Turkish rug you and mum picked up in Turkey but I'm not sure what else. As the eldest, he must have had first pick. He was always Mum's favorite, she would have seen to that.

Anyway, I won't keep you. I don't believe in heaven but on the off chance there is one I expect you and mum might be getting ready to go out dancing. Give her a hug for me. 

Posted for Joy's British Isles Friday meme

Other pieces about my dad you might like ...




Comments

  1. What a wonderful tribute. I know he'd love your post. Good looking man and so many wonderful accomplishments and good times in his life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely tribute. A fun way to honor the man and the passage of time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So sweet. I can't imagine how much you miss him, but sounds like he left you some amazing memories.

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