Today is my dad's birthday. I wrote a tribute to him two years ago. You can read it here. I still miss him, but when people say that memories bring comfort, they're right. It's been over ten years since he passed away, but I think about him a lot. I even have dreams about him where he's alive and strong and enjoying life. He would have been 85 today.
One of the greatest gifts he gave to me was a life of culture, art and reading across all the genres. I wonder what he would say today if he knew I had written 8 books (2 of which are under the bed) and am close to realizing my dream of publication? I know he didn't think it was possible ten years ago. He thought it was too late. And he said so to me with regret. He knew deep down that I was born to be a writer, but life and circumstances had conspired to keep me from attaining my true mission.
I even agreed with him.
I finished my first book two years later.
I can't stop writing now.
Writing is a part of who I am. I refuse to let the world stop me from being a writer. I don't have to be published to be a writer. I don't have to be a best seller to be a writer. I don't have to have anything but an idea and characters bouncing around my head to be a writer. At the end of the day, it's the writing and the completion of the manuscripts that makes me a writer.
I am a writer.
I think my Dad would be proud of me and all that I have accomplished. I think that he would have been fascinated by all my writing world connections. I can imagine him coming to an RWA National Conference and seeing me at the Literacy Signing and saying to anyone who will listen, "That's my daughter. She's a writer." But you know what else I can imagine? I can imagine him coming to my home and seeing all the writing books about craft in my bookshelves, the diagrams of plot and structure on my walls, the loads of files and books I've printed out that I've written. And I can imagine him saying "That's my daughter. She's a writer."
Thank you Dad for giving me a love of the creative process. For teaching me that it is in the pursuit of artistic perfection that we derive our joy.
Happy Birthday to you. May your Heaven's easels and paints bring you an eternity of that joy.