When it comes to writing, my Dad looks over my shoulder. He reminds me with just the slightest glance that if I want to be a writer, I must write. He might suggest to me that I am getting a bit lazy when it comes to my language - that it is worth looking up a word or a phrase just to make sure it is the right one.
Oh he isn't here in Prospect Bay, Nova Scotia. He's in London, Ontario where he lives with my darling step-mother, Stella. I am quite sure that he isn't aware that he is in two places at once but the nonetheless, he is.
I don't let him actually edit my writing. He'd be excellent at it but I don't think I'd survive the intensity. He spent too many years being an editor. He's too good and I might feel bad. Once it is all done and dusted I don't mind him having a boo though.
I was thrilled to bits when he and my step-mother came to Nova Scotia and saw my play Fields of Crimson open in Chester. Of course, he was the inspiration for one of the characters - a bomber pilot named Slim.
But what I'm talking about here is the Dad I've incorporated in my mind as part of my writing practice. Both my parents were big readers when I was growing up. The written word was important. Authors were considered to be superior folk. So writing was a worthy career. And even though I've arrived here in my own very circuitous way - I know my Dad is proud that I call myself a writer.
Can you tell that I'm proud of my Dad? I am. He's the swellest guy and I'm glad he's always looking over my shoulder, telling me to apply my bottom to the seat of the chair, to pitter patter fly atter and generally (that's a joke, he retired a General) hectoring me into writing.