Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Dad looks over my shoulder...

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.
My Dad has done lots of writing in his life. He wrote articles for the various armed forces papers and magazines that came out. He wrote a book on the history of curling once! Whatever happened to that?? Huh, Dad? When he retired from the armed forces he started writing pieces for a local newspaper in Ontario called 'The View from the Back Pew'. Yep, my Dad was, to my knowledge, the only church reviewer in existence. He not only wrote these pieces on what the service was like and the history of the churches but he painted each church. When he had done this for a number of years he decided they would make a lovely book. And they did - he called it 'A Month of Sundays'.
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.
Thanks Daddio!

11 comments:

Talli Roland said...

What a great tribute to your Dad, Jan. He sounds like an amazing man.

Mary said...

Maybe if you try really hard you might be able to love your dad. Just kidding, of course.
Beautiful tribute.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think a wonderful tribute like this is one of the nicest gifts a father could receive.

Jemi Fraser said...

I certainly hope your dad reads this. It's lovely - I can feel the love, honesty and respect reaching out from your words. Wonderful :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

He sounds wonderful! And I hope he reads this post as well.

Mason Canyon said...

A very loving and moving tribute to your dad. He sounds like a very inspiring man.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Jan Morrison said...

thanks all you goils! He is a dandy dad and he'll read both this post and the one I did on my other blog. He always reads my blog - that's why I try and behave myself!!

Stacy Post said...

I like the new look, Jan! (I've been reading your posts in Google Reader.) I love that you call your dad, Daddio. That's a term of endearment in our home too. Fathers have a profound influence on daughters, no doubt about it!

Watery Tart said...

Nice to have internalized something helpful from your parent, rather than just the 'what the hell are you wearing' messages.

And I've figured out how we're going to meet in person. London is only about 2.5 hours from here. Next time you visit your dad, you let me know.

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Stacy - I know I've been fiddling around a bit - kind of like moving furniture when I should be uh...writing...but I think I'll stick with this one for awhile.

Tartlette- that would be wonderful. We're going as far as T.O. this summer but alas alack rather filled up family time of weddings etc...
I so want to meet up with you! 2 1/2 hours? I could go half way and you could and oh what a yack we'd have!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great post! He sounds like a fantastic dad and writer...I love the idea of the "View from the Back Pew!"