Saturday, December 17, 2016


My father died six years ago this month. (December 13,  2010). He was a complicated man and often difficult, but he was also one of my biggest and most consistent cheerleaders when it came to my pursuit of writing. For all his ability to be critical about many things in life, he never suggested or implied or hinted that I should stop writing. I started writing poetry when I was a teenager and during those years I would share my poems with my father. I can see him sitting across from me in our screened-in porch, carefully going over every line and word I wrote, pausing to consider what I was trying to say, and encouraging me to keep on with it. Later, when I was publishing articles in national magazines and newspapers, he was my number one fan. With each publication, I got a congratulatory note and a phone call. I'm eternally grateful to my dad for this gift of acceptance about my passion for books and words. Recently, as I was cleaning out old files, I came upon a letter he wrote to his four children about the importance of pursuing what we loved, how it triumphed over such things as money and status. His letter is wistful, but it was written with a generous and courageous heart. I'm sorry he died before my first novel was published, but with greater clarity I see how my decision to pursue a life of writing truly thrilled him. With thanks, and much love to you, Dad. You can read portions of his letter here:

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