Before I get started on this post I’d like to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day! There’s a card sat on our kitchen table, quite a funny one too, and I had every intention of sending it. Tomorrow will be fine, it’ll get there. Oh crap. Forgot the card. I’ll post it on my way to work in the morning, no worries. Aww man, I knew I’d forgotten something. Reckon it won’t get there on time now.
Never mind the card, Dave, blog about him instead.
This post is all about my dad and before you ask, no, I don’t know what he was doing in the photo. Slowly reaching for a beer? Introducing his tiny imaginary friend? Displaying a non-existent fish he’d just caught with an equally non-existent fishing rod? Who knows, dear blog reader, but you have to agree he’s a happy chap, right?
In my previous post, The Art of Smiling, I spoke about how I’m a natural smiler and that it’s not in my nature to be a scowler. Well this is the dude I get that from. My dad is a smiler. He has the art of smiling down to a…well, fine art. Actually I’m quite happy I didn’t send him a card because there’s no way I could fit all this in, and I reckon he’d much prefer something heart-felt than a card in the post. At least I hope so!
I have a stash of happy memories from my childhood, more than I can possibly fit into a blog post.
I thank my Dad for inspiring me.
My regular readers will know I have a passion for writing. I owe a lot of that to my dad. A decent writer himself, though I keep pushing him to get back into it, he has a rich and vivid imagination and it rubbed off on me from an early age. His study was always crammed with books, colourful enticing book jackets that made my school books look like stinking heap of grey dullness. In English class we’d be given a very thin book and told to read to page 11 for next class. I clearly remember my friends groan – page 11, awwww man.
What? That’s a chore to you? Woah! I’d devour the book in one sitting then slip into my dad’s study, take a book from the shelf and spend hours reading it in bed. It was hard to resist the lure of real books, especially considering the ones given to us by the English teacher were insanely dull.
I know I was in the wrong class at school. I should have been in the higher class where the guy sitting next to me didn’t need to count on his fingers and the teacher didn’t have to explain what a paragraph was every lesson.
My dad did more to inspire me than having a large library. He loved stories. And he engaged my imagination like no one else. He pushed me to think about stuff instead of accepting what I’m told simply because the teller is an authority figure. My dad prompted me to look at things differently, to ask questions and not settle for a simple answer if it doesn’t make sense.
I thank my Dad for his sense of humour.
As with the smiling thing I have a good set of funny bones and I like to tickle them as often as possible. My dad has a fabulous sense of humour, always with a ready quip, joke, retort or jape. In school I was often puzzled how so many of my friends lived in grey lifeless homes. Their dad’s where dull, boring, dried up people without smiles and far too much monotony to be healthy. All they seemed to do was work, go home, eat dinner, read the paper, moan, go to bed. Rinse and repeat.
Not my dad. He worked hard. Very hard. But he always had time for a smile and a joke. My friends thought he was cool because he talked to them, not at them. He was a parent but he was interesting to them because he was very much alive and eager to know about the world around him. I know for a fact that I owe him a great deal for not being a grey dullard.
My dad shined. He still shines. He always will.
I thank my Dad for being a geeky tech-guru.
You might have noticed that I’m comparing my dad to my friend’s dads from my younger years. That’s because I’m trying to show how different they were. Mostly I accepted my dad as the norm until a friend would say: “Dave, your dad’s well cool.” My dad knows a lot about electronics, gadgets, security systems, engineering, making stuff…and so on. He was programming his Commodore Vic 20 to play Blue Meanies, Omega Race or Snake Bite when other dads where sitting down to a plate of dull pie and bland mash after a hard day being boring.
My dad is a tech-head. He knows loads about computers. I do to but there comes a time when you have to consult a guru. Friends ask me about tech stuff and I usually have the answer but when I don’t I consult my guru. My dad. Just recently I’ve been doing some video editing and who better to ask than my dad? I’ll be picking his brains a lot in the next few months and I know he’ll be able to answer my questions because he just knows so much stuff!
Dad, you’re an awesome tech-head!
I thank my Dad for giving me constructive feedback.
Ever since I started writing my dad has provided me with unbiased, honest, raw feedback. Sometimes it was shocking, brutal, possibly upsetting especially when I was proud of a certain piece of writing. But that’s good. I wouldn’t want it any other way. He highlights the good and bad bits in my writing and offers alternatives and asks questions. “Why is that character….?” or “That doesn’t make any sense because…” or “This bit flowed well.”
I’m working through my current edit of The Range and I have 2 manuscripts propped up beside my PC. One from my best friend who has a keen eye for spotting spelling mistakes and punctuation. The second is the one my dad has scribbled all over. It’s a mess and I love it! I’ve just taken a photo of the current page, check it out.
Okay, this page is pretty much filled with my dads comments, and they’re not all like that. Isn’t it great? It might look bad, like it’s been ripped to shreds and every last word critiqued because it’s garbage but I don’t see it like that. I see quality feedback, questions, suggestions, grammar errors, story flow, character flaws and loads more. I’m grateful that my dad devoted so much time to such deep and honest feedback.
I don’t accept everything he says, but he makes sense the majority of the time. My craft has improved over the years but if it wasn’t for my dad’s honest feedback and questioning style I wouldn’t be as confident as I am with my ability to write.
Dad, I am extremely grateful for all you have taught (and continue to teach) me about writing.
My Dad – The Chief.
I’ll wrap this up now with a final thank you to my dad.
Thank you for everything you have given me. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for being able to listen. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for being different. Thank you for encouraging me to be more, to question the world and want to learn. I like to think we all find our path in life, and whilst I was more than a bit of a bastard in my youth, I know that without your guidance and knowledge I wouldn’t be the morally centred and above all happy person I am today.
I owe you more than thanks for passing on your genes and any words I write here will never do my feelings of gratitude justice for all you have given me.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.