My Dad

daddyHappy Birthday today to my awesome father. The man who originally gave me the inspiration to write. Without his example, I wouldn’t have realized how amazing it is to create your own worlds and to put your thoughts down in words. I wouldn’t have known it was possible.

When I was a kid I always saw my father reading in his spare time. We had Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, Popular Mechanics, and a variety of books scattered here and there. My mother would sometimes get the chance to read, she loved it too but was often too busy with the responsibilities of tending to our family. I watched my father read and knew this was a good thing. I watched my father write and I knew that this was also a good thing. I watched Doctor Who and NOVA late into the night with him and learned about science. I watched the Dark Crystal and The Last Star Fighter and learned about dreams and fiction and possibilities.

I may have been laughed at by my peers when I answered a question in class with outlandish answers, but that was because they hadn’t been taught to look beyond the now. (I still get a bit of satisfaction from the fact that we do sometimes use robots to help clear minefields now. They laughed at me then but I was right in the end.) My dad has been one of the greatest role models of my life. I wouldn’t be who I am without him.

Happy Birthday Daddy! I love you.

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Will you, Won’t you, Will you, Won’t you, Won’t you join the Dance?

taffy_pull_machineLately I feel pulled in so many directions that I imagine I must look like salt water taffy by now. (with a lot of lumps.)  There is a Convention at the end of the month that I had planned on attending.  I have my hotel and ticket paid for. But then some unexpected bills cropped up and I couldn’t afford to go.  Travel expenses and food during the trip just could not be squeezed into my budget, and a few things that did need to go in got dropped.

Then my brother had a problem which, in a way, works to my benefit.  He was also handshake2supposed to attend the same Con but had no transportation.  He has gas money but no car, and I have a car but no gas money.  You can see where this would be mutually beneficial.

instantcoffeeSo it has been tentatively decided that I will drive and he will pay for the travel.  I still have to come up with food money but that is a lot more doable.  A person can survive off of PB &J and instant coffee for a few days.

The other problem is that my costume is no where near complete and I have only one day pink elephantbetween getting off of work and leaving for the Convention.  Still, it isn’t an insurmountable issue.  It is just one of the little things I am stressing over because I want to avoid looking at the real thing I am worried about.  That big giant monster I am afraid to glance at or even really think about.

Next week is my dad’s birthday.  The day after his birthday he has to go in for surgery on his face.  He has a quarter sized sore that won’t heal on his cheek.  It’s skin cancer.  There is a big long name for it involving scary words like malignant and melanoma and something else that starts with a C.

This isn’t the first time it has been removed.  A few years ago they cut it out, did skin grafting, and said they got it all.  Then it came back and now he has to go through it all over Patient-Centered-Careagain.  He also has four or five other smaller spots that have to be taken care of as well.

He is worried.  He hates going to the doctor even for check ups and this is way more than that.  My mom is worried.  She sees that he is upset and she knows that there is nothing she can do.  The doctor even quoted statistics to them at the last appointment.  They were not pleasant statistics.  Apparently a lot of people die from what he has.  My dad joked: “Was that before or after the operation?”   It made us smile but the smile was just the band aide on top of the worry.  It is still there and I am feeling lost.

mockturtle

“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle – will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

“You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!”
But the snail replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance —
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

“What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied.
“There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France —
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

– From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Fathers

Happy Father’s Day to my Daddy. Yes I am grown with children of my own but that doesn’t change the fact that my Dad is my Daddy.  He is the person that first made writing seem like this magic, mystical thing.

My Mom read me books and told me stories. My Dad told me stories and he wrote.  Mostly poems, but it was amazing to me. It was like a wizard weaving a spell.  He put these words together, pulled them out of the air and tattooed them on paper skin, he arranged them just so and when he was done and you read them together and they meant something. They caused feelings. They amused or they tugged at your heart.  He put emotions on paper and transferred them to others.  It was magic.

I was in awe.  I still am.  Thank you Daddy for passing that magic on to me.   (Btw he is currently working on his first scifi novel. 😀   And it still feels like magic to watch him create even though I now do it too.)