The good thing about working on a short story, is I got to print it out and bring it with today! Check out my desk.
Don't worry, I didn't spend the entire time working. I just gave the kids some extra father time and took a few minutes to read through the last few pages. I am approaching the end and I want to make sure the premise is strong and that I have good promises that are fulfilled.
Fathers are interesting characters to create. In my mind, fathers are human manifestations of a guide book. They are full of useful information and an occasional perspective. I have many vivid memories of learning things from my dad. He taught me some very useful OCD habits like how to fold and pack a tent and roll a sleeping bag. I remember him teaching me how to see shapes in objects I want to draw and I watched with wonder as a page full of tiny triangles quickly became a detailed drawing of my mother's philodendron. I carefully observed for many winters before I was allowed to neatly roll a half-dozen pages of newspapers and fold them underneath a perfectly stacked trio of logs in the wood burning stove. He taught me how to draw floor plans and find studs in a wall. I learned how to identify and use any tool you could find in a typical garage or workshop. I know how to pull a well pump, fix faucets and toilets, install flooring, and keep the couch from hitting the ceiling. I know a great many elephant and dead baby jokes. He even taught me how to understand and accept my best friend after he came out to me in middle school. That's what dads do. And if you can learn what a dad knows, you can learn anything.
Whenever I write a scene involving a father and child, I try to infuse it with this natural flow of knowledge. I enjoy including a lesson in the character arc, and hopefully a followup scene involving the father's pride for the child's success. It is like a miniature master and apprentice plot that fits into any larger story.
What is your favorite father story? Father figure? Father joke?
I'll leave you with one from my PawPaw...
What did the dog say when his tail got caught in the lawn mower?
|Lucky to have my Dad!|
Won't be long now.