As time has gone on, Father’s Day has become easier. I lost my dad in September of 2010. For a reason I can’t explain, I don’t want to put his face on Facebook as a memoriam with all the other ‘remembering my dad’ posts.
This morning I came across another perpective by author Julia Blake, a single mum. It’s an interesting read, and if like me you get a quarter way down and wonder why her Father’s Day was not pointed at Granddad instead, it does, eventually. The point was that years ago, school didn’t think of single familes, and I’m glad its changed. Give it a read a leave a comment.
I came across this on an old blog I used to keep, and thought it appropiate to post for Father’s Day.
Once upon a time I had two dads, one with hard brown eyes and the other with soft ones.
The dad with the hard eyes was a police officer who worked long shifts. He had a short temper and shouted at us for making too much noise.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, long hours, four children, and a wage that was barely enough to support a family.
I hated it when mum used those words, “Wait till your dad gets home!” The sound of the front door closing made me dread those hard, flat, angry eyes,
“Apologise to your mother,” or “Get up to your room now!” Was what he usually said.
It was worse when I got older and given a curfew, as all my friends were allowed to come home when they liked. Dad always wanted to know where I was going and who I was going with. He disapproved of my ‘going into town’ because that was ‘his patch’ and he knew all the bad pubs and clubs. Without explanation he would ban me.
Now I know he was being protective and although it caused conflict, I hated him laying down the law.
Now I just wish he was back here with me where we could talk about it, and I could tell him how I finally understood.
My other dad, the one with soft brown eyes, would make me laugh. “Give me your hand and I shall tell your fortune,” he would say. Then taking hand he’d peered at it, “I can see a farmhouse,” I looked closely and saw nothing but a criss-cross of lines. “And here,” he said, “is a pond.” Then he spat in my hand.
“Dad!” I would scream, and it was funny as I watched him do it to my siblings.
Holidays were fun too. We’d walk up hills and down the other side. We’d collect seashells on the beach and climb rocks. He built us, not just sand castles, but racing cars with seats and steering wheels.
He’d cover us in sand so that just our head was showing, or take us to a field where we would chase moles that only he could see.
Whereever he went, we followed. He’d do silly things like walk with a limp and we’d copy him, or he’d run and then walk and we’d all bang into each other.
He couldn’t tell a joke because he’d always forget the punch line, or the laughter in his eyes gave it all away.
The police officer finally hung up his helmet and the hard brown eyes became soft all the time.
Now we’ve grown up and left home, Dad and Mum had a their second family, four adopted children. They never saw the policeman with the hard eyes.
Dad eventually ran our of energy to run along beaches and began to walk with a real limp. He still continued to tells fortunes, and his laughing eyes always gave away the jokes.
He died of pancreatic cancer in September 2010. Every father’s day, I remember these things and they make me smile.
My father was a bear at times. He laid a hand to my hind quarters when I did something wrong. When my younger brother was suspended from high school for mooning out of a bus, he yelled, “When I see you, you’d better have a book in your hand. If you want to do something useful, chop wood.” He often got into shouting matches with my mother, especially when he was drunk.
Life with Dad wasn’t all bad, though. I spent many happy hours with him listening to jazz. At the age of six, my favorite song was Fats Waller’s “Your Feet’s Too Big.” When my younger brother and I formed a band with me on piano and him on drums, Dad often played along on string bass. When my younger brother developed an interest in photography, Dad helped him turn our third-floor bathroom into a dark room.
On the back of my article on what to do next, another interesting comment came out of it.
The days of writing a novel selling it and make money is gone. The self promotion and chasing the next sale as well as everything that goes into making it publishable is very stressful and a number of authors just want to give up.
I was talking to writer, Josesph Lemon, he said, ‘I pulled my works off the shelves and went to Wattpad. I have a job that pays my bills. I write to share stories.’
Write to share stories, isn’t that where we all started? It was our love of writing that spurred us on and we want other people to read our work, don’t we?
Wattpad is certainly a consideration. It’s tag line is – Where Stories Live. I’ve been on there in the past and there are some really great stories and books to read. Some of them have thousands of views and some writers have many followers. That’s because they interact with their readers on there, and there is something to be said about that.
Listening to what Joseph Lemon says, it makes sense as an alternative. He went on to say:
‘I knew it was exactly what I was looking for personally. I also get to see the next generation of writers in development and help out some along the way. I’ve done ghostwriting. I’ve published. But this is what currently fits me.’
If you would like to follow him on Wattpad, click here.
I noticed, since I went back on there that was an option for paid stories and wondered how that worked. So I googled it and came up with something different.
Can you get paid for Wattpad?
Through the Wattpad Futures program, interested writers can supplement their income with little effort. The program helps writers earn money by inserting ads between chapters of their Wattpad story. … Now, they can support Wattpad writers in a way that increases the writer’s income, without having to pay out of pocket.”
If you have 1000s followers, I would imagine that would work well for you. I then looked up paid stories and came up with this information. Further information is here and what this tells you is you can’t just go on and put up a load of stories. Authors are invited and have to be skilfull at their craft. They look for story-telling – quality – originality – personality – marketplace (limited places) and community (how you conduct yourself on Wattpad
Hone your craft
‘It’s important to our team to support Wattpad writers any way we can. That’s why we’ve added the Paid Stories program to the number of programs already available for writers. Whether you love writing as a way to explore your creativity or as an exciting career opportunity, Wattpad is the place to share your stories with a global community of story lovers.’
My first thought is that Amazon could learn a lot from this. On their platform literally anyone can publish a book. I’ve seen some really badly edited and written books that really have no right to be up there asking for people to pay good money for tripe.
Do you have a Watpad account? If you would like to add it in the comments, I will follow you. This is my link.
I’ve been thinking for a long time how times have been changing and this post via ‘Ramblings from a Writer’s Mind‘ came up today. It says a lot about what I’ve been thinking about.
Drastic action by writer’s to giveaway their books in the hope that readers will want to read another from them doesn’t work. I’ve tried it and it always grieved me. All that work, years in some cases, to be given away for nothing, No other trade would dream of doing this, would they?
Authors are stuck in their ways, just as this article suggests, and too many drop and go links land in various Facebook groups, so much so that it has almost become spam. Who reads them anyway?
What people do want, and enjoy is proper content. Something interesting they can read and be entertained by, not hard sell right in their faces.
This is what I’m trying to do now with any posts I make, yes it is taking a lot more time but I am a writer afterall, as they say, Rome was not built in a day. We have to build up again from scratch and find new ways to do things. Make books valuable again.
One of the ways I am also doing it, is exactly what is mentioned in this article. A new an innovative marketing brand that is aimed at helping authors and providing readers with something special
It is called Electric Eclectic Books, and I’m proud to have belonged to this since the beginning. It is also good to see how it is changing with the market and always taking on new opportunies.
Writing is a lonely job and hard work on your own. That is changing because being part of a team, part of something global is the best thing that ever happened to me. Read this article and give it careful consideration – but don’t take too long to think about it!