Monday, December 27, 2010

A Father's Love


Hi folks,

I recently received an email from a good friend of mine who’s a fantastic writer and thought what he communicated to me and a few close friends would be the perfect thing to post during the holiday season as a true-life example of something truly wondrous.

As writers, we have many reasons why we write and why we desire publication. One of the most universal reasons I think, is that many of us want to make our parents proud of us. For more than one writer, it was our parents’ support—both financial and emotional—that support undoubtedly provided the impetus to stay the course, plugging through the trials and setbacks we all experience as writers. In my own case, that wasn’t the environment—my father made it clear he thought anyone who wrote or read books was pretty much a sissy, and my mother is a religious fanatic who believed the only book a writer should write should be to the “glory of God.” My latest novel my agent is shopping, titled The Bitch, probably won’t fit her idea of a worthy book, but that’s all right. She’s never read any of my books and this one won’t be any different.

Nevertheless, I am envious of those who have parents who do support their life choices and the following is something I can’t have for myself, but wish I could.

I asked my friend if I could post this and he said it was truly private but that if I wanted to, he didn’t mind so long as I kept his identity secret, which I readily agreed to. It was just such a heartwarming story that I thought it might move others the way it moved me. He’s just a lucky guy as you’ll see.

Here’s what he said:”…as for the blog..I’m flattered you would use this... but my old man is kind of a private dude. If you want to use it and keep the names anonymous that’s totally cool... just as a guy of yesteryear, I know my old man prefers to keep under the radar...but YES… as a tale of inspiration, feel free to mention it...”

And, here’s how he prefaced what his dad said: 

“I wanted to pass this along to a few close lifelong friends. It’s the speech my father gave at a small dinner of the National Arts Club for the book launch. It’s an understated short speech with much gravitas & sense of the past and the kind only my dad is capable of giving. I want to thank you all for in one way or another for your friendship. This is the best I can do, plagarizing another's words.”

May we all arrive at Isfahan in style,

Your friend_______

His father’s words:

Your literary debut at the National Arts Club was an iconic event for Mom and me. It represented the culmination of years of work, perseverance, tenacity and focus. For every person that says, ”I’m going to write a book,” you are the one in a thousand who actually achieved that goal.

To me, the book launching was like a caravan from China via the long arduous Silk Road trek through deserts, mountains, and SOB-infested tribal areas finally arriving at the caravanserai in Isfahan in central Persia(Iran). It was a sophisticated city even in the 12th century, having as its most notable building the Blue Mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful in Islam.

To those in a caravan it must have created feelings of both accomplishment and relief, arriving where they could sell their goods to traders who would then take their caravans to the Mediterranean coast for sale.

The trading area in Isfahan, still present today, is a rectangular area about 100 yards wide and 200 yards long. It was in this area that the merchants from China sold their wares to the merchants buying them and taking them to sell in the west.

Son, you have made it to Isfahan in style, and I know the rest of your journey be an even greater success.

Dad

Short message, but man, I wish my own father would have said something like that to me! Isn’t he a lucky guy?

I just think this fits the spirit of the times. I suspect that long after his book fades from the bestseller lists and he’s off onto another novel, these words will burn in his memory as bright as the day he heard his father utter them.

Hope you found this as uplifting as I did.

BTW, I ran this by my friend to be sure it met with his approval and didn’t give his identity away and this is how he replied:

Les, hey that’s really cool, man… hope my pop’s short speech provides some inspiration to folks on that literary caravan & any caravan, any journey...


Blue skies,
Les

BTW, Writer’s Digest is calling for nominations for its 2011-101 Best Websites for Writers. Nominations are due by January 1. If you like the stuff you see on my blog, I hope you’ll consider sending an email to writersdigest@fwmedia.com. Put “101 Websites” in the subject line and include a brief note about how Les Edgerton’s blog at  http://www.lesedgertononwriting.blogspot.com/ has helped you in your own writing journey. Thank you! (I’m nominating all the blogs I’ve listed on my own as well as a few others.)


11 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

This is such a great post. I wish my parents believed in me half as much as his father did. It would make my writing less stressful.

Anne Gallagher said...

And I don't know if you get awards but I left you one on my post entitled 'Holiday Mishmash and an Award.'

Les Edgerton said...

Well, thank you, Anne! I don't know how you retrieve them! I got a really cool one from a website for online resources for writers, but am so challenged, I don't know how to post it. Any help would be appreciated!

Hope you had a great Christmas!

Robin B. said...

Wonderful, Les!

Lara said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you--and your friend--for sharing this. It's hard enough to dedicate your time to writing without the stress of having to prove the value of what you're doing to the most important people in your life. It's their loss!

Bri Clark said...

This was great Les. Thanks for posting this and thanks the anonymous friend allowing you to. I have a tremendous support system

However, as a bastard daughter of a drunk father I want to be successful so I people will go "Man David you screwed up big."

Nothing like a daughter scorned.

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Robin, Lara and Bri. Even though some of us don't have the kind of father my friend did, it's wonderful to bask in the reflected glow of their joy. It just makes me want to be that kind of dad to my own kids.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Wow...not only is this uplifting and inspiring, it also gives a glimpse into where said writer got some of their style. Amazing letter.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Les Edgerton said...

Great observation, Raquel! Exactly so.

Donna Hole said...

Uplifting, yes. It is nice to have the support of your family in difficult career choices. This is the best possible feedback a writer could have.

Thanks to both for sharing it.

.........dhole

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks on behalf of my friend, Donna!