|me and Papa, probably talking
about books or poetry or writing
No one has been a bigger supporter of my writing than my father. He's the one who introduced me to Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. He's the one who encouraged me with ideas and books and conversations.
When I was a teenager Papa paid for me to take a by-mail writing course. The first part was journalistic writing, and the second was creative writing. I'd complete an assignment, send it in, and then someone out there would read it and offer me feedback. I got some pretty nice feedback – so nice that I got a bit bored with it and never even got to the creative writing portion of the course. Or maybe I just got busy... there were many distractions during those (and all) years! I'm sure Papa was disappointed, but that's not the part I remember.
The part I remember is how he'd give me assignments of his own. One of the most memorable assignments was when he gave me an envelope from his stamp collection. The stamp was postmarked in Ireland and the envelope was addressed to Charles A. Lindbergh. Papa told me to write about what might have been in that envelope. And so I did! My father loved it, of course. He was my best cheerleader, the one who'd listen to me spin my wheels about anything and everything books and writing. I'm so grateful. I'm so lucky. I miss him every day.