What Makes A Father?

Margaret Atwood wrote in her novel, Cat’s Eye, that, “All fathers are invisible in daytime; daytime is ruled by mothers and fathers come out at night. Darkness brings home fathers, with their real, unspeakable power. There is more to fathers than meets the eye.”

To aid me with a little research, can you sum up fathers in one or two sentences?

 

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Holding Hands Uncovered

mythic3With Mythic, a new quarterly SF&F magazine publishing my piece of short fiction, Holding Hands, next month, I wanted to give you a little back story about this rather personal tale.

A while ago my son and I were having some difficulty getting on. After around six months of very little communication between us, either verbally or physically, we happened to be walking back from town, him trailing behind in silence like usual. As we did so, I felt his hand slip in mine. It was wonderful, brief, and a beginning.

It was that moment which I attempted to capture in writing, and from that, Holding Hands developed. I’m not proficient enough as a writer yet to have done that, but I’ve tried. I hope you enjoy the story.

Smashing Ponies and Grooming Transformers

I took my children to see Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast on the big screen today, but I’m not going to talk about that.

There were only two commercials advertising toys screened before the movie: a My Little Pony ad showing young girls playing gently with and brushing the product, and a Transformer toy ad showing a young boy playing roughly with this product.

Seeing these reminded me just how far we’ve progressed in the elimination of gender stereotypes.

Misconceptions, Notices … and Regrets.

When I was a boy I held the misconception that adults knew what they were talking about. Discovering that they didn’t was a relief, on the whole. However, some things should just be known.

I took a relative to hospital yesterday and as I was sitting in the waiting room I spotted a notice written on a white-board, which read:

THERE WILL BE A TWO MINUTE’S SILENCE AT 11.00 AM TO DAY

At first, I was comforted by Remembrance Day being marked by the NHS and the opportunity to tune into the collective consciousness given to the sick. Then I noticed the errors. I have never been part of the Grammar Police, so maybe it was my age, or the fact that it was a wet, wintry day, or the promise of a four-hour wait, that stirred my irritation, but I don’t think so. When I had children, I found that many of the things which had never really mattered were suddenly carved in stone tablets and hung from my neck while some bearded gent bellowed them constantly from a mountain just in case I’d forget.

The urge to walk over to the white-board and amend the notice was huge. With a little sleight of hand, my finger could erase the rogue apostrophe. The other mistakes would be more taxing. A pen, nay a dry-wipe marker pen, would be needed – I ended up wanting to rewrite the notice. Of course, there wasn’t a marker handy in case some vandal tampered with the important information, or some bored detainee doodled to pass the hours. I would have to ask the receptionist if I could borrow one.

I didn’t ask for the marker. I took out my own pen and wrote a blog post about misconceptions, notices … and regrets. I didn’t look at that sign again: my frustration was out on paper and I was content knowing that I was prepared to correct the mistakes. It was only when I left, that I regretted not having a smudge of ink on my fingertip.