I wrote to ask SAHD Christoph Meyer if I could republish this excerpt from his excellent zine, 28 Pages Bound Lovingly With Twine. Well, the bastard hasn't written back to me yet, so I-- just kidding, he actually sent a very nice note and graciously agreed to let me share this with you. It really hit home when I read it:
NO PAPA WRITINGThat's from #8, which Christoph actually typed on a typewriter after his computer went on the fritz. You can buy back issues of 28PLBwT at Parcell Press, or you can stuff some cash into an envelope and send it to Christoph--subs are 6 issues/$15, be sure to tell him what issue you'd prefer to start with--and send it to YOPSE, PO Box 106, Danville OH 43104.
When inspiration for a piece of writing strikes, I try to get a first draft done immediately or at leaset jot down a few notes. this often means not watching Herbie for a few minutes. One day, I had an idea for a short story and since Herbie was contentedly "reading" books upstairs I slipped downstairs to write.
A few minutes later, when he realizes that I'm not there, I hear a yell from upstairs. "Papa? Where's Papa? Yes Papa! Yes Papa upstairs."
I yell back, "Papa's downstairs right now."
Herbie comes downstairs and sees something he never likes seeing: me sitting at thte table, writing. "No Papa writing. Hold it. No Papa writing. Yes hold it." He doesn't like when I write because, as all parents know, parents are not allowed to do anything by themselves.
"Okay, in just a minute Herbie. Let me finish this right now."
He runs over to me and pulls on my arm yelling, "Nope! No writing! Papa hold Herbie!"
This is a daily thing and I'm used to it. I write many of my letters, stories and essays in little pieces no bigger than this little story. It can be frustrating at times, but if you love doing something, you find the time to do it whenever you can. Eventually the little pieces add up.
So I pick up Herbie and take him outside to play in his sandbox. But in my pocket, hidden from Herbie's sight, I bring a pen and paper.
Previously: Ohio dad publishes insanely interesting zine