Dear Old Dad

It’s almost Father’s Day and my dad’s gift supposedly arrived today. I have yet to see evidence of this fact, though the online tracking thingy said it’s at my house … funny, I don’t see a package anywhere. Perhaps the dog busted through the front door and ate it before I was able to rescue it?

Unlikely. Then he would have also had to repair the door and he’s not that smart to begin with.

But anyway, speaking of Dad, I would like to give him a shout out with some of the brilliant things he has said to me over the years.

  • “Dad, can we get a pool?” “Sure, a week from next Tuesday.” ~Note: we do not have a pool.
  • “Never won a handwriting contest did you?”
  • “Remember, if this contact comes through for you, tell your boss you only figured this out because of me.
  • “I know you know about my rules … it’s just you often ignore them.”
  • Mom: “Are you sure you should be driving in the Bronx?” Me: “Yes, Mom, and I’m kind of good at it now too.” Mom: “What does that mean?” Dad: “It means she beeps her horn and gives people the finger.”
  • “So I see you spent a million dollars at Borders.”

The last quote was in reference to my most recent splurge at my favorite bookstore (no photo available sorry my bad). This splurge came from the shocking fact that I RECEIVED A PAY CHECK and naturally had to blow it in celebration. Don’t worry, not all of it, but a good portion of it. And why the hell not? It was only ONE check after all and there are bound to be many more in the future.

But, since my father can see my accounts online, he was not in the same frame of mind when he saw the bill. I replied: “It’s fine, Dad.”

He retorted: “No. You don’t need to spend that much on books.”

Me: “Illiterate Neanderthal.”

Him: “Watch yourself.”

Me: “Don’t worry it’s a career investment.”

Why is that you ask? Well because this time instead of buying the driving fiction I usually head straight for, I this time frequented the writers reference section and basically cleaned it out. The good writer knows her weaknesses and tries to improve them (see Ollin Morales for a more in depth post on weaknesses).

The writer who believes she can scrape by on her own without revisions or tactics is a fool. To succeed you have to buy the books, read them, listen to them. All their authors have published before or are agents and editors who know what they are doing. Did some just write their book to feed off struggling and beginning writers’ desperation? Probably, but not most. Most want you to write the best you can and find that agent, make that deal. They once sat where you are: in the dark, dank realm of Unpulishedville. They got out, they know how you can get out to. You just have to be receptive to their advice.

So, my dad may be seeing more large bills in the future. I know I’m not there yet (I will whine about it quite a bit but it’s true). I need to work on tension, slowing down, keeping consistency, minor characters and their proper places … just after next payday. For right now I’ll be content with the mountain of writing books I bought last week:

  • Hooked
  • 45 Best Characters
  • The Writer’s Workshop
  • Writing the Breakout Novel
  • The Art of War for Writers
  • The Fire in Fiction
  • The Complete Guide to Writing a Novel
  • Characters
  • Scene Development
  • Writing Tension and Suspense
  • 2010 Guide to Literary Agents: Fiction
  • The New Revised Standard Edition Holy Catholic Bible.

I never said I’d be doing this on my own after all!

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About Miss Rosemary

is a recent college graduate from NY hoping to complete her novel of ten years. Stop by her blog, Miss Rosemary's Novel Ideas at http://missrosemary.net or contact her at MissRosemarysNovelIdeas@gmail.com with comments, questions and suggestions. She'd love to hear from you! View all posts by Miss Rosemary

22 responses to “Dear Old Dad

  • Goggles and Lace

    Woo! Good luck! I always spend a million dollars at book stores…. on all kinds of books. XD Sometimes, you just can’t help it.

  • brownpaperbaggirl

    Splurging on books really can’t be helped! It’s…a disease! 😀

  • Corra McFeydon

    Oh, my goodness. I LOVE Borders and LOVE writing books. I’ve bought that many at a time before. It truly is an investment. 🙂

    – Corra

    the victorian heroine

  • slightlyignorant

    What fun! Spending loads of money in bookstores is just about the ONLY shopping I really enjoy…

    For your next writing-book-splurge, I really really recommend “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott – it’s really good, very readable, as well as being hilarious and witty and on top of it all, helpful.

  • G

    I’m borrowing those just so you know haha

  • Lua

    “The writer who believes she can scrape by on her own without revisions or tactics is a fool. To succeed you have to buy the books, read them, listen to them.”
    Yes Yes YES!!! 🙂 My father often walks into my room and says, “do you really read all these books? I men, who reads this much books?!” and when I answer that it is my ‘job’ to read, analyze and yes- enjoy these books he gives me the “I have a crazy daughter” look!
    I love your list of books, it reminds me- I have to do some book shopping! 😉

    • Miss Rosemary

      Lukily my dad is a reader … we just don’t agree on subjects or topic. He loves non-fiction which I will read but don’t necessarily like too much unless they are like writing books and tell me how I can imporove on something. And he can’t stand novels, which kind of breaks my heart but I’ll survive. I guess both our dads have crazy daughters because I read everysongle book I buy too. O have completely taken over all the bokshelve in the basement, have about two more tubs of books down there too, there is a pile of them in my closet that I just threw there because there was nowhere else to put them, and then my own bookshelf in my room. And I wonder where my money goes …

  • Hema P.

    Now, this is definitely a new twist on the my-dog-ate-my-homework for me, Rosemary: “Sorry, I got you a gift, but my dog ate it.” What a great idea to use it to prevent having to go to the dog house when you forget a b’day or an anniversary!

    I love all the titles you bought, but then, when will there be any time to write if you have to read all those? 🙂

    • Miss Rosemary

      I certainly won’t be reading them all at once! I was thinking that as I write and go along and find myself strugglingwith a particular issue, then I will pick up a book on that particular topic and hone my skills one at a time.

      And thanks for the applause on my excuse! Don’t need to use it though, the thing came 🙂

  • junebugger

    “Dad, can we get a pool?” “Sure, a week from next Tuesday.” ~Note: we do not have a pool.

    I cracked up reading this one!

    ARG, I hate ordering things online. Or having things I bought circulating post offices. I always have this paranoia that it’ll get lost. And my fear came true once. It was a book present to a friend–It was a rare copy–and it got lost. So I then emailed her an Amazon gift certificate to ease my guilt.

    ….So what did you get your dad?

  • Ollin Morales

    Well, it’s like my brother. He ended up living in the garage til he was 30 but only because he would use most of his paycheck to buy his music equipment. Now he hasn’t made it big as a music producer yet, but the point is he invested time, money and energy in what he loved and made huge sacrifices. I look up to him for that cause he never really thought twice about it. He was a musician so of course he would invest in his equipment so that he could get better. And he has, and he’s much better prepared than someone who didn’t invest in their craft at all.

    But, I would recommend buying books that you know you will only read once or don’t mind letting go on Amazon.com. It’s so much cheaper.

    • Miss Rosemary

      Oh totally, but half of it is the experience of being in the bookstore … and with those books at least, I will more than likely have them all bookmarked and highlighted with post-its, so I will return to them. I don’t buy without the intention of getting my money’s worth!

      And I’m rooting for your brother! I sing as well, and even just getting solos in our glee club is hard, never mind making it in the business…

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