He was a politician, a missionary, a school janitor, and an international businessman by day. And at night, he dabbled in noveling. My dad was one of the few people that really did do it all.
He traveled the world with his family, lived overseas, served in the military on three different occasions, wrote poetry for my completely unromantic mother, and helped me play pranks on my friends in college 1,000 miles away…
He was a theologian, a teacher, an inventor, a daydreamer, and a visionary. He couldn’t build anything to save his life (a trait that I received from him), he couldn’t paint, he couldn’t take decent pictures, and he couldn’t play a musical instrument.
He worked late hours for many years of my life. And he fell asleep in church pretty much every Sunday. Sometimes, I had to sit between him and Mom with my sharp elbows to jab them both awake… But, there is so much richness from his life to mine for my own imagination and dreams.
But on November 22, 2007, Thanksgiving Day that year, my dad passed away suddenly from complications of diabetes and a bleeding ulcer. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone so long.
To this day, my dad remains my writing inspiration. He’s no longer my writing buddy – he’s not there to cheer me on, critique my works, or help me figure out the complicated life of publishing a magazine or querying agents. My husband now does all these things.
But my dad is and forever will be my writing inspiration. Each year on his birthday and on this day and Thanksgiving, I find small ways of dedicating my writing to him. In 2012, I self-published my first novel on this day to celebrate his inspiration and love in my life.
Most of us have someone who’s left us for the Great Beyond (whatever you believe about the afterlife). I mentioned earlier this month that I find solace in writing memorials as I craft my novels each year during this crazy month. I think it’s also important to find and acknowledge the inspiration in these losses, too.
Our works are more realistic, more colorful, more important when they’re inspired by real people we love.
As you finish out this month (just nine days to go!), let those people who’ve gone before you, left your side, or moved on for a season be inspiration for you as you write.
Looking for more writing inspiration? Check out these other offerings from the MockingOwls.
- Writing Inspiration Games and Tips I Use Each Year
- The Power of Words
- Get That Heart Pumping
- From Locked-Away to Locked-Down
- What I Love About the Genre I Write
- NaNoWriMo Tips for Success
- Writing Prompts for Pushing Through
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.