I never thought about writing being a family trait. I thought I was the only one who felt the urge to tell fictional stories in the written down form. Don’t get me wrong; my family loves to tell slightly embellished tales of yore, but no one else ever wrote fiction.
After Grandma died, Papa needed something to do to fill up some of his time. He’d always loved reading (I come from a reading family, truly) and had done a little writing when he was younger. So when after Grandma passed away, he had the time to try his hand at writing again. It became the way he spent his mornings.
He wrote a few short stories, but it didn’t take him long to discover the wondeful world of novel writing. He wrote a couple of them before he decided to try his hand at self-publishing. He didn’t want to be a best-selling author. He wasn’t looking for great success or great millions. He wrote a book and he wanted to see it in print. He wanted tangible evidence of time well-spent.
Papa wrote several other books and stories, but these he published as ebooks. He was always on the cutting edge of technology and liked the idea of ebooks (he bought a Kindle before I even considered one). He made a little money from his writing endeavors, but I think he was happier just knowing that his work was being read.
My cousin Nancy even arranged for him to do book signings of his the first book he self-published. It was a nice way for family to come out and brag on him and tell him how good his stories were.
In turn, Papa has always been my biggest fan when it came to my writing. He was thrilled when I got my first short story published. He posted my few writing victories on the family website and read every story I showed him, whether it was published or not.
Writing became just another way grandfather and granddaughter connected.
Now that he’s gone, I treasure that first self-published book that he wrote. Maybe it’s not that best written book ever put into print, but the story is Papa’s and it’s a tangible reminder of the bond the two of us shared.
A special thanks to my granddaughter, Christin Haws, whose own wonderful writings were the sparks that re-ignited my latent desire.