Some small success to report on the publishing front.
One of my stories has been selected as a finalist for an anthology about fathers, My Dad is My Hero (Adams Press, Spring 2009). My story is one of 53 selected, but only 50 will be published. I’ll find out in July or August if I made the cut. Keep your fingers crossed, people.
The story I submitted is an excerpt from a current post on the blog (the contract I signed allows me to continue to publish it here, even if it’s selected). And that post is actually an excerpt from a longer chapter in my memoir. It’s ironic that the the anthology is about heroic fathers: the full chapter from the memoir offers a somewhat different sensibility about Dad, or at least it juxtaposes a heroic Dad against a more needy Dad. Despite this irony, Dad still makes out pretty good in my memory (as he does in my book).
If you’re wondering (especially you people at home), my childhood memoir isn’t meant as an attack on Dad or anyone else. The more I write, the more I learn about the story, but from what I can tell right now it’s learning to appreciate your own talents and sensibilities, instead of trying to be someone you’re not.
If you want a memoir that’s an attack on fatherhood, read Augusten Burroughs’s Wolf at the Table. I’m only 100 pages in, but Mr. Burroughs is so bitter with his father, it’s hard for me to read.