The Gift of My Dad

I wasn't sure what to write in response to this month's topic: What one event in your childhood had the greatest affect on your writing career? Then I read all of the other great posts, most talking about memories of their fathers or family and their support.

There wasn't "one event" that affected me and led to my writing career. But there was a man. I was blessed with the gift of being the daughter of Jack Linus Tolliver. He was interested in anything and everything. And seeing the "what ifs" about so many things in turn allowed me to see them as well.

He was never afraid to try something that most people would think a bit odd...okay, borderline nuts. One of my favorite memories comes from the time when he was focused on the "magical" abilities of pyramids. He made a small pyramid to put his razor blades under so they would re-sharpen themselves. Bizarrely, they actually did. Then he made a pyramid big enough to set on his head like a hat, this was supposed to make him smarter (or something, I can't remember the outcome he actually wanted). He was always smart to me, so I don't know if that changed at all. But the picture of him wearing the hat is a family favorite.

My imagination runs wild at times and always has. From the childhood days of covering a table or a group of chairs with a blanket, then sitting underneath it and being in a world of my own making. To wearing a ruffly slip over my head, so that I could become a beautiful young woman with long hair. To spending time on my back, staring up at the ceiling, and imagining a whole different setting to the world around me.

Those childhood experiences have only allowed my imagination to continue running along the "what ifs." After all I have published 41 novels and novellas and 6 anthologies. I've created all kinds of settings and more characters than I can even remember. And, most imaginatively, I've created a romantic/daring cow (Blossom) with a bullfriend (Ferdinand).

Thanks for sharing your gift of a wild imagination, Dad. Your memory will stay with me always.


Rox Delaney said...

What wonderful memories, Starla! I bet it was fun growing up with your inventive dad. So many of us have been truly blessed.

Starla Kaye said...

Yes, many of us were blessed. My dad was great...but sometimes he drove my mother crazy with his inventions.

Reese Mobley said...

What would we do without our daddy? Thanks for sharing. He sounds like my kind of guy!

Pat Davids said...

What a great gift your father gave you. I wish I could have met him.

Nina Sipes said...

I'm chuckling because as a stuffy teenager, I can imagine my reaction to having a parent with a pyramid on his head! If we are lucky we are given the gift of family and can see that we are truly one of them. I can see in my mind's eye a young girl with a slip on her head pretending to have long hair. Oh, how fun your dad must have been.

Starla Kaye said...

Thanks, everyone. My dad has been gone a number of years now, but he's always there in my mind and heart. As is my mom.