Monday, February 10, 2020
Fifteen years ago, today, I stepped off the plane and onto the tarmac at San Diego International Airport. There was no one there to meet me.
Today, I am still working alone on much the same arrangement that I had when I first arrived in the United States - commissioner per submission.
Along the way I have had moderate success.
I'd like a little James Patterson success in the next fifteen years.
Saturday, February 1, 2020
On the last day of the first month, I made this years first submission to a publishing house.
Not a great track record for a writer, but one submission is better than none.
As the "First Fans" are aware, the care of a parent is draining my time away. Being accountable for a toddler in an adult frame is a time consuming job, You can't just instruct on what it is and what it should be, - because they are elderly. Instead, grace is needed.
After spending two days and a night back and forth to the emergency room of a local hospital, it was late yesterday when I realized the deadline was approaching. Unsatisfied with the third, or fourth version, I submitted the version that I thought better -but not award winning.
One submission is better than none.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
For those that came in late...when I write, I write with a pencil. Always have. There is something about the lead of the pencil on the yellow of the legal pad paper that makes the writing seem... historical. It feels alive as I scribble it down.
As one of my goals for the year involve more published works, I began taking online lessons in Masterclass. Masterclass is a series of video tutorials given by experts in their field of expertise. One of the contributing authors is James Patterson. Patterson has multiple books that I have read (as a fan) where his protagonist (Alex Cross) is employed in an industry that I once was.
About the fourth lesson in, I was not enjoying the tutorial as much as I like. Though the format was similar to Stephen Kings "On Writing" book, I was not enjoying Patterson's class as much as I had enjoyed his book.
And then it happened.
James Patterson said that he writes in pencil on a legal pad.
James Patterson writes the same way I do...or more accurately, I write the same way as accomplished author James Patterson does.
And suddenly I was enjoying Patterson's class much more. I went back and started his Masterclass again, and although the links to a number of discussions with previous students is broken, the class became more poignant to me. It became more real as a one on one class because....James Patterson writes in pencil.
I am hopeful that one day a fan will have the same connection that I had when they relaize their favourite authors (that would be me) writes n pencil.
Sunday, January 5, 2020
In 1999, I purchased my first computer in Australia, a Hewlett Packard Compaq computer from a big box home store. At the time, I also purchased one computer game to accompany the purchase. The game was a city building strategy game called Anno 1602. The game was a ground breaker in that the Artificial Intelligence progressed in accord with player development.
At the time, I was divorced and not in receipt of enough income to make my daughters life more enjoyable. The girls and I played that game. Endless hours was spent with my little one sitting in my lap as her older sister cursed at the non player characters (NPC) when they destroyed something she had spent an hour creating.
Anno 1800. The game was available by download only, and for less money than I paid for the original game, I treated myself to my first game purchase in about eight years.
The reviews justify it's nomination for Game of the Year. The graphics are immersive, the game play addictive, and last weekend, I lost both days off playing the game into the wee small hours of the morning.
The girls are gone from my life - grown up and moved on. Late nights playing Anno on the computer are not the same without my youngest sitting in my lap pointing out the "bad guys" for her sister. Still, what I lost in the companionship with my children, is retained in the memory of the original game.
20/20 - a year and hindsight.
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Today's the day.
Today is the day that I have now not seen my daughter Sarah, for more than half of her life.
I was asked today to put aside all the grief earned in the year, ready to launch into 2020.
I said I was going to more time.
Friday, November 29, 2019
It is twelve years today since I last saw my youngest daughter, Sarah. At the time, she was twelve years and thirteen days old. In a few weeks when Christmas arrives, I will have not seen my Daughter for more than half of her life.
And what atrocity occurred to warrant this segregation of Daughter and Father?
Her Mother and I divorced.
Weeks after our divorce, her Mother remarried, and later had a child with the other man. Sarah became the “lost” child, as her Mother began to fabricate a life for her new family. Apparently, unnoticed by her Mother, Sarah slipped into a life of vice and crime, and like all divorced Fathers, I found out about it too late. Upon learning of her situation, when I telephoned Sarah’s school principal, I was informed that Sarah was “a child at risk.”
I telephoned her Mother and suggested that Sarah reside with me, where Sarah could be monitored and have oversight while she corrected her ways and got on with her schooling. Within seven days of that conversation, her Mother absconded with our child, fled across three State lines, and took up residency in a jurisdiction where I had no reach.
Had I done those same actions, there would be Amber alerts, wall to wall television coverage until the child was found, and then, I would have been swiftly incarcerated. But, because it was her Mother that broke the same Federal and State laws that I am bound to, there would be no repercussions, no enforcement and no consequences.
Her Mother would rather destroy the child, than co parent with me.
And I would have to start over, again. Except this time, I would have to restart the documentation to ensure access to our child with another country, another state, another government and another school.
The slippage of time would rob me of her 13th through 21st birthdays. I would not know of her milestone events, her health, her academic awards, or her graduation. There would be no Christmas or holidays together, and my Father became collateral damage, unable to see his Grandchild. This would be in addition, to whatever lies the child was told about me.
When the telephone went unanswered at our scheduled calling time, her mail began to be returned. Scrawled in her Mother’s handwriting on the envelopes and packages were the words “no longer at this address”.
It would be years before I could classify her Mother’s actions as “Parental Alienation.” I’d always treated her Mothers actions as nothing less than child abduction, albeit the discovery was after the fact.
A parent knows within minutes, sometimes hours, when their child is abducted. An alienated parent doesn’t find out until much later.
The parent of an abducted child has multiple law enforcement agencies chasing down leads, investigating sightings and sharing information. An alienated parent has to do their own leg work.
The parent of an abducted child fears for their child’s life. An alienated parent fears that the child will never recover their life.
The parent of an abducted child knows that the longer it takes, the less likelihood the child will be found. An alienated parent usually starts at this point, as they learn of what has already occurred. They are playing from behind the moment they discover that their child has been “abducted”. For me, it was almost nine months before I uncovered that Sarah was “a child at risk”. A perpetrator given nine months head start knows that the authorities have little chance of catching them.
It is too late for my youngest daughter, Sarah. If She is still alive, She is now an adult who chooses to have no contact with her Father. It is reasonable to assume that Sarah was told lies by her Mother, which She accepted as truth, as I was not physically present to refute them. My only hope is to wait until my daughter questions one of those lies, and then seeks me out to verify. I pray that Sarah has better critical thinking skills that Her Mother. Sarah’s Mother is also the daughter of an alienated Father.
Before we were married, her Mother and I were walking along the beach together when we ran into her Father. In the weeks thereafter, Sarah’s Mother sought clarity over the horror stories that Her Mother had told, and her Father refuted them. When Sarah’s Mother independently verified her Father’s version, She learned that Her Mother had manufactured the stories about her Father, in order to cover up immoral sins. Sarah’s Mother choose not to repair the relationship with her Father, because She could not accept that her Mother’s account of her Father’s absence in her life, were all lies.
It is twelve years today since I last saw my youngest daughter, Sarah. At the time she was twelve years and thirteen days old. You can diminish the actions of her Mother to “Parental Alienation” as much as you like, but as her Father, this is the story of the abduction of my youngest daughter, Sarah.