|A chuffed Dude, with the anthology|
My Dude, a published poet.
I read his poem again (it's very good) and watched him over the course of the evening, as he looked at the book cover, checked out his poem and beamed, from ear-to-ear. It reminded me a lot of the way I reacted when I first saw "Strange Tales" and also the way Dad looked at his book of my Grampy's war diaries (which I blogged about here).
My Dude, a published poet at aged nine (knocking on ten).
I was first published, in the school magazine at Montsaye, in my first year there (so I'd have been 11 - I went on to co-edit an issue when I was in the Sixth Form). My wonderful son, the apple of my eye, has beaten me by two years. The little git.
He's taken an interest in my writing for a good few years now (though he's never read any of my published stuff) and has helped me out a couple of times too. I sometimes run through ideas in my head as I drive and, when I was working on my werewolf short "Last Train Home", I was thinking aloud in the car. Dude, in the passenger seat, gave me the perfect ending and what he said is the last line of the story (he was thrilled to discover that, though I haven't let him read the rest of it). So instead of horror, I've written a few short stories for him and we've collaborated on a couple of things and I've really enjoyed those moments.
As I've mentioned elsewhere before, I started writing fiction when I was eight, expanding the Star Wars universe or coming up with new adventures for The Six Million Dollar Man and my love of the creative process - whilst taking dents over the years - has never lessened. I'm not sure yet how strong Dude's love for writing is but I am happy to nurture it and I hope it never goes away.
Very proud Dad.