I hope everyone is having a wonderful Father’s Day. I was going to post something non-Father’s Day-ish, but then figured I should take the opportunity to post a little tribute to my own father. Especially since I won’t see him on this day.
I never see him on Father’s Day. He lives in Taiwan and I only see him twice a year when he flies to L.A. He comes out for about a week and we’ll have lunch or dinner or both. Then he flies back and it won’t be for another six months that I see him.
I mail him a Father’s Day card every year so it arrives before Father’s Day in June. Every year he says thank you and that Father’s Day is August 8 in Taiwan. I vow to send him another Father’s Day card in August just to show him that I’m listening to him, but then I always forget. Interestingly, Father’s Day isn’t an official holiday in Taiwan. August 8 was chosen because 8/8 is “ba ba” in Chinese which is similar to how you say “father” in Chinese.
We Skype about once a week, sometimes more. We email each other almost daily. Some would say it’s too bad we don’t see each other but at least we email daily. It is nice, but what I don’t tell people is that my dad is all business. His emails are mostly instructions for me. I handle all his business out here and it’s like having a fourth job.
However, since the publication of my first book, his emails have been more personal. I’d send him links to reviews, my Amazon page, and pictures from my book signings. His emails come back with questions like, “What’s a Kindle? Can I get the book in Taiwan? Is Finn a common name in mystery fiction?” Things like that. But I can tell that he’s proud of me because he’s actually taken the time to type this out. He’s not a fast typist.
He said he’d buy 10 copies of CLEANING UP FINN. I have them waiting here for him when he flies back here in August. He’ll take them back to his college in Taiwan where he works and put them in the school library, in the English Language section. He did this for one of my anthologies and it was pretty exciting to find it in the school library.
I warned him that students probably shouldn’t be learning English by reading FINN unless they want to read about a lecherous womanizer who curses a lot, but he said it was no big deal. I guess if it’s not required reading for an ESL class, then it’s OK.
Of course, he’ll never actually read the book. He hasn’t read anything I’ve written and I’ve become used to that. He supports me in the way he knows how and that’s enough for me.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
Sarah M. Chen juggles several jobs including indie bookseller, transcriber, and insurance adjuster. Her crime fiction short stories have been accepted for publication online and in various anthologies, including All Due Respect, Plan B, Shotgun Honey, Crime Factory, Out of the Gutter, Betty Fedora, and, Dead Guns Press. Cleaning Up Finn is her first book and it’s available now with All Due Respect Books. www.sarahmchen.com