Father’s Day in America

When I saw a call to Red Room authors for a piece on Father’s Day, my first reaction was to slip into my daughter’s skin and write a letter to her Dad. But that wasn’t what was wanted. Red Room’s Gina Misiroglu was offering to shepherd pieces for consideration by Huffington Post’s My Daily and they wanted personal essays on the father/daughter relationship, and Gina needed a complete rewrite within 24 hours to make the deadline. Thank heavens for time zones!

My piece, “Bisous Mon Papa”, was included in the list of essays that was posted at Red Room on 19 June. Needless to say, I was thrilled that it was included. US Father’s Day came and went, so imagine my surprise when the essay, with minor edits, turned up at My Daily on 23 June.

Interestingly, there’s been a comment on it. At first I thought it was spam, but the writer added the words “no offence”. I don’t really know what to reply to the comment, or even if I should. But it raises a question about different ways of thinking, depending on where you’re coming from.

As a writer, I couldn’t help thinking about reader-response theory and: “Reader-response criticism argues that literature should be viewed as a performing art in which each reader creates his or her own, possibly unique, text-related performance.”

I’m grateful to Red Room for an opportunity that helped get my work before a wider audience, but also for making me ponder on the reactions to my work.