My father was creative but in a practical way — he designed and built houses, including my childhood home, and boats. He liked the challenge of trying something new, often experimenting with making houses and boats more efficient and functional. The only “artistic” work of his that I remember was a map of the Virginia coastline that he drew freehand on our living room wall. It was amazing. Sure wish I had a picture of that wall now.

My father was disdainful of most people and had few friends — typical narcissist. He could be extremely charming and social when he wanted to, which wasn’t that often.

As I’ve said elsewhere on Medium, my father kept us housed and clothed and fed. We lived a life more comfortable than most around us. He was an avid reader and bought me all the books I wanted, and he loved animals so I had all the pets I wanted. It wasn’t a bad life at all but an emotionally trying one.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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