February 2013

Girl Things: Accepting Dad in Convenient Book Form

by Bedford Hope on February 27, 2013

I am editing Accepting Dad into a book titled Girl Things. The book will feature revised (and copyedited, finally) content from the blog arranged so as to tell a chronological story, with several additional essays included. I will be pulling most of the blog content contained in Girl Things, with the exception of a sample essay or two, for a few reasons. A blog is a little like a traffic accident. People slow down to look out their windows at the wreckage. Some do so with compassion, the best of intentions, while others devour the scene with an unholy glee. As my son completes his first year of high-school, I want to discourage that kind of casual attention.

In a book, one can be reasonably sure that the person reading the last chapter has read the first. A blogpost recapitulates, to some degree, the entire blog. In a blog, you write for your old readers and for someone stumbling in at the end, simultaneously. In Girl Things, I wanted the freedom to speak about some issues within the community of supportive families that aren’t intended for the casual reader. Journalists have cherry picked comments in the past to create controversies between different therapeutic voices where there were none. Making this story a book is one way to avoid that. The context needed to understand the last chapter is there, in the book.

Girl Things also marks a watershed in my career, as I attempt to build a new life for myself as a freelance writer.  My kids are at that age, when they start to pull away, when friendships replace family at the center of life. They want space, privacy.  So the old posts come down. The photos, as cropped as they are, need to go, too; they won’t be part of the book. Maybe a future edition, if such a thing will be, with Oscar’s adult approval, somewhere down the road.

Many of my writing friends, after mediocre to awful experiences with the professional publishing world, are self-publishing their works as ebooks for the various digital platforms, or releasing the books as POD (print on demand), or both. I suspect I’ll be taking this route with Girl Things. To all my readers over the years, I want to say thank you for your support, thank you for reading, thank you for your comments. I really hope you buy Girl Things, or get it from the Kindle library, should I go the Kindle Direct route.

One thing people are discovering about their digital readers is that they can read anything they want, without the cover giving anything away. I do hope that my book ends up in the hands of dads (and moms, and siblings) that might be embarrassed by my book’s title, by any capsule description of the book. These are probably the people who need it most. I should know. I was one of them, once upon a time, an eye blink ago.

So long ago. Before I had Oscar. Before he changed my life forever. For the good.