Thursday, May 31, 2007

Traffic Court

I am searching for inspirational stories and anecdotes about father-daughter relationships, stories that share wisdom, teach moral and important life lessons, and give others insight into how to nurture and maintain a healthy, loving and fulfilling father-daughter relationship.

If you are a father or a daughter, I want to hear about your parent-child relationship experiences. For more information about submitting your story, please visit my website,, and click the red corner on the home page, just beneath the “Projects” tab.

For those who would like to submit a story but don’t want to write one, I am happy to conduct telephone interviews.

I’m also collecting photos of dads and daughters, artwork from daughters to dad, or nice shots of smiling daughters of all ages to display on this blog. If you’d like to submit one, please email it to

Now on to today’s diary entry…

Today’s photo is of Mario Cannessa and his daughters. We call him Super Mario because he can do almost anything. Rather, he will do almost anything to support his family. A native of Peru, he is now an American citizen who works three jobs to give his daughters and granddaughter what their heart desires. A good man indeed. This photo appears in my book, Thank You, Dad.

Now that Jill is off for the summer she is taking care of me so I can write for hours a day. She’s running all the errands, making lunch and dinner, and, my favorite part, taking care of the dang poop machine dog! It feels like I’m on vacation!

Just in case you are in the Atlanta area, I am signing books at the Borders book store at The Avenue of East Cobb, this Saturday from 1:00 – 3:00. See you there!

I’m making great progress on the first draft of Daddy’s Little Girl – an introduction and five stories completed thus far. I tend to write in “chunks,” 500-700 words at a time that I combine later for a full-length story. I then stew on a draft for a while before undertaking another round of editing. As most writers know, it is always better about the third time you slice and dice it. Here’s a chunk that’s simmering right now (I'm hungry):

“He explained he enjoyed assembling that bicycle because he knew he could never again build her first bicycle, and he didn’t know how much longer his little girl would think girly things were cool. His daughter was at an age he didn’t really want to see pass. I understood completely.

He shared with me his amazement about how quickly his daughter was growing up, and he wondered how many occasions there will be in their future when he would assume she was ready for one milestone and she would inform him she had already passed that milestone and was on her way to something else. Somewhere in the process of turning a wrench to assemble that first bicycle he realized growing up meant, in a way, that his child would continuously need less of him. He feared losing the status and personal satisfaction of being the guy who could fulfill his daughter’s dreams and wishes.

Again, I understood completely.

I wrote him back to reassure him that he would not lose that role in his daughter’s life; it’s just that the tasks at hand will change. I shared with him how even though Meagan wrestled with me for independence and more than once admonished me with “I’m not your little girl any more,” she still calls on me constantly to repair things or take care of certain matters for her. I told him he was certain to give his daughter driving lessons, the next natural extension from riding a bicycle, and one day, he might even help her in traffic court, like I once helped my daughter.

In retrospect, I’m not sure if I reassured the man, or scared him.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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