Monday, May 1, 2006
Penny's Guest Blog
This is a special installment from Frank Herbert's daughter Penny --
WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE ONE OF THE CHILDREN OF DUNE
I am the daughter of Frank Herbert. He and my mother married very young and were divorced when I was a year old. Living with my mother, I have no recollection of my father until I was about 7 years old. My mother remarried and dropped me off to stay with him and my stepmother, Beverly Herbert, for two weeks. At that time, I mostly remember the thrill of having an instant brother named Brian Herbert, age 2.
Over the following years, my visits with my father were sporadic. A few weeks in the summer. A Christmas vacation. Then one summer I spent three months with my Dad and my loving stepmother. By then there were two brothers (Brian and Bruce), and I was ecstatic to be the big sister to two fun-loving little boys. I was also instantly exposed to living in the home of a science fiction writer. One day it was fun stuff -- going to the beach, going shopping, going to the movies. The next day it was being quiet while the legendary author was clicking away on his manual typewriter. If I'd known what to listen for, I am sure I could have heard the creative juices flowing.
This man, my father, was creating the incredible universe of "Dune." He was putting thousands of words on paper each day. He was a man of many words...quieting his boisterous children with just one. That word was "callate!" (pronounced kye-a-tay), the Spanish word for "Shut up!" I also remember learning many loving words from this incredible man, who would sing entire love songs in Spanish to my stepmother.
Thanks for bringing this one back.
Granted she was really just a guest at the house, but a different vibe from Brian's account.
The Spanish angle really puts a different spin on how Brian presented those moments.
Also, I think it's really hard to understand unless you truly work at home as a career.
You have the freedom to go to the beach one day but can be very frustrating when you need to buckle down but keep getting interrupted by your family.
So, I still haven't heard anything really different from other families to suggest he was an asshole of a father.
Actually, Brian whined and complained so much in DoD to the point I thought it's like hinting there was some kind of abuse...
Most normal people would just say,"Yeah, pop and I didn't get along. The jerk!" Move on or move away.
But it's his identity.