Casey Palmer, Author

And then all of a sudden, we were halfway through 2020 and I was getting ready to write a book.

Casey Palmer, Author β€” I didn’t see it coming, but I’ll take it!

It all started back in the summer when Scott Fraser reached out to ask me about an idea. Recently named the President/Publisher of Dundurn Press, one of the things he wanted to make was a parenting book from a Black father’s perspective.

It wasn’t hard to do the math. In an environment where sizeable publishers had published only a couple dozen books on Black fatherhood in the last thirty years and so many people trying better to understand after the events of May 25th, it was a perfect moment for a quality book to give voice to a group too often written off by the world around them.

It was clear that a book on Black fatherhood was direly needed to keep up with the times, but at first, I didn’t know if I was the man for the job.

Live from the 3.5, 2020 β€” Back to Black. β€” Casey and His Kids
Casey Palmer, Author. Qualifications: Had children. Wrote about it πŸ˜‚

Casey Palmer, Author vs. Impostor Syndrome.

Here’s my issueβ€”in a few weeks, my eldest son will be seven years old. And my world today looks entirely different from the one I lived in when he first showed up in 2013. It means that I’ve learned a lot through raising my kids, and the pandemic gave me a lot of insight into them I might not have gotten otherwise… but there was still so much parenting I’d have no idea about because I hadn’t made it there yet!

What did I have to offer the dad to a seventeen-year-old? What could I say to the dad of a twenty-seven-year-old that he hadn’t heard before? These were the kinds of questions bouncing through my head as Scott explained the vision he had in mind. Who was I to write this sweeping tale on Black fathers when I’d barely scratched the surface myself?

But Scott just asked me this:

“If not you, then who?”

Dad 2.0 Digital

I was offered a media pass to cover Dad 2.0 Digital as an attendee, but all opinions continue to remain my own.


Eight months ago, plans were in the works to run a second Dad 2.0 conference this year with Dad 2.0 West, an event that would’ve been in Los Angeles, California to kick off an impressive new expansion to the brand. Butβ€”as with all too many things thanks to the COVID-19 pandemicβ€”those plans were soon shelved without anyone knowing what was coming next. And then in their Fatherhood on Friday post on July 24th, the Dad 2.0 staff hit us with the news we’d all been waiting forβ€”that instead of Dad 2.0 West, they’d serve it up in a digital formatβ€”let me tell you all about Dad 2.0 Digital.

Dad 2.0 Digital | Why Did I Go?

Dad 2.0 Digital β€” Pandemic or No, The Show Must Go On! β€” Get the App

Now I have to admit that I didn’t initially plan to go to Dad 2.0 Digital because I was just too busy. Though I had a great time at Dad 2.018 in New Orleans and Dad 2.020 in Washington D.C. alike, my world had changed since George Floyd got murdered, and plenty was filling my plate as one of Canada’s few Black content creators.

But they say not to forget where you came from, and I have so many successes that come from Dad 2.0 that I’d be a fool to ignore them. I’m a cohost of Brothers in Booze thanks to Dad 2.0. I’ve been on various podcasts thanks to Dad 2.0. So when Doug French generously offered up a media pass so I could write on Dad 2.0 Digital, who was I to say no? And so on October 1st, amidst a bevvy of presentations and planning sessions, I logged into the conference on Socio to see what Dad 2.0 Digital would have in store!

Is it COVID or is it a COLD?

Where COVID Testing Gets Inconvenient

“Get used to it, buddyβ€”this probably won’t be your last one.”

β€” Sarah to our six-year-old as a long swab’s inserted up his nostril to test for COVID-19

I’m not one to stand in line for tickets or the latest restaurant opening, but if you want me to wait two hours to get a COVID-19 test for my kids, apparently I’m about that life.

After catching a slight cough last weekend that’d be nothing to worry over in The Before Times, we feared that they wouldn’t take our four-year-old in his kindergarten class, so at 7:50 Wednesday morning, I got in line at Michael Garron Hospital to get COVID-19 tests for the fam.

But don’t get me wrong, this was no easy undertakingβ€”I was already fiftieth in line, and that’s before counting the extra people who were doing what I was doing… snagging spots early so their kids would have to wait as little as possible.

And it’s a good thing, too, because despite showing up forty minutes early for doors opening at 8:30, we’d spend over two hours in line, much of that with a couple of kids who didn’t shy away from letting us know how they really felt.

What it’s like to get a test for COVID-19.

The Corona Chronicles | Day One Hundred and Ninety-Five | Monday, September 28th, 2020 | Is it COVID or is it a COLD? β€” The Boys Sitting and Waiting
This could only end well….

Now, did all four of us need to get COVID tests? No, but it was better to be safe than sorry. After all, even if our youngest was negative, if another case got in the house because we didn’t bother to check, what would this all have been for, anyway?

So we stood in that line, armed with devices and snacks waiting to experience this test that everyone’s been talking about.

I Survived Six Months of a Global Pandemic. Now What?

It’s a lot easier to look back and see what one’s life’s been like in a pandemic so far than it is to figure out what’s coming ahead in such uncertain times. COVID-19’s messed with us all, bringing everything to a grinding halt, but it didn’t mean that the world stopped turning just because we were all trapped inside.

But if anything, the pandemic let content creators slow down enough to take a solid look at ourselves and get a better idea of what we’re about when the world takes so many of our supports away. Who are you without events and travel? Who are you when you’re not out showing outfits off on the streets or trying restaurants on a whim? The pandemic’s made us all re-evaluate how we do things, and as the world starts to get its footing again, we all need to ask ourselves one question:

“What’s next?”

How a Global Pandemic Changed Me

This past Friday, Kat Dickson from the Toronto Bloggers Collective issued a challenge to our near-600 members to pick a draft from our blogs and turn it into a full-fledged blog post by the end of the weekend. And me, I had 181 because I start so many ideas that I don’t always have the time, energy or innovation to see them through. Every post needs a featured image. They need search engine optimisation. I need to run text analyses to make sure they’re impactful and make sure the photos won’t make my site load too slowly… there’s a reason why my hobby grew into something more of a second job. It’s because every time I want to create something, I want to do the most fantastic job of it that I canβ€”anything less is unacceptable.

But these last six months have got me thinking. While I wasn’t always ready to share because my creative process takes a lot of time, it had me look deep inside and start understanding what I wanted to do with everything I’d built so far and what I wanted from all the time that’s yet ahead.

This is how six months in a global pandemic’s changed me, and I hope it’s for the better.