Truth in Fiction


So, an interesting conversation yesterday morning with my cousin. While reading one of my fiction stories that I posted over at Luniacal Ramblings, he stops and asks me whether something one of my characters in the story did was something I do. Most specifically, he was asking about my story A Place Once Called Home and whether or not we had meatloaf Wednesday’s in my house growing up.

I told him that it was fiction and not something based on my life. At which point, as most conversations with him often do, it boiled down to him proving his point. (If you know who I am talking about, you know how true that statement is, but… we still love him, no matter how angry he gets).

Conceding to his point, but still holding my own (seriously, I think it’s a family trait), I again stated that it was a work of fiction. That’s when he started reading another one of my posts, The Funeral Fightat which point I had to admit that the story started off as something that I actually had done (I had the privilege of overseeing the funeral of a friend from my younger days). No, the real life account didn’t end that way, that was all fiction.

Then, yesterday afternoon, while working on a piece for Yeah Write called Rejected Happiness, I again drew on my own real life experiences as I was writing it. Not only mine, but also my wife’s. It was an intermingling of some of the stuff we have gone through; the black chair where my mother passed away; the phone call telling me to come see her before she passed; my own desire to not go because it was late and we had been down that road before; the guilt I felt for not being there when she passed; my wifes struggles with nightmares after her own father’s passing. It was a mingling of a lot of real stuff.

The funny thing is, in writing my fiction, in separating my blog from my fiction and non-fiction, and in trying so hard to keep them separated (cue Offspring now), I have to admit my cousin was right, to a point (seriously, I can’t let him have a complete win, that would be wrong, and… well.. pride. Hello?)

In the past, I have already made this connection, that in my fiction there tends to be a lot of elements of my own life. Whether psychologically (death is a very present topic or theme), historically (the military shows up a lot), or biographical (I notice how daughters tend to be a prominent character), there does always seem to be truth in my fiction.

I just don’t like to admit it.

Especially to him.

Yeah, yeah.. pride… I know.

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