Hubby okayed my first blog post (“Unemployed and on the verge of 60”) for publication but complained about the Disney trip exaggeration. Of course Bob did not back away from a Disney trip in order to retire two years earlier. From my point of view as a writer, use of the statement was a way to illustrate the financial frugality that was a mainstay of our way of life. A maxim of our household was–and still is–that after any large purchase we’d be eating pork and beans the following week (we didn’t, really). The family story about stopping along the side of the road in Norway to pick and eat raspberries became a story about not having to buy breakfast rather than one about rubbing elbows with the locals and enjoying serendipitous yummies.
Notice that the previous sentence illustrates how one fact can be seen in two ways. All readers, as well as watchers of FOX news, should be aware of this.
I never tell lies in my writing. However, I love the logical fallacy of exaggeration. Please remember this if you read my blog. The sound and flow of words is important and brevity in blogging is also a virtue. So sometimes a writer needs to take shortcuts to make her point, and small, excusable fallacies can help create beautiful prose. I write that with apologies to my Dad, a fellow editor and much better philosopher than I, who taught me about fallacies.
A mistake that I sometimes make in writing is stretching the truth so far that my subjects’ feelings get hurt. In November 2000, I used the trope of the crazy election to write about the foibles of my children, saying this about one of them: “she’s kind of like the Independent candidate who nobody can understand and who people would only vote for by mistake.” Despite the obvious use of allegory and what I thought was carefully laid-out satire, my daughter was hurt and fifteen years later still holds it against me.
I cannot say “All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.” I just strive to blend truth and entertainment and hope that my readers see the latter as a kind of truth as well. Call me out if you see it differently.