The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

05 March 2010

The Truth

The best lies (and fiction) have an element of truth. I think this is what they mean by bringing honesty to your writing and the whole "write what you know" thing. The characters and events may be slightly altered or entirely made up, but the emotions are real, inspired by your own life or elicited by imagining yourself in the same situation as your protagonists.

For example, right now I'm at my workplace, on a Saturday, picking away at by grant in a dark little room when I just know the sun is shining outside. This (combined with the fact that I've been in caves before) makes it very easy for me to imagine an old time miner stuck underground all day, chipping away at hard stone, trying to find some valuable gem that will reverse his fortune and keep his family fed in the winter.

Since I don't want to leave you all in the dark like me (or that poor miner), I will now cast light on all those lies I had so much fun telling in my last post. The truth (in random order and aided by pics my husband enjoyed putting together) is:

#4: I saw a sea lion swallowed by a killer whale.... Lie. My husband saw this, but I've never laid eyes on a whale in the wild. I'll give partial credit to all of you who picked this one, since it is the truth, just not mine.

#5: I won $10K on Deal or No Deal and bought a Mazda2....Lie. While I do love my bright green Mazda2, I didn't win the money to pay for it on a game show. Actually, I still haven't paid for it, so maybe I should see if I can become a contestant?

#2: I was bitten by a shark...Lie. While I wouldn't mind having a cool scar, I prefer to avoid pain. I did see a small shark while snorkeling once; I freaked out and swam the opposite direction as fast as I could (which wasn't as fast as I'd have liked).

#7: My mother chases after rich men...Lie. I wish she had that good of taste! It wouldn't have taken me ten years to pay off my college loans.

#6: I thought I could get by with ancient Greek when travelling in Greece...Lie. I listened to language tapes ahead of time and carried a modern Greek phrasebook. However, there was a girl in my ancient Greek class who thought she could get an easy 'A' because she spoke Greek. There was a lot she had to unlearn, so she had a harder time than the rest of us and dropped the class after a few weeks.

#1: I was Homecoming Queen...Lie. My dyslexic husband was a first string, inside linebacker when he was in High School (in America), but I never did his homework, and I didn't get to accompany him to Homecoming because I didn't go to high school.

Therefore, #3, "I Was a Child Prodigy" is the correct answer. I'm actually quite embarrassed by this. People assume I'm smart and don't make mistakes (which is utterly wrong), but I think of it more as being precocious. I learned to read and studied like everyone else, I just did it earlier. I think I peaked earlier too. Nowadays it feels like my brain is full and can't hold anymore. I have to write everything down or forget it. I worry this means I'm getting dementia earlier too!
So, congratulations Crystal! You were the only one to guess it (although you said it disbelievingly).
Thanks everyone for your encouragement. With a 20% success rate, I need all the luck I can get with my grant writing, so this prematurely demented miner is getting back to work...See ya!


  1. Wow...color me impressed. I guessed the Greek thing. Have a great weekend!

  2. Wow!! Here I was thinking you were an Aussie hehe can't tease you now! :o)

  3. DL--Yeah, you were right about the greek! Have a nice weekend too.

    Niki--I am an Aussie now (I've lived here longer than anywhere else), so go ahead and tease me!
    By the way, did you hear about the study showing Kiwis have the best accent of all the English speaking countries? A Kiwi researcher told me that one. Of course, the study was conducted in New Zealand :)

  4. Jeepers creepers - I'm wrong again! I never get these things right :)

  5. Those were great. And I guess wrong.

  6. haha no I didn't know that. I think we sound awful but then not as bad as you Aussies!! :o)

    I thought the Irish had the best accent. I love listening to them.

  7. What a liar! Of course, I mean that in the best of ways.

  8. A child prodigy, that's awesome! Don't worry, it doesn't sound like you're getting dementia, it just sounds like you're becoming normal ;)

  9. Jemi--I never get them right either. I can never tell when anybody's lying (except my husband. he smiles too much when he lies)


    Niki--Irish is nice, but sometimes tough to understand. Since their native language is Gaelic, should they be considered an English-speaking nation?

    Alan--Yeah, right! Thanks :)

    Heather--Normal sounds great!

  10. It takes a child prodigy to lie that well. :) Thanks for passing this along to me. My lies are on my blog today.


  11. Isn't that a fun award? I got that one a couple of weeks ago and I had so much fun making up my lies! Yours were very creative - I think I would have gone with the homecoming queen.

  12. Thanks, Susan. Making things up is too much fun! I just checked out your blog and loved the duck--I'll be back and find the post with your lies when I have more blog browsing time :)