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Lies? Or Stories?

I just finished reading A Land More Kind Than Home by Wylie Cash, and in his note from the author*, he said this:

"...I wish I knew then what I know now: As a six-year-old, you're called a liar when you tell a story that you know isn't true. But if you can keep telling stories and wait just a few more years, people will eventually call you a writer. Even when they know your stories aren't true."
Wylie Cash
(A Land More Kind Than Home)

I just thought that was really faboo, so I'm sharing it with you. And this too, because my daughter is hilarious, and I am a proud mama.
Mommy Lies




*The part that came before that in his author's note--as a six-year-old, he embellished a story about the family trip to the beach, because he thought "swimming and playing in the sand" was way too boring. Instead, he told a friend his dad had buried him up to his neck and a sandcrab got hold of his big toe and nearly snapped it off before his dad dug him out.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
blackrabbit42
Jul. 10th, 2014 12:55 pm (UTC)
Well, there's a difference between telling mom that your stuffed tiger is really alive, and telling her that you made your bed when you didn't. But I suppose they both take a certain willingness to imagine and visualize a scenario that strays from reality.

:)
bogwitch64
Jul. 10th, 2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
I should have put the part that came before that in his author's note--as a six-year-old, he embellished a story about the family trip to the beach, because he thought "swimming and playing in the sand" was way too boring. Instead, he told a friend his dad had buried him up to his neck and a sandcrab got hold of his big toe and nearly snapped it off before his dad dug him out. I'll add this in up there.
blackrabbit42
Jul. 10th, 2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
Still, it made me pause to think... if a person had NO imagination, they would literally be incapable of lying. Lying requires the ability to imagine a scenario that doesn't exist. How boring life would be then.

I am a terrible liar, people can tell instantly by looking at me if I am not telling the truth. Thankfully my kids have inherited this trait, in spades.

:)
bogwitch64
Jul. 10th, 2014 03:10 pm (UTC)
When I was a kid, I totally believed that if I didn't ADMIT to anything, no one could prove I was lying. Ha!

I'm good at the little white lie, and the storytelling, but outright lies?? Yeah, not so good with that. As evidenced by my daughter's post on Jezebel, she's doing pretty well with the little white lies. :)
msstacy13
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:05 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...

I've seen some unimaginative people tell lies,
but I ~will~ grant you that the capacity to imagine an alternate reality
lends credibility to a person's lies.
msstacy13
Jul. 10th, 2014 01:14 pm (UTC)
"It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."
The crucial distinction he either misses or delights in overlooking is "when they know your stories aren't true".
There is a world of difference between the willing suspension of disbelief and the intent to deceive, just as there is between play money and counterfeit money; between a copy and a forgery.
bogwitch64
Jul. 10th, 2014 02:24 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."

Yes, there is a whole lot of difference between suspension of belief and deception. I see I should have put the part that came before that in his author's note--as a six-year-old, he embellished a story about the family trip to the beach, because he thought "swimming and playing in the sand" was way too boring. Instead, he told a friend his dad had buried him up to his neck and a sandcrab got hold of his big toe and nearly snapped it off before his dad dug him out. I'll add this in up there.
msstacy13
Jul. 10th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."
Hmmm...
I suspect the story about the story never actually happened;
he probably read To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,
and realized that people would think he was more of writer
if he told them he made up stories like that when he was a kid.
:)
writerjenn
Jul. 10th, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."
Hmm, the child-fibs-to-make-life-more-interesting-and-then-channels-it-into-writing scenario is also in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
msstacy13
Jul. 11th, 2014 12:41 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."
Another good example, yes.
And it reminds me of Bugs Bunny...
Bugs Bunny: So there I was, trapped, overwhelmed by superior numbers.

Lola Beverly: My goodness, Bugs. How did you ever get out of that one?

Bugs Bunny: Well, I grabbed the nearest thing I could get my hands on, determined to make their victory a costly one.

[Flashback: Bugs grabs a book to cudgel the dogs; the dogs see the cover and run across the Brooklyn Bridge; Bugs looks at the cover, which reads "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"]

Bugs Bunny: Hey, you know? Maybe I ought to read this thing.
bogwitch64
Jul. 11th, 2014 02:57 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."
Few ever recognize/d the genius in those Bugs Bunny cartoons. That's when such things were meant for an older audience who would get the subtleties. Awesome.
msstacy13
Jul. 11th, 2014 09:09 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."
As you know, Bob Terri,
I was watching Bugs Bunny as soon as I was old enough to turn the TV on by myself.
writerjenn
Jul. 11th, 2014 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's not a lie, it's a gift for fiction."
Literature FTW once again.
cmcmck
Jul. 10th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
I was exceedingly good at lying as a littl'un because if I'd told the truth, life might have got rather, shall we say, interesting!
jennygordon
Jul. 11th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC)
Love his story about the crab!

And your daughter's piece is hillarious - I especially enjoyed the tantrum analogy!

Edited at 2014-07-11 07:59 am (UTC)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )