Fact or Fiction??

Many years ago, before the Flood and the age of the dinosaurs, my big sister left home to go to Adelaide to finish High School and then go to University. And then a year or two later a grown up person came from Adelaide to visit and she claimed to be my long-lost sister and she acted like it because she and Mum went all soft and silly and she and Dad just went on arguing about life the universe and everything. Then she got married and went off to Darkest Africa in the footsteps of Dr Livingstone (I presume) or Mungo Park. Since then there have been fleeting glimpses of her and her husband and her children; little blonde Ethiopians.

But the thing about all this came about because of one comment from a follower to something I wrote yesterday. I will quote the comments as they occurred.

A Quiver of Quotes

Still, brave, and well-done.
P.S. Might be a useless idea, but maybe you could mark your fiction as fiction and your true stories as such … just so people don’t get confused. (Unless you’d rather not specify.)
Have you been talking to my sister? She wanted a code at the top so only she would know. eg 2t8f = two parts of truth with 8 parts of fiction.

A Quiver Of Quotes

Didn’t mean to pry! (But yes, a “code” would be welcome. You can tell your sister she’s not alone in her request.)

So now, with the opinion of two women who probably know best, I thought I had better come clean and explain why I have no intention of telling the truth, the whole truth and a little bit of the truth now and then. And it’s all my big sister’s fault. I was never to blame. You see, she was never around to know first-hand what I did or didn’t do. And now that I am nearly as old as she I don’t think I know the difference myself.

What makes me write the stories I write. “Where do you get the ideas?” people say. And the answer is that I get my ideas from you. I will give you some examples;

  1. Over the years I have posted a lot of photos of my garden – the one I use d to have – because a girl in the USA, who was one of my first ever followers posted photos of her garden and plants in general and I thought that was a good idea.
  2. Stories about my Grandfather who died in France in WWl and my Uncle who died in Lybia in WWll were given a kick-start by GP Cox who writes a huge blog about the War in the Pacific. Mostly about the American Marines but more and more about all the countries that were involved.
  3. Yvonne has been making me interested in Italy for as long as I know and when I posted a story about my Grandfather who was a chaplain with the Canadian Mounties she sent me a photo of a RCMP uniform because she was from Canada before she came to Australia and broke her arm.
  4. But the desire to post photographs about Melbourne and Australia in general has been inspired by Vicki Alford, a Melbourne Photographer, who is responsible in no small part in any improvement in quality that there may have been and by Leggy Peggy who has been everywhere and makes each country she visits come alive in her posts.
  5. But some people have their own unique style and try as I might I can never write with the humour, pathos and sheer joy and stupidity of Sheila who writes the Collected Wisdom of Godfrey…..
  6. Or paint word pictures of the great cities of Europe like Andrew Petcher
  7. Or the hidden History of England that many would wish to bury like John Knifton
  8. And my compulsion to read about the parallel world of growing up with a very evangelical family life like Elouise
  9. Or drifting in and out of the world of codswallop
  10. And …….I can’t keep going on with this. It’ll take all night and I’ll end up leaving out the inspirational Gwendoline who rose so high from so difficult a start.

But I know now that I will have left out people I will be sorry about tomorrow. And still I haven’t explained the difference between fact and fiction in my stories. And I can’t. When I wrote about the old mad who drowned himself that was all fiction – except that at the time I felt that sometimes I have wanted to just give in and forget the things that depressed me.

And the man who didn’t know he was Jewish (The Holocaust Box) wasn’t me but I did feel it a bit after I moved into the Jewish suburb of Caulfield and felt welcome and quite at home. So the feeling was true but the detail was fiction. Or maybe it was the detail that was true…. I don’t know.

You see I can’t put a code on my stories. They are all made up. Or I dreamed them or I hoped they were true.

All I can say is that every girl I loved and lost has become as much of me as every girl I wished for. Every hero that I never was, is the hero I met in all truth, and is the hero that I absorbed and then wrote about as if he were me. No, that’s wrong. …..as if I were him.

That’s 925 words. And Andrew said never go over 800.

So I will post some of my stories from before and I will give a bit of ahint about the fact/fiction thing. Most of you will have read them but it’s my blog. And I want to.


18 thoughts on “Fact or Fiction??

  1. Straight into the charts at No 7 !! Actually, if you look at my most recent offering, deliberately shortened as soon as I read about the 800 word limit, the last bit is quite reminiscent of some of the reminiscences you have written. I think a lot does rub off from one writer to the next, probably more than we realise.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I used to wish too that I knew if your blogs were true or not but not any more. I just like reading them and sending on appropriate ones to different people. You said once your big sister was bossy. I’m glad you haven’t let her boss you this time.


  3. Awww, thanks for the mention! I like your stories, and I too don’t care whether they are fact or fiction. I believe most stories are faction anyway. I do find many of your tales poignant and often feel a pang for you. I can imagine which well you are drawing some from.


      1. That’s not good. I dream most nights, but there is a big distinction between the confused jumble of random odd scenes and those that are so disturbing they wake me up. I know I was very angry about something last night, but have no memory of what it was this morning.


  4. Hmm. I’ve always assumed, when reading your pieces, that what I’m reading tells something about you, even though it may not have happened exactly just that way. You have a gift for pulling out of your story the larger human truth, and giving it life in a new rendition. Which I find very smart indeed. It protects you and all the rest of us! For which we are all most grateful! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now I’m regretting leaving my blog reading for ‘later’ so I can do it all at once! I like the way you’ve delineated which piece of inspiration came from where … I’m not sure I could, at least not after a period of time has passed (unless the impact was stupendous or there’s a physical record of it, like a diary entry or blog post or comment—as it may seem). I absorb and combine and then build into my creative output.

    I try to pay attention to what people write (when it’s interesting), so it’s nice to see that others pay attention to what I write back too. Thanks!


  6. A most respectable five! Thank you John for the heartfelt and thoughtful revue. He was an odd young man who disliked beets, but how the two of you would share a yarn.


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