I had a reputation for stretching the truth. I had trouble recognizing truth and falsehood. But for me, as a writer, that had to have been a good thing. Though at the time it must have frustrated my parents, teachers, and many others, some people thought it was cute; and it certainly gave me an audience. And together with a vivid imagination, this trait of mine dictated that I write fiction. It made sense.
All of my short stories came from something that really happened. And for the record, all of them were filled with exaggeration. The main character of my short story “You Better Watch Out!” was me. I was the boy who lied to his second grade teacher about having a Santa Claus suit and the boy who consequently appeared without one on stage that year. The rest of the story was pure invention.
I had no boundaries; I had no compunction to stick with what really happened. So, very simply, I let my imagination take over as the story grew, as telling lies always does; and again, as in real life, I was energized by my exaggeration. For me, that was (and is) when the words really flow and I was propelled along by my windiness.
My writing business, with the sandwich board that advertises who I am, now takes me to the Internet, where I can’t lie about not telling the truth anymore, and that’s a risk, as coming out of the closet always is. Writing and making up stuff…the stories, the novels, the plays and now blogging…with the Internet can be launched immediately, and with that comes great risk. Anyone can put anything on the Internet. It’s a curse and a blessing for a writer, given the doors it can open and the risk of having the doors slammed in your face. As in my story when the teacher shakes her finger at my character and says, “you better watch out,” the same warning applies to authors who self-publish and use the Internet in the same way that I do. You can’t hide. And that ain’t no lie.
Good night, Randy Ford