Faking It

Last Tuesday we all went over to visit Ma. We brought coloring pages and sat on the floor and looked at the tiny Christmas tree with multicolored lights and tiny angels. Ma likes angels. It’s never hard to choose a gift for her if you remember the angels.

Before we left, my husband said, “Don’t you want to tell your mom…” I gave him a dirty look and hit him with a pillow before he finished the sentence. He was asking about the book. He’s all proud of me and wants me to show myself off. But I can’t, not with Ma.

If anything, she’ll want to read the thing and as happy as I am with the outcome and as thrilled as I am with the anticipation of it all, I know my story isn’t for her. She won’t “get it.” Some people just require straightforward storytelling.

If I’m going to be completely honest with you, which I usually am in an attempt to destroy barriers and cast off annoying restraints, I’m not overly enthusiastic about my family reading most of the things I write. Everyone else in the world, fine. But family is…

Today my friend and writing companion Lisa Rivero posted this link on her Facebook page with the following quote:

There is absolutely no room for censorship or political correctness in a novel. Your job as a writer is to give us the truth about your characters – which may or may not have anything to do with you as a human being.

I qualify myself in certain circumstances, “Well, just, you know, it’s a story.” With anyone outside my family I’m a brave little writing anarchist armed with obscure plot devices and Freudian slips, but there, in Ma’s living room, I’m a fake.

And it’s stupid.

But if you want to know the real truth of it, most of the family won’t care. And that’s a hard thing for a loud-mouth writer to accept.

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About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
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10 Responses to Faking It

  1. So, my mom has a book of poetry I wrote when I was in junior high school. That’s about as close as I want her to get to my writing.

    Love, dear. Love.

  2. I totally get it, I completely understand. The ones who are closest are often the farthest when it comes to our recollections.

  3. kario says:

    I completely understand. It is so hard to bare ourselves to those we love (and who we truly wish could understand us). Rest assured that those who read your writing do so because it is truly beautiful and we ‘get it.’

  4. Victoria,
    I’m with you. My dad told me that he bought the Dead Shoe Society. In print. Which means it will forever sit on his shelf, or on his desk, or somewhere within close vicinity. He’s so excited for me, and I’m nervous as hell for him to read my story. Will he like it? Will he be disappointed? Will he worry about me because I drop the F-bomb in it?….

    I did take a big step recently, though, and let my husband read the story. He’s another one in my nail-biting-while-I-wait-for-your-reaction audience. He laughed at the ending. I took that as a good sign.

  5. pennyjars says:

    Christi, it’s such a great story and the ending killed me. I’m sure your dad is proud of you, as he should be, but I understand your hesitation. Oh, boy, do I.

  6. Kaitlin says:

    I was the same way with my mom. When she asked why I hadn’t shown her one of my novels, when I was normally very free with them, I explained that there was an explicit sex scene that I didn’t exactly want her to read. She gave me one of those “Are you stupid?” moments, and asked how the heck I thought I was born, essentially.

    ..yeah. That was an awkward conversation.

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