I've been thinking about this post for a few days, put it off, and then bang - Nathan Bransford
steals my idea. What the hell? How am I supposed to compete with his blog? It's the New York Yankees of the blogosphere. Good thing I know what being the Royals feels like. I'll just go ahead and say what I planned on saying. Sheesh, Nathan. Thanks. (PS. I totally have a crush on you)
I've been a liar storyteller my entire life. The first time I told a lie, it got my sister in trouble. I was about six and don't recall exactly what I did, but remember lying awake into the night thinking about it. In order to lose the guilt I got up, trudged into the living room, and confessed to my parents. They were so proud of me for doing the right thing I didn't get in much trouble. Lucky me. In all fairness, I still can't lie to my parents. They can see it coming a mile off. I make it a policy to not lie to friends. Because, well, they're friends.
Acquaintances, teachers, random folks - they were all fair game. Sometimes the lies stories worked out better than others. I slept through a final my freshman year of college and came up with an amazing story of how my roommate had an allergic reaction to medication and I was in the emergency room all night. Tears and all. I got to take the test later. I don't know if he believed me or he was so impressed with my ridiculous tale he let it slide. Good thing he didn't ask for the hospital paperwork. That would have been bad.
I lied to a guy I was dating about my, um, sexual experience. That one didn't work out so well. It ended up making my life twenty times harder than it had to be. The majority of the time, though, I didn't tell lies tales to accomplish anything. The stories were simply more interesting than the truth. I loved to think them up, spin them, making people believe something amazing. It didn't matter if it wasn't true. It was real to my listeners.
Now that I've (ahem) grown up, I've stopped lying. Nothing good comes from it. Absolutely nothing. I've embraced writing as the outlet for my creativity and it feels like coming home. I can weave stories, build worlds out of words, create people, change endings, enhance settings - and people don't get hurt. At least not real people. What I do to my characters is my business, and don't you forget it.
I am curious, dear readers. How many of you shared my penchant for storytelling, embellishing, and outright lying as a young person? Is it a facet of the writer personality, or am I a deeply disturbed individual? Wait, don't answer that last question. Anything else is fair game.