The Line Between Nonfiction and Cock-a-Doodle-Doo

January 31, 2013 § 3 Comments


Blaisey

Blaisey

A brilliant five-year-old’s take on the disputed line between fact and fiction, with thanks to guest blogger Jackson Connor:

Brushing my teeth yesterday morning, I planned what I would tell my writing class when they asked me about their writing journals.

They’ll ask, “How much of myself am I allowed to put in my fiction?”

I generally answer, “Three fingers worth,” which they often recognize as a misdirection, a terrifying proposition, or a metaphor for whiskey. Today, I thought, maybe I’ll say, “An arm and a leg,” “One rib,” or “Of course, you must, as a fictionist, draw from life experiences, but it is through the practiced evocation of the muse, the wheedling out of truth, that we begin to create fiction.” All equally bad answers, I’m sure.

My five-year old slapped her palm against the door and insisted that she had an emergency to deal with. She rushed past me and slammed into the toilet, emergency resolved. She had also been unraveling her own narrative threads and wanted me to lead me into her labyrinth.

Blaisey said, “Daddy, why did the rooster, the cow, and the cat cross the road?”

I said, “I don’t know, buddy. Why?”

“Meow, moo, what’s a rooster say?, oh yeah, cock-a-doodle-doo.”

“Did you make that joke up, bud?”

“Daddy, all jokes are made up.”

“I guess so.”

“Except . . .”

“Except?”

“Except unless if they’re true.”

“That sounds right.”

“But they’re not true unless the person telling them says they’re true.”

“Okay.”

“And, also, if the person listening agrees that they’re true.”

“And the rest is all made up?”

“The rest is all made up.”

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