14 January 2010

Fact Vs. Fiction: What do You Change?

I have a question:
How much of a true incident would you change to make a fictional story? What if you wanted to keep everything?
But it could possibly hurt someone's feelings...but you want it to be published.
And they will probably never see it...but they could, and if they do it would be in a very embarrassing situation for them...but you are almost positive this wouldn't happen?
What if you can't think of how to change it to keep them unidentifiable even by those who know them?
But the story is brilliant, and every sentence (pretty much) helps move it along (either plot wise or characterisation).
What would you do?
Some writers would say don't try to get it published unless you can really change it to protect that person (actually pretty much everyone would say that).
But what if you don't write that many stories and your friend writes loads and she submits hers too, and she has already gotten one published and so have you...but she might submit one this month as well as you, and what if she gets it published again, even though you are the one who told her about the magazine in the first place? Well how do you swallow your pride then? Because you had a story, but were unsure about submitting it (and the story actually was really really good).
And say, if your friend doesn't submit a story, then the other person (who could get hurt) will never read the magazine in the first place. Or if your friend submits a story but doesn't get it published, then the other person won't ever read it either.
Well, you could ask your friend not to show anyone the magazine if she gets published (and maybe she would), but what if she wouldn't?
What could you do?
What if you had to write the story for personal reasons, and it's not just about that other person, it's about you too?
What if the story is about an issue that concerns nearly everyone? From a different point of view than usually portrayed?
What if you really felt that it should be published?
And you changed minor details such as locations and dates? (And no names were mentioned in the first place?)
But what if you also used a quote (that is very poignant, and can't really be changed) directly from something they said?

This is what has been going through my mind....

I really think that it should be published (and believe it or not, it really really isn't all about pride, though to say it wasn't at all would be a lie)

And I have an hour or so to consider it...

EDIT (June 2010): I sent it in and it was published, but I won't say where.

10 January 2010

Birds: A Close Encounter of the Third Kind

Birds are sort of generic.

Bird: it flies, it has two legs each with three little talons, it has feathers, it is so high and so big (holds out hands sufficient distance apart), it has wings, etc. etc.

Well, today I witnessed a very funny exchange between three different types (and sizes) of bird.
It is a common fact (here anyway) that the birds (mostly starlings) eat our cat's food when we leave it outside. They land down and fight and squawk and squeak and eat all the food so the cat can't have any.
Well today there was food outside (actually MM had given in and thrown some uncooked porridge out for them) and birds were swooping down to eat it.
One rather large, really round and speckled bird was circling the dish (of porridge) protectively, though not even (seemingly) interested in its contents.
He dashed at another bird (a smaller one who darted around skittishly) and then ran back to protect his food.
A third bird (a starling) made an attempt to get to the food and while the large bird tried it run off, the second bird made a beeline for the food and after circling the plate for a while (chanting spells in Birdtalk I'm sure) finally pecked at the porridge and ate some.
The third bird seemed to have given up (after all, he didn't actually want the food at all).

Well, that's three species of bird in one small encounter, and all different sizes and colours and all. Makes you realise just how many types of birds are out there, doesn't it?

02 January 2010


It's January already, and never have I felt like I have so much free time or so many things to do!
I have to (okay okay, WANT to) write a short story (though I do have a poem I could use) for a magazine for the fifteenth, and I haven't even checked the competitions lately, so I don't know if I'm missing out on anything, which is good (busy wise) but also not good (missed opportunity wise).
And I feel pressured to post (pressure of my own making, mind you), because I haven't posted since the seventeenth (I think) of December! Last year!
And I feel unprepared to go back to school (though I had no homework or such), as though I have forgotten something...
Another one of my irrational fears: that I'll be the only person arriving at school because I forgot the right day we were coming back. (Along with my other fear of being hit by an invisible car while crossing a seemingly empty road...you never know, it could happen!)

Note: Though all previous (wonderful) photographs were taken by me (except of course for the one at Cuisle, in which I was the subject), this lovely one was taken by MM, so good job.