A Bit of Truth Behind the Fiction

Baby Eagle

Baby Eagle

I had lived in New Hampshire for a little over a year.  I was having job issues and wasn’t sure what was happening in the near term.  I took walks and they became longer and longer every day.

One day as I was walking through the woods I heard an awful, pitiful cry.  A large white pine was straight in front of my, the trail turn as it reached it.  High above the trail there was a large bird on a branch with another large bird a bit above it on another branch.  I couldn’t tell what they were, but my thought was immature bald eagles.  They were huge.  Between the two birds was a squirrel.  The squirrel was screaming at the birds.  He obviously wasn’t ready to be bird food quite yet.  As i approached one of the birds flew off.  Not wanting to upset the balance of nature I quickly walked on.  For the next few months I looked for that bird every time I walked by that tree.  After two or three months I moved and have never been back to that trail (moved to a different part of the same town).

During the heart of the Great Rescission I decided to write a story about a slightly unbalanced person who was looking for work.  I thought about my longer and longer walks when I was having job issues>  i thought about the big birds i saw on one of those walks.  These two things made up the core of the story.  I also remember as a kid walking out on a catwalk under a bridge.  Actually, i did it on a few occasions on different bridges.  Not as far or as fast as the people I was with.  No thank you, I want to survive another day!  So that made it into the story.

I often put little personal experiences into my stories.  Sure, they aren’t exact, but I feel it makes them more real.  i’ve talked about it at least once, but thought it was worth bringing up again since the long walks and the “eagles” were such a large part of the story “Five Long Walks“.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my mind!

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7 thoughts on “A Bit of Truth Behind the Fiction

  1. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 3rd of September, 2016 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  2. prior..

    I enjoyed the glimpse T – and I think personal experience can make a great pivot point. Now my pet peeve with writers is when they tell fiction and have it come across as real story. For example, I was just reading a beach story by a blogger and at the end of his story – he revealed that he had combined many bad beach experiences and wrote about it as one long weekend – and mentioned that he hoped it was okay to take such liberty – and my only issue was I wish he had stated it at the beginning. But I lighten up with blog posts because – well – they are usually informal and I hate when some bloggers take it too seriously. Even though I wish people would use a comma before the connection but – especially in pieces of writing they seem to have poured into. argh.
    anyhow, my real pet peeve with this – adding fiction to real – is when a preacher does it and they do not share that they are exaggerating ot embellishing. In the 1990’s – we used to listen to this guy Ken in Arvada CO and he annoyed me so much because every message he gave had at least a couple exaggerations – and my spouse would say it was humor and was assumed that it was an exaggeration (hyperbole-ish) but I would say that i am purist and he should not put out info that comes across as his real experience if he will add details to make it more interesting or exaggerate the facts to where it does not make sense.

    anyhow, I think the best fiction can and should pivot with extras – but a writer should not ever pretend or feign that it is real life – because some readers or listeners can sense bullshit when we hear it – even if a great moral is twisted in. This is the problem I had with the blogger who used to write about his coffee shop encounters – it just so happened that every time he was there – someone else was chiming in to his conversations with rich points about his chosen topic… or he met this one and that one and it led to this and that. I do believe much can happen – but the BS meter went off too many times…. ha
    thans for letting me rant a bit….

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I remember the coffee shop chats. i grew tired with them after a short while… A few times i wrote pieces of short fiction and had people think I was telling a true story. I know on at least one occasion the zinger at the end got them. It wasn’t intentional – they were posted under “Fiction”… Once when I was visiting my parents I asked my dad if their minister had a book “101 Stories for Preachers and Ministers”. My dad asked if he could quote me as a lot of people in the congregation had complained about it. And yes, there is a book like that, if not that title…

      Some people embellish fact for effect and some for humor and some to make a point. I think there is a line in embellishing a real story. But then, I’m a fiction writer that has posted over 200 stories in the last 2 3/4 years that I’ve been here, so you can expect fiction when you stop in ;)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. prior..

        yes – u make it clear and I like this post about sharing the truth that inspired – and will go and read the story linked above –
        and I know exactly the kind of books you refer to – some denominations even have a three year sermon thing – the pastor at this Baptist church sometimes refers to it – forget what it is called – but it starts with an “L” – anyhow – did I ever tell u about the “Christmas Lights” sermon? I know I have shared with a few online already – but it is a Presbyterian classic –
        anyhow – off to read the story

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  3. Pingback: Five Long Walks | Trent's World (the Blog)

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