Friday, August 28, 2009

My Name is Taryn Raye and I'm a Professional Liar...

{Join me in a sing-song taunt} Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

Even the title of this blog is, in and of itself, a lie. Taryn isn't even my real name. LOL

I've been contemplating what a writer's life is all about and I've come to the conclusion we're all really big liars. And most are REALLY good at it.

But see, the thing is- I never aspired to be a professional liar.

But in some ways, I have, now haven't I?

Storytelling comes natural for me- I've been told I have a gift for writing- and I've always felt that I was born to be a writer. It eats away at me when I'm NOT writing because I have so many stories I feel "need" to be told.

But does that doom me to being a natural born liar, as well?

It hadn't really crossed my mind much before, but what do we do? We fabricate the biggest, most extravagant lies going. Each story is word upon sentence upon paragraph upon chapter of an elaborate massive web of deceit.

We're all taught not to lie, but statistics say we lie from early on in childhood and it's almost natural to development. Indeed, I can see that now that I have children of my own. LOL

Sometimes it's just them telling big windy stories, but other times it's to cover for a mistake they know they've made and other times its to get out of things they don't want to do. Most often, they lie for no good reason that I can comprehend, but in the end, it all comes down to fibbing, regardless of the reason.

It's really no different than parents telling their children stories of Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

Or purposely avoiding telling them the entire truth in regard to a sticky divorce. Or what happened when Spot got out on the road. Or where babies come from.

We tell the first to encourage the use of the imagination and to suspend disbelief. It's part of the magic of childhood. It's something they can only experience once in their lifetime from that point of view- and I want to share in those joyful, innocent moments where reality and fantasy merge for a time- Where its still "okay" to indulge in pretend and the abstract and the ability to see beyond what's really there.

We leave out details in regard to the other things in order to help keep them innocent, as well. It's part of protecting our children from the harsh realities in life, to preserve the magic of their childhood- at least for a little while. It's instinct to protect them from being hurt or sad or heartbroken or much too grown up at such a young age.

So what's the difference when it comes to other things- like books? Works of fiction? We willingly pay for lies each time we buy a novel and we do so happily. But why?

Perhaps it's because- mixed in with all the lies there are smidges of truth.

Sometimes it's obvious and in your face. Sometimes its buried, hidden from the world because it's easier to hide the truth than speak it aloud. We find pieces of our truths inside the pages of books. We discover that sometimes others know the things we hide from ourselves and in that- we find a kinship with them, those who, whether they know it or not, help us see ourselves. Help us UNDERSTAND ourselves.

As for these lies I tell?

They are merely white lies. Really...honestly....

They aren't malicious or meant to cause harm. They are likeable lies. They inspire and reinforce the idea that love is out there. That real love is a bright shiny possibility. That it can happen for the first time when we least expect it or we can get a second chance at it when it didn't go quite right the first time around. My lies open the doors to fairytale worlds that are set in realistic scenarios. The stories and settings are falsehoods, yes.


They can bring the reader REAL tears and laughter- because there's nothing false about raw emotions. When felt deeply, those feelings are just as real as the nose on your face (so long as you still have your real nose, of course LOL). It's raw truth- it brings the sting of tears to our eyes, the rush of excitement to our pulse and the joy to our hearts when we journey to find a happily-ever-after between those pages. That's real and true, even in the midst of lies.

The best part- these little white lies grant us the ability to hope, believe, have faith and find a little bit of happiness for a short time.

If I have to lie and deceive to accomplish that, then so be it.

I'm not saying lying is a good thing, but I'm not saying it's all bad either...

I'm just saying...


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looking for the Humor In Daily Life

I completely agree with Carl Hurley, former EKU professor and fairly well-known comedian and lecturer, that you MUST look for the humor in life.

For the past several months- heck, for most of this year, I've not found much to laugh about between dental pain and lack of inspiration and motivation toward getting my revisions done on my manuscripts and my inability to get back into a writing frame of mind, BUT....

Now that my kids are back in school and routine is settling back in and I'm making strides in other areas of my life that needed looking after- i.e. my health- quit smoking and in the past week and a 1/2 taken up exercise and journaling to keep track of my eating habits to help myself lose weight- I'm starting to relax a little and take inventory of what going on in and around my life.

I did a little work on revisions the other day and that felt really good to see that I was able to find a place that needed some tweeking in the current project. I've been making efforts to do workouts- hard as they might be- but I'm hoping it will help me make progress toward shedding the pounds I need to get rid of.

I'm also starting to see the humor again and it's encouraging- when I see it and feel it again, I think it opens me up for my writing and revisions as well. I've been closed off for nearly 9 months. Distracted and otherwise disheveled by what was going on around me. My concentration was shot in the foot and hobbling around here, cursing and refusing to pick up the slack. Sometimes you don't have to look too hard for the humor though. Sometimes it just presents itself.

A couple of examples- Earlier this summer my daughter insisted she had an imaginary sister named Katy (my daughter is Koty). This was all right. Using the imagination and not hurting a thing. Eventually that imaginary sister story petered out when something more interesting caught her attention.

Then a couple of days ago- "Katy" came home from living with Grandma and PopPop and Aunt Shannon. Katy is, after all, Koty's twin, so she needed to go to school now that Koty's back in school. And yesterday morning, I tried not to let it gnaw at me that Koty made me say bye to her and Katy as "they" got on the bus. Dread set in my stomach...I just KNEW what was going to come of THAT....Sure enough, Koty came home from school that afternoon with work she had done in class..

The blank for the student's name?

Yep, you guessed it...She had filled it out as "Koty & Katy."

Oh, Lordy! I couldn't help but laugh, except that 6 or 7 pages were ALL filled out that way and you know good and well the teachers are bound to be scratching their heads over that.

I explained to Koty as nicely as I could that pretending she has a twin sister is one thing here at home and even on the playground at recess, BUT she does not need to fill out actual work as though she and her "sister" have worked on it together. There's a line that needs to be drawn between pretend play and when it's time to get down to business and do her school work. She nodded and seems to understand. Thank goodness! LOL

Moving on- My stepson decided it was time to ask Daddy about body hair last night while I was in the other room giving Koty her bath. I hear the entire story as we lay down to go to sleep since I wasn't in the room at the time the conversation started and my husband didn't want to embarrass his son while he was still up.

As I entered the living room, I hear my husband, laughing and telling his son, "Well you go right ahead and grow that mustache out."

Chris runs over to me and shows me that he's got "fuzz" on his upper lip and claims it's his "mustache." I nearly fall in the floor laughing and tried to explain peach fuzz. That didn't do any good.

Okay- see, first Chris asked Dave if boys shave their legs. Of course, Dave tells him no and that eventually he'll grow hair in a LOT of different places, but the only part he'll shave will be his facial hair.

And thus comes the humor.

Dave said Chris reached up and ran his finger over his upper lip and said, "Hey, I think my mustache is starting to grow. I can feel it." Of course, Chris said it with all seriousness. My husband, on the other hand, nearly died laughing.

Dave asked him, "Is that a fact? Is your goatee growing out, too?" But Chris felt his chin and said no. That's when I entered the room only to hear the end of the conversation.

Under any other circumstances, that probably wouldn't be too funny, but well, my stepson is 10...not quite old enough to grow facial hair just yet and he doesn't get the concept of peach fuzz.

Ahh...youth....Comic relief- just when you need it! And now I'm off to work on my revisions. Have a great day!