As recently demonstrated, the need for lies spur rank emotions and bad behavior — that is, for those who quiver with joy at the newest lie that might birth a conspiracy or a reason to raise a little (or a tonnage) of hell. Adrenaline rush on amphetamines. Endorphins misidentified. Justification of social wrongs.
Within me, there’s an itch for some lies too. But not the kind of lies that make headlines. No. My crave is for fictional tales that run the gamut from historical fiction, fantasy, and some chick-lit for those times when I’ve had enough of the humans on Planet Earth.
And to think that a few years ago my physician at the time, suggested that I read less nonfiction. “Your blood pressure needs some work,” he began. “While I applaud your quest for information, you might try reading just for the fun of it.”
Of course I argued. “But I write nonfiction. The more I read, the better my writing. I mean, if I didn’t read more about social issues, politics and our environment, my work suffers.”
“Remember, Charmaine, if you don’t control your blood pressure, it will control you. I’m prescribing you to stop by the bookstore and find a new book that has nothing to do with anything, but false stories written to simply entertain.”
My blood pressure returned to physician-pleasing numbers; I continued my non-fiction consumption; but discovered the joy of reading well-crafted lies by a few best-selling authors.
Now the stack of books of fiction on my nightstand resembles a wobbly a game of Jenga. The bonus: my blood pressure has never been better.
Honestly, the daily news is about all my nerves can handle. Henceforth my expanding need for lies and fiction.
On this liar’s path, and to my delight, I’ve come across some wonderful writers who have taken the newer DIY road.
At a writer’s conference I first grabbed a mystery novel, “Murder in Los Lobos” by Sue McGinty. It was local and not so many pages thick that it could be used as a step in a staircase. Loved the story of a former nun who becomes an accidental solver of mysterious murders.
Stephen H. Provost, is a grammar wiz, journalist, editor, and an independent author of a plethora of books that include historical nonfiction and fantasy adventure. One of my fave books by Stephen is “Memortality.”
And because I’ve graduated from unicorns to dragons, I just ordered, his “The Only Dragon: The Legend of Tara.”
My friend, Nancy, introduced me to Julie Mayerson Brown’s books. As Covid-19 painted this last holiday season grim, the holiday doldrums incessantly knocked at my door. I remember Nancy’s social media teasers about Brown’s “Long Dance Home, ” a woman’s tale set in wine country at Christmas time. It was just the book of lies that I needed.
I picked these three authors not only because I enjoy their writing, but we share some degrees of separation. A regional magazine picked up my profile on McGinty; Provost has edited my work; and Brown is my buddy’s relative. Actually we were at the same virtual baby shower recently.
These writers really don’t lie. They use their creative minds to put into words that cleverly identify truthful elements of humanity.
All three author’s books quell my need for creative lies crafted into fiction. It’s a much healthier means of dealing with the ugly in life, especially devious lies not meant for the good of anyone,