“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” - Mark Twain (factoid alert – he was Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
A factoid is a near actuality, plausibly valid, or that we falsely believe as truth.
Each factoid becomes fiction’s tool.
If we cannot claim it an incontrovertible fact, might as well use it in a story, the way anything in the fridge can be an ingredient in ‘fridge-clearing’ soup. Or we can toss it on the trash heap.
Most things are that kind of a commodity; it might be ideas, widgets we build, trails we blaze, or relationships we cultivate. Writing truth, then hiding it inside fiction, is not new or ever-controversial – but not long ago, people with a secret had few outlets for their truth so that near-truth could suffice.
Except, it ain’t truth.
When we make up stories to write our fiction, factoids are allowed – because near-truths are as helpful as facts in a fictional story; we don’t see what was as much as what might have been.
In our authentic stories, ones we reveal to each other, and ones we tell ourselves, we should not be so generous in our use of factoids – but stick to the facts, however uncomfortable their viewing.
If you find this confusing, listen to politicians when asked about controversial issues; you’ll hear them extemporaneously cite facts.
Weeks or months later, quite often, their facts are undressed as mere factoids – what they wanted to be truth and wanted us to believe was true.
Facts usually produce drier stories than factoids, into yarns so easily spun.
There is no doubt you chose the better path! I am immensely proud of you and the journey you are taking. 35 years is inspirational!, HW, Calgary, AB
Again, Mark, you open your heart and lay wide your vulnerabilities. Kudos to you on how many ever years sober - unlike a number of alcoholics, recovered and otherwise, you retain a sharpness and sense of humour to carry the day. Take care and keep on keeping on, SB, Calgary, AB
What a success story! Congratulations. Alcoholism claims so many but for those who succeed I find they are generous and caring people. People like you, give such positive feedback and for those willing to try, a light in the dark.... , KL, Calgary, AB