Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Thursday, April 30, 2009

When fiction becomes reality

In my NaNo novel, my main character has a 2-year-old boy. He is the youngest of her 3 sons. In one scene, she is at the park with her son and 8-year-old twin daughters. Her son is drinking from his sippy cup while she's looking through a book, trying to find some information. (Yes, I KNOW it's called a "tippy cup." But "tippy" is just too weird of a name for that kind of a cup. I have always called it a "sippy cup" just because I like that name for it better!) Anyway, when he is finished drinking his juice, he holds up his sippy cup and announces, "All done!"

I have been trying to teach my own little boy to say "all done" just like the 2-year-old in my story. My son is 18 months old, not 2 years old, but I think "all done" should be easy enough for him to say. He's already said other words: "mama," "dada," "the," "dog," "yeah" and "yucky." (He usually says "yucky" if he has food on his tray which he doesn't like.) So for several days, I've been trying to get him to say "all done" and today, I am pretty sure he finally did it.

It sure looked like he did it!

We were at the table eating lunch, and he pretty much got most of the chicken, carrots and crackers I served to him onto the floor than into his tummy. (I have the world's pickiest eater.) And after my husband and I finished eating our sandwiches, I looked at him and said, "All done?" After many tries of getting him to say "all done," he finally said, "Alllllll done." (That's what it looked like, anyway!) He moved his head up and said "allllll" as he brought it down then said "done" when he brought it down all the way. I started laughing and copying him and we were both laughing over saying those two words that way. He kept repeating it even after I stopped laughing about it. (Yeah, it was like he was getting back at me for repeating it to him for so long! Ha!)

But after he said it, I saw the fictional setting from my story sort of collide with this real one. Granted, we were not at a park, and I don't have twins, but I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition of the two situations.

And as far as other fictional things coming into real life are concerned, I have a story in which one of my characters is named Jenny. She has long brown hair, just as my own real-life Jenny does. For one of the events at my daughter's school, I put her hair up in braids. In the story, the character Jenny always has her hair up in braids. Seeing my Jenny with her braids made me think of the fictional Jenny with her braids, even though her fictional counterpart is 4 years older than her. Still, I thought it was just like seeing my character come to life. It was like this little girl that's been living in my head for so long was now a real person! (Yikes! Scary thought. Wonder what OTHER characters I have are actually going to be a part of my real life....or do I even want to know?? I swear, I'll probably run away screaming if I happen to meet a nurse named Laura. As it is, I met this woman named "Malissa" years after I had November's Child published, and "Malissa" is the name of the main character!) (Also interesting: That I wrote a book with THAT title and both of my kids were due in November. Alas, they were both born early, in the month of October.)

I know this is something that happens to writers of fiction a lot. Sometimes, it's from our own doing, like with me teaching the baby to say "all done." And sometimes, it just happens on its own. Sure it can make our journey as a writer all the more fun and exciting, but sometimes it can be a little scary, too.

And on a related note: Maybe it's a sign that the baby would finally say "all done" today. Because I am "all done" with the articles I have to write this week. And I finished them a day early, too! They have been proof-read, fact-checked and submitted. Woo-hoo!

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  • At 11:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    uh huh, see it happens to you too! thats why I had stopped writing in my Anti Ashley series because things I wrote were happening and it was freaking me out!
    I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this ability. I'm tempted to write about an authormom who wins the lottery, what do you think?

    Glad you finished writing your articles early!

  • At 10:33 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Go for it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. :)


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