Friday Flix: Invisible Catfish Sex Change!
As I conclude my week-long series on the art of Blogging or How to Alienate Your Entire Audience in 5 Days, let me talk about how I was going to take my own advice until a movie changed my mind.
I had a thought a few months ago that maybe it would go better for me in blogging and publishing if I developed a new identity. This wasn’t the first time the thought had occurred to me. In my novel Where You Belong–requisite shameless plug!–the main character Frost gets a job writing a series of YA sci-fi books thanks to his old friend Frank. The only hitch is that the publisher doesn’t want Frost’s name on books about a girl and her friends on a space station high school of the future. So Frost and his phony Canadian lumberjack pal Guy come up with a new identity named Mrs. Clare MacGuffin that he uses as his pseudonym.
I was thinking I should start a new blog and do something similar. Basically do all the stuff I said in Monday’s post. Kind of go undercover like “Tootsie” or something. I figured then I could fit in a lot better than being a grumpy bulldog.
So what stopped me? A movie called “Catfish.” I didn’t write a formal review of it, though I probably made some comments on Blockbuster’s site. I did on Twitter call it the “real Facebook movie” because it’s actually about people using Facebook and not a largely fictionalized, stolen from “Citizen Kane” biopic about the site’s founder.
The movie is a documentary that I take to be true about a guy in New York who receives a painting of one of his photographs supposedly made by an 8-year-old girl. He communicates with the girl and her mother and then winds up starting a relationship with the girl’s older sister. Except soon it becomes clear that the girl is not who she claims to be so the dude and his friends go all the way to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to track her down.
Part of why I think it’s true is that the confrontation doesn’t turn into a lot of shouting like “Jerry Springer,” nor does the woman turn out to be a nut who tries to chain them up in her basement and murder them. I mean if Hollywood were doing this story that’s how it’d go, right? Instead the guy and his friends are far more understanding about this woman’s need to escape her life in the middle of nowhere with twin autistic stepsons who need a lot of care to create a fantasy that’s more exciting and fulfilling.
So after that I thought, “Well, yeah, it’s probably not a good idea to fool around with people like that.” I mean I could easily do that, but I’d probably be found out in the end and then people would be pissed.
And even writers need to be a little bit grounded in the real world. At least until a publisher pays me to fake my identity.
Monday is a Memorial Day holiday story excerpt!