There was the time I told my two year old about Hitler and he decided not to be Jewish. There was that other time I told my friend that her outfit wasn’t flattering and had six months of misery trying to sort that out. I wrote about my semi step father’s toe nails and almost alienated him. Whoops I might have done it again. I talk about money and sex. I told a friend about her boyfriend cheating and almost wiped out a 5 year relationship. The list goes on.
There is one subject that shows that I have a filter. I have not written about my husband’s family.
I am also not writing about them today.
When I read books on writing they all recommend pretending your family doesn’t read your work. I always interpreted that as allowing sex and drugs and bad language to fill your page if it wants to. Many people from my daily life and show up in my writing. Sometimes they are disguised, sometimes they gleam with the unique characteristics that make them easily identifiable. It is the hazard of befriending a writer.
Steve’s family didn’t choose me. They didn’t choose to be revealed through my eyes, in my words. It is difficult to keep them off the page. I have done it for 12 years and I will do it for 12 more. Sometimes the window is open to observe all that goes on in another person’s life. And sometimes the window is shuttered and covered with vines. I’m not sure I have the tools to open it up and shed light into that room.
What about you fellow writers? Is there anything that is TOTALLY off limits? What do you think of my small slice of filter?