Beg, Borrow, or Steal

What is not up for dibs for a writer?


The conversations, the witty remark, the anecdote.


The errant animal who roamed not your village.


The marbles you did not collect.


The talking-to you should have given.


How much is artistic license and how much is misrepresentation?


Anything marked as fiction can be deemed coincidental.


There is also the power of taking something pedestrian and elevating it,

making the commonplace extraordinary, making what should have been become alive.


If it’s all for the sake of art, anything goes.

Isn’t that what Cole Porter would say?


Image from Mary DeMuth

Image from Mary DeMuth




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  1. I often think about this as well…How much from my life, mostly the people in it, can I use in my blog? I recently started online dating and man, there’s so much material there I’d love to use. But at what point do you cross the line and encroach on someone else’s privacy? Tough call!


    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  June 10, 2013

      Yeah, as far as the blog, I’ve had to cull, pick and choose, weigh what the fall-out would be or go anonymous with names. It’s such a bummer sometimes because, like you said, real life gives us some great material! If a date goes south, by all means, use it!



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