By Claudia Ricci
So after that wild post yesterday, where I said that this blog, normally known as My Story Lives, had for a short period in the morning turned into a Ouija board where I was communicating with my characters, Antonie and Renata, from somewhere out in the great beyond, there were lots of visitors to the site.
My sister Holly, who has followed the Castenata and Sister Mysteries stories closely over the years, finally got to reading the post just before midnight.
She wrote me this email:
"Is this part of the story???
Seriously??? How do I know this isn't part of the novel????
Can't wait to read more...!!!!!!!
That's when it hit me, it's a bit confusing to sort out what parts of this writing project are "fiction" and "novel" and what parts of the project are "reportorial" and "true."
Given my past history blurring the two, and given my penchant for lying, creating fake letters to Random House, for example, I am not surprised that Sister Holly would write what she did.
I am not exactly what we in the world of journalism would call "a reliable source." Nor am I exactly what we in the fiction-writing business call a reliable narrator. Readers may still be wary; My credibility is still up in the air. Or on the line.
Well, so, I wrote back this short response to Holly: "This is absolutely all the truth. this is what happened. I am not making anything up anymore." In the last week, I have made a clear switch. I have also suspended, at least for now, writing my other on-line novel, called SWITCH!!
I am declaring once and for all that Sister Mysteries is absolutely a true story. Castenata -- the story of the nun, Sister Renata, who is accused of murdering her cousin Antonie -- remains fiction (at least as far as I know, neither character is "real," no matter how "real" the stories feel, no matter how convincing those lies that Antonie tells about Renata seducing him feel. THEY ARE FAKES!)
To summarize, because I realize that it's a little complicated, this book-writing-on-blogs: Castenata is "pure" fiction. Made up out of my imagination.
But the other (related) book, the one that I am calling Sister Mysteries, that one is totally true. Just to show you how serious I am about telling the truth in that book, I will in the next few minutes delete the fake Random House letter. The book will then be completely free of any lies or intentional misrepresentations. Of course you realize that all writing is a kind of "fake," even when you make it your business to stick to the truth. Words distort reality, that's just how it is.
Anyway, despite the inherent and inevitable difficulties of casting reality in the slippery medium of words, I will do my absolute best to be 100 percent honest in Sister Mysteries. That book might be described as the story of how Castenata came to be, and how it has changed me and is continuing to change me, from fiction writer to reporter, from skeptic to believer. I am committed more than ever to report the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so
God, maybe you will even end up believing what I say? And reading? I hope so.