Truth or Fiction in Writing: WISH countdown day #5

A lot of writers include details from their lives or use them as reference when they’re writing fiction. Haven’t you ever wondered where some ideas come from… or if some of the stuff was real? Here is a taste of some of the complex moments of WISH and the breakdown of whether or not I’m telling it like it really happened.


Indigo runs into a beautiful boy in the most embarrassing way. There were plenty of times I ran into a boy in an embarrassing way but never in this particular way. Like Indigo, I have had plenty of ridiculously clumsy encounters with boys, including the time a guy I liked turned around just in time to witness my dance partner knock my tiara off my head while simultaneously ruining my perfect hairdo. However, more often than not my clumsiness was the subtle, verbally tongue-tied variety.

Indigo fills in last minute for a performance due to another dancer’s freak injury. This did happen, much like the way it’s described in WISH. There were hours of learning the part while dodging the furniture in my friend’s living room. Sadly, unlike the book, there were no chocolate chip cookies involved. Many years later the situation was almost reversed when I became injured a couple of days before a performance. I was super upset because the performance was supposed to be my first ever professional appearance in New York and I had a solo. For several days it was touch and go and I was completely angst-ridden but I healed just in time.

Indigo intervenes when Mom lashes out in a life-threatening way. Sadly, yes, this did happen. Which is one of the biggest reasons I wrote the book. I know the difficulties of growing up in an alcoholic family firsthand: it isn’t easy and it isn’t pretty. This type of occurrence is very common and it’s easy to feel powerless when a parent is an addict or doing something dangerous. Some situations demand that we take action.

Bitchy rivalry with another dancer at the ballet studio. Luckily, this never happened, which doesn’t mean there wasn’t rivalry. It was just much more subtle and unspoken. Ballet is a competitive environment by nature because there are always so many people vying for the same thing, whether it’s a solo, a company contract, or a spot in the center of the floor. This subtle rivalry usually played out as palpable tension in the room during class or playful, snarky repartee in the dressing room. Although there once was this epic confrontation in the elevator one day…

The end-of-summer beach bbq flirtation. Indigo remembers this in flashback when she runs into the guy she was flirting with that night. This did happen… but not exactly like this. In my real-life case, this flirtation lead to more flirtations on numerous other occasions, which lead to deep and profound discussions afterwards with my friends about the meaning of the flirtations after which I was no closer to an answer, which lead to great confusion and angst, but never a date. But then again, it was junior high. Everyone’s confused.

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