Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Little White Lies

Today we have the wonderful, and always entertaining, Johanna Garth joining us. If you don't follow her blog, you should, she's brilliant and funny and my 'mom' hero, (not to mention one hell of a writer.)

Losing HopeThanks so much to Rachel for hosting me here at Writing on the Wall. Rachel noticed my newest book in the Persephone Campbell Series, Losing Hope, released during those crazy pre-Christmas days and was kind enough to invite me to her blog as a guest.


Losing Beauty

My publisher is offering free downloads of Losing Beauty today on Amazon so if this blog post sparks your interest you can make a quick detour and download the first book in the series today for free.


Over the weekend a conversation with a friend sparked the perfect Losing Hope meets blog post kind of topic.


We were talking about her new gym. "The instructor of this class I'm taking makes us lie down on exercise balls. Then we have to spell out our names with the ball while balancing on top of it."


"You're lucky your name's only six letters," I said.


"That's the thing! When he asked me what my name was I said it was Ann without the E. It was a 50% reduction in stomach ball spelling time. I lied so automatically it was like a protective instinct, but now he calls me Ann."


Everyone knows there is a time and place for little white lies. The two-sizes too big sweater with the odd purpley-pink Christmas tree your great-aunt picked out JUST for you. You love it!! Of course you do.


The trick with white lies is knowing where to draw the line.


Is it okay to lie to your fitness instructor? What about to those chatty sales assistants who want to write your name on the dressing room door while you try on clothes? When is it a white lie as opposed to a no-holds-barred lie?


Moral line-drawing fascinates me. The characters in the Persephone Campbell series spend a lot of time crossing back and forth between the lines we draw to delineate acceptable moral behavior.They lie, manipulate and scheme. Sometimes there are consequences for their actions. And sometimes, like life, they get away with murder. Literally.


Persephone, the main character in the series, has spent two books searching, not just for her history and her place in the world, but for a way to negotiate the moral ambiguity regularly presented by the other characters in the book. Her world is a place where evildoers have redeeming characteristics and, even the people she trusts most, are capable of crossing into shady moral territory.


By the way, if you're searching for me in the dressing room, you'll find me behind the door marked Desdemona or Sabrina or, from time-to-time, even Agnes.


What lines do you cross and how do you know when you've gone too far?


  1. I will be behind the door marked 'Mrs. Cratchitt', lol!!!

  2. I will use tact but try not to lie just because. Like all people, I fail at that sometimes as well. Especially with salespeople on the phone. "Sorry, can't talk, the couch is on fire."

  3. It was absolutely okay, given your name, to use a form of it with your instructor, lol!

    I have used them on occasion. Since I always have a list of things that HAVE to be done, I don't feel bad when I say I'll have to pass, I have too much to do today.

  4. Great post! Even though I do my best to avoid even small lies, I think it's hard to tell when you've done too far with those, since they can be so easy to tell without even thinking...

  5. Hi Rachel, thanks so much for having me here today:)

    Connie, I'll look for that name in the dressing room!

    Alex, I think I'm going to try that excuse with the phone salespeople.

    Sia, Glad you agree :)

    Thanks Heather. You got my point exactly. It's hard to know where to draw the line!

  6. Great post. I had a friend in college named Charis (car-is), but she had a standing rule, if someone couldn't hear her name on the third attempt at a party she'd lie and say it was Amy.

    And yeah, I'm totally Xena when I'm trying on clothes.

  7. I'm definitely getting my free down load! And I try really hard not to lie...because I have kids and they ALWAYS out me! "Mom wasn't sick, she was watching House Hunters." Never fails!

  8. Sometimes I don't realize I've crossed them until I'm on the other side.

  9. Congrats Johanna on your new book release! I'm off to download on Amazon.

    I try not to lie, period. To me, even the little white ones can lead down a slippery slope. I view them as starter lies...LOL And don't get me started on how much I hate lies of omission. Oy!

  10. love your dressing room "stage" names!
    and the best characters are the bad ons with redeeming qualities =)

  11. I'd be okay with my short name!

    If I have to remember what I lied, then it was probably too far.

  12. Well, Agnes, I think the fuzziness of the lines is what makes life interesting. I have a friend who says any lie is okay as long as no one is directly hurt by it. Once I asked him if he's ever lied to me, and he said yes. Now...don't you think THAT would've been the perfect time for him to lie?

    Thanks for hosting this lovely lady, Rachel.

  13. Sounds like we have quite a few very honest people here! (Unless they're lying.) ;)
    I told Johanna I use my maiden name for things all the time because it's shorter. At photo kiosks, where you have to type the whole thing in, I always do. Although now the photo girl at Target is from my home town and knew me when I was young and I worry she thinks I'm unmarried with four kids!

  14. Great post!
    I lie about my age and my name, lol.
    Remember I am Ella Lyons! ;D

  15. I got my copy from Amazon :D

    My name is Samantha, but I would probably insist that legally my name was SAM.

    I think having our characters lie is an interesting way to create conflict for them. After all, one lie can lead to another.

    Great post!

  16. Wonderful post :) Great perspective too! I can't wait to make up a new name on a dressing room door now :)

  17. I try not to lie...but there are times I definitely don't say everything I'm thinking. :)

  18. Congrats, Johanna, on your new release.

  19. Speaking as a former salesgirl, the sales associates won't mind if you give them a different name; I like unique and interesting names. And also, the reason they ask you for your name is so that way they can "personalize" the sale; the idea is to get into a conversation with you about the clothes or make you feel like they're your friend helping you pick out the clothes rather than a salesperson trying to get you to buy stuff. (Did I mention that salespeople tell white lies too? Nothing major, just stuff like, "Yes, the store credit card really IS a great deal!")
    And congratulations on your new book! I downloaded it to my PC, because I don't have a Kindle. I just have to figure out how I can access it on my PC.

  20. The more I read about your books, the more awesome they sound. Seriously. Moral ambiguity is such an interesting subject. And it's totally okay to lie to your fitness instructor to get out of torturous yoga-balling, IMO.

  21. This is such a great post! I really like reading about your books.

  22. Lying is an important part of my life.
    Sincerely George, Washington

  23. Wow, sounds like an interesting series! I'll for sure check it out! And about the lying thing, of course I've lied, we all do, but I feel rotten afterward,so I try hard not to. And when it comes down to it, a lie is a lie, no matter how big or small. One thing I don't feel guilty about, is creating lying characters. It provides an element of surprise for the readers to have them thinking one thing, but later, learning it was all a lie. :)

  24. Sounds interesting.

    It's true what you said about white lies. Some come out before we can stop them, others we really have to think about before we decide to lie. :-)