Fiction vs Reality – Same,same but different

Same, same but different. I heard that a lot when I traveled in Asia.

I’ll give you a for instance:

I’d climb into the rickshaw in Danang and tell the driver, a former ARVEN who insisted I call him Doc, that I waned to go to a cozy restaurant I read about in The Lonely Planet where they promised the cities best river prawns. The Orchid was the name of the place. Doc pedaled us through busy streets and tight alleys until we stopped in front of his mother’s house. Where twenty-eight people lived, sixteen of whom were under the age of six.

“You eat here,” Doc said, “Same, same, but different.”

You see how that works?

Fiction writers are very closely related to Vietnam’s rickshaw drivers. We see the world through lenses a bit more fluid than others.

I’ll show you what I mean.

Here’s a picture of a one-time bar in Eureka. The Vista Delmar was the official name of the place. But since it was on the waterfront and frequented by fishermen and bikers and other glorious characters known to love a good time, it was known locally as VDs.

Here’s what that bar became in the novel, Bigfoot Blues:

This ratty bar with frame 352 of the Patterson tape centered over the sparkling bottles of booze, the deer, elk and bison heads hanging from the walls like visiting relatives, the mismatched metal chairs upholstered in gold glitter Naugahyde, the smell of beer and honest sweat—this is home.

And I added an upstairs bedroom.

The wind is battering the west-facing windows when I lock up and climb the steep stairs to my loft. Rain beats a familiar song on the metal roof above my head while I change into my sweats and pull the old cigar box from the top shelf of the closet. Sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed, I smile, for about the thousandth time, at Dad’s extravagance in putting over-sized windows on all three outside walls of this tiny room. As on so many other nights, the rain builds me a sanctuary of silvery light as it finds its way down the grooves of the roof and free-falls into the rich black dirt below.


Same, same, but different.                                










About Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

Pamela Foster is a speaker and author. Her first book, Redneck Goddess, is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Her second book, Bigfoot Blues, will be available in August 2012.
This entry was posted in About Writing, Bigfoot, Bigfoot Blues, the book, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fiction vs Reality – Same,same but different

  1. Greg Camp says:

    That’s VD’s? The bar that I’ve come to know and love? Nooooo! That may be the place that gave you an idea, but that isn’t VD’s. You have made VD’s your own. Or, well, actually, you’ve put a picture in my head, and that dilapidated red thing ain’t it. See, the bar really looks like a redneck version of a hunting lodge–wood panelling and timber framing. The dominant colors are earth tones.

    No, no, no, you must delete that red and blue thing right now!

    Or don’t mind me. You’re getting the same response that a movie-goer gives to an adaptation of a favorite book. Your point and what I’m trying to say is that you’ve made a world of your own, and it’s alive.

  2. keliwright says:

    My response was similar to Greg’s–that’s VD’s? No, way! You were definitely using a fluid lens with this one. Love the post, btw, and love the concept of “same, same, but different.”

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