It would be remiss of me to say “welcome to my new author website” without explaining the name of my blog. “So what about the name?” I can already hear you saying, “What kind of an author names her blog ’Struth?”
Truth? Sleuth? Is that what she really meant to call it? She writes professionally, and she can’t spell?
You wouldn’t be the first to demand a writer get herself an editor, pronto.
Fair enough. But keep in mind I’m also an editor, which means I’m expected to be a half-decent speller.
At heart, though, I’m a writer. I like twists and turns. I adore suspense. So, before I cut to the chase, here’s the backstory.
The first time I heard the word, ‘struth, I knew I was listening to a foreign language.
I was 19. I’d just arrived in Sydney, Australia. My flip-flops clicked and clacked along burning concrete as I hustled to keep up with my Canadian friends on a boardwalk beside a beach. I gripped the straps of my pale-blue backpack as it bounced high over my shoulders. My mind soared higher still: here I was, dodging winter in Vancouver for what would become a twelve-month, parent-free adventure Downunder.
As we walked toward the local pub, we passed two good-looking guys on the beach draping their arms over their surfboards.
“…that’s why I told this sheila: ’yer bloke’s a yobbo’….” one said to the other in an Aussie-sounding twang.
“‘Fair dinkum, mate,” his friend replied, nodding sagely back. “’Struth.”
I would end up working in and travelling across this parched-but-picturesque continent long enough to start sounding a little like the two guys on the beach, complete with the wacky vocabulary. My grandparents, who’d been to Australia several times, had warned me in advance about words like fair dinkum. I knew it expressed surprise.
But ’struth—which sounded more like “strooth”—seemed too close to home, almost like a toddler tripping over the word “tooth.”
Turns out, according to the online Urban Dictionary definition of ‘struth, my instincts weren’t far off. ’Struth, a term borrowed from the Brits, is short for “God’s truth,” and is used to express disbelief.
“Shut the front door,” might be the equivalent in Canadian-speak.
“No freakin’ way,” I usually tell one of my sons when they claim they’ve stayed in their room all night doing homework.
But it was the alternative definition of ’struth that caught my eye: “a mix of story and truth.”
Just that: ‘Struth stood for two seemingly opposite words—story and truth—jumbled up in the same pot together.
At 19, I thought story and truth were two different things. Our textbooks, my history teacher had told us, contained the truth. Stories were the sugar-coated lullabies I sang to my mother during long-distance phone calls to cover up what a good time I was having away from home.
But now that I’m all grown up and working on a memoir, ’struth seems to make more sense: Let me tell you a story, dear reader, about the truth of my childhood.
Please forgive my occasional lapses in memory. I will do my best to fill in the gaps.
As a memoirist, I’m still figuring it out as I go. Telling stories from the heart is the closest way to get to my truth, to the stuff that resonates beneath the pretense, to the essence of what happened—and why.
As a writer, I’ve come to learn that calling something “fiction” can also be a lie. That so much of what we make up can only come from lived experience.
And so, I’ve settled on this: I write stories made of truth—for now, that’s the reason for the funny name of my blog, and I’m sticking to it.
Welcome to my new author website.
Feel free to subscribe to my blog and to share your comments and feedback about it, or anything else you see on this site. I would love that.
THAT’S what that means? I use it all the time, must have picked it up on Australia as well, and just forgot. I thought it was short for “It’s the truth”…Love the name of the website, and learned something in the process…
God’s truth! I remember many British friends saying “‘Struth!” after the telling of an extraordinary story or recollection. What better expression could encompass the memories of a lifetime? Or sound so heartfelt? How better to define a most candid recounting of a life! Simply straightforward, and straightforwardly simple.