So I exaggerate a little – am I wrong to jazz up my stories? By Andrea Askowitz

This story by our teacher was just published in

Before 8 November 2016, I thought it was okay to stretch the truth in storytelling, especially if you were trying to be funny. Now, I’m not sure.

TrueStory was my handle. I don’t remember Victoria’s handle; what I remember is her picture. She’s wearing drag-queen quantities of makeup: gold swathes across her eyelids, blush from cheekbone to temple, and fuck-me red lipstick. She’s leaning forward, her white, fitted shirt is unbuttoned way down, and she’s squeezing her boobs together with her arms to exaggerate her cleavage. She looks like a hoochie mama.

When I tell people about the pictures, and I love to tell people, Victoria says the pictures aren’t like that. She says I’m exaggerating. But that’s the way I saw them.

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For more on this theme, listen to Episode 27: When Is It Okay to Bullshit?



Andrea Askowitz is an author, storyteller and performer. She is the creator of Lip Service, a literary event in Miami, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon and on NPR, among others. She is co-producer of the podcast, Writing Class Radio, and is the author of My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy (2008). She lives in Miami, Florida.

allison langer

Allison Langer, MBA, travelled the States taking pictures, later worked for a ski photographer, then took pictures of her friends and their babies. This was the start of a 20-year photography business. She also taught high school photography and entrepreneurship. As her students wrote their business plans, she wrote hers to create a podcast about her writing class, which is now Writing Class Radio.