When Fact Meets Fiction

Once in a while when I’m writing a book or shortly after, something in real life happens that makes me wonder if the creation of that book wasn’t somehow predestined. As if when I was writing I was receiving some sort of message from the universe about what was soon to occur. Now, I don’t claim to be psychic. But I do believe there are energies at play around us that we don’t understand. Sometimes these lead to the cases where fact meets fiction.

In a previous post I talked about how I saw a piece of information online that led me to a major plot development in my story “Cowboys Don’t Cry” in the Cowboy Up anthology. But that information came to me in the form of a single Facebook post that came and went without mention. It never went viral, and soon retired to obscurity as most posts do. I was changed, however. My story was changed. It was inspired.

Now here we are a month later and a new yet similar story has surface. And it has gone viral. It has taken hold of people and made them think “What would I do?”

In my earlier post I hesitated to give away the exact nature of this inspiration (and the subsequent reality) but I’m going to do so now. So if you haven’t read the story and don’t want spoilers…read no further.

In a heart-tugging twist in my story, the characters have to deal with an imminent death. A terminal prognosis. And the choice whether to suffer through to a natural end or take destiny in their own hands. This week a young woman facing that choice in real life has stolen all our hearts.

sunset heart

Her name is Brittany Maynard, and she is dying. Just as in my story, she has moved to Oregon, one of only 4 states in the US to have legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. She has vowed to take her own life on November 1, with the help of legal medication prescribed specifically for that purpose. Until then, she wants her story told and is fighting for the same right to die with dignity for all Americans.

Critics have spoken out (most of them with kind, loving–if adversarial–words, thankfully) against her right to chose. They believe her physician has abandoned the Hippocratic Oath and that choosing her moment of death belongs to God, not her. They claim there is a beauty in natural death that overshadows any pain or suffering she could experience.

Match-made-in-heaven

I’m not taking sides in the debate. I honestly don’t know what I would do in her position. I tried to explore the issue in “Cowboys Don’t Cry,” and though the characters in that story came to a decision, I don’t know whether I would make the same choice. Do any of us who aren’t in that position really know? Really know?

The only thing I do know is that it makes me look at that story in an even deeper way, and wonder what energy was floating around me that brought that issue my attention at this particular time.

The only thing I do know is that on November 1, Ms. Maynard will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Peace, love, and light, honey.

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5 Responses to “When Fact Meets Fiction”


  1. 1 melissakeir October 11, 2014 at 12:29 am

    It is an interesting thought. Michigan used to have Dr. Jack Kevorkian who would help people with ending their lives. I liked that thought that when the pain from an illness or the problems from a disease took my dignity away, I would like to have that choice.

    • 2 vickietaylor October 11, 2014 at 1:07 am

      As I recall, Melissa, Kervorkian was vilified and didn’t he eventually lose his license or get charged or something? The details are fuzzy. Attitudes do seem to be shifting, but it is certainly still not well accepted. Some object for religious reasons. Some object because they see it as a slippery slope toward death boards by insurance companies. I just don’t know.

  2. 3 mysticfool October 26, 2014 at 5:16 am

    I just read your short story in the collection and followed your link here. I am twice widowed, and when I read the story I thought about my husband Mani, who had a slow and uneven path to passage. He was not the sort of man who would have made a decision like that, though he was cachexic and in a lot of pain toward the end. But I know he would have fought hard for other people to be able to make that decision for themselves if they wanted it. It’s debatable that the last day of his life, in a VA Intensive Care, wasn’t a little like euthanasia, as they kept him sedated with pain medication and he slipped away as a priest and I said a rosary over him. Losing him wasn’t the end of my story, because I found love again, and unexpectedly lost my fiance to a heart attack in September. Love is always the best choice, and loss is always loss. It was brave of you to tackle an uncomfortable and unusual subject in a love story with a hero who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. I have to admit, had I known that was the subject matter I might not have picked it up, but I’m glad it snuck up on me and I read it, because you handled it sensitively and in such a way that they had their happy ending.

    • 4 vickietaylor October 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Wow, I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through such tough losses in your life. You must be a very strong person to have taken on so much. I was very nervous about the release of “Cowboys Don’t Cry,” as I wasn’t sure how it would be received because it is a heavy subject. But so far, the response has been wonderful. Thank you so much for picking it up and for sticking with it. I wish you all the best–health, healing, and light–in your life.


  1. 1 The House that Made Me…Wasn’t a House | Vickietaylor's Blog Trackback on November 7, 2014 at 10:03 pm

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