Camille Minichino, here again! How gracious of the LadyKillers to welcome me back. I tried to time my reappearance so I'd be able to attend the LadyKillers breakfast at Left Coast Crime. It worked!
If I remember correctly, each LK is free to interpret the Topic of the Week. So, here I go on "Family Tales Fictionalized."
First possibility: using family lore in my fiction. Too easy. The answer is yes, just about everything I write comes from my lore-filled family.
Second possibility: family tales that were fiction. Like when my depressed mother claimed the reason her life was so hard was that she was born on Friday the 13th. Fact: Her birth day, April 13, 1909 was a Tuesday. Something else was responsible for her bad karma.
Third and favorite possibility: family myths and rules of conduct. A few that stand out:
1. If you see the same string of 3 or 4 numbers within a couple of days, call the bookie. Or Uncle Sal, who has 24/7 access to the bookie.
2. If you're full from a large ravioli dinner, eat more salad; it will help you digest.
3. My father's advice on how to ID a guy who's full of himself: If you say, "I have a bottle," he'll say, "I have a case."
4. Never ask a guest, "Would you like a cup of coffee?" or "Can I get you something to eat?" You assume the guest is thirsty/hungry and serve him. In fact, when you hear the knock on the door, you go to the stove first, put on the kettle, then answer the door.
But none are as important as:
5. Leave the gun; take the cannoli.
6. From all my aunts and uncles: Yes, your grandfather was arrested for making moonshine, but he was framed!
No wonder I had trouble distinguishing fact from fiction. But does it matter?