Another creation, the first half of the word coming from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. In his book there is an imagined religion called Bokononism which is built entirely upon comforting lies called foma. In his collection of essays and observations entitled Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons Vonnegut defined them as “harmless untruths, intended to comfort simple souls. An example: ‘Prosperity is just around the corner. ‘”
That Vonnegut would refer to his own non-fiction in this way underscores, to me, the truth beneath the lie much the same way that a stereotype has some basis in fact. Like all great satirists he’s saying “These little things I write aren’t really serious” but the subtext is “laugh at your own peril.”
The suffix -gram indicates something written or drawn, a record. A fomagram by my definition is a written record of harmless untruths meant to underscore or highlight something true. I am trying to write unguardedly, openly about my writing and thinking processes but I’m not beyond hiding the truth behind a bit of foma as a defense mechanism.
These are my messages to the world. Fomagrams.