I have a wide variety of people in my life. These people are often very interesting, and because my interactions with them sometimes influence my thought patterns as a writer and a person, it is not uncommon for me to mention people that I know or conversations that I have on this blog. One of the primary themes of my life over the last decade has been the importance of community, and I see bringing the folks that I know in real life into my writing as a simple extension of that same concept. Besides, if I get a good idea or am spurred to thinking in one way because of my conversation with someone else, it hardly feels right not to mention them (and that doesn't mean they are the only person that has given me that idea, either, it just means they are the one I happen to be thinking about at the time when I'm writing.)
For privacy reasons I don't use last names (with a possible exception made for those no longer living, or if they are a fellow blogger or person who does not care about internet anonymity) but be assured, if I mention a name on this blog, it is a real person. I always make my best effort at quoting them accurately as well, if not exactly word-for-word, then certainly as close as I can.
There are times that I may mention a person but will either use a fake name or will use no name at all. This is because either I don't know if they would want me to reveal their identity, if using a name would be distracting to my overall point, or if the conversation/interaction/opinion would put the person in an unflattering light.
As a reader, I naturally give greater credence to factual accounts than I do to fiction. Because of that, if I'm reading something and I think it's real and at the end I find out it was (partially or entirely) fictionalized, I feel cheated. I share this because maybe you're like me, so if you are, now you know how to internalize what you read on my blog.
And if I know you "in real life", you may show up here. But don't worry. That just means I think you're interesting.