#SOL20 Day 22: Story's Return

(continuation from SOL day 3)

Snow in March:
Of course, she laughed
As she gazed out over the –

“HEY! What do you think you’re doing?”

She felt her ears redden, felt all of her body weight condense and harden into a ball at the pit of her stomach, felt her face prickle.

She did not need to look up to determine the source of that voice. She raised her head but stopped short of full-on eye contact. “Oh. Hey. Story. You again.”

“Yeah. ME again.” Story pressed on. “What exactly do you think you’re doing?”

The writer sat, silent. I’ve been in trouble enough times to smell a rhetorical question when it comes my way.

“Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”

Another one. Best stay quiet and safe.

“Listen. You signed yourself up for a story challenge. A STORY challenge. I tried being gentle with you before. But what on earth do you think you’re doing messing around with the poetry and personal narrative, huh?”

Someone should probably tell Story that poetry and journal both convey narrative, not to mention craft, and that Story should know that better than anybody else. Someone other than me.

“Answer me!”

“Well…I…um…” she stuttered.

“Why haven’t you been writing fiction, as you challenged yourself to do?” Story was in full swing, hands on hips, foot tapping, head cocked to the left in just that way. “Why aren’t you keeping that promise to yourself?”

“Well, see, the thing is this,” she stammered. “It’s been a really hard month, and it’s been everything I could do to keep my head above water and take care of myself, and I’ve kind of just been proud of myself for sticking with writing at ALL, and – ”

“You know what they say about excuses, right?”

“That everyone’s got one and they all stink?”

“Hey!” Story snapped. “Who asked you to mouth off to me?”

Dang it. Another hypothetical, she thought. Got to get better at that. The writer’s eyes brimmed.

“Listen.” Story’s tone softened. “I’m just saying you owe it to yourself to try a little more fiction. To keep that promise to yourself. To stretch yourself a little. You do deserve that, don’t you?”

The writer sighed, then nodded. Like a popsicle, she knew when she’d been licked.

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16 Responses to “#SOL20 Day 22: Story's Return”

  1. Emily Culbertson Says:

    Fun! I think Story needs to chill and maybe try a more forgiving tactic, but that’s me. You do what you want with your characters! Ha! Thanks for sharing this Story with us today.

  2. MegMcCormick Says:

    Wow!!! I am in awe of this slice! You definitely know how to hook a reader and keep them hooked with the use of dialogue and monologue. I love how you personified Story. This is a brilliant piece! Thank you for sharing and making me smile.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Well thank you! Story and I have been duking it out for a LONG time. Figured I may as well make hay with it!

  3. JudyK /J Koval Says:

    The previous commenter hit the nail on the head with everything! I love how you wrote this story, and I enjoyed it immensely! Thank you. 🙂 ~JudyK

  4. arjeha Says:

    sounds like Story is a hard task master. But at the end I can see that story is just looking out for the writer with a little soft pep talk. Great format.

  5. Anna Maria Says:

    I read Story’s dialogue in my teacher voice. You know that voice when you’re daring your student to lie. This was fun Slice to read.

  6. Morgan Says:

    I have enjoyed your slices from story. This time, story’s voice came through loud and clear, a constant friend who is not afraid to tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. Great job having the insight to write from that point of view.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! I’d imagine her as the friend asking me whether or not I’m “going out in THAT…”

  7. Fran Haley Says:

    As I was, reading, Story tapped me on the shoulder and said: “You get this. You tell her – get on with it and write a book.”

    After the exchange in your Slice, I’m terrified not to obey, so … Lainie, write a book. Or books, plural.

    You’re too talented not to. ❤

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Well, thank you Fran! That means the world to me.

      And you are not the first person to tell me I should be publishing – one of these days I will take all of these signs from the universe and do something with them =)

  8. #SOL20 Day 31: A Conversation with Story, Resolved | Soapbox: The Way I see Things Says:

    […] thought that this piece, a continuation of my first and my second “conversations” with Story, might be a good place to bring some closure to this […]

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