#SOL20 Day 3: Story Stand-Off

Day 3 of the Slice of Life story challenge. Here goes:

“Go ahead. You can do it,” she urged.

Lainie drew a breath, huffed it out and rubbed her face with her hands. “But I don’t actually want to,” she whined. “Can’t I just…you know…write some poetry or personal narrative? I’m sure it will turn out much better for all involved.”

Her friend pursed her lips, then caught herself before snapping back. She paused a beat, then asked, “What’s that you always say to your students? That you DON’T have to like everything you write?”  

“Oh, THAT’S unfair. Throwing my own words back at me. Niiiiice.” Lainie scooted her chair back, closed the laptop and jammed it into her bag. “I don’t have time for this.”

“Hey! Aren’t you the one who’s all, like, ‘Be brave!’ and ‘Push your thinking’ and all of that nonsense? Where does that go for you?” cried the friend.

“I said it worked for writers, but that doesn’t mean I want to do it,” Lainie retorted. “Quite frankly, I’m just not comfortable writing narrative fiction. It’s kind of like sardines. I’ve tried it enough times to know that I don’t like it. And I’m the grown-up. I should be able to like what I like and be okay with it.” Lainie slung her bag over her shoulder and turned to the door.

“Hold up, hold up,” the friend cajoled. “Yes, you are most assuredly a grown-up. And yes, you are most welcome to have your own opinions. But I’m not the one who has to face your students and tell them you were a scaredy-pants.”

A silence, thick like resentment, settled in the space between them.

Lainie dropped her bag and eyed her companion. “Say that again.”

Her friend, undaunted, met her glare. “I. Said. You were a SCAREDY-PANTS.”

Rolling her eyes, Lainie said, “I thought that’s what you said. You can’t make me write narrative fiction. Nobody can. Nobody will. It’s nothing to do with scaredy pants or shirts or scaredy anything. So there. I’m not writing narrative fiction.”

Story shrugged and sighed. “Suit yourself.” She made her way out the door, but not before delivering a final smirk over her shoulder.

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20 Responses to “#SOL20 Day 3: Story Stand-Off”

  1. dearobb Says:

    Clever. I think your students would enjoy writing a narrative between story and themselves! Happy slicing!

  2. Sonia Jaffe Robbins Says:

    I love it! It’s a very clever way of writing a slice when you don’t think you have anything to write about, and it really works. I’m looking forward to more adventures of Lainie vs. Story.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks! Actually, here’s the weird thing. I seldom have a shortage of things to write about. The real trouble (to me) with narrative fiction is that I have a vision in my head for how I want it to look and sound, and I just can’t get it there on the page.

      It’s kind of like the idea that I can picture what a person looks like, but I can’t draw one.

      Which is why having more practice is *probably* good for me!

      Thanks for your kind words. =)

  3. dianeandlynne Says:

    It’s hard when our words come back to haunt us, isn’t it?
    I’m waiting for story to come out on top though.

  4. mindyr6572 Says:

    Very clever writing! Love it!

  5. Fran Haley Says:

    This gives a whole new depth to talking to yourself 🙂 Well-done, entertaining, SUCCESSFUL narrative fiction – in spite of yourself. Literally!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! It was another one of those that I didn’t quite see coming. I kind of like that about writing. Yes, I have a plan – but sometimes all bets are off. =)

  6. mschiubookawrites Says:

    Very entertaining. Love how the story left with a smirk!

  7. Morgan Says:

    Yes! Writing helps us find our stories. I have to remind myself of this, too. This is such a playful way to capture something we can all relate to. And the tie in with your students and the way you give yourself advise through your unapologetic “friend” is crafted so well as to make me feel like I am watching this happen. Well done!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! Your encouragement means the world – especially because I struggle to make imagery clear in narration.

  8. Maureen Ingram Says:

    Love this! And I can totally relate. Narrative fiction – terrifying! And yet, you just throw yourself in, Story appears. So fun!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Yes, and my students astound me regularly with their fearlessness about writing. I could definitely take a lesson from them.

  9. #SOL20 Day 22: Story's Return | Soapbox: The Way I see Things Says:

    […] (continuation from SOL day 3) […]

  10. #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 […]

  11. Slice of Life 2021 Day 1: Looking | Soapbox: The Way I see Things Says:

    […] we dipped our toes into the waters. We used a piece of writing I did last year during the Slice of Life challenge as a mentor text for how we might talk about one another’s […]

  12. Slice of Life 2021 Day 3: Story Has Her Say | Soapbox: The Way I see Things Says:

    […] YOU want the rest of the story, you’re welcome to dig in to our “conversations:”Part 1Part 2Part […]

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