(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.
“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.