#SOL20 Day 31: A Conversation with Story, Resolved

I 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 month-long writing challenge.


“Well?” She drummed her fingernails on the table.

“Well…what?” blinked Story, letting the right corner of her mouth twitch up into an almost-smile.

“Oh, come on. You know. You were the one who came in here a month ago, rocking all kinds of boats and upsetting all kinds of apple carts. You were the one who dragged me into this.” She folded her arms expectantly. “Don’t you think I deserve some kind of recognition?”

Story didn’t miss a beat. “Sure. Make yourself a cookie.”

Her face fell. “Ouch.” Then, “That’s a little harsh, don’t you think? All I’m asking for is some kind of acknowledgement that this month was hard. That it took courage and discipline to write fiction when all I really wanted to do was to stay comfortable in my journal and poetry zone. Is that too much to ask?”

“Why are you asking me? Who ever said you needed validation from me in the first place?”

She sat for a moment, looking at her hands, twiddling her thumbs, first forward…then backwards…

Story continued. “Was I the one who signed you up for writing every day?”

“No, but -“

“And was I the one who magically decided that you wanted to write more fiction?”

She cleared her throat. “I – I thought that you…”

You thought! That’s the point!” Story shook her head. “You’re sitting here insisting I’m the one who put you up to this? That I’m the one who is somehow responsible for making you take this all on?”

She banged her palm on the table “That’s exactly what I’m saying. You’re the one who keeps showing up, who keeps following me, who keeps calling me a chicken if I don’t flex my writing muscles.”

“Honey, I hope you know by now that I like you.” Story looked her in the eye. “So I’m sure you will forgive me for telling you that’s a load of bull.”

She sat, confused, though nothing would surprise her at this point. “What on earth do you mean?”

“Oh, come on,” Story said. “It’s time for you to give yourself credit already. Yeah, I drop in from time to give you grief about things, but think about this: who’s sitting in front of the computer every day? Who’s deciding what to write? It sure as heck ain’t me.”

“But – but, the guilt trips? And the teasing?”

“All you, sweetie. I’m just a voice in your head.”

She sighed, loosened her shoulders. “So…I don’t need you after all then, do I?”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s not go that far. Everybody needs me.” Story set her jaw. “And don’t you forget it.”

Published by Lainie Levin

Mom of two, full-time teacher, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and holder of a very full plate

12 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 31: A Conversation with Story, Resolved

    1. Thank you! She gives me a chance to say out loud all of the things I wish I could. But as a Very Nice Person, I just don’t. Story’s a pretty great outlet!

  1. Your Story stories ought to be sessions for would-be fiction writers, for several reasons: 1. Your fiction is alive. It lives. 2. The truths about the writer-writing relationship. It can be raw. Love-hate.
    3. Show up for the writing and the writing will show up for you, although it has a mind of its own as to what form it will take. 4. It is a question for debate, who’s in charge: The writer or the writing? and 5. EVERYONE NEEDS STORY. We’re the only species that has it, we always needed it, we always will .. keep writing your fiction. Lainie. For the few moments I am reading it, I am not here. There is no laptop, no awareness of what’s around me, no pandemic. I am in another place, another world, that’s real even if it is not. The motions, tones, all those tiny descriptive details that are always just right – “blinked Story, letting the right corner of her mouth twitch up into an almost-smile” – make your story come to life. I have loved every post, Lainie. I count them – and you – as one of the greatest joys of this challenge. Write on, kindred spirit friend. Let us keep in touch. ❤

    1. Thanks, Fran. And actually, as someone who does freelance storytelling, I couldn’t agree more. We NEED story – and in every age, it seems like we say we need it now more than ever. But we REALLY need it now.

      Thanks for all of your thoughtfulness and encouragement. You bet I’ll keep writing, and you bet I’ll keep reading your work, and you bet I’ll stay in touch! ❤

  2. What a great way to close out the month. Story is right. You made the commitment, you wrote and posted, you met the challenge. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you, and congratulations to you! I hope you’ll keep writing. It’s been great to read your work!

    1. Yes she does! And I like the idea of experimenting with a character who’s meaner than I am in real life. As a Nice Person, I find that I have a lot of thought bubbles that I choose not to make speech bubbles. Story gets to let ‘er rip!

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