Slice of Life 2021 Day 3: Story Has Her Say

Today marks the third day of March, the third day of the Slice of Life blogging challenge. I’ve committed to write each and every day during the month of March and – who knows? – maybe even longer. Join me! This entry was inspired by the conversation I had with my students this week after sharing a snippet of fiction I wrote. That writing is linked at the bottom as Part 1 of this series.

“You know they called you mean, right?”

Story stopped scrolling through her Instagram long enough to look up. “What?”

“My students. They read about you and me in the coffee shop, and they thought you were being mean to me.” Lainie shrugged her shoulders. “I can’t help what they say about you.”

Story rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on. You can’t help what they think of me? You don’t really believe that, do you?”

“It’s true,” an indignant Lainie huffed. “I say it all the time. ‘You can always write what you want, but you can’t control what happens with your work once you release it out into the world.’ “

“Yeah, yeah,” her companion snapped. “All of that trusting in art and all that blah blah.” She paused a beat. “But aren’t you ALSO the one who says that ‘as authors, we have the power to do anything we want as long as we make it readable and believable?’

“So what’s your point, Story?”

You know the point.”

“Of course I do. I’m the author. I know EVERYTHING about my story.” Lainie added triumphantly, “I say THAT to my kids, too.”

“Then give the whole story. I bet you didn’t even let them read the second and third installments of our conversations, did you? I look much better in those. Instead I just end up looking like the bad guy.”

“I’m perfectly fine with that,” Lainie replied.

“Well, I’m not. And you can tell those kids I’m not mean. I’m honest. I’m the friend who tells you what you need to hear. If I’m rough around the edges, well, that’s just how you see me. So if you don’t start taking all the advice you keep doling out about this ‘power of a writer’ nonsense, I’m going straight to your students and telling on you.”

A silence settled between them. The barks of a neighborhood dog and the rumble of a passing truck outside filled the space. Lainie couldn’t speak. She had too much stuck in her craw. She’s got me again, Lainie thought. How does she always know how to get me?

“I suppose,” Lainie begrudged, “that I could tell the kids that sometimes I get stuck.”

“And?” Story asked expectantly.

“And that sometimes I know I just need a good talking-to to get me going.”


“And maybe I should let kids read the rest of the story.”


Heavens, Lainie sighed. She’s going to make me say it, isn’t she? “And I’m grateful for the way you come to remind me that I need to be less of a scaredy-pants about pushing myself in writing.” Lainie waited for Story’s response. “Happy now?”

Story held her gaze for an extra moment before returning to her newsfeed. “Guess the kids will be the judge of that.”

Now, if YOU want the rest of the story, you’re welcome to dig in to our “conversations:”
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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22 Responses to “Slice of Life 2021 Day 3: Story Has Her Say”

  1. Tim Gels Says:

    Lainie, this saga (maybe that’s a bit much…maybe not) continues to be a joy to read, but it has to be a booger to live. I remember this from last year and it was a pleasure to go back and read through the installments. I hope you and Story continue to get along–I’m looking forward to seeing where things go.

    Just out of curiosity, do you publish your fiction?

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Tim, I don’t [yet] publish my work. Honestly, I don’t know where on earth I’d start! And…saga. Yes, I’d probably call it that. Story and I, we go WAY back. And something tells me we’ll be with one another for a LONG way to come =)

  2. arjeha Says:

    Truthfully, I had forgotten about Story until I started reading this. Story always seems to have good advice and speak the words that need to be said but not necessarily want to be heard. Glad she is back offering words of wisdom.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks so much! I’m glad she’s back too. Something tells me she hasn’t ever left, but I have a hard time letting her get a word in edgewise.

  3. VanessaVaile Says:

    Reminds me of a fave student eval (developmental writing): “She tells you what you need to hear whether or not you want to hear it.”

  4. britt Says:

    YOU are an amazing writer! I want to be brave enough to play with dialogue one day 🙂

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Ohhhh but you ARE brave! You are brave enough NOW! Your brain knows it, but perhaps your heart hasn’t been convinced…

  5. Christine Williams Says:

    You are an amazing writer and I am so proud of you! I’m truly enjoying reading your stories.
    Christine Williams

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Wow, thanks! That is incredibly high praise coming from you. You’ve made my day. Guess we never outgrow the desire to have our teachers say good things. =))

  6. Fran Haley Says:

    Yea! Story is back! The exchange is just as crisp and witty and perfectly novel-esque as the others. I love how you grapple with your underlying insecurities in this lively way, thereby acknowledging and sharing them. I for one NEVER underestimate the power of Story, who is, let’s face it, really in control!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Wow! I didn’t realize until I read today’s comments that Story had such a following! It’s pretty validating as a writer to see. =)

  7. onathought Says:

    Love this! I need to dig in to learn more about Story!

  8. Vickie Says:

    Lainie. You are so talented. The dialogue is intense. I love writing and love playing with dialogue but I always tend to lose it along the lines. You maintained it all the way through.. boy,, did Story have some words for you. BTW, Welcome back Story.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Wow, Vickie. Thanks! As for the dialogue, I like that Story lets me say things out loud that I, as a “nice person,” would NEVER say. It’s…dare I say…fun…?

  9. Slice of Life 2021 Day 4: Kid Wisdom | Soapbox: The Way I see Things Says:

    […] Just another weblog « Slice of Life 2021 Day 3: Story Has Her Say […]

  10. livinglife816287820 Says:

    So enjoyed getting to know you and story, what a fun way to write!

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thanks! It IS fun. In many ways, it’s helped me get past my resistance to writing in this genre.

  11. Slice of Life Tuesday: Story’s Sneak Attack | Soapbox: The Way I see Things Says:

    […] Part 4 […]

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