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.”