The Rewards of Persistence and the Benefits of Good Friends.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York | John Smith, Google Maps

“Just think. This time next year you’ll be in Iowa,” Charlie grinned. “I-o-wa,” he repeated, making it sound like a foreign country.

I hadn’t told him yet. The rejection from the Writers’ Workshop had come in the mail yesterday. I added it to my growing stack of MFA rejections. “I’ve been thinking it over. Maybe the world doesn’t need another New York City writer. Maybe I’ll just go back to the brokerage.”

“Brokerage,” he spat. “Are you crazy? You’ve got stories to tell.”

I kicked at the ground. “See, that’s the thing. Maybe all the stories have been told.”

“Nah. What’s that they say—that there are only six different plots.”

“Seven.”

“Seven, then. Only seven different plots and this world still hasn’t run out of ways of telling them.” He stepped closer, pressing a forefinger to my chest. “But there’s one way that’s missing.”

Beneath his finger, my heart beat on.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

 

30 Comments

  1. Nice one, Karen. 🙂
    You have a head state. I hit the mattress before this week’s place was posted. Draw back of being back across that pond.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading. I hope you join us this week! I have the advantage of knowing the prompts before their published… which I needed this week because the kids had activities all morning.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve written it, and scheduled it for Monday. I have a thing of not posting more than one a day. And since I’ve just added a new one that leaves only Fridays free. So don’t tempt me into another challenge or prompt. Much as I enjoy them, I do have a life. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  2. My heart skipped a beat. Expertly told..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So very kind. Glad you liked it!

      Like

  3. MFA or not, you’ll always be an expert story teller, Karen. Love this wander through rejection and the power of friendship, the knowledge that the fight’s never over till you say it is and that persistence, always persistence is the key. I should keep that next to last line as a mantra – ‘there’s on way that’s missing.’ If we don’t keep going, it’ll always be that way. Inspiring stuff Karen 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you found it inspiring. Never give up, Lynn! Without you, there’s one way that’s missing.

      I, for one, am never giving up.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. And I hope you never do! Because I’m certain with your talent, you’ll be a huge success x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aw what a lovely thing to say. That’s how I feel about you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you Karen. Whenever you need a beta … 🙂

        Like

  4. A wonderful tribute to friendship and support — and boy, writers don’t always get that from their loved ones, do they? And you’ve really tapped into an insecurity and frustration of so many writers, comparing themselves to the supposedly superior (just ask them) literary folks who get MFAs and go to those famous workshops. They’re probably pretty helpful, sure. But for those of us who can’t or won’t or otherwise don’t, we can find lots of “helpful” elsewhere, thank you very much. I’m just finishing up reading Gabriela Pereira’s “DIY MFA” and it’s good, but you know, most of what’s in there is stuff I’ve already learned or am already doing. Good thing I didn’t waste all that time and money on an MFA or some fancy-a$$ workshop. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So do you recommend DIY MFA?

      I’m a firm believer in life-long learning for sure.

      Every summer I go to the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and have made many friends who got their MFA at Iowa. I love to antagonize them by shrugging my shoulders and saying, “What do you expect, I ain’t writing no literary masterpiece.” Hehehe. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The short answer is yes, I’d recommend the book. It has definitely given me a better idea of what I was missing (and not) by not getting an MFA. The long answer will have to wait until I finish the book and review it on Goodreads.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Are you not on Goodreads? I just went looking for you and no luck. I’d definitely recommend that. See my post about it if you have the chance:

        https://talesofeneana.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/goodreads-and-reading-goals-in-two-parts/

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am! I love the accountability, although I use it mainly to keep track of my to-read list. I don’t have any friends on Goodreads…so I don’t even know how to find you. I am K. Rawson. I don’t know why you can’t find me.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hmm, I wonder if you have some privacy setting turned on? Try finding me instead. Click on the “friends” icon in the upper right, then go to the “search members” box under “find friends from” and type in my name. See if that works.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent story. Yes, Iowa is the top MFA school (they get 2000 applications a year and accept 25) but I personally have known several writers who went through that program without learning how to tell a story half as well as you do. We’re awfully hung up on credentials these days. I love the last line.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks J. Hardy! You most very kind. I believe you also know a writer who got their MFA at Iowa and went on to win the Man Booker. I guess there are all kinds…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed it does. Ellie Catton was great before she got there. Pretty sure she already had an agent, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Inspirational, just like friends are supposed to be. The beautiful thing about getting older is that you suddenly realize you know people who do the things you thought were out of reach. And you also realize that other people have good reason, to believe in you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a heartwarming comment. Very true! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Degrees are nice, and all but not a guarantee.
    Loved this story, Karen and with a friend like him in his corner, eventually something will get published!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale 😀 It’s great to see you! I hope you can find some time to join us this week (and the next, and the next, and the next 😉 )

      There are definitely no guarantees in the arts…or anything, for that matter…except maybe the guarantee of failure if one gives up. We all need a Charlie for the times when it seems pointless. Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am actually working on one “as we speak” 😉 Been overdue to play with you…

        That is a truth right there!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aww shucks…

        Like

  8. A lovely, fluently-told story of friendship and support. Charlie is a very forceful and encouraging friend, with that finger pressed against your chest! Encouragement is great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all need it now and then, I think. Thanks for reading and for your very kind comments.

      Liked by 1 person

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