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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 149 > Short Stories > Rage of the Pen

Rage of the Pen

by saneeya1000

"So what should I write about to get into the Neopian Times?" Lily pondered out loud as her family occupied themselves in miscellaneous tasks in the living room.

     "Cutesy stuff will make it, and funny stuff," her owner, Mina, replied as she knit what was supposed to be a sock, but turned out looking like a scarf.

     "A how-to-make-Neopoints-article, they're everywhere," her brother Fierem, a stout blue Elephante shouted out as he doodled on his sketchpad.

     "No make a series, with romance," her sister, Maylen the fashion-obsessed Ixi, said smiling.

     "Ick, no one wants to read that stuff," Fierem said making a face.

     "Start with something short first," Mina suggested.

     "Yeah, I suppose I should, an article would be the best way to start, no?" Lily took out her notepad.

     "I guess, by the way, what is with you suddenly trying to enter the Neopian Times?" Fierem raised his eyebrow, "Is this like the time you wanted to be a ballerina, or when you wanted to join the basketball team, or maybe when you wanted to become a famous chef?"

      Lily shot her brother an ugly smirk and pouted up to her bedroom, stupid Fierem. Sure the things he said were true, she did give up her past goals after a week, but she was serious this time. She had talent for writing, not doing twirls with her large Lenny feet, shooting hoops, or cooking foods with hard to pronounce names, she had already proven she could write. In school, Mrs. Owen always praised her in English class. She got A's on all her essays and stories; making it into the Neopian Times wasn't a far-fetched idea. After all many more people made it into the NT than become famous chefs or ballerinas. It was summer, she had much time to sit around and write stories for the NT.

***

"So what're you going to write?" Gina, Lily's friend said excitedly as they sat in the park.

     "Well I don't know quite yet, come up with any good ideas? After all you've made it in the Times before," Lily said chewing at the end of her pen.

     "For the last time Lily, I made a comic. Comics are quite different from articles and stories, and besides I drew it in ten minutes because I had so much inspiration. Now I don't really care weather I make it in again or not, I'm into writing the way you are. You're pro at writing, I'm sure you'll do fine," Gina got up and walked away leaving Lily to work out a story.

     "This is ridiculous!" Lily crossed out another idea she had scribbled, leaned back on the bench, and watched some kids playing nearby. Suddenly once kid zoomed by her on a bike and threw some trash on the ground.

     "That's it!" Lily said as she stared at the pile of garbage in front of her as if it was a pile of gold, she would write about the pollution problems!

      She flew home quickly, took out paper, and began scribbling a rough draft. Half an hour later, she was done! She made each of her siblings and her owner critique it. Maylen smiled and said stuff like "Good!" and "What's that word mean?" Fierem on the other hand said nothing, smiled and handed it back. Mina corrected some spelling mistakes, and said, "The best thing I ever read!" Lily felt happy her family liked it yet she wasn't sure if they said they liked just for the sake of her to some bugging them about it or for the sake that they were her family and didn't want to insult her. Nonetheless, she wrote a final draft, carefully put them into an envelope, smacked a stamp on, and delivered it to the post office. She smiled as she flew back home, she didn't know why she felt like she had already made it in, only a week to wait before the verdict should arrive.

***

It was a cheerful morning yet everybody in the household looked like zombies who were forced out of the graves. Lily trudged to breakfast barely able to keep her eyelids open.

     "Mail," Mina announced unceremoniously as she dumped some envelopes on the table, one that fell into Maylen's cereal.

     "Oh lovely, more bills," Mina sighed shuffling through the envelopes white pouring coffee.

     "This if for you," Maylen yawned tossing the envelope that fell into her cereal to Lily.

     "Oh my! It's from the Neopian Times!" Lily yelled excitedly as Mina spilled coffee all over the floor.

     "Oh great!" Mina yelled angrily as she knelt over the tile floor to mop up the mess.

      Lily eagerly took the letter out of the envelope and galloped to the front of the kitchen as if she was about to make a speech as if she had just discovered a way to end world hunger.

     "Dear Ms. Lily," Lily unfolded the letter and began reading aloud, "your article was read for the Neopian times and…"

     "And what?" Fierem asked excitedly.

     Lily however could barely say what the rest of the letter said, but forced it out anyway," And we regret to inform you that it will not appear in the Neopian Times. Here are some reasons that your submission might not have been accepted…"

     "Oh it's okay dear …" Mina began but Lily just exploded.

     "Look at these reasons that it wasn't accepted for! 'Not enough words', hah! My article had the perfect quantity of words. 'Something that hasn't been done before.' How many articles are there about pollution! Oh this is ridiculous!" Lily tore up the letter into as many pieces as she could, threw them on the floor and began stomping on them.

     "Um, Lily, it's alright honey. No one make it in the first time, you should just try again," Mina said assuredly.

     "Gina did!" Lily said squishing the torn letter as if it was a nasty bug. "I shall get my revenge!"

      And before anyone could say or do anything, Lily dashed upstairs, grabbed her notepad and pen, and sped out the door. She needed ideas, and fast. So she went back the park and sat on a bench waiting as if an idea just might drop down from a tree and hit her on the head. About to give up, Lily looked up and saw a Pteri singing in the tree. What a beautiful melody, Lily thought. And boom! There came the idea. She worked it all out as she flew back home. It would be a short story of an old grumpy Kougra, sort of like her neighbor who liked to complain about everything and anything. The old coot would hear the harmonious song of a Pteri one day, and realize how he was dawdling away his life, he then would become kind and generous to all, it was perfect!

***

Her family said pretty much the same stuff about "The Songbird's Song", which she named the story, that they did with the article. They all immediately noticed the resemblance between Mr. Cooger, the main character, and their neighbor. Once again Lily sent in her submission, and felt more confidant than her previous entry.

     "Mail," Mina once again dumped the envelopes on the table at breakfast, and Lily eagerly shuffled through the contents.

     "Here it is!" she held up the letter from the Neopian Times, and opened it quickly, and almost immediately after she let out a scream. Which led Mina to drop her coffee, Maylen to fall back in her chair and Fierem to yell random insults.

     "This time it's war!" Lily yelled as she threw the letter into the trashcan, "I will not admit defeat!"

      Lily decided to try a short series, having tried everything except a comic mainly cause she couldn't draw, she turned her focus to doing a more long-term submission. A Series after all meant more trophies. She quickly decided to write about a bumbling knight who would end up rescuing the beloved princess from the wraths of an evil dragon. And so she wrote and wrote, and well wrote some more. On any occasion anyone passed her room, they would hear yells, curses, and the occasional crumpling of paper or if Lily was really mad, a pen being slammed against the wall. She was determined to get it in this time, as they say: third time's the charm.

     "Oh we're going to run out of stamps at this rate," Mina groaned as Lily set off to send in her submission once more.

***

"Here," Mina gave an envelope to Lily from the Neopian Times the next week at breakfast.

     "Oh no! Everybody duck underneath the table!" Fierem yelled looking at the envelope as if it was a time bomb.

      Lily opened the envelope, took out the letter, and surprisingly just sighed and walked away to her room with her head hanging down.

     "Well that was weird," Maylen said surprised as Lily's mature behavior.

      Lily lay on her bed thinking, what has happened to me? Can't I write anymore? I get A's on every writing assignment practically! She went over to her drawer where she pulled out her Writing Portfolio from the previous school year and examined her work and the marks Mrs. Owen made. Nearly all the marks said things like "Excellent!" "Marvelous!" and even on one essay Mrs. Owen had written: "Lily, you are a very talented writer. Don't ever stop using that pen!" But Mrs. Owen, Lily thought, I can't help thinking that I'm; I'm losing my talent. And so Lily lay on her bed and cried into her pillow.

***

"So you're giving up?" Fierem asked passing the potatoes to Lily at dinner that night.

     "Yeah, I guess so, but I've found a new hobby, yoga!" Lily said excitedly.

     "You can do yoga?" Mina raised her eyebrow.

     "Of course I can, look!" Lily got on the floor twisted one leg over the other but then suddenly fell over and hit her head on the counter, "Ow!"

     "Face it, you stink at yoga, and you're probably going to quite doing it in like ten minutes, why not go back to writing for the Times?" Fierem suggested.

     "And do what? Waste more time writing then finding out that the editor thought it was garbage!" Lily said ferociously sitting back down at the table.

     "Hey some people haven't been accepted from the Neopian Times till their 20th try," Maylen said pouring gravy over her potatoes.

     "Yeah, well I bet they never got an A in English then," Lily rolled her eyes.

     "Oh stop you're moping already!" Mina said angrily, "I'm pretty sure that most if not all the people who submit things to the NT were quite well-to-do in their English classes, and I'm sure that they must have some writing talent and love for writing, or why else would they even bother! Quit being prideful Lily, you're not the only one."

      Lily sighed, what Mina had said made a lot of sense. Even if you're good at writing doesn't mean that you'll always make it in. Boom! Another idea. She quickly finished her dinner, and ran upstairs to her room. She wrote a short story of a girl who had special healing powers only to discover one day her powers weren't working. The girl stared acting petrified and quit healing who needed her the most. In the end she found out she wasn't losing her powers at all, but was just losing faith in herself, which made her powers seem weak.

     "I knew you wouldn't give up!" Mina said smiling as Lily went to deliver her submission, "Can I read it?"

     "Well I want it to be a surprise, unless it gets rejected then I'll let you read it," Lily answered back with a sheepish grin.

***

"Congratulations!" Mina ran in the living room holding a letter from the Neopian Times, "Sorry I was to excited, I had to open it."

     "Dear Ms. Lily," she grabbed the letter from Mina and read it out loud, "Congrats! Your submission has been accepted for this week's Neopian Times issue. A trophy will arrive shortly to you."

     "Good job!" Fierem beamed.

     "Yeah!" Maylen squealed.

     "Thanks for the help, Mina. Wouldn't have made it without you," Lily grinned at her owner.

     "But I didn't help you write it," Mina said with a puzzled expression.

     "You'd be surprised on how much you did," Luna smiled walking out of the living room.

The End

Author's Note: As you have probably guessed, this story is vaguely based on me. Oh and don't give up, seriously, took me 10 tries before I finally made it my first time.

Week 149 Related Links

So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Part 2: Takin’ Control
Aye, well I’m back, mates. Once again, I be Capn’ Dragon-Tooth an’ I’m back with a sequel to my ever-so-popular article, “So You Wanna be a Pirate”.

by saneeya1000



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