Try, Try Again
"No!" A dark-haired girl turned and
threw a crumpled Neomail into a corner. "My Neopian Times story got rejected-again!
I work so hard on these stories, make them so realistic, and then what? Rejection!
I feel terrible!" She put her head in her hands.
An Ice Bori walked over and put his hand on her
shoulder. "Don't worry, Hallie. I'm sure one of your stories will get in the
Times one of these days. I've read them and they're really good."
Hallie straightened up and looked at him. "Thanks
for the encouragement, Frozynbori. I've been working on a comic starring you,
"Really? Wow! What's for dinner?"
Hallie laughed. "I'll warm up some omelettes.
You know, they're not really worth a trek into Tyrannia. I used to be afraid
to try omelettes, but I'm becoming accustomed to Neopian ones, every day!"
"Great! By the way, Sora and Nadzia were wondering
whether you had gotten a Neomail back from the Times yet--I'll go tell them."
Hallie's head drooped and she collapsed all over
again. "I guess he meant well, but to bring up that subject again-I'm getting
sick of these rejection Neomails! Maybe I should stop trying to send in stories."
"Hal-lie!" A door slammed, heralding the arrival
of her blue Shoyru, Snatchling_10. "I'm home! And I'm hungry!"
Hallie rose from her chair and tossed five omelettes
into a frying pan. "Hey, Snatchling. Did you have a good time at Igor's house?"
Igor was her brother's Bori, who lived a few
"Yeah!" called Snatchling, running into the kitchen.
"We went to Mystery Island and I bought a Cocoa Juppie. Can you slice it for
"Yes, I can," Hallie told him, taking the juppie.
"I'll make an omelette-juppie stir fry."
"Mmm!" Snatchling rubbed his stomach. "Sounds
"Well, if Sora eats it, I'll know it is." SoraRikuKairiLeon
was a red Yurble, notorious for being a bit picky. Her sister, on the other
hand, ate anything and everything she could. Her name was Nadzia_Light and she
was a blue Gelert. (Well, that's the whole family.)
"Ha!" Snatchling's laughter chimed through the
room. "Sora wouldn't eat anything weird if you gave her Maraquan treasure!"
Hallie had to admit that he had a point. "Oh,
shoot! The omelettes are burning!" She quickly turned off the heat.
During dinner that evening, Hallie put some stir-fry on Sora's plate, just
to see if she'd eat it on her own.
For once, Sora didn't complain, just reached
for a fork. "Is that cocoa juppie in there??"
"Yes, it is," Hallie told her.
"Mmm, I love cocoa juppie! I'll try it."
Hallie turned to Snatchling, who blushed. "I
guess you were wrong about her not eating it, Snatchling."
Nadzia_Light, also engrossed in stir-fry, turned
to her owner. "Hallie, what did the Neopian Times say about your story? Frozynbori
forgot to tell us."
Hallie sighed. "They rejected it. Said that there
were too many entries. Hmmph! The last submission, they said that I needed to
be more original. Oh well, at least they told me about it."
"Well," said Nadzia, "you know what they say.
'If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again.' You told me that after I got
beat in the Battledome."
At that, Hallie perked up a little. "You're right,
Nadzia. It's no use being upset if I really want to get a submission in there.
I guess that one of them will be accepted one of these days."
Nadzia reached under her chair. "Speaking of
which, I brought home a copy of the Times for you."
"Great!" Hallie took the paper. "Hmmm...the stock
market went up 36 points today...that's great! Let's see...Jetsam Day...same
old." Hallie returned the paper to Nadzia, who put it back under her chair.
"You see?" Frozynbori put in. "If one of your
stories was in there, it'd really spice it up! Lots more people would read it,
and you'd be famous-at least until the next issue."
"Ha! I wish!"
"No, really! Maybe you'd even get to be one of
those people who have about a billion submissions racked up on their trophies.
You can do it, Hallie!"
"Yeah," said Hallie slowly, warming to the idea,
"I guess I can! Come on, you guys-we're going to the Times office!"
Over the next few weeks, Hallie submitted several
more stories to the Neopian Times. They were all rejected, and Nadzia added
lots of newspapers to her collection.
"Urgh!" said Hallie one day, tossing the latest
rejection Neomail over her shoulder. "I don't think they like me, Nadzia. All
my stories and articles have been rejected. I just feel like I should forego
the whole thing."
"Come on," said Nadzia, "don't get into that
cycle again! Just say to yourself that you can do it, and lo and behold, someday
Snatchling_10 came into the kitchen, holding
the latest copy of the Neopian Times. "Yuk! This week's issue is not as good
as it would be with you, Hallie. I don't know why I bother buying them anymore--none
of your stories have gotten in anyway."
"I was just saying the same thing to your sister,"
Hallie told him. "Nadzia, take this paper up to your room and throw it in your
"Roger that!" Nadzia yanked the paper out of
her brother's hand and raced upstairs.
Hallie looked at her for a moment. "Snatchling,
I'm afraid of being rejected again. Why should I submit any more stories? If
the Neopian Times doesn't want me, no skin off my hands," she said with a trace
"Keep trying," Snatchling told her, a bit dully.
After all, he'd been saying the same thing for weeks now.
Suddenly, Sora came running in. "Hallie! I've
got an idea. Why don't you write a story about how you hate being rejected all
"That's a great idea, Sora! Wait...I'm getting
an idea! Out of the way!" And with that, Hallie snatched a piece of paper and
a pen out of a drawer and started writing.
Sora and Snatchling looked at each other, slowly
beginning to smile. "Come on, Sora," said Snatchling, "let's get out of here.
We don't want to disturb this." He grabbed two apples and then raced outside,
Sora trailing closely behind him.
About half an hour later, Frozynbori wandered
in and smiled. "Nadzia!" he whispered, running to the foot of the stairs. "Hallie's
writing another story!"
"Great!" came the reply. "I hope, for the sake
of our happiness, that she gets accepted this time!"
"Well, you never know. You never know..."
THREE DAYS LATER
"Hallie! I got the mail!" Nadzia hollered, walking
into the living room. She held the day's mail in her blue paw.
Hallie's eyes lit up. "Maybe my Times reply is
in here today! But...no." She stopped suddenly and took a deep breath. "I'm
preparing myself for rejection."
With that, Nadzia placed the mail on the table,
as carefully as if it contained a Fruit Bomb.
Hallie slowly picked it up and shuffled the envelopes,
one by one. "Junk...junk...junk...ah! Here it is! The reply!"
"Well, open it!" said Nadzia.
"OK," said Hallie. Pulling the envelope closer
to her, she apprehensively slit it open.
"I can't look..." She covered her eyes, then
opened them a slit. "Wait...could it be? Yes! Oh, yes! I've been accepted!"
She flung the envelope onto the floor and danced around, hugging Nadzia hard.
"I've been acc-ept-ed!" she sang.
"What did I tell you?" said Nadzia. "If at first
you don't succeed, try, try, again! Now, if only I could win a Battledome challenge..."