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Try, Try Again


by labra_doodlelover

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"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, too."

     "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 blocks away.

     "Yeah!" called Snatchling, running into the kitchen. "We went to Mystery Island and I bought a Cocoa Juppie. Can you slice it for dessert?"

     "Yes, I can," Hallie told him, taking the juppie. "I'll make an omelette-juppie stir fry."

     "Mmm!" Snatchling rubbed his stomach. "Sounds great!"

     "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 you will."

     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 junk drawer."

     "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 of humor.

     "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 the time?"

     "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..." :)

The End

 
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