Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Still Struggling

Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting the 4th installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to catch up with all  of the amazing bloggers who share their stories on the first Wednesday of each month. 

Still Struggling

She runs into his arms sobbing, "The letter came today, and they rejected my manuscript. This was the 15th publisher who turned it down. All of my hopes and dreams are over. I'm finished!"

He gazes knowingly into her eyes and says, " Got anything to eat? I'm starving!"

Then the director yells, "Let's take five everyone!" He gives the chiseled actor an attaboy slap, before he motions the beautiful actress over for a chat. He tells her that her performance lacks realism, and suggests that she spend time with a struggling writer to better understand her plight.

The next day, the beautiful actress goes over to the struggling writer's apartment. She has trouble making her way through the crumpled up papers, magazines, and books until she finally stumbles upon the struggling writer. They are about the same age, but the struggling writer looks worn out in her baggy sweatpants, and oversized unraveling robe. She apologizes for not having showered, as she doesn't have any running water.

They end up spending the day laughing, crying, and fighting over remnants of sweet and salty snacks. The struggling writer shows the beautiful actress her pile of rejection letters while they wrap themselves in blankets to stay warm, because the landlord turned off the heat. SW helps BA rehearse her scenes while interjecting double doses of angst and plucky determination.

They say their goodbyes before nightfall, so that they don't have to continue rehearsing in total darkness. Not once does the beautiful actress offer to invite the struggling writer into her luxurious Manhattan apartment to have a warm bath, a nutritious meal, and sleep in a lovely heated spare bedroom during one of the coldest nights of the year.

The following morning, the beautiful actress confidently strolls back into the playhouse. She is assured that her new "method acting" approach will impress her director, as well as, entice her chiseled leading man. As she gets closer to the stage, she notices that they started without her. Her leading man is facing the director, while another woman is saying her lines. The beautiful actress  with a newly acquired pulsating vein in her forehead, rushes the stage to confront her.

She can't believe her eyes. Her competition is simply gorgeous with cascading auburn hair, breathtaking features, and a perfect figure. Her voice sounds familiar, but she still can't place her. Then the director chimes in, "Sorry kid, you just don't have what it takes. We decided to go in another direction."

While the beautiful actress stands motionless, she overhears her former leading man invite his new costar to join him for a drink later. Suddenly it hits her, " You're the struggling writer that I poured my heart out to yesterday. How could you do this to me? And how could you deceive me by not washing your hair, and hiding under those ridiculous plus-size rags?"

Then the struggling writer/ knockout actress replies, " I deceived you? I bent over backwards trying to  teach you how to act, and in return you let me rot in that freezer of an apartment. Besides you idiot ingrate, I'm the one who wrote this play!"

-Julie Kemp Pick


  1. Oh, revenge is sweet. Loved the ending. (I did NOT see that coming!)

  2. Revenge is a great motivator for any character. And its fun to really stick it to the bad guy (or girl). Really make them suffer or die an awful death.

  3. That was fabulous.

  4. Who's laughing now?! What an ending. Awesome post for today, Julie.

  5. This may make me a petty person, but I do love a good "what goes around comes around" story.

  6. Oh my God, that is so perfect! Karma is such a bitch! Great story, Julie!!

  7. Thanks Tonja!

    Susan - This is quite a compliment coming from someone who is always full of surprises! Thanks Susan!

    Stephen - Revenge and suffering are always worthwhile in fiction, as long as we keep it on the page! I really enjoyed your inspiring post Stephen!

    Thanks Delores!

    Mariodacatsmom - Thanks for the kind words, and for following me!

    L.G. - "Bwahahahaha?!" Is that a combination of laughing and crying, or did your breakfast disagree with you?!

    Alex - Thanks for motivating me to try something different for the IWSG!

    S.L. - You are not "petty," and I think that we all appreciate a little harmless payback in a story! Thanks S.L.!

    Nancy - I agree with you about Karma, and I appreciate the compliment! Thanks Nancy!

  8. Was there chocolate involved in the rejection scene? BA went wrong there. :)

    Great story. I enjoyed it and the ending is great.

  9. Oh, I loved this!! Karma at its best. Did you know there is apparently a new movie coming out about YA writers with the lead role being played by Charlize Theron? Wonder if she did any "method acting" to prepare?

  10. Thanks Yvonne, and best of luck with your book!

    Mary - There were chocolate covered nuts and pretzels when they were "fighting over remnants of sweet and salty!" SW gave up heat and running water to maintain a diet rich in nuts and fiber. Sorry, I guess I should've spelled that out for non-believers! Thanks Mary!

    Julie - I saw advertisements for that movie. Maybe she did do a little "method acting" for the role. Did you know she's South African? You're not the only one with fun facts! Thanks Julie!

  11. What a great story! I totally enjoyed reading it! I'm with Mary, though, if we're going with realism there should definitely have been chocolate involved :)

  12. This is a fantastic story. I was hanging onto every word. Such a great plot and message. I love that the playwright was the "struggling writer." You really shined with this one, Julie.

  13. That was incredible! I really like this story and it conveys a powerful message.

    A Faraway View

  14. Susanna - A little chocolate does go a long way! Thanks Susanna!

    Thanks for always making my day Robyn!

    Thanks Carol!

    Lee - Just thought I'd try something new for the IWSG, and I'm glad that you liked the meaning of the story. Thanks Lee!

  15. Awesome story, Julie!! I totally loved the ending. I'm giving you a standing ovation! :D

  16. Julie - Thanks for being one of my favorite cheerleaders! You're the one who deserves a "standing ovation!" Sorry I didn't see this earlier. You may sit down now.

  17. I love a twist in a story. Great ending. Do you feel roses being thrown at you?

  18. Barb - I thought there were some thorns mixed in with the tomatoes! Thanks Barb!

  19. Hi Julie .. that's just great - and an absolute gem .. there's nothing insecure here - methinks!

    Brilliant loved it .. Cheers Hilary

  20. Thanks Hilary, your thoughtful comments really mean a lot to me!

  21. Oh Julie, I always love your endings and this one is stellar! Fantastic!

  22. That was brilliant, Julie. I didn't see that end coming either. Excellent.

  23. Excellent piece of writing...had me intrigued right to the end.

    Cheers, Jenny

  24. Talli - As a contemporary author who successfully incorporates witty dialogue, with suspense, I am framing your comment!

    Rosalind - Thanks for always being so supportive, and I love tuning in on your blog!

    Pearson Report - Thanks for the compliment, and for visiting me! I am heading over to your blog soon! Julie