"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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.
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.