Making It Work

I’m not sure whether I should call this a short story, or call it a scene. From what I have learned about writing thus far, the line between a scene and a short story is rather blurry. If you have any advice on this, please let me know in the comment section.

Making It Work
Image provided by
Timothy Krause @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/33498942@N04/

The past two and a half weeks have been torcher for Joanne and Mark. Mark was laid off from work, and there’s little chance that he will be returning to that particular job. It’s a sign of the times, and that’s the way they’re looking at the situation. Joanne has been trying to work on a novel without the use of utter solitude. The going has been rough.

Mark has been making his trips to the local job service center, filling out applications for the jobs he is qualified for. The cluttering that has been running rapid through their house is slowly diminishing because he is cleaning out closets and the drawers of all the dressers. Trying to keep busy was a problem he refused to have.

Nevertheless, Mark’s almost-constant presence is stopping Joanne from doing any in-depth writing. Her friends try to help with her dilemma giving suggestions like, “Just tell him you need some time alone so that you can write.”

Joanne’s response is “It isn’t that simply. Besides, I’ve already tried that a few times. There always seems to be something that needs my attention – at least that’s what he thinks.”

Mark does have some insecurities going on that even he may not be aware of. In his present situation, they’re revealing themselves in his dialogs with Joanne.

“Honey, do you want me to make more coffee?”

“Come look outside in the backyard, Jo. You have to see what those kittens are doing.”

“Jo, do you want me to fix you something to eat?”

Joanne is bound and determined to be tolerant of his need for noise because, after all, he is trying to be congenial. Furthermore, he’s doing some of the heavy housework that she probably wouldn’t get to until the holiday season.

And there’s that one most important reason – they have a good marriage that need to be maintained. That means, among other things, give and take on both sides. It’s hard on both of them for him to be home so much of the time and be out of work.

Frustration can get a grip on Joanne that almost feels like strangulation. In the past, it’s been the act of writing that has come to her rescue. With the inability to find a quiet time to write as being the stress factor, relief from this fury within her is difficult to find.

Until the situation changes, both of them live in quiet desperation. Being tolerant has become the battle of wits. They live on large portions of hope, love and constant searches for solitude and acceptance.

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8 Replies to “Making It Work”

  1. Hello Glynis,
    As far as I understand it, the difference between a ‘scene’ and a story is that a story needs a plot. By the end of the story the problem that started the story has been solved, or the conflict resolved or at least on the way to being solved.
    In this piece, the scene is set but we don’t have an outcome yet.
    Is that OK?

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    1. Of course it’s okay, Linda. In fact, I was to totally agree with you but… (Don’t you just hate buts?) not all stories end with a resolution to a problem. Some do end with the problem still hanging there.

      The reason I was asking you, the reader, is that I’m going to be submitting it to Write.Com. If it’s well received there, I’ll get some goodies. It’s nothing major, but this type of thing boosts motivation and (your line of work) confidence.;) All reviews there are done by authors of difference levels from newbie to those who have a number of books under their belt. I was trying to decide whether to submit it an a short story or in the category of proses. Changes are I’ll be sending it as proses.

      Like

  2. I loved this. And I’d like to read more. So many people can relate to the changes of the economy and the natural struggles of relationships.

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    1. Hi Aleta

      I’m so glad that you liked this piece. I’ll be submitting it to another site for some minor goodies. 🙂

      Like

  3. I bet this story is being played out in homes all over North America. You capture nicely what it must be like for those handling it well. Not having a job while you are looking for a job can be pretty devastating for everyone, even those determined to make the best of the situation

    …I guess I think its a story, not sure what the difference is between a scene and a short story. 🙂

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    1. Most people are saying it’s a scene because the problem isn’t resolved. Basically I agree, but how many problems are there that don’t have a resolution and you just have to deal with them the best that you can? This question about what this piece is will probably never be solved.

      Life can be unduly cruel and relentless, but it’s still life and it still goes on. 😉

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