Friday Fictioneers: Against the Crowd

friday-fictioneersThanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her amazing commitment to Friday Fictioneers each week.  Visit her blog, Addicted to Purple, to join the fun and/or read the other stories. Fictioneers are encouraged to write a 100 word story, with a beginning, middle and end. Thank you to Sandra Crook, for this week’s photo.  I love Janet Webb’s thoughtful new clip art of the “the Rules.”

I try to read most of the stories each week, and apologize if I’ve missed yours. This week I’ll be gone for my son’s graduation from college, and may have trouble getting on-line, to read. I am grateful to everyone who stops by Tales From the Motherland; I always welcome constructive feedback.

Big thank you to Alicia Jamtas, who noticed that I posted my story on my blog yesterday, but did not it to InLinkz! Arrgh! I do this far too often. Thanks Alicia!


(100 words)

“Honey, what’s the matter.”

“Nothing, Mom.” Jenny stared at her bedroom wall.

“Maybe I can help?”

Her mother reached over and stroked her hair.

“I’m so tired of trying to fit in at school–“

Her tears came quickly.

“The other girls are thin and pretty, and know how to talk to boys. I’m boring– nobody really wants to talk about photography!”

“You’re smart, pretty, and talented. That doesn’t feel like enough now, but it will in a few short years; trust me.”

“That seems really far off, Mom. Right now it feels like I’m always going against the flow.”

*     *     *

If you enjoyed this post, please hit like and then leave a comment; I love to hear what readers have to say.  Check out Tales From the Motherland’s Facebook page (my goal is 400 likes this year), and Twitter, where I struggle to keep it brief.

© 2014 Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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48 Responses to Friday Fictioneers: Against the Crowd

  1. Equipping The Saints says:

    I love your work! It is great! May our Lord Jesus richly bless you.

    Senior Pastor/Equipping the Saints
    Philip 3:10, “That I May Know Him”


  2. Dawn, You always write a good story. This one showed the problems of a child who is maturing and facing peer pressure. Some are blessed with understanding parents like the one in your story. I can just see you with your own daughter who was a fortunate girl. —Susan


  3. Very clever!! Have a great weekend.


  4. unfetteredbs says:

    I just had a very similar conversation with my teen. You always have a creative, thoughtful perspective on the prompts.


    • Thanks Audra. If you’re a mother, and if you have daughters, you are bound to have this conversation… at least once! So painful that this is a right of passage for so many young girls and women. Thanks for your kind words; I always appreciate your feedback. 🙂


  5. Mike Lince says:

    Written with the unique perspective of a caring mother, you make me want to empathize with both characters. Thus, I am involved immediately in their private moment together. Once again, your imagination finds its outlet in the written word for the benefit of the reader, and hopefully for your own satisfaction.

    Enjoy your graduation with your son. I was there for both of my daughters. These are cherished moments. – Mike


  6. AAARRrrggh! I wouldn’t go back to the teenage years for a million bucks. They’re often hard and “a few short years” seems like an eternity. Well captured, Dawn.


  7. Sandra says:

    A cri de coeur I think. Sometimes you wonder how many young girls are happy in their own skin. Nice work Dawn.


  8. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    She’ll be the better for it, of course, but going against the flow is lonely and tiring.


    • That’s so true Helena! Unfortunately some of the most interesting people, in my opinion, have struggled the most. I know you have had a lot of challenges, but I admire the way you handle them with grace and charm and humor. That said, it doesn’t diminish the fact that I know what the struggle is like. Some days it’s very hard to remember the very advice I find so easy to write. As always, I enjoy getting your feedback.


  9. I love how you wrote this with a mother’s touch. Have a great weekend!


  10. This is such a believable story, Dawn. Someday, Jenny will be happy to be the smart and talented one because thin and pretty doesn’t always stand the test of time.


  11. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Dawn – great story and so true! I had my twin sister to talk to and be friends with all the time – even when we moved. But peer pressure is so hard that teachers should add your story to the required reading list of short stories in the school curriculum. I think you must be a fantastic mother for a girl! I had all boys and they really were easy in their teen years – just expensive with auto insurance. Enjoy your weekend. Thanks! Nan 🙂


  12. Honie Briggs says:

    I never fit in when I was in school, and even though it was very painful at times, I discovered I kind of liked it. Not fitting in became something to aspire to. Strange.


    • Not strange at all, Honie; I think a lot of us feel the same way. I certainly think that a lot of creative, artistic people, didn’t fit in at some point in life for all of their lives and continue to find some kind of meaning through creativity. Thanks for adding to the dialogue!

      Sent from Dawn’s iPhone



  13. rgayer55 says:

    Fitting in is not all it’s cracked up to be. Mom has sound advice. Usually, the kids who don’t fit in grow up to be the leaders in this world.


    • Russell, couldn’t agree more! I think some of the most interesting people in the world are the ones he didn’t fit in high school. Adversity breeds creativity. Thanks so much for your interesting response; it’s much appreciated.

      Sent from Dawn’s iPhone



  14. Those years of not fitting in are always hard.. amazingly enough nobody really fitted in.. those years with hormones are like a puzzle where all holes are round and all pieces have corners… but somehow we always believe that other fit in…


    • Bjorne, it’s so true that during high school none of us really fit in, but no one really knows it. It takes years and years to finally figure out that no one really knew what they were doing. Thanks so much for reading my post and for leaving thoughtful comment.

      Sent from Dawn’s iPhone



  15. Well done – I could feel for both of them. A sensitive portrayal.


  16. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I love your stories, Dawn. This one is particularly special and touching. And those sheep are definitely going against the flow!


  17. wmqcolby says:

    A great slice-of-life. Vivid, to the point, nailed it, Dawn! You’re right that we ALL found out years later we didn’t really know what was going on in others’ lives. Teenager-dom isn’t fatal, just feels like it on occasion. One of the best I have read so far!


    • Tragically, it is fatal for some… and that makes me so sad! The advent of the Interweb, taking bullying to new levels… it’s so much harder to be a teen today, I think.

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment; it makes me smile and is so appreciated! 😀


  18. MissTiffany says:

    Poor girl. Her mother’s right. If she can just make it through these trying years, she’ll be the better for it! Glad she has such a supportive mother. 🙂

    P.s. Sorry for the long absence – work has been taking over my life lately. I’ve missed the blogging world!


    • Tiffany, we’ve missed you!! I almost emailed you, wondering if everything was ok. SO great to see your happy face in my comment section again! I’m sorry to miss reading the stories this week… we’ve been go, go, going, since I hit the ground, for my son’s college graduation (today!). Maybe I’ll catch up tomorrow, but if not, next week! Thanks for making the time for my story; I appreciate your effort. 🙂


      • MissTiffany says:

        Ah, how sweet! Thanks. The sad truth is, I’ve just been so slammed with work, I’ve hardly had time for anything else (which I hate). We’re still SUPER busy at work, but I’m forcing myself to relax and realize I can only do so much in a day…and I have to make time for myself too. Congratulations to your son! I wish him the best in whatever comes next for him. 🙂

        I’m glad to be back. Hopefully you’ll start seeing me regularly again!


  19. lesleycarter says:

    Love it! That’s my life 😉

    Great photo too.

    I hope you are well. I’ll keep coming back for more!


  20. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Dawn,

    Profound words lovingly delivered by both Mom and you. Good job.




  21. Dear Dawn,

    Great minds think alike this week. I’m pretty sure my mother and I had this conversation. I never fit in with the thin, pretty girls. Always thought of myself as a bowser. When I look back on those photos I think “Damn, I was cute.” Aw hindsight.

    Well written, spot on dialogue.




    • Is indeed 20/20, right? I so appreciated the few people who took the time to advise me when I was that age (struggling in so many ways!), and I’m always grateful when I’m able to apply it to myself today. I’ve grown up, but sometimes I still stumble on these issues. Self-esteem, it’s a bitch.

      Thank you for your kind feedback, Rochelle. I always know that you will tell me what you really think, and that means a lot to me. Shalom. Dawn


  22. liz young says:

    Well written – I have had similar conversations with my children in years gone by.


    • I think many of us have, Liz! However, I think they only get it when they’ve gotten through it and see the other side… or, when they are saying it to their own children! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment; it’s much appreciated.


  23. Amy Reese says:

    This is lovely, Dawn. I hope all teens can crave their own path. Congrats on your son’s graduation. I hope you’re having a splendid time!


    • I think most teens do CRAVE their own paths, and then, we can only hope they CARVE them too. Either word, it’s a tough road for many, and as moms, we can only hope they make it through intact!

      As for grad, thanks. It hasn’t gone quite as I’d have liked… but then, life does do that. :-p


  24. Thanks Amy, it’s been an interesting weekend. Things don’t always turn out quite the way you like them too, though I’m proud of my son and excited for him. I think that all young people want to get out and have their own path, thigh they don’t always see it when it’s in front of them. Or don’t see it when it’s obscured either. Either way I think plenty of young people struggling with identity. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


  25. I like your interpretation of the photo. I think we all feel like that car at some point. Nice work. 🙂



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