An Up and Coming Designer

“Hello!  I’m home!”

“I’m in the kitchen Matt. Come join me. We have to talk.”

“Ah — there you are.  How’d your day go Love?”

“Troubling, but give me a kiss and sit down. I got a call today from Maggie’s teacher.”

“O-kay . . . . What happened?  Where is she?”

“The library, the university library this time. Said she needed some sociology books.”

girl in beige sweater sitting on brown wooden chair
Photo by Anthony Shkraba on

“Right. So talk to me. What did she do this time?”

“Her teacher called about their student body election. She and Maggie had a sit-down about it after the results were tallied and the most popular candidate, that boy from the 6th grade lost to a lesser known gal from Maggie’s 5th grade class.”

“Ah, that would be the Middlebrook girl; um, Kathy or Katie, from the newspaper. She went to the school board and argued for new play ground equipment.”

“Yep. That’s her. Except her name is Casey. It seems our Maggie had something to do with both the election and that article about Casey. First, it appears that, very quietly, three months ago, Maggie began talking to Casey about the election and how to lobby the school board. Second, Maggie convinced that reporter to attend the meeting to watch for this wonderful gal who was brave enough to face down the school board. 

“Matt, Maggie orchestrated both Casey and the reporter to create that article, so she could quietly copy and used it to leaflet the campus in the last two days before the election to blow away Casey’s election day rival. The students are allowed to leaflet for their candidates, but faculty have never seen anyone time it as effectively as Maggie did.

“Her teacher pointed out that she didn’t do anything wrong but her management of the election was masterful and the principal wants to know if we helped her pull this off.  I certainly didn’t.  Did you?”

“Did I engineer a coup of their election?  No, I didn’t even know there was an election happening.”

“I thought so, but wanted to make sure. I had a quick chat with Maggie before she caught the bus to the university to ask her what she was working on. You know how new words and concepts sometimes grab her attention for days and weeks? Well – did you know her latest word is . . .”

“Zeitgeist. She told me about it last week. I had to look it up and practice pronouncing it correctly.”

“That’s it. She is fascinated with it, the whole image of a defining mood or spirit of a culture as being bigger than fans of a band, something wider than any age group and deeper in our mindsets than any popular trend which largely controls how we think and act.  This idea has been her latest passion and the election was her experiment in trying to influence her school’s zeitgeist.”

“You’re serious? She told you this?”

“No, she told this to her teacher. Poor Ms. Franklin also had to look it up.”

“So, she — um. You and I didn’t . . . . “

“No. Our ten year old girl constructed this whole series of events to see if she could succeed at it.”

“Wait, you’re talking about the same little girl who’s going to run in here when she gets home and give me a big hug like every other afternoon?  Angie, I don’t know what to make of this. I knows she’s bright but I never saw something like this coming.”

“That’s my point Matt. Ms. Franklin quoted Maggie as saying she ‘does not want to be a cultural-tsunami, she wants to design one more to her liking.’ A few years from now, I don’t think the world is going to see her coming either.”


GW bio card 4

35 thoughts on “An Up and Coming Designer

    1. Oh Annie. . . I was not even thinking about this angle. I have a very bright daughter who is not bright as Maggie, but suffers from being brighter than many of the young adults around her. My wife and I had to work at keeping her growing mind well-fed. But how the world receives a bright boy — that really is a whole different story which also has merit. I think your point is well taken though. We sort of expect such things from males, but take extra notice when the potential is packaged as a girl.

      This would not be the first time our media and our culture has scrambled the story by misreporting and then mis-balancing how we should respond to such people.

      A great point. Hmm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My classes have been working on civil rights, and my girls have been pointing out how they are still treated differently. That has been on my mind. Next week, we move on to the suffragist movement…lol.

        But as always, I loved your writing.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting use of story telling without any narration Gary. What a clever and talented little 10 year old. I agree with Janis, she’s a force to be reckoned with and hopefully her parents can guide her as she moves through life. #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deb and thanks for giving it a read.
      I may have to give her her own chapter to see what happens.
      Maybe even let her tell her own story,
      To her granddaughter. . .


  2. It’s an interesting exercise – no narration. It’s also a toughie resisting the temptation to add a speech or an action beat. But you’ve done it really effectively.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No narration and it was definitely effectively. I was engaged in the story and the pace was great. I am also curious to learn more about little Maggie.

    Great writing exercise and great piece of writing Gary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shari.
      Dialog like this is one of my favorite story structures. I just seems to such me in as a reader so I want to get good at it myself.
      Then, about Maggie.
      As the father of a clever girl, now a young woman, I may have to do a second chapter of this story to see what she does next.
      Thanks for checking it out.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s very good Gary and one really smart 10 year old girl. Maybe she’s on the genius spectrum? When I was 10 all I thought about was horses. Lol 😉🤠

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Me a few months back would have had to look up Zeitgeist too but as luck would have it I helped some folks set up a publication called Zeietgeist Pulse of culture🤣

    great read, love the story without narration, breath of fresh air and leaves room for one to populate the settings and ambiance


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Beaton. I’ve missed you and was hoping that you had not accepted some mind-numbing government IT job that was taking you away from us. Then again, it may be my fault because I’m way behind on my reading of even my favorite blogs. I do hope all is well with you and am so pleased that you found this little story experiment and even liked it.

      Your friends must be gutsy if they are trying (like my fictional Maggie) to capture or influence any degree of zeitgeist. It involves so much of the feelings, beliefs and actions of so many people that it would be difficult to know even where to start, let alone get a fulcrum and lever against it. Are they focused on Zimbabwe alone or Africa or ??

      I’m very pleased to hear from you and hope you remain healthy and still full of thoughts that need to be shared.


    1. When choosing who I wanted to marry – I went looking for a very bright gal and found one. After 40+ years, she remains almost impossible to manage.
      It’s just one part of her unique charm.

      But this story in 99 words. . .
      Yikes. I barely got this out with the words used. I can reduce many stories by doing dialog only w/o narration. I normally love the result do doing this alone.

      I think it makes the stories grab readers much stronger. Perhaps you’ve done the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have. I like the exercise of reducing the words down to the bare minimum, which of course means you have to find strong words to convey the message. Some stories are better left as penned. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing this story and I’m honored to have inspired this! When I was listing all my professional accomplishments drafting cover letters and resumes, I asked my husband to review for typos, grammar, and content. His response was, “you do all this?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m honored to have you read my work.
      Your husband could likely tell fun stories about both the blessings and challenges of having a gifted and driven wife. Thanks for being one of my readers.

      Liked by 1 person

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