The story begins

I thought a lot about what Deborah had said. I had always wanted to write, but I had always wanted to write my own story. Deborah had a point--that's what everyone was doing these days. And I never wanted to do what everyone was doing.

I thought about my independent fortune, a windfall from a rich, old adopted aunt. I still didn't have a room of my own, there'd been too much going on since I got back for me to have a chance to look, but that was a mere trifle.

I thought about Deborah's ideas of fiction, which I had to respect, even if I knew I could never fulfill her standards. Pure fantasy wasn't for me, just as pure reality wasn't for her. But while writing can be learned, extravagant imagination is a gift. My imagination wasn't as extravagant as Deborah's, and it never would be.

I thought about the story of the strike again, and I began to take hope and take notes.