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Writing A Winter Tale


Mimmsicle
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[color=firebrick]I wrote this as an essay for my Swedish class back in 1999. A couple of weeks ago I translated it to English.
It's basically the account of 3 accidents I had the year before I wrote it.
Feel free to let me know what you think : )[/color]


[font=century]
[color=indigo][size=3][b][center]"The Tales of Winter"[/center][/b][/size][/color][/font]

[color=firebrick]I was 13 years old when I started my career as a papergirl. My older sister and I were to share a district, since neither of us was really strong, or old, enough to handle one by ourselves. And with the promise from my dad that it would take no more than half an hour, we decided to go for it.
[font=century]
On the very first day my hometown was hit by a snowstorm, possibly the worst for a few centuries. So I can't say things got off to a great start. ~_^
What was meant to be a nice introduction to what is considered decent labor, turned into my baptism of fire.

The snow went up to my knees; the wind felt like butcher knives against my skin. The heavy load of papers and the sheer volume of compact snow made for an interesting tug of war between me and my bike. In the end, we decided to postpone the slaughter of each other and join forces against the pesky weather.

It took me more than [b]2 hours[/b] to finish my half-round that morning. Mom had been up since we left the house, so when I tumbled through the door there was a cup of hot chocolate waiting for me.
I?m telling you, if it hadn't been for that warm liquid in my body, dad would've been in serious trouble. ~_^
My sister had it worse off though, she's visually impaired and it took her even longer. We were ready to call the police and send out a search party, when she finally turned up.
[/color][/font]
[color=darkred]
You'd think that this sort of initiation would scare me off the line of work completely, but it didn't. I stuck with it and learned a lot.
It was "[I]character building[/I]", as Calvin?s dad would say.
Now of course I have this romanticized image going on, since I don't work as a papergirl anymore.
Those were the days... [/color]

[font=century]
[b][color=indigo][center]One Friday morning in February, 1998.[/center] [/b][/color]

[color=firebrick]On streets that were a concoction of snow, ice, and slush, I made my way forward. Getting to the place where I was supposed to collect my papers was a breeze. No worries so far.

After loading my bike with papers hot off the press my journey continued pretty smoothly, considering the conditions I had to work in. I gained more and more confidence for each mailbox that I passed.
[b]BIG[/b] mistake.
As I slowed down the pace to unload another paper, everything went horribly wrong.

[I]Like the Titanic met her superior in that iceberg, I had met mine in a tiny pool of ice. [/I]

My bike started to slide under me and the ground pulled me down in slow motion, into a painful embrace. I landed with a heavy [b]thud[/b], all the papers fell out and sprawled across the street.
At first I could do nothing but lie there. I was in chock, dazed and generally confused.

After a while of just lying there I realized that I had to get up. People were awaiting their papers and they can get nasty when you're not in time. So I had no choice but to compose myself and pick up the scattered papers.
Easier said than done with the ice pool under me. The bike kept slipping around along with my feet.

Eventually I got everything together and boldly went to new mailboxes. After two hours of labor I was finally done for the morning. By that time I felt no more than a slight ache in my right knee, which had received the biggest blow in the fall.
[/color][/font]
[color=darkred]
That was that, really. I still had another week to go and my sense of duty denied me to cower away from responsibility. I figured that I had learnt my lesson and the following days I studied every spot of ice I could see. Where they were, span of surface and so on.
Because I took things slowly and gently, nothing happened and confidence emerged once again.
[/color]
[font=century]
[b][color=indigo][center]A week later, disaster struck again.[/color] [/center] [/b]
[color=firebrick]
I had gotten halfway through my district and was about to make a left turn. After days of closely studying the ground for menacing ice spots, I thought I was safe. Thoughts and reality rarely coincide with each other.
[b]Note that. [/b]
To make matters worse, I had gained quite a speed when I took the turn. This contributed to the painful outcome.

I gracefully flew[size=1] (and momentarily hovered) ^_~[/size] across the street before crashing onto the icy asphalt. I hit the ground forcefully and this time my left knee took the blow. This time the pain was instantaneous and fierce, to the point where I had to bite my tongue not to scream obscenities to the depopulated streets.

After briefly contemplating a vicious attack on the malicious bike, I gave up and accepted defeat. The papers that were left to be carried out was done so with tears and self pitied sobbing. I managed to drag myself home and felt overwhelmingly proud of myself for totaling both knees within 2 weeks. ~_~
[/color][/font]
[color=darkred]
Despite my crippled state, I continued to work as a papergirl during the spring and summer. When fall was ready to take over, my knees had mended as close to perfection as they could.
And still the year was not over? another accident was waiting to happen and before 1998 had drawn its final breath, I would be awarded another scar.

[/color][font=century]
[color=indigo] [b][center]A Sunday morning in December, 1998. Shortly after 4.00 am. [/color][/b][/center]
[color=firebrick]
A little over six months had passed since my latest escapades in the land of Accidental. Things were peachy. I got up that morning, put on my clothes and braved the night.

[I]Looking back, I should have known what was coming. [/I]

Those blogs of ice on the driveway did not bode well and they pretty much screamed at me with their blinding reflection, [b]"Get back inside!" [/b]

[I]Alas, I did not comply. [/I]

Why? Well, the streets looked clear from icy slushy pools, so I figured it'd be ok. What I didn't know was that it had rained during the night and the water had frozen, covering the streets with the thinnest layer of a skate worthy ice-blanket.
But since I had perceived nothing unusual making my way down the path of doom, I trampled on?

I was about to make a left turn when once again, adversity reeled me in. It wasn't until I was halfway to the ground that I grasped what was happening.
Suddenly the asphalt was closing in fast and I swear I could see the flash of a grinning face on the surface?

Luckily I had enough presence of mind to retract my arms to cover my ribs and brace my body for impact.

I hit the ground and[b] bounced[/b] (observe [u]bounced[/u]) and slid about the ice covered piece of loathsome asphalt, before landing completely and coming to a standstill.
As I lay there I came to the decision that I would not move, simply freeze in that moment of ignorant bliss before you realize what has happened and the implications that goes with it. It was so peaceful to embrace the nothingness and to feel every fibre in my body letting go. The chock had stunned me into a hazy state of sweet yielding.

Unfortunately I was not able to enjoy my newly found position. A young couple out walking had seen my tumble and fall. They rushed over to me and worriedly asked if I was ok, which I really didn't care to think about. [/color][/font]
[color=darkblue][center]
- "[i]Mmm, yeah I'm fine[/i]," I whispered through gritted teeth.
[/color] [/center]
[color=firebrick][font=century]Thankfully they were content with my reply and helped me to my feet. In addition they were kind enough to help me collect the papers that had scattered on impact, before making their way homeward.

Conscientious[size=1] (and moronic)[/size] as I am, I thought I could just pick up where I dropped myself and get on with things.
But upon loading the papers onto the bike I quickly realized that it would be suicide to continue. The pain was unbearable, the tiniest movement made my lungs cramp up and choke me. It felt like I was poking myself with a knife. Trying to focus on the job at hand was unthinkable.

So I threw in the towel and with great effort dragged myself home. Woke up dad, briefed him about the situation and put myself to bed.
Later that day he told me that he nearly tipped over several times himself as he biked around town.
[/color] [/font] [color=darkblue] [b]

[center]Sunday passed and my body was pretty ok, but when Monday came?
[/color][/b][color=firebrick][/center][font=century]
Because I had tightened every single muscle in my neck to keep my head from hitting the street, I was rewarded with a gruesome wryneck.
I had dislocated two vertebras, which made breathing close to impossible.
My entire body was aching, all the time.
All I could do was moan and keep completely still, unless I wanted a tidal wave of stabbing pain surging through me...

I was lucky in the sense that I retracted no head injuries, but given the pain I was in, it really didn't matter at that point if I had or hadn't.

After a couple of weeks I pretty much recovered physically from the ordeal and I eventually got round to fixing the dislocated vertebras? the day before I went back to work ~_~
[/color][/font]


[color=indigo][center][b]Epilogue[/color][/center][/b]

[color=darkred][i]Since the last accident I've been refusing to bike when there's snow or slush on the streets. I guess you could say that I never forgave the horse that kicked me off.
And even though I occasionally get on it, I don't trust it further than I can throw it. [/i]

[size=3][b]- FIN[/b][/size][/color]

[color=chocolate]
- Mimmi[/color]
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I really enjoyed reading this piece. You have a lovely, quiet sense of humor, which I found incredibly refreshing. Many writers overuse sarcasm, but I thought that you incorporated just the right amount of self-deprecation and gentle understatement.

[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by Mimmi [/i]
[B][color=indigo][size=3][center]"The Tales of Winter"[/center][/color]

[color=firebrick]I was 13 years old when I started my career as a papergirl. My older sister and I were to share a district, since neither of us was really strong [size=1](*cough*or old*cough*) [/size]enough to handle one by ourselves. And with the promise from my dad that it would take no more than half an hour, we decided to go for it.[/color][/b][/quote]

Try to either omit or rephrase the part in parentheses. Although amusing, it looks unprofessional, and gives your story more of a fan-fiction-esque kind of feel. When it comes to both plays and fiction, even the briefest of audience asides can be overly distracting. This advice also applies to other "asterisk actions," as when you later say "Those were the days. *sigh.*" Indicating a sigh does nothing to enhance the mood of that particular line.

[quote][b][color=firebrick]On the very first day my hometown was hit by a snowstorm, possibly the worst for a few centuries. So I can't say things got off to a great start. ~_^
What was meant to be a nice introduction to what is considered decent labor, turned into my baptism of fire.[/color][/b][/quote]

The phrase "baptism of fire" initially struck me as being somewhat cliched. However, after re-reading your story, I realized that your use of that cliche is entirely excusable and perhaps even commendable. It introduces a clever, sly sort of irony (snowstorm-induced misery being described as a baptism by fire), which is admirable because you don't pound it over the reader's head, as writers are often tempted to do.

[quote][b][color=firebrick][I]Like the Titanic met her superior in that iceberg, I had met mine in a tiny pool of ice.[/I][/b][/color][/quote]

This is a very funny and creative simile. It manages to perfectly encaspulate what I like most about the overall tone of your story.

[quote][color=darkred][b][i]Since the last accident I've been refusing to bike when there's snow or slush on the streets. I guess you could say that I never forgave the horse that kicked me off.
And even though I occasionally get on it, I don't trust it further than I can throw it.[/i][/b][/size][/color][/quote]

I'd recommend revising the ending; you employ too many cliched phrases where a few simple words would do just as well.

Overall, this is a great story--very entertaining. You don't need to take any of my suggestions; they are, after all, purely opinion-based. However, you should probably try running it through a spell-checker. Your grammar and spelling are for the most part impeccable, but there are a few minor, easily correctable errors that tend to distract from the quality of the writing.

~Dagger~
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[COLOR=firebrick]Thankyou soo much for your comments, they do me the world of good [i]*nods*[/i]

I totally agree on what you say the *cough*/*sigh* thing does make it rather... meh : ) Why emphasize something that needn't be ?

The "baptism of fire".. well, it was the only phrase I could find. *lol* I asked around a little, but found no alternative. I guess it didn't come out too bad anyway, in the end ; )

Ah, the ending... yes, it does come off rather cliched... though at this point I don't know how to re-write it... maybe it'll come to me, or it'll be there as a reminder of the fact that I can grow in my writing [i]*cheesy grin*[/i]

..... Myabe the story will benefit if I took it out all together ? hmm...

Again, thankyou

- Mimmi[/COLOR]
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