This is a mini-novel I am editing for someone else. It is my way of learning to write well. Thanks, whenever you have some time. Please don't shed your tears, it is only a novel. Thank you all, teachers. (Afterwards, I like to invite other ESL learners to comment. Would you use a different phrase? Any word you don't like? Any mistakes that have escaped teachers' eyes?) Thank you all. BMO
A Sixteen Years Old Girl Wanderer (A Mini-Novel)
1. I always got depressed when I was sixteen years old. Since Grandfather had so many grandchildren, he could only take care of his grandsons, and he would teach the POG Taiwanese Bible only to the boys.
2. Anguish, despair and misery had been my companions because I was not a boy, like his grandsons. For instance, Grandfather would give candies and cakes only to the boys, so each time when they ate these delicious treats from Grandfather, all I could do was standing sadly outside the door and watching them from afar with envy and grief.
3. In Grandfather’s eyes, a girl was useless; but unfortunately, we have five in our family. I am the youngest girl nicknamed “baby pigtail.”
4. My folks were poor farmers tilling a small lot in Chia-Yi County, in Southern Taiwan. In those days, each time when a typhoon stroke, crops were destroyed, and our family would be left with neither food to eat nor money for cloths, tuitions or other school expenses. Living in our small village, I, a sixteen years old farmer’s daughter, felt useless. Despair hovered over me and hope was distance away; I was jobless without a useful skill.
5. My sixteenth year was a trial year. In order to get more education and to get out of this misery, I went to Tainan alone. However, life was hard in a strange city in the beginning, and I became a wanderer without a job, a place to call home, and was constantly hungry. Then, as luck would have it, I landed a part-time job at a bookstore, and I even started to attend a vocational high school at night. My life just turned a new leaf.
6. A professor named John C.C. would come to the bookstore everyday. He was gentle and he liked to talk to me. We talked about poetry. One day, he asked me to let him read a poem I wrote, and the following day he gave me a silk scarf imprinted with “Success is in your hand; happiness is in your mind,” a line from my poem.
7. “Let me be your teacher,” he said, “I will teach you poetry. I love you not only for your outward look, but also for your inner beauty as well.”
8. From that time on, I had a teacher boyfriend. We were like Poet Friedrich Halm once said, “Two souls with one thought; two hearts that beat like one.” Time flew while we enjoyed our five happy years together.
9. One day, John handed me an application form to a university, and said, “You must go to a university to broaden your mind and to change your way of thinking. Then you will have a new life.”
10. Around that time, my elder sister “Pig head” came to see me. Upon hearing my relationship with the professor, she was very furious and scolded me. “Are you blind or something?” she said, “Can you see the man is old, has a wife and children, and perhaps even grandchildren? Can he marry you, Baby Pigtail?” she continued, “Stop seeing him, understand?”
11. “No!” I protested, “John is the first man who told me I am not useless and that I am gifted in literature. He means the whole world to me, and I can’t even imagine how empty my life would be without him.”
12. John bid farewell to me. “Although I can take care of you, I can’t marry you,” he said, “May God bless you,” and left.
13. “You can have him as a good teacher or even a good friend, but you just can’t marry him.” Pig head shouted, her voice rising in anger, “Go home with me now!”
15. “Grandfather has passed away.”
16. As Grandfather was being lowered into the ground, a strange thought entered my mind. I was confused. Was it bittersweet for me? Then I realized it was both, I hated Grandfather, and yet I loved him deeply. And I said to myself, quietly, that today death not only fell upon Grandfather, it fell upon John as well.
Thank you so much tdol. Don't know how you guys make it, as this is such a busy website. Some questions:
1. Title. Is the 16 years old girl a wanderer, drifter, or roamer? Do you agree wanderer is most suitable? Can a roamer be a rich sightseer roaming about in a foreign tourist place? A drifer is one who moves from place to place, so I think wanderer is most suitable.
2. para 4. Sixteen years old and sixteen-year-old are the same, right?
3. para 3. Cap nicknames. They should be like Baby Pigtail, Pig Head? The second words also need caps as in "Big Foot and Abominal Snow Man?"
4. para 4. I, a sixteen years old farmer's daughter, felt useless. You suggested to remove the comma after I; the second comma after daughter should be taken out as well?
5. para 6. John C. C. would come. Is "would come" better than "came?"
6. para 7. After he said, (Is a period better than a comma?)
7. para 8. Last word together. Does it mean living together or not necessarily?