Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Mirror Girl.

I have been debating with myself for nearly a week now on whether I should post a short vignette I've been working on here on my blog. I don't know why showing you my writing makes me so nervous, because you're essentially reading my writing every day just by being subscribed to my blog. But there is a huge difference in reading a self-narrative and reading something fictional and creative, and the idea of showing you something I've been working on makes me want to hide under a blanket.

But there was a really positive response to the short story I posted on here a few months ago that I wrote for school, so I am going to take my chances right now and post something I wrote entirely for fun. Here goes.

It's called, "The Mirror Girl". Please let me know what you think in the comments, and be honest! I really appreciate your feedback.


---

I always wondered what was on the other side of the mirror. I mean, I know it's probably just some sort of plastic or wood or a combination plastic-wood type material with whatever mirror stuff is made of glued to it, but that's not what I mean. I mean that I wonder what's REALLY on the other side.

I used to think it was just a mirror girl. Like, a perfect opposite of me, living a perfectly opposite life on the other side of the mirror. When I wave my left hand, she waves her right, when I get a pimple on my right cheek she gets it on her left, when I get dumped by a boy at school she gets asked out on a date. Figures, her life WOULD be better than mine. I'm left handed. Life is always harder for lefties. I don't know how SHE got so lucky, Miss Right-Handed over there.

But this isn't the point. I know now that mirror girls probably don't exist. Not even my mirror girl, even though I can see her. I'm looking at her right now. She's looking right back at me, all quizzically-like, as if she's just as sure I'm not real as I'm sure she's not.

But it she was real, I bet she'd love watching the news. On account of how I hate watching the news. It's just upsetting story upsetting story, so-and-so was shot at the corner market, traffic on I-5 at rush hour, hurricane watch in the tropics. I understand being informed, but I hate how watching the news also means being depressed. But mirror girl loves that kind of stuff. Not being depressed, but crime-fighting and all that. Really gets swept up in the action of it.

And I bet the mirror girl can touch her toes. It's like my joints are stuck or something; when I bend over my hands just flop around in the air and they dangle there all limp, still a good six inches from any hope of ever reaching my toes. I mean, yeah, I look at her while I bend over in front of the mirror, and her fingers are just as far from her toes as my fingers are from mine, but she's probably just humoring me. Maybe she's even trying to make me feel better.

The second she walks away from the mirror, though, I'm convinced she starts doing backflips. Walks all around her house on her hands instead of her feet. What a show off.

But flexibility isn't everything. It's barely a thing at all, if you don't want to be a gymnast or some sort of Olympic athlete. Which I don't. I am perfectly happy being an ice cream server. I work at this little kiosk on a touristy boardwalk, serving ice cream all day. 11-5. We do fun things there too, like mixing different kinds together or inventing our own flavors. We have silly outfits too; they're bright yellow. A lot of people complain that they look like a hi-lighter, but I don't mind it. I think it's kind of fun.

Speaking of ice cream, I bet mirror girl only likes hot foods. I bet she can really get into a cup of hot cocoa. Hot soup. Hot wings.

And when I said I was perfectly happy being an ice cream server, by the way, don't get the wrong impression. I don't mean I want to do this for the rest of my life. When I was a kid and all the other kids were saying "I want to be an Astronaut! I want to be a Firefighter! I want to be a teacher, a ballerina, the tooth fairy!" I wasn't back there dreaming about serving ice cream. I just meant it's fun right now. For the time being. As a summer job. And that it's better than being able to touch my toes, because who's going to pay me to do that anyway?

Plus I work with this cute boy. He has freckles.

I did want to be a doctor though. I always thought it sounded so fancy. I knew the doctor was always the hero, the one saving lives and stuff. I don't know what I thought doctors actually did though. When I found out it meant stuff like cutting people open and looking at their insides, I changed my mind real quick. Maybe a teacher would be better. Or a ballerina. Or an astronaut. I have a weak stomach.

I was never even good at Operation. I bet mirror girl was a pro, though. I bet she won Operation championships, if they have those on the other side of the mirror. I don't have a steady enough hand to be a doctor. I always set off the buzzer getting the charlie horse.

But, I'm sure her life isn't perfect either. I got an A on my history exam last week. The would make mirror girl terrible at history. I bet she can't even remember what happened last week. Or what she had for breakfast (though I know she probably had oatmeal since she loves hot food so much). I'm also really good at hula hooping. You might laugh, but I've won hula hooping contests. It's kind of a thing of mine. At the mall one time, I got a gift card for one hundred dollars just because I rock so much at moving my hips. You'd think I'd have a boyfriend because of that, but no. Just a certificate saying I'm the "2010 Tri-Regional Hula Champ" stuck up on the fridge with a tropical fish magnet. And the one hundred dollars. Which I spent on clothes. But the point is, mirror girl has never won any hula hooping contests, I'm sure.

I'm going to count this as a win in my favor, though I think you might still be laughing.

I'll be honest. Sometimes if I'm feeling kind of crummy, I think about switching places with 'ol mirror girl over there. I bet she wouldn't mind trying out the life of a Lefty for the day while I borrow her flexibility and confidence to talk to boys over here on my side. I'd even let her look at my hula certificate. Heck, I'd even let her pretend it was hers!

It would be nice being her for a day. I mean the backflips and everything would be great, but I'm talking more about the little things. Enjoying the news. Not burning my tongue on my hot cocoa. Working next to the freckled boy all day and engaging him in hilarious and witty banter, rather than blushing and stammering when our elbows bump near the dishwasher.

It's exciting when our elbows bump, definitely. But I never know what to say. It's not exactly the best conversation starter. "Sorry about the elbow bumpage," is just lame. "Hey I like your elbows," what am I, some king of fetish creep? "Do you moisturize, your elbows are so smooth," they might as well just lock me up and take away my social privileges, honestly.

Mirror girl would know just what to say. She wouldn't even have to worry about stimulating elbow-bump conversation because Freckles would have probably asked her out by now. I bet they already would have made it to second base. She'd be wearing his ring. Do boys even do that anymore; give girls their rings?

I might give it a try today. The switching places thing. You know, hypothetically.

I'm pretty sure I saw Freckles' name on the schedule. I'd never be able to talk to him by myself, but if I just borrow a bit of mirror girl's talents, I think we could do it together.

Still standing in front of my full length mirror, I put my work hat on in one swift movement. I look directly into her eyes, exactly the same as the ones on my face. Somehow, the required work uniform looks way better on her than it does on me. I'm not sure how to do the switch exactly, so I make it up as I go. I spin around three times, hop on one foot, say some combination of words in my mind that I think sound tantric or chanty or something, and shut my eyes real tight.

When I open them, I almost think I feel some sort of essence of confidence flood into my body. I stare at the mirror girl. She stares back. It is time to leave for work, so I finally break eye contact with her to grab my purse that's hanging on the end of my bed. When I turn back, we wink at each other knowingly. Today is going to be a great day, I know it.

---

Last google search: "bmi calculator" (I've been reading Hayley's blog again xD)
Chipotle burritos: 16

56 comments:

Deanna said...

I really like this. I like the idea, wanting to be the exact opposite of what you are now.

I'm horrible at giving constructive critizism, but I honestly really liked it.

Rebeca said...

That was so cute! Ah!

While, when I read something new, I tend to look for grammar errors and stuff (English major FTW), I attempted to just focus on the voice of the narrator and I found her entirely engaging. I really like the concept as well. It's quirky and heartfelt. Very fun to read. You should definitely post more of your creative writing :D

Jodi Butler said...

I'm really entranced with this character. She's basically me, I think. And I love the whole Mirror Girl concept. I think that was part of the reason I was so entranced, actually. Also, I wanted to say that I love the little tid bits you added in there to make the story seem that much more real - like the tropical fish magnet.

The only qualm I have is this - the ending seemed to come out of nowhere. And by that I mean it was just too sudden. It didn't seem like it got worked up to enough. But other than that (and that's just a small detail, really) I really loved it! You should post more of your writing on here. :)

Michelle said...

I really liked it! You should post more of your writing it would be a lot of fun!

nerdgirl1990 said...

I really enjoyed reading this. :) I have found a couple of little errors: Where you've written "if you don't want to be a gymnastic" should be "if you don't want to be a gymnast", and the apostrophe is on the wrong side of your "'ol", but I expect that's just a typo. :)
However, I'm so impressed by your writing. What I really love is that you've completely changed the voice for the narrator: I can usually hear your voice in my head when I read your blog, but I was completely convinced that that narrator was this all new person that had taken on an existence of their own.

Overall, good job! Keep up the writing. :D

Jess said...

"Plus I work with this cute boy. He has freckles."

Loves it <3

Gah, both you and Hayley need to publish books lyk nao pl0x.

somethingprofound said...

tl;dr.

I'm just kidding! Haha, sorry, couldn't resist.
I really enjoyed this! I love the concept, and the character - she's real, it's very easy to relate to her.
Great job. You should definitely show us your writing more often :)

Lizzy said...

You have no reason to be nervous uploading your story- it's really good! I've been doing lots of required summer reading for school recently, so I can honestly say this is the most interesting thing I've read in weeks. I'd love to read more short stories from you in the future!

Cassie said...

This was actually very good. I enojoyed reading it a lot and your character is so relatable. I love it!

Christina said...

I loved it. It was so well written and I loved the idea of comparing yourself to the mirror.

Megan said...

Your story was so good! I found myself completely entranced in the story, and I wanted it to keep going. The character was definitely relatable. She is the girl that every girl has been at some point in time. I can't wait to read more of anything you write!

Pisike said...

This was very good. I have belived in mirror-girls too. And if you write something, you should definately share this with us.

(I wrote a long commet yesterday, but I accidentally deleted it before posting)

Molly said...

This is an ADORABLE story! It made me smile and giggle a bit. :)
I've thought about the whole "other side of the mirror" thing before. Mostly how the room is reversed. I'd never really thought about the person on the other side being my complete opposite, though. Its a brilliant idea.

Good job!

Anna said...

You'll have a ton of people writing you saying this is good, and it is--but as someone with a degree in English (not that that really qualifies me or anything, but it's helped me to analyze writing), and as someone who's tutored writing and workshopped a ton, I have a few notes:
1. Your tone shifts quite a bit here, and I had a hard time grasping who this character was supposed to be. Some details indicated teenager, but then the tone of the writing, on occasion, was very child-like.
2. Who is this character addressing? It started off feeling like an internal monologue, but the further it went, and the more details you added, it seemed more and more like the character was addressing someone directly.
3. You had a bit of repetitive word usage and sentence structure. Also some grammar and punctuation errors, but of course nothing serious.

The idea you started off with is an interesting one. The first three paragraphs are the best, in my opinion, and can easily be cannibalized for a different take entirely on the story. Hope you can appreciate some constructive criticism and not take offense. You have a great start and a great idea here. Hope to read more of your stuff!

Paloma said...

Wow! I had never thought about mirrors that way. Your story is very creative and adorable. Well done! :D

Michael said...

It was an awesome story! I really liked how the narrative was done.

Manar said...

That was really cute! :D

I loved it. :)

Krazy_4_Kelly said...

I really liked this, Kristina! It was adorable and creative and it kept me reading an wondering how it'd end. My only comments are that A) "as if she's just as sure I'm not real as I'm sure she's not real." I'd take out the last word because you already have the word real in the sentence and it doesn't add anything to it having it there, saying "I'm sure she's not" is just as strong, if not a stronger sentence. B) I'd make all of the ALL CAPS words italics instead. Both ways are good but I think italics has more attitude and ALL CAPS sounds more childish. Both work fine, I'd just choose italics...

Again, I really liked this and I hope you decide to post more of your original work here :) you're a great writer.

Sydney said...

I really emjoyed this. The idea of the person you see in the mirror being your exact opposite is really interesting. I can totally relate to the main character, also. I love it!

Alissa said...

I really like it, it starts off a bit cutesy, but I love the ending... And of course there is nothing wrong with a heavy amount of cute. If I feel particularly pedantic, you spelled "Gymnastic" instead of "Gymnast". But otherwise I wouldn't change a thing.

Maria said...

Hi,I've been reading your blog for a while,but this is my first comment.I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your story!At first I got the feeling that I've seen or heard a similar idea about a mirror girl but after I read the whole story I find it's absolutely adorable and original.The character you've created and the details you've added made it into something that everyone can relate to.At least I did.Sowhat I wanted to say is that maybe you could turn this short story into something bigger by adding a few chapters.I know you have a thing for magic but it doesn't even have to be about her switching places with mirror girl.I would love to read more about the character,why she wants to be different and how she feels, because that's what made me like the story so much.
Btw you are awesome.Never give up on writing ;]

elfarmy17 said...

Sorry that I don't have any better feedback than this, but that was AWESOME. I mean, I belong to a writing club. We critique each other all the time. But really that's all I have for you. And that I'm posting a link to this post on MY blog to share with said writer friends plus a few others. I also liked that other bit you posted awhile ago. More Kristina-writing, please? :)

Zoe K. said...

THAT WAS SO AWESOME AND ADORABLE! If you turned that into a book or something, you'd be a bestseller, INSTANTLY. Better than those dumb Harry Potter books...

>> << >>

okayimtotallyjoshinyah. But you rock!

Rachel said...

I really enjoyed reading that! A lot of it mademe smile, especially the part about lefties... fellow lefty sympathy, LOL.

I know what you mean about being nervous to post your writing. I think that's actually why I started my writing blog- I needed to push myself to share more of it, even if it's just with cyberspace. It is terrifying, though.

Sarah said...

I really like this, Kristina! I loved the voice of the character, I could hear her talking inside my head. Thanks for sharing some of your writing with us!

Jack said...

I loved this story! The premise is genius, and the way you executed it worked really well. it flowed well, not jilted or anything, which is how lots of writing like this can seem: the big list of things can often feel disjointed, but not here.

I usually like to give constructive criticism but I can't think of any- There were a few minor spelling/grammar mistakes, but that's it.

Very well done girl!

Mandarific said...

I totally enjoyed reading this - you should more of your writing! Such a cool concept for a story too - I love the idea of a mirror version of ourselves that is completely different.

Jess the Nerdfighting Band Geek said...

I really like the story. Particularly the ideas that you managed to make come through it, because we all wish we could be better at being ourselves. My only criticism might be that it seems a little unfocused in some spots. Not to a detrimental point, but you go off into tangents that aren't terribly related to the other. I can, however, tell you this is probably better than anything I've written! And to quote of one of my English teachers "If you have to redraft something ten times to be sure that you're comfortable with it, then do it." =)

Rosanna said...

I love the idea behind your story, of another girl on the other side of the mirror, that is so lovely.
I really loved that, it was sweet and engaging and just lovely to read. I am just wondering what age group you could see yourself write for? I always wonder about that because I can't imagine myself ever writing adult books. I feel like everything I write would be young adult, maybe childrens if I could get it right.

Jordiekins said...

I love your writing style. This makes me so anxious for NaNoWriMo.

Kiko said...

That was awesome.

More than the story itself, though, I'm glad that you put some of your creative writing up, I know it's more stressful than just writing regular blog stuff, but you shouldn't worry about it. And really, you should put more of it up. :D

KariKristineJ said...

This was really lovely:) Like many others here, I really appreciated the small details in the story. Made it easier and more fun to picture settings/situations/objects that have emotional meaning to the main character:)

The only thing I noticed that didn't click (for me at least!) was the last two paragraphs. I wans't prepared for an ending, and though the ending was adorable, it wasn't something I predicted. Made me stumble a bit, but.. well, that's it:) Good job^^

kelli.elizabeth333 said...

I loved it!
I think you're really freaking talented, and I like the idea of reflecting her personality through the mirror as well as her image. If you continue writing more of the story, I would LOVE to hear more of it(and I'm sure everyone else would too).
And don't worry about letting us read your writing; we all love you! :)

Anna M. said...

um, more please. haha I always have this problem with short stories, I want more.

Megha Patel said...

That was really awesome, Kristina! I absolutely love the idea of the story because I actually used to think like that. I thought there was a whole other person behind that mirror. Someone with a life opposite of mine. So amazing.

My favorite parts of your writing was how you kind of included parts you said before into the parts you are writing now. (Does that make sense?) I really love when authors do that because it makes it so witty and cute and funny. So good.

I really, really hope you post more! Or maybe write the whole story? Yeah, that'd be great! Haha.
It would be really awesome to read what happens after that, if there is more.

Megha Patel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beangirl1389 said...

At first, I could hear you talking in your writing. I heard your voice and imagined some youtube version of yourself reading this, and in the following paragraphs, I started getting into the story and lost you telling the story and the girl on this side of the mirror took form. I got really into her story, and now I want to read more about her!

sarah said...

oh my goodness kristina... this is fantastic!!!!

SellByMaggie said...

This was really good! I love reading your writing. You should definitely post it more often.(:
I understand that it kind of feels weird though. I feel like that with my writing too.

The Vagabond said...

So cute! The idea is very good as well! I've never really thought about "Mirror World" but we all have our things like that. Mine was like little people or something like that. Like really small versions of ourselves that lived in trees and stuff. In fact I'm writing a Christmas story about that for my 17 month niece! I'm excited. I guess I'll have to start listening to the Christmas music and drinking the Starbucks chai lattes again sooner than normal this year. Last year I started in October. Oops. I just really like Christmas (136 days. Just in case you were wondering).

Danielle said...

I like where you're going. It reminds me of seeing myself as a stranger sometimes.
Now constructive criticism :) - You have some tone conflicts/issues. The narrator jumps from inner monologue to mature to pre-teen (especially the line about the cute boy with freckles). Make sure the age of the narrator and the audience is clear.
I also think you should work in the bit about where the narrator is employed a little more, and be less blunt with it. Work in the details elsewhere as character development. I think this also plays in to the tone. If you were having an inner monologue, you wouldn't have to say where and when you work.
Can't wait to read more!

Holly said...

I LOVED it, the concept and the narrator, and I just couldn't wait for her to step away from the mirror to maybe explore some other reflections . . . but then she stayed there, posing. Something in me was yearning for movement!
I think the tone confused me a little, but mainly it's awesome!!

Niki. said...

Wow, I really like this! It's a really interesting concept and the narrator seems to be a really adorable and entertaining character. =].

You're a great writer, I hope we can read more of your writing soon!

`Adrielne said...

What an interesting story! Honestly, I didn't think that writing a few hundred words about looking in a mirror could be in the least bit entertaining, but you did it!

I feel a connection with the main character. Really, I do. We bonded. I can't touch my toes, either, and I prefer my food NOT to burn my tongue. I can't hula hoop to save my life, but I bet she'd teach me. Oh, and we both have elbow-bumping issues, despite the fact that I don't sell ice cream. There isn't any ice cream at the gas station.

The only thing I would change is the way you get to the ending. It's just a bit too sudden after a few minutes of reading about her thoughts. If you added a paragraph in there of how Mirror Girl surely doesn't have to walk to work because her boyfriend drives her there or how your MC wishes she didn't have to always be late... Something that connects more with work, at least. And then the Freckles thing.

But I'm just being picky here, feel free to ignore ;)

pearlsanddreams said...

I've been following your blog for a year or so now, but have never commented (shy?). I loved your story! There are so many ways it could develop too, it's honestly brilliant. I'm going to read it to my four-year-old son when he gets home from his Nana's house; I bet he'll love it, too. Well done. xx

Elisabeth said...

This was so cute! And definitely well written!

My criticism: I thought the first few paragraphs and the ending were very good, strong and well written. But in the middle, I started to lose track - it wasn't entirely clear to me where you were headed, or what the important things were that you wanted the reader to notice.

Someone above made the comment that they were impressed at the change of tone in this compared to your usual blog posts; I agree. I think it's great that, as a writer, you're able to convincingly sound like you're a character who is actually very different to you.

Thanks for making the choice to share this with us. :)

承王蓁 said...

Joy often comes after sorrow, like morning after night.. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

jelliebean578 said...

You should post more of your writing! I love the first two paragraphs especially. One thing, I think that for so much buildup the conclusion could have had a bit more punch. I think a description of an act that's different now that she's a changed girl as opposed to the "essence of confidence" would have worked better, even something as small as her picking up a pen with her right hand. Loved the voice!

Anonymous said...

That story was phenomenal. I absolutely love it. You had no reason at all to be nervous; you are an amazing writer. Your writing just seems so natural and flows so well. And the girl in the story, she feels so real. I feel like she actually exists. But yeah, your writing is fantastic. Post more, please? :D

also, what happened to the thing where we made up definitions for captchas?

Sammie said...

Wow Kristina! I really liked this. It was a super neat idea. :)

Manuel said...

I really enjoyed your story. Thank you for sharing!

someniceletters said...

This is such a good story! I'm very jealous. If I could write half as well... Honestly, I don't even know what I'd do with myself.

Great work!

Jenni said...

I really liked your story! It had a lot of description and feeling that made you connect with the character. It's also an interesting idea for a novel :)
I understand what you mean about being nervous of people reading your stuff. I could never post anything online that I had written, so congrats!

Tessa. said...

thanks for sharing that. it was a great read. you have inspired me to start making a plan for a story of my own. and though i usually plan to write a story and that that attempt fails...i a going to write it. no matter how long it takes.

Sajethegirl said...

I loved "Mirror Girl" It was as fun as reading your blog but I could tell it wasn't you just narrating your day. I wanted it to be a book so I wouldn't have to be done with it so fast. :) And then I would want it to be made into a movie or miniseries so I could experience it again.

favorite part: paragraph with the bit about the oatmeal.
? part: the very sudden acknowledgement of the reader in the very next paragraph. Not bad, just kinda outta nowhere.

kira902k said...

Aw. That was a really really cute story.
I honestly don't think it was the best thing of yours that I've read, but I did enjoy it a lot.
I don't really know what you could change to improve it though. I liked it. :)