Saturday, December 15, 2007

Am I Little Joe? (revised)


This is the revised edition of the "Am I Little Joe" story.
To One who helped me correct this story.
Please read my comment

Joe was so tired, he just came back from the magazine office after several hours of hard work. It was the fifth day that he was coming back home like this; so tired, without smiling at his wife like ever. That’s why his wife popped in on him and asked “What’s wrong with you Joe? It's been days since you've been your usual self”. Joe said: “Everything is OK honey, don’t be worried about that, everything will be good as it used to be soon.”
They were living in Pandora, a very beautiful town in northern Canbera. The town had very beautiful natural scenes and panoramas. Joe was brought up in a big house in the suburb beside a lake that was adjaced to a forest. When he was a child he always had a habit to go next to the lake, every afternoon, usually with his bicycle, holding his diary notebook and sitting there and writing a diary. He always wanted to become a big writer and author of the most fascinating books in the world and that was why he was always starting his diary with the words “Joe is sitting beside the lake and is writing another diary.” With the feeling of a big, famous Joe that is writing.
Several days passed and Joe was still coming home sad. One day he came back soon and went to the room slapping the door back without noticing his wife. After a few minutes he went out, looking happy with a sports cloth, like the days when he was a child. He went to his wife and said loudly: “We are so prosperous. We can travel all over the world visiting fabulous spots of the world, be on safaris and explore… because I don’t have a job anymore.” and went out with his bicycle.
His wife knew where he was going, because he still had the habit to go to his childhood spot beside the lake whenever he was sad and even sometimes he liked to write the articles for the magazine there. So she dressed and get on her bicycle driving to the lake. She noticed him from the back sitting on his place and thinking. She parked her bike next to his and sat close to him and asked: “Honey, are you thinking about the office?” He said nothing and they were quiet for several minutes. She tried again to open a conversation and said: “don’t worry, you can find another job, maybe you find the job that you always had dreams for soon.” Joe said: “Yes, I’m so hopeful. The other way I’m thinking, the loss of my job was a gift to me. They never honored me, understood my abilities. I’m now happy that I don’t spend my time there anymore. I think it’s the time to start writing the story that I always wanted to write, the story that the little Joe wished to write, the story that the busy Joe never had time to put on it. Yes, this is where Joe always starts. I’m sure that my story begins to be sold Millions of copies worldwide as soon as I publish it. Big Joe is sitting beside the lake and …”
Joe is now finished his story and he is going to make a contract with a well-known publisher. He said to the publication manager to keep his first royalty payment check because he wants to buy their publication 20% more than it’s worth. Will he successful? Can he sell millions of copies and reach his goals?

2 comments:

Wes said...

Hi again Ahmad! Sorry I forgot to mention my name in the last comment; it's Wes. Good to hear that you're using mostly American English materials, hopefully that'll mean that the things I tell you don't contradict anything in your books.

This new version of the story is greatly improved. I found a few things that I missed the first time around. This time, I'm going to put the relevant part you wrote in italics and then my notes after it.

without smiling at his wife like ever.
If the "ever" is meant to be about how frequently he used to smile at her, it would sound better as something like "without smiling at his wife like he usually did". If you change it to that, then you have two sentences in a row that have "usual" or "usually". There's nothing technically wrong with that, of course, but it sounds kind of repetitive and from a purely stylistic standpoint I'd suggest changing "usual self" to "normal self" or something similar.

a lake that was adjaced to a forest
Nothing big here, but that should be "adjacent". As far as I can tell adjaced isn't a word; I guess the correct word in that form would be "adjoined". I don't think I've ever heard or seen anyone actually use "adjoined" though. Adjacent is the word you'd hear in typical usage.

he always had a habit to go next to the lake
This would sound better as "a habit of going". I think that's a verb tense thing. Also, while there's nothing incorrect about "next to the lake", it would sound more natural without the "next". If you were describing a more specific situation at the lake, "next to" wouldn't sound weird. For example, "Joe had a habit of sitting next to the lake" sounds fine. But for a less specific action, such as a general "going to the lake", the "next" would sound unusual.

We can travel all over the world visiting fabulous spots of the world, be on safaris and explore
This may be something that would get a different response from a British or Australian speaker, but to me it would sound better as "go on safaris". For a person in the middle of a safari, you could describe them as being on safari, but when it's something in the future "go" seems more appropriate.

because he still had the habit to go
Like the previous instance, "of going" sounds better than "to go" here.

even sometimes he liked to write
Just a word placement thing here. It sounds better with the "even" moved over a bit like in: "sometimes he even liked to write". I couldn't quote you a formal grammar rule that requires this, though, if one even exists.

So she dressed and get on her bicycle driving to the lake.
The "get" should be "got", and there should probably be a comma after "bicycle", or not add a comma and change the phrasing to "and drove to the lake" instead.
Also, using "dressed" makes it sound like she wasn't wearing clothes before, or at least not many clothes. "Changed clothes" would be a good phrase to use if she was wearing something, but decided to wear something more appropriate for riding a bike. And just in case I gave you the wrong impression before, "slipped on" could be used in some circumstances, especially if it's clothes that you would just pull on and not have to button or anything. For instance, she might have slipped on some spandex bike shorts. You would usually need to specify what it is that she slipped on if you phrase it that way, as there are other, unrelated ways to slip on things, like slipping and falling on ice. Without a mention of the clothing it's difficult to figure out what sort of slipping it is.

She noticed him from the back sitting on his place
This isn't incorrect but usually you would talk about someone sitting at his place, not on his place. To me "place" is an area of some sort, and not something you could specifically sit on. A stool or chair, however, you would sit on. To complicate things, if for example you have a table with many chairs, and you're talking about where someone is located at the table, you might say he's "sitting at the chair by the window" because then the chair is representing his particular place, and not just representing the physical object of the chair.

the job that you always had dreams for
"Dreamed of" sounds better than "dreams for".

The other way I’m thinking
I'm having trouble thinking of a good way to phrase this that sounds natural without relatively large changes to the words used. (That doesn't mean there isn't such a way; I just can't think of one.) "Looking at it from a different perspective" seems like it might get the same basic idea across, and it would sound more natural. Other possibilities, with slightly different meanings: "Now that I think about it", "I now realize", "I've come to the conclusion", or similar phrases. Or maybe something like: "I've changed my mind. Instead of something to be sad about, the loss of my job was a gift to me."

my story begins to be sold Millions of copies worldwide as soon as I publish it
Just some verb tense stuff. "Begins to be sold" should be "will begin to sell".

he wants to buy their publication 20% more than it’s worth
There needs to be a "for" in there, so it reads as: "buy their publication for 20% more".

That's everything I noticed in this revised edition of your story.

Ahmad said...

Thank you Wes
I'll post the new version of the story with your comments applied, probably tomorrow night.