“Buzz- buzz- buzz” I heard my alarm clock ring loudly. I slapped my hand down on the snooze button and looked over to my flashing pink alarm clock. It was one that I had bought last year on holiday in Paris, I still was not used to the early morning jingle it played. It was Monday the 15th June 7:00am. I had to get up and ready for another day of school. I struggled up out of my bed. I was so warm snuggled up in my cozy room. I walked over to my window and pulled the curtains back, typical it was raining again no change there then! I just wanted to go back to bed. I slowly stumbled out of my room, through the hall and downstairs to get my uniform from the kitchen. Mum was up and in the kitchen making breakfast. “Good morning Imogen,” she said with a chirpy smile. “Your clothes are on the drying pile I’m off to the hospital soon. Suzy that works on my shift has phoned in sick so I have to go in earlier to help out.” “Yeah okay,” I replied, returning the smile as I spoke. I grabbed my clothes off the neatly folded pile and ran upstairs to get ready for school. I only had to catch the bus at 8:15am but I took my time to get ready! I quickly got dressed in my navy blue school skirt, newly ironed shirt with the logo - “Preston High School” printed on the front pocket and a matching pin striped blazer. Snazzy. (Not!) I sat down in front of my mirror on my cream leather stool. Right, hair first I thought. I took my sleek patient black hair brush and smoothly swished it through my very long blonde wavy hair. I then carefully placed a silver sparkling band in. Now make up… I dotted concealer on then quickly dusted some power on my face and then applied mascara and lip gloss of course. Right that will have to do I thought as I rushed to grab my bag full of books and forgotten homework. I pulled my new mobile phone off charge and slipped it into my pocket and ran down stairs again. I grabbed some toast smothered in nutella and quickly drank a glass of fruit juice as I ran out the door to catch the bus for school. I slammed the door shut on my way out. I quickly ran down the long twisty pebble path where the bright primary coloured flowers were lined up beside it, the poor flowers were getting battered by the wind and rain. I just managed to catch the bus on time. I grabbed the red hand rail and swung right round onto the bus. “Hello Gen,” said a smiley face behind the steering wheel. It was Lenny our usual driver. He was a middle aged man with big brown eyes that reminded me of my best friend Alexis’ puppy! The stubble on his chin was starting to turn a silky grey colour. (Or as my granddad likes to call it “Silver!”) He also wore a bright red driver’s cap which I thought was to compliment the big red bus! “Morning Lenny,” I replied. I looked up over at all of the seats on the bus trying to find my friends. They were all sprawled out over the back as usual, I spotted the seat that had been saved for me, right in the middle. “Hey chick!” shouted a voice from the crowd, It was Alexis. I smiled and walked over and sat down next to her. The bus journey that morning was such a laugh, typically Mondays are known to be dull and boring but for sure not this one! Everyone had so much gossip about what they had been up to at the weekend some of the boys had been on a rugby trip and had won the competition and got a trophy for our school. There was an extremely exciting atmosphere on the bus. It only took about 20min's to get to Peerson High. Most of the trip was through the city though so there was not much nice scenery in sight until we got back out of the town. As we pulled up to our school there was a smart silver and aqua sign reading ‘Peerson High School’ and next to it was the most beautiful crystal clear waterfalls running down into a small ribbon river flowing round the school. When we pulled up at the newly painted school gates the doors of the bus swung open and everyone poured out and swiftly walked up the hard concrete steps and into the huge fancy looking building. Alexis, Mirren, Brittany and I all walked round to Art our 1st period of the day. It was also my favourite subject. Lucky for me it was a good start to the day, but poor Brittany sat across from her ex boyfriend which was just awkward considering it was only last week they broke up. We were all best friends, just typical 15 year old girls. We did everything together,whether it was just chilling out at school, weekend party's, sleepovers, shopping, studying fashion magazines, doing each others hair and make up and we even played sports together!
In our group everyone was different but at the same time so alike! Mirren was in most of my classes and we had been best friends since we started school together. She is extremely clever and one of those lucky people who seem to be good at everything, whether it's musical talents or artistic skills! She has rich chocolate brown hair just to her shoulders and big green eyes with beautiful long curly lashes. Alexis has naturally platinum blonde hair and its very,very curly, sometimes it even reminds me of fluffy candy floss! Her style is cute and casual which sums up her personality pretty well. 'cute as a button!' Brittany is really into fashion and girly things like make up. She is a stunning girl and most of the guys in our year totally fancy her! She has huge sparkling blue eyes that seem to shimmer when she flutters her perfectly mascara coated eyelashes. We all met Brittany in our visit days to Peerson three years ago. She came from a huge school in the city and was used to lots of people whereas Mirren, Alexis and I all went to far smaller schools on the outskirts and only got together when we got to Peerson. At lunch we sat our usual table, in Peerson High everyone had certain places to sit at lunch. In my opinion we had the best table! The friendly down to earth people, it was a good mixture of boys and girls as well. The table right behind us was the snobby posh kids who thought they were better than everyone else (you know the kind!) always head to toe in designer clothing and the most expensive perfumes that made them smell like a florists shop, every time you walked past them you nearly choking on the strong scent. Then across from us there was the "fit guys" which gave us a pretty good view! They were all so tanned and lush looking with fabulous fresh faces and always smiling. Then right at the other side of the hall there was a few tables took up by the "chavs ," bubble gum blowing, smoking, drinking and always wearing trackies! They were the kind of people that really annoyed me, mainly because of their utter rudeness.
It was a long day at school filled with Art, Maths, Chemistry, English, French and Technical Studies. Which was not too bad but could have been allot better. Soon wewere back on the bus and heading home. "Thanks for the lift Lenny!", I shouted as I leaped of the bus and ran back up the pebble path that lead to our house. The sun was out and shining brightly by the time I got home. It's beam was glittering of the metal number 5 pinned onto the front of the door. It was a fairly new house. It had 4 bedrooms which was plenty of room for Ashton Mum, Dad and me. Ashton was my older brother, he was 18 and in his last year of school. He was hardly ever at home because he had passed his driving test, and for his 18th birthday he had got a fancy brand new car from mum and dad. He was always either studying or out partying with his mates at the weekends. I was lucky having an older brother because I got the advantage of being the younger sister, quite spoilt at times! I flung the door open, took a few steps in the hallway and swung my bag round onto the wooden oak banister. "I'm home!" I yelled. But there was no reply. I wandered through to the kitchen and opened a cupboard, grabbed a glass and a bottle of orange juice and poured the juice into the glass then carefully filled it to the brim with water. As I was about to take a sip I herd a thud at the door, it was the post. I set down my juice and went to collect the letters, bills and unwanted junk mail from the mat. I lifted a pile of envelopes and flicked through them. Mum, dad, dad, mum, Ashton, dad... me! Yeah, I rarely got things in the post and it always excited me when I did. I read the front it was addressed to Miss Imogen Rose. I rushed to open it, I ripped the envelope then pulled out the letter. Oh-my-gosh! It was from the magazine Grazia. The title was stylishly printed along the top of each piece of paper. I had entered a competition to design a summer/spring dress for London fashion week 2010. All You had to do was sketch out a design and post it away to the magazine and the top three would get to go and meet the fashion design team, the winner got their dress made then modeled on the catwalk. I couldn't believe it, I let out a scream of excitement! Wahoo! I was in the top three! I started jumping up and down on the spot not knowing what else to do! My eyes scrolled down the sheet it seemed to get better and better. The letters were telling me all about what I had won and about a trip that they wanted me to go on, to the London head offices of Grazia, I was aloud to bring one friend as well as a parent! I ran to the phone to call mum. I grabbed the silver cordless phone of the stand attached to the wall, I dialled mums mobile to tell her the exciting news. It rang and rang then finally she answered I told her about the letter and trip and she was so surprised and pleased for me. She said she had just finished her shift and would be home soon so we could talk about it then. I got my mobile phone out and started texting everyone with the news, I still wasn't over the shock! My mobile started to flood with incoming messages and replies from all of my friends and family! It wasn't long before mum came home, she read the letters and after talking together I realised that there was going to be a lot to think about. Where we would stay? How would we get there? Who I would bring with me? There was a phone number we had to call for all the information. Mum said she would just go and call them right away. I went upstairs to see if I could find my designs I rummaged around in my bedroom for a while searching in drawers, then I finally found a folder filled with all of my drawings over the past year or so. I took my time to look through them all, It brought back so many memories. Since I was very young I always wanted to be in the fashion industry. I loved the thought of designing, but I never thought I would have a chance to get involved... until now! I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! I kept on flicking through the drawings and pieces of materials, then I came across my dress design, I couldn't believe that I had a chance to win the competition! The short cream dress was a tight fitting ribbed bodycon style with long thin lace sleeves. It looked very channel. I knew that if I saw it in a shop I would buy it! After a while of sitting on my bed relaxing i decided to go back downstairs to see what the people from Grazia had said on the phone to mum about the trip. As I was running down stairs i heard mum shouting "Tea time!" Yes, just in time I thought to myself. Yum... the smell of mince and tatties was drifting towards me through the hall way. I went into the kitchen and sat down at the table. Mum was dishing up the dinner, dad sitting at the table reading the paper. "Well done Imogen!" dad congratulated me as he stood up and gave me a big hug. " Your mum told me about the competition." Mum turned around from the cooker and smiled. "Yes we are very proud of you." "Aw thanks!" I felt so warm and happy inside. "Where's Ashton?" I asked. "Rugby training," dad replied. "Oh the lady on the phone about the trip was really nice, she just asked for details, phone numbers and that sort of things. She did say though that you get to bring one adult and one friend along with you!" I thought that bringing a friend would be so much more fun than just going on my own with mum. Then I started to wonder who would I bring?
I really didn't want to offend any one of my friends by not picking them but Mirren was my best friend and immediately I knew she was who I wanted to pick. I just didn't know how to tell the others. After tea the phone rang it was Mirren she had got my text but wanted to hear more. We spoke non stop for our record time of 1 hour and 57 minutes! I went up to my room and chilled out for a while and did some of my homework. (Though I really didn't see the point in homework I was forced to do it!) I went to bed with my mind spinning, full of thoughts. It took me ages to get to sleep but when I did I had the weirdest dream ever. It was about a giant purple dog in a dress that chased me through London and then in the end I killed him with a sewing needle... now tell me, who dreams up these sort of things?!
In the morning I got up and ready, went to school and when I got there we chatted for a while about my trip to London and then we were off to our first class, double PE. We were doing athletics which was quite good for me because I do athletics. I'm actually in the Scotland team I do 100m and 200m for the U17's. I love the rush you get when you zoom through that finish line and beat your PB! (personal best) There is lots of training that we have to go through but it's always worth it in the end. The day seemed to go really fast it was morning break then English, biology, lunch, art and finally geography. Before I knew it the bell had gone, and we were on our way home. When I got home mum was sitting on the sofa in the sitting room sipping a cup of herbal tea I went in and sat beside her, we chatted for a while about the trip and everything that goes along with it, she had found out that it was on Thursday 18th this week until Friday next week. It was so soon, it was Tuesday today! I had to get packing and ready for the trip. I got a piece of paper and a pen and started to write a list of all the things I would need to take with me... it was a long list! Mum had been sent all the information she needed about accommodation so her mind was at rest. She had been told that one of the professional drivers from the magazine would meet us at Heathrow airport and drive us to our Hotel, then pick us up in the morning and take us to the official studios. I decided to go and start packing for the trip, I went upstairs and set out a few outfits I wanted to bring with me. Mum went into the garage and looked out a few big suitcases for us to bring. They were the ones we bought for our our trip to Paris last year.
Feedback for Shabnamn
This is a marvelous school story. It works well because the protagonist, who is also the narrator, chats to her reader as if they are friends. Teenage readers will immediately relate to her and become engaged with her story.
Shabnamn starts with the beginning of her character’s day. We learn about Imogen’s home, her feelings about getting up, the weather, her hurried breakfast, the rush to the school bus, her greeting of her friends. The narrative flows seamlessly into her day at school whilst she introduces her friends to the reader.
Teenagers will like Imogen and trust her judgement of others and indeed we learn much about the people around her from Imogen’s thoughts and feelings about them. Thus Shabnamn SHOWS character. Shabnamn’s characters are placed within the settings of home, school and the school bus. Although description of setting is not abundant, there is enough to stop us (as readers) being stuck inside Imogen’s head.
For teenage readers though, Imogen’s head is the strength of this story. The narrative style is breezy, appealing and chatty. Imogen talks directly to the reader:
‘I had the weirdest dream ever. It was about a giant green dog that chased me through London and then in the end I killed him with a sewing needle... now tell me, who dreams up these sort of things?!’
Imogen talks about things that are important to teenagers: make-up, clothes, mobile phones, parents and most importantly her friends:
‘After tea the phone rang it was Mirren she had got my text but wanted to hear more. We spoke non stop for our record time of 1 hour and 57 minutes!’
Imogen’s teenage readers will understand her gripes:
‘I went up to my room and chilled out for a while and did some of my homework. (Though I really didn't see the point in homework I was forced to do it!)’
Some tips for next time:
• To brush up a little on the rules of dialogue – taking a new line for dialogue and each new speaker.
• To remember EITHER to join sentences together using joining words or a semi-colon (;) instead of a comma OR to simply make a new sentence when you are changing the subject.
• Be careful about using too much punctuation!!!!!!???????
Imogen is about to have her dream come true: she is about to win a fashion competition. All of Shabnamn’s readers will be rooting for Imogen to win because we feel as though she is a friend of ours. Excellent writing from Shabnamn in this respect. This story is unfinished and I imagine Shabnamn would have created some challenges for Imogen to overcome. Challenges are important to readers – they measure themselves against the character in the story and this keeps them involved.