Wednesday, July 02, 2008

No sooner had I posted...

...did I stumble across BLOGGING GOLD! Excellent YA author Laurie Halse Anderson has set a writing challenge:

The rules are simple. In fact, they aren't even rules. They're more like guidelines, the Pirate Code of Writing.
1. Commit to write for 15 minutes a day for the entire month of July.
2. Just do it.

Seriously. That's all there is to it. You don't have to sign up anywhere, or meet minimum word count goals or complete a whole freaking novel in 30 days. Just. Write. Every Day. 15 Minutes.

To help people out, the wonderful Laurie is even posting a topic every day! My life is stupendously dull right now, so to fill the posts I have decided to undertake Laurie's challenge! Hurrah!

If you'd like to try it yourself, check out http://halseanderson.livejournal.com/

TODAYS TOPIC AS GIVEN BY LAURIE: Write about the most embarrassing incident from your childhood.

Well, I suppose you couldn't call it an incident but rather a long, agonising trial. When I was only ten years old I used to make myself sick every Sunday night. I longed for a broken arm, or a 24 hour stomach bug. Anything to avoid the torture that was Monday Morning Swimming lessons.

I couldn't swim when I was ten. I very much doubt I can swim now. When I was barely 3ft in height, my Mother used to pull me into the deep end of the swimming pool and whirl me around. Dancing was what she used to say, we're dancing in the water. It terrified me then and the experience seemed to stay with me. I wouldn't say I was afraid of water, but I was certainly terrified of swimming.

Swimming lessons were truly horrific. The few of us who couldn't swim were designated to lessons in the baby pool. Back then I was one of the tallest girls of my class and even the deep end of the baby pool barely reached my shoulders. I hated every second of it, the changing rooms, the costume, the showers, sitting on the side before being separated, humiliatingly, from the rest of my class.

Strange though. You can't leave Primary school without a level 3 swimming certificate. Which I did get eventually. To get it I had to swim a length of backstroke in the big pool. I remember being half way through the lap and ready to give up and then I heard cheering. My classmates were cheering me on. Even now, the memory warms my heart.

The thing is, I think about swimming lessons a lot. I can still vividly remember how scared and shaky I was every Sunday night, the way my stomach churned and how I used to try to think up ways to hurt myself. I know that however awful my life becomes it just can't compare to swimming lessons.

Nothing has ever been, or, I hope to God, will ever be as painful and humiliating as swimming lessons were.

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