An Author’s Before and After


Joslynn Ginier and Jacob Sloane

Have you ever cleaned your room or cleaned out your closet and found something you wrote or drew an exceptionally long time ago? Then you go down a rabbit hole of nothing but memories from elementary school? Well, Woodrow Wilson High School Senior, Joslynn Ginier did that a few months ago, and found a story that she wrote in elementary school called “The Woods.” “It was embarrassing to read knowing that younger me thought it was good. From the spelling errors to it being unfinished, I realize now, it’s not as good as I once thought,” Ginier stated about her old work. “I thought it would be fun to rewrite it and see just how much I have changed since 4th grade.” And that’s exactly what she did.

Below is the original story, “The Woods” by Joslynn Ginier as it was found.

 The Woods (2014) 

One daye a girl weent out on a walk too the woods and found a house randomly. She was spoked out and ran towards it very fast because of the wind blowing. She went in the house and smelt a awfull smell so she went towards the smell and gasped. When she saw a dead anemal and ran out the house to her home. 

Ginier stated that in the fourth grade, she thought this story was turning out amazing, but she didn’t even notice all the errors. “It was also unfinished, which makes me wonder just how I was going to finish this story. Every time I look back at it, I get increasingly embarrassed.” 

The Woods (2023) 

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania is a small town surrounded by nothing but woods. One day a girl named Julie Winestock was walking home from school. Right before getting home, she looked into the woods and saw something strange. Despite her curiosity piquing, she went inside. Late that night, after dinner, she went to her room and looked out the window. She was kind of hoping to see the strange thing she had seen earlier, but to no avail was there anything there. Her curiosity got the best of her, and she went outside. She brought her flashlight with her since it got dark shortly after she went to her room. As she walked in the woods, the wind started to pick up, and the clouds started to cover the sky. She hurried toward the area in hopes that it wouldn’t start raining just yet. She kept walking until she came to a clearing in the woods. At first it looked as if nothing was there, that was until her eyes adjusted to the darkness. There it was, what he had seen earlier while walking home. An old, broken, and rundown house.  

Julie had never seen this house before today. She got a bad feeling about being there, so she figured it would be best to turn around and go home. Right as she went to walk back, it started to pour rain. Since Julie had a coat, she just continued to walk back. It seemed like the weather had a different plan for her. Suddenly, a huge gust of wind knocked her down. After getting back up, she thought it would be best to hide out in the house until all the rain died down a little. As she walked up the porch steps, they were so corroded and withered that her foot went through one of the boards. Julie took her next steps carefully to make sure she wouldn’t go through another board. As she reached for the doorknob, she felt something whisp past her ankle. She jumped back, almost falling. Once she looked down, she noticed that it was just a cat.  

As Julie walked through the door, she was greeted with a hideous smell. It was too much to handle. She put her sleeve up to her nose and kept walking through the door. There was only old furniture and appliances throughout the place. She wanted to explore a little bit until the rain stopped. Julie began to walk through all the rooms but didn’t want to take the chance of walking upstairs and falling through. Other than the place being creepy, it was a little fascinating. As she grew closer to the kitchen, the smell only worsened. Her curiosity piqued. As she inched closer to the kitchen, she began to gag at the smell. Thankfully, the door was shut to mask some of it. It was hard to think how bad it would be once the door was opened. For a second, she hesitated, not wanting to know what was behind it.  

Finally, she opened it. As the smell hit her nose, she threw up. She looked around for a second. As soon as she saw what was there, she immediately ran out of the house with no regard to the rain. She ran as fast as she could back to her house. Julie never wanted to go back there again. She ran up to her room and hopped into the shower as fast as she could, hoping the smell would disappear. After she was done, Julie went straight to sleep to try and forget what she saw about an hour prior. 

Ginier stated that she much prefers the retelling over her original story, “It is always a relief to see how much I have changed and progressed in writing. While it’s embarrassing to see what I wrote in the past, it’s nice seeing how far I’ve come.”