English 10: Writing Portfolio


Catholic Memorial High School



Creative Writing  
  Dear P.D. James,

My name is Kevin Halsey. I would like to invite you to come visit my school. I go to Catholic
Memorial in Massachusetts in the United States. I would like it if you would come and visit my
school and maybe talk to us about writing.

I understand that you have been writing for more than 10 years. To me it seems that you really
enjoy writing a lot. You may also be a very good writer seeing as how long you have been writing
for. I also like to write sometimes too. I thought that it was very interesting that you have been
writing for so long and that we both like to write.

I read that many of your writing has been novels about crime. I also read that
many of you novels have included the Scotland yards mystery commander Adam Dalgliesh. I have ready a
summary of your book Death in Holy Orders. It seemed like a very good book that I would like to
hopefully get around to reading it sometime. An excerpt from the book that I liked was “After he was
killed, the army sent me back all of his belongings and there was a bundle of letters among them.
Not every one I had written, he couldn’t have kept them all, but he did keep the longest.” I enjoyed
reading line because it showed me that in your book this woman’s son had really loved her and kept
all of the letters she had send them.

I had also read that you had spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil
Service. I would like for you to tell my class and I about this if you do come to visit us in the
United States. If you can not come and visit us I will understand, I would still like for you to try
and come visit us.

Kevin Halsey









William Blake has written many stories and poems. He has also written many
letters. A letter that I have that was written by William Blake was written to Rev.
Sir. The letter does not say when it was written. This letter gives us an understanding that Blake
was somewhat of a holy man. What this letter reveals to
us is that Blake had a very different outlook on his surroundings than most other

This letters purpose was to tell Rev. Sir that Blake’s ideas differ from Sir’s ideas.
According to the letter the two friends may have been in an argument because the
two had different ideas on a painting. Rev. Sir was angry because of Blake’s
different ideas. I know this because during the letter Blake says “I feel very sorry
that your ideas & mine on Moral Painting differ so much as to have made you angry
with my method of study”

We also learn from this letter that Blake sees the world differently than we do. In
his letter he says “You certainly mistake when you say that the visions of fancy are
not found in this world, To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy and
imagination”. This shows us how Blake sees the world different then most other
people. Another way he shows us is when he says “Some scarce see nature at all but
to the eyes of the man of imagination nature is imagination itself”. Both of these
lines show us just how differently William Blake’s outlook is.

Blake’s style of writing of his poems or stories is much more different than his
writing in letters. In his letters he does not use as many metaphors as he does in his poems or
stories. He talks a lot more normal or casual in his letters. In both his
poems and stories he uses bigger words than most people do, but he also uses bigger
words in his letters, that is one way his writing styles are alike.

  Many crimes are committed each day, in this case an innocent man has been

sentenced to prison. Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman is a 22 year old college student, or

at least he was before he was expelled from al-Azhar University for criticizing his

own religion. The motive behind this crime was just to simply state his thoughts on

the month of Ramadan in an internet blog. Nabil was first arrested in October 2005.

He has been sentenced to four years of imprisonment “insulting Islam and defaming

the Egyptian president, Mubarak”.

Many people across the world are upset about what has happened to kareem

because of his own personal thoughts. “Kareem is being used. A perfect example

that freedom of expression is not in safe hands with the Mubarak regime, which can

turn things on and off” said Mona Eltahawy. Other protestors of what has

happened have created a website called www.freekareem.org to show that they have

the respect of Kareem and that they are upset about what has happened to him. I

don’t think that the crime is that this man has spoken against the government, I feel

that the crime here is that an innocent man has been arrested for his thoughts.

Kareem’s blog was found by his college on the internet. When the school found

out what Kareem really thought about Islam and the government they immediately

told the police. Even before he was arrested Kareem was being punished by people

sending him death threats over the internet. After being harassed by the police and

undergoing surveillance he was condemned to serve four years in prison. Even after

Kareem is released from prison he will still undergo punishment. He will be looked

upon differently by the people of his community and will be disliked by them for his

feelings about the religion that is so sacred to them.

This crime can somewhat relate to the book animal farm. A scene in animal farm

was when some of the other animals thought that what was going on was bad and

one of the leaders (squealer) had some of the other animals kill them. I think that

relates to this crime because the animals in the story were standing up for there

belief as well and they were prosecuted for what the believe. Just as Kareem was

prosecuted for stating what he believes on the internet.

The reason that I believe what the government has done here is wrong is because

I live in a country where people have the freedom of speech. I think that in every

country people should be able to say what they really think and not be sentenced to

four years in prison like Kareem was. The government has too much power in

Egypt. They shouldn’t be able to put a person in jail for not agreeing with the same

religion as they do. I think that the government used there power in this crime just

to show everyone else what they’ll do if the people of Egypt don’t listen to them.