English 10: Writing Portfolio

Essay the first: Origins  
Essay the second: Literature  
  The funniest family story that I can remember is something that took place many years ago. My family and I will always remember this story. It was seven years ago; Christmas was held at my house. My Mom’s side of the family came up to spend Christmas and stay at my house in Worcester, Massachusetts. My Grandma decided to bring her new boyfriend to meet the family and celebrate Christmas Day with us. My family of course had no qualms about meeting this special guest.

I remember the first time I meet Ned. I was outside playing street hockey and my Grandma’s old Wagoner pulled into the long narrow driveway at my old house. I went over to the car and gave my Grandma a hug and then went over to Ned, to shake his hand. Something was different though. Ned reached out with his left hand to shake my hand. This was because he had a right metal hand. Ned had lost his hand in a motorcycle accident that occurred 20 years ago. Ned was an interesting character. He was a tall thin man who had gray wiry hair slicked back into a ponytail. He was a nice guy who was full of far-fetched stories. I did not like Ned, he reminded me of the bad guy in “Inspector Gadget.” He scared me and made me feel uneasy.

Later on that night Ned revealed that he could play the guitar. Of course the whole family wanted to see this, so Ned went out to his car to get his acoustic guitar. First of all, Ned was actually a very gifted musician. To play the guitar without one hand seems impossible, but Ned did it. I watched him placed the guitar on the floor and use his left hand to make chords and notes on the neck of the guitar, as he stroked the strings with his right toes. Of course he did this with his socks off, which was a pretty amazing sight!

Over the course of the night I warmed up to Ned, and took an interest in watching him play the guitar with one hand and his toes. When I was older I learned that he had released a CD called “Toe Jam.” Ned and my Grandma's relationship did not last, but my memory of him and that Christmas remain. This story is just one of many great memories I have of my family and my deceased grandmother, Wamo.















Dear Doris Lessing, Thank you for submitting your work to be apart of Prentice Hall’s Literature textbook in next years edition. At Prentice Hall we always try to have a well thought out and interesting textbook that can be used as a resource for high School students. I read your Story “A Mild Attack of Locust” and I truly enjoyed it. In the new edition we are trying to connect with the young audience that will use out textbook. I appreciated the conflict that you created and the descriptive writing within your story. I also noticed that your story lacked more descriptive words also the tempo of the story left me wanting to stop and the overall topic is not fitting for our book. I regret to inform you that you will not be included in the next edition.

In your story you would often depict words such as reddish, oxblood, rust-color and bright green. I am sure that someone of your intelligent is capable of writing more expressive words. I think by describing situations with more colorful adjectives it with further captivate your readers.

I already briefly explained that Prentice Hall is trying to connect with the readers more. The audience that will be reading are book are high school students, who are already half asleep when they hear the word British literature. Our idea is to include more interesting stories so that the readers will become more interested in the topic. I am sorry to be so critical but “A Mild Attack of Locust” is not an especially exciting story. This is yet another reason why you will not be included in out Textbook.

A critic of yours once said “Lessing’s work is missing tempo” I happen to agree with this. When reading your work it was hard not to notice that their was not a flow if you will that kept the story moving.

You are a gifted writer and if high school students appreciated your work as much as I do then you would be included in the next edition. But high school students are not forty five year old avid readers and therefore you will not be included in our textbook. Do not be discouraged for you are a gifted writer and my only advice to you is to keep on writing.





























The Song of the Amergin is a story about the Spanish Milesians, led by three druids who invade Ireland and become the dominant force on the Island. In the story it tells of mysterious people who wield great powers. Other people in distant parts of the world have stories in which the unexplainable happen, for example the Hebrew's preserve their past within the Old Testament. All cultures have stories that explain their past and in almost all of them the supernatural takes place.

The people that behold these great powers were druids; druids were often considered the priest and magicians of the Celtic people. Amergin was the most significant of the druids for the Milesians. When the Milesians first land, druids of the Celts raise a storm that causes the Spanish fleet to scatter. Amergin uses his druidic ability to calm the storm that has scattered his fleet. This demonstrates the awesome power that the druids were able to perform.

The idea that a person can harness and sway the forces of nature to their will is not unique. In other stories such as the Old Testament, Moses parts the red sea and allows his people to flea away from their captures. In the Celtic world the ocean is an essential part of their everyday life for the reason that the ocean is all around them. This would explain why they would involve the ocean within their stories.

I assume that these stories are not taken seriously by Irish people today, for most of Ireland is of Christian faith and most Celtic beliefs have died off. As for whether these stories should be taken seriously, I believe that they make as much sense as any other stories were the unexplainable happen. Except that the people of today have been taught to believe that there is a God who controls all and that anything that can’t be explained can be explained by the fact that God made it happen. Maybe if people have been told to believe since they were children that their was druids in the Celtic world who possessed godly powers maybe then the stories would not be taken so lightly.

By reading this story I have come to the conclusion that the Celts were very superstitious people. By my very extensive “non-google” research I have not found any articles or critics that have wrote about the Song of Amergin. Although, my critique of this story is that the Celts explained what they could not understand without science through myths. Please, please accept this even though it is late.