Saturday, May 2, 2009

Writing Contests

Though The Magic Violinist doesn't post every week, she writes on a daily basis. In fact, she writes A LOT. She is constantly devouring all kinds of books, including books on writing and loves to do writing exercises. She is also part of a local writer's group. Writing, along with reading, is one of her favorite hobbies.

The Magic Violinist has recently entered three writing contests. Her little brother has entered two of them (he's not yet old enough for the third one). Here are their entries (and we'll update you on any wins):

April is National Poetry Month. Our local library holds writing contests and the winners are published in a book.

The Magic Violinist's entry:

Me, My Stuffed Cat, Sushi, and Harry Potter

Once I was at a store when I saw a stuffed cat.
I loved it a lot.
Then it was bought!
I was so excited I named it Menedy.
Here it is, you heard it!
Now let’s get on to Sushi!

Sushi sounds like a funny name.
If you don’t like it, it’s the cook who should take the blame!
It’s good I tell you!
You can eat it with chopsticks or soy sauce.
Fried or with a Japanese guy!
So when you eat it, oh please, oh please, don’t cry!

Harry Potter, Harry Potter! I love it a lot!
But be careful what you just bought.
You’ll cry in the 7th, you’ll be shocked in the 6th.
But be careful, you’ll be in a fix!

You’ve heard my poem, you’ve heard it, I’m done!
But one more thing, don’t suck your thumb!

Little Brother's entry:

Clone Wars: A Poem

Cad Bane is a bounty hunter.
General Grievous is Dooku’s cyborg.
Lightning force is my favorite kind of Force.
Plo Koon is the best Jedi ever.
Captain Rex is my favorite clone.
Gree is my second favorite clone.
Fox is my third favorite clone.
Cody is my fourth favorite clone.
Anakin is the second best Jedi.
These are my favorite Clone Wars things.

A local choral society is holding a spring concert celebrating freedom and using some works by various musicians and authors including Thomas Jefferson. They, too, are holding a writing contest with the theme "What Freedom Means To Me." The winning essays are read at the concert and there are cash prizes as well.

The Magic Violinist's Entry:

Freedom is a very special thing that I am very lucky to have. It allows me to run around in my backyard, smell the fresh air, eat whatever I want, drink lemonade, and to hear the birds twittering in the distance.

When my family watched president Barack Obama get inaugurated my mom started to cry. I asked her why and she answered, “The White House was built by slaves and they weren’t allowed to go inside it. So I think it is pretty cool that we get to see him be president and go inside it. He’s the first president that’s black!” I thought and I bet his ancestors were slaves once and are very proud of him.

Every time I read a book, watch a movie, hear a story, or if anyone mentions how poorly slaves and black people were treated I always think that is SO unfair! Everyone should have the right to choose what they want to do and have freedom! I always think, “Now wait a minute! Why does it matter if someone’s black? It’s just a color! How would you like it if someone treated you that way just because you were white?” It drives me crazy!

My mom helps run a home schooling group. And the reason she can do that is because of FREEDOM. I love to write stories and to read anytime I want! That’s also because of freedom. We can all do things that we love because of freedom! And I get so mad when someone says black people used to not have the right to be free and they would whip them when they tried to get free!

I really hope everyone realizes how lucky they are to have freedom and have the choice whether they wanted to come today.

Little Brother's Entry:

Freedom makes me very happy. It makes me happy because I get to see birds, spend time with my family, play the computer, watch TV, and play Wii.

There is an exciting movie about good and evil that takes place in space called Star Wars. In this movie there is a boy named Anakin who was a slave. He became free by winning a race. After he won the race he was free to be a Jedi. When I saw the movie I felt happy for Anakin. When he became free he helped in an important battle and got to train to be a Jedi. He also got to make new friends. He would not have been able to do any of this if he had not been free.

Being free does not mean that you can do whatever you want. It means that you get to make choices, but it does not mean you can control other people. When we make choices there are consequences. We are free to play and the consequence is that we feel happy. We are free to eat 100,000 lollipops, but we will have a stomachache. I am free to hug my sister and the consequence is that we both love each other!

I have a sister and we get along very well. She is my best friend. Sometimes we argue and I feel badly. I have freedom so I can choose to hit her, not play with her, or be mad, but if I do these things I would be sad. I have freedom so I can choose to kiss, love, and hug her. When I use my freedom to choose nice things I feel happy!

I am glad I have freedom to make choices because I get to learn and be nice.

And, most recently, our National Parks held a writing contest asking kids to explain why the parks are important to them and also asking them to share ideas on how to help protect and care for the parks. There is a sizable cash prize and winners' essays are published on the web. A really neat part of the 1st prize is that the winner gets to oversee $5,000 and direct how it is used to help National Parks.

The Magic Violinist's Entry:

National Parks are very important to me. There are a large variety of National Parks. I just can’t imagine what they would look like if everybody would litter or draw graffiti there. I really appreciate how much time the workers who built the National Parks put into all of this. I have had some really cool experiences with National Parks.

Visiting National Parks is a lot more interesting than reading about them in textbooks. They are very beautiful and some of them are very educational. Our homeschool group visited Washington, D.C. for two days and went on a 6-mile hike seeing all the different monuments.

I enjoy visiting Washington, D.C. because I get to visit so many neat monuments. For example, I’ve been able to visit the Lincoln Memorial. It teaches you a LOT about Abraham Lincoln. I really like the big statue; that must have taken a long time to build! I also got to visit the Washington Memorial and we learned about how the brick color changes where they took a break building it because of the war. At the FDR Memorial, the gardens and waterfalls were beautiful. We got to learn about the Great Depression through statues and quotes.

As we walked around The National Mall, we noticed that the grass was damaged. My Mom says that even though the grass is messed up it also represents history. For example, Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We’ve watched that speech on YouTube but being there in person was even more exciting. All the messed up spots in the grass represent the history of everybody that stood there.

I came up with my idea on how to protect the National Parks overnight. I even had a dream about it! My idea is to hold a fundraiser called “Save our National Parks Day” and have games with prizes, souvenirs, and “Save Our National Parks!” T- shirts! Then use all the money collected to get rid of rotting trees (because termites could mess them up!), plant new trees, and plant flowers. Or you could use the money to buy space or grassy areas to build new National Parks!

My Vavó (that is the Portuguese word for grandfather) legally immigrated to this country and has always loved America. He also had very personal, spiritual experiences at Bryce Canyon National Park. When I saw pictures of Bryce Canyon, it was beautiful and I could understand why he really loved it. You see, most people just see it as beautiful red rocks, but I see it as a reminder of my Vavó. My Vavó died just over a year ago and I really miss him. Being able to help protect National Parks means a lot to me and I know my Vavó would be proud of me.

I am so glad I had the chance to share my thoughts and ideas with you about National Parks.