Power of the Pen

Most of you have heard of Power of the Pen but don’t really know what it is.  So read on and your curiosity will be satisfied.

Power of the Pen is a competitive writing group.  The way it works is: You go to a tournament and get a writing prompt.  You have 40 minutes to write a short story(don’t want to get writer’s block then!).  The judges will judge based upon the Power of the Pen rubric.  Giving you point s based on “creativity, voice/unity, structure/ideas, figurative/descriptive language, paragraph/sentence structure, and mechanics/spelling.”As the rubric says.You get a certain amount of points and depending on your score you move onto the next tournament.  An example of a prompt would be, “A smile can hide something horrible, write about one of these things.”

McDowell’s team consisted of:8th grade, Josalyn Pierce, Jared Payne, Caroline Higgins, Sydney Washington, Tatum Tatman and Eric Miller.  7th grade  Grace Engel, Jensen Fissel, Kaylin Artrip, Genevieve Carstensen (me) and Rachel Townsend.The team is coached by Miss Smith, the 8th grade language arts teacher.

Our team meets up to practice every Monday and every other Friday last period to practice writing. The District tournament is at Zane Trace Middle School on February 20th. The Regional tournament is at Chillicothe Middle School on March 19th.

The official Power of the Pen site is here

pictures from: http://indiereader.com/2013/03/power-to-the-pen/

and http://www.hpl.ca/news/power-pen-2015-call-out-entries

The Clown…

On Halloween night, Samantha Robbe was having her 10th birthday party.  Her mom, Cery Robbe, invited a clown to make balloon animals for all of the guests.  They had such a good time at the party until, the clown showed up.  When Cery invited the clown to the party, she didn’t know who the clown was or what his background was.  She knew nothing whatsoever.

The day before Samantha’s party, everything was going great.  When Cery was buying her daughter’s birthday present she saw the ad for the clown.  As she was looking at the ad, she saw that if she hired him, it would be free.  Cery thought “ What better than a free clown, right?”   She also thought “ Well, since the clown is free, I’ll buy her an extra present.” And so she did. Since Samantha was into ninjas at the time, Cery bought her a real ninja sword in a frame.  Good thing she bought that sword because it might come in handy later or become their worst nightmare.

Good thing all of Samantha’s and Cery’s family and friends live in town near them because Cery forgot to send out the invitations!  So, Cery and Samantha took a little trip to town and delivered the invitations themselves and not the “mailman”.  The “mailman” was the clown in disguise. He planned to deliver all of the mail to their family because if someone doesn’t come to the party then his whole plan is ruined.  If they didn’t come, then he would have their address and complete his plan.

When Samantha and Cery delivered the invitations, everybody said that they had nothing to do tomorrow and that they were coming. Easy for the clown now.  That night Samantha was having a nightmare of a clown coming to her birthday party and killing all of her family.  Cery heard her daughter scream and ran into her room.  Samantha asked her mom if she could sleep with her and her mom asked why.  Samantha retold the horrible story and her mom said that she could sleep with her just for tonight.  Cery was worried now because she knew nothing about the clown and that dream might mean something.  Nahh, it meant nothing.  But it did.

The day of the party came too soon but, not too soon for the clown.  The clown has been waiting for this day since he was a little kid.  His father wanted revenge on this family after Jones Robbe, Cery’s husband, married the Cery that he loved.  He cannot wait any longer than he has to.  He needs to get revenge for his father soon before his spirit haunts him forever.  It’s go time now for the clown since it is the start of the party.  This is where it will all go down.

Everyone was having a great time so far at the party.  Then the clown showed up.  The clown in had a balloon head in his hand and a ninja sword in the other.  Cery was confused because she bought Samantha a ninja sword just like that.  Then, when she put all of the clues together and said “ How could I be so stupid!”.  Everybody at the party was confused and then Cery started talking again “ The ad!  You put that up in the store right before I saw it!  And then, you took it down right after I saw it just so no one else would see it.  You were following me everywhere just to see what I was doing! Ughhh!”.  The clown nodded as if to say you’re right. Right after that was done, the clown started his plan, which everyone knew about now.

The clown was a killing machine and one of Samantha’s friends was the first one to go.  Cery grabbed her daughter, took her upstairs, and hid as well as they could.  All of the family members were fleeing to their cars and going to their non-safe houses.  Meanwhile, Samantha and Cery are trying not to breathe as the clown comes into the room of which they were hiding in.  The clown looks everywhere for them but can’t find them so he goes to a different room.  But, Samantha whispered “Yes!” and the clown heard her.  The clown knew they were in the room somewhere and then, he found them!

Cery was ready with the gun that she always kept in the closet in case of an emergency.  Jones had always insisted on it and he was right.  But before the clown could swing at them, she shot him.  She had no choice.  It was either them or the clown and Samantha knew that.  They yelled in together in victory “ He’s gone!  He is gone forever!”.  After that, they both ran down the stairs and saw Jones.  After they related the scariest birthday party ever, Samantha looked down at her friend and yelled “ Her leg was only sliced a little!  She’ll be fine!”.  And so, the family took Samantha’s friend to the ER and then called her parents to inform them about what happened.  Her parents arrived and everything went well after that day forward.