Monday, October 30, 2017

In the Spirit of Halloween...

Let the Night Bring You Sweet Dreams
     When the old woman with wispy gray hair saw the baby at her doorstep, she was tempted to leave the child to die. The old woman never liked children and never had or wanted any of her own, but she was not cruel enough to leave the child. She would have gotten rid of the scoundrel, but no one lived in the woods where the old woman’s cottage sat, so she hesitantly took the baby in. When the old woman first held the baby, she did not gaze, but rather studied the child with disgust, expecting the vomit to erupt at any moment. Despite the old woman’s resentment for the child, even the old woman could not deny the baby was beautiful. She was a perfect baby girl, chubby cheeks and smooth, pale skin. The little tuft of hair on her head was a soft black and her mouth was the prettiest shade of pink. She was the doll every little girl wanted when the old woman was a child, every little girl except for the old woman, of course. Every part of the baby resembled an angel, except for her eyes, which were the purest obsidian, the color of the darkest night.
     The old woman’s disgust for the child lessened, though rather slowly. But as the old woman’s feeling of disgust lessened, a feeling of unsettlement began to settle in its place. The old woman could not deny the baby appeared an angel, but whenever she looked at the baby, the back of her neck would begin to tingle. The child merely sat. She did not cry, babble, giggle nor coo. She sat. Lips closed. Emotionless. Silent as the night. The old woman told herself she did not mind this. She did not desire a screaming red-faced abomination, but the sickening, prickling sensation would not go away.
     The old woman created a makeshift cradle from an old wooden drawer, which she kept by the fire. Every night, the old woman would sit by the fire and rock the child in her arms back and forth, back and forth, the soft cadence slowly lulling the baby to sleep. The old woman could not bring herself to gaze at the child, so she would stare at the child until the baby fell asleep. She would then look into the fire until the last ember’s glow faded into the night. Then she would take the little child and lay her in the cradle. Soon after, the old woman would fall into a dreamless sleep.
     One night, the old woman sang the baby a raspy lullaby and watched as the baby slowly drifted to sleep. She watched the baby for a few more moments in silence, then turned toward the dancing flames, entranced by its flickering tongues. When she finally turned back to the baby, she was surprised to find the small child staring back at her with wide dark eyes. The old woman frowned and said, “Go to sleep now, little child.” The baby stared back, expressionless. The old woman repeated, ever so slightly kinder this time, “Go to sleep now and let the night bring you sweet dreams.” The baby remained frozen. Then she smiled, but her eyes didn’t twinkle like the stars in the clear night sky. Her lips simply curved up at the sides, her eyes still and unchanging. The old woman found this a bit strange. This was the first time she had seen the baby smile, and she had not been expecting this. As the last ember’s glow faded into the night, the old woman laid the little child in her crib. The old woman then took her candle and walked back over to the crib to find the peculiar smile still on the child’s lips. Then the old women headed off to bed to fall into a dreamless sleep.
     The next night, as the old woman rocked the baby to sleep, she again became distracted by the flickering, scarlet tongues. When she looked back down at the baby, she saw the child’s wide obsidian eyes again, but this time, she noticed the slight smile on the baby’s lips from the night before. “Go to sleep now, my little child, and let the night bring you sweet dreams,” the old woman said to the baby. The child stared back, unmoving. Then the corners of her mouth curled upwards, ever so slightly, her eyes unchanging. The woman turned back to the fire and as the last ember’s glow faded into the night, she laid the little baby back into her cradle. The old woman then took her candle and walked over to the crib where she stared at the little child’s smile. Then she fell into a dreamless sleep.
     On the third night, the old woman rocked the baby to sleep. She stared at the flickering tongues until the last ember’s glow faded into the night. Then the old woman carried the little baby to her cradle. The old woman went back to her rocking chair and taking her candle, turned back to the cradle, only to find it empty. The old woman searched every corner of her small cottage, but she could not find the child. She checked her bedroom, looking behind her pillow and under the bed. Still, the baby was not to be seen. As the old woman walked back down the hallway to check the crib once more, she saw a faint glow and a soft flickering. The old woman slowly approached the growing light, and finally came into view of a roaring fire and sitting in front of it... a little child. The old woman stood, unmoving, and then the little baby turned her head. The child’s smile grew into a leer with a full set of glowing white teeth. Then the baby spoke. “Go to sleep now and let the night bring you sweet dreams.”

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Novel Writing Structure - NaNoWriMo

I took the following notes on novel structure while talking with Alex Scarrow, author of the Time Riders Series.

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Roya’s POL Analysis

3 challenge words
2 statements of plot - who what when where why
1 illustration

Thursday, October 19, 2017


There’s something about the way the headlights illuminate the road ahead that sends a shiver down your spine. They’re too bright. Too artificial. They only allow you to see a few feet ahead of yourself, like the darkness ahead is running away from the yellow beams chasing after it. It bends around the automobiles barreling down the road and pounds on the windows, begging to be let in, but still keeping secrets hidden in the feet in front of you. It doesn’t seem like real life, the edges of the road erased along with the forest surrounding it, erasing all the familiarity you had with the road. The asphalt bleeds into the overbearing blackness and joins it, morphing into a vacuum broken only by your obnoxious headlights. Those two bright rays disrupting the new, silent world created by the night. A world you’ve never been invited to be a part of. Maybe that’s why it scares you, because you’re the one out of place here. The world has gone to sleep, but you’re still wide awake. And your high beams are bringing light to where darkness deserved to be.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Poetry Outloud

Thanks Mrs. Whittington - blog post adapted from

Your assignment is to memorize/present a poem as part of the school-wide Poetry Outloud contest. 

If you would like to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Competition, your poem must be from the anthology list and must be memorized.

If you do not want to compete beyond the classroom, the poem does not have to be from anthology, but it must be approved by your teacher and must be a minimum of 10 lines. Presentation does not have to be completely memorized. 

Optional Summative: Be nominated to go to Poetry Out Loud School competition by your teacher. If you are not nominated and would still like the 25pt summative, you must preform a poem from the anthology in front of another 9th grade class or at a public place, for example, your local coffee shop. This presentation must be recorded and shown to me for proof and grading. This must be completed by 11/17.

Poetry Out Loud Poem Options (Required for National Competition)
Can We AutoCorrect Humanity?
Why I Hate School But Love Education
On Girls Lending Pens

Important Dates:
- Choose a poem to memorize on 10/17 (A) and 10/18 (B)
- Rehearse your memorized poem in class in small groups on 10/24 (A) and 10/25 (B)
- Perform poem in class (Required Summative) on 10/30(A) and 10/31(B)
- Rock Ridge Poetry Outloud Competition on November 9th.
- Deadline for Public Performance Optional Summative - 11/17

How you will be Graded:

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