Writing Samples

Please note, the content on this page cannot be reprinted, shared, or used in any manner.
Karen Cioffi

Thomas at Bat

Thomas looked at the pitcher. He dug his heels in the dirt and wiggled a bit to get in a comfortable position. He bent his knees and raised the bat to his shoulder. Then he dug in a little more. SWING!

“Strike two!” The umpire took the ball from the catcher, glanced over it and threw it to the pitcher.

Thomas positioned himself again. He turned his head slightly and looked over at the coach who nodded back and winked. Does he really believe I can hit the ball past 2nd base? Thomas kicked the bat to loosen the dirt from his cleats. I’ve been doing everything I should…I know I can do this. He dug in again, settled in position, and lifted the bat to his shoulder. It was the same bat, but it felt heavier than before.

“Go for it Tommy!” yelled his big brother, Luke. “Give it all you got!”

The pitcher squinted and drew his arm back.

I’m gonna hit a home run. I’m gonna hit a home run. I’m gonna…the ball sped toward him like a torpedo out of its tube. He swung the bat…there was a loud CRACK.

The crowd roared, “Run!”

Thomas watched the ball soar above the outfield and over the fence. Dazed, he looked at Luke. “Tommy! RUUUNNNN!”


Excerpt from Shadow’s Adventure

Boy, it was a long day. I’m pooped.

First thing this morning my new owner, Vanessa, took me for a walk outside. We went around the house . . . about 10 times. I have little legs. That was sure a lot of walking. Then after breakfast, Vanessa’s mom decided I needed to go to the vet to get my shots. WHAT SHOTS? WHY DID I NEED SHOTS? WHAT WAS A VET?!

So, what I learned was, Vet stands for veterinarian and shots . . . well let me tell you how the day went.



My ears perked up. Right behind me, a little too close, was a GINORMOUS dog. He had to be 10 feet tall, if he stood up. He moved even closer and started sniffing my butt.

YAP! YAP! YAP! I dashed behind Vanessa.

What was I thinking? She wasn’t much bigger than me!

Yap. Yap. Yap. “Hey, Mrs. Perkins. We could use some help here.”

I think she heard me because she grabbed Vanessa and pulled me along with them.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, said the man on the other end of Ginormour’s leash. I was reading my book. He’s fine though. Reggie is a Rottweiler. He doesn’t bite.”

Yeah, right. If he went after me it wouldn’t be a bite, it’d be a snack.


Uh, oh. That didn’t sound good. He wanted some of my blood. What was blood? And, there was talk about the shots again.


I tugged. I pulled. I screamed like a baby. Nothing stopped them.

The doctor put me back on the table and asked Mrs. Perkins to hold me still. He took two glass tubes and a needle and came toward me.


“OUCH! Hey, that hurt.”

Then he got a couple of other needles and headed my way. “Okay, boy. We’re almost done.”


“All done. You can take him now, Mrs. Perkins.”


Excerpt from Win from Within

Christon looked over Pete’s shoulder. “What about the Defensive End, Roy Lewis, #52.”

“It says he’s 8 years old, 51 inches tall, and weighs 98 pounds. CRIPS, I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of his tackle.” Pete crunched his face up and put his arms over his head.

Christon shook his head. “Okay, stop being dramatic. What’s the rest of his stats?”

“It says he’s big and he’s strong. They call him The Ox. Did you see him on the field yesterday? It looks like he’s playing against preschoolers.”

The bell rang and Christon picked up his tray. “Looks like we have a pretty good team. See you at practice.”


Crazy good things just kept on coming.

On Thursday, the defensive linebacker got really mad at practice. He threw his helmet at a teammate.
That’s not done. NEVER.

As punishment, he wasn’t allowed to play in the next game.

Coach needed a replacement. He looked over the team. “Jones, you’ll be starting defensive lineman for tomorrow’s game.”

“BOO-YAH!” Christon grabbed Pete’s arm. “Can you believe it?” Then he grabbed his chest to make sure his heart didn’t pound its way out. “I went from just a substitute player to the star player on the team. I got my little piece of heaven back.”


The following Saturday was Game Time.

Christion stood in his three-point stance. Anticipating the snap, he exploded up field, charging the opposing team’s QB. He hit the QB in the hole and knocked the boogers out of him. “Boo-yah! It’s my first SACK!”

The next play, the running back got passed the lineman. He was at least seven yards ahead of any player on Christon’s team. Christon chased him and wrapped him up at the 40 yard line.

By the end of the game, Christon managed to sack the QB three times. He got five single tackles and seven group tackles.