We at Dogpatch Writers Collective are dismayed to report an unprecedented hack-in, resulting in the following completely unauthorized post. If anyone catches sight of these two miscreants, please notify us immediately. It’s way past curfew and at least one of them didn’t finish her social studies homework.
We also sincerely apologize to Mr. Allegra over at heylookawriterfellow for any feelings of undue peer pressure or actual guilt this post causes. Please be assured that it was not AT ALL pre-authorized by DWC management, although it does have us ROFL.
THE HACK IN.
NATALIA: Sssshhhh, we have to be really quiet so we don’t get caught by the SITE ADMINISTRATOR.
SARAH: I’m not afraid of some dumb ol’ SITE ADMINISTRATOR. What’s a SITE ADMINISTRATOR?
N: Not what, but who, and in this case it’s our Aunt Laurel.
S: The Aunt Laurel who is shamelessly exploiting our kid cuteness and personas in this post, albeit for a very worthy event designed to encourage children of all ages to write and read poety?
S: Does Mom know about this?
N: Who do you think gave Aunt Laurel ridiculously adorable photos of us to unabashedly exploit in support of SpeakEasy 16, a unique reading series produced in Whatcom County, Washington? This particular event on April 12, 2015, at 2 p.m. will feature young poets ages 5 to 16 reading their original poems for an audience of children and adults who will gather at the gorgeous Mount Baker Theatre to celebrate these young poets.
THE UNFINISHED POEM.
N: Look, here’s the poem Aunt Laurel is writing for SpeakEasy 16.
The salamander went out last night.
As usual, it ended in a back-room fight.
S: She has no conception at all of what is age appropriate.
N: What do you expect from a prose writer whose characters enjoy a tenuous existence at best on the gritty fringes of mainstream society and are frequently undone by their inherent flaws?
S: She might do a much better job at this venture outside of her tawdry writing comfort zone into the wonderful world of children’s poetry if aided by an appropriately delightful and original doodle of a salamander, such as one that only that heylookawriterfellow could draw.
N: The right illustration fully brings the text to life and allows a poem to speak to its audience on multiple levels.
S: Should Aunt Laurel be forced to resort to stock art, the overall effect would clearly be diminished and lack artistic authenticity.
N: We better do something so our peers in Whatcom County aren’t subjected to an age-inappropriate and potentially emotionally scarring disaster of a poem.
S: Rumor has it that heylookawriterfellow, the online persona of the talented and renowned kids’ book author and illustrator Mike Allegra, is the parent of a child around our age. So we might be able to
wear him down in the usual fashion persuade him politely to create one of his famed doodles for this special event.
BOTH: Awwww, ppppplllllleeeeaaaassssseeeee!!!
THE BEDTIME STORY.
N: Okay, I think our work here is finished.
S: Cool. Will you read me a story?
N: Of course, because reading together is one of the most wonderful and rewarding pursuits that children of all ages can enjoy. What story would you like me to read?
S: Duh, the one that has my name in the title.
N: You mean Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegra, the gorgeously written and illustrated children’s book that tells the story of Sarah Josepha Hale, a wonderful female role model for all girls and women, and who worked tirelessly to ensure that Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday so kids like you and me all across the land could give thanks for all that we have and for the people whom we love, and which is written in artful yet accessible prose and is a marvelous enhancement to any child’s library or classroom shelf?
S: Yeah, that’s the one.
N: Okay, handily, I have a well-read first edition right here with me: “The turkey was fresh from the oven. Sarah Josepha Hale asked her five children to join hands in thanksgiving . . . ”
THE ADDITIONAL SHAMELESS PLUGS.
N: Is there anything else we should say while we have this platform?
S: Hi Mom!
N: Hi Mom!
S: We should also tell kids in Whatcom County that they have a few more days to submit their poems to SpeakEasy 16.
Kids of Whatcom County WA: Please submit poems, with the name and age of the poet (along with the name of an adult who would accompany the reader to the event) to Luther Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to SpeakEasy 16, PO Box 1042, Bellingham, WA 98227. All submitted poems will be displayed at the reading. There is a headcount cap, so get your poem in now to be considered. The deadline for submittals is March 31. Also, young poets can submit the same poems to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, which gleefully accepts poems from both students and people who have only the vaguest memory of being a student many years ago.
N: And please come to SpeakEasy 16 to enjoy a wonderful and fun show that will feature both adult and children poets. The supporting cast of grown-up readers will include Sarah Wallace, Rena Priest, Skip Williams, Judy Kleinberg, Jessica Gillis, Lois Holub, Chuck Robinson of Village Books, Kevin Murphy, and our Aunt Laurel. Plus featured guest Pamela Porter will also give a talk and reading at Village Books in historic Fairhaven on Saturday, April 11, at 4:00 p.m.
S: Plus, if Mr. Allegra has any heart whatsoever, there will be a fantastically awesome doodle of a salamander prominently featured with our auntie’s poem that is sure to be a classic. The doodle, we mean, we’re not so sure about her poem, but we’ll give her as much help as kid-ly possible on that front.
BOTH: Awwww, ppppplllllleeeeeaaaaassssseeeee!
DWC MANAGEMENT: Oh, what the heck. Mike, ppppplllllleeeeeeaaaassssseeee!
29 responses to “Natalia & Sarah’s Unauthorized Adventure: a.k.a. The Quest for the Elusive Allegra Salamander”
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This is fantastic!! Love it!
Thank you, Leslie! The salamander quest has been too much fun! xo
Children reading and writing poetry is a worthy cause 🙂
Thanks, Samir! We are growing young poets out here! And laughing ourselves silly over the Allegra doodles.
I hope you are doing great!
Laurel, this is adorable, clever and perfect for making the points! Not to mention that your “niececreants” are fabulous!
Oh, thank you so much! I’ve never had more fun writing a post. I love the new term too! They will love knowing they are niececreants!
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Shameless on you and your badboy salamanders. I expect you to be wearing one on your shoulder at the event. Oh wait, maybe those are chameleons …
I need to bone up on reptilia.
If I catch another one on my patio, I will wear him on my shoulder. I have just the dress to go with!
Hilarious! I’m convinced you can do anything, Laurel, including fire up your adorable niece miscreants! See you on the 12th!
Thank you, Susan! It’s terribly convenient to have darling nieces with hacking skills!
For shame! Using children to do your dirty work!
This from the blogger with 7, count ’em 7!, pics of his own kid on a recent post? I’m only following your example, my friend! Plus, we stopped en route for a healthy snack.
For any doubters, here’s evidence of the 7 pics: http://mikeallegra.com/2015/03/17/and-the-winner-is/
Gotta show that the judging is above board.
He does look pretty honest (not to mention adorable). Still, if he has any pull with the resident artist, could you kindly ask him to put in a good word for the salamander?
He’s too busy telling me to draw things that he want me to draw.
I understand that completely.
Say, how does he feel about salamanders?
He is NOT a fan.
Sigh. Admittedly, they are an acquired taste.
And rodents aren’t?????
I’m trying to be thoughtful here, so what you’re saying is that just like there are Elvis people and Beatles people, there are also salamander people and rodent people? Where does that leave lettuce?
On the endangered species list.
LOL, that absolutely holds true in my kitchen!
OMG this is hilarious! And your nieces are the cutest frickin’ things ever! And . . . you totally hooked me with the first line of your poem. I can’t wait to hear the rest. Allegra, get doodling!
Aren’t they the cutest? Thank you for lending your Flame-battling voice to this worthy cause, Selah!
Oh, and everybody go get a copy of Selah’s latest book! (I already have the first copy on reserve, so get in line.)
OMG, I’m speechless. First time ever….
I know, right? Don’t worry, I’m putting duct tape over any potential openings that a kid or salamander might wriggle through.
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