Tag Archives: Laurel Leigh

We Should Do Something

Hello from the Dogpatch. In December 2006, Dogpatcher Laurel Leigh’s 21-year-old nephew was arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend’s two-year-old son. Below is an excerpt from the book-length memoir Laurel is writing about the events, along with our comments on the manuscript. As always, your comments are appreciated.

anthony inmate pic

He never gets angry at me for saying I’ll do things that I don’t do, or for not writing very often anymore, or forgetting to send a book he asked for. I’m one of the few people on the outs as he calls it who bother with him at all, so he can’t afford to get angry with me for fear of pissing me off. How hard must that be, to ask and ask and then have to be content with the fourth or fifth that comes back, late and offhandedly?

“I love you, Aunt Laura,” Anthony says, after the next time Helga breaks in to say that we have one minute of talk time left.

Does he? I wonder. Can he? Can I? It’s harder and harder to sustain a relationship in this void, where he is frozen in time and place, his days composed of interminable sameness . . .

 

Jilanne: The Writer's Shadow

Jilanne: The Writer’s Shadow

 

Laurel, Laurel, Laurel,

I’ve known you forever, and I saw the first pages of this years ago when the story was raw and shattering. It hasn’t lost its power over the course of time. In fact, the story has deepened to the point of ache, a heartache so profound that I’m not quite sure where the pain is coming from because it seems to be everywhere.

I do hope you find a place for your memoir, because it needs to be out there for the world to see. And perhaps raise questions that will end with some positive result. I can only hope. And that leads me to the biggest point I’d like to make about your opening. Continue reading

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Natalia & Sarah’s Unauthorized Adventure: a.k.a. The Quest for the Elusive Allegra Salamander

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.

 

Natalia and Sarah on wall

Security footage of the two miscreants still at large.

 

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?

N: Yep.

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.

S: Cool.

speakeasy-16-othermind

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.

Mike Allegra, a.k.a. heylookawriterfellow: Will the famous children’s book author wield his doodling prowess to help the children of Whatcom County WA write poetry? We’re not even sure he’s ever going to read this post, but it could happen.

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. Continue reading

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Pack News

Welcome to another year in the Dogpatch! 2013 marks our fourteenth year as a writing collective and second year as a group blog. Here are some quick updates from members of the Pack:

mug-shot21Going forward, Eamon will publish on this site under his pen name, Wes Pierce, the name under which he writes and submits.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERALaurel Leigh is really happy to be a member of the Dogpatch Writers Collective, which has outlasted her dental work, a couple cars, and most of the pairs of shoes she owns. She invites you to join her at Village Books in Bellingham the last Monday of each month for writers’ open mic. As emcee, it is her mission to make you feel welcome at open mic as well as let you sleep on her sofa if you travel more than 1,000 miles to attend. (Be advised: Her dog may sleep on your feet and snores.) She will again teach Knockout Editing and co-teach Writing Children’s Literature for Western Washington University’s Continuing Education in the spring and will guest teach a Pitching 101 session at the Chuckanut Writers Conference in June.

jill-hoffman-e1331589180324Jilanne Hoffmann is busy revising a picture book trilogy in preparation for pitching at the SCBWI regional conference (Asilomar) at the beginning of March. She will also be applying for the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop held this year in July. Jilanne has a few other marshmallows browning over the coals; maybe someone will catch them before they fall off the stick and into the fire.

david-marx-e1331588906101David Marx will provide updates when he returns from his “fishing” trip.

He’d better come back with a ton of words on the page.

Dogpatch Historic DistrictDogpatch Writers Collective is seeking occasional guest bloggers to write posts about steering the writing craft. Please reply to this post if you are interested. We will need to know the topic of your proposed post and that you have an active blog.

To all of our readers and fellow writers, thank you for reading and best of luck with your projects in this new year!

—David, Jilanne, Laurel, and “Wes”

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