Say “Howdy!” to SpeakEasy 16 on April 12!

Dear Writers:
After much merry salamander chasing to acquire proper inspiration, I’m delighted to say that I’ve written my first-ever children’s poem!


“A Poem for My Friend Luther”

a.k.a. The Salamander Poem


My friend Luther says we should all write a poem

And then read it to some kids.

But I’m not really a poet, I say.

I write mainly stories for grown-ups, you know.

Plus I don’t have any kids

Just some nieces living far away

And a dog that’s a German Shepherd.

I’m sorry, but I don’t feel I meet

The minimum qualifications for this project.

Fiddlesticks, Luther says. Anyone can write a poem.

All it takes is imagination . . .


speakeasy-16-othermind{Well, you didn’t think I was going to post the whole poem already, did you?}

If you want to hear the rest, you’ll have to come to SpeakEasy 16, on Sunday, April 12 @ 2 p.m. at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre. Hope to see you there!

XO Laurel Leigh

P.S.: If you missed the wacky Facebook/Wordpress shenanigans, Sully the Salamander is the artwork of New Jersey–based author/illustrator Mike Allegra. Known as “Writer Fellow”—his blog is called heylookawriterfellow—Mike led some of us in Whatcom County WA and beyond on a week-long merry chase around Facebook and WordPress in pursuit of one of his famed “doodles” to pair with my poem at the special SpeakEasy 16 event, celebrating poetry by and for children.

Plus Sully the Salamander now has a tribute webpage!

You can find more of “Writer Fellow” Mike Allegra’s captivating art and read his hilarious blog at

One Smart Girl

Click the image to read “At One Time or Another” – a recent post in the funny and heartwarming saga of how a salamander doodle came to SpeakEasy 16. Since my blog has been entirely given over to this children’s poetry event for the last two weeks, it won’t be hard to catch up on the details! The marvelous book in the photo here is SARAH GIVES THANKS by Mike Allegra. This delightful children’s story is about Sarah Hale’s quest to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday.



23 thoughts on “Say “Howdy!” to SpeakEasy 16 on April 12!

  1. Laurel, I’m so glad to have discovered your blog through your comments on Mike’s 🙂 In fact, in perusing about your pages and actually looking at all the wonderful stuff in your sidebar (I don’t typically look, but yours are beautiful and compelling), I was SHOCKED and SO complimented when I saw you added mine! Though I don’t easily add blog links on my pages (I’m so afraid of leaving a friend out and am very careful as to the G-ratedness of them), I have happily added yours. Of course, I keep all that stuff on the footers rather than the sidebar ’cause I’m so big on compartmentalization, but you’re there 🙂 So glad we’ve connected. And again…

    I love Sully! 😀

    • Hi Donna Marie: You totally made my day letting me know that you like my sidebar enough to check it out. My blog design gives me the option to show links of blogs I follow in my blogroll; they shuffle around automatically so everyone’s get some feature time. I did just add a permanent link to your gorgeous blog, and I manually shuffle those as well so everyone gets a chance to be near the top. And many, many thanks for the link on your site. I really appreciate it. xo Laurel Leigh

      • Oh, thank you, Laurel 🙂 So glad we’ve connected. I don’t think the blogroll on word press shuffles. It’s a different animal than your site here. I also know I can’t keep up with all of the blog maintenance. I barely have time to post what I intended to post when I put them up (yes, I have two!). I’ve gotten involved with things that ended up as blog posts, and certainly events I’ve attended. If interviews (the way I do them) weren’t so time-intensive, I’d do more of those! It seems those are more popular with readers than the valuable info/tools I want to put up! lol Anyway, I love the Pinterest-type layout of your blog posts. Excellent feature 🙂

        • Hi Donna Marie,

          I’m glad we connected too! And thanks for the good words. Actually, my blog is a WordPress blog but I bought one of their designed layouts that I could then modify and have been pretty happy with it.

          Interviews are time-intensive but such a worthwhile endeavor, so I think you are appealing to your readers nicely. Keep up the fantastic work!

          • Thanks, Laurel 😀 I never looked into those type layouts and worked within one of the free ones. I just decided to pay in the way that allows me a few extra features, mostly ad-free 😀

          • Yeah, I bit the bullet on that one ’cause I can’t stand ads in in any form, to be honest, and we have no control over the type ads. If my blog ever gets to the point where children will be on it, I also don’t want anything inappropriate or links to anything that could lead to something inappropriate. I can’t afford any of it, but…

          • if you’re not concerned about kid readers, it’s not as much of a concern, but be sure to state (in your disclaimer that you’re not liable for what’s on other sites that are mentioned or linked to from here 🙂

          • You’re welcome 🙂 Before I set up my blogs, I did a LOT of research and learned much about the dos and don’ts, and the disclaimer/disclosure was a big part of that.

    • Hey, Jil, it went great! Sully played to an overfull house and was a hit! Sully was projected gloriously on the wall during the poem, and the poet who read the part of Sully was hilarious. I’ll put up the poem and pics soon.

      The young poets were absolutely adorable and also wrote some amazing poetry. Some had their poems memorized. There are some awesome elementary and middle school teachers out there who each brought several students and had them well prepped to present their poetry. It was pretty heartwarming when one little guy got up and thanked his teacher for helping him write a poem about the loss of a loved one, and then the poem was awesome.

        • Oh, thank you! I figured it would be a great event, but I really had no idea just how delightful, insightful, and charming the young poets would be. You could tell they took it very seriously and were all dressed up and had practiced a lot. I went in the bathroom beforehand and one young lady was in there practicing one last time.

          After the very merry salamander chase, it was also a blast to have people come who had been a part of the salamander project, and they were of course delighted to see (and hear) Sully. I used Mike’s book as a prop in the poem, which was also fun. Thanks for caring so much. You’re the best! xo

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