Cruel Summer

I do really love summer, but WOW does it get busy and go fast!

I have had some great things happen in these last few weeks of summer:

1. Hugged a Dinger and a Honker at the same time. (see picture if you are unfamiliar with these characters!)

2. Realized my irrational optimism is genetic when my dad lost his prescription glasses in a wave and my mom and I searched the ocean floor like crazy people. We found a grocery bag, a pair of underwear, 4 pairs of sunglasses, a stingray barb, and eventually... his glasses.

3. Had a red postman butterfly lay a tiny orange egg on my head at the butterfly museum. I'm pretty sure this was a message of love from my grandparents.

4. Have a pumpkin growing from last year's jack o'lantern seeds.

5. Received a magazine acceptance from Stinkwaves for the January 2015 issue!

6. Took the bus into the city all by my big girl self to attend the Children's Book Writing Intensive class at Gotham Writers' Workshop.

7. Won Vesper Stamper's Cruel Summer Contest with my poem Allergic to Fun. The poem was inspired by her NJSCBWI conference winning illustration of a goth child at the beach under her black lace umbrella.

Why not celebrate Labor Day Weekend with an ode to the dangers of summer? Hope you have a great rest of summer.

Allergic to Fun

By Lauri Meyers

Annabelle hated the summer.
Maintaining her cool was a chore-
In a velveteen gown,
With a serious frown
Vacationing down at the shore.

Mom nagged her beneath the umbrella:
"Oh, Annabelle, go have some fun!"
"I better lie low,
'Cause wouldn't you know?
I break out in hives from the sun."

Her sister was sculpting a fortress.
She shoveled the sand from a ditch.
"Come help with this pail?" 
"I'm afraid I must bail.
Your sandcastle's making me itch."

"A-Goo-ba-ba-Goo?" Her bro babbled.
He toddled and sprinkled her knees.
"Be careful li'l man
With that watering can-
The saltwater's making me sneeze!"

The heat was becoming excessive,
And sweat saturated her hair.
She looked to the sea.
How cool it must be...
No way was she going out there.

A triangle poked through the water.
"A shark would be brilliantly bleak."
She left her sweet shade,
Not even afraid,
And walked to the shore for a peek.

She watched the gray fin as it glided.
Excitement arose like a flame.
A dolphin then breeched,
And Annabelle screeched.
"Those beautiful things are so lame."

She stuck out her tongue at the dolphin
And wished it was something to dread.
She turned without pause,
Not looking, and was
Surprised by a wave on her head!

Her family came for assistance. 
She shook and was feeling undone.
"She's having an attack!"
"Try rubbing her back!"
"She's deathly allergic to fun!"

Annabelle's skin was so clammy,
Her mother soon started to fret,
But was shocked to see
The girl grinning with glee:
"It feels really good to be wet!"

Annabelle ran to the ocean.
She'd learned about keeping her cool.
But after a dive,
She noticed a hive-
And sneezed out a salty Achoo!


  1. Lauri, it sounds like you had an amazing summer, and you deserve it! I am in awe of your poem; wish I could write like that. Something tells me, however, that YOU are not allergic to fun. :)

    1. Ha! No, I am NOT allergic to fun. This particular poem came out relatively easily -which is unusual. I learned the importance of having a well-defined character up front, which I'm not sure I fully appreciated before.

  2. What a fun post and poem! Can't believe you found the glasses along with your other treasure! And the pumpkin is a very cool thing! Congrats on your Stinkwaves acceptance!

    1. Thanks Penny. You know how it is with writing - you have to celebrate every little thing because there's no telling how long it will be before the next one!

  3. Lauri, this post has my head reeling in so many directions, I don't know where to begin! Well, the beginning *sigh*

    1. I'm somewhat hesitant to ask what a Dinger and a Honker are ;)
    2. I'm guessing it was an ISLAND ocean floor where the water is actually CLEAR, 'cause if you were able to search up here in Jersey and find all that stuff---including his glasses (amazing!), I'd say you and your mom would have to have mermaid blood!
    3. I didn't know butterflies laid eggs that way!
    4. Very cool pumpkin. It should be big and orange by October? :D
    5. A GIANT CONGRATS on the magazine acceptance!!!! :D :D :D
    6. And another pat on the back for going into the city that way 'cause it was at night, right? I'm OK by myself as long as it's daylight :)
    7. I LOVED Vesper's painting! Did you win the print at the conference? That's just so cool :)

    And the poem! What a poem! I actually let out an audible little guffaw when that wave hit and it just kept getting funnier. How clever! :D

    Thanks for sharing all this :)

    1. 1. Dingers & Honkers are from Sesame Street - the ones that honk their noses and ding their ears! We saw them at Sesame Place.
      2. The JERSEY shore! Point Pleasant in fact so it was all feeling along the bottom of the ocean floor and diving blindly for things of interest. Now you really get the miraculous nature of hope.
      3.4.5. Cool, I know!
      6. "No, it was daytime..." I say sheepishly. But still!
      7. Vesper had a contest to win a print of her winning piece, and I was one of the winners. There's no telling how much inspiration that print is going to cause.
      Thanks for all your support!

  4. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

  5. "A shark would be brilliantly bleak." Indeed. However love the optimism in your summer list. Smiling about the butterfly egg. :)
    Awesomeness, Lauri, Congrats on Stinkwaves!

    1. Thank you thank you Coleen. What can you do when a butterfly lays an egg on you but smile?!

  6. What a fun summer and congrats on those published poems, Laurie. Love the funny girl. I bet you could write another about Granddad's glasses.

    1. That's funny because I think 3 of my manuscripts have an underlying theme of lost and found. It all must mean something!


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