“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
― Abraham Lincoln
I was reminded of this quote by our 16th President as I attempted to complete the poetry challenge set forth in last week’s blog. Trying to gain some inspiration, I read several poems written in the same forwards-backwards style of the challenge and I was struck with just how much a simple change of perspective can alter our outlook and attitude entirely.
Instead of viewing the world in black and white, we must allow ourselves to see in radiant Technicolor.
Some might view such thinking as little more than a way to let bad behavior go unpunished; however, I would disagree. Taking the time to see things from someone else’s perspective is, instead, a way to let good behavior find its way out. It is a way to cut bad behavior off at its source. Looking for the positive doesn’t dismiss the negative; it simply doesn’t allow it to take control.
We can’t make every person and every bad situation better, but we can choose not to despair.
This challenge was a stretch for me, but I’m so glad to have taken it on. Not only did it stretch and sharpen my skills as a writer, it reminded me to slow down, step back, and look for a new perspective. I hope it has done the same for you!
So, without further ado, here is my forwards-backwards poem:
Let us know what you thought of the poem in the comments below. If any of you have taken up the challenge, please feel free to share your work, as well!
This is A. Blob is a masterfully illustrated picture book suitable for children ages 4-8. This first installment in a series follows the antics of A. Blob, a slimy, purple, blob-like creature who wreaks havoc on the elementary school playground with its bullying ways. As the story progresses, however, readers learn that there might be more to A. Blob than meets the eye. Along with its powerful illustrations and rhymed verse for early readers, this story invites children to put themselves in the shoes of another. The book demonstrates that a bully can come in any shape, size, or color and encourages readers to consider why bullies behave the way they do – and start to consider what can be done to help.
November is National Novel Writing Month. In addition to celebrating writers, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo as it is referred to by some), extends a challenge to writers of all ages and experience levels to write a 50,000 word novel by 11:59pm on November 30.
Throughout the event's 17 years of existence, participants have ranged from elementary students all the way up to seasoned authors such as Sara Gruen, author of Water For Elephants, and Rainbow Rowell, author of FanGirl. In fact, several New York Times Best Sellers began as projects for National Novel Writing Month.
In addition to bringing awareness to the art of novel writing, NaNoWriMo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers several programs to encourage and aid both budding and experienced writers. Prep resources, writing locations, and writing parties are all built into the month’s celebrations. The organization even has a virtual writing retreat that provides community and resources to participants. You can read more on the National Novel Writing Month website.
In the spirit of National Novel Writing Month, I thought it would be fun to take on and extend a challenge to all of you! A writing friend shared this challenge and I would now like to extend it to you:
Write a short story or poem that can be read both forwards and backwards.
Think it’s impossible?? Here is an example of just such a poem that was found written in a London bar:
Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don't try to convince me that
There's something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don't last.
And it's not true that
It's all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be attained
Only if one's surroundings are good
It's not true that good exists
I'm sure you can agree that
It's all beyond my control
And you'll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day
Are you up for the challenge?
I will be posting our attempt on next week’s blog. If you would like your story or poem featured, leave it in the comments below or email us at email@example.com and you may see it on the Laughing Leopard Blog next week!
This is A. Blob is a masterfully illustrated picture book suitable for children ages 4-8. Written by Lori Kefalos, author of several award-nominated animated shorts, This is A. Blob is the first of a series following this bully. This first installment follows the antics of A. Blob, a slimy, purple, blob-like creature who wreaks havoc on the elementary school playground with its bullying ways. As the story progresses, however, readers learn that there might be more to A. Blob than meets the eye. Along with its powerful illustrations and rhymed verse for early readers, this story invites children to put themselves in the shoes of another. The book demonstrates that a bully can come in any shape, size, or color and encourages readers to consider why bullies behave the way they do – and start to consider what can be done to help.
About Laughing Leopard Press
Hello! We are Laughing Leopard Press, an independent book publisher from Akron, Ohio. At Laughing Leopard Press, we’re interested in publishing works that contribute to our understanding of this wonderful world. Through this blog, we hope to add to that understanding with commentary on life, literature, and a few things in between. We hope you enjoy the blog and take some time to talk with us in the comments or on our social media sites. Happy reading!
This is A. Blob by L. A Kefalos. $14.95
$1.00 is donated to charity for each book sold on this site--half to St. Jude's and the other half to PetFix Northeast Ohio.