Sunday, February 28, 2016

Stories For Elli, Part One

I like to tell Elli stories. She's a good listener. She likes to be talked to. 

This was a story prompt on one of my writing groups - write a short scene (less than 300 words) about the picture below, dialogue optional. I tried to find a link to the original artist but we'll have to settle with the vague blurred web address on the bottom right hand corner because searching the image on Google resulted in two story prompt collections and at least eight Pinterest boards. 

I would have blinked in surprise, had I still possessed my human eyes with proper lids to blink with. Instead I stared up through the murky water. I was certain that I had heard someone rowing a boat across the surface of my lake. I rose from my watery bed amongst the grasses at the bottom and drifted to the surface.
There was a boat, drawn up among the reeds. I could see the shadows of two people in it, but when they heard me break the surface of the water, they darted and hid behind it.
Help me! I screamed in my head, but all that came out of my mouth was an unintelligent roar.
No wonder they fled, like everyone else. No wonder there was no rest for me, trapped in foreign flesh, dying for human companionship. I was now as much of a monster on the outside as I had always been on the inside.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Image Credit to Artist

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Annie Lou, Artist

Those who've known me for a while know that I am an artist. I create stuff out of other stuff and occasionally out of nothing at all, but that's a lot more work. I adore words and have a passion for them, but I also love working with other forms of art. Like dancing or swordfighting or painting.

I've always loved to draw and paint, and I even have a few pieces of which I am extraordinarily proud. 

Smaug, one of my favourite dragons.

This is the dragon I sketched while I was supposed to be working on math competition work. And Daddy dear, before you get indignant that I wasn't paying attention to you, please observe that the above drawing is almost entirely lines. That style of drawing helps me concentrate, just like knitting helps me listen better. I was listening most attentively. I promise.

Bag End.

Gosh, you might think that I like Tolkien, too. Hint: I do.

It was a fundraiser for our local (hehe, it's Western Maine - I do not think that mean what you think it means) hospital. We were doing art classes based on the works of Rudyard Kipling. This is my painting of The Cat Who Walked By Himself. It sold for over a hundred dollars at auction which made ten-year-old me very, very, very excited.

I got bored of writing one day, a while ago. I'd been typing for a while and my eyes were starting to ache from staring at the screen for so long. I'd dreamed about painting with watercolors just before I woke up that morning, so I decided to do some. I found some envelopes and set about painting them with no particular intent, pattern, or design, just what happened to show up. Hint: that's the way I do a lot of things.

I proceeded quite merrily with brother #5 watching me intently from the other side of the table and running a commentary on how lovely they were and what was I going to do with them?

Huh. Do with them? You mean I have to do something besides have them in my letter box to be pretty and make me smile?

I guess I have some letters to write, since I kind of intended to mail the envelopes. I'm not a big fan of mailing empty envelopes, and these ones are too small to put cookies in. Sorry, folks.

So anyway, I do lots of other stuff besides writing, when the mood strikes. Every so often it strikes violently and I am left breathless, staring at a piece of paper in bewilderment.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Home of My Heart

Home of My Heart
Annie Louise Twitchell

Walk in the woods with me,
and let me sing to you the song of my heart.
Walk in the woods with me
and let your heart free from the aches
and burdens of the world outside.
Walk in the woods with me
and listen in awed silence
to the longing notes from the brook,
running in her course as she has for decades.
Walk in the woods with me
and watch as the startled deer flies away
white bobtail flashing behind her,
spotted fawn close at her heels.
Walk in the woods with me
and see the red squirrel climbing
his oak tree, scolding us the whole time.
Walk in the woods with me,
This is where I belong,
where my wild and restless soul
finds comfort and peace.
This is where the weights of the world
slide unnoticed from my shoulders,
where I raise my arms to the spreading
trees and let my soul free.
This is where I am just
Walk in the woods with me.
It's not just an offer for a
chance to breathe clear air,
it's an offer to let you
see the truest me
that there is,
to let you see me
bare and exposed.
All the shattered pieces
of my soul come together here,
and if I stay in the wild long enough,
I will become whole
and brave enough to live outside again.
Walk in the woods with me,

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Promise Rose (WIP) and Love Lines

I don't like talking about my work in person. My family knows this. I stutter and stammer and get red-faced (more than my usual rosy hue, that is) and completely forget about the thousand words I just finished writing thirty-five seconds ago. That being said, I have talked with TWO people in my household (okay so the second one isn't technically in my household but he was at the house chopping veggies for soup so that's close enough) about my stories in the past week. TWO people. I feel like I ought to get a medal or something because I actually talked for a good long time without wanting to go hide under a mountain.

Anyway, I'm in a couple forum groups online, and I have been sharing snippets of this story with them for several months now, since I started writing the first draft. They loved it, which was a bit mind-boggling. That's mostly why I've stuck with it as long as I have, because they're so excited for me to finish the foolish thing so they can read it. Yay for cheerleaders and supporters! Also because I don't really have a choice because the story gets upset if I leave it alone too long and that's never very fun.

So here's the working cover for A Promise Rose, the story of Ethan and Sophie.

Here are a couple more quotes from the story:

This story has been interesting to write because stuff keeps happening and takes me all unawares. The above line is a prime example. I had many tears to shed over that scene. It hurt in places I didn't know could hurt.

I got Picasa Photo Editor last week... I've been having entirely too much fun...

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Image Credit: Unknown

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

When I was little we used to have very grand and elaborate Valentine's Day Tea Parties. My favourite was the year that we had it under Aunt Cindy's kitchen table. The boys put sheets over the table, which was round, so that there was a tent underneath. We had candles, and deviled eggs, and cookies, and tea with cream and sugar and tablespoon sized tea cups, and little sugar mints... One of the big boys laid down on the kitchen floor, stuck his head through the 'doorway' because he wouldn't fit inside with us little ones, and let us feed him tiny cups of tea and cookies.

My edit of someone else's photo.

Text: Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Image: Unknown

Friday, February 12, 2016

Liebster Award

A huge thanks to my friend Erudessa for nominating me! 

Here are the rules:
- Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
- Nominate up to 11 other bloggers to receive the award.  To be eligible, they need to have 200 followers or less.
- Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
- Tell your readers 11 random facts about yourself.
- Give your nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog when they post their nomination.

My Nominees:

My Eleven Questions from Erudessa:

#1 – If you would live anywhere in the world, where?
Either Maine or Scotland, I think. 

#2 – What did dream occupation did you have as a child?
More like, which one didn't I have? I have always loved writing and that was always my fall-back dream.

#3 – If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, which color?
Pink, as long as I can vary the shades. If I can't then I'd have to say royal blue.

#4 – Favorite new book?
You would ask. Argh, I hate picking favourites! My mind goes blank and I cannot remember any of the three dozen new-to-me books I've read in the past four weeks. For lack of any other options, 'How To Eat Fried Worms' by Thomas Rockwell, simply because 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' are not actually new to me even if the charming audio edition I'm currently listening to is. 

#5 – Do you prefer to watch foreign entertainment with subtitles, dubs, or you don’t like to watch foreign entertainment?
I watch BBC, which is, of course, in English. I haven't watched any foreign entertainment in a different language.

#6 – Favorite fairytale?
Again with the favourite questions! It's like asking, 'what's your favourite food?' Suddenly I can't remember what I just ate for breakfast. But this one is a bit easier. 'Beauty' by Robin McKinley.

#7 – If you decided to learn another language, what language would you choose?
Gulp. I don't know. French, Spanish, Latin, Gaelic, Orcish? Mostly I'd rather learn Old English so I can properly mutter Shakespearean insults at people who behave poorly.

#8 – Books or E-readers?

#9 - How peculiar. There isn't one. *double checks* Yup, not there.

#10 – Your favorite real historical lady?
Okay, you've already heard me mutter and grumble about my blank mind, so I'll shut up. Today it's probably Queen Elizabeth the First since Cate Blanchett probably isn't historic yet because she's still around and doing stuff.

#11 – If a new planet was discovered and you got to name it, what name would you choose?
It depends on the type of planet, the color that the planet appears to our eyes, what sorts of beings might inhabit the planet, how old the planet appears to be, how many moons it has, how close to its sun it is, and a number of other things that make it impossible for me to give a name. Sorry.

Eleven Random Facts About Me:

#1 As I am writing this blog post, my laptop mouse touchpad has decided to lock itself. I have a little orange dot in the top left corner of the touchpad which means something is locked, and it refuses to move the cursor, although I can right click and left click. This is highly annoying and I am about to go bother my brother about it as soon as I finish this paragraph.

#2 Having restarted my computer and unlocked my mouse, per my technical brother's advice, I crossed my fingers, all ten of them, and my eyes, and my ankles, and hoped that it would have saved my blog post draft. It did. 

#3 I have three small suitcases in my room full of library books.

#4 I love Chai tea hot or cold with a splash of vanilla extract, a little bit of sugar, and some cream. 

#5 My cat likes squash and coconut milk.

#6 It's about -2 degrees outside and I was a popsicle after doing chores. Then I came inside and overheated in approximately .278 seconds because I was bundled so warmly.

#7 My favourite colours are blue, pink, green, purple, black, and silver.

#8 I am possibly addicted to old books. Old, old books with the thick, faded sheets of paper and the huge margins and the curious print. And the smell of old books...! 

#9 I am not claustrophobic, thank goodness. I probably could be but that would mean that I wouldn't be able to scramble through hay lofts and attic rafters and motel basements as easily, which would be disappointing. 

#10 I have about 20 cubic feet of books in boxes waiting for me to inventory them and shelve them. They are all my own books. 

#11 I got Picasa Photo Editor last week and it's entirely too much fun.

Eleven Questions for My Nominees:

#1 - What's the 'outdated' phrase that you use the most? 
#2 - What was the name of your first character you created?
#3 - About how many books do you read a week?
#4 - If you were a dragon rider, what colour would your dragon be?
#5 - You're in a fight. What's your weapon of choice?
#6 - How many times a week do you use sticky notes?
#7 - When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter to someone?
#8 - How many story ideas have you come up with in the two and a half minutes before falling asleep?
#9  - Text or phone call?
#10 - Do your characters have conversations with you?
#11 - Stars or hearts?


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Words, Collection One

Don't say I didn't warn you! 

People who hang out with me have hopefully acquired a general understanding that I file almost everything I see, hear, touch, smell, or taste. I have very large files. So if we've had a conversation at some point, and you find yourself reading something of mine that sounds very familiar, that's probably because it is.

Okay, so I haven't actually made that into a t-shirt because the printer was acting up and wouldn't talk to my computer, so then my computer got upset and wouldn't talk to the printer, so I was stuck with all kinds of things to print and nowhere to print them to.

I watch people and then I think how to describe them. Sorry, guys. Deal with it.

At least this friend knew what she was in for.

This thought of mine made my parents wonder what they'd done wrong raising me. I don't know why they wondered that because it seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. My mother was also bothered the other night because I was wondering what it would look like if Mr. Spock had to substitute for Santa Claus.

And this gem. :) 

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Monday, February 1, 2016

Witches and Cream

Witches and Cream
Annie Louise Twitchell

The wind howls and
rattles the bare branches
of the dead pine tree.
In the pale milky light
shining down from the moon
I see a black cat, perched
high in the tree.
Her yellow eyes stare
venomously down,
as she threatens to unleash
the storms of darkness.
In terror I shine my lamp
upwards, hoping that the light
with drive away this--
dainty gray tabby with golden eyes,
hiding up the tree and
playing at scares.
She scrambles down, purring,
quite happy to be done
and come home now.

I, apparently, have a pretty good witch's cackle when I put my mind to it. This information was given me by a slightly more knowledgeable source than the thirteen year old boy who informed me that I was the scariest woman he had ever met. It was, in fact, given to me by a source who excels at evil laughs. (Muahahahaha!!) It is appropriate, therefore, that my cat has a pretty good witching attitude herself, when she puts her mind to it. This evening she was running wild and being spooky, and I managed to get a picture of her doing so, which reminded me of the poem above that I wrote a couple months ago. Now, as I am writing this, she has stopped trying to nestle between me and the laptop and is instead sitting beside me, looking forlorn and waiting for me to be done so we can go watch a movie and she can have my lap, uncontested. 

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell