Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Words, Collection Two

Sometimes I hang out with people who say really funny things. I'm sorry, people. If you don't want to be written about then you probably shouldn't hang out with me. 

These two have been sitting in my draft email on my tablet for a while. See, I can edit a draft email on my tablet even if I don't have an internet connection - while we're driving down deer infested roads at nine o'clock at night, for example. Although usually I'm too busy watching out for deer to be writing. But anyway. I have a draft email that is now at least several hundred words long, full of random lines and thoughts and such like the two below.

I'm very busy working on my Camp Nano project so this is a short blog post, sorry. I'm almost at my word count goal and I would really like to finish by the end of the month so I can win. It is very satisfying.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Unwanted Gift

Sometimes I really don't know if I like Pinterest after all.

Because sometimes I get pictures like these.

And every so often one comes around that just shatters something inside. 

The above was one of those pictures. Even without reading the caption. I just stared at it for a while and then started typing. I don't remember how long I typed before coming up with the following poem:

An Unwanted Gift
Annie Louise Twitchell

You said I could have your bicycle
when you didn't need it anymore.
Well, they called you to go away
and you left it chained to the tree,
the one we built a wobbly house in.
I couldn't find the key to unlock it.
Mum said I'd have to wait until you
came home, so I waited.
I waited for so long.
All that came home was a letter that
made Mum scream,
made Dad cry.

Afterwards, they said I could cut
the chain and have the bicycle.
But I didn't want it anymore.
I just wanted my big brother to
stop playing games and come home,
come back up the driveway and --
and you never came home.

Your bicycle is still there.
The tree has grown around it and
sometimes I wonder if those two wheels
could lift the tree, the house, and me
and carry us all away to wherever
that war took you. And maybe
I could say I miss you,
and I love you,
and why couldn't you come home?

I just remember stopping after some time and reading over what I had written and feeling completely devastated. And the funny thing was that I almost didn't mind. 

I have spent more time crying over that poem. I started practicing reading it out loud to my cat. The first couple (dozen) times I couldn't even read the whole thing without crying. 

Finally I got a bit disgusted - I'm an easily emotional person and I was afraid I was overreacting or something. So I printed out a copy and gave it to my mom. (This time I did remember to tell her it was a sad poem.) 

Apparently I wasn't really overreacting...

I mailed it in to Webster Library's Annual Poetry Contest and kept practicing. I wanted to be able to read it out loud if I got the chance, without completely losing it. Finally I got so I could read it through several times in a row without breaking down into tears.

Then was the tricky part. If I made my mother, who is not an easy person to make cry, cry when she read my poem, how on earth I was going to survive reading to an audience? I start crying when I see other people crying!

Well, luckily for me, my oldest brother and my sister in law were up for dinner and so I just kind of decided to read it out loud to the whole family. I managed it alright, caught almost all of the right twists I wanted to, didn't start bawling, and I didn't get stage fright. deep breath

And then last week I got sick and didn't do much with any of my writing for a couple days. I finished making lunch or something like that and wobbled back into the living room to take a nap on the couch, and picked up my tablet to see if I had gotten a reply about a silly question (not the knife question, a different one) from my friend, and found the notification that

I won

second place Adult Category

with my poem.

It was a couple more hours before I was able to take my nap because I got so excited at the news, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't even lie quietly very well. I would like to formally apologize to anyone who got overwhelmed by me messaging them in a feverish excitement because I won.

I did make it down to the library with my dad to read my poem. For a while I wasn't sure I would be well enough to go, which I was really upset about because I'd put so much blood and sweat and tears into that poem. I didn't do as well as I expected I would, although apparently the video camera didn't pick up my shaky hands, and I guess my reading worked alright. 

And a shout out to the fabulous Connie Jean for making me the sketch at the top. I'd tried several different things for a cover image and that is my favourite.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

'Unwanted Gift Sketch' by Connie Jean

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Stories for Elli, Part Two

This was another 300 word prompt. I have fun with them, although it's kind of hard to take one idea and have it stay small. It's a good writing exercise. 

Running through the forest on my way home, I found a pair of dragons engaged in battle. Beasts of legend, we had always been taught that light ones were good and black ones were evil. I had no reason to mistrust this teaching, until the light dragon sought to seize me and use me as weaponry against the black dragon. The black dragon and his rider strengthened their attack and soon beat the light dragon and her rider back into the forest.
I started to run in the opposite direction, but the black dragon caught me and folded me up in gentle wings. His rider dismounted and came to fuss over me. I cowered away from the man’s figure, covered in black robes, and he laughed softly. His laugh was the gentlest, kindest sound I had ever heard and I stopped struggling in order to listen. He put a hand on my forehead.
“Do not be afraid of the night, child. Many good things are concealed under her mantle. Evil is not bound to light or darkness, but passes freely between the lines and masquerades as any number of good things. Learn to sense the evil for itself, and trust the darkness.”

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Annie Louise Twitchell

Thin sheets of paper,
wood fibers
pasted together.

Black lines,
fine as baby's hair
curious shapes

The marks
mean something,
a word,
an idea.

in trees,
my ideas
go on
longer than me.

but told
without speaking.
Held imprisoned
on the leaves
made from
long dead trees.
Aching to be released,
let fly
above the inked
and sing aloud
to the sun
the stories they were
made to tell.

Tied down
on the white sheets
so I can read them
and let them
fly in my mind.

I don't remember what prompted this poem. I think I had a headache/migraine and was, as I often do when there is an angry troll pounding on the inside of my skull, pondering impossiblities. Words are seriously weird things. Like, I'm sitting here typing the thoughts in my head, and you're sitting there reading and (hopefully, although this is Annie we're talking about) understanding them. It's just... weird. Really, really weird.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell