Thursday, March 30, 2017

Character Interview with Sam Bridge

This was supposed to be posted on Monday but I was sick over the weekend, which completely threw off all my mental schedules. 

Today I'm interviewing one of my friend Sam's characters. I actually got to beta read her WIP, Moon Angel, that Selene is from. I really loved it and am looking forward to when it's available. 


Hello, my name is Selene. I am 19-years-old and have spent the last year, trying to find my feet, after having recently left home and gone off to explore the world on my own. I love the outdoors and the night sky, and would classify myself as an introvert.

ALT: What is your full name?
SC: Selene Carter

ALT: When were you born?
SC: September 15th in the Spring. (Southern Hemisphere). Laji (Elviran Moon cycle).

ALT: What was/is your relationship with your father? With your mother?
SC: I never really knew my birth mother and father as I was separated from them at a young age. My adoptive father was wonderful and my relationship with him was good, but something happened about a year ago and we stopped talking.

ALT: Siblings?
SC: I was an only child, so no siblings. My adoptive father didn’t have any other kids either.  

ALT: Did you graduate high school? College? Beyond?
SC: I was homeschooled, so never went to high school. I guess I would have liked to go to college and study, but my adoptive father wanted me to go into the family business.

ALT: What do you most value in your friends?
SC: Being able to be myself around them. They’re the ones who know everything about me and I can relax when I am around them. I love the way they help me to think on the happy times, and not dwell on the bad.

ALT: What do you do for a living?
SC: I am unemployed currently, but am looking for work. I used to work in the intelligence sector, but had a disagreement with some of the management and had to leave quickly.

ALT: What's your strongest sense? Sight, hearing, smelling, etc?
SC: My strongest sense is my sight, I’d say. I can see in the dark pretty well too.

ALT: What do you wish your special talent was?
SC: If we were talking about super powers? I think the ability to read minds would be useful. Being able to know what people are thinking would make life a lot easier.

ALT: What are you most proud of in your life?
SC: I walked away from a toxic situation in my life. I knew it was the right thing to do and I am proud of myself for having the courage to do it. I don’t know how my life would look right now if I had stayed where I was.

ALT: What are you most afraid of?
SC: That the mistakes I’ve made in the past will catch up with me and hurt those I love.

ALT: What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?
SC: I irreparably hurt a lot of people because the other people in my life made me think I was doing the right thing.

ALT: What are you like when you stay awake all night?
SC: I’m quite a night owl actually. Most of the time, staying up in the night air actually refreshes me and gives me more energy the next day.

ALT: What type of clothing are you most comfortable with?
SC: A comfortable t-shirt and pair of loose pants or shorts are fine. I am not too fussy when it comes to clothes, although I love hoodies! And sneakers. And if it’s in black, then that’s even better.

ALT: What are your hobbies and interests?
SC: I like to exercise. I’m a bit of an exercise junkie really. I love swimming. I find the motion of it very therapeutic and relaxing. I really love to travel too. I also like to fly.

ALT: Fly? Like in an airplane?
SC: Yeah… let’s go with that.

ALT: Biggest trauma?
SC: When I was sixteen, I lost my one of my best friends in a bombing. I was almost killed myself and it took a long time to recover from.

ALT: How do you react in stressful situations?
SC: I’m normally very calm and rational. If it was fight or flight response, I think I’m usually a fighter.

ALT: Best way to cheer you up?
SC: Time with my close friends. Blankets and hugs always work too. When my best friend and I used to live close to each other, we would do girly stuff like painting nails or just watch a movie together to cheer each other up.

ALT: When and where were you happiest?
SC: In a forest somewhere, lying under a big tree, or even better- in the tree, especially at night. I find forests to be very tranquil places and they allow me to think.

ALT: Where would you most like to live?
SC: Ideally, I would love to live in the country somewhere. Somewhere quiet and not too busy, but not too far away from the city either.

ALT: What parts of loving come easily to you? What comes hard?  
SC: Really loving someone doesn’t happen too often for me. I find it hard to trust others, as I have been hurt many times, and with that comes sharing parts of myself with others. I am a good listener and I think other people find it easy to open up with me, but I find it hard to return the favour. I still try to see the good in people, however. 

All characters owned by their respective authors.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spinner of Secrets, Update Eight

Real quick update today, I'm super busy, but here's my weekly post!


I have a new tablet, the first piece of tech I've bought brand new, and I managed to get my stuff to sync properly so I have my stuff like I had before. It will be a little interesting adjusting to the new keyboard, but I'll have it figured out soon.

Mom and I went to a book sale this weekend, and I ordered some books online. I wound up with a big bag of books, three VHS movies, two DVD movies, an audiobook, two particular books I really wanted that I ordered on Ebay, and four Indie ebooks from Amazon.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Spinner of Secrets, Update Seven


*heavy breathing*

Spinner of Secrets is ready for the next steps. Professional proofreading, then back to me for formatting, and my friend Hannah has offered to help with the cover design.

It was so hard getting here.

I had to learn to let go of so much. My insecurities, my feelings of inadequacy, my pride, my disbelief in myself. I desperately wanted to get this story published and to do that, I had to learn to be brave.

I shared a poem several weeks back, called Jump.


It was so important for me. I had to learn to stand on my own two feet and I had to learn to decide, this is good.

Not good enough.

Not just okay.

Not that will do.


I don't really care if other people don't think it's good. I didn't write this one for other people. I wrote it for me. I wrote it to tell a story and in telling the story, I learned my own.

And while I want this story to connect with other people and for other people to enjoy it as much as I do, I'm not sure if that's the most important thing for this book. There will be other books. It's inevitable. I'm as likely to stop telling stories as I am to stop liking rainy days and good books. But this book, this journey, has been about me growing up, about me learning myself, about me connecting with myself.

But there is this aching
inside me, right behind my ribs, just below my heart,
that begs me to go and jump off a cliff and
never mind whether people accept me or not.
Never mind whether they like me or not.

Never mind them at all.
(Ache, unpublished)

So in a way, yes, I am very selfish and jealous about this book. And in another way, I'm not. It's grown up just like me. And I'm learning to let it fly on its own. It may crash, it may fall. That's okay. Things do that. 

I learned to ride my bicycle without training wheels, when I was about six. We were at my friend's house, riding our bikes around in front of the log house and the mobile home. My bike was small, pink, and very girly. I loved it. It looked a lot like this one: 

My best friend and his brother decided it was high time I was a big girl. I was happily riding around and they called me to a halt in front of the front steps, dashed inside, came out with a couple of wrenches, and took my training wheels off. Looking back, I can see how it would be comical to have a six year old and an eight year old, expertly wielding wrenches and taking things apart, but at the time I was just a bit concerned. I was afraid I'd fall down without my training wheels, but they said I needed to try it. 

So I tried it. I probably fell down, but I don't remember it. And I didn't fall down much. The glorious crashes I've had came much later. 

The interesting thing is that I wasn't upset with them, I wasn't angry, I wasn't even especially scared. I was nervous. I really wanted to get it right and ride my bike without the training wheels. I wanted to make my friend proud of me. I wasn't afraid of getting bullied or teased if I failed, not from him anyway. Maybe from his brother. While I knew I could have Daddy put the wheels on again when I got home, I didn't really want him to. For one thing, I thought that the boys would take them off again next time I was up there, and they probably would have. For another, I didn't really want them on again. I wanted to do it myself. I might fall down, I might crash. But that was okay. I didn't care. Skinned knees were nothing compared to the feeling of wobbling around the driveway on my own, without anyone holding me up. 

While I'm not a risk-taker, necessarily, I have always liking surprising people, surprising myself, and trying new things. I didn't bat an eyelash at jumping off the cliff when I was five - the cliff being a sand hill, the jump being two feet before you touched down again and just slid down the hill. Climbing trees only failed because I wasn't coordinated to keep my balance very well. Airsoft, letting the boys throw me into the pond, sword-fighting and getting good enough to beat my brothers and my best friend... I loved it. I loved seeing what I could do. Testing limits. Where I could go. How much could I do. What sort of thing happened if I tried it a little differently. The absolute best way to get me to do something was to tell me I couldn't. (Or tell me to get out of the way and let the boys handle it.)

Somewhere along the way, I got scared of that. I got scared of this desire in myself to try something new. 

And now I'm getting it back again. 

I've got a few cliffs to jump off, I think.

Spinner of Secrets is approximately 23,800 words - 3,000 or more added since I began this last set of edits. 

And look! My friend Kirsi made pretty art for me! 

Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Artwork by Kirsi Grace
Forest photo by Annie Louise Twitchell
Bicycle photo by Unknown

Monday, March 6, 2017

This Writing Addiction

I'm addicted to stories and words.

I can't help it. It's a part of me and it always has been. I have made stories since I could talk. So much of my life has been centered around stories, either mine or someone else's. I inhale air and exhale words. 

Even if no one reads them, I will still be making stories. Even if I never write them down, even if I never tell a word, even if they exist only and solely in my mind, I will still be making stories. It's in my blood. It is my blood. From a non-scientific view, my DNA is a double helix of sentences and paragraphs.

I will teach them to have hope and I will teach them the meaning of pain and I will show them the stars as if they could shake hands with them. I will teach them to believe in themselves and to know that they are beautiful. I will teach them to dream and to believe in impossible things. I will teach them to be passionate for what they believe in and I will teach them to find peace in an ending that is not what they have hoped for.

And at the same time I will teach myself that.

Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell