Liebster Award 2017

The Liebster Award is spread from blogger to blogger to give smaller blogs some extra love!
Right after my second book release, I got this news: I got nominated for the Liebster Award!
I was nominated by my sweet friend Rebekah DeVall, over at Rebekah DeVall WordPress Thank you, Bekah!
Here’s her nomination post: Liebster Award Nominations
Rebekah is such a gifted writer and beautiful person in general, go check her work out. I’m over the moon excited for her book Aveza of the Ercanhelm that comes out in October 2017.


Here are the rules for the nomination:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  4. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  5. List these rules in your post
  6. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post. (They might not have ever heard of it!)
  7. Post a comment in the comments of –> the award post <– so your post and blog can be viewed.
(Why do they always need favorites?!)

One of my most frequently visited blogs is Hannah Heath, Writer 

She puts out great articles and content about writing, character development, and more. She was one of my first introductions into the blogging world, and her thoughtful responses to my comments and excitement about my book launches, were a huge encouragement. When I find myself wanting more details about a character, I go check her blog. Her information is sound and easy to process and utilize. 



1: Gabriella Slade This girl is so sweet and such a talented writer. I’m looking forward to her book Show Me.

2: The Fandom Studio My friend Kylie Gregory blogs here.

3: Abigayle Ellison @ The Left Handed Typist Abi’s book Martin Hospitality is a really sweet story and I keep stalking her updates on the sequel. 

4: Castin Camberlain Cas’s blog! She did up a bit of the graphic work for Jump: The Things I Remind Myself launch party.

5: Petra Grace Petra does photography AND writing, and she’s very good at both. 

6: Writer’s Corner This blog is just starting up, but she’s got some cool prompts and writing-related posts. And her poetry! 



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

Love Song

This is the other poem I mentioned the other day. I won my local library’s poetry contest with this one. I’m really looking forward to writing some more poetry for this year’s contest. Now I’m competing in the adult category, gulp.






Love Song
Annie Louise Twitchell

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or we could count the stars
strewn across the evening sky.
We could find the constellations,
each one painting a picture,
and wish upon a shooting star.

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or I could keep you safe
from the demons inside.
I could stay with you
through the hardest times,
if only you will let me.

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or we could watch the moon
rise serenely into the starry sky.
Then when she sets we could
sleep the night away in peace,
without the fear of being alone.

I could write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
or sit with you during the
sunrise of a brand new day.
We could watch the world
wake up, and resume the
chaos and busyness of life.

I would write you a love song
to tell how much I care,
but I can’t express myself
with any words I’ve found.
I can only show you,
and trust that is enough.
I can only show you, dear one.

Is that enough?


Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Kezar



Kezar
Annie Louise Twitchell

The early morning mist rises
from the surface of the lake.
The dawn light is reflected
on the smooth, glassy waters.
The mountains across the lake
seem to be blazing with fire
as the rays of new sunlight
fall across the high peaks.

A loon calls; another answers.
A light breeze picks up,
the treetops begin rustling.
I push open the door,
go down onto the lawn.
The dew is thick and cold on
my bare feet. On the dock I sit,
my feet dangling in the water.

I hear a low rustle behind me.
Turning slowly around, I search
for the source of the sound.
There! A little chipmunk
is running through the grass,
his cheeks enormous with seeds.
He disappears under the porch.
In the tree above me a squirrel scolds.

A sunfish stops to nibble at my toes.
Squealing, I splash him away.
I go up from the water
along the road for a walk.
Under the whispering boughs of the
woodland trees I find something
precious, something I find each
morning but lose again during the day.

Here in the woods on the edge of water
I find peace, serenity, grace,
more than can ever be found
in places men have built,
but that can be so easily touched
in the cathedral of towering trees.
One feels small here, but it is good.
You do not need to be important,
you just need to be.

I spent a couple summers at New England Frontier Camp on Kezar Lake, which was one of National Geographic’s Top Ten Most Beautiful Lakes… in the world. It’s a boys’ camp and I broke all the rules for girls – I liked spiders and I was fascinated by snakes and frogs are neat and I was the person who removed wasps from the dining hall. Sorry, guys. I’m just kind of good at being different. I was my parents’ fourth child. I was a girl and I had hair. After three bald boys I was definitely different.

How you ever met a Northern Water Snake? I found one, sunning herself on a rock. I stopped reading and watched her instead, so intently that one of the staff members had to come ask what was going on. She got scared by the intrusion and slithered off the rock into the lake, and swam about ten yards to hide in some rocks,

I HAD NO IDEA THAT MAINE HAS SNAKES THAT CAN SWIM.

I really do like snakes, so that was super cool. At another point, the same snake was on the boat ramp and they needed her moved. I offered, if they got me leather gloves, but no one believed me. They figured it out themselves.

Anyway, I wrote the above poem last March for the Rockland Public Library Poetry Contest 2015. I won second place for the teen category. It was one of my first dozen poems, and I wrote it just a few weeks after finishing my poetry class. I was flabbergasted to get the email that said ‘Oh hey, just so you know, you won second prize, wanna come to Rockland and read your poem to us?’

So it was worded more formally than that, but whatever. I went to Rockland with most of my family. I read my poem (while a Monarch swarm of butterflies invaded my stomach) to a fairly large audience. I was told by one of the older poets that she liked my reading best.

Also I got a pretty piece of paper. And about $100 worth of poetry books.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Image from New England Frontier Camp Facebook Page

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?
Books.

#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?

~AnnieLou~