NEW BOOK – THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS – ALAN HOWARD (OUT NOW)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

TWITTER and a burst of tweets

The other day I was persuaded to take another look at Twitter, masquerading as ‘OnundTreefoot’ with his ‘Shabby Tattler’ avatar, when I found @mywordwizard who issues wee challenges by starting a ‘poem’ with a phrase. It tickled my fancy to try a couple (having just been told, as I said, that I must learn to communicate through tweeting). So just for fun, I tried a few, learning as I went along that the trick is to @someone before you tweet (or face the darkness of the VOID all on your own!). So here it went (ital was provided phrase):
“They met at eventide, / Sweet water and the salt, / And circled each, side to side, / Until the Moon called “Halt!”
The sky enveloped / By clouds of white; / The Moon has eloped / with her own ‘Black Knight’” (Onund Treefoot groans)
Suddenly, as if by magic @Litopia appeared following me, so I looked to see what they do, and discovered a request to write a story in 3 tweets:

“They’re up with the lark, / all hunting the Snark. / This elusive Spark that illumines the dark / Can be found in the pound at the end of the park.”
“But they’re searching the Search / Twixt the beach and the birch. / It’s a rod for their backs / Lest they cover their tracks,”
“And the Last will be First / To be gobbled and cursed; / For I needn’t remind them / That the Snark is behind them!”
(But each tweet was too long to allow @Litopia to precede them – so into the Black Hole they went – one after the other) To show Litopia I was not all frivolity and fluff, I offered to add a few Haiku-ish ‘Day To-Day Fragments’ from my ‘Ana Thema’ book of short stories and poems (only @-ting the first two )
“Dawn envelops / the light of stars / in sparkling dew”
“Silhouetted flowers / growing apart / from their greening leaves”

“Ladybird – complementing – this spotless leaf!”
(and so on and so forth)
It was at this point I discovered the ‘@ Principle of tweeting’ and the existence of ‘@mentions’ and ‘Retweets’ which, being a non-notice noticer I had glossed over without a second glance before – a whole new meaning opened up … this is why I only ever saw strange “@… blah blah” snippets of conversation!
Returning to MyWord Wizard my ‘wizened’ eye was caught by another phrase, on the day after the American Superbowl, about which I cared nothing and knew less (or vice-versa) because Liverpool had just beaten Chelsea after they stole Torres!
“@ A brilliant splash of colour /  As the Packers clash the Steelers, / But nothing beat the howler / That was Christina Aguilera’s!”
It worked. I got a response and a re-tweet (I had had them before but didn’t know it). And the response carried a challenge: “@ Very topical, very goooooood! Encore! (color). Love it!”  Language is at the heart of our trans-Atlantic ‘special relationship’, so naturally I did everything to placate the poor souls:
“@ Color’s what U Yanks say / Though never short of a vowel / We’re beaten in tweetin’ in the UK, / Guess we’ll throw in the towel!” [ok. a bit rough but getting close to bed-time]
Between the two, MWW an Litupia, we went on a little longer:
“@ Never say never unless your endeavour so originally wrought is bound to be found plagiaristically bound in another man’s tort!”
and, as if by magic, some new followers turned up (thanks to any I forgot to thank).
I learned a little about tweeting and learned another lesson, too:
“Distraction and Multiplication together just don’t Add up to a lot of work done!”

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