Twee' Art LLC, Vermont
Choosing Titles Like Twee'
Susie E Caron (c) 1-7-2020
I like Titles and I generate them for various things: books I want to write, movies I wish I could make, my various business names, web site names and pet names. Perhaps, ‘free associating’ from my psychology graduate school training enhances this ability. I don’t know, but sometimes a title just ‘shows up’ without notice.
In 2010, I struggled to choose from my list of story ideas to write my first of 3 children’s books. I didn’t have a title and couldn’t settle on a character or on a story. After a bit of giving up and prayer, quite unexpectedly the word Twee’ (complete with the apostrophe) came to my mind. It was so uncommon a word that it actually startled me, and I laughed.
The stories flowed from there, so I ‘went with it’ and in a short time I wrote 3 children’s books: Twee’, I Am Twee’ and Twee’ for Two. Allegorical stories, they reveal a little pine tree, from sapling to ‘tree-childhood’, whose emotional/social/relationship awareness develops much like most human children. I wanted to encourage reading by adults to children, so I used “Twee’ Means You and Me” at the end of book one- a play on the word “between.”
During story construction, the source of the name remained a mystery to me. I recognized that Twee’ sounded a lot like when our toddler daughter said the word “tree”. As a preschool child, she seemed to be missing ‘r’s’ in her speech. A few months of speech therapy remedied it, but I have to say I missed her cute way of speaking. As I wrote, I began to wonder, did Twee actually have an established meaning? I decided it prudent to look in the dictionary.
Merriam-Webster defines it thus: “affectedly or excessively dainty, delicate, cute or quaint.” It is further described as originating in early British baby talk as an alteration of ‘’sweet.’ In the early 1900’s it was a term of affection. (In recent years it is more like ‘corny’, but I am old fashioned gal.)
This earlier definition suited me, my character, and titles just fine. I was delighted. Twee’ is cute, dainty, delicate if not also a bit quaint. All the things I’d unconsciously wanted.
Feeling validated by this discovery I began to ponder the apostrophe and the tendril. Early in the process, I’d argued strongly for the necessity of the apostrophe with my editor, without knowing why. I’d also insisted my illustrator put the tendril on top of Twee’s head. What was that all about? What could the tendril, with it’s dangling pine cone, and the apostrophe at the end of a name possibly mean? Maybe it was a promise of things to come? After all, pine cones carry seeds and seeds sprout new “Twee’s”. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
I think it is a question. Maybe it is for each of us to answer. Or, perhaps, as I suspected at the beginning of this journey, it is about growing through relationship with others.
Twee’ Means You And Me.
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Susie Caron, acrylic artist, creates realistic paintings of pets, animals, and selected scenes. Her love of and experience with many pets and farm animals throughout her life, enables her to capture the unique feeling and expression of each subject. In her commission pet and livestock portraits, Susie also works with each customer to discover and then reveal the personality and special bond between pet and human.
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