Waukesha Freeman

September 1999
From theWaukesha Freeman:

Write on:
Area girl’s poem published in magazine

by Amanda Freiberg, Freeman Staff

It comes to her when she’s shopping, lying in bed, talking on the telephone or driving.

It doesn’t matter where she’s at, but Therese Heckenkamp knows when the words and sentences form in her head, she must remember them.

The 18-year-old from the town of Lisbon has a talent for writing, whether it be poetry, short stories or even novels.

Recently, Heckenkamp received second prize for her poem “Illusion” in the June 1999 Cricket League poetry competition. For the contest, each entrant was asked to write a poem about anything.

Each month, Cricket sponsors a different writing or art competition, with 700 to 800 entries pouring in from around the world and is illustrated by artists from here and abroad.

“I didn’t plan to write it,” Heckenkamp said of her winning poem. “I started with one line and then kept coming back to it.”

The young writer said often her ideas come from one line and she then builds the piece around the line.

“I like playing with words,” she said. “As soon as I could write — I started writing.”

At the age of 5, Heckenkamp wrote her first story, “My Pet Butterfly,” which she still has stored in a binder in her bedroom.

“The spelling’s really bad and it’s hard to decipher the words,” she said with a smile.

Her love for writing has continued over the years, and her spelling has greatly improved.

At age 13, Heckenkamp had her first story published in the magazine Hopscotch for Girls, so having her work published in Cricket was nothing new to the talented teen.

She also had a watercolor painting, “The Sea Phantom,” published in Cricket at age 15.

Her most recent work, which she finished in about four months, is a 270-page young adult, romantic-suspense novel.

“I started it as a short story,” she said. “I never planned to write a novel, but the pages just kept adding up.”

The novel still needs to be revised, she said, but it is her biggest accomplishment to date.

Writing seems to come easily to Heckenkamp, but she admits she has her days when words don’t seem to flow well on paper.

“I’ll have to read over it again and then there’s some part that will annoy me — then I’ll work on it until it’s right, she said. “But I like being able to write about what I want.”

Heckenkamp relies on her silver Cross pen to help her put her thoughts to paper; but it is her creativity that makes the poem or story worth reading.

The following poem by Therese Heckenkamp of the town of Lisbon was published in the September issue of Cricket magazine:


It was there and then it wasn’t–
Like the memory of a dream–
When everything you see
Is not what it seems.
But somehow I caught a glimpse
In the half-instant it was there,
While the rest of the world
Politely disappeared.

It was like some sort of promise–
A wisp of gossamer–
Had floated out to meet me
Upon a gauzy blur.
It shimmered so enticingly
Like a spider web so fine,
And it danced before my eyes
In a delicate design.

It was rivaling reality–
Shifting like the sand–
And it tantalized my mind
Till it was more than I could stand.
I had to touch this thing,
To prove that it was there,
So I reached out my hand–
But all I touched was air.

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