Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta


| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized WRiting LIfe


Contact Ann Chiappetta, Author 914-393-6605 [email protected]

Local Author Returns to Childhood Library

March 7, 2017 – Mamaroneck, NY Ann Chiappetta, a Westchester resident who grew up in Mamaroneck, will be available for a book signing at the Mamaroneck Public Library’s community room this coming Saturday, March 11 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Chiappetta, who has written her first poetry collection titled, “Upwelling”, was raised in Mamaroneck.
“I spent a lot of time here,” she says, “the library was my home away from home.”

Chiappetta goes on to say she is excited to be able to return to her roots and share the collection with Westchester residents.
Printed copies of the book will be for sale for $8, cash only. The 60-page soft cover edition expresses a wide range of subjects and include Chiappetta’s experiences of vision loss, counseling trauma victims and many other aspects of the human condition. She also writes of learning how to work alongside and trust a new guide dog. Ms. Chiappetta has been blind since 1993, the loss resulting from a rare eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa. Two poems in the collection are about her vision loss and coping without the benefit of sight. From the publisher: guide dogs, death, and a disturbing dream. Marriage, memories, and intriguing mysteries. In this collection of 23 of her short, highly accessible poems from several decades, Ann Chiappetta explores an enormous range of emotions and topics. Travel with her as she moves from illness, death, loss, and grief to renewed hope, security, and serenity.

Chiappetta says she was inspired to publish the collection after losing her Mom, Mary Coelho last July.

Ann is available for local signings and readings.

. To Purchase Chiappetta’s collection in e book or printed formats, go to

To read Chiappetta’s blog, go to:

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

A Measure of Hope

| Filed under Poem Uncategorized

Yesterday I was speaking with one of my best friends, you know the kind of friend who is counted on one hand, which professes a true bestie. We’ve known each other for over 30 years. He introduced me to my husband of 26 years, etc., etc.

His name is Joe and he was diagnosed with HIV in the early 1990s and we almost lost him. Thankfully, it wasn’t his time to go and he recovered and I am thankful he has been part of my life and I believe he is a living miracle. Our family lost many loved ones from the AIDS virus back then and Joe wasn’t one of them, and the only one I know who survived from that deadly wave of HIV infections.

Shortly after he became hospitalized and was fighting for his life, I wrote a poem titled, “What Remains”. It is a style of poetry called a villanelle, or Italian sonnet. It consists of 19 lines in a fixed form and uses interchangeable rhymes. After writing it, I kept it to myself, since I wasn’t sure if Joe would pull through. Fast forward a few decades and the poem is the only one in my book, Upwelling, that is a rhymed poem of iambic pentamer and can be called the best example of a sonnet resulting from two excruciating semesters of verse writing classes.

So, what does this have to do with Joe and my poetry collection? I haven’t shared that the poem is in the book. He hasn’t purchased it yet, so he is blissfully unaware it is there. I did give him a copy of the poem years ago, and I honestly don’t think he will recall receiving it. Even if he does, I am a little nervous he might be uncomfortable knowing it’s in the collection

I know I am being silly; there are 22 other poems in this book, most about a person I love or for whom I feel a strong affection. I did let some of them know a poem written about them was included, but not all of them. My Mom and Dad are already gone and I lost touch with most of the others. I am confident; however, the poems honor the person’s character and don’t disparage anyone. Yet, I do experience an occasional twinge of anxiety thinking about the person’s reaction if he or she reads the piece. It’s called writer’s regret and while I would love to say I would never allow my creativity to be compromised by censorship, even if not doing so means risking another person’s feelings or values, it would be a hard decision to make. Therein lies the risk; he could react in a way that I wouldn’t expect or anticipate. He could say he hates it and he never wants to read it again. He could say it makes him feel horrible, or depressed or ashamed. Okay, maybe not as extreme as that, but, you get the picture. Taking risks with words is risky. As my statistics professor once said, it boils down to a fifty-fifty chance no matter what.

I want Joe to read the poem again, I want him to ask questions, and I want, above all else, for him to understand it was written at a time in our lives that was rife with uncertainty and expected loss.

As for you, the reader, perhaps this essay and poem will provide both the gravity of what it is like to witness the suffering of a loved one but also hang on to hope and keep hoping even when others say there isn’t any sense in hoping anymore. I think Joe would be satisfied with knowing his experience gives me hope.

FYI: March 6 is Joe’s 51st birthday. Happy Day my friend.


Time elapses in your veins
By maniacs bred in cells
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

The option of long life is detained
And upon the shortened time we dwell,
As time elapses in your veins.

Hippocratic oaths can’t explain
Why your blood bears killer cells
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

I listen to the melodic refrain
Of your breath, fearing the funeral bell,
As time elapses in your veins.

The fangs of regret cause the most pain
Anger and sadness are familiar clientele,
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

Your spirit wavers on this plane,
A present but listless parcel
I greedily covet what remains,
As time elapses in your veins
Robbing your health, grain by grain.

copyright 1995- 2016 Ann Chiappetta

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Welcoming 2017

| Filed under Fiction Poem Uncategorized

It’s New Year’s Day and I am being purposefully productive. 2016 wrapped up with a mixed bag and I am planning for a successful year in terms of the goals I continue to chip away on personally.

I have one announcement to make before I go on to blab about other milestones. The poem, “Diving” which is in my poetry collection UPWELLING, was also included in an anthology called BREATH and SHADOW and the book is available in eBook and print formats from all major online booksellers.
About the book:
Dozen: The Best of Breath and Shadow

Breath and Shadow is a literary journal of disability culture, written and edited exclusively by people with disabilities. In this collection, we present the best writing from the magazine’s first twelve years.
These essays, poems and short stories shine a light on the many gifts, ideas, and voices of writers who are disabled, and removes many of the hurdles faced in mainstream publications. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go back into Breath and Shadow, helping us to reach a wider and more diverse audience, as well as increasing our writer’s compensation. The book is available in paperback and all electronic formats.

Sandra Gail Lambert, Sarah Rizzuto, Susan M. Silver, Rachael Ikins, T Hamboyan Harrison, Janet I. Buck, Dan Foley, Abigail Astor, Dina Stander, Aaron Trumm , David Bolt, Judith Krum, Amy Krout-Horn, Ann Chiappetta, Lizz Schumer, Leandra Vane, Madeleine Parish, Deborah Sheldon, Akua Lezli Hope, Tricia Owsley, Raud Kennedy, Amit Parmessur , Tobias Seamon, Suzie Siegel, Erika Jahneke, Rick Blum, Alison Leavens, Carla Rene’ , Brock Marie Moore, Denise Noe, Diane Hoover Bechtler, Kathleen Grieger, Christopher Jon Heuer , Sergio Ortiz, Kari Pope, Kim Keith, Chris Kuell, Gary Bloom, Larry Schreiber, Esté Yarmosh, Joanne M. Marinelli, Mel C. Thompson, Laban Hill , Jae Beal, A. K. Duvall, Cindy Lamb , Sharon Wachsler Compiled and edited by Chris Kuell

So, friends and readers, help support writers with disabilities by honoring their literary efforts and get the book.

I would love to sign it should you wish and I encourage all of you who read this blog to become an online subscriber, too.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Mum from Mom

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem Uncategorized

Last night I was a guest on a phone conference broadcast to talk about my new published poetry collection, UPWELLING . Thanks to Bob Branco for inviting me on his show, Branco Broadcast, recorded and then distributed by Bob to a wide listening audience. If you cannot make the live call, you can listen to it later on Bob’s UTUBE channel. Very unique and accessible to all audiences. I’ll post the link when I receive it later on this week.

I read three poems and received much needed feedback, all of it positive. One caller asked me to talk about being a child of divorce and if it had any influence upon my writing, and I said yes. I then read a poem I’d chosen called BEFORE YOU GO, which was about my relationship with my father, which was never the same after he remarried. Another caller asked me who my mentors were; he was also a teacher and was curious to know about my mentors in school. I said that my seventh grade English teacher, Ms. O’Brian was the first to actually mentor me with my writing talent. In elementary school, my English teacher for fifth and sixth grade, Mr. Ankowitz also was my mentor in terms of grammar and spelling. He also was a leftie and would tell me that it wasn’t how my handwriting looked that was important; it was the quality of the actual words, sentences and paragraphs that mattered most. In college, it was many professors and a neighbor who was an editor who made my term papers shine. Needless to say I had more than my share of mentors and this allows me to pay it all forward when I get a chance.

Prior to this event, my first book signing was another success. Many of my family, friends, former co-workers and colleagues came to congratulate me, purchase copies, and chat. I was so touched by the outpouring of support. Verona came with us, too, and she was the greeter as folks walked into the room. Some folks hadn’t seen her since her retirement in 2014 and complimented as to how good she looked. Bailey tried his best to behave and he did pretty well considering all the people he recognized.

I have said that there are stories within stories, so here is one I am sharing because I think it is very special and serendipitous.
I was talking to the receptionist, carole and while we were setting up the conference room, she handed me a beautiful yellow chrysanthemum in a vase. I realized this was a sign that all I had done and will continue to do is being witnessed by our Mom’s spirit. Why, one may ask, how can a yellow mum make me get so emotional? For months I struggled to find just the right flower to be part of a tattoo dedicated to Mom. After searching around, I made the mum my choice. Now, Carole could have overheard me talk about it, but I wasn’t going around flaunting that I was going to get a mum for Mom tattooed on my bum, er, I mean, shoulder. 

When she presented me with the flower, I shed a few tears and hugged her, telling her that what she did meant more than she could have ever known. I did not see a butterfly, cardinal, or other signs of the afterlife trying to communicate with me; instead, Mom came to me through another person, in a one-to-one moment and her simple gift of a single golden token of congratulations. Mom’s grace has been apparent in every step of this book and while I don’t necessarily believe that every flower means it is Mom saying hello, I do pay attention at times when it is important to pay attention to a greeting from the veil. Thank you, Mom, for showing up and being there in spirit. I love you and miss you every day.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

First Real Interview!

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem Uncategorized

Hello all, I am sending off this quick post so you can listen to my first official interview with Fredreic Bye, a podcaster. You can find the interview here: I am on #Creative #Magic #Unchained today! Listen here!

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

The First Twenty Bucks

| Filed under Poem Uncategorized

Yes, folks, I received my first royalty check for $20.79 and I was thrilled. I sell a few books here, a few books there, and I’ve given a few away, hoping it attracts more book sales. The thing is I don’t expect to make a huge profit, and, in fact, I just want to break even at this point. Sure, I want to be recognized by n agent and sign with a printing house with all the bells and whistles. That is the big dream for any writer. For me, though, it’s more about sticking to a goal and following it to completion. Whether it is completing a poem, a book, or a triathlon, reaching one’s goal is a profession of character and inner strength.

Knowing my poems are being read and, yes, criticized and commented upon, is exciting. I want the words and images affecting others like they affected me when I wrote them down. Some of the poems I still cannot read without becoming emotional and a few I can’t read aloud due to becoming verklempt. I wonder if anyone else has had this kind of reaction. One person said many of the poems were sad but so far, the comments have been brief albeit positive. I am waiting for a more in-depth review and have a few folks who have agreed to write one, which is exciting, too. These reviews will assist me in pushing the book even more. 2017 will be the year I will be sending the book to some contests and other prize winning poetry contests. From there, who knows?

I hope that by writing this update every month or so, someone who is thinking of publishing something will take the chance and do it. Think about it: someone inspired me in each step along the way to the goal of selling my book and now I can gift this to someone else. I sure hope that one day I hear someone say that my words were inspiring or helped them complete the journey. That is the cool thing about inspiration, it is contagious.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

What Should I call It?

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem Uncategorized

Yes, readers, I admit it, as a newly published writer and poet, I have taken the sandwich board strategy off the sidewalk and onto the internet. Well, let me clarify that remark by adding that while I have not opted to wear the paint and ply board method, I do stuff my bag with a few copies of the book and promotional postcards. In fact, I left two cards at the nail salon, gave one to a bus driver, and passed the book around at a networking luncheon. I’ve even given much thought to getting a button made that states, “Ask me about my book,”. Not sure about that one, could be just a tad tacky, hmm.

The first book signing is going to be November 17 and will be posted on my author’s page, as well as on Facebook to be sure. What I am lacking in promotional savvy I am making up in determination. I do think there are times when not to talk about the book, like, say while scuba diving. I have become one of the pushy people I dislike. It doesn’t matter because it’s my book.

Tacky or not, the feedback has been great. The support from others has been even better. A few people want to read my poems aloud and I am thinking of doing something like this at the book signing. This could develop into a good idea to get folks to come. I am also going to broadcast live on Facebook, which will hopefully get even more exposure from the community.

Stay tuned …

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Chicken Burritos

| Filed under Guide dogs Uncategorized

I ordered a chicken burrito for lunch today and it brought back memories of training with my second guide dog, Bailey. No, he didn’t eat it, for those of you who know my dog. It made me think of how far we have come since last year and I can say I am past the second dog symdrome so many handlers fall into when making the transition from dog one to dog two.

In April last year the instructor, whom I call Jo, and I walked to the Spanish deli and got the chicken burritos and I worked Bailey back to the training lounge a few blocks away. We ate, talked, and then back tracked to my office, about 5 blocks away. I still wasn’t 100%, having a nasty respiratory infection and my stamina was quite depleted.
We entered the office and finished up the training walk for the day, setting up the next home visit to complete the training. I was still getting used to Bailey, he had made a few errors since I’d gotten him back after I had recovered from the worst of the RSV infection.

We also planned the dredded night walk, which I wanted to complete to gain some added confidence while working Bailey past dog and scent distractions.

Today, as I ate the yummy repast, I reflected on how far we have come and how much we have bonded. Bailey is an independent thinker, extremely interested in his environment, has the drive to work hard and not slow down, and has a personality matching his big, beautiful face and head. In fact, all of him is big, paw to toenail. The best part is his big, doggie heart and spirit.
This is how independent he is: Jerry and I went shopping to Gander Mountain. As we entered the stor, I said to bailey, let’s find the toys. Well, he looked around a bit, followed Jerry as we shopped, then, as we moved farther into the store, he began pulling harder, wanting to look into each aisle, and I could feel him sniffing the air, too. I thought, Holy Cow, he’s looking for the toys. As we turned into an isle, he pulled me around the corner, wagging his tail, and Jerry said he was putting his nose on a toy. It was a bright orange rubber Frisbee. I laughed, petting him. So, folks, dogs do have purposeful memories and can make decisions about which toys they prefer.

I will end this by saying I welcome these memories, especially when the memory is connected to my dogs and good food.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Pinch me, I’m Dreaming

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem Uncategorized

Since announcing the release of my first book of poems, UPWELLING,, the feedback has been wonderful. Dozens of folks have pledged to purchase either the e book or printed book, much to my amazed mind. Yes, I am still adjusting to the attention. It’s a practical way on how to practice being gracious, which is also a good thing.

My publisher/editor team, Lenore and David Dworkin,, have been great, too. Other writers have agreed to help promote my book with ads in newsletters. The best was the first sale which took place yesterday.

And so, the newest thread in my own life loom begins. I’ve been giving this experience a great deal of brain energy; questions pop into my head and get me thinking them over. Questions like, why didn’t I do this before? I know it’s a bit silly but I can’t help it. Maybe it is as others have stated, that it is a little bit of luck and lots of patience. I am reminded of a Buddhist message, do nothing and all will be done. I have made a great effort to forego the worry and embrace the joy in this adventure. I do have this little voice cautioning me not to get too carried away, to stay grounded and limit the ego-boosting and remain humble.

All I need to do is go from my office into the kitchen and attack the mountain of dishes or start putting laundry away. Humble tasks for times when I need it most.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Here it is, Folks!

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem Uncategorized

Upwelling: Poetry
C 2016 by Ann Chiappetta
Guide dogs, death, and a disturbing dream. Marriage, memories, and intriguing mysteries. Eroticism, abortion, and a wonderfully poetic essay. In this collection of 23 of her short, highly accessible poems from several decades, Ann Chiappetta explores an enormous range of emotions and topics. Travel with her as she moves from illness, death, loss, and grief to renewed hope, security, and serenity.
For sale in e-book ($2.99) and print ($7.95) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.
Full details and buying links:

Ann Chiappetta’s poems, articles, and short fiction have been published in both print and online circulations, most notably Dialogue magazine, Matilda Ziegler online magazine, and other small press reviews. Her poetry has been featured in Lucidity, Midwest Poetry Review, Magnets and Ladders, and Breath & Shadow. She is also a contributing editor of the last-named publication.
Ann holds a Master of Science degree in marriage and family therapy and currently practices as a readjustment counseling therapist for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
She lives in New Rochelle, New York with her husband, daughter, and assortment of pets.
To read more of her writing, go to
Follow Ann on Twitter: AnnieDungareesHere It Is Folks!

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

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