Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

The Next Book

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Big news: my third indy published book will be out in a few months. It is called WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS, edited and prepared by DLD Books.

I am excited and have marketing plans ready, yet, part of my mind is already moving onto the next book, a fictional account of a family like mine, effected by trauma like mine. Yet it is not my story.  It is developing into a story that encompasses more than my own life experiences and it is my goal to publish it by 2021.  Will this be my breakout novel? Probably not, I am just not going to jump to the top of the slush piles unless I am very lucky. Will it be well written? Yes.  Like my other books, it will have a great cover, be edited with detail and care, and touch the other folks who read it. I think this is far better than being famous. As of now, though, it may not be in the local library in print.

Why do I say this? The struggle to be issued a Library of Congress Catalog number for the new book has turned into a barrier for more than one reason. I lost out on this for my first two books due to my being a new indy writer and assuming a LOC catalog number was part of the process with the book editing and preparation services. I assumed wrong and cannot go back to correct this error; the Library of Congress does not allow a book to be cataloged after it is in print, the number must be requested before release and along with the ISBN or one loses the chance.   As the preparation for my new book progressed, I found out that since I am not a writer being represented by a traditional publishing house and because Kindle Direct Publishing acquired Create Space and no longer offers LOC catalog registration, I have to somehow manage to request it on my own.

The Library of Congress does not offer a clear path to this process and it is also not accessible to blind authors. Finally, the LOC also has a disclaimer that it can reject indy books without an explanation.

Talk about bursting my bubble; my dream as a child was to be able to go into a public library and know my book was there and assigned a Dewey Decimal.  Now, my dream is still on hold, I am being informed indy authors can be rejected. Whatever happened to this Country affording the average person the chance to attain their dreams? Is the LOC so clandestine and elitist?  Is the system overwhelmed with the indy market?

Personally, I think all three questions are accurate and this is troubling. My books can stand up to the assumed critic, for sure.  I believe my books are solid, readable, grammatically correct and understandable books. I sure hope the LOC finds a way to ease open the door because right now it’s looking like I need a publishing house pedigree before I can enter a traditional library to request a copy of my book. What is even more unclear is the recorded books offered by the LOC for persons with disabilities will not send the recorded book over to the print book for regular print book catalog.   One’s recorded book may not have the print book available for request. If the National Library Service for the Physically Handicapped (NLS)takes the time and effort to actually read and record the book, why can’t issuing a catalog number for the print edition also be done?

Indy authors like me may be thinking as I am, that the system is failing the average, tax-paying folks who have worthwhile contributions. And, this, folks, is what burns. It is a form of discrimination because it is upholding standards that are no longer applicable and exclude worthwhile contributions. The publishing world has shifted to try to meet the needs of the world’s readers and indy authors are more and more popular and gaining fame and fortune. One would think the LOC could establish an indy book registration process or a reciprocal recorded book/print book catalog process. Please, if someone reading this can actually get this post into the hands of someone who can make a difference for me and the other writers who are in similar circumstances, leave a comment.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 1

Lunar New Year

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Honoring the Lunar New Year. Moon © 2019 By Ann Chiappetta COLORS OF SLUMBER GRASP SILVER-TIPPED FOLDS OF SHADOW PEARL IN VELVET CUP horizons reveal the flaming root of each day turtle moon endures. harvest moon contains earth’s blood, fertility and pain; eclipse of my soul. From WORDS OF LIFE: POEMS AND ESSAYS to be released March 2019

Listen to New Interview

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Hello , Branco Events News has published a new article on our website. InPerspective 89 – With Author Ann Chiappetta Talking About Guide Dogs January 26, 2019 edition of “In Perspective” You may view the latest post at https://www.brancoevents.com/in-perspective-89-with-author-ann-chiappetta-talking-about-guide-dogs/

New Coat

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I purchased a knee-length puffer coat over Christmas. It is a 50/50 goose down/poly fill alternative with fleece cuffs and lined with fleece around the chest and back. Very warm. Perfect for winters in New York. Since I am a plus size, the coat is also like taking along a child-size sleeping bag. No, really, it really needs its own chair. I realized this last week while waiting for a test at my medical group. I got Bailey settled, pulled off my hat, and after I took off the coat, found it was too puffy to just drape it over my arm and sit. I suppose I could have sat on it, but I ended up placing it on the chair beside me. I swear it seemed as if it was alive, rising to perch there, stiff with air and puff. Maybe since it is black, I will name it the dark twin. New Coat By Ann Chiappetta Never worn one like it Even the zipper is complicated Whispers of nylon and down alternative insolation Creates a womb of warmth, protecting from Overtures of icy breath and fingers As I bundle up Toasty but feeling like a jacketed marshmallow. %TITLE% %SURL% %IMG% %ANNOUNCE%I purchased a knee-length puffer coat over Christmas. It is a 50/50 goose down/poly fill alternative with fleece cuffs and lined with fleece around the chest and back. Very warm. Perfect for winters in New York. Since I am a plus size, the coat is also like taking along a child-size sleeping bag. No, really, it really needs its own chair. I realized this last week while waiting for a test at my medical group. I got Bailey settled, pulled off my hat, and after I took off the coat, found it was too puffy to just drape it over my arm and sit. I suppose I could have sat on it, but I ended up placing it on the chair beside me. I swear it seemed as if it was alive, rising to perch there, stiff with air and puff. Maybe since it is black, I will name it the dark twin. New Coat By Ann Chiappetta Never worn one like it Even the zipper is complicated Whispers of nylon and down alternative insolation Creates a womb of warmth, protecting from Overtures of icy breath and fingers As I bundle up Toasty but feeling like a jacketed marshmallow. %TITLE% %SURL% %IMG% %ANNOUNCE%

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

A Phone Call and a Big Smile

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A Phone Call and A Big Smile My mobile rang the other day and I sent it to voicemail; it was a number I did not recognize. Later that night, I listened to the message and it brought a smile and the telltale prick of grateful tears to my eyes. Little did I know that my guide dog school, Guiding Eyes For The Blind www.guidingeyes.org sends out my book, FOLLOW YOUR DOG A STORY OF LOVE AND TRUST www.annchiappetta.com to donors as a thank-you for their support. The message was from a woman in California and she said she love my book, could not put it down and read it straight through. She said I did not use self-pity but expressed the struggles with clarity and strength. So, of course I called her and we spoke, both benefitting from our short and powerful conversation. Here it is again, a miracle of inspiration — our dogs have brought us humans together; we shared a powerful moment of connection and this, folks, is why I write and why we need to continue sharing and loving one another and thank our dogs.

Follow Your Dog book cover yellow lab on rock  with blue skies above and blue water beside dog reflecting dog in water.

Sweet Nikka Update

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A year after Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding areas, Nikka came into our home. She is described in my book, FOLLOW YOUR DOG A STORY OF LOVE AND TRUST as the dog who healed our hearts and replenished our hope after losing two young dogs first from thyroid disease and then stomach cancer. She’s lived up to the promise of “living a long time,”, and, at 15 years old (possibly older), has taken our hearts with her beagleness and sassy attitude.

Today we were informed she has a growth in one lung, it is unclear how long she has and we are not going to prolong her suffering by poking and prodding and causing more pain. Jerry and I made the decision to keep her comfortable and pain-free and honor her long life with love, care, and upholding her dignity with the required pain meds and anti-inflammatory medicine until she can no longer do it. We don’t know how long it will be but we do know this is the right and humane course of treatment. I am posting the three dog pic and Nikka is the smallest dog but mighty in spirit, We will update folks as

OUr three dogs.

Bailey, Verona and Nikka

needed.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 2

A Great Way to Wrap-up 2018

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Poem Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Thanks to Kim Charlson and the Perkins Library for the Blind, the memoir I wrote is now an audio book for listening through the National Library Service, or NLS. Expressing how it felt to listen to my words for the first time was emotional. It was immensely gratifying and powerful. A few weeks prior to the email notifying me the book was in the final editing stage I listened to the introduction I penned for GDUI’s A HANDBOOK FOR THE PROSPECTIVE GUIDE DOG HANDLER (4th Edition), also recently released as a free digital book available via the NLS talking book and braille library.
Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust DBC11582
Chiappetta, Ann. Reading time: 4 hours, 27 minutes. Read by Ana Maria Quintana. A production of Perkins Library, Perkins School for the Blind. Animals and Wildlife. Drawing on her skills as a poet and a therapist, the author of this candid memoir explores her life-changing relationship with her guide dog. The book is also available on Bookshare and all eBook sellers as a digital book and print soft cover. Go to www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/

The GDUI Handbook’s catalog number is DB92557 and it is also available from Bookshare.

Here’s to a book-filled 2019.

The Traveling Bed

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs Relationships Uncategorized Writing Life

Inspired by Yellow Lab Bailey.

Bailey on round dog bed

yellow lab Bailey curled up on new round dog bed

It began in 2015, after Annie met Bailey and the two became a team. Bailey was making the transition to his new partner, a new home, and a new routine, all of which probably contributed to Bailey’s attitude about the dog bed in the office.

After the destruction of dog bed one, Annie tried a new mat, professed by the company to be “chew proof”. It was not Bailey proof, but durable. Annie thought reinforced steel mesh corners would be an improvement, but did not share this with the manufacturer, thinking it might insult them.

The next bed was almost too big for the office, but after the dutiful corner-chewing, along with numerous patch work and generous bitter apple spritzes, it survived, tattered but useful.

After hearing a few remarks from office mates asking when Bailey was going to get a new dog bed, Annie decided it was time for a change, plus she was tired of sewing and hot gluing up the corners a third time. Annie shops online, and the decision to try a round bed is like a canine-inspired epiphany.
chewing won’t occur, because, well, round beds don’t have corners.

A 40-inch polyester-filled bed is ordered. It is delivered and schlepped to the office three days later. The paratransit bus driver smiles when Annie says it is her guide dog’s new bed.

The transition does not go well; Bailey applies passive resistance, unwilling to get off the old bed; Annie must wrestle the old bed from under Bailey’s large Labrador butt, and afterward, convince Bailey the new fleece-topped cuddly bed is not a huge toy. Bailey ignores Annie’s professions and verbal coaxing, like, “You will be warmer, right Buddy?” and so on. He paws at it, finds the fabric handle and drags it from one side of the office to the other and eventually, with a few treats, and the “place” command, he takes a nap upon it. Day two is much the same: enter the office, paw at it, fling the bed around like it is a hover craft, and afterwards, decides he will take a nap under the desk instead. Okay, thinks Annie, he will go to the bed when he wants to curl up into a doggie-ball.

Day three is much like day two with one exception: he tries to drag the bed while Annie and the computer tech are troubleshooting. Annie has to take charge and put an end to the shenanigans. Luckily for Bailey, the tech is a pet lover and he approve of the tough love modality.

It is now the weekend, and Annie anticipates the traveling dog bed shenanigans will continue. Annie wonders what is going on inside Bailey’s peanut, tries and fails to think like a dog. Is he confused? Maybe he really does see the bed as a huge fluffy, dog toy? It is a sobering thought and might be a little unfair for Annie to think this about her sweet and loyal guide dog who is also a dog possessing intelligent disobedience skills.