Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta

The First Twenty Bucks

| Filed under Poem writing

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 writing

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 writing

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