Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

The Masher’s Last Stand

| Filed under blogging Poem writing

The Masher’s Last Stand

By Ann Chiappetta

I learned to cook prior to food preparation machines and commercial blenders

We used whisks, hand-crank mixers and potato mashers.  I stood on the Romper Room emblazoned stool beside Mom until my little arms tired. I whipped cream, eggs, and sifted flour. I was practicing to be a Suzie Homemaker, don’t you know.

 

After my parents divorced and we moved into an apartment, the budding skills became necessity. At nine I learned to scramble eggs, boil water for macaroni, and help make

meatloaf and meatballs.  The spoon with the little holes and the potato masher made the move with us.

I estimate the utensils are over fifty years old, the spoon is solid stainless riveted to hardwood handle grips. The masher is also riveted and sturdy, not even a bit of rust.

 

Dad’s carpenter’s   measuring stick   given to him by his father

was the final tool

Laid in a reverent place among elderly scrapers, hammers and planers.

Bobby, said a friend, your making mistakes, get rid of that thing.

 

The measuring tape wasn’t as fun to play with

And pinched my tender fingers more than once

Dad would release the stop and we listened to it retract as if by magic and

He would chuckle and say something about

The wonders of modern technology

Then whip out the stubby pencil from behind an ear, mark the wood

clip it back to his waist and return to work with the hand saw.

 

I pretended the curled papery shavings  from planing the wood

that fell like

Dogwood petals onto the shop floor were

Secret messages from fairies or a mouse

 

I put them to my nose and inhaled the fragrances

Cedar or pine was the best

 

Pop gardened and gave me the first taste of fresh mint

Strawberries warmed and sweetened by the sun

Pickled cucumbers in jars so big a child’s hands could not

carry or open them

My little fingers squeezed

Lupini beans from their casings as directed

By the little Italian lady visiting

From next-door

and my lips tingled from

a bit of afternoon antipasto

and my confidence was tempered

by losing a few hands of Casino

 

I tried buying lupini beans and couldn’t find them

Though I remember the card game rules and pulpy fragrant

Refinements Of the shop

And how attached I am to a few outdated implements

The telltale products of my youth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annie Shares News October 2022 V2Issue 10

| Filed under blogging writing

Annie Shares News Volume II Issue 10 October 2022

Anniesharesnews+subscribe@groups.io

Web: www.annchiappetta.com

Blog: www.thought-wheel.com

 

 

🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

 

This is my favorite time of year. I love the seasonal shift, the influence the winter months have upon my writing. I’ve heard the fall and winter are the best times for writing and crafting because we are inside more and the element of hibernation isn’t quite gone from our instincts. So, here’s to all things pumpkin and fleecy and spiritually motivating.

 

Drop by Plum Tree Tavern for a serving of poetry, including one about my favorite birds:

Blue Jays Aren’t Blue

 

https://theplumtreetavern.blogspot.com/

 

 

I found this sweet little pome written about Fall.:

Autumn Fires

by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

In the other gardens

And all up the vale,

From the autumn bonfires

See the smoke trail!

 

Pleasant summer over

And all the summer flowers,

The red fire blazes,

The gray smoke towers.

 

Sing a song of seasons!

Something bright in all!

Flowers in the summer,

Fires in the fall!”

 

 

Here is a fairy tale written and read by me:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/du7x58xuievthrk/the%20maiden%20and%20the%20prince.m4a?dl=0

 

The warmest of wishes from Dreya the book dragon, too.

Dreya the book dragon is smiling and floating around with her best friends, books and musical notes.

Dreya the red and green book dragon smiles and floats in the air with her best friends, winged books and musical notes.

 

One Dog’s Life 🦮 💖

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs writing

Second place winner! this essay will be in the December 2022 issue of the National Federation of the Blind’s  Writer’s Division Literary magazine, Slate and Style.

 

One Dog’s Life

 

2011

 

Verona and my daughter play in the lake for an hour. the funniest thing is the way Verona blows water from her mouth after dropping the stick. It makes a loud, spitting sound that can be heard from the patio.

 

When the assorted waterfowl horde realizes she is visiting, it waddles   in masse from grass to the lake weeds beside the dock. Labrador nose dilates, a front paw lifts, instincts override even an offer of a cookie. for just a little while she is the retriever, the soft-mouthed hunting companion, not a guide dog.

 

Each and every year we have together is a blessing, a time for me to feel unfettered. I try to think back on the way life was before training with Verona but my mind veers from those dark moments and I let them go. We are here, being warmed by the late afternoon sun. We are dog and woman, partners for however long time and fate permit.

2013

Four humans and two dogs fill the little red sedan. I sit in front, along with Mom, who is driving. In the back seat, Music’s furry butt crushes my sister, who, until now has suffered in silence.

“Thank God it’s a short ride,” I hear her mumble from somewhere behind us.

 

We reach our destination, extract ourselves from the little red sedan. Verona’s excitement is palpable. Once inside the gate, loose dogs run up to us, but I make her ignore them and sit until I’m ready. With a word she’s off. We claim a bench in the warm California sun. moments later Verona lopes by us, a pack of dogs giving chase. I listen for the pack to turn back and run past us again, Verona in the lead.

 

California 2013

Pebbles and shells litter the meandering path to the beach. The air resonates with surf and sea birds. I release Verona and she lopes off, nose to the ground

 

Music, my sister’s Golden Retriever, chases Verona into the water. As she turns to give chase, a huge wave crashes down and for a moment she is engulfed, Sucked away by green sea and foam. my heart skips a beat in arrested panic; The wave spits her out onto the beach and she runs to me, weaves in-between my legs and soaks my pants. I look like incontinence has gotten the best of me.  Thereafter, Verona avoids the waves and prefers a safer splash in the wet sand and tidal pools instead.

 

It’s important that Verona has the opportunity to be a dog; so much responsibility is put upon her when waring the harness, it seems that this is the best way to let her know.   As she digs a hole in the sand and flops down to dry off, my heart is content because she is doing just what she’s supposed to be doing, living a dog’s life.

close up of Black lab with snow sprinkled on her nose and head. She is looking at the camera with large, brown inquisitive eyes.

close up of Black lab with snow on her face

 

 

 

Some Flash for YOu

| Filed under writing

Flash Fiction under 200 words

 

A fortuneteller, skin cream, and a song stuck in someone’s head

 

 

The song’s percussion joined with the eerie chanting.  The crescendo found her own pain and she wailed with the vocals, higher and higher until her voice broke.

 

“Baby, are you okay?”

Lorna sat up, another wail stuck in her throat.

“Easy there, Babe,, I think you had a nightmare,”

She tried to calm her racing heart, taking deep breaths.

“No more psychic fortuneteller shows for you before bed,” Jackie said.

 

Lorna couldn’t tell if she was joking or serious.

Jackie slid over a hand in a reassuring gesture. It was then Lorna noticed the fabric glove on her own hand.

A typically-Jackie   style smirk broke across her face.

“You must have been exhausted. I helped you on with the gloves after you put on your skin cream and you fell asleep before your head hit the pillow,”

Lorna looked into her partner’s steady gaze and felt the rush of color on her own cheeks.

Jackie drew her closer, kissing Lorna’s forehead.

“let’s go back to sleep,” she soothed, settling them both back under the covers.

 

End

 

 

 

 

Upstate Adventures 🐻🌲

| Filed under blindness pets and people Relationships writing

 

Hello from Windham and Hunter Mountains, Green and Ulster counties, NY, home of the New York Catskills and summer wildlife. Bear and deer and black flies, oh my!

🐻  🦌  🌄

It took us almost as long to pack for the trip Like we were moving out. In a way we were moving out, at least temporarily.

 

Let me explain.  Remember hurricane Ida in the Fall of 2021? We sustained water damage to our entire apartment. In fact, all the apartments on the ground floor and the lobby area took on six inches or more of flood water.  Our lobby was completely under over four feet of it. me we all had to first wait for the insurance and FEMA funding to come through, then wait for a move out date.  Since we own cats and dogs, this meant finding a location for two weeks that was not going to mean living in one room together like in a hotel. and the most important part of it was also packing up everything to be stored in a pod while the work is being done. Oh, and to add a cherry atop this shit show of bad timing, there is also asbestos abatement along with the replacing the floors from the old glue used on the original flooring being removed.  We didn’t know about that one. Now it is a concern and rightly so. It is also bad timing.

 

A powerful wave of flood water slamming open your front door and engulfing your apartment is traumatic enough but the asbestos thing is just, like, really shitty. It will delay things a bit more for the installation of the new floors and moving back in again when we return.

 

We are fortunate to be able to make the bad timing and all the packing work to our advantage.  we deserve some respite after so much upheaval. The stress exhausted us. If Jerry and April weren’t there helping me, guiding me around all the boxes,  extra workers, and taking charge of the packing prior to the work, I’d never manage it alone. This is our family and I am proud of us.

 

View from bridge spanning Windham nountain looking out into the valley below.

The wildlife is active. The variety of animals eating the apple tree in the adjoining yard included rabbits, a wood chuck, and two black bears, we think a mother and older cub based on size and attitude.

 

 

a large black bear and a small black bear beside an apple tree in West Kill NY

 

 

Annie Shares News V2 # 7.5 Lotsa Stuf 🛒

| Filed under blindness blogging Fiction writing

Annie Shares News Volume 2 Issue 7.5 July/August 2022

anniesharesnews@groups.io

Subscribe: anniesharesnews+subscribe@groups.io

www.annchiappetta.com

 

Hello Readers and followers, a blessed and belated Independence Day to everyone.  🎆 🎇 🧨

I wanted to get this out before we break for a vacation. I’ll share our adventures upon our return. Even the cats are coming with us, so it should be interesting.

 

The ever-expanding tribe of writers and readers means so much to me and I want to share a bit about them in each newsletter moving forward.

 

I had a great time being a guest blogger for a June Word Crafter blog tour for Hope For the Tarnished. It was a fun five days of getting to know the host bloggers and exposing my novel to new readers. To find out more about Kay Lynne’s newsletter, book blog tours and her excellent blog, Writing To Be Read, go here.

Leon Stevens writes: Looking for my first review for my second poetry collection. Readers can get a review copy through Story Origin or read on KU (Kindle Unlimited).

 

Receive a free review copy through Story Origin here: Review copy link

Read with Kindle Unlimited: Amazon link

 

 

I caught this great review of my novel, Hope for the Tarnished, from mystery writer and author, Trish Hubschman. Check it out:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1134230

m

☕ 🍵

Ms. Liz and I shared some TEA on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/IsfJTH_wDEc

Please like and share it and follow Miss Liz, she’s the best and she is making a difference one cup of spiritually-infused Tea at a time!

 

Since I’ve been sharing audio clips of my writing, I thought I’d share one of my short stories, Trolley Ride from A String of Stories from the Heart to the Future © 2020 and narrated by Lilian Yves.

 

 

May the summer breeze and warm winds propel your imagination and soothe your spirits!

Dreya the book dragon floating amid books and music notes. She is smiling.

Dreya the book dragon

 

Meaningful Gifts from Readers 📖

| Filed under writing

What Readers are Saying About My New Novel Hope for the Tarnished C 2022

Independent authors thrive upon reviews. I thought I’d share two of my favorites. One of the best gifts you can give an author is your feedback. 💖

“I just read Hope for the Tarnished and thought it was written well.  It kept my interest and I cared about the characters.  I liked the mixture of problems and people who supported Abbie.  It also had a good blend of drama and rest between troubles plus humor and the beloved dogs.  What more could a reader ask for?”

 

  • From Lisa B.

“This is a review of Ann Chiappetta’s novel Hope for the Tarnished (contemporary fiction).

 

It’s excellent. I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s full of action and kept pulling me along. It’s a totally realistic story about a family’s struggle in the 1970s, a divorced mom with three daughters. The story is set in Westchester county, New York, and on Long Island. I grew up in the 70s on Long Island and did some of the things her main character, Abbie, does, drank, danced, hung out with friends, listened to rock and roll music. The story was fun at times, heart breaking, heartwarming. Sometimes I had tears pouring down my face. Other times I was clapping my hands and laughing. Ann’s descriptiveness of things was incredible, from the design of Abbie’s swimsuits to the fishing boats on Long Island Sound.

I don’t remember the last time a book affected me as much as Hope for the Tarnished did. I’d give it more than a five-star rating if I could, but five stars is the top of the line, so is this book. Thank you for such an impactful story, Ann.”

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1134230

 

From Trish Hubschman

Author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series

 

Add my book to your summer reading list

Good Reads author page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/15809422.Ann_Chiappetta

https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Chiappetta/e/B06Y1H47FS%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

Smashwords Author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnChiappetta

book cover two people  looking out over the beach watching a glorious sunset.

 

 

 

Celebrate July with freedom and Free books 🎇

| Filed under blindness Fiction Guide dogs nonfiction Poem

Celebrate July with freedom and Free books

📕  📖  📘  📙  📗

The 14th Annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale has begun, running now through July 31. Visit my author’s page to order your free eBooks from Smashwords during the Summer sale!

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnChiappetta

 All my titles are free, a gift to readers everywhere.

 

Thousands of titles are discounted or free —  so why not go to Smashwords and go shopping for your summer reading collection? Visit the sale at https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos

 

Why Smashwords? Electronic choices, of course. It’s simple and get the book delivered to your inbox.  Transfer it to your favorite book reading app. It’s great, kindle isn’t the only eBook reading app in town. 😉

Words of life book cover

Tranquil photo of stacked stones beside circular pattern in the sand.

 

Listen to  a Tale of Two Species 🐱 🐶 🌌

| Filed under blindness Fiction Writing Life

Those of you who know I am blind might be curious about the assistive technology and software I rely upon to  operate my pc and  mobile devices. This recording will demonstrate what I hear when writing and editing stories and other written correspondence. Since this story  is a mini-space drama  —  I thought why not record it being read by a synthesized voice?  Enjoy!