Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Adding Zip to Your Manuscript 📚

| Filed under blogging Fiction writing Writing Life

Adding Zip to Your Manuscript

Cut and Replace  boring and predictable

 

I’ve been finishing my second novel, Imperfections for the past year. I feel like I’ve finally reached the home stretch. One of the indicators is  the task of scanning for redundancies. I think of them as  lazy  familiar words we fall back upon when banging  out  a story.  Examples: like,  was,  he/him, she/her, they/them, and as; passive verbs, nouns and  phrases penned by an average fifth-grader. Walk, sat, looked, hand, etc. “I looked in his eyes,”  “got in the car”, ‘he took my hand’,  and so forth.

 

I troll the books  of authors I admire   for strategies and stylistic tweaks applying them in my own stories. I employ the use of beta readers. I recon with thesaurus.com .

I am a mercenary in the act of  assist in reducing boring and repetitive words and phrases. I unpack the annals of my aging brain and  attack my manuscript executing  the find  function in the Word program.

The Control and f key combination identifies  68 instances of the offending verb,  ‘walk’.   I apply the literary gorilla wordfare. I slice and burn reducing the offenders to thirty instances and move to the next offending  word trap.

Whump!

 

 

The effort results in a tighter and more resonant story and I avoid the pitfalls of the mundane.

 

 

Spring and Things Magazine

| Filed under blindness blogging writing

 

A great read and resource for Spring.

The writer’s Grapevine is a quarterly news and literary magazine featuring Writers, Small Business  owners and Nonprofits. 

In each issue you’ll find a variety of Articles, Essays, Short Stories and Poems for your enjoyment and education. 

Read the full edition at:  https://pattysworlds.com/the-writers-grapevine-spring-and-things-

To learn more about Patty Fletcher and her magazine, here is the link to her blog:

Patty L. Fletcher

author and social media marketing assistant.

Learn more at:   http://www.pattysworlds.com

APH Career Conversations podcast Join the presentation 🎙️

| Filed under blindness blogging Guide dogs writing

Save the Date

📖   📚

 

Join the APH Career Conversation with Ann Chiappetta

April 6, 2023, 6:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Career Conversations Interview with an Author 

Ann Chiappetta will share what it has been like for her to self-publish her poetry, fiction and nonfiction books. Ann has delt with changing vision as a result of retinitis pigmentosa and has used writing and her creative skills to help cope with her vision loss.

Register Here for Career Conversations Interview with an Author

 Read about Ann on the APH blog:

Annie with pink mask and Bailey close up

Ann and Bailey on bench: Both looking straight on

 

A Lack of Motivation

| Filed under blogging Poem Relationships Writing Life

Motivation Acrostic

By Ann Chiappetta

Most days it is present

On the days it is absent

Touching   the creativity fails, dispersed

Into me, whispering within, like

Veins packed with  scribbled, microscopic   cells

Alphabet  infused molecules jumbled

Twisting and turning liquid

Impossibly

Overflowing with brain food I’ve

No chance of catching.

 

What can I say? Some writing days are better than others. One good thing that helped me write this poem was being able to end a writing-related  gig I found no longer provided the inspiration I needed to support my writing style.  A pressure has been alleviated and I feel  much better. Being a Pisces is complicated. ♓

 

I learned what I don’t want to write and what type of writing gig  could be more enriching for me.

January 2023 Annie Shares News V.3 I. 1

| Filed under blindness blogging writing

Annie Shares News January 2023  Volume 3 Issue 1

Anniesharesnews+subscribe@groups.io

www.annchiappetta.com

2023 greetings! 🥳 🎉

2022 has been challenging and it’s great to be stepping out more, giving and receiving a hug from friends and colleagues once again. Society has endured and learned how to cope with the physical limitations  associated with the pandemic and while we are still being effected by covid,  we are adjusting. To hug or not to hug, that is the question.

 

One mask-wearing phenomenon I’d like to share is the increased level of general disorientation when wearing one.  And it isn’t just me experiencing this weird reaction. Whenever I first put on a mask, it causes  me to feel dizzy and like I am in a bubble. I can’t hear or rely on my sense of direction, which is usually good.  The spatial awareness is the worst and I have spoken with other blind friends who have experienced a similar  lack of sensory information from mask wearing. I tried a clear face shield and it was even worse.   I hope this is something we can research more to help others.

 

I want to share some good news about a friend and colleague, Elizabeth Ianelli. She and I worked together and remained friends after we both left the VA. She is one of the most resilient people I know and I am pleased to share the advanced ordering link to her new gritty and powerful book about the troubled teen industry called I See You Survivor: Life inside (and outside) the totally f*****d up troubled-teen industry.

 

Another author I know, Trish Hubschman,  has released her newest book, check it out:

Gayle’s Tales: Tracy Gayle Mysteries

by Trish Hubschman

Copyright December  2022

The book is for sale from Smashwords in eBook formats and from Amazon in e-book ($3.99), paperback ($8.50), and hardcover ($16.50).

175 pages in print.

 

Full details of this book and Trish’s four Tracy Gayle mystery novels are on her website:

https://www.dldbooks.com/hubschman/

 

Synopsis:

 

Gayle’s Tales is a collection of Tracy Gayle mystery short stories.

 

Everyone’s favorite couple, Tracy and Danny, are still going strong, romantically and professionally, rocking and rolling and solving crimes. The story  is a first-person account  told in Tracy’s point-of-view, detailing the circumstances as only she can tell it. Through all this, she and Danny are planning their wedding extravaganza at the Plaza Hotel in New York. In the end, she brings long–lost family members and friends back into each other’s arms and lives.

Trish is also appearing on January  25 at 7:00 p.m. eastern time as a guest author hosted by the Behind Our Eyes Book Launch program via zoom. If you would like the Zoom invitation, email booklaunch@behindoureyes.org and make sure you mention  it is for Trish’s book.

 

What’s in store for 2023? Writing, of course! 😉  I am working on a nonfiction  book about pet assisted therapy, gathering a third poetry collection, and writing a new  crossover novel plus a new chapter of a sci-fi novella. I am reading different genres of books, including an RPG-inspired   series  penned by Kevin Sinclair, a series by Andrew Rowe narrated by one of my favorite voice actors, Nick Podell and Marshal Arcane  by Terry Mancour is waiting in the queue. I also read The Address by Fiona Davis for my local book club. Very good historical fiction/mystery novel. I also must recommend The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving. The audio book is performed by a talented voice actor and it is  better than Irving’s book, The World According to Garp. It’s brilliant.

 

Reading is a considerable piece of developing as a writer and I plan to continue the quest. 😈

Until next month, be well and blessings to all.

Enjoy this classic poem about the New Year by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

The Death of the Old Year

 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

Full knee-deep lies the winter snow,

And the winter winds are wearily sighing:

Toll ye the church bell sad and slow,

And tread softly and speak low,

For the old year lies a-dying.

Old year you must not die;

You came to us so readily,

You lived with us so steadily,

Old year, you shall not die.

He lieth still: he doth not move:

He will not see the dawn of day.

He hath no other life above.

He gave me a friend and a true truelove

And the New-year will take ’em away.

Old year you must not go;

So long you have been with us,

Such joy as you have seen with us,

Old year, you shall not go.

He froth’d his bumpers to the brim;

A jollier year we shall not see.

But tho’ his eyes are waxing dim,

And tho’ his foes speak ill of him,

He was a friend to me.

Old year, you shall not die;

We did so laugh and cry with you,

I’ve half a mind to die with you,

Old year, if you must die.

He was full of joke and jest,

But all his merry quips are o’er.

To see him die across the waste

His son and heir doth ride post-haste,

But he’ll be dead before.

Everyone for his own.

The night is starry and cold, my friend,

And the New-year blithe and bold, my friend,

Comes up to take his own.

How hard he breathes! over the snow

I heard just now the crowing cock.

The shadows flicker to and fro:

The cricket chirps: the light burns low:

’Tis nearly twelve o’clock.

Shake hands, before you die.

Old year, we’ll dearly rue for you:

What is it we can do for you?

Speak out before you die.

His face is growing sharp and thin.

Alack! our friend is gone,

Close up his eyes: tie up his chin:

Step from the corpse, and let him in

That standeth there alone,

And waiteth at the door.

There’s a new foot on the floor, my friend,

And a new face at the door, my friend,

A new face at the door.

 

 

This poem is in the public domain.

Dreya sends her best wishes for the New Year!

Dreya the book dragon is smiling and floating around with her best friends, 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

 

 

 

The New Year, and Pandemic Stress

| Filed under nonfiction Relationships writing

Annie Shares News Issue 1 January 2022

Join the list: anniesharesnews+subscribe@groups.io

🍾 Happy New Year! 🎇

 

Well now, friends and followers, 2021 has been complicated, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you but I feel wrung-out and all kinds of weird – hm, could it be the wacky weather or maybe the long-term effects of a two-year long pandemic. One blogger I know stated the continual loss and grieving   may contribute to   feeling wrung-out and disheartened.  – whatever is contributing to   it, it’s sure been a rollercoaster ride of strained emotions. If you think you’ve been alone in feeling this way, rest assured you are one of many and you are not alone.

As written by Plato: “Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool”

He might have been talking about himself yet his words are prophetic and powerful. I never thought we would be living through a pandemic and yet here we are.

 

I will move onto less troubling topics,.  Most of the early part of 2021 was recording my two most recently published books as audio books. It’s a goal to strive for my material to be offered in alternative formats for the blind and people with print disabilities like dyslexia.   All my books are available from audible.com and as digital books from the National Library of Congress talking book catalog.  The specific links and everything Annie is on my website, www.annchiappetta.com .

I would not have been able to do it myself, and huge thanks goes out to voice actor and the best narrator, Lillian Yves for being there to help.

 

Taking part in interviews and podcasts is fun and exciting, especially when being an international guest. Check out this one with Princess Diva: https://anchor.fm/diva-williams/episodes/Inspirational-moments-with-Ann-Chiappetta–Author-e19j36i

and this one with Karina KKantas: https://www.artistfirst.com/kantas.htm

 

Here’s a haiku for you to ponder:

Hands cup grains of sand

Delicate and Rough to touch

Stars pulsing through time

Dreya the book dragon sends wing beats of creativity and kindness your way, 🐲

photo description of Ann's personal logo of green dragon floating amid books and musical notes.

A whimsical red and green dragon floats among flying musical notes and books. Text to the right reads Ann Chiappetta making meaningful connections with others through writing.Ann’s personal logo

 

A Round Trip From New York to Greece in an Hour✈

| Filed under blindness Fiction nonfiction Poem writing

 

Yes, folks, I spent time with Karina Kantas, the host of the author’s assist podcast and the Artist First Radio Network ,   talking all things creativity and writing.  Karina lives in the Greek Isles and it was a great show. To visit  with us and enjoy  the conversation, click here.

 

Not sure where Dreya and I will fly to next but it’s sure to be interesting. I’ve got our virtual bags packed and ready to go.

photo description of Ann's personal logo of green dragon floating amid books and musical notes.

Ann’s personal logo

 

 

Life is a Grand (Writing) Adventure

| Filed under blindness writing Writing Life

♓ ✨ 🔯

I read my daily horoscope. It waits in my inbox until the right time. Sometimes it is a day late, providing insights into  things that already happened, other days it’s right on the money.  Today is  an accurate horoscope day.

 

Since semi-retiring at age fifty-something, I’ve picked up a few contract jobs but none in the field where my true passion lay: writing and creating content for blogging and podcasts. I am hoping my horoscope and a new opportunity will assist me in shifting   focus and a new adventure will include my passion with a salary, too.

 

I’m on a grand adventure

Full of words and sounds

Together Heart and mind  smile

photo description of Ann's personal logo of green dragon floating amid books and musical notes.

Ann’s personal logo