I introduced you to author Ann Chiappetta a couple of weeks ago when I posted about her books and now we find out a little bit more about her life and the questions that she has selected to answer. First though the official bio…..
About Ann Chiappetta
Ann is an artist and often refers to her love of words as a natural compensation after losing her vision in 1993. Once a designer of acrylic displays and furniture, Ann trained her creative senses to flow over from the visual to the literary arts. Years later, she has become a poet and author, honing her talent in various mediums, including web content for nonprofits, regular bylines for online literary publications, poetry, anthologies and guest editing in online literary journals, just to name a few projects of which she
Ann possesses a master of science in Marriage and family therapy from Iona College and an undergraduate degree from the College of New Rochelle, both located in Westchester County, New York. She is currently employed as a readjustment and trauma counselor for combat veterans and their families. A guide dog handler and advocate, Ann volunteers her time representing people with visual impairments and guide dog users on various National, State and local boards of directors. A consultant and guest presenter, Ann visits schools promoting awareness and equality for people with disabilities. She is the 2015 recipient of the WDOM Spirit of Independence award.
Ann is available for speaking engagements and is knowledgeable on the following topics: *writing and creativity * independent publishing * recovering and adjusting to vision loss for individuals/families * sheltering people with visual impairments
*sheltering pets and service dogs * pet assisted therapy * training and working with a guide or service dog * PTSD and combat stress related to veterans and families
Thanks to her retired guide dog, Verona, Ann also visits libraries and assisted living centers offering pet assisted therapy.
Now time to discover a little more about Ann and the questions she has chosen…
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The Pacific coast calls to me.
I was born on the east coast, growing up appreciating the lower Hudson river and the tributaries which flow out to the Atlantic Ocean. The combination of the beaches, river front and nearby forest was, what I thought, the most beautiful place to live.
When I moved to the west coast I fell in love with a geographical marvel, or so I thought at the time. Santa Cruz, highway 1 and the San Francisco bay area turned me into a pacific coast lover. There was just so much more “Life”; wild life, sea life, and outdoor life.
I would love to live in a modest pacific sea coast town or city and be able to walk to the beach. I would equally like to live near a lake front. Water is my astrological attunement and a Pisces should not live in the desert.
If animals could talk, which one would you have a conversation with?
I would want to talk with my guide dog. Being a therapist, I would want to know all sorts of things but fear it would end up annoying him.
“So, Bailey, tell me about your early times as a puppy,”
“You know all this already,”
“I know, humor me, okay?”
“Okay, you’re the human,” he would say, “I was the first one out and got the best nipple,”
“Is it dinner time yet?”
Maybe I’d have better luck with the cat.
Sally here: I am sure that with a little practice Ann would be able to have a converstion with both her guide dog and the cat….these guys are pretty vocal..
If you could choose a different career, what would it be and why?
I would love to have been a veterinarian. It is my sense of curiosity and science that gave me thoughts of being an animal doctor when I was a child. The movie, “Dr. Doolittle” fascinated me. I pretended to “doctor up” my stuffed animals, too. Now, I am as hands-on as I can be, even though I can’t see anymore.
What are the 5 things you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?
Spare cane, rescue inhaler, wallet, extra poop bags, and cell phone. Practical!
What season is your favorite and why?
My favorite time of year encompasses the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. I am referring to the late summer, August or early September thereabouts; the days are warm, the nights are cool and the stars seem to hang in the sky forever. The breeze brings the scent of honeysuckle and mowed grass. The sounds of crickets relax the mind. Late summer evenings by the lake are my favorite. I light the citronella candle, sit beside my husband and enjoy it.
Sally here: one of my favourite times of the year too… and here is Nat King Cole with his tribute..
Ann Chiappetta has just released a collection of poems, essays and flash fiction: Words of Life
About the Collection
In this new collection of poems, essays, and flash fiction, the author once again exhibits her ability to write about both the light and dark sides of life. There are numerous poems and stories about nature: its kindness, cruelty, and wonder. There are frank expressions of the sadness and frustration she felt at the progressive loss of her eyesight and a poem about the social isolation that disability can bring. Other pieces, though, sing of joys as diverse as family closeness, the love of dogs, the delights of scents, and the power of the muse. Just as in her first volume of poetry, Upwelling: Poems (2016), there is no fluff here. To read Ann Chiappetta’s works is to feel them deeply, appreciate them mightily, and remember them forever. From the IntroductionWhile it is my hope that all the pieces in this book resonate with my readers, I have my favorites. Some of the poems have been previously published; all reflect what lies within.
This volume is accented with a few photographs. As I lose the last vestiges of my vision, bringing a meaningful visual array to this collection seems imperative. Finally, dear reader, I want to share the prose that reflects the way I’ve lived my creative life. If just one poem or essay resonates with you, I have accomplished the purpose. For a moment, as the eye reads and the brain interprets, the reader slips into the shoes of the writer. This is the true spirit of what it means to be creative, open, to offer the emotions in such a way as to give another person the opportunity to appreciate the writer’s experience with the words of life.
One of the early reviews from Abbie Johnson Taylor
From the author of Upwelling and Follow Your Dog comes a short collection of poetry and prose on family vacations, vision loss, animals, and other topics. It also includes a work of flash fiction. An introduction by the author explains what inspired this compilation.
I met Ann Chiappetta through Behind Our Eyes, an organization of writers with disabilities. I like how she writes about the lighter and darker sides of life. My favorite piece is one in which she describes how she rescued two baby sparrows, only one of whom survived, and the hard lesson her eight-year-old son learned from this experience. I recommend this book, which not only provides insight on vision loss but on other negative and positive aspects of life.
Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Words-Life-Essays-Ann-Chiappetta-ebook/dp/B07PH82GJ5
Also by Ann Chiappetta
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Ann-Chiappetta/e/B06Y1H47FS
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ann-Chiappetta/e/B06Y1H47FS
Connect to Ann
My thanks to Ann for visiting today and to you for dropping in.. I hope you will head over to get to know Ann even better. .thanks Sally.