During my ninth-grade English class, my class was asked to write a superhero story. As an Italian whose nickname was “Netti," I drew inspiration from my background and developed a character named “Netti Spaghetti.” All superheroes needed a sidekick so I added “The Meatball Kid” to join “Netti.” The story was lost in the crush of many cartons moved from college and beyond. But I learned that Netti Spaghetti was me and stood for what I wanted in the world.
Once in college, my English prof inadvertently praised my personal essay, A Sunday Drive, based on my grandfather’s death while he lay in the hospital room. It was my first look at loss. Later, when my first husband died of cancer and I published my memoir, “I’ll Be the Car," I came to a stark realization. “The event was traumatic and my spoken words often failed me. But my pen never did. Now, every story I write is written from that lens of loss.”
Today, I’m a writer, teacher, blogger and poet. I see myself relentlessly making connections in the community, to people, places and particulars. My work spans across many fields, including dementia, homelessness, city living, the arts, and sometimes, politics. By far, my favorite subject has been my mother—what she has lost in her dementia and the wisdom and love I have gained.
Every year, I get named in the top three or four. My friends call me the Susan Lucci (soap opera actress) of the local publication world.
Under my breath, my mantra is “please don’t let me be awarded “honorable mention.”
Ohio Poetry Day, Movers and Makers Magazine, Greater Cincinnati Writer’s League
A transplant to Cincinnati, Annette recently completed her project, “Girl, Walking”, walking Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods within a calendar year, blogging about the communities and what she found intriguing and relevant about each. Visit Gettin’ My City On to read all 52.