Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Doors to my author’s mind Part 1

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

You can find Dan’s latest post here:

Last week for Dan Antion’s Thursday Doors Challenge, Teagan Riordain Geneviene wrote a post about her author’s mind. Your can read Teagan’s post here:

Teagan’s post got me thinking about doors and their meaning in my own writing life. They do seem to play a significant role because I see doors as entry points into new and exciting things in life.

Opportunity (tanka poem) 

Make your own success 

Leave no pathway untrodden 


Will knock only once in life 

Be sure to answer the door 

from Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle

I also believe I have a tidy mind. Each ‘collection’ of thoughts and ideas in my life has its own ‘room’ in my mind and they don’t pass through the doors and get muddled. People often ask me how I manage so many projects at once and all the different aspects of my busy life, and this is how. Everything has a separate storage space in my head.

When I was writing my poetry book, Behind Closed Doors, I saw a cover, designed by Teagan, which exactly captured my ideas about how my mind would look if it could be caught in a picture.

This was the cover:

Each of those doors represents a different storage area in my mind: Family, relationships, work and corporate life, prose writing, reading, artwork, conservation, and poetry. Within those layers there are sub-layers and each has its own entry point into my life.

My writing incorporates a lot of doors, either through though processes or though actual depictions of doors and physical choices. Every door is different and every outcome is coloured by that difference in choice. Even artworks are different and have different purposes and meanings.

This cake below was a Covid-19 memory cake and depicted life during lockdown.

These are a few of the poems (limericks) I wrote to go with this cake:

Inevitable side-effects of Zoom and working from home (limericks) 

He sat on his cellular phone in the room 

Having just finished a meeting on Zoom 

What a frightening sight 

His expression, dark as night 

The seed of a monster starting to bloom 


Endless back-to-back meetings on Zoom 

Fill employees with a sense of gloom 

The leader strikes like a snake 

When colleagues make a mistake 

When will it end and normality resume? 

from Behind Closed Doors by Robbie Cheadle

The above artwork and thoughts are completely separate from my children’s artwork. This cake is called Dinah in Wonderland. Dinah is the little back cat who is sleeping at the front of the dark chocolate cake. She is dreaming about a wonderland for cats. A place where nothing would be as it is and everything would be as it isn’t.

This cake and the limerick story I wrote to go with it was inspired by this song from Alice in Wonderland:

I’ll end this post with an extract form Alice in Wonderland, a book I adored as a child and of which I have eight different copies as an adult. Of course, this quote is about a door:

Alice finding tiny door behind curtain

Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head though the doorway; `and even if my head would go through,’ thought poor Alice, `it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, (`which certainly was not here before,’ said Alice,) and round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words `DRINK ME’ beautifully printed on it in large letters.”

You can read more of Alice in Wonderland and see more pictures here:

64 thoughts on “Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Doors to my author’s mind Part 1

  1. This is a wonderful post, Robbie. I enjoyed learning more about your writing/working process and I think I understand how you manage. I love all the varied places your creative spirit moves you, and I like the notion of different aspects being behind closed doors – until you enter. The limericks about work during the pandemic make me glad I retired before it began – I might have gone crazy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Priscilla, thank you, I’m glad it interested you. That pandemic cake is one of my favourite artworks. Dinah in Wonderland is turning itself into an idea for a children’s book. I thought about it while I was walking today and plotted it out in my head.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Liz, maybe there is something to the idea of separating thoughts and concepts aiding memory retention. I know I have an exceptional memory and I don’t mean that in a vain way at all. It is just a fact. I never have to take notes or write things down and I can remember the details of every job I’ve ever worked on in my 25 year career. I thought everyone was the same as me and it has been a real revelation over the years to discover this is not the standard at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Robbie, you have outdone yourself. What lovely, lyrical pondering. I’m humbled and delighted to have played a tiny part. The poems you chose (and wrote) to highlight it are perfect. I especially like the first one.
    I always expected that you were good at this kind of compartmentalizing.
    I always say my mind is chaos, BUT… (I started to say there is a kind of order, but LOL, I’m not completely sure.) I do have “rooms” as you describe for my nearly 400 characters and the stories that belong to them… but many, many of the rooms’ doors are open at once. Characters sort of walk out into the labyrinthine hallways and get noisy. (That sometimes leads to the temptation to write cross-over stories, which isn’t bad.) It’s as if I can “hear” all the stories at once, unfinished and needing to be told.
    I really enjoyed your post. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. HI TEagan, thank you for the great idea and I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I am very organised and very orderly. I am not sure if it is good for creativity. You produce the most amazing stories and design work so possibly having the doors open is better. It is not really possible to change how we are though, is it?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are too kind — thank you.
        I don’t know… I think my “open-door rooms” are more of a hindrance. If I could lock things down, then I think I would finish more. The rooms aren’t the same place that the ideas come from (whatever and wherever that is). They’re where the ideas and characters go after the ideas begin to take shape. This has been interesting pondering.
        My rooms *are* a means of ordering things, but… At work I had to do a lot of oversight of tasks/projects, looking at several different divisions/groups, each of which had different goals, but together all their output tied together for what the execs were doing. So I had to compartmentalize the different division work/goals, but keep following the threads (from the groups) that led all of them to the overall requirement. So, those room-doors had to be open, because even though they were separate I needed to see all of them at once. Maybe that’s why I think of my stories that way now. I’m so glad to be away from that place! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    1. HI Dave, I am totally fascinated by minds and how they work and how they differ. I like to think of mine as being compartmentalized and I truly think it is. I am a very controlled person as a result. I am delighted you enjoyed my poem.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. HI Jacqui, I do get your point. I read a post on Story Empire recently. I think it was by Mae Clair, anyway, she asked if readers would still write if no-one was every going to read one of their books again. I said no I wouldn’t but I was wrong. I would write poetry anyway as a method of recording the things in life that matter to me. Behind Closed Doors was partly my journal of life during the pandemic and that is why I included my Covid-19 memory cakes.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What a fun “doors” post, Robbie. I like the way you keep your mind organized. I imagine that helps you stay on task until it’s time to switch to another storage room. I think my brain has revolving doors that never stop spinning. Lol. Dark limericks for those days on Zoom. I think a lot of people missed face-to-face connections. And cute cat-cake! That looks like more fun than zoom. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a fun post, Robbie. I love all the poetry and pictures. What a great explanation of how you can do so many things at once. I’m a huge fan of Alice too!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. An excellent post and follow-up discussion, Robbie. I have an fascination with doors because of their embedded mythologies and symbolism. Doors can be a symbol of opportunity or one of imprisonment, depending upon our choices. I find that opening a door is renewal, expectation, curiosity. (By the way, Alice was my favouite as a child too) Behind Closed Doors is a profound collection of poetry. I have enjoyed beginning my day by opening a door of your poetry.

    (haiku poems)

    When you have children
    Your heart will forever beat
    Outside your body

    Robbie Cheadle, Behind Closed Doors

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rebecca, thank you for your lovely comment. I have never thought of doors being a symbol of imprisonment, but you are right, they could be. I am nearly finished with Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Magwitch mentions the horror of being locked up behind closed doors. My mind always seems to bend towards the positive in life. I am glad you like that haiku. It is still so relevant for me. Perhaps more now than ever as my Greg finds his adult wings.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. A brilliant post, Robbie! I tried to send a comments, but it was lost in the WordPress universe so I will try once again. I have always been fascinated by doors because of their embedded mythologies and symbolism. Doors are two sided so contain opposites – they can symbolize a beginning, an opportunity or one of imprisonment, depending upon our choices. Your poetry collection, Behind Closed Doors, reminds us that we have many doors, or as Teagan reminded me, memory palaces. I enjoy opening my day by opening a door to your poetry.


    When you have children
    Your heart will forever beat
    Outside your body

    Robbie Cheadle, Behind Closed Doors

    Liked by 3 people

  7. You’ve really outdone yourself this time with your characters. I call this piece “Life During Covid”—hopefully, this will eventually lessen, but it feels like it’s here to stay. We can’t keep up with all of the variants.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What an enjoyable take on doors, Robbie. Your cake decorations are wonderful. What are they made of? (If you already answered that somewhere in the comments, I apologize. I’m behind on Thursday Doors posts and other posts as well, so I’m trying to hurry along yet get to each one.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Marilyn, your comment did make me smile. My children, nephews and nieces have grown up with these sorts of cakes so they don’t mind eating them at all. They don’t eat the fondant but that is more because it is to sweet. I am glad you like the cakes.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I too, love “Alice In Wonderland”. I know the passage you quoted.
    I adore your take on doors, and Tegan creates fabulous book covers. The one she did for you looks perfect.
    I’d love to read it. Do you sell on KOBO? I’ve been boycotting Amazon for 6+ years.
    The video clip is sweet as your cakes, and the cat steals the show.

    Dinah in Wonderland” blows me away! You are a great cake artist.
    Thank you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Resa, my books are published in the UK and are available from TSL Publications here: and as ebooks from here: and Lulu and Amazon both stock the paperbacks of my books but they add big markups. The paperbacks are much cheaper from my publisher even with the cost of postage. If you are interesting in reading the ARC’s of my children’s books, I’m happy to email them to you. You can contact me at sirchoc[at]outlook[dot]com. Thank you for your interest.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The cakes don’t take long. A cat is quite quick to make so a few hours. The peonies were time consuming as the layers of petals have to dry before adding more so those took about one month to make. The beast also took a couple of weeks as parts have to dry.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Alice in Wonderland is a favorite children’s story of mine, as well- so imaginative. I’m not sure if it’s from being sick with Covid or just age, but my inner doors are all off their hinges and my brain is a foggy mess, lol

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a wonderful post in all its special compartments, Robbie. I loved reading how your mind is like Teagan’s wonderful book cover. All those doors! And your dark limericks are perfect for the times, but I love the adorable cat cake, too. I’ve always been organized, but with my writing projects, I tend to get a little foggy at times. Even at work, I take pride in my organizational skills, but again, currently I’m underwater, slowly checking off boxes. That’s what I get for taking a vacation. 🙂 Anyway, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your dark poetry captures the time very well! But to brighten it a little then we have the pictures of your wonderful cakes! 😀
    Alice In Wonderland is one of my favourite books and one I enjoy going back to occasionally.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am a big fan of Alice… So many doors are simple and beautiful. I think opportunity can knock more than once.

    I wrote many verses during covid. Blank space (or paper) can be a door to be opened. Once the words flow on it the door swings open offering a variety of adventure allowing us to go through even those door which we cannot physically fit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. With so many interests, my mind could use some tidying. Thanks for sharing how your doors help your organize. Dinah’s dream of a wonderland for delightful! It’s encouraging to know a mind can be tidy and organized and also whimsical.

    Liked by 1 person

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