Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Doors to my author mind Part 2

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). If you’d like to join Thursday Doors, you can do so here:

Last week, for Thursday Doors, I wrote about the impact of doors on my life and how I see my mind as a passage way full of closed doors behind which I store all my thoughts and ideas about life, work, religion, people, and, of course, my writing. There are doors into my children’s writing ideas, doors into my poetry writing and doors into my adult writing. Doors also play a significant role in my books.

You can read last weeks post here:

Thank you to the talented Teagan Riordain Geneviene whose post about her author’s mind inspired this two-post series of mine. Your can read Teagan’s post here:

The cover of my first poetry book, Open a New Door, also features a door. I took this picture through the doorway at the game lodge where Terence and I got engaged in 2000. We took the boys there for the weekend and enjoyed revisiting it very much.

The inspiration for this title and cover came from my favourite Broadway show, Mame, featuring Angela Lansbury and Beau Arthur. When I was a very little girl and before my youngest sisters (numbers 3 and 4) were born, I used to play my mother’s collection of LP’s on her old record player. Often I used to dance and sing with sister number 2. We would dress up in mum’s theatre dresses, hats and scarves and make up shows to the music. We even performed them occasionally for the farm employees and I performed at school a few times when my dad could be persuaded to bring the record player to school and I would dance and sing for the class. I loved to sing and always had a place right at the front in the school choir.

My purple Quality Street song from Mame was called Open a new door. You can listen to it here:

This is one of the first poems I ever wrote. It’s not my best poem, and I wrote it when I thought all poetry was rhyming verse, but I still love it. It reminds me that there is more to life than my daily hamster ball.

Who’s really free

The sky is dark, coloured an unrelenting grey

Outside it’s damp and dreary, a dismal day

I gaze out of the window, splattered with rain

I stretch – an attempt to ease my physical pain

The lines of traffic extend for miles each way

A depressing sight that fills me with dismay

The landscape is blurred, shrouded by a soft mist

An addition that gives the scene a threatening twist

Tall buildings adorn the horizon, shabby and bleak

Tiny ants dart inside, refuge from the rain they seek


A ray of sunshine, creeps through a gap in the cloud

It gleams bright and bold, of its success quite proud

An arrow formation of birds crosses my line of vision

The rain and the cold have forced a flight decision

Such a contrast from my world, confined and cramped;

The birds, completely free, from this land have decamped

They roam, unfettered, across an unrestricted, spacious world

As I watch, my toes in my smart shoes, are tightly curled

I turn away abruptly, back towards the bright, artificial light

I quell any questioning thoughts invoked by this compelling sight.

By Robbie Cheadle

My book, A Ghost and His Gold, also features numerous doors; some opening, some closing, but all signifying change. Here is a short teaser:

“The muffled rapping penetrates Pieter’s thin early morning sleep. He stirs and rolls over. The insistent rapping continues, forcing his reluctant consciousness upwards, towards full awareness.
Sitting up quickly, he awakes fully, sudden fear acting like a bucket of cold water. The blankets drop away from his body and the frigid iciness of the early June morning chases away any remaining vestiges of sleep.

Over the past months, fear has eaten into his mind’s core like a malevolent caterpillar. Fear of the future. Fear of the soldiers. Fear of losing his farm. It’s been there, rotting his brain matter, ever since the declaration of war in October the previous year. The injury he sustained early this year exacerbated its effect until his mind is a worm-infested apple, brown and soft inside. He takes some deep breaths, determined to prevent the poison from spreading and affecting his reactions. Poor reactions could result in his death and that of his family.

He stares into the total blackness, trying desperately to see, while his body reacts to the biting cold, with gooseflesh breaking out on his torso and arms.

Who can be knocking on my door at this time of morning? It can only be bad news.

Next to him, his wife, Marta, starts to stir as she too responds to the intrusion.

“Pieter, are you awake?” The piercing voice competes with the wind that rattles the slats of the wooden blinds, and whistles under the ill-fitting front door.

Something’s wrong.

This is a picture of the front door of the farm house that inspired A Ghost and His Gold. It is purported to be haunted by the ghost of a man who became my Pieter van Zyl.

25 thoughts on “Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Doors to my author mind Part 2

  1. I love your sing-song poem! It reminds me of how I also thought poetry was presented. But more than that, it shows emotion, depth of feeling, and a talent for continuing the writing journey. Look what happened, you are climbing all those writing mountains with passion and panache!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. It’s so neat to see the real world inspiration for that part of your story. We find inspiration in many things, including memories. My mother had sound tracks from so many musicals. She used to play them on Saturday mornings if her or my father’s weekly card club would be meeting at our house. I didn’t dress up and dance, but I remember those songs. Whenever I hear one, it takes me back to those Saturday mornings.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Robbie, what a wonderful post…the music, singing, dancing, poetry. Your poem is profound and deep,
    and when I was young, I also thought all poems should rhyme. I loved learning where your inspiration comes from. Thanks for sharing! 💞

    Liked by 2 people

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