Promptly Written
Published in

Promptly Written

Monthly Theme Response

Getting To Know Me

An Essay

Photo of and by Author Joanne Olivieri

Well this was me at a year old, posing, winking and flirting with the camera. Haven’t changed much in 65 years😃

Photo by Author Joanne Olivieri Me and Mom

My Mom was my biggest influence. I was 38 when she passed though she still is a huge part of my life. She taught me to listen to my heart and to give to those less fortunate with love and gratitude. She was a strong woman who had many health issues which I inherited but she always fought through them with determination and a smile. I like to think I have followed her example. She was the one person who inspired my writing, she bought me a poetry book when I was ten years old titled Speak Nature by James Walker Sr. and I fell in love with poetry from reading that book. That was fifty six years ago. I’m still in love.

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri My antique poetry books

I enjoy a multitude of writers mainly within the poetry genre. Way too many to list here. Here are a few. Longfellow, Poe, Lord Byron, Keats, Christopher Marlowe, Plath, Angelou and many more. If I had to choose just one, it would be Longfellow. I’ve read almost all his works and they have all resonated with me.

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri St. Cecilia Church

I was raised Catholic. Went to Catholic grammar school for eight years. Religion and English were my favorite subjects. I was very religious for most of my life until my Mother died. When she passed I blamed God for years. It has taken a very long time to regain my faith which I work towards on a daily basis. It is important to me and I’ve learned through hardships, tragedies etc… that prayer and faith are very important aspects in healing and achieving peace and happiness.

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri Me and my baby boy Sammers

If I could be anywhere in the world right now where would it be? Its difficult to answer because I am disabled and homebound. If I were able bodied I’d be traveling. However, when I dig deep inside and ask myself this question my answer is, I’d want to be right where I am now with my sweet little birdie companion, Sammers. I may not be able to get out but I am surrounded by what I love and am very content and happy.

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri my dearest friend Sony Holland and her hubby Jerry performing in Santa Cruz, CA

I LOVE all music with the only exception of country. Music, like nothing else puts me in another world. A peaceful and joyous world. I have music on all day long. I love Latin music, grew up with Santana, Malo, El Chicano, Sapo, Escovedo and so many more. Seeing Santana live at Filmore West each year on New Years eve was a tradition. Loved my bay area bands, Tower of Power, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin. I have very eclectic taste in music as well. Greek music could get me dancing like nothing else. I also love jazz, Asian erhu music, Buddhist chants and much more..

Photo on Wikipedia

I was raised learning from my Mom that giving is receiving so I do support a few charities. Mind you, I am not wealthy but each month when I receive my social security I give a little to my favorite charities. Kiva is my favorite. What I like about their platform is you are not just handing over money but you are supporting someone and empowering them by funding their business. My first loan years ago was prompted by a woman in El Salvador who was making papusas on a wooden table and selling them on a street. My first thought was, I wish I could be there helping her but since I could not, I funded her loan. I truly enjoy helping others achieve their dreams. I Also support the Audubon society, the San Francisco zoo and the San Francisco Botanical Gardens.

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri taken at Ocean Beach in SF at dawn

I feel most energized at dawn. I begin my day with my little Sammers singing to me and I get up, get him ready for the day, have my coffee and breakfast then start writing. Though most of my writing ideas come to me in the middle of the night.

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri taken at the Whisky Shop SF Photo taken by Ashley

My vices? Right now, due to health issues I don't have any other than eating unhealthy which I do at times. Hey, life is short so be happy and eat what you like. However….. In my younger years I loved the libations. Photo above is of me, seven years ago with my favorite Scotch whisky when I worked at the Whisky shop. Why did I ever leave that job?

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri

Hobbies. You know I don’t believe in hobbies. My view is we are all born with gifts, talents and passions. Our calling is to put those gifts to use. I read, drink coffee and listen to music each day and they are not hobbies they are what I love.

Photo by author Joanne Olivieri taken at the SF zoo.

Last person I thanked was Ravyne Hawke for understanding I needed time to care for my sick birdie, Sammers who is on the mend now. I chose the pic above because I don’t have a photo of Ravyne and the pic is one I took at the zoo of Frank the Harris hawk.

Hope you enjoyed a little about me. Now, let’s get to know you.

Thank you again to Ravyne Hawke for the March Getting To Know You theme at Promptly Written. This was fun!

Thank you for reading.



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Joanne Olivieri

Joanne Olivieri


Published author, poet and photographer. Love birds, animals, food, art, books, music. Contact -