Saturday, April 30, 2011

Derek Haines Vandalism of Words

My Friday night read, Derek Haines Vandalism of Words.
The writing is witty, poetic and true.
Derek says, "When asked to describe my writing style, I would think carefully, wait a few seconds, and then answer, I have no idea!"

I recommend this book.

I'm not a whiskey drinker on ice, but his bittersweet view might need a belt when you are done.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My Shadow and the Snake

easter2011 007copyright Caroline Gerardo April 2011

Excerpt from "LUCKY" my next novel. The first draft is ninety- nine percent complete. Tomorrow I will post more on bookcountry.

I am off to the Los Angeles Book Festival.

***

Amy got into her car butt first after the amniocenteses.





“The baby is fifty-three weeks. I know you do not want to know the sex. I will find screen shots on the ultrasound that do not show the genitalia.” The Doctor said.



“Thank you.”



“Your weight gain is a little below target. At your advanced age, well excuse me, I meant to say this as a complement. You are taking excellent care of yourself.”



“I’m walking and swimming a little.”



“Just take it easy. Your blood pressure is high.”



“Is there anything else I should do?”



“There are no miracles Amy.”



“I pray.” She moves her hair behind her ears. She unties the gown, then pulls up her jeans with the stretch waist.



“Have you told the father we matched the hair follicle with the last amnio?”



“I told Seth months ago, he claims it is impossible because of his vasectomy. He abandoned us.”



“Just making sure you have someone to see you through this.”



“My Mother is going to be there for the delivery.”



“That is good. Keep taking your vitamins. We will see you next week.”



Amy smiled at the receptionist. The woman has the telephone hand set in between her shoulder and her ear. She looks up, nodding a thank you for the muffin from Starbucks. The linoleum squares in the office neatly lead past the magazines in the lobby. Amy opens the door and holds it gently. She keeps the door from slamming to avoid disturbing the other patients who wait to have their urine sample, weigh in and routine checks.



She starts the car. The seat belt feels rough over her stomach. She thinks of events of the past month. She has not heard from him for five weeks. The last time he disguised aggressive justification in an email. He is too busy to think. He chatted about how at this point in his life he appreciates what is beautiful in his daily new life: a new girlfriend, his glorious appointment and the fawning press. He does not understand the ramifications of his actions and does not care. Closed in an eggshell, the cover is made of Plexiglass, the world is inside his head. She now knows why his ears ring.



“It is best for both of us if you don’t contact me.” Seth never responds well to emotion.



She stops at the light. The car in front of her is a Maserati in a big hurry to jump the crosswalk. It lurches ahead and then back. She does not understand why.



When the light turns green, she pulls forward to see the snake. She gets out of her vehicle. She remembers there is a baseball bat in the trunk. With the bat in her hand, she examines the serpent. It is a gopher snake. It will never again meander in the mustard weeds. She moves it to the curbside with the bat.



Another car sounds a horn. An older man rolls down the window.



"Did you club it with the bat?"



"No. Roadkill."



She starts to tear up.




"The important thing was to love rather than to be loved."
W Somerset Maugham  Of Human Bondage

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ROW80 Writing On Target

Winter Meadow so I won't get spring fever...
Copyright Caroline Gerardo 2011
Happy with myself. Although I want to get the tomatoes in the ground, I achieved my writing goals. I have days to finish Lucky. Played with the Penguin site Bookcountry, that took much longer than I expected. I read about twenty different authors. I will go back and review all. I could not figure out how to drop down and finish to send. I did finally get the hang of it. When I have my first draft done, and pdf. sent to editor, I will upload some chapters.
The novel has violence. I wonder how that will be read.
I highly recommend the Bookcountry website for authors, publishing executives and readers. I predict it will be HUGE. I also expect there to be drama on the website as authors vie for attention. There's a good thriller in that story in and of itself. The soft wear is a little cumbersome but go try it out.
Goal unchanged. Going to finish this week. Will continue to run plugs for other authors. Have a flash story in my head about a snake.
Carson has a game tonight. Honey our golden retriever is in the pool right now. It is eighty degrees. I am not succumbing to spring fever.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Buy Norb Vonnegut's New Book

I just ordered Norb Vonnegut's The Gods of Greenwich. Published by Minotaur. It is described as a financial thriller.
This is Norb's second novel.

Norb "found" me on twitter.
I am having fun with my fifteen minutes a day on twitter, met some great authors. I pray no one takes offense to my Lucy like sense of humor. I was limiting tweets to six words, but letting that loose when I become chatty.

Buy Norb's books they have received great reviews.
Financial Thriller, I like his coin of the genre. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ghazal for Rumi



"Ray Incantation"
Caroline Gerardo Copyright April 22, 2011
GHAZAL for Rumi Love Poems On Rain



Photograph underwater, a Bay of Biscayne.

Your email was intended to cause me pain.
The weapon is a shut off campaign.
It is prettier to lock memory in chain.

Write a new label, University at Duquesne.
Millions of “I” words, an important domain.

An assault upon my cheek is a coup de main.

 
Salt water flows equaling my cystic veins.
The drama about moving much like a train
was blown out of proportion all over terrain
 not trying will be the error until you wane.

Memories of you, great pharoah, I retain.
Come clean without fear of the rain.
Despite the typhoon, I ask, maintain.

Caroline Gerardo Author: ROW80

        Caroline Gerardo copyright April 24 2011

Caroline Gerardo Author: ROW80: I am over my target. I feel happy to report 9230 words this week. Good words. The novel is 93% of my first draft. Working title - LUCKY. Seth is a psycho who stalks a girl, kills another by accident, promotes bum fights for money, lies, takes drugs to dull the pain and becomes a huge success.

The word count is 146223 and needs cutting. I hate editing.
4 plugs for indie authors
1 poem
I finished short flash piece, not certain on title.
The story is about a song writer recluse.
I need to add images.
I exercised every day.
Job was busy and happy got some deals.
All pets and children still alive and kicking.
I am not making big Easter dinner fuss- #writing.
Didn't complete reading books, they are calling but saving as
reading is not on my list for this coming week either.

Goal:
4000 on the novel Lucky
3 plugs for indie authors
Finish flash piece with an image and post.
Exercise 5 days.
Get deals at work closed for a paycheck.
Need to follow back with four magazines that requested the book last week.
Pray, meditate and smile every day.
New writing group Thursday night.

Sunday Photography Interview Greg Laychak Poetry Challenge


photograph courtesy Greg Laychak

Before the revolution, she was a Hungarian film star.
Joan travelled to Hollywood thinking her career might take off.
Instead, she opened a dance studio in Herkimer, married and had no children.
She once climbed Mount Marcy. Her guild pension covers the expenses of Adirondac Assisted Living Board and Care.
With her new hip, she foxtrots every morning.


copyright Caroline Gerardo

Friday, April 22, 2011

Swan

I just received Swan in hardcover. I am excited to read Mary Oliver's landscapes, emotions, and poetry.

Brandon Belt It is Good Friday

Brandon Belt there is no crying in baseball, even on your birthday.


Take your losses with grace. Step away from the camera. It is Good Friday. Think in perspective.

As children, we are taught to brush it off, walk away and ignore the bully. My parents drilled in us to turn the other cheek.

 "Be Christlike."

My usual response to hurt is to cry in private and march on. I recently suffered a betrayal. Someone I deeply love lied and caused harm to me and my children. I forgave. I stupidly furthered my own injury by “being friends.” Then cruelty repeated. Shame on me.

I am no Rookie of the Year, who is batting .192/.300/.269 with a homer, a double and 13 strikeouts in 60 plate appearances. I have everything to be thankful for and much to be forward looking, but I am not twenty-three years old. At this point in my life, I advise Brandon: living in Fresno is the equal to smelling the armpit of the world right now but grin and bear it. Act grateful for the opportunity to serve. This too will pass.

I am back to work. I issued my marching orders to finish my novel first draft, with grace.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Read Steve Montano's Books

Black Ice Well (d20 Fantasy Roleplaying Adventure)

Steven Montano's,   Fane of the Witch King is a dark tale of the dungeons and dragons game.
 I am adding Steven to books I will read on rainy nights. His current work in progress is Blood Skies series. Check him out, an unassuming accountant by day and a brilliant and dark author by night.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Keep Practicing

 Everything in Life takes hard work to reap any reward. I love this painting in New York. The image reminds me of the hours I spend reworking a sentence. The metronome just keeps ticking. I started working on my novel on a computer that does not have internet access. It does not make it any easier. The writing remains solitary. It gnaws at me to reach the finish line.
 I have a clock in my heart that is filled with stories, but not enough time.
lagunamarch2011 086Painting is Matisse, The Piano Lesson. The little boy is actually Matisse's son Pierre. The close up image I photographed at MOMA.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Greg Mortenson Needs to Come Clean

I loved Greg  Mortenson's book Three Cups of Tea, and Stones. CBS and rehashed by CNN reports today that some of his facts are fiction. Do readers ask for their money back? The stories inspired many military men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq, do we just pretend we are at war for nothing?
Frankly, it does not matter to me if he was held hostage, or what date he traveled to this country. I hope the Central Asia Institute will open it's financial books and disclose what they really spent on schools. If the not for profit fundraising went mostly to advertise the Mortenson brand, then "Lucy you got some 'splaining to do."

The books on their own merit remain in my heart inspirational.

Quotes

lagunamarch2011 042Sometimes quotes just hit me as funny. I think it is the word or song out of context.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Split by Swati Avasthi

Swati Avasthi's debut novel Split, recommended by my fourteen year old son. The story deals with a young boy, Jace who my son related to as a lacrosse player. The character attends anger mangement classes, suffers an abusive homelife and runs away to find an estranged brother. He dreams to someday have his own place where no one will tell him what to do.
My son read this one in one evening. He enjoyed the run.

Do Not Blow Kisses At The Bus Stop Mom

napoleon4152011 002 (2)This is Napoleon enjoying the baseball game, it gets cold at night in the canyon. Thinking about a discussion I enjoyed about our children (for both of us our youngest becoming independant).
There comes a time when children tell you, "Mom don't be blowing kisses when you drop me off."
For my oldest, she wanted me to be a block away from anything that indicated babyness when she turned nine. My youngest has now reached the stage at fourteen where he no longer holds my hand. Fortunately he is still loving at home.
The friend's son told her last year, " Mom don't be using your funny voice to say Hi XXX (son's name) in public."
At what point do I stop advising my children to wear a sweatshirt or carry an umbrella because it is raining?

   I relate it to the characters in my writing. I am working on this novel, now renamed Lucky. The leading man, well he is a boy for most of the story, is a very disturbed guy. I have put him through the rings of fire and poked him until he now has all kinds of personality twitches. At what point do I let him go and say, I'm done?

   I still want to go back and re-edit works which are published. So many little quirks I missed. It is as if a writer is Doctor Frankenstien who is never satisfied with his work.

   This photograph I took last night of Napoleon. He is a pug, cheering our team, the Beavers ( yes really they chose the Oregon Beavers name horrible as that may sound to yell "Go Beavers"... I side track there). So is it O. K. to keep being a Mom to everyone around me?

   My son had three night games this week. It has been hectic keeping up with writing to my goal therefore this weekend I have piles of Thomas Moore Care of the Soul chores - gardening, laundry, taxes, errands... where will I find the time?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Missing



Pain exists on my lips.

The upper is not cracked or bleeding, the scar tissue is from the grief.

The retainer nailed to the roof of my mouth stifles from speaking my anger.

Fiscar shears cut my finger to the bone. I stitched it myself.

I pull thorns from my mouth.

One and two and one trillion.

What is the measurement when I will no longer miss you?

Did my father die yesterday or in the Devonian Period?

He is a young man in dreams doling my penance.

I awaken.

A yellow tear stained notepad next to my bed holds Pig Latin drawings in the morning light.

The words are in ancient Panjabi, not Farsi.

The handwriting is poor from not wearing glasses. I drink clouded moon.

What did he say?

Tasbeeh phiree par dil ni phiriya Kee lena tasbeeh phair kay Hu-

Throw the rosary beads away if your prayers remain unanswered. When the cross on my necklace meets the clasp I recite the whole rosary. This happens several times a day. It is beginning to suck up my waking hours, that and researching angiogenesis inhibition. To block the blood cells that feed you.

I started sleeping with the blinds wide open.

Peeking reflections jump off the swimming pool. A snow goose hit the mirrored surface.

No, it was an owl. He has a pearly wingspan.

A soothsayer who purposely hides the truth from those he loves.

I left the door open to the surf.

I wake up at two and three and four.

I look over on your pillow. You are not there with your hands on your chest.

I prefer the earlier trick of just going back to sleep and seeing you in my head wound.



***

March 29, 2011 copyright © Caroline Gerardo

Title: missing

Contact: Caroline is Author of two novels, and flash fiction pieces. She lives in Laguna Beach California.

M. L. Gardner's Jonathan's Cross

M. L. Gardner's book Jonathan's Cross, released January 2011. Jonathan and his wife Ava must overcome the Crash of 1929 and build a new life. I ordered it on Amazon today, in paperback the old fashioned way to read!
Living in the Third Great Depression today makes me know this will be a good ride.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Loretta's Ignore Reality and Trust God

Loretta my new Twitter friend's book. I ordered it today. I look forward to reading her writing

Entropy


Copyright © March 28 2011 Caroline Gerardo

Entropy

“I stop carrying your ocean on my back like a block.”

The garden hose syphoned the dank water backwards from the fountain into the house.

“Well I guess that is one way to clean up.” She rubs that one hair on her chin. She plucks the one coarse wire avoiding the tip at Happy Nails. She fills the upstairs tub. To kill bacterium, she adds Epsom salts. This theorem has no scientific basis.

Soaking on her back she announces, “The sky blue sheets are in the recycle bin.”

The children sleep. Behind the door, the dog whines believing there was an announcement for second breakfast.

Anxiety grabs her toes out. The girlish pink glaze is cracked. The universe in rapid entropy rises from the milky lake.

“What number of moons have the linnets gone unfed?” She attempts to relax.

The doorbell rings. She jumps for a cozy towel. Would it not be more civilized to own a hotel towel warmer?

The Cavalier’s claws scrape wildly to protect the hardwood ground. The bulging eyes protect the nest. She slides around the animal.

“Who is knocking at six A.M.?”

The triple slide locks clatter. Her turban head and Chinese phoenix robe face the sunlight. She looks up and down Pacific Coast Highway. It is not Federal Express, there is no sticky note with the routing label. It is not the Sherriff with a summons either. Half nude, she gathers no attention.

The glamor of her morning is all falling apart.

She thinks of the ordained importance into the thread count. There will exist no more Saturday morning ritual sheet washing. The anointed grew a flaw. A ladybug hole spread into the Los Angeles River. There is no sewing back. The comfort replaced by a cheaper brand. A cold measure of disorder, not expressing sorrow, concern or regret, she picks up a ‘Rock’em Sock’em Robot’. His arm is missing.

No fur coat can insulate the children from breaking.

Passive aggressive motions forward, she locks the door twice, her hand pulls away as if burned.

The fingers do not smell like bacon.



You are not a reversible thermodynamic force.

 
 
 
 
 
http://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Gerardo/e/B004PHVP1C

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Planning Write It Down.

It is spring time for cleaning, polishing and sharpening my pencils for great writing.


This is not my ordinary blog post. I am making it public.

With all the demands in my life, I need to write out my goals and stick to a schedule.

There are six key areas for my five year and one year plan:

Spiritual, Financial, Health, Writing, Family, and Fun.

1. Spiritual Life

I have grown closer to God by daily prayer. The rosary comforts me when doing the most menial tasks. I feel closest to Him when I am gardening. I will add ten minutes of meditation. This daily meditation is a big request. My life is packed with work, writing and raising two children alone. As the weather warms, I can sit outside and have this silent time.

2. Financial

I will monitor my stocks each morning for an hour. When I read about trends in the market, I can determine timing on buys and sells. I am not going to purchase commercial real estate or residential for three more years, as I believe the worst is not yet over. My house is upside down and I must continue to work full time. I must market my mortgage origination business to sustain my children and myself. I will keep to my budget. I need to save $ X dollars (number withheld because this is public) more for Carson’s college fund. In order to do this I need to put ten percent of my earnings a year into his accounts for the next five years. Blair’s college fund is completed. I want to purchase the video equipment she is eyeing for her possible explorations for her career. This is likely a large Christmas expense. I also want to send her to some film school this summer. I want to put the maximum into my 401k each of the coming five years.

3. Health

After surviving the big C, I need to be mindful of my health. The huge stress of the personal loss this year has worn upon my cells. I am buying organic produce. We have organic vegetables in our garden. I do not eat red meat or pork. I need to exercise six days a week. Walking, really hiking two days with my camera and three days running or something aerobic. Avoid stress, laugh at life and smile at everyone. Attitude is the key to health.

4. Writing

I want my writing to be my full time career by 2015. I will complete four more novels by that date. I will have a full time agent who assists me in marketing the work. I want to write well and reach a large audience. This entails a following of two hundred thousand. Publishing business is shrinking in these economic hard times. Art will be seen as an unnecessary commodity. My work must be general fiction, and genre specific as well. Focus on the novel, full-length work. I enjoy short fiction and it is fun to write flash but there is no financial market for poetry. I am expanding my reach in social networking, but it is slow brick building. Keep positive, write 4000 words a day. Do not whine about editing.

5. Keep my children healthy and learning. Teach them by example. Lead them to great things. Show them beauty in the sky. Talk about love and show everyone kindness. Take care of my Mom, she is getting frail. Spend time listening to my Mom. Talk with my siblings who I love so very much. Be helpful to those I hold dear.

6. Walk to the beach more and get in the water- this combines a couple goals. Light the fire at night and the Jacuzzi to hear the ocean with the lights all off. Joke with my children. Enjoy the people at work. Share some baked things I make with the office. Build the team at the office to be working together. Vacation plans in the US to visit independent bookstores. Get together with friends who are happy. In the past I did volunteer projects and fundraising for fun, I am not going to focus on this going forward. I am running an idea in my head to invite authors to come stay a weekend and brainstorm edit and help each other. I have the blessing of a beautiful home and amazing location, I can share that alone as a gift. Be creative in all things. Blair and I bought all the parts to make a chandelier out of Kerr jars, and the wine bottle wind chimes. Make things and give them to others. Paint, take photographs, cut flowers from the garden and put them in the house and give them to others. Laugh much more.

Friday, April 8, 2011

STOP ME, Richard Jay Parker

Richard Jay Parker's Thriller/ Drama/ literary thriller... I just started. I think it will be an all-nighter. Don't STOP ME.
It will be fun, join me let's chat about it at midnight. What you need to watch Snookie on Jersey Shore tonight? 'come on...


Sadly, two of my buddies could not purchase the novel in their local independent bookstore. It also seems unavailable on ereaders as of yet. My bookstore had it in stock. Perhaps because it is UK released?  I will hold my review until the regular mail catches up with my two friends who will read and discuss at a futher date.

Title of Novel in Progress: Lucky?

lucky charms 003 (2)My current novel in progress I have been calling "Seth." The old title was simply the name of the lead character. He's a psychopath. One might say it is all not his fault, or everyone around him is too lazy to see through the fog of their own existance..  After giving him a row of trials, volcanoes, and temptations you will somehow love this guy.

The title Lucky seems trite. It reminds me of how much my son loves Lucky Charms. If I put the cereal in the story will the sue me? Thank you General Mills for Box Tops for Education but also for the evil look in the eyes of that green guy on the box in the morning.

So with that in mind, can you name all the magically yummy marshmallow symbols above?

Back to work Caroline you have much work today. Writing is never as simple as one might think.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Charlie Sheen's Launching a Leadership Revolution???



I recently started using Twitter. A dear friend was shocked that the third person I "followed" was Charlie Sheen. I have never watched his television show. I make no comment about his personal life that I know nothing about.

I sought to understand why Americans would be engaged to follow that leader, how his platform of come-back #winning, digging out of a fox hole, and media fervor would result. I come out of the experience thinking Americans love a fallen from grace star and they want all those men and women to get back up and dance.

This brings me to why I read Launching a Leadership Revolution, in a roundabout method. Orrin Woodward "followed" me for some arbitrary reason perhaps, or found me posting positive words to stir up some change in this world? The book runs fast and neatly. It is not a textbook, but has many factual references. They review Tom Brady, George Washington and my all-time favorite the Apostle Paul. Just what does it take for thousands, perhaps a million twitter followers in days?



The purpose directed life. What fervor keeps fuel on the fire for us lowly workers to keep marching in paper boots? I have been a mentor, a pusher, a cheerleader, a Mom. The best success is seeing others share the glory.



Read his book. Learning one piece of inspiration will be worth the read. Perhaps together we will unlock our potential.
(The book is co-authored by Chris Brady just to give him a plug, although I do not know either of these authors)



I challenge all my indie author friends to read someone's work as suggested by April L. Hamilton.

So here I put my hashmark, being a brand new Twitterati

#indieaction #ind #selfpub #writing #reading #books