Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Eve Plan

Day before and the day after I will be by your side. 

What we do today is more important than yesterday.
Today might be cleanup day after having family over or the day before New Years Eve. Perhaps for you it is a regular workday where frowns at the alarm clock and an extra cup of coffee got you rolling.
My Mother had a stroke twelve days ago. This event may change the course of my actions for the next years. At eighty, I suspect her possibilities are limited but I want her to have dignity, improvement and happiness in the last section of her life. It is turn-around time for me. Time again to dedicate to others.
I have my game face on, my very best Scottish kilt with black watch plaid is ready for the dry cleaner and son’s Christmas tie is packed away.
New Year’s planning not resolutions, actual steps I will complete.
It might be O.K. for some to eat left over pie for breakfast and wear pajamas in front of the television on New years Day. I ask you to get up early January 1st and see the sunrise with me. Put your work clothes on your back.
Today we write our five year plan. What is that you ask me?
Take today to handwrite this out Goals for the next 1 year 5 year 10 years.
Here are mine.
To write seven days a week from 4:55 AM- 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM- 9:00 PM. 3000 words a day. To journal in handwriting when walking, at gym, hearing conversations, jotting down ideas from life. To take three photographs a day. To work on short video and film two days a week. To further the software project with Google. To have pilot ready for X secret by February 1, 2012. To have The River finished for editing by end of January 2012.
To market my work face to face, twitter, blogging, Goodreads five days a week growing my audience readers to thirty thousand separate contacts by December 24 2012.. To answer all requests for interviews in three hours. To submit two poems or flash pieces to literary magazines and follow up on the requests for themed work.
To ask for reviews. To speak in public, at universities and perform at small theaters fourteen times in 2012 and ten in 2013. To have newspaper reviews in major print. To have my next book published in hardback by Tor or St. Martin’s Press and e released worldwide 2013.
To promote other writers and artists. To grow my writer posse. To buy and read 25 books of other writers of interest a month. To RT anyone’s self-interest who is kind and generous. To encourage others to be supportive of writing and creativity. To assist others in the daily creative life and process.
Martial Arts Bone Conditioning, Running three days a week, Weights three days a week, Stretch daily, hikes four days. Maintain weight at 116 be able to run with Carson at half pace. In 5 years to still be same weigh and strength. May need foot surgery and knee to be able to keep running, adjust with swimming.
Financial: (not posting for privacy). X amount of savings X amount in 401k by saving 30% of earnings.
To sell 100000 copies of current release The Lucky Boy by daily selling through platform by December 24 2012.
Spiritual: To pray daily and be connected to God. To be great to others without preaching
To bring my Mom home to my house at first and have physical therapy work with her to be able to be independent in her own house in two months. I do not believe she will drive again. To have Carson get his permit and be able to safely drive himself to school, and assist with driving her to appointments. To have Blair also drive her to appointments. To encourage Blair to finish another short film. To get my siblings to agree upon a team schedule to make this work. Blair and Carson leave home, to go away to college and find their own dreams. To allow my children to fail and not be afraid to try again.
What are yours?
copyright © Caroline Gerardo 

we prosecute pirates.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Soldier Home For Christmas

Dear John,

The President announced the troops come home from Iraq. I wonder, will you come off the plane last? Will you be wearing your ACU (the service uniform holds that dusty smell of charcoal) when you ship home? Our son will want to keep that jacket with the letters of your name on the chest. I know it is common enough and we might be able to buy one with SMITH on it at the army surplus, but he will want yours.

In your last letter you wrote about how every night the image of Smith Park’s oak trees and ivy pathways kept your mind green. The sounds of leaves touching in the wind are like karaoke vocalizing the lyrics we listened to on that oldies station. It is December now, they will play Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas on the car radio. I sing along loud and joyful. I keep putting antifreeze into the radiator just as you told me, but the Jeep is running cold.

Things here at home will be strange when you return. I did not have the heart to tell you in my letters that our park is gone.  The city redeveloped the area into something commercial. What remains is a little triangle between busy streets in the neighborhood. They let the grass turn brown. The sign remains steadfast, as I have waited for you my love. It is in front of the graveyard where I hope to finally put you to rest, we will all be together. War has been a troubling enemy I could not touch or understand but knowing it is over will make us start to heal.

Merry Christmas to All With Love,

Copyright © Caroline Gerardo 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Vireo Song


"Your fingerprints touched my life," He said. 

"My fingers burn from scratching
the diamonds underneath the ice.
You abandoned us under the lake," I answered.

A boiling pot of water whispers
cinnamon sticks to remind.
Christmas candy childhood
playing with the wisemen.
Gently touch baby Jesus
in the manger,
 taste the horehound
 in dill & thyme amber.

 I believe in Santa.
Maple syrup trees never grow tired.
They remain faithful to their charge.

Love's desire is one last opportunity.

Bell's vireo pair on the glass wall
birds diving for insects,
avoiding pinecones soaked in honey millet.
Warblers don't need crystaline sugar meth.

Male white eye ring summer grass breast
remains faithfully calling to his bride.

"Cheedle cheedle chew," he offers her.

It is a Christmas grandiflora song,
spreading hope to the woodland.
Winging sounds of sleigh bells.

Merry Christmas copyright Caroline Gerardo

Friday, December 9, 2011

Family Christmas Tree


This year my children voted not to purchase a Christmas tree. I have mixed emotions about the decision. Instead of my elaborate tree, we are donating a medium sized tree and presents that they made and purchased for a family who lives in their car. I sprung for a hotel room for Christmas Eve for the family. I am not going to post their pictures or names as they asked to keep this quiet. I suspect they worry that their two children who do not attend school might be removed from their hard life.

I live in an affluent neighborhood. I notice an increase of not just single homeless men, but now families. The last piece of normal they have is to sleep in their automobile and solicit donations in the shopping center in front of WalMart. I cannot tell you exactly what lead this particular family to lose their home, but I know the struggle to find employment becomes more difficult by not having a stable place to live.

I admit to a selfish wistfulness. I will miss not having a big tree with my gold and silver ornaments that I have collected over the past nine years. I lost all the prior ones in a fire. My ornaments each have some special handmade memory. I have not figured out how I will hang them, thinking fishing wire from every window, but this seems like more work than I have time to budget. Silly and frivolous concerns when I compare myself to a family without a decent place to sleep.

Things have not been easy street for my family this year. I look back on holidays in my past and am thankful of the support I have from the large and meddlesome network I have covering my back. I will have fifty some family and friends for dinner on Christmas Day. I invited my adopted car family but they seem embarrassed to show up. A few of my siblings expressed distress that I might include persons that they worry might make the celebration awkward or uncomfortable. I am not passing judgment on anyone, just doing something I think might help their eleven year old son and fifteen year old daughter to hang on to a memory that offers a more hopeful future.

I wish I could give more.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Organize your XXXX in Word Files

Organize the Outhouse of my Mind

In a fuddle this morning. Need to clean out, throw away and start new.
 "If a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several; for we observe that nature does not employ two instruments [if] one suffices." Thomas Aquinas

Finished the first draft of next novel, working title Eco Terrorist. I might call her Soothsayer, but that leads to another story further taking me off point. I am giving the book a rest for a week. Working on short fiction that needs polishing after a cold trip. Organizing and planning back at home today. The wind rocked the house something wild last night. Electric charges from the dry ions are irritating my muse. My sweet gum trees in the front in painted blaze have thrown their souls all over the canyon.  One mess of crimson, rust and magenta is in the bottom of my pool and the gutters towards the ocean.

After travelling this week to Canada I want to thank again all the wonderful people who were supportive and amazing open, giving, and participated in the performances. Poetry is alive and well. I met college students, teens, bikers, cowboys, and truck drivers who are now part of my family.

Returning to my messy mind, I ask those Santa Ana winds for solutions. Does anyone else have this stupid problem? I save a file in Word and give it a title, next I add a numerical date, but other copies of the same file duplicate as a) Backup of xyz title  and b)xyz title with similar date and c) I might have a word doc a worddocx an HTML and some other copies of the same file. I attempted to merge these ten pieces but it is frustrating to the point of crazy making. There must be a better system to organize my writing.

I want to store all the poetry and flash pieces in some easy to recall order.
There are about two hundred short stories and flash fiction pieces unpublished that I need to edit down and keep clean copies.
I also have hundreds of film clips and thousands of photographs.
I think I need a personal secretary who can live inside my computer and just talk to me when I sleep.

Time for bleach, lists, throwing away a bunch of junk and general cleanup.  I will back up all the creations into folders and put them on a seperate hard drive to open one at a time. Simplfy the work into pieces to cut copy and paste.

The photograph above is a working outhouse, I do not have one at the Wyoming ranch, but  feels like my mind today. I spare you the word (xrap) in the title.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Book Prizes Coming Soon

the goose is getting fat

In the spirit of the upcoming season I just want to tell you I am giving away free stuff.

Why are these silly monks on here? Because they are in Chapter One of The Lucky Boy.
I am giving away six of these fat guys with book coupons.
All you have to do is ask.

More prizes to come in the next days.
Coffee prizes ( because we can't give away drugs like in the book).
Perfume prizes, yes girls.
Fight tickets, yes men.
Maybe even some boots ( Seth steals boots in the book).
They won't be Santa Boots.

Rules coming soon.
Maybe no rules at all just participate.
I just hope Santa gets my book printed on time.
Snoopie happy dance.

Shadow's Murder at Connyland

at Connyland

Rain on crystals of the chandelier.

The shards slip on my woolly sweater.

Oatmeal raisin as the smell of wet sheep.

Humans sell birdbaths with heaters.

Swiss partiers murdered Shadow,

by driving nails in her inner ear

pounded by careless lovers,

look away when striking,

ignore their emails.

Salt water freezes

at negative twenty-one.

A stranger carried my box of books

to the finish line for free with ice breath smile.

While you shrug off the shame of snowflakes so they won’t stain.

Can a dolphin thaw from the terror of methanphetamine in the tank?

Copyright © Caroline Gerardo 11/29/2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turmeric Birthday Cake

Aspen Womb
Joy grows inside me.

20 years of Mom choices.

The back of the earrings lost.

The clapper located your keys.

Now I map my way.

Write your own plan well.

Unlimited by constraints of time,

the sieve between life and death.

The moment when golden light hits

Tuscan monstrosity across the canyon.

Don’t look that way-

Reach past the aspen grove dancing.

Fly upon that last single leaf towards ocean,

where slivers of seaweed touch shoulders as

swimming towards turmeric islands.

 I’ll pull if you need help.

On this birthday fly and touch the sun.

 Caroline Gerardo all rights reserved for photographs, video, flash poetry and sound
For my daughter Blair's birthday 11/26/2011
© All rights reserved Caroline Gerardo 11/26/2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friend Poetry

Facebook Friends

Joan Pond sent me this short poem on Facebook.
 Below is my response.

I saw the sign on the pole.

Missing sofa--- please call.

I envisioned some grand settee,

off on a journey.

Its wooden legs

... taking it cross town.

Had it been unhappy at home?

If they'd known, would therapy have helped?

Perhaps a furniture intervention.

Psychologists would say,

re-upholstering could bolster the ego.

It's sad when furniture

suddenly goes astray.
Copyright 2011 Joan Pond
Please go to Facebook to see her photograph
"I saw the sign on the pole."


Photograph is different on Facebook if you want to go look at the thread

"My Sofa"

His name was Sofa

The chenille of his mane

brushes lonely and skinny.

Wishing changes life.

A basket of granny smiths arrives

early and crunchy in the morning,

he won’t run away.
Copyright 11/24/2011 Caroline Gerardo
Please supply your response or flash fiction and join in.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sean Quinn’s Gravestone Curse

utah2 005
Sean Quinn lost a fortune to fairies.
Ballyconnell is the same as America.
Dead frozen between bankruptcy or cliff edge
with a windsock for wings.
Dangles pumped air with no hands from a generator.
Dancing, deflated, with 15000 quid remaining.
Detergent under fingernails sticks to ideas.

Why fly on dandelion seed puffs?
When I am in motion I am fearless.
Damn now I don’t have the cash for children’s toys.
Do Lacrosse sticks cost $900, may as well be a divining rods,
Driving to magic places where water, oil and diamonds spring,
without using children’s arms as guinea pigs for mining.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Broken Doorbell

    Made it to 53900 words on the current novel. The point of view changed. Almost through the door to the finish line. Please do not ring my doorbell or pull my chain, I am not answering right now.

   This was such a struggle in Toxic Assets, as I wrote the first and second revision in first person. Then after two readers complained about the point of view, calling it a contemporary fu-fu style. I changed it and then editing became this voice in my head nightmare. I am going to use a literary trick and switch the middle half of the book that is written in second person over the shoulder of the eco-terrorist, and then the first person narrative will be the ending. Not as flashbacks, I need to use something else, not certain what that will unfold.

    In my last book I wrote in beats or poetry scenes like a movie. This one is written in another method. I'm intrigued by the story location and that this one is more of a thriller. My lead and heroine is fifty something, I may need to make her younger to be realistically able to complete the athletic actions she takes. Writing this post very fast as time is so valuable with doing Nanowrimo my goal is to be finished on the 24th.

     Take a look in the photograph, there are lucky horseshoes on the door, a common western theme. I had expected to have The Lucky Boy Advance Reader copies in my hands yesterday, but UPS left a delivery slip- I guess I didn't hear them. If you want to review, contact me and I will send a copy.

   I apologize if I have not been very present in my usual promoting others but I am very focused on creating new work and the muse is singing all over the place. Do this Do that hurry up and scat.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Showtimes for the Novel

     I have kept pace with my goals for Nanowrimo. My word count this morning at 4:55 AM is 25608. There are a number of these writer meetings and mini contests that I can't get my head around, and don't understand how they help in getting the first draft completed. By the time I read the rules of these special mini stunts or drive to the event the learning curve would distract me from my goal - Plan being to get a first draft done this month.

    Meanwhile, life seems to not want to cooperate with my lists and writing targets, melodrama in my personal life stirs up trouble.

     What problem do I describe first?

      EDITOR NOTES XXX I have removed these comments to keep my heart from breaking.

      Needless to say, I have not signed on to Facebook because I feel I must change my status back to single. When I switched it to "in a relationship" I had no idea the information was publicly displayed. Friends commented in happy support. This surprised me, how many around me cared enough to read some little sign of my status. What is that quote, hmm, "There's going to be a hoo-too tonight so stay in your hut."  I was biding time for some show of better fortune or turn of events but this morning I need to move on. I am going to hang my status back to solitary. A strange thing happened in the brief time of being both feet back into an "us" all these men came out of the cracks interested in me. I think there is something about being unavailable that puts a flag up signalling, "come on down."

    Other melodramas in my life- we discovered someone broke in the house and stole Blair's camera and some personal items. The burglary gives me an uneasy feeling, as we speculate who is the creeper.

I have my novel The Lucky Boy up early on Amazon.
The paperback won't be available until November 18th.
If you are reading this please go to the Amazon link and check the tags or write a review in support.
The baby needs new shoes.
 I promise there's not going to be a hanging in an hour, unless you fail me and don't buy my book.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Unsent Letter

You + Me Aspen Tree
   I wanted to tell you a list of things. Call this a love letter of sorts. I can't send it but I can write it as flash fiction, not poetry. This is a casual note you might find in your pocket.

   The tests are back on the roof tiles. There is no lead, my design plan for rain gutters to gather enough water for a garden, sun shower and the whole budget is less than $2100 in materials. Adding water that is previously untapped and free feels independent, that is how I would describe it to you in a bouncing up and down Charlie Brown Christmas dance.

   I keep you in my prayers now when rain showers seem to cross my path. This incredible rainbow popped this afternoon. I asked Him to make you my Superman, the strong man who leads.

   Four of the poems and paintings I made for you of your ranch are complete. They are missing the magic. The images give a glimpse of the wonder.

   I regret one thing, not writing our initials in a tree. I needed your permission to make that leap.

   The aspens whispered to me. Remember I asked your ancestors connected to sing a little and let go a few golden leaves, they cooperated so merrily. They saw my dangerous heart. It gives everything and loves forever. Though this is problematic, with no way to turn it off when attacked. I learned to stay apart from those who cause harm, not to stop caring.

   The Doctor said my arrhythmia is worse than last time I was tested. You didn’t ask how the results of the EKG, stress tests, and blood work came out.

   The final draft of the paper book of The Lucky Boy is done, even have the ISPN number just waiting on the cover blurbs for the back. I am hopeful for the future.

   I’m writing for Nanowrimo, and you would make that funny face not recalling what it is- write a whole novel in the month of November. Today I made it to 14201 words since the first. This is makes me feel strong and I wanted to share all with you. But you are gone. Not a far as my father now dead twelve years, I still talk to him in my dreams. I need a tape recorder for my brain when sleeping to remember what he tells me.

                  Today I feel filled with grace and joy sending you this hug to share.


C. G.
copyright 2011 all rights reserved we prosecute

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Paperback Novel Cover The Lucky Boy

I am going to use a couple covers. This is for the Advanced Release Copy or also called an Advance Reading Copy. If you would like to review, please contact me and I will have one sent to you for free. The cover above does not show spline and back cover synopsis and reviews and bar code that will be added later. Still wondering if the title word Boy might have a blood drip down on the letter I in my first name. Decisions… trying to make the novel look appealing to male readers age 17-30,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Story Board For The River Novel

The month of November I have signed on to write my 65000 word novel by November 24th, well the first draft of the novel. I will blog less and only handwrite poetry and short fiction. Staying focused on the prize.
Who else is joining me in this adventure?

Don't forget to lock the gates and feed the pets kids.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Klout Poem

Klout weight down from 57.

Flabby Algorithm without Structure

We start with an initial state of empty.

A love affair needs to be elegant.

The dance for a girl is gamesome, watch your weigh.

Turning Complete System, input the information.

One partner builds from specs of dust here and there.

Some sparkle and vibrate beyond the sense of sight.

Others settle for crumbs.

Am I a coat in the closet?
A counterweight to you?

The sequence of operations spits out a magical score,

then suddenly everything about the other is devalued.

Between a hawk and a buzzard in twilight,

computed past that held back some secret in the iron ore.

Another wasp in the coreopsis, confused by the brilliant yellow mud.

Instead of eating the dirt Klout dusts her wings on the flowers.

The bees laugh at the silly creature.

The hummingbirds will kill a weak enemy

who repeats the same mistakes

No this time I won’t get crosslegged and

fluttered by drama of love’s wounding chest.
I don't care much about my score.
caroline gerardo
© copyright for photograph and poetry
all rights reserved we prosecute

Thursday, October 27, 2011

User Comments Brand Reviews

Drink Me Five Stars

Reviews my neighbor leaves behind

User generated comments in product review in social commerce.

Amazon just quietly erased a million some product reviews written by persons paid to write a positive post. The cottage industry of bloggers offering book reviews for $ 25- $100 a pop are temporarily thwarted. Amazon deleted anyone who wrote these listings and gave five stars to novels they likely never read without warning. This is only the first phase in Amazon’s attempt to clean up a flawed premise that sales will generate the best to the top. A theory I equal to keep stirring the pot and the bones will pop up.

Amazon does not have an editing staff that checks how you review the latest ginzo knife. They have relied on consumers to honestly rate products and sellers. Amazon has a small staff that deletes obvious or reported spam posts and unrelated drabble. The reviews list in chronological order. A few enhancements to the system have been rolled out, but none so clearly (and silently as Amazon does not announce nor want to reveal future changes) will make the playing field level. No longer will posters ask for throngs to tag their product for a dollar. Amazon added “questions” and “rate the reviewer” type features that they hoped would make the system less “scammy.”

Durable goods, wholesale product manufacturers all started to realize that if they open a Facebook Page, or some industry website then ask people to like them no-one will come.  However, if they offer prizes, incentives and money they can get an individual Facebook page that generates interest in their brand. Facebook has added so many bells and whistles using a Facebook page seems to also have lost its lightening as a method to connect with consumers.

A woman I know made a fortune selling Google page rank, she is one of many black hat SEO experts who touted herself as a marketing wizard. Google can now identify the thirty some methods used to game page rank and they are silently erasing websites that use the cheats from searches without any notice or recourse to “webowners”, or brands. She’s now selling IRS illegal tax credits knowing that her past associations are all crumbling. This same person rather maliciously posted reviews with intention to harm on Amazon as a regular course of entertainment. Seems all her reviews have now disappeared.

If reviews are merely a fringe portion of buyers (Reviews on Travelocity, Amazon, CNET, Epinions, Consumer Reports… gazillion other sites are less than .08% of purchasers) why do buyers even bother to read them? We are human, we care what others think.

How will all the information gathered, collected, graphed and monitored about us as individual consumers typing words on the internet be used in the future for brands?

What I want to know is how is this going to change how books are reviewed and rated in the future? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mapping the Novel for November

The Road Ahead, Caroline Gerardo copyright October 2011

Embarking upon an adventure, my team is ready, the cupboards and garage refrigerator are full who else is doing Nanowritmo? I have my plans, my note cards of research, the composition book full, the white story board – well it is waiting for all the information to unfold. I would label myself a very organized “pantser” as I do not know the ending until I am done. I allow the story to direct me in the first draft.

Here is my plan: 65000 words by November 24th. I will have not a full first draft but a rough without an ending, or perhaps three ending ideas. That is over three thousand words a day, a pace I have managed daily but I include blog posts as warm ups, poetry and shorts in my count. I will only work on the novel. I have a couple titles in my head, and this too is subject to shift.

My children have agreed to take on the feeding of the pets (in Laguna Niguel we have two dogs, two turtles, an elderly flop eared bunny and yes the hummingbird feeders need attention). They agreed to split up a couple of my chores so I can get up at five and start my quiet hours of writing at the kitchen table. It is in the morning I get the most productive writing done. I don’t have the luxury of a silent space to work in. Yes I have a room of my own, (several) but being a single mom with no relief I can’t lock myself away. My team has come upon the settlement that we don’t watch television, mom writes with her gnarly baseball hat and they read or complete homework. We play games and are intensely competitive to work for goals. Nannowritmo is just as serious as when my son and I had the month long chin up challenge. I build up to eleven, and I felt really strong about it until I suffered tendonitis, but that’s another story.

So who else is doing Nano and what challenges do you find ahead? What will you do if the laptop fails or there is a power outage for days? Let us share our triumphs and cheer each other on to the finish. How will you balance your home life, your day job and will you remember to pay the cell phone bill? I will be limiting my online reading, less blogging, but I will chat about progress and check on you by twitter.

@ cgbarbeau is my handle

Caroline Gerardo © copyright 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

James Caterino's review

Sep 22, 11

bookshelves: fiction

Read from September 19 to 22, 2011

The author of Toxic Assets understands the most vital rule of writing in any format or genre. Start your story off with a bang! This novel opens up mid-action with a riveting scene that transports the reader directly into the story.

Toxic Assets is a story about high finance and banking. It is about greed and murder. It is about the slick and shady characters who operate in the world of white collar crime...and scheme to get away with it. It is Wall Street meets Newport Beach. It is Too Big to Fail meets the dark side of Dynasty channeled through the literary voice of dramatic modern angst. It is the story of a woman who has the courage to navigate and compete in this high stakes universe of paper profits and smoke and mirror shanangans.

All of the supporting characters are well defined but the standout is the egomaniacal and manipulative Blake. He is the Gordon Gekko of the mortgage business. Instead of Gekko's catch phrase "greed is good", Blake prefers the equally as sinister mantra of "net worth equals human worth". This is a brilliantly drawn character, and a frighteningly realistic one, as our all of the profit obsessed banking executives in this novel. Trust me, these people do exist and have more power than you can possibly imagine.

What I loved most about this book is the insiders perspective on the how the real estate 2008 bubble was created. Of course this is fiction and the dramatic story always takes center stage. But the details on how these morgage securities were packed together, mislabled, and greedily hyped are very accurate. If you want to know why the economy is still stuggling and why it will never be the same again, this is a book you want to read.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I worked in a related industry to the world presented in this book. Although that does make everything in the novel more accessible, it also means everything has to ring true for the book to work for me. I can tell you that the depictions of both the industry and the characters who populate this world are spot on. This feels like it written by someone who knows the business and has fought more than a few battles amid the scheming thuggery that is the world of corporate high finance.

There is this wonderful paragraph that opens Chapter 4 about "Office life has its own set of rules...". The author's ability to capture the atmosphere of the workplace really helps bring the character of Catherine and her journey to vividly to life. Another thing that works in this book is the style and tone. Toxic Assets takes a moderistic, present tense, almost Chuck Palahniuk like approach to the story telling. It is a perfect fit for both the material, and the fierce lead character. The staccota like prose and descriptions of Newport Beach reminded me of Palahniuk's Invisible Monsters, one of my favorite books. The author also does a great job building up the dramatic suspense during a "Presidents Circle" corporate sales retreat at an island resort as this financial thriller races into the final act where the novel takes on an epic scope.

It does not matter if you never have watched a lick of CNBC and don't know CDO's from CD-R's, or preferred stock from livestock. Toxic Assets is a stylish, thrilling story and a relevant, page turning read.

Review Toxic Assets

Saturday, October 22, 2011


this second one is my favorite now

this one looks like 1972 the story time frame but...

Please vote on the best cover ideas for me PLEASE

Friday, October 21, 2011

Barbed Wire Song

Hold on Tight
Tender fingers of maple syrup drip.
The sky is Piute song of aspen leaves.
Grab them in your memories.
Hold on tight.
The voices of our ancient children
bound in earth by barbed wire.
Hold on tight.
Chicory for coffee can't comfort
when the shroud of morning
after months of dry rain rings.
Close your eyes and make a picture.
Hold with all your might.

Caroline Gerardo Copyright © 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

You Can Do Anything

Photograph of my son Carson flying a plane.

October 2011 Carson is fifteen years old

You can do anything.

You can make anything.

Give children the gift of dreaming.

Boost their creative ideas.

Encourage making mistakes within boundaries.

Show them the value of daily hard work without preaching.

You can do anything.

Copyright Caroline Gerardo

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sparrow Sings for Michael Jackson

House Bird for Michael
All the jumbled stories about his life aside,
 remember this sleep never ends

The story, the Doctor,
made me think of you, not a bad song.

It is a nasal sparrow tsip whispering in the brush.

A ghost lives in the canyon.

I tried to capture his song
but like Michael it
is threading a recording
through a telescope.

You might not care about
the sparrows facing extinction,
but it makes us sorrowful as
mist creeping over a protective glass.

It is coming soon.

I protect the nest.

It is only a house sparrow you think.

We miss the songs

I Want You Back,
 Never Can Say Goodbye,
And I’ll be There

A sparrow can understand

Twit twack calls,

Or a human if they care
Caroline Gerardo Copyright 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ocean Inspiration Poem

Ocean Inspiration Poem


I know you my sons.

You can be anything.

You are able to fix everything but death.

All you need is a roadmap and hands.

Your fingers are strong, toss the Rubbermaid lid opener,

feel the struggle with my lungs when the waves overcome,

turn on the gas when you are tired,  find the kick,

Only mac n cheese the electricity is shut off.

You require a plan.

Two feet walk across the ocean.

Follow the sunset west, or the pelicans if you must.

"Get up," I say "Don’t die on me Mom."

"God I hate a quitter."

You can be anything.

copyright ©10/10/2011 Caroline Gerardo


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Mourning Wing Sounds Poem

It is Thanksgiving in Canada,
there is an opposite season in the world.

October sunflowers return on the hillside in random rows.

Seedlings from my colossal variegated propped up blooms.

A cherry tomato gone wild is more elegant than Monsanto’s.

I was honest last Thanksgiving,
but he holds his own version story.

How long will the healing process take?

How should I know?

My life has an egg timer, there are three mouths to feed.

After years of caring, the heart does not want
 to let loose the guide rope so easy.

A hot air balloon unattached to the basket
mid-air mid-life wanting to stay connected.
Missing the sound of the girlies wings.

Pruning of my hybrid teas does not change
ramblings of climbers & stray hummingbirds.
I am happy in my soul.

I stopped filling the feeders,
 I gave up the trail with old haunts,
until my fingers bleed at the cuticles,
but still that sprout gets into my dreams.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CM Punk Poem



WWE stands for:

Warrior who wakes every day.

Get back up lift the weight of the world

Give the jumping hammerlock not paper flower excuses

folded over in accordion tissue by some pink couture
taffy singing a siren song.

Get back up, lift the weight of the world.

Sisyphus unafraid of the locker room’s smell,

dripping with joint pain he doesn’t take crap pills,

runs his hill straightedge full speed.

Face crowds who cheer for blood.

Easy when the money rolls in

 the body springboards off a clothesline.

Sail off the platform into burning stars,

a brown spider web, a foxhole,
a day in and day night grind.

Jump back the world needs a hero.

Caroline Gerardo Author: CM Punk Poem

Caroline Gerardo Author: CM Punk Poem: CM PUNK SXE WWE stands for: Warrior who wakes every day. Get back up lift the weight of the world Give the jumping hammerlock not pape...

Caroline Gerardo Author: Thanksgiving Mourning Wing Sounds Poem

Caroline Gerardo Author: Thanksgiving Mourning Wing Sounds Poem: It is Thanksgiving in Canada, there is an opposite season in the world. October sunflowers return on the hillside in random rows. Seedl...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Owl Morning Wish

Baby Owl Who Fell From Nest Rescued
Caroline Gerardo

 Black fog night,

Snug morning.

Our screech owl returns every end of September.

Walk barefoot pick up the teepee toilet paper,

he laughs with me,
about the muddy rye grass
between my toes.

Dinner at Mayur,
was that last night
or just yesterday?

I didn’t speak this time about locations
and smells that remind me of you.

Things bring me center into a happy past are ephemeral.

They return like the Scops Otus habit of sitting on my gazebo.

I wish I could put him in a cage and stroke his wings gently.

The tiny ring box you gave me with metal feet.

I’de open the lid when I need courage and hear the call.

Do owls eat turmeric at sunrise?

Dandelion Wishes

Note: Owl in photograph is baby found lost from his mother who was killed. With a broken wing and weak spirit my daughter brought him to a specialized vet who was able to repair the wing and rehydrate him. He needed special care every three hours. My daughter got up and fed him as a dutiful mommy. He was released months later and returns every Fall. He is not domesticated, he hunts and really does sit on the gazebo looking for mice and bunnies.
please check here for owl calls:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thorny Terrorist Poem

Thorn Terrorist Poem
© copyright 2011
Caroline Gerardo

School project essay on 9-11:

My new father,

asks trust to move 3000 miles.

assures us of confidence,

and melts waxy covers.

My own father’s failings

are Grand Tetons of brutal betrayal in icy falls.

The last year trick or treat -

seventh grade, awkward in my cavernous skin.

Homemade costume Where the Wild Things.

My tail is real mink.

I rush mom for dinner, pillowcase and party.

She smiles.

Man impatient with her as well.

Only wanting my happiness mom let you fend,

-ten minutes, be right back, –your cruelty about her driving,

jealous your mom never carved pumpkins ghosts with thorns for hair.

You bark prickly again at her, she hits your BMW in the driveway,

no insurance, she writes a check for $9800,
money she didn’t have, 
50 year old cocktail waitress.

More bad advice from a terrorist.

The kitchen table with filament from above, glows on your words,

“family fidelity and your commitment to lead us,"– into hell.

Baby brother, no half’s, has your spacing in his shitty green eyes.

Will he go live in a bedouin tent and betray us?

Mom says not to talk to ourselves about past worries.

“Release superficial complaints speak to your heart held in gentle hands.”

I talk to myself in spiritual endeavor,

won't do any good to kill the man terrorist tonight.

copyright © Caroline Gerardo September 11 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

#guardianbookswap Go Global Books

The Guardian Guardian Books and the Observer have a promotion to increase literacy and have fun sharing books. The idea is modeled after Book Crossing and some other promotions. The concept is for readers to leave a book with their printed label informing the finder what- where when and why The next five weekends let's join together.

Add your photo and they will Geotag the location of the book.

Here is the link to download the label:

The label goes inside your softly used book

I am thinking that my author friends in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand... will join in the fun.

Guardian Books, The Guardian and The Observer have a marketing promotion to support the newspapers/ literacy. The promotion runs every Saturday for the next five weeks. Readers can join in and “play the game” by finding books and tweeting about it. Readers can leave their favorite book and tweet about it. Authors can leave their books or swap with others to gain visibility.

What is the benefit for authors?

Visibility marketing promotion community maybe press

How to join in:

1. Decide what book you are going to leave, if it is only an ebook you need to leave something that indicates how to download the book as in lending the book I am going to leave ten books, two each weekend. I am including a signed Charles Bukowski, a signed Chuck Palahniuk, and others I will announce/ tweet. The value of each of those two books above? $ 100- $ 200 both are first edition, both have a note to myself.

2. Download the label and print to place inside the front cover of your book

3. Tweet the hastag: #guardianookswap Author Name or a twitter handle the Title and the location of the book. You may also link a photograph

4. Example: #guardianbookswap Caroline Gerardo or @cgbarbeau, Toxic Assets, at Bank Of America Lobby Laguna Beach 9/24

5. I suggest you also tweet something about the public location (+gathering an outside reference that may join in the community)

6. Geomap Readers will treasure hunt your book hunt
don't forget to tweet the name of the author and book title

Make certain you add your own personal author information – website, twitter handle and a bookmark if you have one inside. Support fellow authors whose books you own and have enjoyed.

Add the hashtag #guardianbookswap your favorite author ( can be yourself ) the location of the book and a picture on twitter. Easy to join I will be tweeting about this, come play @cgbarbeau
If you want YOUR book included put a bitly link ( or any 301 direct link) to your book in my comments and we will start a "chain letter" your job will be to tweet the link above you with #guardianbooks and the location. If your book is only available as ebook then we will leave a  USB memory stick with a note and the label?

Rupert Murdoch when you read this please also comment so we may include you!

C. G.