Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Flannery O'Connor's House

photograph copyright Caroline Gerardo 2011

I took thirty photographs at Flannery O'Connor's childhood home in Savannah. They have completed a lovely restoration.  The house is worthwhile view into her writing. It gives a peek into her as a feisty child.
Flannery's themes of grace, sin, and violence are part of her southern Catholic upbringing.  I can relate to her southern woman Gothic writing.

“Mrs. Turpin occupied herself at night naming the classes of people. On the bottom of the heap were most colored people, not the kind she would have been if she had been one, but most of them; then next to them—not above, just away from were the white trash…but the complexity would begin to bear in on her, for some of the people with a lot of money were common and ought to be below she and Claud and some of the people who had good blood had lost their money and had to rent …Usually by the time she had fallen asleep all the classes of people were moiling and roiling around in her head, and she would dream they were all crammed together in a boxcar being ridden off to be put in a gas oven.”

Excerpt from "Revelation" by Author Flannery M. O'Connor
Great example of writing as someone might speak, but tough to pull off.
More on Flannery from The Black Cordelias

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Derrick Character, gentleman and a scholar

I'm back home the sunset was purple and yellow- go Lakers
I’ve been travelling for my book and will share stories of people I met.

He is huge. I don’t know all the Lakers anymore, but his physical presence is so graceful and powerful you can not mistake him as a Titan. I did not know who he is, but he was to kind to not laugh at me. I notice he is wearing the double hospital bracelets. The delivering room kind, where all three of you are tagged. The plastic wristbands are to identify the infant to avoid mix-ups and to avoid strangers in the facility.

“You had a baby?” I point at the blue and clear bands.

His face lights up slowly and builds the most amazing smile.

“Do you want to see her picture?” he answers.

“Oh yes. I still have those bracelets hanging on a jewelry rack.”

He opens his phone and shares images of an angelic dark haired infant in peachy soft pajamas.

“Do you have more?” He responds with sitting up straighter like a kid, excited. He bounces in his seat. He scrolls through pictures of the gorgeous newborn, Mommy, and himself. He is a lucky man to lavish in the joy of being a new father.

In the plane trip he tells me he thought he might have written a book or been a photographer if basketball did not work out. Then he tells me his life story.

Root with me for the happy conclusion to an American Dream story.

Derrick grew up in New Jersey in a tough neighborhood. His mother and grandmother raised him. He says nothing negative about his father, but I understand. As a young boy he had to stand out in a crowd – what is he now six foot nine? He played football and baseball but did not settle on basketball as his real talent until middle school. He went to a private Catholic High School, we have much in common.

Then the draft rules change, the NBA requires high school boys to attend a college for a year, then draft from that arena. He changes High Schools senior year to a prep school that will get him more academically on track to enter a college. He goes to Louisville. He does not say a single negative thing about Pitino, I know the news about him in Federal Court, but we don’t go there. Derrick is still basking in the choice to be a Daddy.

Hard knocks, yes Derrick has marched through them and going to a smaller arena in Texas might have been for someone else the end of my story. Raise the flag, the rally call. Derrick congratulations. I was proud to sit next to a man of courage. Now with a little beauty to care for and provide for I think his passion on the court will be unstoppable.

After a weekend of no sleep he says,“I am not complaining, I was happy to stay awake all night with my new baby.”

This gentleman is a gem.

If anyone says a single negative word about Derrick Character this season, I will box your chin, all 111 pounds of me. Derrick if you read this, remember all you need is one sentence, ten words a day and in a year you will have double the amount you need for a novel.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Writing in an Airport

You can win: Tell me types of both cupcakes, where on earth they came from or your winning story about sick person on your outbound airplane to something important:
Free copy of my new book, autographed and a free link to anything you heart desires.
Things I learned about my first day on the writing tour in no special order:

• A guy on the plane near you is going to be coughing and orange as an overripe persimmon 103 temperature ( and smell just as astringent rotting).

• You will have the scratchy throat day two and cough from the guts of Auschwitz on the day you have to give your first speaking engagement.

• No worries they either like your first two sentences, or they tune you out. and move crumpling wrappers from Chic A Fil near the microphone.

• Don’t be too funny or a lump on the log. Turn on the a light up your spine and remember the joy of writing at home dreaming you are connecting with this abstract idea of 'writing audience'.

• Other writers suffer most the same delusions, worries and joys even if you don’t agree with their work – don’t add input because it seems no one wants to hear what Lucy Ricardo thinks,

(me being Lucille Ball)

Be smiling, be informative, have some extra free paper junk to give people – I have no idea why people want something free, because --- HAS MOST ANYTHING you ever were granted FREE seemed worthwhile? Well except: the love from your family,  & Santa and God who listen to my prayers 'sometimes'.  They say never give away a stray kitten for free, charge ten dollars then they (They who are they?) will value the pet?

“Never mind” as Rose Ann Roseanna Danna would say, “give them some crap.” God hold Gilda in your hands, for understanding that making us laugh gets us through the trials (- I can tell you about the tests). You: author, novelist, e-book writer, poet, story teller, publisher, or short story expert- What are you offering? The moment in our time and our lives that we believe has some record to share. They want more.

What I learned this weekend: Authors are too shy to ask a great artist that they already know to help them with their cover. We need to match up. for artist/photographer/ computer wizard/ salepersonship (not a typo).
 No, no wait… I just watched the Social Network at four in the morning when I could not sleep. Please produce my fifty million dollar idea given to you for FREE: link up with a great photographer. a college computer guru SEO and website prophet and maybe your Mom to be the lead of the marketing team.

O.K. tomorrow post that I have gone out there, and you are mad that I didn’t buy your book.

When /I am not hacking hurting with a fever I will post all the Flannery O'Conner posts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Sales! I haven't started the tour. I don't have a card. I am waiting for the bookmarks. I see money in both accounts. Could the email about a review be real?

I love writing.  It is solitary. Telling a story that tornadoes in my brain. I hope you will like my stories, the characters I fell for, and care about their struggles.

Meanwhile -I need to keep my pace with the current novel. Steady on my focus.

Things that get me off track: my knee hurts from running or the barometric pressure changes from the rain, need to find a dry wall contractor to fix that mess, and where are my car keys?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Gorilla ?

"We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and -- in spite of True Romance magazines -- we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely -- at least, not all the time -- but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness."

— Hunter S. Thompson (The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman 1955-67)

Valentine’s Day is screaming at me. Donny Hall I wonder what you look like twenty some years later after undergraduate college? The local florist The Flower Girl has a tent set up in the parking lot to be ready for the big Monday. I feel like they are peddling drugs this year. I am not bitter, just missing… I send Valentines cards and packages. It’s the gorilla in the corner singing a Sade song.
I wish it was Tuesday. I hiked four hours yesterday in the canyon. Wildflowers are starting. I will upload my happy picks after I get another 3000 words down on the book. Wishing all a happy your own day.

amazon linkP.S. Toxic Assets shows on Amazon as paperback and some ebookstores, more to follow after Valentines Day…

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thesaurus Project: QUIRKY

"Quirky Frogbird" photograph copyright 2011 Caroline Gerardo

Abnormal, aberrant, absurd, all over the place, any way the wind blows, balmy, bizarre, arbitrary, blowing hot and cold, careless, changeful, crazy, capricious, contrary, crotchety, daft,  effervescent, erratic, every which way, fanciful, far out, fickle, fitful, flaky, flighty, freakish, freaky, far out, hot and cold, irrational, idiosyncratic, in left field, gaga, helter-skelter, humor some, impulsive, inconstant, kooky, kinky, lubricious, mad, mercurial, moody, mutable, notional, nutty, odd, offbeat, outrĂ©, out of ordinary, oddball, off the wall, peculiar, preposterous, punchy, queer, strange, silly, screwy, screwball, strange, temperamental, ticklish, unorthodox, unconventional, unusual, unpredictable, unreasonable, unstable, up and down, vagarious, variable, volatile, wacko, wayward, whimsical, wild, yo-yo, zany