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.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time Machine, #IIChallenge - Northern Ireland

Ballyholme Short Story, Time Machine Caroline Gerardo

The do-over spirit arrives in Natalie’s room under a waxing gibbous moon.

“I’m sending you back to a moment in time where you may correct any error,” the ghost says.

Natalie is unable to move her limbs, terror climbs from her toes to her chest, but the pain does not waken her. She cannot roll over and pull the covers over her head.

“Go away, I’m not buying any magazines, ghost.”

The apparition is not lovely, her knotty pine hands touch the smile lines on Natalie’s cheek.

“I’m taking you back to points in your life,  twice you may change the tide of events, a time machine-”

“What do you think this is, a Christmas Carol?” Natalie says.

“No, trust me,” the phantom says.

“I’ve heard that line before, it never leads to good fortune-”

“It is 1980 and you are in Ballyholme, Ashley Gardens. Open your eyes Natalie back in time.”

“Oh, I know the stone façade of the flat- if I could shake myself awake, or put my feet on the floor,” Natalie says.

“Natalie you were in love, Robby does not know you were MI5.”


Back in the apartment, a slouching bed rests in the guest bedroom, like a rock swallowed by the sea. Fireplace ashes need clearing, the penetrating smell of soot consumes the confines. In the kitchen, a fit woman cranks the gas meter with twenty-five pence coins. This pays for the stove and hot water. She opens the window to allow the smell of salt air fill her heart. Robby is in the living room with his guitar. His brother Shaun and Michael Connelly (a rough and tumble punk with piercings and tattoos on his upper body) are speaking with sullen tones. Robby is six foot and lean, not as robust as his brother Shaun, the three of them make up the band Moondogs.

“He was such a fool to listen to his older brother, they should have stuck to punk music not politics, damn god and Ulster.”

“So - change what happened-” the spirit says.

They sent me there with instructions to infiltrate the Blacknecks. I was doing my job as military intelligence,” Natalie answers.

“Didn’t they tell you not to fall in love?”

“Yeah, but they also knew I was incapable of not caring, that and my abilities made me great.”

“Seems like you should’ve known with your code name-” the spirit stops.

“Cumaean,” Natalie sighs remembering the taste of chili-mac dinner that stormy night. “We were poor and the boys thought it exotic compared to potatoes.”

“You have the chance to run, to back away, change what happened-” the spirit offers Natalie an out.

“No. I locked away my abilities with my past. I still analyze; but I never write down dreams. Going back doesn’t change who I am," Natalie says.

“This was your first kill?”

“They planned to bomb Belfast Central Rail Station. The VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device) was already in the trunk. I slashed the tires to stop them, figuring they couldn’t substitute another car in time. I called the car location in. Then they borrowed a van, I had to stop them.”

“Don’t shoot three boys, change the altercation-” the spirit taunts.

“I wouldn’t change a thing.”


“Yes, I lost a love for Queen and Country, but I saved many others. Take me away from the smell of the ocean it makes me regret and feel shame,.” Natalie says.

“Then I direct you Natalie to a time you recall well, it is recent history. Again choose to change the course of events, perhaps better your life.”

Natalie says, “I don’t want to play this game. I have regrets but I’ve made my road.”

“About a year ago, you were betrayed by your fiancé, and made a choice that perhaps was unwise.”

“I don’t regret the geriatric pregnancy. I'm not taking anything back,” Natalie says.

“The Doctors warned you, elevated blood pressure might kill you or cause a stroke.”

“One life is not better or more worthy than my life.”

“Your other children what will they do as orphans? Will Catholic guilt help?”

“I believe in love, and giving unconditional love,” Natalie says.

“But-” the spirit plays devil's advocate.

“No there is no but, point out all the people who have hurt me, those who lied, cheated me and my children. It doesn’t matter, I choose to love, to forgive, every day of my life.”

The ghost grows more white and translucent. Her voice is higher in tone as a child’s, “Natalie you have chosen to stay on this earth.”


The doctor removes the disposable gel foam pads and applies gummy candy to the paddle, “hit her again, the foam on the pads are not making a good connection.”

The Defibrillation depolarizes a critical mass of Natalie's heart muscle. The sound of the force punches the delivery room. Her body bounces, the arrhythmia stops, and normal sinus rhythm returns oxygen to Natalie’s cells.

“Welcome back little mother.”

This was written for the Indie Ink Writing Challenge 9/11/2011 based on
Disease prompt to happen upon a time machine and go back and change something. I thought about the prompt last night, and given the opportunity, there is little I would change, except to grant myself more time.

copyright Caroline Gerardo

Character of Natalie I am developing to start another novel- in early stages noodling - getting to know her.
I would appreciate input about: female character who was a spy now middle aged. Can you like her or is she cold? This female protagonist may have flash backs to this past later in the story.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

SEO Poets

open the safety SEO poetry
Scapegoat Review published my flash fiction piece:
 The Fall issue is out today.

poem online here
If you are one of the writers and poets included in this issue, I invite you to chat on twitter. I found two perhaps of the fellow creatives but a number are not using twitter. I hope you join me in a spirit of fun and experimentation. I see Jillian Mukavetz @blackglassmoon and Gregory Crosby @monostich and I am not certain Kiely Sweatt is @poetrybrotheles

Twitter is a medium that can be flash fiction at its finest. Tweet your best shorts. We will find something new. I am using the hashtag: #poetlines – ( credit to Al Boudreau ) this will help us find each other and invite others to join. Post your links to Scapegoat Review or other sites where your work or writing that you find is great.

caroline gerard
Poem Rose Caroline Gerardo
My name on the header is spelled Caroline Gerard, and those who know me realize my maiden name is Caroline Gerardo. I suffer from name confusion. I use my initials when spoken to ( C. G.) since I was a child. I was married to Barbeau and used the Barbeau name as C. G. Barbeau for eighteen or more years. I also have been misnamed Carolyn and Caroline Gerard. I used Gerard to sound less ethnic- a blonde girl with an ethnic name, I am no longer afraid. @cgbarbeau
I'm calling this post Poets Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) because it was so difficult to find the fifteen plus poets in this issue. Should poets make a million dollars on Twitter too?
Copyright © Caroline Gerardo 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Contract Law for Indie Authors

Ellis Island Boat Seems Right for Indie Authors Inventing New Modes in the New World
copyright © Caroline Gerardo 2011

Contract law for indie authors:

I believe in understanding how things operate from the ground up.
I am working on two book projects that involve writing contracts.  Allow me to chat about each issue in vague terms as the parties have not all come to the table and finished their after dinner drinks, or poison potions - whatever the result may end.

One project is for an interactive poetry book. The publisher wants me to sign two clauses that I have struggled with for more than a month. First they want me to assume any and all legal liability in the event if or when I am sued. Second they want to serve notice to certain person(s) who have borrowed, profited from, stolen, and sold my copyrighted and trademarked work product. In the first stage of this process I attempted to get "model release" forms from some twenty persons in my life whom I may or may not have written fiction,  yes fiction, protected by the First Amendment, or fictional pieces similar to events in my past.

I have in hand eighteen of the nineteen release forms signed and witnessed. This may or may not cover me should I decide when I am a movie starfish to write a memoir. (I'm not writing a memoir - that is a joke.) The one release I do not have in hand is from the most contentious, litigious, and steal some party.

I have little faith in our legal system. No offense intended to my sister and brother who both practice law. My experience with attorneys is more cordial than my memory of dentists.
I looked into bonding around the issue, but the cost is HUGE. Weighing my possible profits of a poetry hardbound against the dollar amount of annual insurance makes the deal impossible.

Secondarily they want me to  sign an agreement to continue to keep the softwear, technical process and mastermind company name silent.  This is fine with me, but I countered for the E and O insurance to be paid by the publisher. No answer back to date.

If I had an agent who comes across agreements every single day, I would be in a better position to make my best practices choice. What did the Cowardly Lion say, "I do believe in agents?"

 I have read a number of Lexis Nexis cases now regarding First Amendment and have a good idea that if I was filed upon I would 99.9% likely win - but - the big bug on the pickle- legal fees are a terrible cost to pay.

There is another legal publishing question I have to pose to any writers who come upon this post. What klout can indie authors hold over the massive new numbers of torrent sites, stolen books of your copyrighted work? I am now on my third letter campaign with a new ( likely the same company owners) as the last one I found. What success have you had in getting the torrent site to 1. take it down 2. pay you for the loss and the profit they made from advertising and farming all those innocent souls who signed up giving private information to well, yes under the radar types.

I have good recommendations on the following attorneys :
I am thinking of setting up a website : We will help you for FREE to stop the book pirates.

Elaine P. English

Michael A. Kahn

Alan J. Kaufman

F. Robert Stein

Daniel N. Steven

David B. Wolf

Blood Sky Storm -- poem

Strange storms coming.

Sky speaks hemoglobin.

She manipulates hearts.

Too fragile for a man,
 girl’s first menstrual period,

go pretend bravery captain sailor,

I hear the siren song.

I see the iris of your soul.

Storms of volcanoes, rust hurricanes
and sun spots erasing states and cities power.

Keep names in alphabetical order to quell fears.

I’m thinking of building a storm cellar,

or a bomb shelter – or a nuclear plant.

Would this keep evil fairies out?

What letter are we upon-

Irene has passed then Jose and Katia.

Soothsayer says use Jose and Katia as characters,

to keep fear at bay, but she is an unreliable
narrator poking shanks in my side.

I had one of my nightmares where I can’t speak,

I can’t seem to wake up and this tree trunk sits upon my chest.

Or was I up in my nest?

Please call 911, no one can hear me.

Photographs and poetry copyright © Caroline Gerardo 8/5/ 2011 Blood Sky Storm

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dark Past - Poem

Photograph copyright Caroline Gerardo "Jane Brucker Reading" 2011

Dark matter is 22 percent of universe,

and dark energy seventy three-

we survive black constant cruelty.
How do you speak Awijilah, Gaelic and Bengali?

Secrets in a ground wine cellar under the red gendge,

Berber, not the carpet from Home Depot you see.

The cells float this field from what ink did decree

Dropping etymological short vowels into open vineyards,

once corks came from Porto and foil was molten lead.

One more glass of Pinot will surely cloud my head.

My five foot tall frame deceives.

“Please get to the story C. G. -”

Dark matter is 22 percent of universe,

and dark energy seventy three-

we survive black constant cruelty.

Life more fragile than paper bags of water on concrete-

Wear a lead cape to bounce bullets of betrayal descrete

He points anger weapons in a back pack Hello Kitty

loaded and irresponsibly firing at the heart.

My five foot tall frame deceives.

copyright © caroline gerardo 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Buy My Book

Steve Nedelton asks me this morning how have I sold so many books... here is my public answer.
 from: Caroline Gerardo
to: Steven Nedelton
subject: re: Friends

I never pay for ads, submissions, or permission.
Be yourself but be fearless - expect failure but be ready to get up and be better. I'm working on my craft as my number one goal. I write seven days a week - work full time and am sole provider for my family... all that aside I am going to give you some input here and please put your turtle shell on and ears open (I have a desert tortoise who is the dearest).

Focus on three silos at max- you need to budget your time for the number one (writing and family) above.

Pick three different internet tools and one live face to face one.

Buddy up with authors not necessarily same genre ( but you will find kindred make the most sense if they are smart and understand we are not competing with each other).
You need to blog- you need to pour your writing practice warmups in the blog or do reviews of what you adore. Wordpress is fancier I use Blogger just because I'm a loyal Google brander.  Don't bother with writing things that bore you or are negative - people don't want that in short posts. Naysay will drag your heart down.
You MUST change your photo on amazon -it is GREEN and you need a haircut and a relaxed look. The glasses are good you have a cute face but the picture is awful and readers (like everything in the world) judge a book - and the author by its cover. Be you. Its fine to be quirky, authors never dress fashionable.

Think branding - your writing, your presence, your posts, are your whole soul opened for ridicule. Be fearless, I repeat. Link up your silos but don't link all four - link two and two because readers will get bored with "buy my brand." I started using twitter 42 days ago, and just love the flash fiction aspect of writing without self editing, this may not be for you.

Go fill out Listorious with all the definitions and details. You can add- tags. What are your brand's five tags? USE them. Mine are: literary, poetry, fiction, contemporary, books. Yours I'm going to poke here are probably: thriller, spy, nerd, smart, books.

 I don't like Facebook but many authors just love it and sell books there, try it maybe you will be better there than I. I'm on Linkedin and dabble in some writers and filmmakers groups (I've produced before but not where I'm headed today). Linkedin has sold books for me to business people- most authors will tell you linkedin doesn't work for them. Goodreads doesn't sell books but is an easy place to display covers, find those buddies, and read other work to push yourself to grow. Amazon is where your links all need to point to. Amazon sells the largest percentage of paper and ebooks. Amazon slam dunk beats them all. Go look at the big boys Amazon pages Follet Baldessari Crais - they aren't even getting close to what indie authors have figured out: a slick book trailer does not sell your book- content does. The content is you - so be fearless, bleed content, the world is starved for new. God they are so tired of T.V. if you are true to your "brand" you will succeed.

Other methods: indie bookstores go to readings, go to your local library and leave fliers - try different things, figure out what works for you.

I haven't done blog tours- some swear by this and physical tours J A Konrath is a master at the dog and pony show from the back of his car and he blogs about it. He and Locke know how to package and market on a budget with great success.

Authors Den, Agent Query, Bookcountry, a million others find the ones that you like.

Russell Blake said to me yesterday, this is a long haul not a foot race 

Read. Be happy. Pay it forward. Be kind. Let the trolls and negatives roll off like a duck.

Start now.

buy steve's books here:

while you are at it buy Russell's
 better yet buy all my books....