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...