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.