Monthly Archives: July 2011

Contract’s almost up!

It has been something that I have recently thought about. I have spent hours modifying my books to be e-books on smashwords.com. While perusing my first book published “With Thoughts of Jason” I discovered that my contract with Publish America is almost up! I couldn’t be more excited! How messed up is that? This company went above their means and agreed to format my book, and offer it  for sale through multiple locations. They also told me that my book was “fairly” priced! HA! I try to find my book on their sight and it’s going for $25.00 while Hemmingway ( a TRUE artist) is selling for $10. Fair my behind!

With thoughts of Jason was one of those books that the writer gets truly excited about. The first book that has been picked up by a “publisher” that will publish my work. However, naive at the time, I didn’t realize that zero editing would go into it, and that the book would be sold as is. I did however believe that the book was ready to rock when I finally decided to say yes to this company. Now, through the times, I realize that this had been a bad move on my end. There is however, HOPE!

Through publishing with a media center I am able to take what my book was, apply everything that I have learned since then, and write a book that will be worth the time of the reader. One thing I always felt bad about (worst! the more I learned about writing) was people picking up this book. What an awful feeling. Why should I be embarrassed to sell a book that I wrote. Why should I feel strange about recommending a book for someone to read. I could have been more vigilant when deciding to publish, yet I was so struck with enthusiasm that I didn’t pay much mind to the actual flow of the story.

Now that the contract is coming to a close, I can re-write the entire book. I can add the necessary descriptions, play with the readers mind, and provoke further thought on every single object that is brought up through the character’s development. This is the big project that is sure to follow that of “The Unexpected” while I learn to hone my writing skills even further. By the time you read this, though, I am sure that the newest version will be available. So definitely check out the links, and pick up a copy for you, your kindle, nook, or other e-reader.

Thank you,

Caleb A. Mertz

Back that thang up!

So I recently wrote about my visit to Arlington Virginia. What a wonderful trip it was. I was free to roam, but checked in with the boyfriend for lunch and at the end of the meetings, but any other time I spent roaming. While here I decided to take time to review my book. Walking the streets of Washington D.C. I found a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration as I walked down the streets that were written in my book. I could see my characters on the street corner, mid parade. I could see the White house where President Andrew Rakford spent a great amount of his time. I also walked along the Potomac which would soon be filled with blood to spite those searching for water in the excruciating heat.

Sitting at Starbucks (my FINAL cafe stopping point) I put my mind to the key board. I reviewed the opening chapter and wrote words that would make my buddy (Austin) proud. I spent two hours on the opening paragraph alone, and wrote words that impressed my worst critic (myself). The sentences flowed into each other, each new thought tied in with the previous one. Words were written that brought the visualization into the simple structure of each sentence. I wowed myself!

I recently began reviewing a chapter that I had sent to Austin for his review. When I noticed that I continued to call one of the items a “stealthy” my eyebrows furrowed in question. I thought I fixed that? I wondered. I then opened up the copy of “The Unexpected” that I thought I had been working on and experienced that sensation where your heart sinks into your stomach. I DELETED the wrong copy of my book!

What was I thinking!? I was simply trying to organize my desktop, I made a change in a different version, and deleted based upon “last updated!” Now as I write this I am working on recovering that file that I deleted. All other attempts have produced a document that resembles an odd code of boxes, and a few Arabic symbols. I ran to Cory for assistance. He tried, but nothing really seemed like it was working.

In conclusion, it is within my belief that had I kept things a bit more organized, and reviewed the work that I was deleting (WHY WOULDN’T I!) I would not currently be in this situation. So with no further a’do; Always make sure that you back up the hard work that you do, so you don’t loose it like THIS dumb ass!

Happy writing (and deleting appropriate files)

Caleb A. Mertz

Getting to know someone

I was working. A young man, whom I have taken quite the liking to wasn’t doing much when I came into the kitchen. He stood back and leaned against the steam table to look at me. “What’s up lil man?” I asked.

“Nothing,” He responded. We stood in silence for just a moment. I observed what the chef was doing, while he organized the tickets that needed to be prepared by the cooks. I glanced at the cooks, each honing in on the particular dish they were beginning to assemble. I then noticed he was looking at me once more. “What do you do in your spare time?” He asked.

I pondered this question. What spare time? I asked myself. “Lot’s of stuff.” Was the general response I gave.

“Well, like what?” He asked. I looked at him. He was genuine in his question. He really wanted to know.

“I write.”     It was all I could say. “You know that.” There was so much more. Ultimately the view of a writer is that of someone sitting in front of their computer day in and day out. I wanted to explain more. The point I wanted to get across was,

I’m a writer. I live life to write. I try new things with every opportunity, so I can write about it. I hike, I bike, I play, I run all day. I eat, even bolete, I swim, I gym. I play the piano, I sing in soprano. I lay out, suspend doubt. I swing, I fling, I sing, and bing. I clean and lean, I read, I lead...”

The list continued. I wanted to say so much more. I had to say so much more. Why would I limit my life to something as miniscule as I write. Ultimately, in order for me to find new material, I have to live life to the fullest. I have to make the best out of every moment that I live to turn the experiences that I have had into something that is readable. I take the stories that I listen intently to, of other people. I put characters of mine in their shoes and begin a process. I begin a life that has yet to be taken. I create and manipulate emotions through written words. I woo a reader, and impress. That or I disappoint. Either way I, through my writing, have an impact on everyone that ever reads what I have written. To me, that is a world that cannot be fathomed by many. That is a world that, when written out sounds ridiculous to me, the one saying this ridiculousness.

Getting to know someone is fun! I have been taking time to get to know my little buddy, day by day. In these moments of innocent questioning, I love that I can find inspiration, and hope through it. Genuinely interested in his life, I found today a tidbit that has encouraged an interesting facet of my life. Something I may want to hold on to more dearly.

Therapy 2

Both Chad and Greg had a full day to think about the night prior. Chad had gone to work only moments before Greg left for work. All day at the office Chad had replayed the night prior. What was Greg getting at? There was no resolve. Instead the idea toiled at his mind. It flipped it, then slapped it, and asked, who’s your daddy! Work was short of miserable.

Getting home in a mood that was quite unlike any that he’d been in before Chad went quickly for more beer. Sitting on the deck he stared seriously into the moon. Trying to sway his mind away from the issue discussed previously he opened yet another beer.

Enter Greg.

“Can we get past this?” Greg sincerely asked. Chad considered him for a moment. Had he had the day Chad had? Or was this a ploy to get past what was his fault and move on without feeling any guilt, remorse, or emotion.

“We can,” Chad responded intelligently. On his fourth beer by the time Greg got home, the shattered beer bottles nearly spelled out disaster.

“Good. So how was your day?” Greg asked. His manner was that of somebody who had no clue what was going on. Someone that came in on the last part of a joke.

“Miserable.” Chad wanted to let it go. He yearned for this to be something of the past.

“Great!” Greg laughed. He took a swig of his own beer, then swayed his crossed legs momentarily. “So nothing ever changes with you.” He said passive aggressively.

“Nope.” Chad proclaimed,” At least you know I’m dependable.” He looked at Greg grudgingly. How dare he! Thought Chad.

“Yup, miserable as always.” Greg mulled.

“Only because of you.” Chad retorted quickly. It wasn’t the most responsible response. Nor was it really what he was thinking.

“Okay. With that I think I’m going inside.”

“No you’re not!” Chad voiced strongly.

“I think I’m going to sleep on the couch.”

“No you’re not!” Chad said again. This was how it always went. Chad would have feelings, and yet Greg wanted to treat them as if they were inconvenient. He wanted to show that he was strong. He wanted to show that no one had an impact on how he would live his life. “That will only make things worse.”

“I thought you said we could get past this.”

“I did!” Chad’s frustration was building. He had to talk his way through things. He couldn’t just let go of something. Scientific about his method, there always had to be a reason for everything.

“Sooo….”

“Oh my God, forget it Greg! You’ll never listen to me!”

“Okay, on that I’m going to bed. On the couch.”

“Fine! Do what you will. That’s how you want it anyway!”

“True.” Greg smiled. Although the love of his life was clearly upset, this was a point he had to make. At no point was there ever going to be somebody that told him what to do.

It will never end,  Thought Chad. Greg since, stood and went inside. The silence quickly surrounded Chad. It was suffocating. The cigarette he was smoking increased his heart rate, and constricted his chest. The beer he was drinking force thoughts of other options quickly. The blackness soared from the core of his mind into the every part of his being. He sleeps on the couch, he’s dead! thought Chad. The negativity pulsated through the beer he practically chugged. The nauseating feeling, only urged him to drink further. Now anger crept into each extremity, each crevice, and by far every pore. He could hear the couch jostling around. Only beer, alcohol, or other mind altering substance could help him now. Greg had Xanax that he could steal. Going against everything he had argued about in the past, he opened the pill container dumped a single pill out, and consumed it with as much alcohol as could be handled. He soon passed out, calm as could be, at peace.

How’s Your writing Going?

The stress of the slowness of the day was beginning to weigh on me. I stepped outside into the humid and disgusting night. The bugs flew violently around the light. I always wondered how they didn’t kill themselves when they continuously slam into the light bulb. A spider near the light scrambled frantically to capture every bug that came towards the light. I meandered on by. As long as the damn thing didn’t hang down and land on me, my face, or my person, I would be okay. The picnic table set up under the bridge was only occupied by a few employees. Each one, with cigarette in hand, either engaged in a loud conversation, or looking concernedly over the railroad tracks near by. I chose to walk over to the only young man sitting by himself. His name is Mike, he works as a bar porter. Upon the initial greets he was excited to ask, “how’s the writing going?”

It was only a moment long. It felt to have been forever. The thoughts that poured through my mind at the smallest question was dizzying. How HAS my writing been going? I began listing things in my mind. I began quantifying the little things that I have been accomplishing. Then again, the Agent’s interest that I had recently had extinguished, and my blog has sat vacant, yet again.

“Good…” I responded. Good? I asked myself. How does good measure up to where it should be? Where have my studies been? Why haven’t I logged onto webook.com or fanstory.com? What am I doing!!!!!!?

With this I pose the question to you. If you have followed my blog you are either a fan, or you might be writing something yourself. How are you doing with your writing? Is there something more you could be doing? Is there something more you SHOULD be doing? Think about it, and post your random thoughts. If you know me, you know I love random thougths…I have a whole section assigned to thoughts.

Talk to me people!

Caleb A. Mertz

Therapy 1

“I am just concerned that you don’t want to see the therapist any more.” Chad stated.

“It’s not something I want to do right now.” Greg responded. “I don’t want to do something I forced into in the first place.”

The anger in Chad began to rise. Slowly he could feel the chemicals firing in his mind. The beer helped to slow the process, but added the element of confusion when in such a profound situation.  Forced! Never forced. Encouraged! Where was this coming from?

“You were never forced.” Chad said.

Greg responded with a deep exhale and dropped his head to look at Chad. Both men were smoking a cigarette on the deck. A small flame from a tiki torch supplied the light that played trickily among their faces. The air, though cold, was far from the first thought the men thought of.

“Please,” Greg begged. “When’s the last time anything I did was good enough for you?” He placed his hand atop the glass that held the wine he swirled not moments earlier.

“You always do good for me.” Chad responded. He watched the intent of Greg carefully. There had to be a root to the problem. Only seconds earlier they were talking about the issues the landlord might have had with them.

“I haven’t heard anything good.”

“I always tell you.”

“You can’t use words like always, because you don’t always tell me I’m good.”

“Okay,” it was about the only word that Chad could get out. Always was a strong word. There have been a lot of things that have irritated him to the point of vocalizing the dissent. Many things in the past few weeks. But why this? Why would Greg stop going now?

“That’s it?” Greg maundered. The puff he took from the cigarette showed he already changed his mode. This was not going to be about his problems. He heard too much about “his problems“. The smack of his lips, followed with the plume of smoke revealed a side of him Chad knew to carefully walk around. “All of this, for ‘okay‘?” He plunged the cigarette into the ash tray.

Chad considered this side of Greg. It was the menacing side that harbored a small portion of his beloved Partner. It saddled itself comfortably into his psyche. When something was about to be his fault, this would come out.

“Look,” Chad began. Greg sat back taking another drawl of the cigarette. He smiled knowing nothing Chad had to say would be able to affect him now. “All I know is that you weren’t forced, and that…”

“ta!”

“…and that I didn’t know where to go with what you were telling me at the time, so I suggested help.” Chad looked sadly at him. Remembering the conversation that initiated the therapy came a night after witnessing a horrid outburst, followed with a vicious attack. Chad hadn’t suffered any bruises from that night. He was too quick to restrain Greg, however, wondering what would have happened if he didn’t restrain him. It made him think. It made him worry. Greg blamed the entire episode on Depression. Then revealed how the night prior he seriously considered running off the guardrail on the bridge and plummeting to his death. “I don’t do well with that kind of stuff.”

Greg looked concerned for only a moment. “Then you said help, or you leave.”

*****               **********                  **************              ***********************       ********************************

I did. I said it then, and now unfortunately, I may have to say it again. Not forced. Not ever forced. Encouraged.

 

Thank you for Reading

Caleb A. Mertz