Who is your muse? Your mentor, confidant, teacher? Who do you look up to?
All questions we’ve been asked many times. Usually there is a simple answer like a celebrity or musician. I’ve had trouble identifying mine; but I’ve always been looking to the wrong stars. I see people go head over heels for their favorite singer or artist while I sit and wonder who mine is. I have always enjoyed Rihanna, but not all of her work. The same goes for Pink, Beyonce, MGMT, Foster the People, so on and so forth. Maybe I don’t have a favorite celebrity or artist. Could that be possible? Living in this world saturated with Entertainment news and socialites taking up the screens and leading the packs. It had never been a bummer to me, but the answer came while standing in the check-out aisle at Sprouts.
I solely walked into the store for three vegetables. After quickly gathering them I made my way to the front. Originally I began inspecting the organic chap-sticks and candies, but then my eyes fell on a black and white photo of Albert Einstein. His face intelligently looking at me with the background fading off into a deep black. There is always something mysterious about this man in every one of his pictures; seeing the TIME magazine stamp over the top set my hands in an inevitable motion for grabbing what I wanted. Though I only intended to purchase a cluster of garlic, a roma tomato, and small amount of basil; I instead bought the answer I couldn’t come up with when questioned. My muse, or favorite person, was far from mainstream media. They, as I quickly realized, are dead men.
Inspired by the stories they told the world, their legacies, and remaining alive to this day though inevitably buried six feet under. These men went about their business proving to themselves who they were, and in such, defining the impression they would make on the world.
Social media, let alone mainstream, focus on celebrities as gods. Everything about them is newsworthy. It’s no wonder people cling to these stories for inspiration, or simply something to talk about. Considering drama drives much of today’s social circles it isn’t such a crazy idea. However, there is something to be said about the men I admire. Their findings, work, and lives continue to have a direct effect on all those living today. I guess you could say my celebrities have drama of their own, like Steven Hawkings expanding on Einsteins findings, or Fitzgerald getting a remake of the Great Gatsby rather than a redo of Hemingway’s A Moveable feast. Tesla, I’m sure, is turning in his grave with all this “news” of electric cars being the future!
So my guys have their drama too. However it’s “nerdy” and requires more thought than speculating a dress on the red carpet. It might take watching Interstellar about twenty times before finally understanding the space-time continuum, and thus the great debate on what makes up our universe and the many theories trying to explain which has yet to be explained. As many continue to grovel at the feat of those celebrities who just so happen to be doing their job, at times, I will happily stand by the boys who have given me hope and inspiration through everything. Even when the hardest of problems were before me, I knew there was a way through it. Whether it be one true sentence, or one “simple” equation that would finally come after years of brooding over the obstacle. It is in this realization which sparked a fuse within me, encouraging my path forward. They are, after all, just a few of the people I look up to and respect. Thank you Gentlemen for being my muses.
And thank you for reading just another one of my rants!
Caleb A. Mertz
Life is one amazing journey. Through the troubles, surprises, and successes we learn more about ourselves than any time prior to the now. So why, through these amazing experiences, is one still capable of letting all the success and pleasant surprises go, only to stand once again amongst a fist full of troubles? To be in the center of letting yourself go…in a bad way.
We have our goals and dreams in life that we pursue. All with flickers of hope that spawn creativity and inspiration. Though while through such we experience moments of despair and willingness to give up hope, once drove us to limits we’d never experienced. I write this post because I have a friend, remaining anonymous, who is an aspiring actor. He spent decent money to get himself in shape, amazing head-shots, and willingly gave time to local theater and independent film projects attempting to make his name. Day and night he worked, sometimes until five in the morning when he’d call to ask me if a certain sentence made sense or to simply feel out my emotional response to a reading. Most were amazing, others needed only slight improvement, but he continued to work. He followed his dream with a determination that I envied myself. His dream also brought him to the west coast, Los Angeles in particular.
I met up with him today, though he seemed busy. He just got off work and wished to do some manscaping before his boyfriend got home for the night. Always handsome, and always a good friend, I still blushed as he stripped to nothing to begin the process of trimming his chest and pubes. But as he did so, I noticed a great change in him. He no longer had a six-pack, which he bragged about constantly in the past. His hair wasn’t done, and his room in his apartment, which is in a great location by the way, was in near shambles. I turned away from him as the sight of an ass appeared and began looking around his apartment. There at his desk were old playbills, framed, on the wall, action shots of him on stage, and a notebook nearly opened with the amount of bills and unopened envelopes stuffed inside. Scattered around his desk were nearly fifteen 24oz. cans of Coors Lite and plates littered with Pizza Hut to-go packets of cheese and crushed pepper.
I began identifying a man that turned into a different version of himself. A man who became so obsessed with his boyfriend’s life he forgot what he was doing, and where he was going. I eventually touched on it with him after he showered and dressed a bit. He informed me that though his boyfriend made great money, his own bills were going untouched as the server position he held barely covered his half of the rent.
“I spend my days as a housewife then go into work around five,” he told me.
“Well,” I said looking specifically at the beer cans and the dirty plates, “not a very good one.” We laughed before he offered me a glass of beer which I happily accepted. It was a good time getting to meet up with him, reminiscing and finding out more of what’s happening in each others lives; both fallen in love, both happier than ever, and the part I didn’t tell him, both letting go of ourselves.
I found it true, and this incident proves none the other, that often advice to others is intended for the giver’s ear. Maybe we’ve seen ourselves in a similar situation, or currently are, but some tidbit of said suggestions can apply to one’s own life. I drove home from my visit with three hours to think about what happened to him and look at myself as well. I knew I always had a love for long drives, alone. It provides just enough distraction so as not to go off on a ridiculous tangent, but also enough quiet to provide the mind with an atmosphere conducive to self-reflection.
Change for the better takes longer than changes for the worse, it’s designed that way. Everyday conscious action reinforced with positive change results in a habit or thought pattern that will stand firm even when beginning to drift. Each day is a new day, each minute a new minute, taking advantage of this will yield greater results within ourselves. Finding a buddy to help along this journey is a great route as well, even if it is a blog or video blog.
Goals, determination, and clear understanding of our dreams will pull us from the times we begin to slide, if only we remind ourselves of them, then take action to achieve them. Letting go happens but it’s up to us to not let it happen and change the patterns that sneak their way into our lives affecting them as such. Remember you are you, people love you for it, you should love you for it too.
Beginning a story can be a difficult process at times, other times the words flow so freely from the mind to the paper, though not always making sense, but who cares? We have editing! A fun and creative process that I’ve always used has been; people watching.
Take a second and watch that woman cross the street in front of you. She’s dressed in business clothes, a pile of files and presentation folders in her hands. She’s also in front of the courthouse. Is she preparing the defense of a man being charged with fraudulent business activity? Is she an intern rushing as quick as she can to the family courthouse with the fate of a foster child in her hands? Is she making her way to a back alley modeling agency with her extensive portfolio clutched close to her hopeful chest?
That literally just happened, by the way. So where was she really going? What was she really doing? I won’t know unless I got out of the car and asked her.
Another, two men begin putting construction materials into their truck bed. The business name on the back of the truck looks like they do professional carpeting. Okay, cool. So what if the one man that isn’t saying anything just installed a carpet in the house realizing blood stains, which had been cleaned, but was massive enough that his mind is still pondering the possibilities. The man that opened the door and requested the carpets to be replaced seemed nice. He was about 55 years old, though he was nice, he was very vocal with his instructions and watched with a careful eye. Now this man is torn inside unsure if he should make a deal of something only his, and surely the older man’s, eyes saw.
Or is he thinking of the beautiful lady that sat at her kitchen table the entire duration of the install. Unable to take his eyes off her, he dreamed of the troubles her gentle face displayed. The way she sipped her coffee and looked absent-mindly at the paper hinted at a man that didn’t appreciate her, or a life lead unlike she ever dreamed. I could give her the life she wants, he thinks. Now he’s still thinking of what he could do to get her attention. When she paid there was a pain in her eyes he knew he could fix.
While, this post may not be the most motivational as it was another rant, take time to notice all the characters around you. There’s a story behind every person, tap into it, let your imagination run free!
Thank you for reading!
Caleb A. Mertz
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.
Caleb A. Mertz
You may wonder where in the world Carmen San Diego is, or search through a picture to find Waldo, but there is no reason you should have to search high and low to find me, Mr. Caleb A. Mertz. (Hey! I like the way that sounds, Mister Caleb A. Mertz!!!) I do certainly apologize for my lack of attentiveness on my blog here as you’re days grind by with the regular push of the sun continuously working to ensure time continues as anything else.
I do want to fill you in on what’s been going on with this blog lately. There are three things, mostly. http://www.calebmertz.com http://www.ulitmagazine.com and http://www.acquepr.com ! I now own three different domains on the internet and am currently trying to fill their pages with useful knowledge of the little things I know just a bit about.
I certainly hope I know who I am. I have been playing with a few different templates for this site, but currently the original is the best. Some updates are on the main page, plus I added my BRAND NEW REVIEW on bookpleasures.com!
This magazine was something I thought up of while pondering the wondrous world of self-employment. Each day, as I research further and further into the publishing and marketing worlds I learn more useful information that I could relay to readers and authors that would allow some success. The name is derived from “the Underground Literary Magazine“. I wanted to share the world of underground literary publications with the world, thus I have begun the developing stages of this magazine and website. I hope to eventually get this guy into print, but I’m starting with an on-line version first.
Acque, Italian for water, is my first venture into a true business. Drawing up a business plan has proven to be invaluable as I continue to develop better products and services based on the market research that goes into just the plan alone! “Be the Celebrity you are” is our phrase encouraging those self published authors to take a look at the services we provide. The great thing about this business is that I was the first client. The man who is initiating it’s existence went through all of the dilemma’s and tracking necessary to encourage strong growth. All of these except for calebmertz.com are still in the process of investigation and trial.
With all of that, though, I hope you can understand why I have been vacant on this account. However, my agent, Greg, at Acque Marketing has encouraged I continue to punch in my blog, and update my facebook and twitter.
Ultimately, these ideas are just the beginning of what I hope to be a total revitalization of my self. And hey, if they were not to succeed, I have that much more experience under my belt. Maybe then I will have the wit and the wisdom to see the things that I hadn’t initially planned for. I will come out strong with book sales, and hopefully a strong presence in the literary world!
Thank you for reading!
Caleb A. Mertz
Tags: acque marketing, author, book, book marketing, book signing, Caleb A. Mertz, gay, GLBT books, GLBT literature, literary magazine, magazine, marketing, non-traditional publishing, self-published, Self-published magazine, u lit magazine, underground author, underground lit, underground literature, underground reader
Days come and days go as we work out our daily lives at the professional establishments we call “work”. Being a restaurant manager some may say that it is a bit easier for me to be able to talk to people and get to know them on a closer and more personal level. I can attest to this, but only as long as the restaurant isn’t crashing and burning before your very eyes. In the process of table touching (talking to each table to ensure that the food is great, and the service fast, efficient, and friendly) it is very easy to get wrapped up in conversation with the guests about food, their favorite chef, the weather, or sometimes your book!
It all started out when I saw these three ladies come into one of my previous restaurants. I was working as a server and I waited on the table. I made mention to all of my co-workers that Bam Margera’s mom was at my table. Though it wasn’t actually her people found it funny at how much she really looked like Bam’s mom. Two of the three ladies had since returned to my newest restaurant where I manage. We began talking about their favorite server and soon got onto a poster for my book signing. Then the ladies let me know that they work for the Bethlehem Library, are presidents of boards, and entrepreneurs themselves.
I paused for a moment at the disbelief. I had been talking to these ladies for the longest of time. They had been frequenting my restaurants and now all of the sudden I come to find out that they could hold a key to the furtherance of my writing career.
“dress the part”
The ladies are always working on new things and have the utmost anticipation for the best from all that they support. It comes down to never giving up an opportunity to make a new connection whether at work or walking down the street. If you are trying to become a public figure, act and dress like one. There are many sayings that refer back to this such as “dress for the job you want”, “dress the part”, and my personal favorite (sprouting from a break up) “fake it, till you make it”.
All authors and writers have their own distinct methods. Some go to cafe’s and write out their little stories in hopes that they will be the next success story like J.K. Rowling. While others write whenever they can and whatever they can. I don’t currently have an agent or public relations manager so I have to go out and do everything for myself. All of the marketing, the talking, the phone calls, the ads, and even the website up keep is all up to me. I realize, from talking with other local authors, that this is actually a common practice and very few people ever really see that agent that works just as hard for them as the author did coming up with the story or article. These are, however, the sorts of things that give us all our own additional goals.
These ladies just so happened to pop up, but I wonder. What if we all asked everyone we ran into about their reading? How far could we get if absolutely everyone we knew realized that we were writers?
Please take time to write a comment or post a similar story, be sure to tell how you felt as of this revelation.
To my fans,
I am sitting here this late evening after work wondering about what it is I would like to do in the future. Well actually I am just day dreaming about what I would like to do as some of the guests in the restaurant I manage were quite difficult tonight. Ridiculous complaints was all I really heard, but what makes them so bad is the people get vicious. You would almost think that I was insulting their children or something horrible like that.
The truth be told I do love the restaurant industry and intend on staying in it. I was, however, looking over freelance writing perspectives over the past few weeks and have noticed that there are many people asking bloggers to write for cash! I have never blogged before, but I figured I might as well give it a try if people are willing to pay for blogs to be written. Here I am a little past midnight writing it up.
As it turns out freelance writing can be an adventure and beneficial fiscally as well. The only situation that I have had a problem with in the past, and probably still have is GRAMMAR . There is always, however, a remedy. I am currently using the aid of my friends over at about.com to help me get better at identifying grammar mistakes and problems. I love incomplete sentences and I love missing lots of my punctuation. I still double space after a period, (is that wrong?)
No matter what, I am still going to be taking strides at getting better with my writing skills. I believe that a story written correctly and in a manner that people can relate and understand will be a best seller. My current work can not have minor grammar mistakes so I am sure I will cheat and hire an editor. I just thought it was a fun fact to inform everyone of, knowing that you can get paid for writing your thoughts in blog form.
Thank you for your time,
Caleb A. Mertz