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Playing Publisher, Agent, Publicist

The book is written. Many sleepless nights have gone into the masterpiece, many readers have given their feedback, and a release date has been set. Now the entirely agonizing part of the entire process, publication.

The fun (fun used almost sarcastically here) is doing hours of research to ensure I don’t miss a single integral process in the entire bout of publishing. Had I managed to have an agent most, if not all, of the process would be covered. I could sit back and wait for requests for verification on page proofs, story flow, accept editor’s feedback and only tweak the novel minutely upon the agents request. Currently I have submitted myself to a flow of multiple projects at one time in the light of one major project, my publication. There are many major points that I have to ensure to hit, all of which could make or break my books chances at success. I took the liberty at compiling a brief list of these chores which I will undoubtedly have to accomplish.

Get the Book Edited

One item that had gone through without major attention to detail with my past projects. Though I had a publisher to take care of these things, it was at best; sad. Realizing that not only is my grammar terrible, but punctuation fails almost to a fault. There would be no possible way for me to go through the entire contents of two-hundred fifty pages and catch all the most glaring mistakes let alone the little technicalities. With that I have researched many editors, some charging upwards of $1,000 for a 90,000 word novel! I was lucky to find one who would only charge a minimal fee! Now I just have to scrape the barrel to get even that for her.

Pre-Publication Reviews

A most vital and important step in the process of rolling out a book. This involves knowing this book is in it’s final stages and in near pristine condition before sending it off for Magazines, Newspapers, and Reviewers to determine my fate. If two or more magazines who published a review were not favorable, chances are the book would sink before it even had a chance. Believing in my work this is something I am more than willing to take on. But with that are more interesting things.

Typesetting

Any novice to publishing would easily look this over. They believe all they have to do is convert a word document into a pdf and voila! That assumption is terribly wrong and will undoubtedly turn a tale of amazing talent and artistry into a slushpile inhabitant. Simply opening a book to the first page or two will tell any publishing industry insider whether it had a professional do the work. No worries, most typesetting jobs will only set you back roughly $800 (or maybe $5 a page).

Advanced Reader Copies

These little buggers are a ton of fun! Almost all magazines and reviewers have different terms and submission requirements for these copies. Some say it must be a mock up with ARC written on the back cover with a fact page including word count, page count, ISBN, distribution centers, publisher information. While others ask it be an in-tact book autographed by the author (They usually assure you that the book won’t be sold as it’s against their policy), and that this is a courtesy to someone willing to take time out of their lives to review your work (Fair, I say). So for the ARC’s not only is it best to have the book in the best condition it can be in (I would hope a few edits have already been done, typesetting somewhat apparent, and cover design set), but it should be sent out to the reviewer 4-6 months prior to the month of publication.

So now the Pre-publication work is done (somewhat) as the publisher, now on to Publicist!

Find Shelf Space

This is the main hurdle, and many of the items listed following this all help to gain that much needed shelf space. The point being most books have a month AT BEST to sell. If not, they are returned. And don’t think a book store will stock your book without a book return policy in place. This is only the mom and pop stores! Trying to get into B&N and Borders is something similar to a battle between David and Goliath.

Research and set up Radio Interviews

Having a target market helps to get this part in play, but still nothing can quell the magnitude of listing the hundreds of talk radio shows out there for the contact. Best part, I’m pushing my own book! Nothing worse than saying “Hi! Have you heard of the amazing new book written by none other than me!!!!” Something is just off about it. I like to stick with emails, but I have a feeling if I had a good pitch letter drawn up I might be able to call some stations and cement time blocks rather than sending electronic mail into the abyss of the internet. Even when I do find a station, I have to find an angle relative to the listeners and style of show they have set up to ensure I not only sound informed, but also don’t kill the pitch of my book by sounding like a babbling idiot.

Press-Release

Another extremely important aspect of the process. Drawing up the words that will help to sell the book while informing of any upcoming events. As in, have my events planned out well in advance, and make sure I keep the facts straight for the press-release. Nothing worse than attempting to fix a spelling error in a press release once it’s already been sent to the printer! It’s also gotta pop, no sense in writing an awesome book if the Press-Release is gonna drool.

Research and Pitch Newspapers and Magazines

For post publication reviews or opportunities at an interview. The research alone is killer, add to it the drone work of writing a pitch letter to them why I would be so totally awesome for their interview is tricky. Anyone can toot their own horn, or you could pay someone to do it for you. Looks like this starving artist is gonna have to toot his own horn without making it seem that way.

So these are just some of the fun things I get to do wearing all the hats. Hopefully if it’s done right, this will be the last time I have to worry about all of this, and can just focus on my new novels, which I have about four new ones started already. I have to get busy with them, not all of this! But here’s to learning.

Thanks for reading!

Caleb A. Mertz

killing the pests, spawning new creative efforts, and the handsome barista

This is my first post using the app on my blackberry. Probably not the best idea ever, but I’ll never know if I never try. As it turns out the starbucks I sit outside of is currently outletless as some business men talk quietly in the corner, cords stretched across the door. A hindu family sits near the front door scolding their children softly that are trying to eat the fake display artisan food. The overly handsome barista just had an awkward conversation with me in my attempts not to appear socially awkward. I’m sure I sounded like a stalker.
“How is your day going?” He kindly asks over the frothing noise the espresso machine makes to pump out my quad caramel machiatto .
“Great…” I begin, as would be the usual response, but leave it to me to take it further. I mean he is handsome right? “Golly,” I might well have started with a glint in my eye, southern accent drawling, eyes shifting to the back door then the employee schedule. “What time do you usually have to come in?” I slightly lean forward, hunching my back, closing one eye and scrunching my face; furthering my cause.
He looks up at me, when I realize how much I adore his eyes. Really? Maybe I titled this post wrong. Maybe it should be: Caleb’s likliness to that of a creeper, or fantastical fascination with the frappuccino guy, either way there’s a story here. So his eyes are the kind that have an aura of their own, almost golden circles envelop the hazel eyes, and the darkness of the pupil that peers into my homosexuality (aka gaydar!) His hair, short, tidy, and black knows about me too. The stubble on his face gives him just enough scruff to holler ‘I’m a man!’ Though scant enough to show the young features that shape the face and lil dimple chin.
He fills me in on his in-time rather un-altered by the completely off the wall question. Well it wasn’t really. I am not usually up this early, today I am because the apartment complex where I currently, well, usually reside is being fumigated for bedbugs! Ick!
Needless to say, I go on to further humiliate myself with admitting to my usual laziness, “I don’t know how you can do it. I’m not usually up anything before ten!” I should have added a bunch of likes for a valley girl tone, then blinked my eyes a few hundred times in a matter of a few seconds.
“Ah, you get into a routine of it,” he says. No duh! Ugh! I’m so stupid. Though he smiles, I think it was a smile that revealed a scar on his right cheek; hmm…mystery and intrigue. Ugh! Love him already! Oh, yeah. What am I doing now? Sitting out front, where I know he can see me laughing to myself picturing what I must have sounded like.
So on with the real reason for this post: killing pests and spawning new creative efforts. My apartment is being fumigated for the next three days. Oh yeah! Bed bugs! How delicious! The exterminator asks,”have you noticed any rashes, bumps, or even blood on the sheets?” Ew! Blood on the sheets? What kind of bugs are these? Ravenous creatures waiting for the warmth of my body to hit the mattress to crawl out by the thousands out of every crevice in attempts to devour my flesh in one evening? A type of evolved scarab beetle? I imagine waking up in a pool of blood, covered by pumpkin seed looking little pricks with heads like ticks, and pincers like a spider’s…ew!
So with the news that I actually don’t have them but five of the other units do, I can sleep at night without the aid of alcohol or nyquil. They’re still tenting the place to kill the little suckers, after two failed heat treatment attempts. For three days I will be staying at a place in old town with nothing to do except work and read, and what’s that? Write? Wahoo! Oh wait, it’s a cheap hotel…without wireless! What! What hotel doesn’t have wireless! Oh wait, they do, however, I’m too far from the “G” router they have in the office! What a jip, McDonalds here I come; especially since I can’t seem to find a good outlet at the starbucks where the handsome, halo-eyed, cappuccino foam-maker works. Then again, I could drive twenty minutes out of my way, again…wait, Jesus! Here goes that creeper thing again. (it’s all in good fun, by the way)
Anyway, I have finished John Irving’s depressing novel The Hotel New Hampshire and feel like working on refining my voice and sentence structure. I also just signed with examiner.com to be an affiliate and sourced writer for cbs.com. It’d involve real topics, real deadlines, and most of all real, tangible money!
Alright. Well this has been fun. I’m out of my macchiatto, and have to pee, and would love to strike up another embarrassing conversation with mr. Halo-eyes, without caffeinating myself to anxiety, so maybe a chai tea? Ugh! It’s so gay, but soo good!

Thanks for reading! Muah!
Caleb A. Mertz

Top 10 Ways I could Avoid Writer’s Agony

With every day that passes called off from work; I simply do nothing. I’ll watch youtube and type away at my book from seven years ago, and groan over my unsuccessful writing. I realize that while I write to write and tell a story or five twisted into a way it only makes sense to me; I could really avoid some of this agony by following ten different things.

1. Stop Reading “10 best ways to…”

Being subscribed to multiple news letters there’s always a ten best, ten things, or ten miracle secrets, I always wind up reading. What’s terrible about this is there are many commentaries which make me feel inadequate. For example one I read recently on e-book marketing talks of the “Dead” model of books; “This is an example of a dead book. The author only receives five downloads a day, only one paid download every other day. This merely results in a negative profit. More likely causes could be the writing isn’t captivating…” I wish I had sales like that! While these spawn good ideas that I painstakingly try to copy it only ever leads to more agony.

2. Stop spending my entire day off, writing.

So my muse, Hemingway, said a true writer writes everyday. Well I certainly do, but on my days off I seem to do nothing but leave my chair to smoke a cigarette or grab another beer. While sometimes my imagination is flowing and captivating, I only re-write what I wrote the next day resulting in a horrendous cycle of not-getting-anything-accomplished.

3. Stop staring at Statistics

While statistics are a good way to help formulate a snap shot of my writing performance, staring doesn’t make a difference. Punching numbers into a calculator doesn’t increase my odds, or ever make me feel any better. I sometimes literally stare at the bar graph or line chart and wonder why it continues to dip back to ZERO!

4. Stop trying to find a good place to write, and just write!

Searching for a good place to write only seems to take up more of my time that I could be spending writing. While location is important to inspiration, searching for a location along the beach is nearly impossible. I could stop in at Hillcrest sit at a cafe and write, but then my eyes are drawn to the men around me which inevitably leads to my discovery of the bar. Then, well, it’s all over from there. Thanks Hemingway.

5. Stop thinking of things I can buy when I don’t have the resources to buy

In a day I will get bored with writing or just demand a break from it. Then I begin to play with gadgets on my computer, all leading to things I could buy to “help” me out a bit. I need business cards, a good website, a nook, and more books on the topic of writing. I don’t have money for those sorts of things. I promise myself I will invest the money I make from my writing into those items when I begin making money. Is that wrong? Well, not going to happen for a little at least.

6. Spread out my time

Don’t worry about just my book. I have other platforms I need to continue to use. I hate getting emails from Examiner.com stating I’ve lost my status of “premier article presenter” if that even exists. While I have a big project in front of me, rewriting my old works for the release of my latest book, I can’t forget about those little side projects.

7. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!

While appearing as a modern day Bo Radley might seem fun and twisted; there is nothing exciting about it. A hermit I can call myself. Approaching three months that I have been in San Diego and I barely know the names of anything around here, only the streets and highways I take to work. While worried about spending too much money, which I always seem to do, there are plenty of free things to do.

8. Pick up another lesson in Grammar

Folks, I believe I have said it since day one, but Grammar KILLS ME! I love to use comma’s and apostrophe’s where they aren’t really supposed to, go.  (<-HAHA, get it!) Maybe if I took a small break from writing a thousand hours of my day away I could pick up a few valuable lessons in Grammar.

9. Stop stressing about my Query Letter

I literally have a thousand versions that all sound good to me. Randomly, while writing The Unexpected, I ‘ll get yet another idea for it. I then open up my choice of fifteen different word documents all containing hooks and bodies of query letters. Practice makes perfect, but right now. I don’t need to be worrying about the Query letter when I have all of these other things gathering.

10. Drink more beer

Actually that’s a bit of a lie, I should be drinking less. Though in moments of writers block or severe writer’s agony the icy cold refreshment usually represents a way to relax and just write. While I will spend the entire next day editing what I wrote while drinking beer at least I wrote. This is no way to go about writing though, as I should learn again from Mr. Hemingway and his friend Fitzgerald.

To sum things up. I need to let my craft be my craft while honing in on some of the not-so-fun aspects such as grammar. I will get there but maybe in the mean time I could take some of my own advice as listed above.

Starving Artist Syndrome…A reality!

In a previously drafted post, Young Artist Syndrome…A reality?, I write about the intricate details going on in my life at that time. Over a year old I can’t help but to look back at that and realize how big a role it had played in where I am today. That syndrome, thought, and process never went away. I still had it. I yearned for it.

Here I sit in San Diego, California wondering what I’m going to do to pay all of my bills. Though I have a job, I am almost refusing to find a second because I want my writing to be my second job. I never came into writing with the illusion that I would be rich. I nearly dreamed of being in this situation (though I currently have it better than that dream!). I should have been picking up shifts at Top of the Market, where I work, over the past two days but there I sat writing. Working on my second book most of all.

You see, I forget about certain key elements sometimes. To stay relevant you have to be relevant. I promised my novel over a year and a half ago. Now I am reformatting, rewriting, and taking some serious jabs at myself while I delete pages at a time of irrelevant information. I won’t see any return on investment for a while, that’s if ever! However, this is my baby. I gave her life, 72,000 words of life. I must finish this novel!

I must finish this novel on an empty stomach though. It makes it tough, but I have my wine and cheap beer to help forget about it. Plus if I was truly starving there is always Ramen noodles!

Anyway, I just found it interesting that I wrote about this a while ago nearly depicting it as something that I would never do, and here I am! Maybe a little inspiration for you! Check it out. Young Artist Syndrome…A reality?

Thank you for reading,

Caleb A. Mertz

eyes. They were blue

It was a grand hall with large white pillars towering high above to hold the paintings firmly in the sky. Decorated with three thirty foot white angels in the center garden square surrounded by large ceramic snow flakes suspended by silver strands of tinsel. Men in black suits talked amicably in the corner, while women ran about laughing with winter masquerade masks and flowing dresses. I had arrived to this party, full of classmates from high school, with a good friend. He soon diverged and got lost in his world of thoughts and bitterness. I decided it was well time for me to leave. I wasn’t interested in hanging out with people from ten years ago. Going toward the front doors I see a young man dressed in a silver vest, and all in white. He looks at me just as I am to walk by before he lowers his drink, and stops me. Intrinsically handsome I pause to speak briefly to him.

“I was just heading out, buddy,” I say.

“Oh, that’s too bad. I’m here with Liz,” he responded. The look on his face was that of dissatisfaction.

“I love Liz!” His face, eyes, hair, mouth, nose, every detail staining my memory. The sound of the brass band playing muffled into a simple background. The glittering ballroom couldn’t deflect my attention, I was solely interested in him.

“Me too! I’d love it if you’d stay,” he asked. I couldn’t resist. I knew this man was someone I should be talking to.

“Okay,” I now found a reason to stay. “But please excuse me. I’m heading outside to smoke.” As I head out, there are people being searched. A small blue hallway leads to the front door. Small rooms unlit and blackened with the feeling that was quickly approaching loomed off to the side.

“Sir,” An officer motions me over to him.

“Are you serious?” I ask. “I’m only going out for a cigarette, is this gonna happen again when I try to come in?” He’s already felt everywhere and seems like he really wants to check the crotch of my pants. He motions for another man to come over. This man is carrying three small cups.

“Okay sir, we’re going to need your fingerprints, urine sample, blood sample, and semen sample.” While fingerprinting me, the doctor jams a needle into the back of my arm as blood spurts into the small tube. Arms take me into the dark room, where the other two samples are collected. Upon redeeming them I see the man label me as “300.”

Heading out the front doors there are only a few people standing out there. I still feel awkward from being frisked and giving samples. I can’t figure out why they needed these items. Leave it to me for not asking why. I flash my lighter to ignite my cigarette and see the Marines at the camp in drill practice. They march off of the field while the football team begins. Even this is a well orchestrated production. The defensive team on the right gets ready to accept the offense. Through a method of orchestrated grunts the man up front stops, slowly walks to the right while two others a bit further back stand their ground. The offense runs clear into the center of the triangle formed. The three guys turn towards them in an about face fashion to tackle the entire offensive!

Next they quickly assemble and intercept a field goal, by flipping the third high into the hair while he catches the ball. Great production, but I am done with my cigarette so I have to go back in. I am not frisked but I walk back to where I left my friend. He moved into a smaller room which was dimly lit. A table set with banquet food stood along the far wall. It was untouched and had candles scattered about the food.

A smile quickly spreads across my face. I am happy to see that he waited. No longer taking in the crowds about me into thought I walk closer to him. He meets me, we stare into each others eyes. They were blue. Everything about his appearance was wintery. Yet he was warm, dynamic, and severe. He smiles that smile. A smile that says, I can’t believe this is happenening. Slightly taller than I he leans in for a kiss. It was marvelous. It was quick. It was lasting.

I’m now driving my car with a beautiful girl in the passenger seat. We take the exit from the highway. A kid at the center circle managed to block the fountain, so the pressure builds and fills the windshield with water. I scream, while she laughs at me. I hate it, but I love her. We get back to where the ball is. It took a while due to the fact that it was on a military base. We go to walk in but I sit at a fountain. She’s dancing with arms spread wide. She’s making circles, she’s in love. She’s in love with me. I put my head in my hands. I love her too. I see myself sitting there. An image of despair. I come back and look up. Now I am sitting in a fine living room. The young man across from me is a few years older than I. He’s handsome with blue eyes that I know. His hair is darker.

“You can’t do this,” he says to me. He looks concerned. I only look back at him. I turn and the young man from earlier is only looking at me. I look to my left, and she’s looking at me.

“You can’t be in love with my brother and my sister.” The words don’t seem odd or out of place. He continues to talk but I am no longer listening. I’m thinking on our time spent between the two of them. I finally look back at their brother, and he has changed. Now it is a tan man. He has dark hair, glasses, and green eyes. A thin jaw much like his brother’s that I’ve fallen for. It’s the oldest brother.

“You have to choose.” he says. The words get through, but he continues to talk. I am no longer listening because I’m weighing it all. She feels good because I finally feel a sense of normal. She’s beautiful. She want’s the same things that I want.

I think of him. He feel’s right. He, I feel static and electric. I know he truly cares about me, all encompassing. I think back to her. I know that I will only eventually leave her for a man anyway. I’m gay. I get distracted and think about the final Harry Potter movie.

Suddenly his face burns in my mind once more, but we’re now on a steel bridge. The steel supports rise above and over us as a cage. There are many people here. Everyone is on the ground. Maybe drugged. I look up and see an oversized slithering salamander climbing down towards us. His tail is long and purple. It has a mace on the end. It see’s the girl next to me and like a frog launches it’s tongue at her. She quickly grabs hold of it and rips it out relatively easily. As we begin to look around we notice that there are more coming. We stumble to our feet as they approach. At the other end of the bridge the salamanders are making out great as they eat humans with one latching swipe of their tongue. Dazed, this girl and I stand just as another salamander tries his tongue at her. She grips it, rips it and the salamander falls off the edge of the bridge. Around us more people are drugged but still moving. We run inside, where I happen upon trays and trays of cups labeled. I step back quickly and find the ones labeled “300.” Only taking a second to destroy the fear of what might happen if I steal these, I see my semen and I know that this was not a normal thing. This was some other craziness. The others that gave the same were all out there being destroyed. I grabbed every sample and quickly dumped them down the toilet. I finally run out to my safety, but I wake before I ever make it.

 

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

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

I’m not asking for too much

It’s not often that someone reports on the down side of writing. I don’t mean the bad associations, but the artist’s pain that usually coincides with the writing. I have often found myself locked (literally) into a room with all but the light coming from my computer, pitched into darkness. Albeit the sun hasn’t decided to shine on this day. It makes me feel a bit better. When I can’t talk things out I can always express them in some sort of writing. When I can’t read others work because of my anxiety, at least I know I can write it out.

Often, just with any other artists work, pain, worry, anxiety, depression, and other horrible feelings circle around writing. I only hope that the writer has a way of letting this all out into the words artfully scratched across the screen.

Happy Writing,

Caleb A. Mertz

Ten Opening Sentences

Each of these ten opening sentences are mine. Not taken from some other place or time. Feel free to use them if you will.

– Ties of each color illuminated the closet, fat ones, little ones, short bow ties, they all had a purpose, all had a time.

– Daniel Schmidting stared into the corner of the single room apartment his sister owned, while her first client of the day began to take away any of the morality that she had left.

– She had been praying for it to happen, and just as she had done before, she looked to the doorway.

– The java machine began spitting and slurping away at the water provided, while Jenkins stood over pondering the mistakes of last night.

– April fields left barren, still rumbling of the feeling of new life, stretch across Liani’s sight.

– He had read every book that stood on his shelf, he was bored, he wanted more, he couldn’t go outside, yet maybe today was the day.

– Blueberry muffins were baking in the oven when young Alivander woke.

– His car had come to a screeching halt in the fast lane of the highway, as a man lay head first still praying that Fred’s car would continue the trek it was on, and run over his brain.

– A normal load of laundry lured Sumil to the basement, where the tar like substance had congealed just above the machine.

– “I’m trying to make it easy for both of us,” Adrianna said before allowing the painful tears to begin their torrent down her face.