Monday, April 26, 2010

Muse Interuptus

Today's Horoscope for Taurus (moi)
You might feel as if you have hit a creative block and you may be tempted to shake up your life to see if that helps. But you won't likely be happy if things become less stable than they already are now. Instead of seeking answers on the outside, consider what you can do to alter your perspective. Clearing out the cobwebs from the attics of your mind may be just the catalyst you need.

Here it is, another Monday. Another new starting point. That's how I view Monday. It's my excuse for not doing anything creative over the weekend. "I'll start Monday. I'm fresh on Monday."

Oh please! Who am I kidding? I'm as stale as Friday, when my excuse for non-creativity came in the form of a mop and vacuum cleaner.

I'm mad! I can't take it anymore! Last Monday I actually wrote three new pages. And I remember saying to myself, "Self, three pages today; three more tomorrow. Piece of cake."

And one week later I have three pages. No more. No less. Outside my window I hear my mood, dark, drippy and dreary. It's otherwise a perfect day for curling up with a book, which I won't do because it's a cruel reminder of what I'm not doing.

I believe what's worse than not writing is the guilty association. What sort of loser am I? I call myself a writer? Seriously? Why have I lost the mood? Why isn't there a little blue pill for what ails me? The magic came. The magic went. The next time it comes, I'm cutting its wings (my muse is immortal, although a bit dead lately).

Alas. I'll rely on the horoscope de jour's suggestions. Relax. Focus. Meditate. Say a little prayer for me. Tomorrow is another day.

Does your muse have wings?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My horn blows!

They say that if you swing the bat enough times you'll get a hit. In my case, if I endlessly submit, something will stick. Yesterday notice came that one of my poetry submissions was accepted for publication.

WAHFUCKINHOO! (And if that offends, perhaps you've come to the wrong blog.)

What makes this better than a contract from a publisher? Answer: Having it recognized and deemed suitable for print by a group of peers. The peers in question are students who've participated in the Honors level English Lit. classes at Finger Lakes Community College. It's an honor to be honored by the Honors House student body. (And baby do I ever LOVE alliteration!)

Without further adieu, here is my first publishing creditial (unfortunately the cool formatting utilized in MSW doesn't transfer to this blog).

Because you can’t

by K. Calarco

Why can’t I go back

to the place

where the song comes from?

a safe place.

frosted leaves;

innocent skies;

unbroken hearts.



Why must I stay here

where nothing happens

at all?

Unlived and splintered

in the half dark.

So there you have it. Although I'm blocked and tormented by my Evil Inner Critic while trying to spin a novel, poetry is the essence of my creative beast.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What's in a sig?

Yesterday I realized this about myself: I'm a whore for autographs. This revelation came after I purchased the book pictured to the left. As I plunked down cold, hard credit card, I said to myself, "Damn! Wish I could get it signed."

Later that day is when my wondering took a plunge into deep and random serious consideration. Why am I such a whore for signed copies of books? Will a signature make the story better? Would the scrawl verify that for two lousy seconds, I breathed within the same four feet as the author?

Recently Sara Palin came to town pimping her book, and admirers camped overnight at the book store just to get her damn signature. Why? Is she a rock star?
Is Mark Terry? (Compared to Sara Palin, I think the answer is obvious.)

My reason for wanting Mark's scrawl is that I sort of "know" as well as admire him via the blessed blog-o-sphere. It's why I bought his book, not to mention, I'm in love with the cover. I might not read it for months and months, but it'll be on my shelf with the others of those I've bought written by people I "know" and admire via the blessed blog-o-sphere. None have a signature. Not a single one. Does it matter?

Well, I don't know. And now that I've been giving it deep thought I can't let go of wondering why people stand in line for hours, hurdle rope barriers and start stampedes just to get a signature. I'm sure those sport's memorabilia shops at the malls would wither and die if not for the displays of balls, bats, cards and other signed what-nots. I hear that some people spend thousands of dollars for one lousy signed what-not.

I'm one of them, although I didn't spend thousands, just a few hundred for a baseball signed by Mickey Mantel. It was a gift for the man who has everything except a ball signed by The Mick. We keep it in a special shiny container that sits on a shelf where no one notices. Sort of an invisible shrine.

What makes having a signed what-not special? I have a cowboy hat signed by this dude and this dude. I have no idea where that hat is, but whenever I stumble across it I touch the faded ink. It's not like taking a dip into the waters at Lourdes. That ink isn't going to cure my eye if I hold it close enough to my face. They are just two faded autographs.

But they remind me of the time and place when I stampeded...uh, politely asked for them. It's nice to have memories, sort of an immersion into that past as if time stands still.

Speaking of stampedes, a few years ago a popular morning television show did a piece on the Romance Writers of America convention. I saw it on YouTube. The double doors to a large convention room burst open and a hungry mob of women, some screaming, others crying, filled the room. It resembled the first time the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. Scads of romance authors sat at tables with stacks of their books, pens ready for the signing. I have never seen anything quite like it. I mean, seriously, some of these women needed smelling salts after meeting their favorite romance author in person.

All for a signed paperback novel.

Authors are rock stars to readers. And to some writers. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it considering I stood in a line, my heart pounding as I waited my turn for this poet to sign one of his poetry books that I just bought. Had I known he would have signed whatever what-not I produced, I might have skipped the purchase. My friend, who was too broke at the time to buy his book, stood in line, too. She handed him a pack of Marlboros. He signed it. Did I mention that she's young and gorgeous?

Pity the fool standing in line with nary a what-not.

Movie stars, rock stars, athletes and reality t.v. celebs. They are the gods, we are the Titans. When did they stop being Titans, too?

So what theories do you have on the obsession for signatures? Any ideas as to when, where and why the phenomena ever started?

P.S. Buy Mark's book! Even unsigned, it's a keeper.