Taking away the Turtles

03 Dec

I’ve heard lots of rumors in my life, about how to be creative, what it takes to get a story onto the page. I guess I’ve probably got a writing trick for every day of the year by now. Fact is, I don’t use them.

I lost my temper once, when some well-meaning editor suggested I carry a book around to jot down my thoughts. Jotting. Write them all down. Capture everything that might go somewhere for me. The concept was presented to me as a cure-all, and I lost my cool.

It really seemed to me that this person imagined somehow, through my education, through the years of manuscripting, that nobody had ever suggested this to me before. It seemed they thought I’d never tried it. Of course I had. I couldn’t have gotten out of my high school without doing it. For those years, I lived by that rule.

Looking back, I think my teachers forced me to do that so I would put the habit down gratefully the moment I had the chance. Maybe I’m giving them too much credit. Nonetheless, on the day I got my diploma, I tossed my jotting book in the closet and never got a new one.

Jotting, according to Stephen King, is fucking useless. I agree. If I have a good idea, I will remember it.

What if I forget? It wasn’t a very good idea.

So what works for me? Boredom. Total, complete malaise.

That’s how this whole thing got started for me. Back then, the internet hadn’t happened yet. Hell, cable tv hadn’t happened yet. My folks were pretty restrictive about what I could read. So I started telling myself the stories I wanted to hear.

Maybe this is some kind of imprint left over from my childhood, but this is how the work begins for me. I don’t get inspired. I have no muses. I will create a situation where I am bored as fuck. My brain has a solution for that, which is to tell me a story.

Not very romantic, is it?

In Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” there’s a scientist who operates in a similar fashion. The way his employers get him to solve big problems is to bore him nigh unto death. He gets distracted wondering about how a turtle’s spine functions. For months, he’s fooling around with turtles instead of saving the world.

The solution, of course, is to take his turtles away. They leave his lab full of things that point him in the direction of the problem they’re trying to solve. Without his turtles, out of boredom, he gets on track with what they want.

Pretty much all of the time, I can’t get away from the damn turtles. I have to put food on the table, have a real life, and sometimes for me, those are turtles. So at this point, I’m grateful when I can throw the turtles into the closet with the jotting book, get good and bored, and fall happily into a world where I can report back on the doings of my imaginary friends.


Camera! Please come back to us!

26 Jul

I’m wallowing in the pleasure of a new desk. Robin took pictures for me, but the camera… see above. It’s getting interesting. Those little piles of notebooks are now contained, and not able to leap out at me from odd places.

More soon, and progress on Sea Turtle Inn.


Where aaaaare you??


Well. THAT took longer than I expected.

15 Jul

Over a year ago, I took a day job. My partner had been carrying us on pizza-powered income for a very long time. There comes a day when a man just can’t take it any more. I made the choice to grab us some short-term rewards.

And it’s embarrassing. The gig I have now… WE have, as we work together now… is the craziest traveling art school I have ever attended. At first, I wasn’t really paying attention to this fact. I was just keeping my head down and doing my grind.

Then we found out that the hotshot Expert in our crew was also attending film school.

Then I found out that the badass Top Gun on another crew had disappeared for 3 weeks because he had to go downstate on some DJ gigs.

And then… the dancer.

And then… the musician.

And then I finally piped up and fessed that my secret identity was that of a novelist. A scifi dude. With a hell of a lot of queer in.

So I’ve become reconnected with a little tiny community of artists, all of whom have families to support. The film student dude heard us rapping about this stupid idea I’ve had about a kung fu movie.

He’s interested. I’m available. Writing starts today.

But I look here and damn. It took me much, much longer than I expected, to get back here and rap about my life. Hell, sometimes I just don’t have time or interest enough for myself, with getting things done. Besides, there is too much. I will sum up:

Sea Turtle Inn, a ghost story, has found a new home here at Circlet. I am beyond excited to be included in the lineup for Gressive Press. There will be more about this as issues warrant.

I gained a fangirl. I’ve never had a fan before. This is so, utterly, totally cool. Hi Bethany! (if you’re reading this)

I’ve developed another secret identity. I’m not talking about him much at this time, but he exists somewhere. I’ll point him out directly if he finds a way to have a spot out here in the interwebs.

That secret identity is directly connected to my misspent youth. A trunk book, that ‘special one’ that I wrote because I was young enough to not be scared, is coming back to life. I’m so happy my hands are shaking as I type even this very small hope that the life will indeed continue to pulse there.

I also just realized I’ve been wrong about my age for some time now. This happens to me more frequently than I can explain. I’ll go around saying I’m X years old, then actually do the adding up and realize I’m younger than I have been telling people. This happened again. I gained a year doing this. Or am perhaps re-living last year.

So the things behind the silence have been ghosts, revived books, secret kung fu masters, and being stuck in a pile of plastic for more hours than is good for the health.

I have a fan. I’d like to have more. It never occurred to me that I might have even one, or how nice that would be. I should put more thought into this.

But more than anything, if human eyes are passing over these words, I have a promise. I promise, promise, promise I am devising cool and interesting stories to relax by. Out there in the world, people are working their asses off every day. Y’all need somewhere to sit with your iced tea and have an adventure. I swear, I promise, I vow, I will be that go-to guy when you need a hero to believe in.

There will be more. There will be so much more. I wish I could show y’all right now. But first, I have to go make the words be right.


Less is More

30 May

With Guide to Survival: Root and Branch up and out into the world, you’d think I’d get some rest. You’d think… time to give the brain some time off. I’d agree with y’all, but my brain… has a mind of its own?

So while I should be all worked up about Jenner, Lysander and Grey finally getting their shit together and working hard for their love, I’m distracted. Athen Dendrophile, of PHOBERIA, has a bone to pick with me. Ditto a couple of guys nobody’s ever heard of, from a project that may yet see the light of day if the law’s willing and the creek don’t rise.

Luckily for me, I had Mayport on my side. When the going gets tough, the tough go to Florida.

The moths have bestowed some eggs upon us. Several made it to full expansion and were set loose to lay their clutches where they may. If you follow Loki’s facebook, there’s some pics of a lovely lady moth at emergence, and later at full wingspan.


Big week at Chez Kurtzwilde

25 May

If y’all missed it, Monday’s chapter of Chocolatiers is smokin’ hot. Enjoy!

And now, several years in the making, the final volume of Guide to Survival is now available at Torquere Press. Guide to Survival Root and Branch is definitely the best of the lot. If I had my say, I’d tell everyone to start with Root and Branch.

This one has the gunfights, the balls-out rivalry, betrayal, redemption and a sweet little ending that I’m very proud of. If you’ve not yet met Jenner Garu and his dynamic family, this is definitely the spot to jump in.

And finally, congratulations to me and my sweet Loki. 10 years and counting this week, y’all. We’ve had a pile of fun and other stuff, proving to the world that this craziness is here to stay.


Monday Update and other distractions

16 May

Today’s update of Chocolatiers of the High Winds is now available. Enjoy!

I’ll be entertaining company over on Livejournal today. Come by and hang out, see what’s coming up next in the Guide to Survival series and demand that I explain myself. It’s reader’s choice this Monday. I look forward to hearing from y’all.

Those who are following the saga of the Luna Moths, we’re still in cocoon stage. Them things wiggle when provoked! Still creepy! They’re in the enclosure now. We hope soon to make some mothy magic.


new outlook on Chocolatiers

09 May

The new chapter is up for Chocolatiers on the High Winds. Enjoy!

I had mentioned recently that we were coming to an end with this story. Apparently a certain chocoholic editor around here isn’t game for that. The end is not nigh, and probably won’t be for several months.

There were some fun ideas I’d had on the boards for this story, that I couldn’t quite fit into the book length I had in mind. Huzzah the digital age! Since the pages are imaginary, I can have more. Therefore, all you lovely readers can have them too.

Today I’m working on the house, so might be late returning messages. I do read them all, and am always grateful for the encouragement. The caterpillars are in cocoon, and we hope to have images and video of them soon. But first! That darn window is getting fixed, or I’ll know the reason why!



02 May

Need one say, HUZZAH for today’s news? I’ll leave my political commentary at that.

We had lots of good fun with the caterpillars this week. A few have gone into chrysalis. The others are in 5th stage of their cycle and nomming the hell out of every leaf they can get tooth on. In a couple of weeks, we should have a moth to be proud of.

I’m a bit distracted from making blog posts today, and indeed, last week. Loki has suffered a dental catastrophe, the resolution of which we do not yet know. It would have been simpler if the child had simply broken a leg.

But no, dentistry is required, and there all thoughts of tranquil treatment end. My poor sweetheart has suffered mightily in the clutches of dental professionals. It’s an indicator of the dental distress, that Loki would see a dentist under anything other than general anesthesia.

The first couple of exams happened without actual fainting, but also without actual resolution of the problem. We haven’t *quite* broken the bank on this yet, but they’ve barely gotten started. I reckon the doctors we’ve got are smart. They plan on drugging the child at home (meaning I get to do the deed, then deliver Loki, in a docile state, to their offices) and committing acts of dentistry while the patient enjoys total sensory deprivation.

Needless to say, I’m rather distracted these days. The writing is happening in between preparation of meals that are both tempting, nutritious, and above all, Soft! The garden is enduring as best it can on haphazard waterings and the grace of good sunlight exposure.

We’ve got just a few weeks left on Chocolatiers, so here’s your linky-link to today’s chapter. Enjoy!


New chapter, and Live at Torquere LJ

19 Apr

There’s a new chapter of the free serial Chocolatiers of the High Winds, so y’all go enjoy!

The luna moths are hanging tough, and nearly large enough to photograph. I’m looking forward to Loki’s images on these. Caterpillars are the easiest pet I’ve ever had. Highly recommended!


New chapter, international singers, and bugs

11 Apr

I’m really quite proud of how this week’s chapter of Chocolatiers of the High Winds turned out. Mayport gets to be the kind of guy he actually is, and nobody yells at him for it. Go check it out!

Since I’ve got an open forum here, I’d like to turn y’all on to a group of ladies from Korea. They’ve got serious pipes, but they’re getting a lot of flack for not being rail-thin and the image of typical beauty. I like them for those very reasons, and so I proudly present The Piggy Dolls.

I think they’re adorable, but their native culture just isn’t ready for big, beautiful women. Luckily, us here across the pond can enjoy them while they’re around to be enjoyed.

Lastly, our luna moth project is moving forward. The eggs have hatched, and multitude of little green caterpillars are munching their way through a tree’s worth of leaves. Loki intends to have photos for y’all as soon as they’re big enough to see. Sponsor a caterpillar, and we’ll release a moth for you in the coming months.

As for myself, I’m scribbling away on the last four chapters of Chocolatiers. Wish Mayport luck. He might die of his boldness before this thing’s done. He’ll need all the help he can get from family and friends to survive what he’s brought on himself in this current chapter.

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