Kurt G. Schmidt is an old owl, sometimes wise, often not. When unable to find a satisfactory word for writing the wisdom, he observes bird feeders from his studio window. On at least one occasion, this owl perched on a branch and watched him. If Kurt publishes any interesting stuff, he may share it here on Links. If not, he will either watch the birds or go hiking with his wife. Kurt has written three memoirs that may find their way to a discerning publisher someday.
In a coming-of-age memoir, Consequences of My Mother’s Love Life, a city of chaos forms a young boy’s struggles with authority before Mom moves the family to her parents’ unheated summer house in rural New Hampshire. The family struggles to overcome adverse living conditions and Dad’s odd behavior (for example, Dad cannot touch the fish that he and Kurt catch together). Dad’s drinking leads to toxic episodes. Slipping grades, his parents’ divorce, and poverty diminish Kurt’s chance for college, but Mom’s small loan and a work scholarship take him to Washington D. C. and seven months of intense study for the service academies. His test results qualify him for Annapolis, where a military regime and its hazing rituals bring back childhood ghosts that precipitate a PTSD crisis. Drawing on old survival instincts, he must find the resilience to overcome it.
The foreign odyssey memoir, On the Road to European Intrigue, is about a daydreamer who quits his engineering job for a year-long road trip to discover the lives of Europeans and his life’s purpose. He becomes involved with an injured Bavarian mother disguised as a scarecrow, a lonely Danish girl in the south of France, a Norwegian journalist, a British Casanova-pilot, a Croatian Robin Hood, a rude German virgin, and two Oxford University hitchhiker women. He learns the human experience is unique with respect to each individual’s emotional history. (Excerpts from this book have appeared in issues of Eclectica Magazine; see “Links”.)
Jesse’s Questions About Sex, Immaculate Conception, and Mono Gamus begins with the unlikely birth of a whirlwind who grows up asking sticky questions, like “What’s pornography?” In the early stages the toddler shouts at a minister on Christmas Eve, meows in a quiet art museum, insists on climbing a mountain, and asks “What’s God?” How do Mom and Dad deal with a child who forces them to confront their own questions about life? Is there a solution to a boy obsessed with racing? Dad’s writing over a twenty-five-year period examines child development, parental self-doubt, and the disparate characters who influenced Jesse’s road to maturity. Essays adapted from this memoir have appeared in Your Teen Magazine, Parent Co, The Good Men Project, and the Bocopa Literary Review (see “Links”).