Kurt G. Schmidt is an old owl, sometimes wise, often not. When unable to find a satisfactory word for writing the wisdom, he observes his bird feeders from his studio window. On at least one occasion, this owl perched on a branch and watched him. If Kurt writes or publishes any interesting stuff, he may share it here on either Links or Essays. If not, he will either watch the birds or go hiking with his wife. Kurt has written three memoirs that he hopes to get published some day.
A coming-of-age memoir, Consequences of My Mother’s Love Life, is the story of a boy’s struggle to overcome three repressive cultures: home, military college, and first employer. Kurt’s confusion about love begins when his father demands proof-of-love from Mom, causing him to listen through his parent’s bedroom wall with worries about a lie detector. His anxious childhood with a volatile father leads eventually to courage and meetings with the President and his U.S. senators, resulting in an appointment to Annapolis. A crisis there forces him out. He finishes college despite the diversion of a wild woman and begins training to become an IBM sales engineer. But after eight weeks, the company fires him. Starting a new job and a romantic relationship only complicates his dream of a European road trip and the possibility of self-discovery.
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 Eclectica Magazine.)
Consequences of Raising a Risk-Taker is a parenting memoir about a father rejoicing in his son’s birth only to realize too late a child bent on high-risk explorations. “Some of my solutions to controlling a risk-taker were born of incompetence,” Dad says, “and some were blatantly stupid. It still amazes me that anything came out right in the end, that the boy did not become a Wall Street stock broker or a stunt pilot.” Dad chronicles the twenty years in which the boy struggles to understand adult behavior in a confusing world. Mom believes her husband’s parenting anxiety is connected to his own dysfunctional childhood. Mom and Dad must dig within themselves to answer their son’s provocative questions, particularly those requests to perform risky activities. (Excerpts from this book have appeared in The Good Men Project and Parent Co.)