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 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 he hopes to get published some day.
A coming-of-age memoir, Consequences of My Mother’s Love Life, describes a boy’s struggles during the 1950’s and early 60’s to overcome authority figures at home in rural New Hampshire and in settings like Washington, D.C., Annapolis, and Michigan. Kurt becomes a personification of how authorities affect a child’s maturation and well-being. Poor senior grades, his parents’ divorce, and poverty diminish his chance for college, but two small loans buy him seven months at a Washington D. C. prep school. His work there qualifies him for Annapolis, where an authoritarian regime brings back childhood ghosts that precipitate a crisis. He must find resilience then to overcome a life-changing failure.
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 this past year in issues of Eclectica Magazine; see “Links”.)
Answering Jesse’s Questions About God, Death, and 9/11 is a parenting memoir about an aging writer’s wish for a low-key child that evaporates with the birth of a whirlwind that asks too many sticky questions. How do Mom and Dad respond to inquisitions about God, death, drugs, and sex? How do they handle a teen obsessed with a dangerous sport? Dad chronicles humorous events and trying conflicts such as a bullying teacher who claims Jesse is too sensitive. Later a high school teacher says he is a “rare breed.” Still carrying scars of a traumatic childhood, Dad learns that opening his heart to Jesse is the most important thing he will ever do. Seven essays adapted from this memoir were published in Your Teen Magazine, Parent Co., and The Good Men Project (see “Links”).