Month: June 2015

J.W. Kurtz (writer)…what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what I’m playing, & what I’m writing:

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J.W. Kurtz (writer)…what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what I’m playing, & what I’m writing:

In an attempt to keep my ever busy mind occupied I quench its thirst with a bevy of media entertainments.  Recently I watched Whiplash and wow!  Wow!  Wow!  I haven’t watched such an intense film in I don’t know how long.  It was absolutely fantastic.  I don’t much care for the Academy Awards (Oscars) because they rarely if ever get it right.  Well, J.K. Simmons winning for Best Supporting Actor was certainly warranted.  I’ve always been a Simmons fan and it’s great to see that not only did he get casted in a role absolutely perfect for him to display his range but that he also received the accolades for his work.  “Well done” all way around I must say.  There is one thing that indie films and books tend to get right when compared to the massive corporate blockbuster world of media entertainment and that is story and heart.  Indie’s time and time again get it rigJK Simmons Whiplashht in a more consistent manner than the big fish.  If you haven’t seen Whiplash you owe it to yourself to do so.  Be prepared…it is rather intense and there is more than a little swearing so if you’re offended by such a thing you’ve been warned.  Enjoy!

Currently I’m working my way through viewing The Last Ship.  I’m more than half-way through the first season and I must say…it is not very good but I can’t bring myself to stop.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the absolute absurdity of the whole thing.  I feel like I am rubber necking while watching this fiasco.  I need to stop but I just can’t!  And no, it is not a guilty pleasure.  It’s more like masochism.

The Last Ship bookWhat got me to watch The Last Ship in the first place?  Well, I attempted to read the book once when I was about 14.  I made it about 50-pages in and quit.  I put it back on the shelf and moved on.  Then about 6-7 years later I tried again.  I loved the idea of it all but it was just very, very hard to get into.  Then I tried about 5-years after that believing that my stronger background in naval history and end-of-the-world scenarios (I studied such fun things in college!) would better prepare me for one more attempt.  Nope.  Still couldn’t go past page 100 or so.  Now here I am having a rough outline of the story (it is very different from the book) delivered to on the TV and I just sit there shaking my head wondering how it became a series.  I’m shaking my head even as I write this.  Obviously the creators of the series never attempted to read the book the show is based on for if they had they would have gone on to instead make a zombie vampire reality show or something.  Oh and there’s a season 2!!!  Crazy!

What am I playing???  Yeah I’m a gamer.  A gamer that goes back to the Commodore 64 and Atari.  Following those up I gamed on the first Nintendo NES and then I moved into the PC world of gaming.  I’ve built…many, many systems over the years.  Too many to count.  I love games of all genres but especially strategy games.  FPS and RPG games are fun but to me they don’t compare to the thrill I get from a classic double pincer move on a battlefield.  Good times.  The other day I found a deal on Steam for a game I’ve heard about for a while but I just haven’t had the time to check it out.FTL-Faster-Than-Light-Receives-an-Overhaul-on-Steam-for-Linux-2  The game is called FTL: Faster Than Light.  It was on one of Steam’s super discount sales.  I think I paid like $2.50 for it.  How could you miss for the cost of less than a cup of coffee, right?  Well, it was a bullseye.  I played that thing for half the night.  I’m looking forward to playing it later today when I get all my chores and projects done for the day.  It’s my reward.  Check it out.  If you like strategy and supporting indie works you will not be disappointed!

Now what am I writing?  I’m happy to have a great deal of time to work on my writing projects this summer.  I hope to have the sequel to my first book, The Bellerophon: Ambush, completed by the end of the season.  What has kept me so behind on this project?  Well, I wrote about 80-90k words in a side project and then shelved it because work was interfering with my process and a whole bunch of other things were

Amazon US - Kindle Unlimited Friendly!
Amazon US – Kindle Unlimited Friendly!

going on.  I don’t see it entirely as wasted time because it will be out at some point but I am really focusing now on Bellerophon Book 2 (just my working title).  I do want to thank, again, all the people that have read and taken the time to review Book 1.  There is nothing more thrilling to me than to see my book has been downloaded and that it was enjoyed enough to earn a review.  Even the critical reviews are appreciated because they push me to do better.  Thanks everyone!

Cheers!

J.W.

Cover Reveal: Nonlocal Science Fiction Magazine, Issue 2

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Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksYou may remember the ground-breaking Nonlocal Science Fiction magazine from my February cover reveal, or from my interview with publisher Dan Dombrowski. Yes, the one that included “Shoot the Devil,” a short story by yours truly.

The second issue will be released on June 15th, and the cover art is now ready, once again designed by Bioblossom Creative.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThe Contents

The second issue contains the following short stories:

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books“Threshold” by James Pratt
Two engineers explore the interior of an ancient alien artifact that appears, from the outside, to be a box of nothing. It isn’t.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books“The Pallbearers of the Light” by Bennen Neithercoat
The night sky is devoid of all stars. Two lonely travelers share their stories by the light of a waning moon.

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books“Out of the Void” by Ian Broderick
A mining crew exits a wormhole near earth after a long trip home. At least, that was…

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Updates…and teacher pay!

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J. W. Kurtz

Yes…it’s been awhile since I’ve posted.  Sorry!  Been busy with work and all that fun stuff that fills my days with responsibility and whatnot.  Over the last two weeks I did manage to watch Longmire Season 3 and Vikings Season 3 so stay tuned to reviews on those shows.  Vikings Season 3 is haunting me.  I’m still trying to put it together in my mind. Also, I’m about a third of the way through my current writing project (Book 2 of The Captive Galaxy series) and making good progress that I would be much more thrilled about if I had an extra day or two per week to work on it but when I get home my brain is absolutely fried and watching Longmire, Vikings, or the Mariners lose is pretty much all I can stand.  School is out in less than 3-weeks so I hope to get the rest…

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