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 right 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.
What 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. 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
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!
J.W. Kurtz update.
I’ve been writing and editing like mad. Recently I pulled my book from Amazon for a short hiatus as I do some heavy re-editing. I hope to have the 2nd edition out by then end of January. I’m about 80% done with this renovation project. I can promise you this…IT WILL BE MUCH BETTER than the 1st edition plus it will have a snippet of my 2nd book. I’ll update, tweet, post like crazy when edition 2 is done. I miss checking the Amazon Authors page daily!
My second book, Sigma Draconis, and just where exactly am I on that? I’m nearly at 80K-words. I would say I’m well over halfway through the first draft. Maybe a little more. Maybe a little less. I hope to have it out by the middle of the spring. I wish writing was my fulltime job but it isn’t…for now. The sequel to my first book will be started in earnest the day after I finish Sigma D.
In the meantime I hope to post some more movie/show reviews soon.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for checking-in.
Sigma Draconis update:
Sigma Draconis threatens to end me, I swear it! I’m about 55K into the story and it wants, calls, to be split into a two parter! This was a project that originally started as a novella mind you so perhaps you can understand my trepidation and concern. Well…it’ll get done for no other reason than I’m super excited to begin my other projects. I really wish this is what I did full-time!
Novella update: I’m aiming for 30K with this one. A fast, fun, and exciting piece centered around one of the characters of my first book. It’s coming together. I hope to have this one done soon before Christmas and then Sigma early into the New Year. If I could devote the time I want, that it deserves, to this project I’d already be done! It is what it is…
Thanks to all those that have supported me by downloading my first novel. I hope to get more out to you soon!
Good morning Sci-Fi fans. I’m very happy to display here, for the first time, the new cover art for my first released book The Bellerophon: Ambush. The original art was done with the cover art maker software on Amazon.com and it worked for me. For a time at least. Then I started to see others with nearly the same cover…so it was obvious that I needed something different.
From time-to-time over the years I’ve chatted with the talented Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds, a friend, brother really, for nearly 30-years (I cried at his wedding which means nothing as I cry at all weddings). We’ve talked about graphic novel work because I love to write, he loves to draw, and we both love to create. So here is the cover he came up with. I think it very well evokes the minimalist environment that is the arena for much of this series: deep space. I immediately thought of one of the original covers of the Greg Bear book Eon and one of the original covers for Rendezvous with Rama, one of my favorite books by perhaps my favorite author, Arthur C. Clarke.
I look forward to again work with Kevin Reynolds in the near future on more creative projects. Hopefully he can find time to fit me into his busy schedule of being a husband, father, co-owner operator of the Via Chicago restaurant (ttp://www.viachicagopizza.com) on Alberta Street in Portland, OR, (stop by and have a slice!) oh and he’s a Senior Art Director for Leopold Ketel & Partners (http://www.leoketel.com) in…you guessed it, that same Rose City. I need a nap after writing all that. Again, he’s quite the busy guy!
And an update on how things are going on Amazon.com…
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,792 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
For an Indie-writer I’m as happy as a clam with these numbers. Never thought I’d write “happy as a clam.” Ever. Thanks to all you readers out there. Now to get some work done. Also, stay tuned for some movie reviews. I’ve watched some off-the-beaten path films lately that I thinks folks will enjoy.
Have a great weekend and as always…
Still going strong my brother and sister readers and writers! Thanks for giving my book a look.
Currently there are 2,947,025 e-books on Amazon.com. And The Bellerophon: Ambush is:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,177 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
I’m writing more stuff as fast as I can. Tough to get my words in while I’m trying to teach the 6th grade especially when…don’t get me rambling about that! Anyway…I’m done with Act 1 of Sigma Draconis (FIB ALERT!). Okay…half a chapter left and then the draft of Act 1 of 3 is done but I’m over 40K words now so it’s looking like a book kinda! I’ll also be devoting a day a week (I write 7-days a week I do) to working on a novella to get something in the 15-30K realm done before Christmas. I’m afraid to really get into this though because that was how Sigma D. started!
If you haven’t already downloaded a copy…here you go. Help a starving teacher transition into the role of a full-time starving writer. Shameless I know.
Thanks to all my friends in the UK, Australia, and Canada for buying quite a few copies of my work. Hope you continue to enjoy and tell your friends!
Also, that new cover for The Bellerophon: Ambush is inbound from Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds. Who, besides being an extremely talented and creative individual, operates Via Chicago which, if you want some good pizza and craft beer (and much more), it’s the place to be in the Rose City.
Thanks Italy for the book download this morning! Enjoy and tell your friends!
FREE! 3-days Sat-Sun-Mon. Aug 30 – Sept 1. Sci-Fi. http://www.amazon.com/J.W.-Kurtz/e/B00N2C8NFW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1