I have one grandfather who was a builder. My other grandfather was a stonemason and my father was a traditional blacksmith. Both my grandmothers had cooked for a living, one in a hotel and the other for well-to-do people. A career in construction or perhaps engineering or catering would have been obvious choices.
Instead, I spent 20 years in business and in mid life retrained myself. I chose to work with my hands as my father and grandparents had. I become a renowned woodcraftsman and founded with my wife an art and craft gallery in a Tasmanian tourist town. After 20 years there, we followed our children to mainland Australia to retire on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. I took up writing seriously in 2003.
Working with their hands, creating and shaping materials has occupied my forebear. From stone, to iron, to wood. Now I spend my time putting pen to paper. The medium is getting softer.
on Oct. 20, 2011 :
An interesting piece that could easily be the introduction to a much longer story. I found some of the prose a little abrupt, short sentences one after the other and so on. I also confess to missing the point a bit as Franziska seemed to arrive on scene rather abruptly and while her boyfriend from the ship was mentioned, there was no explanation as to why he was no longer a factor. It gave young Franziska and her wanton advances a kind of 'sluttishness' she probably didn't deserve. I have to say I was taken by surprise at the change in the story from a pleasant migrant's memoir to something a little more salacious.
Overall it started out as a bit 'What I Did On My Summer Vacation' like and ended a few ratings along with an MA kind of feel to it. I wouldn't class it as erotica but I wouldn't know what to class it as. I think if Kurt takes out the last half and keeps that for something else, then expands the first part, perhaps including why they left Europe, what happened on the boat, what happened after they settled in and so on it would make a worthwhile addition to the migrant ouerve.
Some of the voice and tone is a little formal, at least at first but that is explained by the fact the narrator is not a native speaker. His grasp of English is excellent and very readable and combined with the insight of the migrant coming from another culture as well as what Australia was like 50 years ago makes interesting reading and a book that would be worth putting a fair price on. Why not try that, Kurt? I'd buy a copy.
BTW I arrived here with my family in 1971 when I was 9 so I can relate to the migrant experiences Kurt describes in his piece. Perry Gamsby
(review of free book)
on July 15, 2011 :
One play of footsies does not an erotic novel make.
(review of free book)