Postcards from outer space...

My thoughts are jumbled. My words and sentences criss-cross at a rate that I need to medicate to calm down.

Trouble is, I don't believe in such medication, and so I ride the manic roller-coaster that currently fills my head. I'm bottled up with ideas, stories, and creative endeavors. To some, this sounds glorious. But I assure you, it's not always the case. Sometimes the day brings so many plots and characters that I can hardly contain myself or my emotions.

There are physical symptoms.

Sometimes, I sit quietly in my head, trapped by my own ambition.

It's been roughly 51 days since 2013 started. I have written two feature length scripts, an hour-long pilot, and jotted down a dozen ideas. The ideas are what keep me up at night, either a consequence of desperation or foolish ambition. This is the result of taking off a year from writing. I had no idea that writing had become my therapy, my salvation, my routine. Breaking that routine was an important and necessary step in fulfilling my potential as an artist.

People ask me what it's like to make a film, what was most rewarding, what was most challenging. I answer in my usual caustic and excitable way, just grateful someone cares to ask. Inside though, I'm not nearly as confident. I don't know what to say, because it wasn't about a movie. It never was. It's about pushing yourself to the limit and attempting something most people consider ridiculous.

Some people push those limits physically. I chose to do so artistically. Only those in my chosen profession understand what it's like to make a film with a two-man crew, having never done the various jobs required, with constant obstacles.

And doing so kept me from the words. The words that give me peace. The words that keep me balanced. The words I need more than I knew.

The writing streak currently enveloping me is by far the strongest I've ever had. 30 pages come off the keyboard, like shaved ice on a frosted windshield. I'm more contained, filled with the type of competitive rage that can be threatening if you give into it.

This blog will change in the coming months. It has to. To be sure, I'm still the goofy stunted kid who reads comic books and plays retro arcade games.

But I'm different, and I have different things to write about.

I'm not changing the design to appease anyone other than myself and who I am now. I hope those of you who have graciously allowed my words into your life will follow...

Either way, I need the words.

Don't misinterpret, this is the happiest I've ever been. I'm working and being asked to work. It's finally starting to crack open for me, and I couldn't be more excited for the future!

Best always-

Kurt

7th_voyage_of_sinbad
7th_voyage_of_sinbad

The Satellites in Our Heads.

"I have this idea. It might be ridiculous." With those seemingly simple, yet slightly askew, words and the subsequent smirk that accompanied them, the journey had begun.

Perhaps the word journey isn't fair, as if that word alone could encapsulate what would (and has) transpired.

I've been stockpiling the wealth of emotions that are parading around my mind, fearful of relinquishing them at the wrong moment.

There is much to write. There is much to say.

But not yet.

All I can muster up at this point is that you need to know, it's not about a movie. Movies come and go, they're entertainment.

It's about something deeper. It's about who I am. It's about who they are. It's about us, and our passionate, unrelenting view in what life can be.

Life is not a routine. Life is not time spent on a spin cycle of monotony.

Life is about what you make of it.

And this is what we chose. Cynics, doubters, and cowards be damned.

Good, bad, brilliant, or disappointing... it matters not.

What matters is the statement it represents.

LIFE MOVES MOVES PRETTY FAST. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Book Excerpt- Regarding Starbucks and Christmas Blend.

It's December. This means my house is filled with the aroma of Starbucks Christmas Blend Coffee. I don't drink this coffee myself, but my fiance The Angel does.

This made me fondly recall some earlier experiences with her Christmas Blend fascination.

christmas_blend_large
christmas_blend_large

So, below is an excerpt from my book, Finding the Super-Hero Within.

The events in this chapter took place a while ago, but it gives you a good idea of the tone in my book.

So here it is.... and you can buy my book by clicking the chapter heading below. Thanks!

CHAPTER 5: THE DEFINITION OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN AT STARBUCKS

When you start writing about the ways in which we define ourselves, you figure out quite quickly how many walls and definitions you impose upon others by your own ignorance. I never saw this more clearly than when I stumbled upon Veronica. I don’t know if the woman I was actually staring at was named Veronica, but I liked to believe she was. I’ve always had a thing for the name Veronica. It may have something to do with an early attraction to Veronica of Archie Comics fame. I also find the name Veronica to be so vivacious. Whatever that means exactly.

It was an early Sunday, and I unexpectedly had the whole morning to myself. No Chicago Bears games. No personal baseball games. As soon as Nicole left for work, there would only be me, my thoughts, and the keyboard I now bang away at. This would last until four o’clock, at which time I’d dutifully change back into my cliché costume and recite daily fish specials to all the bored, affluent citizens of La Canada, California. I was excited about this prospect. Not the fish specials, the writing in solace. Awakening, I turned over to Nicole and immediately recognized the lines of exhaustion in her face. Nicole is a wedding planner. I know, I know, an ironic profession considering my aforementioned fear of marriage. Nonetheless, she is. She often works long hours for little in return, other than the knowledge that she’s growing her business. This is common of anyone starting a new business, and wedding planning is no exception. Nevertheless, she genuinely amazes me with her energy, commitment, and ambition. Many people have said these same things about me over the years, and while I find it to be untrue, certainly there’s a plausible chance this motivation is one of the attributes that attracts us to each other.

This may all sound a bit funny considering I’m about to launch into a chapter about the beautiful features of an unknown brunette I’ve named Veronica, but hopefully it will all connect at the end.

Nicole looked tired. I felt empathy, and wanted to do something considerate to let her know I was there with her in this fight to find a path. I wanted her to know that her exhaustion wasn’t all for naught. Most of all, I wanted her to know that I loved her in that moment and every other, because I saw her completely. It made me love her all the more. I’m completely inept when it comes to conveying this to her, so I thought I could at least attempt some sort of grand gesture to showcase my feelings.

The best I could think of was offering to get her Starbucks.

I realize this is a paltry sign of affection based on what I was trying to accomplish, but it seemed like a worthy activity at the time. I don’t drink coffee myself (except for the occasional Caramel Blended Frappuchino), and thus find Starbucks both simultaneously annoying and alluring. The entire Starbucks layout screams for acceptance. Their entire aesthetic seems designed to not alienate any demographic, be they soccer Moms from Idaho or indie rock bands from Austin. The warm colors, combined with seasonal joy, tend to overwhelm the senses. How I feel about Starbucks in any given moment often coincides with the way I feel about life in that same moment. If I’m happy and feeling optimistic, than Starbucks is a beacon of what can be accomplished with a little ingenuity and persistence. If I’m angry and feeling worthless in my quest to enjoy life, I loathe Starbucks for its corporate tendencies and efforts to systematically take over every corner in America. This anger can become exacerbated when I see the likes of Josh Groban or John Mayer staring back at me from one of their cute, CD-holding kiosks at the front counter.

At the moment, all I cared about was making Nicole happy. Groban be damned.

I know I’m not the best boyfriend, often not fully appreciating the little ways in which she keeps my sanity above water. When I’m in a writing haze, she often brings me various objects in the food and beverage category. Burritos from Chipotle. Ice cold Coke Zeros. Glasses of red wine.

It’s not just the tasty treats though. She rubs my feet. She helps me find my wallet and keys when I often lose them. She doesn’t get upset when I go to movies by myself. Or take over the television in the rare 30 minutes of the day when I stop working. Basically, she’s a fucking angel. I promised I wouldn’t use the F word in the composition of this book, but those words can’t be underscored. I could have written: she’s an angel. But there’s no question, that doesn’t sound nearly as strong as: she’s a fucking angel. But just in case you're sensitive, from now on I'll refer to her in this context as a precious angel, so long as you know that this isn't exactly what I'm thinking. I'm thinking she's the fucking angel of all angels.

She is. Like most men, I probably neglect to show her the same care and consideration at times that she shows me. I don’t want it to sound like I’m one of those self-absorbed, selfish boyfriends who literally never pays her attention. I assure you, I’m not that. I actually think I’m a pretty decent boyfriend. It’s taken me many years to get there (we’ll get into that), but I have. She says I’m the best boyfriend in the world and that I sell my boyfriend skills short. I’ll settle for ‘not an asshole’. I’m okay I guess.

Looking at her, tired, and yet still somehow beautiful, I offered to retrieve whatever type of Starbucks concoction she wanted. She hemmed and hawed, citing diet and all that nonsense, but eventually caved at the thought of a Grande Christmas Blend. I have no idea what could possibly be in a Christmas Blend (to reiterate, I don’t drink coffee), but I knew that even if it involved the slight possibility that I might have to decapitate some elves, I was going to get that Christmas Blend.

So off to Starbucks I went, which is where I saw Veronica. There she stood in line, trying to look like everyone else, as if that were possible. She wore tight black pants with conservative ankle boots. The kind of boots that were subtle enough to exude sexy without being obnoxious (unlike the giant Uggs that seemed to be everywhere in 2008). She had a form-fitting black leather jacket and a grey, red checked scarf that hung there, in perfect balance, around her thin frame. Her hair was darkish brown, with just the right touch of tangles.

She was, a Veronica. Granted, brunettes have long been a weakness of mine, but this girl- this woman! She was the kind of woman any guy with half a brain feels instant attraction. She wasn’t a Maxim Magazine airbrushed boobette. She wasn’t the girl next door. She was somewhere in the middle of- ‘woman you’d like to marry’ and ‘awesome woman you’d like to have an extended weekend in Spain with’. She was the type of girl, back in the day, I would have attempted to woo. At the very least, I would have tried to make her laugh.

This brought up a multitude of emotions in me, and many of them centered on the definitions I’ve been trying to wrap my head around. For one, if I was single, I would have surely tried to pass myself off as something I’m not. Veronica made me feel insecure. Mostly because I imagined she’d be artistic and far more cultured than me. I hypothesized that Veronica had a boyfriend who sang lead in a boozy, blues-fueled rock band. That, or perhaps a pirate. Really, her imaginary boyfriend appeared in my head as someone Johnny Depp would play in a film. Someone like that.

I deducted all of this from her apparel and slightly unkempt hair.

Surely, Veronica would snicker if she knew I was an action-figure collecting, movie obsessed, theme park fanatic. Or, would she? I once had a crush on a foxy bartender named Missy. Everyone did, primarily because Missy did look like something from the pages of Maxim Magazine, and I was in my early twenties. You do the math. Every male heterosexual that walked into the McNolte’s Bar and Grill had a crush on Missy, it’s half the reason they did so much business. Sadly, I’m sure I’m not alone in that we all put her in a box when it came to who we thought she was outside of work. We imagined she was a jet-setting, partying, sexual dynamo.

We were wrong.

Missy was actually a dedicated Mother who had been with her husband since she was a teenager. More shockingly, she was an absolute dork. She loved video games, Disneyland, and anything goofy. I found this out over time, and although my sexual fantasies honestly probably never altered, my crush became one of the individual.

Which brings me to Veronica, and the fact that I had built up this entire perception of her based around what she looked like. I wondered how many people did this with me. It immediately got me angry, and made me realize how ignorant I was for thrusting these same perceptions on Veronica. Because I have always felt that for most of my life, people have misjudged me. I bet a lot of people feel the same way, that they’re often being misjudged by others for various things up to and including what musical band they choose to adorn their T-shirt with. We tend to box people in based on all of the limitations we see.

For me, I have long since dealt with the ‘frat-boy’ stereotype. There are many stereotypes you do not wish to be. Frat-boy is certainly one of the worst to be associated with. Hipster is up there too. Hipsters hate everything. And everyone. Especially frat-boys. I’ve been perceived as a frat-boy for many reasons, some of which are certainly reasonable.

I’m passionate about sports, and in some cases am fairly good at them. I’m also loud, especially on the playing field. My friends will all tell you I love competition. So much so, that I often coach the various teams I play on. Combine this with my pre-existing life of a bachelor who likes to drink and the frat-boy badge gets stapled to my chest without me even uttering a word.

This sucks. If you’re reading this, it sucks. I am not this. Just as you are not the label I probably have given you at some time, I am not simply a frat-boy. You might be thinking that being labeled something you’re not could be advantageous from the perspective that it allows for the element of surprise. It’s not. I repeat. It sucks. I know that isn’t a very elegant way of phrasing it, but those two words really do sum it up. As an example, I’ve had dozens of friends read my screenplays and comment afterward with something like this: “I was surprised, I really liked it.”

Again, you may view this as a compliment because on the surface, I provided some sort of enjoyment to the reader. But within that compliment is a backhanded insult. The fact that someone was surprised it was good can only mean they expected less. Thinking this over, I may be fixated on the negative and that might be something to explore. But back to Veronica…

I was gazing at her like a frat-boy who hadn’t been laid in a week. Looking at her beauty, I only felt inferior by contrast. I stood there awkwardly waiting for my low-fat turkey bacon sandwiches, all the while growing more and more self-conscious of my clothes. Chicago Bears sweatshirt. Outdated jeans. Star Wars hat. Christ, I was like some mongrel geek/frat-boy hybrid. Sigh…

Then, my entire fantasy of who Veronica was suddenly shattered at the site of the man walking into Starbucks mere moments later. Veronica’s boyfriend arrived. I knew this by the ways they smiled at each other. The kind of smiles lovers keep reserved for themselves. He looked different than I imagined. As far as these things go, he was pretty pedestrian. Put it this way, I don’t think Johnny Depp will be playing him in Veronica’s life story. He was just a guy in sweats on a Sunday. He looked pleasant, probably a good guy. Together they looked like a slightly hipper version of Kevin James and Leah Remini from that show The King of Queens. This of course dispelled the long held notion by men everywhere that Kevin James could never get a woman like Leah Remini in real life. Veronica was very much there, and very much taken by a guy that looked like he could pass for Kevin James’ little brother.

After witnessing this, I only felt like that much more of a fool. How many wonderful people had I failed to connect with over the years based upon my prefixed notions of who they were? It was becoming more and more apparent that I was an idiot. My instincts were all wrong, and now I was beginning to wonder if this was a problem that was entirely regulated to just me and a few other oddballs out there.

Worse, they were out of Christmas Blend, so I returned to Nicole empty-handed.

Paperback Available. Forward Excerpt From a Dear Friend & Sci-Fi Icon.

I promise the constant blogging about my book will cease to exist soon, and a more normal sense of writing will return. But it's still been just over a week, and my head is exploding with the various responses I'm getting.

Although I was going to wait until December to publish a paperback version of my book, I have gone ahead and done so now, as many people requested it.

Below is the cover to the paperback, with a link to the purchase page for both the ebook and paperback version.

I just wanted to again extend my gratitude to those of you who have been supporting it. I genuinely appreciate each and every comment I've gotten. Some that stand out are words from Jeff, Aaron, the Nightwings, Ray, and even my old French tipster SUZ. Thank you.

The biggest set of thanks continues to be for my longtime friend Kerry O'Quinn, who wrote a beautiful forward to my book, and I am truly honored and humbled by the time he took. Kerry is an icon, both as founder of Fangoria and Starlog magazine, and as a friend to me. I'll never forget our recent Star Wars adventure together, and I only hope he'll know how much he means to me. Below, you can read his forward.

Thanks to everyone!

paperback cover
paperback cover

YOU CAN PURCHASE KURT'S NEW BOOK, FINDING THE SUPER-HERO WITHIN, BY CLICKING HERE.

BELOW IS KERRY O'QUINN'S INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK

I was introduced to Kurt by my new roommate, Kerby Joe, soon after I moved to Hollywood from New York City. My immediate impression was that Kurt and I were total opposites, with almost nothing in common – about as different as two humans could be

He’s a good-looking young hunk, with a bodacious manner and a party-guy spirit. I’m none of the above.

But every time Kurt came over to our apartment, we both discovered interests we share. I started STARLOG magazine, the voice of science fiction for 35 years. I knew George Lucas and had many friends at Skywalker Ranch. Kurt was a major STAR WARS fan, who knew more facts and trivia details about that galaxy far, far away than I ever will.

I published another magazine called COMICS SCENE, but Kurt was far more savvy about superhero specifics than I was. We found heroes that we both admired in comics and movies. We were both launching careers in the entertainment field – with grand and distant dreams and ambitions.

Moreover, neither of us wears only one hat. We both enjoy developing a wide variety of abilities – never claiming to be the world’s best at any one, but ever relishing the development of creative skills in many arenas.

Over the next few years, Kurt wrote, produced, directed and acted in three films -- and I came to see the prime ingredient we both shared, as we tackled Hollywood. Kurt, unlike way too many talented young actors, didn’t just talk about what he wanted to do – he was doing it. My admiration for him grew into a feeling of brotherhood.

Oh, we also discovered that we are, indeed, brothers – lifetime members of Delta Upsilon fraternity, “Justice Our Foundation.” That Kurt asked me to write this Introduction to his first book, is a profound honor. I have come to see that very different humans can share very basic values. I have come to feel a kinship that I think many reading his words will also feel. He is a one-of-a-kind individual, without a carbon copy on this planet (ask an older friend what a carbon copy is). But there is also something universal about Kurt -- a bit of misfit-geek that all creative souls have.

Although he’s writing about his soul, and several ways it has manifested in his life, it’s important for you to know that the man whose soul is being revealed – is a man of action and accomplishment. His words are neither empty nor shallow. They are heartfelt, generated by introspection. Kurt is more self-aware, warts and all, than most.

I know you’ll enjoy his dramatic style and his revealing candor. The fact that he has produced yet another creative project, in yet another arena, should give you an inkling of the inspiration this book can potentially yield.

I'm delighted to introduce you to my amazing friend, with whom I share so many values. Keep your eyes on Kurt from here on. The guy is definitely worth watching, and this book isn't the last surprise you'll see from him.

Kerry O'Quinn Hollywood, 2011

What is my book about? As told to me by a woman I have never made out with.

Writers generally don't enjoy discussing what their work is, or what it's about. We can write hundreds of pages, filled with broad and diverse themes that somehow weave effortlessly into one another with just the right blend of emotions. Or so we hope.

But encapsulating those pages into a succinct paragraph or sentence seems overwhelming.

Such is the case with every screenplay I've ever written, and it continues with my first book release now.

For starters, the people asking me this question are friends and family members. Getting them to understand why you wrote about certain aspects of your life often leaves them with a bizarre tilted dog-esque grimace. They don't really comprehend memoir writing, no matter how much you try and explain it. You can hand them a dozen memoir books from people they don't know, and somehow they'll grasp the reasoning behind those. But yours? Good luck. You can see the look in their eyes, the one that says, why would anyone care about your life?

It's a fair question, and one that any writer of this genre faces. But if you've done your job, then it will be validated in the response and the ways in which people relate.

At any rate, I knew I needed a longer description of what I wrote. I thought about the few people who have read it already, and suddenly the answer as to who I could have guest blog seemed obvious.

tomko
tomko

Sara Tomko, first and foremost, is an awesome actress. No, really. You know how you have those friends that are pretty good musicians, but not necessarily great? That's not Sara. She is great and she's really, really talented. I say this because I've seen it firsthand. She is, in every sense of the word, an artist. She can be tough. That's how true artists are. They see warranted flaws where others only seem too happy to pat someone on the back.

She also is unique to my life in that our friendship is totally different from any other friendship I have.

It's mostly because she's a girl. Of course, I mean that she is a woman.

I have other female friends, but not like Sara.

Let me make this clear, Sara is the only female I've casually had coffee with for two hours. Alone. Like, just us.

And even afterward, I felt okay. It wasn't weird. I still felt I could go out and slaughter a moose with my bear hands.

I've known Sara for roughly five years, an important fact in our history. You see, in a lot of ways, Sara is my first grown-up female friend. Well, I suppose I should be more clear. Of course I've had female friends before, they just happened to always be women I made out with at one time or another. Or wanted to make out with. Or was close friends with someone I wanted to make out with.

Sara doesn't fit into any of these categories, unless you count the fact that she's very, very close to this one woman I happen to make out with quite often. For those that need more direct commentary, I'm referring to my fiance, The Angel.

This basically means that the guy in my book is not someone Sara ever really knew. Therefore, it's safe to say all of what she read was foreign to her.

And so it goes that I thought she'd be a perfect person to tell you what my book is about, especially being a woman who might not like what she read inside. Remember, she only knew the committed man I am now. But now she knew how I got to that point.

Oh shit, I just realized with that sentence that I'm a Star Wars prequel. Is my book is like Attack of the Clones to those that only know me now, and not then... am I at least Revenge of the Sith? What if I'm The Phantom Menace??? Oh god, the horror! Oh hell, here's what Sara had to say, unedited below.

I wanted to be me. I wanted to be the me I always wanted to be. I wanted to give the love to Nicole that she deserved. I wanted to look in the mirror and not just be okay. I wanted to forgive myself, move on from the darkness and start living my life in a better frame of mind.” -From Finding the Super-Hero Within-

“The Meaning within Finding the Super-Hero Within”

Have you ever wanted to step outside yourself and see the story of your life as it was unfolding in front of you? Maybe if you could actually see it, touch it, you could find the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel? I have. I bet you have too. So when I read Finding the Super-Hero Within, I was instantly attracted to one man’s journey to be, well, an open book.

Kurt Larson, writer of Finding the Super-Hero Within, tells the story of his daily struggles to face the man in the mirror and, truly, believe in himself. An early thirties modern man who is still coping with “growing up”, Larson invites us into his charming, albeit dorky, mind as he faces his fears of commitment and success. From the word Go, his inner monologue is so humorous and personal that you can’t help but like this guy. You find yourself relating to his unconventional thoughts of good guys and action figures, Beatles and Baseball, girlfriends and Disneyland, brothers and sprite cans. You start remembering your own childhood, your own first love and your own bouts of depression, all the while taking this journey with Larson as he tries to piece together his own puzzle, the one we all seem to share but never quite finish, what IS the meaning of life?

Ah, yes, the meaning of life, the timeless question. Time and time again we have seen many movies and heard many stories told of the heroic journey to search for the “holy grail.” Some were epic and adventurous like Indiana Jones, some quiet and quirky like Juno. There’s the classics, ala It’s a Wonderful Life, and the favorites, ala Goonies (as you can tell, I’m much more of a movie go-er than a book reader). But I have had my fair share of great novels as well, The Alchemist, The Giver, Charlotte’s Web, As I Lay Dying, The Da Vinci Code, and The Secret Life of Bees, to name a few. All unique books that swing back around to that age-old question, what does it all really mean? So, what makes Finding the Super-Hero Within any different? What makes this story worth reading?

Well, for starters, as a woman, I’ve never heard a man speak so openly about his feelings and then, further, commit it to paper. It’s not even written in a mushy gushy way, it’s just straight forward, and, frankly, funny because it’s true. It’s also vulnerable, fragile at times, and women will love getting inside the mind of a man, even if he is a complete stranger, because they will feel one step closer to knowing that species they love to hate and hate to love. Secondly, in a way, Kurt Larson is every man, so, men, too, will enjoy this story because, let’s be honest, all men have a little geek inside…boys will be boys. But more importantly, Larson shares these feelings that are undoubtedly similar to those of other men and these same men will be comforted to know that in their deepest, darkest, even dorkiest hour, they are not alone. Thirdly, most epic “meaning of life” tales are somehow out of our realistic reach, placed in a land and time far, far away. Even the most modern-day versions, placed in “our own backyard,” are more often than not, told from a third party perspective, or, if told from the character’s point of view, are still completely fictional. Sure, you can relate on many levels to fictional books or you can read Auto-Biographies and relate to a real person’s perspective but that’s what makes Larson’s book so great! It’s the best parts of fiction and reality. You can laugh at the plotline and cry at the climax, you can cringe at the mistakes and even turn the page quickly to find out what happens next! And, still, you can walk away knowing that the life of another human being has just touched the life of your own. Fourth and finally, there’s something charming and creative about how he writes. Larson has this natural flow to his words, a kind of poetic wit, which makes you feel like you’re just sitting down talking to an old friend. It’s the way he writes that makes you want to read more. You laugh with him effortlessly and when he reveals his insecurities, you don’t judge him in the slightest, you’re just glad he told you.

I’m a big fan of this book. I loved every second of reading it and I loved, even more, knowing that this guy really does exist. If you have ever doubted your self-worth and wondered if anyone else felt the same, then read this book. If you have ever wanted to be the best you, you could be, and wondered if anyone else out there was fighting the same fight, then read this book. If you have ever feared committing to another human being or turning out just like your parents or not living up to your full potential, then read this book. If you have ever related to super heroes in any way shape or form and have ever wished to discover your own super human powers, then, by all means, read this book.

Sara Tomko Guyer

You can read more about Sara by visiting her OFFICIAL WEBSITE HERE.

You can buy Kurt's book by CLICKING HERE.