Come on over…


I’ve been in a bit of a blogging dither. A few months ago, I started a second, curtisbaussebooks, where I write more about writing. But recently, with a few other writers from Book Country, we’ve formed the project of another blog about writing, to be run collectively. Well, it took me a while, but now I’ve decided that three is too many, so I hereby extend an invitation to join me at curtisbaussebooks.

At first I thought this blog would be goofy and the other one serious, but that’s like having baked beans on toast with the beans on one plate and the toast on another. So although this blog won’t be deleted, and I may even pop in from time to time, the whole salmagundi will be on one plate, over at curtisbaussebooks (see what I’m doing here? Nudge, nudge!)

And right away you’ll find some invaluable tips from seasoned traveller, Gerald Rumpy, whose impressions of his recent safari trip are not to be missed. Hopefully Gerald will agree to be a regular contributor.


Further along in April there’s the A-Z blogging challenge – in this case the A-Z of the Writer’s Affliction (goofiness galore there). Not forgetting, of course, the newsletter:

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Your Curtisly signature

First issue goes out Monday, with:

  • A glimpse of Perfume Island, sequel to One Green Bottle.
  • For writers among you, the chance to win a free critique and edit of a short story or a chapter.
  • A link to a free short story, The Singular Point, first published in Spilling Ink Review.
  • And last but not least, The Elizabethan Era, first nibble-size instalment in The Authorised Biography of Curtis. Actually, that’s not quite last. Right at the bottom, there’s a link that says you can unsubscribe any time.

What have you got to lose?


Writing the Other

Izzy May I: The Write always comes up with some great topics – the latest is about what makes a ‘strong’ female character. And as usual, she covers the topic very thoroughly and one can’t but agree with her assertion that “the strong female character has become a stereotype.” Indeed, as Judy Berman puts it, “we’re now suffering from a dearth of weak female characters — complex, well-written women who happen to also be meek, feminine, neurotic, or otherwise imperfect.”


Vivien Leigh as Anna Karenina (

Naturally, all this got me thinking about Magali, the main character in One Green Bottle, and worrying she might be a stereotype. Although she’s not strong, and doesn’t kick ass either figuratively or literally, she’s stubborn and resourceful. So while being fairly meek, she does have an inner strength that keeps her going even when beset by doubts. Hopefully, that’s not a stereotype.

When workshopping OGB on Book Country, a message I received from Renee Gravelle, whose writings about women I much respect, particularly pleased me: I love Magali, and speaking as a woman, I think you’ve done a great job portraying her man’s world from her psychological viewpoint. That was reassuring, because there’s always a slight trepidation when you set out to “write the other”. Usually that means the opposite gender, though there’s nothing to stop it being anything we want. David Duchovny has written a book from a cow’s point of view, though not, apparently, with wonderful results. I haven’t read it myself, but Emma’s review at Bluchickenninja was less than flattering.

A neat conclusion is provided by another Book Country writer, D.J. Lutz:  “The cliche gender roles have blurred so much now, I like to think I write for the human condition instead of delineating male vs female.” Of course, one can also write for the bovine condition, but in that case I humbly suggest one should first consult Mabel Moo. 🙂