A stressed Kraft

Website & blogs © Louis Kraft 2013-2018
Contact Kraft at writerkraft@gmail.com or comment at the end of the blog


I thought that three things kept my life in balance: writing, friends, and the ladies in my life (currently only my daughter). This, as it turns out, isn’t true, for there is a fourth piece to my life—my computers and how well they perform with programs (Microsoft’s Word, Adobe’s Photoshop, and WordPress’s website/blog template are the three I use the most). I depend upon the internet and the phone to land work and deliver work. The website/blog (along w/my buddy the internet) will hopefully become my best selling tool. But I never say “never.” … What does that mean? Yikes!!!! Maybe below I’ll explain, but then again, maybe not.

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May 30, 2013. The face of total frustration, as I live with and test the total shutdown of this website/blog when I changed internet providers (the land phone hasn’t been performing with raves either). Yesterday (June 3) I had a very good 2½ hour session with a bright engineer from the East Coast named Wensor as we kicked ideas back and forth on what could be the problem. A lot of testing and a lot of failure for the first 1½ hours, but perhaps success. All tests closing out of programs, shutting down the computer, restarting it, and most important getting to the website/blog and being able to log in at the end of our meeting succeeded (kudos to Wensor of AT&T). He and I’ll again talk today after I do more tests … but first I wanted to do a blog in case we had just entered a short safe time zone of false hope. (Art © Louis Kraft 2013)

The last week of May has been hell—pure and simple hell—and it has continued into the first week of June. A learning experience with patience (trust me, I’ve improved with this over the years).

I’m not going to bore you with the problems—which have been ongoing—of changing internet and land line providers, but this has drastically impacted my work. Research for Flynn/de Havilland and Sand Creek as well as emails with editors have continued during these dark days that began on May 24 (no writing except for four-five hours on a Geronimo article), for the rest of my time has been spent trouble-shooting internet/phone/computer problems and working with my new provider. Enough said!!!

In the previous blog I posted an image of Errol Flynn that I’m working on. It isn’t complete, as I’m juggling artwork projects. I’m behind on some promised Ned Wynkoop images, and I need a Geronimo piece to accompany that article submission. Two bottom lines here: I like submitting artwork for articles and books as they can provide an image that supports the text (an image that doesn’t exist or isn’t obtainable); and they bring in additional money. I’m not big on money, but I like eating.

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This Ned Wynkoop image first appeared in an anthology that printed a Wynkoop article of mine, “Ned Wynkoop’s Lonely Walk Between the Races” (2008). It has since appeared in Wild West, True West, and has just appeared in Symphony in the Flint Hills Field Journal, Volume V (2013), that accompanies the orchestra’s concert, which happens each summer at historical sites in Kansas. This year they are featuring classic western film scores at Fort Riley. I had an open invite to the concert, but unfortunately couldn’t land a writing gig in Kansas at that time, so I won’t be there. BTW, this is a terrific book; well designed, nice range of articles with a wide selection of photos and artwork. I was pleasantly surprised. (Art © Louis Kraft 2007)

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Pardon the bragging, but my floppy-hat Wynkoop portrait sees print for the fourth time this month in a book dealing with a live concert in Kansas this summer. This isn’t ego, for it gives me the chance to invite friends over for dinner, to see a play, to walk in the park with a friend, to pay a bill.

Believe it or not (and no this isn’t a Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” cartoon from the Dark Ages), … I have at times been pounded for using art I created in my books and magazine articles, and worse I’ve been pounded for being an actor (in days long gone—I only appear now when I write the script). You see actors can’t be historians. This came with the Custer book, and for years after I hid my past life in a closet. Editors and publishing houses had no clue I had been an actor. After I came out of the closet and began acting onstage again (again, only in scripts I write), I decided to hell with hiding a past I had no problem remembering. It’s out in the open; now I get pounded for artwork and not acting. Go figure.

Ouch! I’ve probably put a curse on myself. Most likely the image of Ned Wynkoop in Sand Creek and the Tragic End of a Lifeway will be of him riding a horse. Ladies and gents, this image doesn’t exist. If I’m going to use it I’m going to have to create it. I’ve begun illustrations of him in Indian Territory in November 1868 surrounded by snow and another of him on the parade ground at Fort Larned, Kansas. Actually, the Wynkoop/horse image is under way, but alas, in a very early stage of development. Slow progress and actually these images may not be shared until they are published (or at least in a presentable view as was the Flynn/Custer image from the last blog).

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April 2013 view from the front porch of Vicki and Layton Hooper’s home in Fort Collins, Co. I am beginning to believe that I am the “Snowman of Colorado.” When Governor Hickenlooper needs more snow, all he has to do is call up ol’ Kraft, pay a decent salary, all expenses, and I’ll be on my way. I’ve already created a snow dance that guarantees success. Why wait for Halloween to begin the Christmas season? Why not July 4th? I can guarantee days upon days of the white stuff obliterating the sun. I’m not mean, … I’m just having fun, justifiable fun for being snowed in the last two times I’ve visited Colorado. Hell, the “gov” likes the Wynkoop book; that makes him a pal. (Photo © Louis Kraft 2013)

I had planned this blog to deal w/my thrilling time last April in the land of 300 days of sunshine—Colorado … dealing with people, my favorite subject. The above problem (internet/website) again ruled yesterday and will do so again this day, I walked away from my planned subject even though images and artwork were ready. … That said, and in a totally unexpected transition from what I’ve been talking about, I may enter that coolest of zones, that place from which I thought I had walked from—a place that forever excites me for the challenges are huge, the environment a maze of electricitya world in which I’m at home. What?? Good interview yesterday. I never hold my breath, … we’ll see.

Is Kraft fickle? I’ll never tell, … but I do like to tease.