Creekbank Blog

The Congo

From Nairobi, Africa. “The life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” -from the movie “Australia.” It’s late Tues. PM here. We landed here and saw zebras and antelopes as we neared the runway. We (Reggie, Bill, and Curt) have an overnight flight at midnight to London. Then we’ll fly home to Houston by Wed. afternoon. A few thoughts from …

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Eliza’s Journey: A Future Novel

The following is a proposal and outline on a new book entitled Eliza’s Journey. I’d appreciate your input on the book title, the plot’s twists and turns, as well as the name “Frederick.” (see below. I believe there’s got to be a better name.) Let me hear from you. Curt Author’s notes: Tentatively Eliza’s Journey is planned as an 80,000 …

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Eliza Iles in Africa

The following fascinating article is from a Beaumont Daily Journal article in November 1920. It features a letter from the Belgian Congo, Africa written by my great-grandfather’s sister, Eliza Iles: Headline: Miss Eliza Iles writes of trip to Congo, Africa Miss Eliza Iles, who was deaconess for the First Methodist church in this city for three years and is now …

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Burned yet Blessed

Burned, yet Blessed, by the Fire… “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is today.” We’re just finishing burning season in Southwestern Louisiana. Five days of rain and the greening of the grass ended one of the driest winters we’ve had in years. The following story is from my 2004 book, Wind …

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The Lone Hostage: Captain Phillips

The Lone Hostage “He to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood” –Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing Robert Robinson It’s only appropriate to write about Captain Richard Phillips on Good Friday. Phillips is the captain of the Maersk Alabama, an American cargo ship hijacked two days ago by armed pirates from Somalia. As the pirates attacked the ship, …

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The Smells of Home

A brick of peat in County Mayo, Ireland. See below or click here on the sweet smell of burning peat. The “Smell of Home”   Recently I published a blog on the wonderful smell of honeysuckle. (Click here to read it if you missed it. Also read below for a treatise from my friend horticulturist Charles Chaumont on the two …

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A Pat on the Head: the love of a dog

  A Pat on the Head A short story containing an old dog, a famous horse, an eulogy at a country funeral, and ending with a tragic plane crash, will be one of two things: It will either be a forgettable tangle of tales that leave a reader frustrated. Or it may be a wonderfully woven story imparting lessons that …

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A Friend named Ivory

A Friend named Ivory From the book, The Mockingbird’s Song by Curt Iles “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing … not healing, not curing … that is a friend who cares.” –Henri Nouwen “A …

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Sugar and Ivory

Ivory “guarding” the office.   “Sugar and Ivory” From the Curt Iles book,Hearts across the Water It’s odd but I will always think of two dogs when I think of the long night that Hurricane Rita struck Dry Creek Camp.   We had 350 people on our grounds. They had been moved and bedded down in our most solid dorms …

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Dogwoods under the Pines

Spring dogwood in bloom Crooked Bayou Swamp Dogwoods under the Pines The following story is from my novel, The Wayfaring Stranger. This passage takes place in March of 1850 western Louisiana. This dogwood story details the growing love affair between the Irishman Joe Moore and the Redbone girl, Eliza Clark. It was over a week before Joe’s next visit. Mid-March …

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“Branding Dogs” Mistranslation

“Branding Dogs” A case study on a misunderstanding Eddie Anyone who knows me is aware of how much I love dogs. One of my older friends always said, “Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like dogs.” One of my writing priorities is to include a good dog in every book I write. I don’t just like dogs. I love dogs, especially …

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What I Value Most

Curt cooking supper at The Old House What I Value Most You can also view this story at www.whativaluemost.com. Simply type in “Curt Iles” to read my story. I make my living as a storyteller. Some stories are written, others I tell. Most of the stories I tell are true. Others, although fictional, are taken from real life. As a …

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Mexican Dirt

Mexican Dirt I love stories, because I’m a storyteller. I love all stories, but especially funny stories. Best of all, I like funny stories with a happy message. One of the biggest challenges of storytelling is sharing cross-culturally. Something that a group of Americans would double over in laughter at may leave an African audience or Hondurans scratching their heads …

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The Writing Life: No Retreat!

No retreat, not even for writer’s doubt. Recently a writing friend expressed her doubts about the quality of her writing. Understanding fully what she was going through, I shared the following: As a writer, I’ve been plagued with WRITER’S BLOCK. However, I routinely suffer from WRITERS DOUBT. From reading others, it seems to plague every writer to varying degrees. The …

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