Books and Other Writings by Richard Balthazar

My authorial aspirations started rather early in life with a couple pubescent novels, manuscripts that I now keep under strict security.  After my New Orleans period, I knew it should be a novel and made notes on it a few years later, actually starting the writing in the mid 80’s.  That was when I also began a novel about my Arkansas period and my opus on Indian mounds.  With these two fabulous projects, I started looking for a literary agent, a search that dragged out for more than a decade without a single response, even for courtesy.  Need we ask why?

RNA title

So, in the early 1990s I decided to start my own publishing company, which for arcane reasons I called FIVE FLOWER PRESS. In my professional job I’d managed publication of several books, and so I didn’t feel intimidated. The first one was nonfiction about my Indian mound project mentioned above, published in 1992 as REMEMBER NATIVE AMERICA, The Earthworks of Ancient America.  It was done very professionally with a talented designer, major printer and national distributor, and respectable advertising efforts to good reviews and nominal sales. It is now available in electronic form for free download.


Right after that (1993) I published CELEBRATE NATIVE AMERICA, An Aztec Book of Days.  It was equally nicely done, including my own artwork, my own version of the Aztec Calendar with its 20 13-day weeks. It enjoyed very few sales and even fewer reviews. While spectacular and the source of most of the Aztec images on this website, I simply had to spend several years digging myself out of the financial hole publishing these two books plunged me into. You can now download it for free.

Getting cover

Feeling rather burned, I turned to fiction during the later 90s but couldn’t ignore a nonfiction linguistics project I’d been fooling around with for forty years. Biting the bullet, I published it in 2006 through the online publisher AuthorHouse.com, where it is still for sale in hard copy: GETTING GET, The Glossary of a Wild Verb. It’s unlike anything language freaks have ever seen. And now, as of 2015, it’s available for free download. Get it!




Two of my other writing projects were also published online with AuthorHouse, where they languished for some years since I couldn’t market them. Finally, I decided to withdraw them and revise, revise, revise.

Dionysus friezeMy first novel, started back in the 1980s and afterwards revised within an inch of its life, was finally finished in 2021, a remarkable piece of gay history from the Stone Age of the early 1960s in New Orleans. DIVINE DEBAUCH is the picaresque, semi-fictional, semi-epistolary tale of a college boy who frequents the disreputable Latin and Greek sailor dives on the Wild Side waterfront of the French Quarter. I doubt you’ve ever read anything like it. Click and download by chapter. 


biaw covAlso, after many revisions to its 1980s version, I finished my second autobiographical novella (i.e., again semi-fictional) in 2015 about a naive kid in the backwoods of Arkansas who had no idea he was gay. It’s now available here for free: BAT IN A WHIRLWIND. You can download the whole text or by chapter.






My first real memoir was a hair-raising story of going back in. (I’d been out as a gay guy for a long time before–see above.) When I left the fairyland of the French Quarter in 1964 and went to Seattle for graduate school, I wound up falling from faerie grace and becoming a husband and father. That trauma is minutely detailed in THERE WAS A SHIP , started around 2010, repeatedly revised, and ultimately finished in 2019. Now available for free download, this story is a unique slice of gay history not to be missed.




Meanwhile, in 2016, I switched gears and wrote a biography of my mother with many pictures–which gave me great experience in photo restoration. The book is titled MS. YVONNE, The Secret Life of My Mother, which seems to be quite popular–maybe because she was a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and lived to the ripe old age of 94. It’s available for free download. (In some ways it might also be considered a memoir of my childhood.)



Ehecatl detail

Distracted by art projects (see below) for several years, I fitted in work on a second memoir, the story of my second coming out in 1970 after four more years of marriage and two daughters. Right at the end of 2019, I finished and loaded it on the website just in time for Covid lockdown… This memoir is entitled LORD WIND, the story of my many loves and adventures when I was once again a free gay man, is another significant piece of gay history.  Again, the chapters are yours for free download.



Gay Geisha

When I went into solitary confinement in 2020 for the Covid pandemic, I dived into my third gay memoir about the liberated 1970s in Washington DC. GAY GEISHA is about when I was the owner of a Victorian mansion and entertained a parade of admirers. It’s gay history from our Golden Age. Since I was unsure about my mortality, I started posting chapters as they were completed and by 2022 had finished it. Check it out and start reading it like a serial by chapter.




After completing what amounts to six volumes of memoir covering the first half of my long life, I decided that enough was enough. Besides, the second half of that long life wasn’t anywhere near as interesting. So, I’ve sworn off any more memoirs. Instead, I’m turning to fiction with a series of short stories, fantasies revolving around my life as old man dancing. Right now, as of early 2023, I’ve completed three of them: Whatever Works, Better Buy a Dozen, and Bo Peep’s Sheep. They and future stories can be found in the Short Prose section of my Public Library (stocked with poetry, prose, and plays, all available for free download.

Aside from all that writing of nonfiction, fiction, and memoir, I’ve been making art, over several years producing 20 black-and -white drawings designed for a coloring book. (Printed on large vinyl banners, I exhibited them as YE GODS! Icons of Aztec Deities at seven venues during 2018-2020 before getting locked down by the pandemic.) In conjunction with that show’s catalog collection of the icons, I wrote some more nonfiction in the forms of an illustrated encyclopedia of Aztec deities and a treatise on the surviving Aztec Codices.  Shot down by the pandemic, I switched my artistic efforts from icons to re-creating the tonalamatls (books of days) from various codices to post as blogs with quasi-scholarly commentaries and collecting them in a gallery called Tonalamatl. Watch for them because they’ll knock your socks off! 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.