Just My Thoughts – Sparks1524 is Back!

(Pensacola, Florida; Nov. 6, 2021) –  Although not officially on hiatus, all seven of you who follow this blog and YouTube channel know that my production has been, at best, minimal, over the past few weeks. I’m happy to report that Sparks1524 is back! I passed on the happy news last week that the Emerald … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – Sparks1524 is Back!

Just My Thoughts – The Duck has Landed!

(Pensacola, Florida; 29 October, 2021) –  The duck has landed! I am safely and happily ensconced in the Emerald Duck.  Move-in day was last Thursday (24 hours early—Yay!).  Not having a traditional full-time job this time, I was able to concentrate the full force of my vast powers of hyperactive obsession on the toil of … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – The Duck has Landed!

Just My Thoughts – Almost Home!

(Niceville, Florida; October 17, 2021) –  The long journey I embarked upon this past May is nearly over as I engage in the final prep work around the Emerald Duck before my household goods. *WHEW!* This has been an intense and busy time, and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon!  My household goods … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – Almost Home!

The Writer’s Craft – How Do I Become a Writer?! (Part 4)

(Niceville, Florida; 21 September 2021) – Most writers want to get published.  After all, Olympians who wield their foils in front of the world every four years didn’t study fencing only to keep their amazing skills hidden at home, nor do most writers train for years just to wield the pen with magnificent skill so … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – How Do I Become a Writer?! (Part 4)

Veteran Talk – Morning Quarters

(Niceville, Florida; 16 September 2021) – Twenty-four years ago today I was a trembling, quaking, skinny (yes, I was skinny!) 25-year-old kid swearing into the Navy at the MEPS in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s always fun to look back a bit and see how far you’ve come.  It doesn’t take a scanning electron microscope to see … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Morning Quarters

Veteran Talk – Twenty Years Later

(Niceville, Florida; 11 September 2021) – Twenty years ago today I was standing on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as we spun up the Tomcats of VF-213 for a routine day of flying over the Arabian Sea. One of our civilian tech reps had a small camera and waved to me, … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Twenty Years Later

The Writer’s Craft – How Do I Become a Writer?! (Part 3)

(Niceville, Florida; 26 August 2021) – The inky blade of glory slashes across the page, boldly scribing out a colorful character shortly to engage the forces of darkness in a pitched battle that will determine whether whole worlds live free or die in agony. Fiction writers willingly take on a burden not shared by the … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – How Do I Become a Writer?! (Part 3)

The Writer’s Craft – How Do I Become a Writer?! (Part 2)

(Niceville, Florida; 22 August 2021) – The pen is mightier than the sword, but, just as a blade-carrying duelist requires years to hone their techniques, how much more training does an accomplished writer need to successfully wield the prodigious power of the pen? Straight up, writing is hard work, both creatively and physically.  The question … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – How Do I Become a Writer?! (Part 2)

Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans 2

(Niceville, Florida; August 21, 2021) – It’s been five days now since we watched the horrific farce play out in Afghanistan. I can’t even look at any of my ‘Navy Pride’ stuff.  T-shirts, ball caps, anything.  Looking at it fills me with such rage, such betrayal, such a singular sense of senseless futility that I … Continue reading Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans 2

Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans

(Niceville, Florida; August 17, 2021) – I cannot offer any witty remarks or humorous proverbs about what happened yesterday in Afghanistan.  I’m a veteran myself.  My deployments were at sea, but all were in support of my brothers and sisters on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.  I helped launch the first Navy manned strikes … Continue reading Mental Health: Open Letter to Afghanistan Veterans