**WRITER'S NOTE** My computer will be in the shop, so I'm publishing this today instead of on Thursday as usual. See you on the flip side! (Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 22, 2020) – Abandoned buildings are way cool...especially in winter! I’ve loved abandoned buildings and longed to explore them ever since I watched the Scooby Doo … Continue reading Travel Log: Hunting Abandoned Buildings
(Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 15, 2020) – The retired aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) had a profound affect on my time at sea, and her deactivation in 2012 foretold my own retirement from the Navy in 2017. Pretty heavy stuff, especially considering I never once set foot aboard her! I joined the Navy to go … Continue reading On the Waterfront – A Tale of a Great Enterprise
(Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 1, 2020) – Do you wish to convince your political opponents you’re right, thereby bringing them onto your team as enthusiastic members, or do you wish to conquer your political opponents, grinding them under the black heel of your jackboot? The current political season has brought to the fore the fault lines … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – Convince or Conquer?
(Silverdale, Washington; Sept. 21, 2020) – Proud Lion sailed into history yesterday! I am now a published novelist. Monetary success will be nice if I achieve it, but the primary goal has been reached: publication. Nothing can take that away from me, not lack of sales, not lack of critical acclaim, nothing. I am now, … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – And so it Begins!
(Silverdale, Washington; Sept. 17, 2020) – The greatest single piece of seamanship I ever witnessed occurred the day my captain summarily ordered the tugs away from our 17,000 ton warship and proceeded to dock her without assistance, thereby avoiding a collision with an 114,000 ton cruise ship. Commander Stephen ‘Cole’ Hayes was the third commanding … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Master Seamanship
(Silverdale, Washington; Sept. 14, 2020) – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: writing a book is a solitary endeavour, but publishing a book requires a team effort. Editors are as fundamental to the writing process as the writer is. I first spoke about the glory of an editor in my column on … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – The Glory of an Editor, Part 2: The Book Emerges!
(Silverdale, Washington; Sept. 3, 2020) – The United States is gearing up for a tumultuous presidential election. Unfortunately, human nature makes it far easier to manipulate people by stirring up emotions instead of teaching the population to think critically. After all, a populace which exercises critical thinking skills is far harder to manipulate...er, lead. Understanding … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – Federalism 101
(Silverdale, Washington; August 31, 2020) – Writing a book is a solitary endeavour. Publishing a book requires a team effort. I spoke about this in my Aug. 17 column, “Teamwork” (https://sparks1524.com/2020/08/17/the-writers-craft-teamwork/). Publishing this blog on my own is one thing, but no one can successfully publish a book without help once the draft is complete. … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – The Glory of an Editor
(Silverdale, Washington; August 27, 2020) – Human society is pervaded by a cultural belief in the supernatural, also commonly called magic. This belief is a true spiritual path for some, and manifests merely as a suspension of disbelief while watching a Harry Potter movie for others, but it’s there. Those who believe in the concrete … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – Contemplating Magic
(Silverdale, Washington; August 24, 2020) – I am proud to present the first “On the Waterfront” column for this blog. This is a space in which I can organize and share stories of adventures on the sea. Some of these might be Navy stories, some might be civilian experiences, but all are tied to the … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Raising Gibraltar