Veteran Talk – Urgently Needed Care

(Pensacola, Florida; Jan. 15, 2022) – Well, that was new! These past several months have been rather crazy.  I bought a house, moved in, got settled, checked into the VA medical system here in Pensacola, spent the holidays with family stretched from Florida to Tennessee, dodged those horrible tornadoes in Kentucky last month, and finally … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Urgently Needed Care

Just My Thoughts: Christmas with the Presidents

(Pensacola, Florida – Dec. 16, 2021) – Christmastime at Mount Vernon in the late 18th century was a far cry from the lights, trees, tinsel, and frenetic pace of parties we know today in the 21st century.  Christmas trees were largely unknown to the American public.  The Christmas tree was brought to the U.S. in … Continue reading Just My Thoughts: Christmas with the Presidents

Travel Log: Natural Bridge, or ‘Oh, Crap; There It Is!’

(Bowie, Maryland; Nov. 28, 2021) – I’ve been struck dumb with breathlessly overwhelming awe at my first sight of natural formations four times in my life now. The first time was the sight of Uluru (formerly Ayres Rock) when I visited Australia in 2004.  The great, red sandstone giant rising from the flat Australian Outback … Continue reading Travel Log: Natural Bridge, or ‘Oh, Crap; There It Is!’

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)