Mental Health – Tossing Toxic Tails on the Tarmac

(Pensacola, Florida; June 16, 2022) – I threw Alvin out of my house and life only 48 hours into a five-day visit. ‘Alvin’ is not his real name, but we’ll use it here.  I met him in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area back in 2014 when my ex-wife and I first separated.  I was predictably devastated … Continue reading Mental Health – Tossing Toxic Tails on the Tarmac

On the Waterfront – On Eagle’s Wings

(Pensacola, Florida; June 9, 2022) – I possess the oddest collection of personal connections to ships I never served aboard. Just as one example: despite numerous attempts, I never set foot aboard the carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65)—even as a mere visitor.  However, every ship I did sail aboard participated in an official formation photo-op … Continue reading On the Waterfront – On Eagle’s Wings

The Writer’s Craft – Changing with the Times

(Pensacola, Florida; June 2, 2022,) – Characters must change with the times, or else they and their relationships become stagnant structures contemptuously consigned to the compost pile of failed creative ideas. However, as related to my recent column on Keeping Characters Consistent (https://sparks1524.com/2022/04/27/the-writers-craft-keeping-characters-consistent/), the challenge of ensuring your characters stay in character, even as they … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Changing with the Times

On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst

On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst (Pensacola, Florida; April 26, 2022) – The ex-USS Ponce (LPD 15) has arrived at her final berth in Texas at the scrapper’s yard. So, it’s time for another ‘On the Waterfront’ sea story about the Proud Lion and the adventures of her intrepid crew, … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: Dolphins in the Midst

Veteran Talk – Episode Fore!  A New Hope…

(Pensacola, Florida; May 20, 2022) – As Luke Skywalker helped the Rebel Alliance find a new hope against the darkness of the Empire, so too can we find new hope against the darkness of PTSD and other mental health challenges facing some veterans following military service. I make no secret of my years-long frustration (well, … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Episode Fore!  A New Hope…

Veteran Talk – Mach Two Max Has Gone Ashore

(Pensacola, Florida; May 13, 2022) – Mach Two Max passed away last month at the age of 78, and, while the world is not a ‘smaller’ or ‘lesser’ place without her, it is a different place now that this quiet pioneer has entered the mystic realm of myth. Patricia Maxine Mallette was fluent in three … Continue reading Veteran Talk – Mach Two Max Has Gone Ashore

The Writer’s Craft – Blocking Writer’s Block

(Pensacola, Florida; May 5, 2022,) – Writer’s block is the bane of all writers, a devious felon sneaking up on unsuspecting authors and unapologetically stealing their ability to put pen to paper. Creative disruptions are something we all deal with when trying to develop our next (or even our current) project.  We’ve all been there … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Blocking Writer’s Block

The Writer’s Craft – Keeping Characters Consistent

(Pensacola, Florida; Apr. 27, 2022,) – This week I celebrate the publication of And So It Begins, my third Accidental Detective novel! Available in paperback and ebook format on Amazon, this story opens in late 2018 with the newly-retired Isaac Shepherd adjusting to life after the Navy…and then his memories whisk the reader back to … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – Keeping Characters Consistent

On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: The Greatest Seaman

(Pensacola, Florida; April 21, 2022) – I posted the original version of this column nearly two years ago while I was still in Washington State.  However, as the Proud Lion is sailing into history now, this memory has taken up pride of place in the formation of memories gliding along the channel for the Grand … Continue reading On the Waterfront – Sailing Into History: The Greatest Seaman

Just My Thoughts – Stop Targeting Children!

(Pensacola, Florida; April 13, 2022,) – I’m gay.  I have a vested interest in seeing young people born into the LBGT community treated with respect and human dignity exactly the way my generation was not treated as we grew up. However, those who advocate (usually quite loudly) that we must teach ‘gender identity’ to kids … Continue reading Just My Thoughts – Stop Targeting Children!