Sparked by Words

Archive for the ‘Just a Thought’ Category



The anticipation of going to sleep is the hope of waking in the morning with all the promise of something wonderful arriving with the dawn.

The comfort of sleep is knowing I’ve used the hours of light well.




Just a Thought 11



Dawn image courtesy:





Give me a kiss.

I will write one more word.

Laugh and I will write a page.

Sob, I will complete the story.



Just a Thought 10


The Kiss (Lovers) painting, 1907, 1908, by Gustav Klimt courtesy:



Kitchen Musings

The kitchen is the heart of the home. This much I know.


  1. Pour water into a colander though none of it will remain. Shake the colander vigorously and water splashes off. Put it aside – it still needs time to dry. Do you sense the mystery of water droplets?


  1. Spread a paper towel to dry the washed strawberries. Save the towel – the stain of the strawberries lingers. If I lift the towel again, will you smell the scent of the fruit?


  1. Listen to the Beatles sing, “I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping. While my guitar gently weeps,” – the refrain follows me all day. When I hum aloud, will you sing the words?


There is story in the colander and the strawberry essence and the music. How will I gather it?


Something elemental prevails in the water. Ah, now I write.



Just a Thought 9


While My Guitar Gently Weeps lyrics by George Harrison, 1968

Water Drop photograph courtesy David Restivo, Arau, Switzerland;




The Blueprint of Story

No matter the genre or time period, all good literature tells something about how to be human. I don’t mean the classic elements for writing like plot, character development, conflict, setting, and resolution to the dilemma. I mean the motives for human interaction: love, honor, quest, change, relationships, violence, fidelity, revenge, sensuality, history, courage, cowardice, defense – these are the scaffolds of writing because they are the markers for living. They are what make people tick, what stimulates their actions. A story should expose the extraordinary range of human behavior, morality, intelligence, corruption, and spirituality.

To me this is key:  how one feels about one’s place in the universe and how one functions in response must be the essential blueprint of the story.


Just a Thought 8



Painting The Storm by Pierre Auguste Cot, 1880, courtesy Wikipedia



I Am Not Responsible

Writers are not responsible for readers whose knowledge and life experiences are so dwarfed they can’t relate to what is written. Assuming the writer is clear and succinct in their craft, it’s the reader’s responsibility to educate himself sufficiently so he participate in reading an extensive literature.

Imagine if it were every writer’s task to teach the alphabet before he began to write. A is for abecedarian, B is for bahadur, C is for clupeoid, Z is for zymosis.*

That being said, writers may not write in tongues, arbitrary and fabricated languages having no value other than to caress the writer’s ego. In that case, writers do need to teach the alphabet. (Perhaps as well to see a therapist.) Also the culture, the history, the aspirations, and the APO of the invented country. Maybe that should be the UPO – Universal Post Office.

Invention, however, is the domain of fiction writers. Be creative, fellow writers. Don’t teach the alphabet but do incorporate internal logic and some familiar external landmarks by which your readers can find their way. In other words, leave the light on. And a switch near at hand. At least a glossary.

Writers and readers need have a shared ground and some common sense. We are all responsible for that much.



abecedarian: a person who is learning the alphabet

bahadur: a distinguished personage

clupeoid: like the herrings

zymosis: fermentation

Definitions from The World Book Dictionary, 1987, in two-volumes


Just a thought 7



Dictionary page image courtesy:



What if the two Voyager spacecraft enter interstellar space where the Golden Record might reach other intelligent life forms, but – witnessing the savagery we have wrought here on earth – they want nothing to do with us? What if that life form is of such advanced intelligence that they refuse to acknowledge us? What if they have seen us first but have already passed us by? What if the only thing we leave behind is nothing worth owning or passing on? What if the speed at which the Voyagers travel is exponentially outpaced by the momentum of the continuing destruction here at our planetary home? What if the premise of hope launched by the visionary scientists in 1977 has long been dashed by the reality of the horrors the destroyers effected here on Earth?

What if we deserve nothing more and Earth is really our one chance? Shouldn’t we live here as if that is the final and only truth?

And if we choose not to respectively honor our place in the Cosmos, what then do we tell our children’s children’s children?


Just a Thought 6


Voyager image courtesy NASA

Earth image courtesy

Waiting for the Light

A horizon line is an error of our vision. Still, we plod determinedly toward it. We reach it in our imaginations, then move again. It’s the forward movement that transforms it – and us. Closing our eyes makes it real.

But open your eyes today, behind your special protective glasses, about 10:00 a.m. if you’re on the West Coast. Watch the solar eclipse, performed especially for the United States. If one thing can unite this savage country in a peaceful moment, let it be all eyes peering toward the heavens, each of us somewhat in the dark, holding hands, breathless with wonder, waiting for light to reach us again.

Waiting for the light.


Just a Thought, 5

Eclipse image courtesy: