Thursday, January 30, 2014

Who Are You?

By Douglas Clark

Who are you? The character Kosh on the sci fi television series Babylon Five would ask that of a few of the main characters, especially during times of self-doubt or pending change. We could ask ourselves the same question. Who are we? As individuals, as a society, as a species, we are all in a constant state of flux.

Recently an article was published about the relationship of Neanderthal and Human DNA. A small yet distinctive amount of DNA from Neanderthals is present in many of the humans alive today, despite geographic, social, ethnic, or political ties. Neanderthals are a species of Homo Sapiens that is considered to be an cousin to modern day people. They had similar intelligence, physical make up, abilities and skills. Having died out, they exist now only in our genetic code. But what does that say about us? As a species that wars, fights and hates against itself, we are the sole remnant of a species now vanished from this world.  

My mind swirls with the idea that within us we hold the tiniest bit of an entire race. What were the Neanderthals dreams? What did they long for? What did they imagine when they looked up at the starry night sky? Who did they love and care for? What pains and agonies did they suffer when loved ones died?  It may seem ridiculous to contemplate such things. After all, they were just ‘cavemen’ right? Well, if you really look at it, the Neanderthals were very much like us in many ways. And no matter how you look at it, they were related to us, physically, genetically, and in my mind, intellectually as well. They weren’t exactly human, but so very close our ancestors mated with them and formed families.

So in that regard, they are our kin, on many levels. What would you do if you were the sole holder of a memory of a lost love, a child, family? Would you want to preserve that memory and cherish it? If we are the keepers of every dream, desire, aspiration, and struggle of a lost race, shouldn’t we try harder to celebrate our commonalities, rather than fight because of our differences? The legacy of two human races depends on it. Think about it…

Thanks for reading.

Questions and Comments are welcome. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm So Thirsty!

by Douglas Clark

I was struck today by the terrible images of Drought that certain parts of the US and the world are suffering with. For some reason, I'm fascinated by dry lakes and desiccation. Strange perhaps, but fascinating all the same. Perhaps you may or may not be aware of the Aural Sea. Well, it's basically gone. It dried up because of human interference with its water supply. Hard to imagine draining an entire sea, but there you have it; man's capacity for destruction. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not all gloom and doom here. Human kind is capable of great things, but when I see pictures of docks and boats sitting on a dry and dusty plain, my imagination sparks with ideas. Perhaps it's the incongruent nature of ship and desert, or a dock leading to nothing. But my mind is transported to what it was like while the water was drying up. 

What did the people do who relied on that water? 
How did they cope and deal with the loss of the life they knew?
What caused this to happen? 

These are all thoughts that race through my head. 

See, I'll use those images and the thoughts they provoke to find a story. It may be tragic that the Aural Sea is gone, and drought is destroying countless habitats. But if it sparks your imagination to do something about it, that's at least something positive. There is usually a reason behind the catastrophes and disasters of this world. Sometimes they are caused by nature, sometimes caused by man. It's up to you to find the truth and bring some good to the world because of it. 

Thanks for reading.
Questions and comments are welcome.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Do They Have to Say?

By Douglas Clark

I thought it would be a good idea to explore the blogosphere and see what other bloggers were saying about this and that. Well, let me tell you, there are a lot of smart people out there with great ideas and excellent ways of getting them across. Remember, the more people you talk to and communicate with, the broader and deeper your perspective will become. This holds true for writing, but also for pretty much everything else in life. 

If you challenge your own ideas and beliefs, take the time to consider the situation from the other person's point of view, and keep an open mind about how life can be interpreted, you might just find that your way of thinking can expand and open up a greater appreciation for the world around you. 

Below are a few links to other bloggers that have interesting things to say. Enjoy.

Mack Collier writes about Passion

Jerry Low writes about writer's block

Carol Lynn Rivera writes about keeping a calendar

Thanks for reading. 
Questions and Comments are welcome.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

More Than Words

By Douglas Clark

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, they are right, but sometimes, a picture can say something better than an entire novel could. In my internet wanderings I’ve come across a few images that have really blown me away. So I thought I’d share a few. Hopefully they will inspire you and ignite a bit of creative imagination in your heart as well.


A visual illusion

The Earth from space

A Russian Lighthouse

An incredible landscape

The sky, on fire

The visually stunning

The phases of the Moon

A fantastic eye

To me, these pictures all represent the strange and mystical, the real and remote, and the raw power of imagination. I find myself staring at them and feeling a sense of wonder. What about you? 

Thanks for reading.
Questions and Comments are welcome.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Blank Page

by Douglas Clark

For a writer, the blank page can be the greatest nemesis of all. That uniformly white, unblemished, perfectly clear white page, simultaneously open to all and every story possibility, and the great oblivion of nothingness. Think of it. With nothing there to guide or hinder the writer, everything is possible, and yet, there’s nothing to go off of, nothing to expand on, or describe. Sometimes, the blank page can be a hollow, terrifying void that stifles creativity and imagination because it is so open and unstructured.

I hate the blank page, but I don’t fear it.

I have fought great battles with the blank page, smearing all sorts of junk and babbling drivel all over it, simply to avoid the blinding white light staring back at me from my computer screen. I’ve had great story ideas explode from my mind only to be obliterated by the blank page, which laughed at me for my insolence in thinking I could write something of merit. Although other times, I’ve slayed the blank page with commanding prose and mind blowing descriptions that banished the dreaded white nothingness to the background, where it belongs.

What I’ve learned from the blank page is this: It is only the starting point, and nothing more.

Not all of the stories I write, or ideas that I have will pan out. Some will turn into great stories, others will be abandoned because of a myriad of reasons. But think of it, each story, masterpiece and piece of crap, all started out from that blank page. Yes, the blank page can be frightening, but it is where EVERY writer starts from. Think of that! Shakespeare, Dickens, Hemmingway, Heller, Orwell, Byatt, Browning, Keats, King, Martin, Clancy, Rowling; they all started at the exact same place as Clark: with a blank page.

If they can go on to write and publish great works, so can I! And so can you.

Hate the Blank page. Slay it like the demon it is. Banish it. Exile it to irrelevance behind your unique voice through the written word. Destroy the blank page’s pristine white blandness with wonderfully brilliant prose that explodes with dazzling color in your readers’ minds. Become the master of the blank page. Hate it, but never fear it! 


Thanks for reading.
Questions and Comments are welcome.

Understanding Pandemics

By Doug Clark Head Writer -  The Inspiration Engine With all that is going on with Covid 19, I thought it would be a good idea to help ...