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Showing posts with the label life

Where Am I Going?

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine


Have you ever been working on something so long you kind of lose sight of the point of it all? It’s kind of like wondering if everything you’ve done is really leading you somewhere or perhaps every choice you’ve ever made is just some random ping pong like course you’re chaotically leading through life.
I’m going to be completely honest with you. I have six months to go before I’m 40. For a long time it didn’t make any difference to me. Most of the time, age is just a number. But the more I thought about it, and the closer it approached, I realized 40 is more than my age. On May 15th, it will mark the fact that so far, I’ve had 40 years to accomplish everything I’ve ever dreamed of.
Now that’s not to say I was on a deadline and not finishing by my 40th birthday means I failed. Actually, it reminds me of all the time I’ve wasted. You see, I like to be busy, the more I have to do, the better I can do everything (up until I burn out that …

Let the Emotion Out

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

When it comes to fiction writing I've been asked why I don't write more happy stories. I receive comments from time to time that my stories are gritty, full of emotion, profound and a lot of times, dark. My response to that is, I always strive for an emotional response. You see to me, reading is about expression. 
My experiences in life taught me to engage those feelings and come to terms with them. I guess for some writers it would be easy to put aside all of their personal experiences and just write happy stories. After all, for some writers and readers literature is an escape from reality, finding a way to disconnect from troubling things.
I've always thought of literature as exploration of the mind, dreams, feelings, fantasies, and of course the ‘what ifs’. Many times I find I want to convey a specific feeling or explore a certain possibility that my characters need or should experience. Personal growth has always been …

The Supernova Dream

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by Douglas Clark

I wish there was a way to make my dreams come true. I mean an easy way. Doesn't it just seem like everything we want is always hard, involves tons of work, discipline, and determination, and takes so damned long, it makes you wonder why the hell you tried in the first place. When someone says "If it were easy, everyone would do it" or "Nothing worth doing is easy", why is that true?

I think the answer, in a word is Imagination. Life is the way it is. Nothing more, nothing less. But a human's ability to daydream, imagine the 'what ifs' and yearn for something more makes reality that much harder to simply accept. We know that things can be different, we understand that through our decisions, actions, efforts, and aspirations, we can make a difference. 

Without the recognition that we can change the world, we'd all just be worker ants, drones, the type of zombified shadows that drudge through life merely existing and not living. With…

Be a Boat Rocker

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

Sometimes, rocking the boat is just the shake up you need to get your life on a different course. Making a transition can totally alter your perception of life. It's a curious thing to realize that after getting so used to something one way, we can become so rigid and unwilling to try any other way. Life in our modern age is built on routine. This routine provides structure and a foundation we can rely on and expand.
However, if we become too complacent or dependent on that routine, we can become my lethargic and apathetic. I've noticed that as much as I love routine and structure, if I don't break it up a bit and deliberately introduce new challenges, I get demotivated. I think the desire to remain surrounded by the known factors in life can be so strong, it overrides the need to explore new things, especially since deviating from the known can result in great failure, personal pain, or professional setbacks.
Sometimes, h…

What Legacy to Leave

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No legacy is so rich as honesty. (All’s Well that Ends Well -- Act iii, Sc. 5) William Shakespeare
Have you ever thought about life after your own? I’m not talking about anything supernatural, heaven, or the afterlife. I’m talking about the impression you leave behind after you are gone. It’s an unavoidable truth that one day each of us will draw our last breath and part from this world. In a way it makes all that we do and all that we say that much more poignant and precious, because we only get one chance. Think for a moment of what life would be like without you. All of society will roll on just as it has before you, only now, if you’ve done it right, you’ll have left a mark that is immutable and distinctly you. I think leaving a legacy of good behind is vital.
For argument’s sake let’s say we all have 100 years of earthly life given to us. What will you do with that time? Each life is different and unique and the choices we make mold and shape that life and us into the individuals …

Life is a Grand Thing!

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I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.~Agatha Christie
What can we learn from dear Agatha? Well, besides her penchant for solving murders of her own design, she’s letting us know that every day we are alive is a chance to make things anew, to better ourselves and our situations and at the very least, start over.
I would argue that life is a gift. To some that might seem like a trite and superfluous statement. They might say life is just a result of natural forces coming into play. Others might argue that there’s a grand design for my life and it was ‘meant to be.’ Either way, I can’t know the answer for sure why I am alive, but I can tell you since I’m here, I’m going to make damn sure I make my time worth it.
Sometimes it is so very hard to find purpose and meaning in our own personal agonies. ‘Racked with sorrow’ is such a powerful statement. The meaning…

How Do You Deal With The In Between Time?

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Douglas Clark
-Head writer, The Inspiration Engine

I heard a story once where someone said “Live the dash”. The sentiment here comes from the notion that when you die, your grave stone would say something like 1975-2075. That little dash in the middle encompasses all of your life: every little thing, every big thing, every sadness, every joy, all your relationships and accomplishments, the failures and triumphs, the crushing defeats and the wonderful experiences, all you’ve ever known and all you will ever do. The advice here was to live that dash to its fullest, with the deepest of meanings and the greatest appreciation possible. That’s a pretty nice sentiment isn’t it? But I’m wondering something. Not every moment of your life is a mind-blowing experience of joy, or a heart wrenching assault of painful sorrow. You can’t fill every moment with some really cool experience, it’s just not possible. Even if you tried (which might be cool for a while), you’d be exhausted and need some d…

Most of us regard good luck as our right, and bad luck as a betrayal of that right.

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- William Feather (read about him here)

Disappointment can be a hard thing to deal with, especially if you’ve worked really hard at something.  Putting forth real effort to reach your goal, to drive toward your mission is always a great achievement, but there’s something so deflating when you don’t reach your goal due to no fault of your own.  Sometimes, things or people get in your way and you fail, not because you didn’t try, but because your efforts were thwarted by circumstances, or by other people.  Unfortunately, you may encounter people in your life who actually try to sabotage your endeavors.  Sometimes they do this because they are ignorant of your aims and inadvertently get in the way.  Sometimes, they are deliberately vindictive or jealous, and actively attempt to ruin your work.  Yes, there is that type of ugliness in the world and I’m sure you have experienced it.  I myself have been the target of nefarious individuals at one time or another in my life.  And let me tell yo…

Happy Birthday

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So it may surprise you to know that today is my birthday.  Yes the conductor of The Inspiration Engine is turning one year older.  I like to think of it as turning one year better.  Now to be honest, I don’t really pay too much attention to birthdays.  It’s not that I don’t care about them; it’s just that to me, a lot of times, it seems repetitive and arbitrary.  However, there is a certain value in reflecting on the past year and seeing if you’ve managed to improve, learn, better yourself, and continue to drive toward the goals of your life mission.  So in that regard, birthdays are a great thing. 
On a personal level I can say that I’m doing pretty well.  Now I’d like to bitch about little things, stuff that irritates me, and stuff that continually hounds me even despite my best efforts to irradiate them from my life.   And trust me, I’ve got some monsters. Well, such is life I suppose.  But I’m not lacking for simple needs and compared to most of the world I’m doing pretty damn wel…

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure

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- Bill Cosby
A friend of mine asked me once, what I thought of the past and what would I do to change it if I could.Now I thought about that for a while and had a lot of different exotic and strange ideas.My natural tendency to lean toward Sci-Fi and fantasy stories led me down a path of great adventure and amazing story telling.But then I stopped and really thought about what it would mean to change the past, I mean really alter what has happened in my life.How would I know what would be different if I chose not to go to college, not join the navy, not get married, not get divorced, not have a child. The more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that even though I had regrets and have made some massive mistakes, I couldn’t change a thing.You see, I have come to understand myself in a way that is much more profound and true as compared to when I was younger.I’ve been through some really hard times, emotionally.But I’ve learned from those experiences.All this contemplation led me…

While there's life, there's hope.

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- Marcus Tullius Cicero.   


Struggles of lifeThere will always be struggles in your life.  Things will always present themselves that seem insurmountable, unbelievable, and oppressive.  In short, life is a challenge.  In fact, life is the single greatest challenge you will ever face.  It’s difficult by nature, unforgiving and callous too.  You will suffer, you will despair, you will cry and you will feel sorrow.  It’s unavoidable.  But guess what!  There is good news, and it is this: There is Hope.  As our famous quote from Cicero states, while there is life, there’s hope.  Do you know what that means?  It means that life doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom.  Every moment you live is a chance to turn things around, change your perspective, find your focus, achieve your goals, and continue on your mission.  All you need is hope.  So, what is hope and why is it special.
Pandora’s box The ancient Greek myth of Pandora’s Box tells us that even though the world is full of hateful, evil thin…

What’s the price of your dream?

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Ocean of Dreams
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you were willing to sacrifice everything else to get it?  There are so many choices we have to make in life, sometimes it’s difficult to know what to sacrifice and what to hold on to.  Dreams can be powerful motivators in directing your life to a positive state.  However, dreams can be destructive gremlins that ruin everything else if you let them.  It’s okay to have a dream, to want it fulfilled and live the way you want to live, but it always comes at a price.  I’ve heard it said, you have to give to get.  Well I’m sure that’s true, but how much should you give, and how much should you get back?  If you haven’t realized yet, I’m talking about balance.  When your life is balanced, things make sense.  When you are off kilter, things are confusing.  So, if you have a dream and are willing to sacrifice everything else to get it, will that balance your life?  To me, the easy answer is no.
When I was in college, I wanted to graduate…

Be not the first by which a new thing is tried, or the last to lay the old aside

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- Alexander Pope.

Changing times call for new experiences.  I think Alexander's quote speaks to that fact.  At its very core, I thin the meaning of this quote is telling us to at least try, make the attempt at doing.  You don't have to be the first to try something, just don't be the last.  If you have a mission in life, a purpose, or a passion,  making the attempt at bringing it to life is important.  Do not wait and let the world pass you by.  The time is now!