Thursday Thoughts

Hey, y’all. Yes, I’ve gone from rarely blogging to a regular schedule. I had planned to leave Thursdays open, but yesterday an idea came to mind – Thursday Thoughts. I don’t know if I’ll write these each week, but I do plan to have a Thursday post at least a couple of times per month.

The idea behind the post is random thoughts about something that caught my attention during the week. They may or may not pertain to writing. I hope you will enjoy them.

A coworker once asked me where I got ideas for my novels. My first response was, “A very active imagination.” While that is true, I recalled standing on the deck of a cruise ship with a friend a few years back admiring the beautiful scenery. Except for our ship, there were few signs of civilization, but I knew beyond those mountains were tiny towns and villages.

People lived and worked in those places. I began to wonder what their lives were like in a place with such harsh winters. What did they do for a living? How did they survive (without going crazy) during the winter months where they saw little or no daylight? Story ideas began to pop in my head.

After we returned home, I came across this quote by Orson Scott Card:

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”

Last week I happened upon a story that deeply touched me. It was a story fifty-two years in the making. The story of a father and a son.

In 1967 Major Roy A. Knight, a US Air Force pilot, was shot down while flying a mission over Laos. He was first declared missing in action. Military officials later changed his status to killed in action. He was posthumously promoted to Colonel and received several medals and commendations. Unfortunately for his family, his body was never located or recovered.

Almost fifty-two years passed until February 2019 when discovered remains were positively identified as belonging to Colonel Knight. Last Thursday, August 8, his son Brian, a Captain with Southwest Airlines, flew the plane carrying his father’s coffin into Dallas Love Field airport.

A “water salute” greeted the plane as it taxied toward the terminal. People inside the airport watched with interest as the plane pulled up to the jet bridge. Baggage handlers stood at attention. Passengers inside the plane clapped when they learned what had transpired. Many tears were shed, including my own.

For you see, Brian Knight was only five years old when he last saw his father in 1967. And the place they were last together? Dallas Love Field Airport.

I have always had the utmost respect for the men and women in our military. They put their lives on the line so we might have the freedoms we enjoy (and often take for granted). Colonel Knight’s story reminded me of the sacrifices made by many throughout the years.

Below is a short video of Captain Knight talking about his father and the trip “home.” Warning: you may want to have tissues handy.

Walking Trails, Birthdays, and The Week in Review

Not far from my home is a local park where locals often gather to watch their kids play soccer. There are also tennis courts, picnic tables, outdoor grills, and even a covered pavilion that can be used for large gatherings. The park has several walking trails, one of which circles the perimeter of a small lake. Tall pine trees grow on either side of the path and there are a few deciduous trees that produce beautifully colored leaves in the fall.

It’s one of my favorite places to walk. I used to go there frequently, most often with my camera. Early mornings and late afternoons afforded some amazing photo opportunities. The park also served as the inspiration for the opening scene in my WIP, Unclear Purposes, the third and final book of my Driscoll Lake series.

My husband’s birthday was on Monday, so we both took a couple of vacation days. We went to see the new Denzil Washington movie, Equalizer 2, followed by dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Nice to have a short work week.

And now it’s time for this week’s writing links. Sorry the list is short but I haven’t spent a lot of time on the Internet this week.

From Story Empire:

From Other Author Sites:

Writing Lessons Learned from the Work of Dr. King | Story Empire

WikiImages / Pixabay

Today in America is a national holiday, Martin Luther King Day.  Sadly, I remember the day this civil rights leader was gunned down by an assassin in April, 1968. I was too young at the time to know about the importance of his work, but when I heard the news flash on TV, I knew he was someone important and rushed to tell my parents.

Later, I studied about him and came to know about the importance of what he believed in.  And his famous “I Have a Dream” speech is amazing.

But today, we celebrate the anniversary of his birth and his life. Fellow author Staci Trolio also points out that Dr. King was a prolific writer. You can read her post and what we as authors can learn from him by visiting Story Empire.

Source: Writing Lessons Learned from the Work of Dr. King | Story Empire


I haven’t posted any short or flash fiction stories since I gave up First Friday Fiction over a year ago. However, a friend recently encouraged me to try the daily WordPress prompts. Not only does this post deviate from my usual genre of suspense, it’s also written in first person rather than third person. I hope you enjoy this short piece.

I felt his presence before I ever saw him—that old familiar feeling of always knowing when he was nearby had returned. I hadn’t felt this way in over two years, but somehow, I knew he was here.

Our friends and co-workers often wondered how I had this penchant for knowing where he was. I couldn’t explain it. I guess it came from being partners for almost five years. Or maybe because he saved my life on more than one occasion.

We were more than partners and co-workers. We had been best friends. Always there for one another. I think I knew from the first time we met I wanted our relationship to be more.

But his heart belonged to someone else. When he told me he had asked her to become his wife, I was devastated. Of course, I didn’t allow my feelings to show. I put on my best “I’m a tough cop” exterior and wished him well.

Yet I knew I couldn’t continue working with him, knowing he would go home every night to her. I resigned my job and moved away—back to the ranch where my grandparents raised me.

Slowly, I began putting the pieces of my life back together. I threw myself into the job of raising horses as much as I had done when I was on the police force. Now, trying to have at least a semblance of a social life, I had agreed to a Friday night out with friends.

I didn’t want to look around the room—afraid of what I might see. But my eyes didn’t obey and as I glanced toward the bar, I saw him sitting there. His back was toward me and he was alone.

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Remembering a line from one of my favorite movies, I now knew exactly how Rick Blaine felt when Ilsa came to Casablanca.

But this was no movie.

Why was he here? I walked away from him and that life for good. It took me a long time to get over the pain and heartache and I had just started to rebuild my life.

Maybe it was a coincidence. Angel Falls wasn’t that far away from Somerset. And it was considered a nice place to getaway. That was probably it. He’d brought her here for a romantic weekend and she would soon join him at the bar.

Besides, he didn’t know where I was. Or did he?

Maybe it’s my imagination and he isn’t even here. But then he turned around. His penetrating blue eyes met mine.

He flashed the devil-may-care smile that always made me forget everyone and everything else around me. Then he stood up and walked toward me.

He really was here.

It wasn’t an illusion.

Inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt, Illusion.

Connected or Disconnected?

Creative Commons Photo by Mike Mozart
Creative Commons Photo by Mike Mozart

A few days ago, I was brainstorming a scene for my upcoming novel. It involved a character who disappeared after returning from a business trip. The character’s last known location was at a convenience store where he purchased gas for his car. That’s the last time anyone sees him.

Okay, nothing unusual about this (except for the part about his disappearance.) A person drives to a convenience store, pulls up to a pump, swipes his credit or debit card, pumps the gas, and then gets into their car and drives away.

Except the event happened in 1991. So, I had to ask myself, “What would we have done in then? Were debit cards in use at that time? Did we pay at the pump or were we required to pay inside?”

Technology has changed the way we live, the way we conduct business, and the way we interact with others. I can’t remember the last time I went inside the convenience store where I most often purchase fuel. I don’t know the name of a single person who works there, and I live in a small town.

When I was a child, my parents bought gas at a full service station. The attendant would come to the car, pump the gas, clean the windshield, and check the oil. He knew his customers by name and they knew him. There was always conversation, even if sometimes it was only about the weather.

Today I shop online, pay for gas at the pump, and the only time I ever go inside the bank is when I need to access our safety deposit box. My husband and I have our paychecks direct deposited. On occasion, if we receive a check in the mail, we can mobile deposit it by taking a photo with our smart phone.

I love modern conveniences and twenty-first century technology. I enjoy interacting on social media. Being able to “Google” when I have a question and receive an immediate answer beats the days of searching through countless reference books at a library.

Yet there are days when I miss those simpler times. I wonder if we are losing the personal touch. Even sometimes the ability to communicate one-on-one.

What do you think? Have we sacrificed personal communication for convenience? Do you think that as we connect more through social media that we have become more disconnected?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.