Jim Stark Blog

Cienfuegos, Cuba

During my crew’s 21-day sailboat delivery from the British Virgin Islands to Galveston, Texas, we had the opportunity to spend two nights in the Cuba city of Cienfuegos. While there, I volunteered to take care of the provisioning for the second half of our trip. After my three other crewmembers departed to do their sightseeing, […]

Incident Over the South China Sea

On April 1, 2001, a U.S. Navy EP-3 patrol plane was conducting a reconnaissance flight over the South China Sea and being shadowed by two Chinese Army F-811 jet fighters. One of the Chinese pilots was Commander Wang Wei. Wang had harassed U.S. aircraft before, coming dangerously close and executing threating fly-bys. His name was […]

The Helltown Experience

Teenagers living near Boston, Ohio, known locally by its spooky alias as Helltown, used to indoctrinate younger students in their school by taking them on a 2 a.m. drive thru this abandoned village. The tour guide was usually an older ghost story narrator. Helltown, also known as Mutane or Mutant Town was reportedly a Government […]

Alphabetical Cliché Crusade

A As a crusader for cliché-free creative writing, I challenge those violators to abandoned overused expressions, use their imagination, and invent new similes and metaphors. But alas they argue, A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. And they insist their character’s actions speak louder than words. Oh, no, I insist. It’s as […]

The First Time by Jim Stark

In 1948 it was another move, another state, and another school. This time my father’s annual transfer was taking us from Nebraska to Connecticut. As a ten-year-old, I had become so accustomed to these yearly moves that when meeting classmates at the new school, I would tell them, “Don’t get too friendly; I won’t be […]