Flame Sparkers and Flame Snuffers

Growing Small Towns Hungry Canyon Rural Revival

This story is about inspiration.  What sparks it, what flames it and where it goes?  What I’m about to write was sparked by a sticker, fanned by a comment and fueled by a podcast.  I either write after months and months of pondering a topic or as the case is today, I’m sparked and excited to jot down some thoughts that inspire me.  I love both writing prompts. 


The other day I was grabbing coffee and saw a sticker that was for sale and created by a small business.  I know they are from a small business because I’ve been following them from their start.  Hungry Canyon is the business and I love what the owner has created.  Her designs need no explanation for me and are geared towards rural life, farming and ranching.  This sticker stuck with me.  I didn’t buy it, I left with just a coffee in hand that day and then had regret later about NOT buying the sticker.  That’s a powerful sticker to “stick” with you (pun intended) long after you’ve left and wish you had purchased it because you loved the sentiment so. 


A simple statement on this sticker from Hungry Canyon



Mic drop. If you aren’t from a small town you can insert just about anything here that you need inspiration for:  If you want cool things to happen in your family, your business, your school, your team, your tribe, the list is endless.


The spark was the sticker and what flamed this story is a comment on a social media share.  Someone commented to me “you’re pretty inspirational”.  I read it while I was listening to a great Podcast by Rural Revival episode 138.

I thanked them for the comment, and it struck me that I don’t FEEL inspirational BUT I do look for inspiration like it’s a second job. I feel inspired by others often because I ACTIVELY seek inspiration. I do this to counter the opposite feelings of being uninspired, dull, lacking, depressing.  Those are all valid feelings and there is a time and place for them, but you can’t linger there for long.  Don’t be a “flame snuffer”, this term also comes directly from another great Podcast called Growing Small Towns, Episode 103. Keeping Your Fire Lit in a Small Town.   There are flame sparkers in the world and unfortunately there are also flame snuffers too. I do my very best to steer clear of flame snuffers, to have thick skin but by gosh those negative comments can linger with me some days.  They are the ones that always have something to say but it’s rarely positive, a lot of flame snuffers have sentences that start with “you know what you otta do?” 


It’s all about choices, flame sparkers and flame snuffers.  I choose to surround myself with people that actively seek inspiration.  I choose to support small businesses that fuel my passion for growth in a small town. I want to be surrounded by people that seek out inspiring thoughts like their livelihood depended on it because for some of us it does.







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  • Karen Allen on

    Nicely put. You are an inspiration. I love the flame sparklers too! The very best part is DOING as you noted, the snuffers almost always SAY but rarely if ever DO.

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