Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Nov 19 2004

Angst And Immersion: And We Can't Wait For More

Earlier this week Pauly D took us on an imaginary eavesdropping trip so that we could listen in to Screenwriter Angst in L.A.. And Steve, over at onepotmeal, took us along as he threw himself into a story immersion.

Writing is hard work at times. A lot of people think they can be writers until they find out that writing sometimes means going all by yourself into a room to write, shutting everyone else out and still somehow managing to stay interesting. In that room, alone, you'll go into places in your mind that would make most people recoil.

Other people may ridicule your lack of a "real" job. You'll prostitute yourself as an artist. You'll write things you don't get paid for in order to get jobs to write things you will get paid for. And you'll go back to that room again and again, of your own free will, because you know it has to be done. And even though you suffer angst and even though you know you could lose your grip on reality in the immersion of story, you know that reality and truth are not one and the same. The world is full of reality, and people are sick of it. And reality is only one person's perception over another anyway. Truth, though rarely seen, is the real stuff of the universe, and the writer in you finds absolute joy in digging through all the terrifying layers of reality in order to get at the stuff of truth and share it with those who read what you write.

posted at: 08:46 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

My Virtual Red Kettle

The story that Target stores won't be having kettles and bell ringers from The Salvation Army was disappointing to me. The Salvation Army helps people from every walk of life and they've done so for a very long time.

To be truthful, I don't think Target's decision would bother me nearly so much if I wasn't already disgusted with the local Target store. When Target stores first opened back in the 1980s they were clean and bright and full of energetic employees eager to serve. The merchandise was fresh and displayed attractively. When I go into the local Target store here, I can hardly find anyone to speak enough English to help me. I wanted a heating pad one day and I went to 3 different people asking where I might find one. Two people sent me to the wrong part of the store and the third person couldn't understand what a heating pad was and I didn't speak enough Spanish to get my point across in that language. I left her standing near a cash register. She made no effort to ask anyone else to help me. I walked the aisles, frustrated and angry, until I spied a young man who looked as though he knew where he was headed. I stopped him and asked if he had any idea where I might find a heating pad. He smiled and told me he was from a store in another area of the state, but that he would try to help me. He walked with me to the (correct) department and stayed with me until he was sure I was in the right section. I thanked him and told him I wished he would come and work at the local store.

I love the Target commecials on TV. They're cheeful and upbeat and full of color. In fact, they're full of red, which is great, and it would be fun to associate that red with the red kettles of The Salvation Army. But I guess we won't be doing that.

I'm not asking anyone to boycott Target stores. Spend your money wherever you like. The reason I'm writing this is to ask everyone to consider the possibility of thinking of this blog posting as a kind of virtual red kettle. I'm not a member or employee of the Salvation Army. I don't speak for them. They don't even know I'm writing this. But I'm asking those of you who read this to consider making a small donation to them this holiday season. After all, you and I both know that if you were shopping in a Target store and a tornado came along and destroyed the building and you were trapped, and the employees of that store were trapped, the Salvation Army folks would be among the first on the scene to lend a hand.

posted at: 06:08 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning "Good morning" at total strangers.
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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!