Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
Everyone is welcome here.
(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Mon, Jun 29 2009

Blogs that evolve

Blogs sometimes pass through many stages. My first real blog mentor was Eric, over at The Fire Ant Gazette. Eric took a chance on changing the format and design of the Gazette, in order to explore some new areas and step things up a bit. Now Eric's blog is changing again, perhaps to go back to something like what it once was. Ah, but the truth is that we rarely really return to what we were. Our projects are bound to reflect what new things we've learned about the universe, about ourselves and about how we relate to what (and who) has crossed our path and has changed us. I look forward to yet another phase of Eric's work. And I send him a writing high-five for being willing to stay open to what lessons loom up before him. That sort of flexibility and adaptability says a lot of good things about a person.

posted at: 23:27 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Thu, Jun 25 2009

Beautiful, but deadly

Whatever happens, you (probably) heard it somewhere else first. But just in case you hadn't heard it, Ethiopa claims to be about to unveil the Ark of the Covenant. In modern times this brings to mind thoughts of Indiana Jones movies, in which people try to possess such artifacts for their own worldly gain and end up with the flesh melting from their bodies.

There has always been a lot of supernatural talk associated with the Ark of the Covenant, probably stemming from the whole incident in the Bible whed Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark of the Covenant on a cart and paid for that act with his life.

One author suggests that perhaps Uzzah was not alone in his transgression and, as often happens when humans become bull-headed and make a mess of things, others also suffer. That particular author's passage also refers back to hordes who lost their lives from just sneaking a peek inside the Ark of the Covenant. Some have suggested that the interior of the Ark of the Covenant contained something akin to a nuclear power source, which indeed, could have made gazing upon it risky business. For whatever reason, Bible writers chose not to go into detail about these things. If mankind is capable of discovering and harnessing nuclear energy, one can't even imagine the sort of power the Creator is capable of using. It may be that Uzzah and the others died from something like what we would call radiation poisoning. If so, there exists the possibility that God did not make rigid instructions for the handling of the Ark of the Covenant in order to be a Big Meanie, but to protect the people from the unintended consequences of their (possibly well-meaning) mishandling of God's power. If one considers today's power struggles among major religions, maybe not much has changed, in a metaphorical sense.

Whether the Ark of the Covenant to be revealed by Ethopia is the literal original remains to be seen. But the fact that they may bring something out into the open at this time is good if it gets people thinking and studying about the meaning and purpose of the lessons behind the original.

posted at: 08:49 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Wed, Jun 24 2009

The many moods of TV show themes

If you have enough years to be nostalgic, nostalgia is great fun. So I enjoyed wallowing in the TV theme songs mentioned in the post Theme Player over at the Ken Armstrong Writing Stuff blog. I didn't add to the comments there because they had already covered many of my old favorites. I would add the theme music to CHiPs, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, cartoon show Top Cat, Captain Kangaroo, The Wild, Wild West, The Rat Patrol, Have Gun Will Travel, Peter, Hawaiian Eye, Baretta, The Streets of San Francisco, Simon and Simon, The Lawman (with that classic male chorus sound), Mr. Lucky, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, It Takes a Thief, Twin Peaks, Cagney and Lacey, Hunter and MacGyver. I probably missed a few.

posted at: 16:14 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

Tue, Jun 23 2009

140 characters can still say a lot

Joining the gang at Twitter some months ago has made me cherish words even more. There's a go-along sort of service that lets you tweet (post) in increments longer than 140 characters, but I've resisted that. The challenge of saying what I want to say in those 140 characters makes each word more precious. Precision nips at creativity's heels and keeps things fresh and lively. (I'm Debberzz on Twitter. Come and say Hello and look around the place. You just might find yourself a fun assortment of new friends and associates.)

posted at: 16:40 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Mon, Jun 22 2009

Writer unification project management

It has become increasingly difficult to keep certain fiction projects going amidst the demands of the informational projects. I'm thinking of fusing them in order just to stay on a creative track with both of them. That's a joke, but come to think of it...

posted at: 14:13 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Fri, Jun 19 2009

Dusting equals chaos

I moved everything on my desk in order to dust and now I can't find anything. It's bad enough when you're right-brained and you know where everything in the stacks is until someone else moves them. But it's downright disconcerting to move your own stacks and then not be able to find your things. I guess I'll have to take time to put my stacks back in their usual disorganized order so that I can locate individual papers.

posted at: 16:24 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Wed, Jun 17 2009

Random Literary Journals

I've been heavily into research today, so here are a few literary journal sites for for everyone to enjoy, and presented in no particular order:

BOXCAR Poetry Review

new south

Gulf Coast

Beloit Poetry Journal

posted at: 17:13 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Tue, Jun 16 2009

When sensory deprivation is a good thing

It's a good thing writing is second nature to writers. There are a million things that distract during a working session. People return the phone calls that we made at other times, bladders and bowels demand evacuation, cute domestic and wild animals demand attention, delivery people come to the door, flies get in and then annoy us by buzzing at the window to try to get back out, Jehovah's Witnesses approach with the best of intentions, stomachs growl for food, mouths dry out and need water, neighbor kids ring the doorbell to ask us to throw their ball back over the fence, sleepiness hits, speeders roar down the road outside our offices, printers run out of paper and computer mice run out of battery power. The pull to write has to be almost an addiction at times in order to make it trump everything else that creeps into our senses and our concentration. We're told by people who care about us that we spend too much time sitting alone in a room and are in danger of being isolated without stimulation. Trust me. There are days when a bit less stimulation and a little more alone time would be a welcome change.

posted at: 18:47 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Mon, Jun 15 2009

Patient's well-being should come first

This video is very upsetting. What if the woman in the ambulance had been having a heart attack and every second counted in getting her to the hospital? Tip of the Stetson hat to Boing Boing for the link to the video.

posted at: 13:02 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Thu, Jun 11 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to...

It's been a strange day and there are, fortunately or unfortunately, still many hours of the day to go. In the spirit of silly things that keep happening, I gave up and went "full on in character" with an email reply I sent a few minutes ago. I'm repeating a portion of a paragraph from that email here. There's no better way of telling you how goofy things have gotten. Enjoy.

"Foozle" is like "botch", but it's much more poetic to foozle than to botch. Foozle is in my thesaurus, but my email spell checker is not recognizing it and is suggesting "bamboozle" or, worse yet, "floozies", as a substitute, neither of which apply in this particular instance.

posted at: 13:34 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Wed, Jun 10 2009

Sadness over violence at Holocaust Museum

The reports of the shootings at the Holocaust Museum became even more sad when we learned that a guard had passed away from his injuries. I can never understand how people who kill others think it will bring anything positive. My heart goes out to the guard's family and friends and anyone who was directly affected by this.

I think I've mentioned on this blog before that some extremists contacted me several years ago with rants about Jewish ownership of media. I suppose they thought they might actually win a convert with their negative material. But I think most of us know that people who choose to hate would eventually take a look at me, their targeted ally, and would find something else to hate about me down the line. If it wasn't my eye color or my heritage, it would be my clothes, the books on my shelf, the way I comb my hair or how crooked my thumbs were. It could be anything that was different from what they deemed perfect or excellent. Once people start down that road of hate, it seems to grow until it becomes the motivating factor for every part of life. I just hope that the sad events from today will at least give people pause to think about what the major motivating force is in their own lives.

posted at: 17:07 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Tue, Jun 09 2009

Gagged by gangs?

Why won't targeted people help the police? If their own behavior is also criminal, can their silence really make things better in the future? I have heard of whole neighborhoods that maintain this sort of protection for the gangs in their area. Is it some misplaced pride or is it just fear of retribution for speaking out? So will we all just be taken over? There seems to me to be a growing anger over the constant threat of violence, the innocent children being in the wrong place at the wrong time and the feeling that one's home is completely vulnerable to young thugs who have injected themselves as anarchists. Gang members seem to have no respect for anyone unless it's a grudging nod of the head to someone bigger, stronger and more violent than they are. I suspect at some point there will be angry retribution, and I also suspect that it won't come from the gangs, but from the neighborhood citizens who decide to take back the neighborhood any way they can. If it gets to that point, we may be seeing angry mobs. I hope not, but I can see the anger building in many places.

posted at: 14:25 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Mon, Jun 08 2009

The high calling of redemption

It's sad to think that there are families full of people so wounded in life that they continue to hurt themselves and others. It's so sad that I can only read so many of these things before I have to balance them with news of much more positive things in the world. For instance, how about reports of tests that may one day help people with autism? And how about young people striving for and reaching goals that may take them into adulthood with a sense of honor and accomplishment? Self-worth is so important now. Christians often speak of dying to self, but that doesn't mean self-loathing. No loving human parent would ask that of us. A Heavenly Father would give us even more assurance of self-worth. We are bought with a price and we have been given a place of honor because of that. Anyone who chooses it is welcome to walk with dignity in the knowledge that they are loved.

posted at: 13:17 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

Fri, Jun 05 2009

Blue jay extortion

We've been treating the adults of the local bluejay family with a bag of raw, unsalted peanuts in the shell. It was sunny and mild today, so we had lunch out on the back deck and took the bag of peanuts outside with us. After one of the adult jays nabbed a few peanuts we threw, it decided we weren't moving quickly enough and got brazen enough to make a landing on the edge of our table, right next to the peanut bag. It looked us each in the eye by turns, then took one quick peck at the bag of peanuts and flew away. You can say one thing about (so-called) wild birds. They have ways of getting your attention when they want to, even though it means they risk their own safety in order to invade your personal, peanut hoarding, space.

posted at: 14:57 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Wed, Jun 03 2009

How moral does it have to be to meet readers' standards?

There's a bit of name-calling and negative spewing today concerning some material that was put up at Playboy's web site I didn't see the original material, but I'm told it had to do with remarks a writer made about proposed negative sexual behavior toward certain politically conservative, physically attractive young women. (I'm choosing not to be too graphic here. Do a search if you wish to research the topic.) What surprised me was the number of people who screeched at Playboy for allowing the writer's offensive material, and who then gave Playboy kudos for taking down the offensive material. I'm wondering why folks would demand, and then applaud, a stringent standard from Playboy in the first place. Do people think that everyone who prepares material for it has to go by some higher moral standard? It's a business filled with pictures of nude women. If that's the moral starting point, how can people be suddenly be surprised and outraged when someone takes things to the dark side?

posted at: 14:10 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

Tue, Jun 02 2009

Make Faire

We attended the Maker Faire last Sunday. How else could we go to one place and see people make lightning, create Mentos and Diet Coke fountains, design new garments out of donated ones, launch small rockets and cause pickles to glow? There was something for everyone, including kids. Art met science and got handshakes from green technology and innovative industry. The event is held at the San Mateo County Expo Center, so it's perfect for stretching out displays and demonstrations, plus they open the food booths so that you can get all those great fair-style corn dogs, barbecue sandwiches and icy Jamba Juice drinks. The line for the funnel cakes was 50-humans long every time we passed it. Did I mention the guy with the Christmas lights? Lots of oohs and ahs.

posted at: 12:32 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

Mon, Jun 01 2009

More fell for me than just Icarus

I didn't see the MTV Movie Awards last night, but I did see a video this morning of the "fallen Icarus" stunt. All I can say is that I miss the elegance and dignity of the film world of yesteryear. If you make films that still celebrate positive spiritual quality of life, I hope your films get a lot more attention in the future. And I'd like to hear from you about what you're working on so I can let other people know about you. My Email address is on this page. If you're on Twitter, I'm Debberzz there.

posted at: 12:37 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

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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!