New & Improved

Most of my writing is available at Medium.com. I used to post items there & then link to them on this page.  At some point, linking each individual write-up seemed redundant, so I created two primary categories (Poems & Sunday Meditations) and linked to those pages. (See below.) This seemed a more efficient approach. At the very least, it's more timely. Why?  Because I often ran weeks behind trying to keep things updated. I hope you enjoy this long-overdue adjustment.—jsl

Poems

As a journalist, I never gave much thought to poetry. Five years into my retirement, I began to play with words the way a child toys with floating letters in a bowl of alphabet soup. Some word-plays ended up as poems.  LINK

Sunday Meditations

Each week I conjure up a mix of words, thoughts & emotions. Though I often mention Jesus, the Bible & other spiritual connotations, the write-ups aren't overly religious—nor should they be. Though many have built an ominous wall between spiritual & secular, I haven't. For example, I don't just pray at meals & in the evening. Prayer for me is my ongoing conversation with God while his Word is His ongoing conversation with me. May you be blessed & enjoy these little excursions. LINK

BLOG: Sunday Meditation 19

"Time spent with cats is never wasted."—Sigmund Freud

Cats have been a big part of the Lamb household for years. From Kodak, the quiet critter who started it all, to Tid-Bit, the bossy Siamese who not only governed our home, but also a nearby city park. The latest in our line of felines arrived recently. Her name is Stormy.—LINK

BLOG: Wordsmith

I wanted to be the Julia Child of writing . . .

More than a decade ago I developed a proposal for a show about writing. Of all the ideas I’ve ever had, it was one of the best. I hand-delivered that proposal to WUSF, the Public Broadcasting Station owned and licensed by the University of South Florida, where I graduated.  Sadly, the show was never produced, but I think the idea is still solid.—LINK

BLOG: Made-up Words

'You have the right to remain silent'

Sometimes I make up stories. Just for fun. This is one of those times. It's the tiny tale of a fella who gets pulled over by a guy he thinks is a policeman. You can imagine what happens next. Or you can read this fabulous little fable.—LINK

BLOG: Stuart Haygarth’s Trashy Book

The British artist took random rubbish and presented it as art

In 2011 British artist Stuart Haygarth walked along England’s southern coast for 500 miles picking garbage he found along the way. He then took the trash and presented it as art in a book called "Strand" . . . which reminds me of a funny story.—LINK

BLOG: Sunday Meditation 18

‘One needs more courage to live than to kill himself’—Albert Camus

When I hear about a young person dying of overdose or suicide, I ask myself, “Why?” Since I’m well on my way to 70, “young” is a relative term. To me, 30 seems young. Or even 46. That's how old Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was when he was found dead in his apartment, with a syringe in his arm.—LINK

BLOG: Tarzan

Making my case for who’s the best Ape Man ever

More than a dozen men have played Tarzan since Edgar Rice Burroughs launched that jungle-savvy literary character back in 1912. The most recent is a Swedish guy named Alexander Skarsgård. My favorite Ape Man of all time was Johnny Weissmüller, probably because he was born in Windber, PA, where I went to high school.—LINK

BLOG: Pareidolia

Sometimes what you think you see isn't—See?

Guess what. The Man in the Moon, isn't. Never was. That mysterious face on Mars a few years ago, wasn't. Why do we see what we think we see when it isn't? "Pareidolia," a psychological phenomenon in which the mind perceives a familiar pattern where none actually exists. Think of it as Nature's way of saying "April Fools Day."—LINK

BLOG: Hug a Vietnam Vet Today

Most states celebrate 'Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day' this week

Depending on where you live, it’s “Celebrate Viet Nam Veterans Day.” That's a good reason to find a friend, family member, colleague or neighbor who served in-country, and say, "Thanks." I'm guessing they didn't get much of that when they got state-side.—LINK

BLOG: Worth the Waiting

McQueen’s Cinematic Love Song to Racing Still Resonates

Steve McQueen’s 1971 movie "Le Mans" was his lovingly crafted cinematic love song to racing. If you like racing, you'll love this movie, unless you're partial to dialogue. Why? Because this movie has very little . Instead it attempts to tell the story of the 24-hour race with striking visuals rather than words. Va-rrroooom, va-rooom to that.—LINK

BLOG: Sunday Meditation 17

‘He is risen . . . He is risen, indeed’

My first real success as a writer came about 40 years ago when I was a weekend correspondent for The Tampa Tribune. The assignment was an Easter sunrise service; I got it because none of the other reporters wanted to get up that early.—LINK

BLOG: Only the Paranoid Survive

Andy Grove speaks from the grave — Are you listening?

Andy Grove is dead. He helped launch Intel, one of the world's largest semiconductor chip makers.  Grove escaped from Communist-controlled Hungary and came to America at age 20. He's is credited transforming Intel from a manufacturer of memory chips into a dominant producer of microprocessors. An amazing guy—LINK

BLOG: Sunday Meditation 16

“The heavens declare the glory of God …” — Psalm 191

There’s a scene in the film “Gravity” where astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) blasts around space using a fire extinguisher. Bullock’s erratic push-n-pulse antics reminded me of when I first became a Christian, a time of awkwardly spontaneous proclamations when I shared the Gospel with exuberance but not much wisdom. I’m wiser than that now, though not necessarily better.—LINK

 

BLOG: Scribble-Scrabble

Write on, my friend—write on . . .

I recently read an article by woman in Australia titled "Pregnant and Living in a Tent." It was a lively yarn, one I thought worthy of expanding into a book. She chuckled at that prospect, so I promptly wrote a short "how to" piece to get her started. If you're noodlin' about writing a book of your life in general or an incident in particular, you should give it a read.—LINK

BLOG: Climbing Mount Fuji "Redux"

I Still Carry a Few Clear Moments of That Glorious Day

About a year ago I shared a story titled "Climbing Mount Fuji."  It seemed appropriate to dust it off and briefly put it back into the spotlight. Why? Because it was one of the few times I pulled my nose out of a book and went outside and actually did something.—LINK

BLOG: Sunday Meditation 15

‘So the last shall be first, and the first last’

Jesus wasn’t talking about Mike Piazza when he said, “the last shall be first, and the first last,” but the saying fits. Piazza was picked in the last round of the 1988 MLB Amateur Draft, but went on to be Rookie of the Year, a 12-time All Star player and a Hall of Famer. —LINK

BLOG: Sad Tales

Everybody’s got a story; everybody's got pain

I don't usually do sad stuff. Life's too short. I look for the Sunshine. But there's so many sad stories in the shadows—too many to ignore. Occasionally one slaps me in the face, prompting me to tap into my serious side.—LINK