I followed a tutorial posted by Reka at http://www.photoshopcreativeelements.com/
Please feel free to check it out. We practiced making lightning. The tutorial is under the Title, "Get Technical with CS". It can be worked in Photoshop or Elements.
Here are my before and after images. Hopefully it opens a door for you. Everything is not always as it appears. Try and look at your pictures and let your imagination soar!