Use Your Words

Words are funny. Words are powerful. Words are cool—sometimes even when we don’t know what they mean. My son, at age six months or so, would get completely hysterical over words he loved the sound of: itchy, whoosh, kapow! He even came up with a few priceless ones of his own, whose meaning only he knew: widgy-widgy, boof, and, my favorite, va-boom.

I come from a family of professional writers. Words were and are my Legos, my blocks, my roller skates, my backyard jungle gym.

When I was eight years old, I wrote a collection of short stories that my mom “published” (aka copied and stapled together in batches) as a gift for my extended family members. Of course, being only eight, I had no idea how to get my characters out of the strange predicaments into which I had plunged them, so almost every single story ended with “and it was all a dream!”

I thought it was a cop-out until I watched that “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger years later.

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