A man walked into a bar. “Writing a novel is easy, right?”  he asked. “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” Okay, maybe it wasn’t a bar, but a table at a book fair. I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass a test. The written part is the hardest,” I added. “I had no idea,” he said again, starting to sound repetitious. I’m sure he didn’t get my joke about the written part. OK, the conversation didn’t go exactly like that. Still, we’ve all had one close to that. We’ve been asked where we get our ideas. Is it hard? How long does it take to write a novel? I did have a woman tell me she would like to write but didn’t have an imagination. I would be…

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With military-straight backs, guardians of words march back and forth at the tomb of the unknown word. You may have seen it, the tomb that is, not the unknown word. It may be hard to locate . In an area rarely visited, the tomb stands at the gate of a graveyard where words go to die. Words are like people. Words are born, live productive middle years (if they survive adolescence), and fade away in the last chapter of their life. On life support, words are sometimes rescued by crossword puzzles and other word games. In their dotage, however, they are often ridiculed by young words, eager to push old, weary words aside.  They do have their own struggle. Meh was born in 1992 and took almost twenty-five years to reach adulthood. I enjoy walking through the graveyard of words. The tombstones are monuments to expressions full of richness. One day I stopped at one that said, “here lies (or was it lays) Gobsmacked.” I took a deep breath, feeling amazed, astounded even. There were adscititious headstones. Some of the words on the gravestones were even sesquipedalian. I walked up and down rows feeling quite vagarious. Sad, too. You may…

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