The Right Word


My weekly newspaper column was discontinued on January 1, 2017. Their choice, not mine. I had been writing my weekly columns for more than 23 years.

For a while, I thought maybe it was time. Maybe I had already said everything I had to say. As it turns out, I’ve discovered I’m not quite ready to leave all the commentary to someone else. The end result of that decision is this blog.

First, let me say something about the title of this blog. Like all writers, words are an important part of my life. And when I write something, I’m not looking for just a word, I’m looking for the perfect word. To quote Mark Twain, I’m looking for “that elusive and shifting grain of gold, the right word.” I hope this blog will hold a few nuggets for you.

After my column ended, I had many people encourage me to start a blog. It’s such an inelegant term, I wasn’t sure I wanted anything to do with it. I also wasn’t completely sure I understood what it was.

For those who may be as uninformed as me, blog is short for web log. It is defined as “a shared online journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies.” And apparently, anything else. Still the definition is probably accurate, I found it on the internet.

So, what will I be writing about? I have no idea. I spent 23 years writing about whatever happened to interest me, and I see no reason to change now. Another thing that won’t change is the spirit of what I write.

I always thought of my column as an oasis in the newspaper. A place where the reader could pause and get refreshed before continuing on. No gruesome murders. No nasty politics. No war, pestilence or famine. Instead, I hoped people would leave my column with a smile, or maybe having learned something they didn’t know before. That spirit will continue here.

Before starting this project, I read several how-to articles. More than one suggested blogging every day, or nearly so. That’s not going to happen.

I’m going to write as often as I am inspired to do so. What you find here might be humorous, or inspiring. Informative or historical. It’s all up to me. I no longer have to answer to an editor.

Whether you’re a former reader of my column, or you’re joining me for the first time on this blog, I hope you’ll enjoy what you find here. Come along for the ride and let’s see where this thing leads us.


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