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“I’m determined!” Russ said. “I’m insistent.“

The men in the room scrambled to think what word he was trying to give clues for.



“Immovable,” Russ added. “It starts near the front of the alph—.”

The buzzer sounded and he went mute.

Now it was time for the women to steal. They could discuss the clues, and agree on one answer. Suddenly Russ turned to stare at me across the room.

“I know Susan, the writer, can get this. She’s the wordsmith.”

What!!?? I had the sensation of being strapped to a turning circle while a blindfolded person raised a knife to throw my direction. I ducked my head behind my DH, embarrassed at being put on the spot.

Tuesday nights my DH has meetings. Unless it’s a fifth Tuesday of the month, then spouses join at the Bakers one town over and we eat and play games. It’s usually a very enjoyable evening. And for the most part last night was.

“It might start with an ‘A,’” I said to the women in the room. They were trying out various words, but mostly waiting for me to come up with something. Just because Russ singled me out, it does not absolve you of helping!  

I suddenly regretted that we first met these people shortly after I published my first book. I was floating back then on the euphoria of being an “author.” But last night my mind quickly shriveled into words such as “exit, escape, flee.”

Russ leaned forward so I’d be sure to meet his gaze. “Come on Susan, I know you can do it.” I’ve never let air out of a car’s tires before. How difficult could it be? His goading brought out the warrior in me. New, lengthier, words entered my mind: “homicide, vendetta, manslaughter.”

This was the same group that created the situation where I had to dance on stage before an auditorium filled with Young Adults. Maybe it’s time to think twice about joining them for anything.

The women had dwindled to murmurs, about to abdicate, Sure, think of other “a” words, just not the right one.

“Adamant,” I said, calmly. I don’t know where it came from, but suddenly it was there.

“Bingo!” Russ exclaimed, pointing to me. “I knew you could do it!”

I smiled weakly. The game moved on.

But what if I hadn’t? Did it mean my credibility as a person would have melted at my feet? I don’t sing. I don’t dance. I can’t even hit a bass drum on beat. I teach. I write. I use words. But what happens if “words fail me?” I suppose it will happen, and probably more times than not.

And that’s okay. I do have other talents. Like climbing trees and tying pretty bows. You know, really useful things.

All the same, maybe I should consider a new hobby. One that involves flashes of smoke, a swirling floor-length cape, and my sudden disappearance.

In the meantime, I have “a” words on the brain today: anxiety, agitation, abomination, absurdity, annoyance. . .