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Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Word Addiction - Eleanor Shepherd
My husband, Glen has been out of town this week.What usually happens when he is away is that
I find all kinds of reasons to delay going to bed.It is not so much that I fear the dark, when
I am alone, although if I am totally honest that does still lurk at the back of
my mind.However, this week I discovered
a new distraction.
On my iPad when
I first opened it was a game called Bookworm.For the first few years, I completely ignored it.Who has time to play games when there are important
things to do on line, like keeping in touch with friends on Facebook, managing
your LinkedIn and Twitter contacts as well as faithfully responding to business
and personal emails, hopefully within twenty-four hours?
I think it was
my daughter who in random conversation shared with me the joy she had, playing
Scrabble on her iPad when she was touring. (She is a professional musician.)
Since Scrabble is always my game of choice I downloaded the App and have always
found time to fit games into my spare minutes.I seldom turn out my light at night without checking to see that I have
taken my latest turn in the three or four Scrabble games that I have
going.I will fall asleep thinking of words
that I might make with the letters that I have available.
One day, not too
long ago, when I had the iPad open and was caught up on all my emails, I
decided to check what Bookworm was all about.What a mistake!I am hooked.All I have to do is select letters from the ever
changing ones offered and create words.
Few things in
life give me greater satisfaction that to put together letters and create
words. In case you have not already guessed it, I have to admit my secret
addiction.With Glen away, I have been
staying up at night, way later than I should just to make more words.There are a few neat challenges in the game,
like letters that appear in flames that you must use in words before they move
to the bottom of the screen causing you to be eliminated from the game. Also
there are extra points for using certain highlighted letters that pop up and
the longer the words, the higher the score.Now, I actually have been paying little attention to the score.That does not interest me so much.The thrill for me is to be able to create the
words. The act of creating them makes me feel so powerful.
In reflecting on
this addiction to words, I have been wondering about its origin.How did I become so obsessed with words that
I am like an alcoholic thirsting for the next high that comes with my
successful creation of words, simply by finding the correct sequence of
letters.I sometimes wonder if it is the
way that my brain is wired.I know that
in contrast to words, my reaction to numbers is a fear that makes me want to
run and hide from them so they will not land on me.They make me afraid, because to me they are a
source of anxiety and confusion.
On the other
hand, I find that letters, words and ideas make the adrenalin flow through me
and I get so excited, I never want to stop the game or the discussion or put
down the book.Is this related in some
way to why I am a writer?Do all writers
feel this giddiness about words?I am
curious and wonder if I am the one who is out of step or is this kind of
passion for words common among those of us who participate in the craft of