Stories have arcs. Characters have arcs. Writers have arcs. We write, we get better at our craft. We read, we get better at our craft. We interact with other writers and our readers, we get better at our craft. Whether you are a professional writer or just starting out. Hobby or career. We are all in this together. Welcome.

Contact: Elena Hartwell - elenahartwell@gmail.com and visit me on the web at www.elenahartwell.com

The Interview -- Part II

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What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview but never were? 
How do you keep active and sharp at age 77? I’m glad I asked me that. First, my daily history quizzes and weekly installments of “Lederer on Language” in the U-T and my monthly contributions to a number of magazines keep me unremittingly active in earning a living through the sweat of my brain. Second, I play vigorous tennis thrice a week. We believe that solving crossword puzzles and Sudoku are good for the brain, but we’re absolutely sure that exercise really helps. Finally, I play serious Texas Hold’em at least twice a week. I’m often the least quantitative guy at the table, but I’ve done my homework. Playing poker has stimulated the part of my mind wherein I’m not a natural and has stimulated the axons, dendrites, ganglia and synapses that I ordinarily don’t use. The result is a larger brain that is now better at mat and is better at the wordwork I was already pretty good at.  
What are you working on now?

I’m always working on my U-T columns and my magazine articles, and I’m just finishing up writing a book titled Challenging Words. It’s a book that reflects my love of academic linguistics. When I earned my Ph.D. in linguistics, the scientific study of language, I was powerfully drawn to the academic, deep-structure aspects of language but decided to become a user-friendly popularize of language. I believe that I made the right decision, but I’m pleased to have just completed a book that captures the more cerebral past of my love for language.

Final Words of Wisdom

Life is an amazing gift. Make every effort to blow up the distance between who you are and what you do, and you will be possessed of infinite energy and never work a day in your life. Try to find out why you were placed on this planet and you will never work a day in your life.

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