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Words are magical. We use them to tell stories. Which is amazing, when you think about it. They are completely abstract—the letters “c-a-t” look nothing like the furry animal, and yet read them and we see a cat in our minds. Tell a story about a cat, and we experience the action as well as emotions that the action elicits. If that’s not powerful magic, I don’t know what is.

But words are also to be taken lightly, and played with—any chance we get, even the shopping list. Or, in the case below, musing last night about the Winter Solstice:

The sun has set—the foreshortened end of the shortest day of the year. Shortly I will get out some shortening and make shortcake to celebrate. Or, if there is a shortage of shortening for shortcake, I will take a shortcut to find out why I was shortchanged and, despite being shorthanded, and sometimes called Shortie, the answer will not be short. It will be LONG, because this is the longest night of the year, prolonged by plunging headlong into lots of elongated livelong darkness. But not to worry. Long long enough for day and, depending on your longitude, it will arrive . . . shortly.

Wordplay. Have fun, practice, then get out there and work storytelling magic.