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The photo collage above was waiting for me in my in-box this morning. A good chuckle is a lovely way to start one’s morning. That is why the first thing I do while standing at the kitchen counter in the morning . . . bleary-eyed with coffee in hand . . . is read the newspaper’s comic page. Wars, famines, and political debates have to wait until I am more awake and have had a little laugh. I some how don’t think the world’s problems are going to go away while I read Zits in the funny papers.

If you don’t know it, Zits is about 16-year-old Jeremy and his parents. It is spot-on everyday. I think Jerry Scott and Jim Bergman, the strip’s creators, are brilliant writers. In three for four frames they capture what it is like to live with a teenager boy. What does this have to do with writing a novel you ask? A lot can be learned from their ability to tell a story in so little space. Sure, they have the advantage of the drawings to help them, but whenever I am tempted to use six adjectives to describe, let’s say, a good meal, I think of Zits. Wouldn’t one perfect word – like sumptuous – work better? Suddenly a “tasty, delicious, flavorful, yummy, appetizing, and delectable meal” seems bland.

Anyone have any ideas for a sumptuous meal I can make for dinner tonight? I’m too busy playing solitaire to go through my cookbooks.