Words Are Magic

by Linda Escalera Price


I’ve been trying to stay motivated to write while dealing with some family matters. Issues that demand my time and atten . . . yes, I’ll be right over. Now where was I? Oh yes . . . tion. It’s hard to stay focused when things demand to be taken care of RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

I’m not doing the best writing I’ve done. I even gave myself permission to be sloppy. “The important thing is to get words on the paper,” I said. But when the phone rang for the 5th time in the hour I had available to write – I know I said I could take an appointment on 20 minutes notice, but I didn’t mean THIS 20 minutes – I finally was ready to reprogram my Macbook Air to do nothing except access Facebook. When I got back from said appointment, I turned on the TV, flipping through channels at random while cursing Time Warner for their constant renumbering, when I stumbled upon the tail end of a Harry Potter marathon on what I’m sure used to be a foreign language version of ESPN. Albus Dumbledore stared at me.


“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic,” he said.

I turned off the TV and started to write.

Words are Magic.

In her recent infamous interview Joan Rivers said, “Maybe if you take the worst thing in the world and make it funny, it’s a vacation for a minute from horror.” (I actually like the original Winston Churchill quote better, but he didn’t storm out of CNN and make the news cycle.)

Words are Magic.

In my play Silent Heroes a character says, “I can’t ever watch a flag fluttering on a spring afternoon without thinking how still it lies when it drapes a coffin.” A few days after a performance a critic told me he will never look at the flag the same way again.

Words are Magic.

“We The People” changed the world. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” changed the world. So did the tweets that led to the Arab Spring. And every single day, so do words like these:

“We have no further medical options.”

“She said yes.”

“I got my license.”

“Your financial aid was approved.”

“It’s a boy.”

I heard each of those sentences in the last month. In every case, a world was changed. Changed so much, so completely there is not enough ink in my house to do the rewrites.

Words are Magic.

And in a world where tens of thousands of children are stranded in our border states, where airliners are shot out of the sky, where rockets are bursting in air in the Middle East, where Congress wants to sue the President, we need a little magic. Hell, we need a lot of magic.

So we need to keep writing. All of us. No matter what we write – poetry, music, movies, Facebook statuses, tweets, epic novels, whatever – we create reality. We change worlds. We make people laugh, cry, think, act, even make their fingers move rapid-fire across the keyboard like I am doing right now. Words are magic. And you are part of that magic. The world needs you to write.


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