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There is something about Iowa soil conducive to growing sweet corn and writers without combining the two.

I haven’t experienced sweet corn.  But I cannot escape the literary presence.  It’s everywhere.  Bookstores, of course.  But it’s the writers themselves who make their presence felt.  In coffee shops.  Before open mikes.  In talks at eleven o’clock.  In front of a class of eager students.

Evidence litters the central avenue downtown, in sidewalk etchings of words left by others.  Reminding me of  paper tucked inside fortune cookies, the words come from writers.  And others who would not dare name themselves so.

…it is thinking makes what we read ours.  Locke

…a wicked book cannot repent.  English proverb

…keep a diary and someday it will keep you.  Mae West

…a good book is the purest essence of a human soul.  Carlyle.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this one by Flannery O’Connor.

“Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers.  My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.”

In the shadow of greatness, I saw my own shadow dance across words that once would have cast shadows over me.  I walked away unharmed, light on my feet.

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