"What a delight to hear your good poem," a poet I admire told me, after sharing the mike at a poetry reading last week. How encouraging were those few simple words. Of course, I wanted to write a dozen more poems, immediately. My response reminded me of an old Cathy comic strip in which Cathy's date tells her she looks great. Cathy then runs to the bathroom mirror, primps and fusses. The result is a sparkling Cathy with flouncy eyelashes and glorified hair and a caption to the effect: "There's nothing like a little encouragement."

Meanwhile, it's gratifying that the writers I heard today - L and Z and B and E and A, are all writing more and more, soaking up encouragement and feeling the good feeling that comes with creating, being heard and recognized.

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