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The Right Word

By Jessica Schneider:

Stuart Jones is an American author living in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is part of the way through his first book, entitled A Vampire In My Grandma’s Pickup Truck, but he has encountered a problem: he cannot find the right word.

“I’ve been working on this book for a year now, and I am stuck mid-sentence,” Jones says. “It is so aggravating. I lose sleep. I have no appetite. I lost custody of my kids.”

Out of that year of working on the book, eleven months were spent trying to think of the word he needed. As of now, Jones has no source of income and is living in his parents’ basement. He is fifty-five years old.

“Stuart became distant. He wouldn’t talk to us anymore. Whenever we would try to say something, he would interrupt us by yelling, ‘Wait, it’s on the tip of my tongue!’” Miranda Little, Jones’s ex-wife, told us in an interview. Mikey Jones, Stuart’s son, was playing with his dinosaur toys and was unavailable to comment. By the sound of it, he does not miss his father.

When asked why he does not look up synonyms online or in a dictionary or thesaurus, Stuart revealed that he has sworn off all three of those things.

“It’s because I just don’t feel--wait, it’s on the tip of my tongue!” We waited for a full five minutes in silence until Stuart said, “Nope, I lost it.”

This is a problem many authors encounter, but Stuart’s situation is to an extent unheard of before. We asked to read a sample of Jones’s book. That is when we found out he was only on page five.

“And one of those is a full-page illustration.” Stuart told us that this is a children’s picture book, not a novel as we had assumed.

We needed an expert opinion. That is why we reached out to the acclaimed author Stephen King for a writer’s insight on the situation. He did not respond.


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