A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator.

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Steinbeck, John. "In Awe of Words," Exonian, March 3, 1954, quoted in "The Art of Fiction No. 45," interview by Nathaniel Benchley, Paris Review, no. 48 (Fall 1969): https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3810/the-art-of-fiction-no-45-john-steinbeck