Headwaters Wordsmithing

Writing for the actor, singer, and reader.

Birthed in the Northwoods of Wisconsin,  Headwaters Wordsmithing creates screenplays, lyrics, and books with an emphasis on faith in God...and a minor emphasis on coffee.  Make yourself at home.

Hyphenated and Overcaffeinated...

It's regular morning time on the weekend.  A lazy time.  Just drinkin' the Elixir Of Knowledge at the table in the Dining Room portion of the Dining/Living/Computer/Family Room as the day takes shape.

Outside the window, only four feet away, there's a morning new enough to still be under warranty.  Suddenly a huge raven drops past the window, making me jump.  Disappearing for a second, it now hops out into the yard, its ebony beak firmly clamped on a dead sparrow that had unsuccessfully tried to fly through the newly-cleaned thermopane.  A quick look around and the big bird rockets off.

Huh.  Don't see that too often.

The Wife has piano duty for both Saturday night and Sunday morning services.  All three of us went to the Saturday service, so this Sunday morning finds the men of the Little-House-On-The-Corner hangin' out.

I'm at the keyboard, looking out the window, and watching how Nature takes care of the dead.  TechnoBoy staggers by on his way to the Reading Room, making a sound that was either a "hello" or a failed attempt to cough up a hairball.

The radio in the kitchen window is loud enough to be understood as I sip the Elixir Of Knowledge, waiting for inspiration to run into me like a sparrow into a clean window.

The guy on the radio is the type I would like to have coffee with...a great sense of humor, a catchy Scottish accent, and profound insights that are shared in a conversational tone - not barked or screamed like a disgruntled coach.  I like this guy.

And he brings up "the hyphen".


Ohhhhhh.  Never thought about that.

The Elixir Of Knowledge grabs the idea and runs with it almost instantly.


I google it.  A hyphen is the Elmer's glue of the grammar world, sticking two or more words together.  It even glues a word together when the page isn't wide enough.

Neat, huh.  But wait...there's still more!  (...commercial flashback...sorry...)

If a space is added to each side of the hypen, it then becomes a "dash".  An "en dash", to be exact.

And an en dash means "to", as in "The Complaint Department is open from 3:29 - 3:30 AM once a decade on a Thursday to be announced."

So give a hyphen a little elbow room and it can stick things together that are a lot bigger than words.   Which was the point made by the Radio Pastor as he talked about the content of our lives.  And our tombstones.


One day, on my tombstone, somebody will carve my birthdate and my death date.  In between those dates will be a hyphen.  An en dash.  A little line that will contain my entire life.

Everything I've done, and was, will be in that little, chiseled line.

Yeah...gives a new twist to the idea that "Life is short", eh?   It's like a memory stick or flash drive that holds the encyclopedic knowledge of all my thoughts and actions. My dreams and fears.


Immediately the Elixir Of Knowledge pushes the picture of a tombstone to the front of my mind.  And I gotta smile.

It's a not really a tombstone we'd find around here.  It's more of a big stone that covered a tomb.  And it has chiseled in it a birthdate, an en dash, and a death date.  And then there's another en dash followed by the symbol for infinity...the eternal.

Because He lives.

And there within the history of my en dash I had given Him my life.   So He gives me another en dash.  Another hyphen that sticks me with Him - forever.

Incredible, eh?

A last sip of the Elixir Of Knowledge brings another commercial to mind.  (What's with these commercials?!)

"What's in YOUR wallet?"

But wait - that's not quite right.

It really all boils down to this...

"What's in YOUR hyphen?"

All content copyrighted by Dennis R. Doud. Website designed by Isaac Doud.