If a would-be writer is serious about his intention to become a fine writer, he would do well to get his head out of the vampire/zombie dreck that somehow passes for literature and discover the masters.
One fixed poetic form clearly stands the test of time: the sonnet. Even if you don't read poetry regularly, you probably know the basics: the average sonnet contains only 14 lines, and each line should be written in the same meter.
How high was Shakespeare? Research published in 2001 revealed residues of cocaine, marijuana and myristic acid, a nutmeg-derived hallucinogen, in 17th-century clay-pipe fragments dug up from the garden of his home.
How can any of us find the words to wish a happy 450th birthday to the single most significant, elegant, funny, wise and human writer ever to use the English language? That's what I, and countless others, have thought and think of Shakespeare.
"As everyone says, I'm deeply honored to be honored. When one goes about their life and what they do, it's not to have a whole bunch of awards and feel that that's the basis of why you do things, but on the other hand it's always gratifying to be recognized by your community for what you do."
Shakespeare isn't the be-all and end-all of course (that's another of his by the way). English has had its fair share of literary giants over the years who, from Chaucer and Milton to Dickens and even Dr. Seuss, have each contributed words to our language.