I belong to a writer’s group, and yesterday we had a brief discussion about whether we should close membership. Paul suggested that it would be foolish to refuse entrance to anyone who might be useful to us all. In my twisted mind, that produced a picture of us as literary vampires, feeding off the knowledge of these new writers. “I want to suck your verbs,” is how Dan put it. And that’s exactly what I wish I could do. I want to feast on the works of my favorite authors and slurp up their skill, transforming me into a better writer. A superb writer. A writer qualified to be a donor for the next literary vampire.