A RIDDLE: What resource does everyone possess and use every day, is free of charge and never runs out?
Words are without doubt the most powerful of all human inventions. Over the many millennia of evolution, no other form of communication has been more important - and nothing differentiates us more from all other creatures in the world around us.
Whether carved into clay, scrawled on scrolls or tapped into telephones, the essential basic form of all written language is timeless and universal.
Although I do have a theory that as pens are rapidly replaced by tiny touchscreens, future generations will evolve with pointier fingers.
That aside, this weekend sees a marvellous celebration of words both written and read on the Creative Coast.
The Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, now in its third year, transports its audiences through words to fascinating new worlds of ideas.
It also literally transports the willing punter and paddler down the Bellinger River on a canoe-based poetry safari.
For the literary landlubber there is also a wealth of words to explore.
This year's theme is Women's Stories and there is a bevy of brilliant female writers from all over Australia in attendance to share their perspectives and narratives.
They include big award winners like Cate Kennedy, Drusilla Modjeska and crime writer Gabrielle Lord.
Lap it all up at a literary dinner, see George Negus and David Marr go head to head or brace yourself for the ultimate word fighting championship, the BRWF Poetry Slam.
All program details are online at bellingenwritersfestival.com.au and single session tickets are available.
Vive Le Word!