Mark Couhig has been a writer for more than 50 years.

His first experience with the written word arrived at a very early age when he was required to painstakingly hand-trace dotted lines in a notebook, a process that led first to a mastery of the straight, purely angular letters of the English alphabet. He soon turned his attention to the curved letters, exhibiting a full proficiency in that skill by the end of his seventh year.

Before another year had passed, Couhig had begun to cluster letters into meaningful compositions, an accomplishment for which he was awarded a coveted gold star, the first-ever public acknowledgement of his extraordinary aptitude with words.

In time he would take these words and strategically create further clusters, which he called “sentences.”

Paragraphs soon followed.

In the third grade Couhig learned the skill of cursive writing, allowing him to greatly expand and accelerate his output.

Over the ensuing months and years Couhig’s now-renown facility for dramatic narrative developed. He was able to work the delicate filigree of fiction — dramatic, purposeful action that engages the reader — to a degree that astonished Ms. Sweeney, his teacher and mentor. Of one of Couhig’s early works, “Run, Tom, Run,” she wrote, “I’m so proud of you.”

As his facility with words grew, so too did his worldview, aided in part by his assiduous readings of “The Weekly Reader,” which he continues to regard as a formative influence in his later, more mature work.

In the fifth grade, Couhig’s repertoire and love of the written word translated to a sterling turn on the stage as Shepherd No. 3 in a new and dynamic dramatic reading of the Gospel According to Luke, a popular work of the time.

Approximately 50 years later Couhig moved to Sequim where he writes a blog.

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