A few days ago, someone quoted to me:
Hard words will break no bones/ but more than bones are broken/ by the inescapable stones/ of fond words left unspoken.
Since I'm spending more time on writing poetry than on prose of late, both these quotations take on more freight of significance than they might otherwise. When you're asked to speak to a book club, or read for an arts group or at a library, you have to try to find the right beginning to get people curious enough to listen to what you have to say. If, heaven help you, you're hoping to get a sale or two out of the enterprise, it occurs to me that it's more important to hold back than to show all. But that's only part of the value of what's left out.
The challenge is not to withhold the wrong thing.