X is for Xanadu
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
Thus starts Xanadu, the 18th century poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. And, of course, we don't know how the work finishes because Coleridge was interrupted by 'a person on business from Porlock' while he was desperately trying to get the lines in his head down on paper.
I'm sure all writers will know that feeling well. Sometimes it feels like we're surrounded by the person from Porlock's modern-day equivalents ...
Xanadu, incidentally, was a real place: it was the name of Kublai Khan's summer capital in China. Coleridge had just been reading about this the night before. And taking opium ...
Archaeopteryx Blunderbuss Chthonic Dreadnought Entropy Fulgurite Gargantua Humbucking Ichthyic Juggernaut Kappa Labyrinthine Megrim Numinous Ophidian Pandemonium Quark Ragnarök Shibboleth Thing Umami Verdigris Worm Xanadu