As you may have gathered from the headings on this site, I am a Scrabble® player. Legend has it that I freaked out my late aunt Barbara by spelling out her name with Scrabble® tiles at the age of three. Apocryphal tale or no, I've always been interested in words, their spellings, and origins. Won a couple of spelling bees in my day, I did.
Like many American families, mine had a Scrabble® game. We played every now and then, but I didn't take it terribly seriously until college. For some reason, a new way of looking at the game clicked in my brain. I saw the strategic advantages of laying words adjacent but parallel to words already formed on the board to, of placing high-point-value tiles in the bonus squares, and so forth. All of a sudden, the game became less of a time killer at the kitchen table and more of a mathematical, spatial-reasoning challenge.
After graduating from college, I took a job in the Dallas area. From a woman who worked at the same company, I learned that there was a Scrabble® players' association, clubs, and even tournaments. In August of 1992 I visited a Scrabble® club in Dallas for the first time. My very first move in a club game was a "bingo": ORGASMS. I was hooked. 8^) I have been participating in competitive Scrabble® ever since.