Writing an article for VOYA on mentoring young writers, and thinking with gratitude of my own mentors, the ones in the flesh, the ones on the page (hello, Shirley Jackson).  And thinking, too, of the young writers I’ve worked with and/or encouraged (hi, Lance! Hi, Grace! Hi, Miss Gunpoint Art Teacher!), with pleasure, and gratitude as well: it’s all one conversation, isn’t it?

I’d love to do more work with young writers, but it’s them I want to work with, the self-selected ones who need to be there – their own need – not the kids whose parents (or teachers, or whomever) have sent them to a class or workshop or meeting to develop that wonderful talent of yours, sweetie! Referrals, yes, absolutely.  Being pushed to develop that wonderful etc., no, no, no….There is something pure about a mind encountering a like mind, and it rarely happens by force.