I’d barely unpacked my bags for my first grad school residency when I heard about one of the most revered teachers and mentors in the program, an accomplished horror author. “He’s brutal in his critiques,” an upperclassman informed me, “but if you survive, he’ll help you become a really good writer.”  He paused and said, “You’ll never get…

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Years ago, when I was still dancing, I began free-lancing for newspapers and magazines. One day, I ran into an acquaintance from college. “Saw your Sunday feature,” she said. “Congratulations.” “Gee, thanks.” “I wrote a story once,” she said, “but

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Even as a kid, I loved reading the newspaper, especially the advice columns. The problems people wrote about fascinated me—cheating husbands, in-laws from hell, warring siblings. Long before there was reality television, there was Ann Landers. Half the fun was in reading her salty responses to the letters she received. Not surprisingly, “advice columnist” landed…

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