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  • My writing teacher in college gave me the best advice I've ever received. “Quit drinking and sit down and write the damn book” he wrote in the margin of some scrawled, half ass, blathering mess of a writing assignment I had turned in. I don't know how fully I've accepted his advice, either then or now but I'm pretty sure he believed in me and that means something to me. He always wanted me to read out loud and I appreciated that too because it's one of my favourite things to do. We had a class at his farm one day. In his writing loft in the barn. It was warm and it smelled like books and his wife made us cookies. I wanted to always have class there, but my classmates insisted the drive was too far. It was the summer of love and I could barely make it to class and I didn't have a car but I so badly wanted someone to let me pay them to take me to this farm every day. To escape the noise and the boredom of the city. To avoid the coffee shop where everyone congregates awkwardly. To breathe fresh air and cut grass. It didn't happen. We stayed in the concrete classroom, and I continued to drag myself in smelling of cigarettes and booze and always eager to read my stories out loud.
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