I love leading workshops and discussions with other life long learners who share my joy and passion for the written word.

It doesn’t matter how many times I power through the same slides and read the first page of nine novels by authors who’d hoped to hook readers until the last page. The comments and critiques shared by learners at workshops never fail to nudge my point of view toward a place and conclusion I’d never considered.

Steve pointed out Karin Slaughter’s double entendre title that casts an appalling shadow on the sad life of a young woman deserted as an infant by her mother yet kept as a trophy by her controlling, abusive husband.

While I still believe characters drive the story, theme can and most likely will rule supreme in John’s real place and time historical account laced with fiction tale of a once thriving town erased from the map but not from memory.

Our lively learners session at the Midwest Writing Center reminded me of a scene and dialogue from “Moonstruck,” a favorite film I continue to enjoy and rediscover after multiple views, plot and character dissections. The burnt out college English professor, bored with hearing his own voice drone on, describes his delight in spotting a fresh face in the front row, eager to learn and full of promise, hanging on his every word.

Those are the moments teachers, professors and workshop leaders cherish. The head nodding, ah-HA, light bulb flicker to incandescence reaction when a snippet of what I’ve learned and experienced helps other life long learners discover his or her direction, vault that hurdle, push aside whatever has been in the way and forge a path toward creative accomplishment.

Keep going on that walkabout reflection through where you’ve been. Write that memoir, Steve.

Question the past, John. I want to read about that gone but not forgotten southern town.

I’ll take a signed copy of both, please.