In the fall of 2009, Leif Swanson offered a creative-nonfiction writing class in the Cheyenne college known by its acronym, LCCC, that used Bill Roorbach’s Writing Life Stories. I was then part of a writers’ group that showed signs of falling apart; hence, when a participant mentioned signing up--she’d heard good things about Swanson’s teaching--I followed my friend and took the class. Swanson’s assignments revolved around Roorbach’s directives.

Roorbach urges the would-be memoiri...


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