I loved your story about your and Sharon Campbell’s early writing experiences. I had a nearly identical experience in college.
My English instructor seemed to have a personal dislike for me, although it was not mutual. I wrote what I considered the best paper I’d ever done, on a spiritual experience I’d recently had. I’d always loved writing, and this paper just flowed so easily and effortlessly. The instructor was known as a tough grader. But I thought I would surely get an A or A+ on this. When I got the paper back, was I ever pissed! His only comment was it was too good to have been written by me. I got a failing grade, and felt very discouraged.
About that same time I wrote another long paper on another of my spiritual experiences. This one was just for me, not for a college course. Again, I thought