So this is my relationship with writing: we are long-distance lovers. The distance is the time, great stretches of it, that passes between our encounters. Then there is the inevitable period of awkwardness we must trudge through in each other’s presence. A period prolonged by my aversion to the truth, to being frank and real. The distance makes it too easy to be deceitful. When we meet I try too hard to please, seduce, impress – and things only get more awkward and funky. So we take it slow. Each word a struggle. I have to return again and again to make each piece we are working on a little more true. Eventually, we see each other naked. Then, writing makes an honest woman out of me. The story I tell in “Katrina” emerged when my writing was trying to get at what was on my mind at the time, and being a teacher, of course it was one of my students.