Carolyn See recommends that writers draw up a list of the ten most influential people in their lives because . . . I forget why. Maybe writers can use them as characters?
Anyway. I did this exercise a few years ago, and one of the people on my list is Joyce Nelson, my AP English teacher. This is what I wrote about her: "A great teacher. A great conversationalist. When we were reading THE GREAT GATSBY she made the surprising announcement in class that 'men like women who smolder.' I've never forgotten that."
And I've never forgotten Joyce, who passed away the evening of July 3, 2012. She was a great broad in every single way. RIP Joyce.