The question I hear most often from students in my writing classes is: “Where do I begin?”

In response, I have learned to break into song. Usually it’s the Andy Williams classic “Where do I begin, to tell the story of how great a love can be. …” I sound more like a bluesy Johnny Mathis than suave Andy Williams when I sing it, but I also must live with the fact that even on my best vocal days I’ll never reach the pinnacle of that pop song performance, which was, of course, by the immortal Shirley Bassey.