Some of you may have watched J.K. Rowling's interview with Oprah in October. If not, I encourage you to find it online or read the transcripts. In it, there is a clip of the commencement address she gave at Harvard University in June 2008 on the theme of "The Fringe Benefits of Failure" (click on the title to watch the video). It made me think of Bill Holm, a former professor and colleague at Southwest Minnesota State University who wrote a book titled The Music of Failure that has a wonderful essay with that title. As human beings, and as writers, our failures can be our best teachers. As J.K. Rowling said in her interview, hitting rock bottom was the foundation for all that would follow.