"Do you mind my asking you?
I have a writing question.
It's about the parts of speech."
"In the composing of a poem, what of I-N-G'ing the verb? You know, do you ever noun-ify it?
"Well. The truth is, it's hard to get away with a gerund," he said, with a tinge of wistfulness.
He looked up and paused. Imparting this small teaching made him smile.
Was this the issuing of a challenge? Or a warning?
But my questioning found no mark. I didn't speak it.
I just dutifully recorded his comment, my day's workshopping now complete.