I read as a child to find out what I thought, what I wished for, and what scared me. Books were my brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, pets and my landscape. Books gave me the strength and courage to be me. Should it surprise me that I write for the same reason? The writer Joan Didion says it beautifully when she says: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” All books have influenced me—their poetry, their characters, and their landscapes.