All of us are shaped by our physical characteristics. One characteristic, in particular, shaped me into a writer – myopia. As a child, I was extremely near-sighted and couldn’t engage in a lot of sports activities. Klutzes weren’t welcome at second base or beneath the basket. So, naturally, I took to reading books at an early age. Like many writers of that era (Forties and Fifties), I was the child who would check out five books in the morning, finish them, and then come back for five more in the afternoon (which drove a few librarians nuts because it screwed up their check-out system). But, I was luckier than most when it came to finding books because, in those days, my aunt was Superintendent of the County Library in our small town in South Dakota. That meant she allowed me to spend a lot of hours after school and after hours roaming the stacks all by myself. It was as close to heaven as I’ll ever get. To my young eyes, it seemed like there was an eternity of books in those stacks and they were mine, all mine! Of course, I proceeded to try to read them all. It was great training for becoming a writer (and, before that a teacher and a military news writer and an instructional designer). So, my thanks go out to my late aunt, Muriel, for letting me roam her library and for helping to direct me into a career I love!