As an adolescent I adored my art classes in school and my too-infrequent trips to the museums of New York City, only an hour or so from my Long Island home. Drawing with pastels, folding origami flowers, or getting to know Picasso's Guernica, I dared to think that I might call myself an artist one day. In high school I acted in plays and experimented with photography. I still drew, but literature and writing were drawing me away from chalks and paints. Something actually did bore me, though: trigonometry. I sat through my eleventh-grade math class knowing that my future lay elsewhere, and that I never would need to calculate the relationships among the parts of triangles. Luckily for me, I was right, because when I walked out of that classroom on the last day of school, every formula involving sines, cosines, and tangents went right out of my head. Did I call myself an artist, though? Not yet.
The time to focus came in college. I knew then that I was a writer foremost, so my studies concentrated on the written word. Also, I was finally old enough to look back on my life, and I saw that I had always been producing art of one kind or another. To be a person who creates--to be an artist--was never a choice. I had been one all along. Today most of my creative energy goes into my books, but I sew wall hangings and knit and cook and plan innumerable projects. I'm the same person I was as a child, and I still would love that imaginary book of questions and answers if my mother could possibly find it.