Turning those pages, I remember having that wonderful thought . . . I could do this. I want to do this. I got a composition book and a Bic pen and haven't stopped writing since. I gave up on writing fantasy in college, mostly because I wasn't very good at it (although my story "Gabriel," (which I'm just now realizing can be traced directly back to The Tainted Sword, right down to Roxanne's red hair) was a finalist for Writers of the Future) but I had since discovered boys and Raymond Chandler. I still have all those early stories somewhere, including a 400 page, 2-volume novel series I wrote, the title of which completely escapes me at the moment.
I borrowed that book from Ann so many times that she finally gave it to me. The original copy still sits on my shelf. I pull it out once in awhile to remember where I started and why.