I blame my grade 4 teacher for turning me into a writer. His name was Mr. Fitzgerald and he came to our small town of Tompkins right out of Education. He was only there a year, but in that year he did two things that changed my life forever. The first was he read The Hobbit to us. That book blew my mind! I was amazed by the dwarves and spiders and, of course, Bilbo himself. Wow, this book didn't have the Hardy Boys in it! It had swords! I remember staring at the cover for hours.
The second thing he did was teach us how to play Dungeons and Dragons. The year would have been 1976. At that time no one had heard of the satanic, amazingly fun game. Only college geeks played it. I have no idea how he started teaching us, or why, but I do have memories of going on "adventures" during math class. I may not know my multiplication tables, but I can tell you the percentage chance of a 20 hit point strike with a +2 sword on a green dragon! The game, like The Hobbit, suddenly made my imagination explode. The game taught me that anything could be imagined. And I blame it (and my grade four teacher) for turning me into a writer.
SO thanks Mr. Fitzgerald!