What ignited you?

Recognize this book? This 1966 gem — written by Joan and Roger Bradfield, and illustrated by Winnie Fitch — set my career path. From the first page I knew where I was headed:

Who are you? What's your name?
Would you like to play a game?
Let's pretend we haven't met.
I'll ask you questions, now get set.

As a child this book urged and encouraged my natural curiosity. I peppered everyone with questions, and years later, became a newspaper reporter (and later, writer / editor / poet, etc). I'm still asking questions. Intrigued by path, process and personality, always I wonder: Who are you? What shaped your life?

I like this response, from Frederick Buechner in Listening to Your Life:

By the time I was sixteen, I knew as surely as I knew anything that the work I wanted to spend my life doing was the work of words. I did not yet know what I wanted to say with them. I did not yet know in what form I wanted to say it or to what purpose. But if a vocation is as much the work that chooses you as the work you choose, then I knew from that time on that my vocation was, for better or worse, to involve that searching for, and treasuring, and telling of secrets which is what the real business of words is all about.

And in this excerpt from the poem, When I Am Asked, Lisel Mueller poignantly reveals what led her to write:

It was soon after my mother died . . .

I sat on a gray stone bench
ringed with the ingenue faces
of pink and white impatiens
and placed my grief
in the mouth of language,
the only thing that would grieve with me.

Now it's your turn:  

Who are you? Tell me, please, what ignited your writing life?