It’s not enough to say, “Because I have to.” What is at the core of my efforts and creativity? My inate shyness, born of fear and insecurity. As a child, I would see the world around me and be unable to speak about it. I would hear conversations, but never open my mouth to join in. I felt too unworthy and insignificant to have heads turn towards me; I had no desire to be noticed. Then I began to write and words gushed out. There was so much I wanted to say, just not vocally. My imagination took flight and created places full of beauty and fun. The books I devoured fed my curious, dreamy mind with streams of ideas. As an adult, this revolving door of writing-observing-writing-reading-writing-feeling cannot be jammed. Before my eyes open, I know sleep has ended because my brain is putting sentences or a scenario together.
— Monnie Bess | Ten Firsts | Issue 1