It feels like I have wanted to write from the time I learned how to read. I gravitated to words like they were my dear friends. What my favorite writers could do with words fascinated me. I have always wanted to be as poetic, intelligent, moving, clever and imaginative as they are.

As I got older, a deep, soulful sense of obligation grew in me. An obligation to give voice to my being. This notion came from a book of poetry by ghetto children. It was a gift from my two older sisters for my 12th birthday. Their poetry left me speechless, uncomfortable, bewildered and….inspired! I made a pact with myself that I would write in my journal everyday. I was consistent for a very short time.

That creative urgency didn’t last long because of the critics in my head. I was writing to be impressive. To impress my father who gave me The Elements of Style by Strunk and White as summer reading when I was entering 11th grade. The need for perfection was paralyzing and discouraging. The critics have remained with me.

Poetry is all I have truly worked on. A poem is short and concise. An image or feeling can be created in just a few lines. My father liked the first poem I sent him. That was twenty years after he introduced me to Strunk and White. I was amazed. It changed our relationship immediately. We had found a connection.

Now, I want to write to make a connection with others. To make a connection with myself, with the Universe. I want to create beauty and joy. I want to write to prove to myself that I can write! I want to write because the nagging need to do so never leaves me.

BIO:  Michele Arnesen says, “As my mother would say, ‘I am a citizen of the world’.  I feel the same way. I was born in Ankara, Turkey and lived in four other countries by the time I was eleven when my father’s job in the foreign service brought the family to Haiti. I graduated from high school in Port-au-Prince and moved up to New York for college and employment. I worked in the publishing industy for many years before moving to San Diego. I set up a photography business with my husband selling his beautiful photographs in galleries and art fairs. Now I am a senior home health aide with time to read and write.