One Christmas, amongst all my myriad fancy presents, there was a pen. This wasn't just an ordinary pen. This was a powerfully magical writing implement, thick as my wrist and long as half my arm. Its clear plastic sheathe surrounded a wealth of different colors of ink. The cap was equipped with delicate levers which pushed corresponding colors down through the hole so they could write. And there must have been ten, twenty, thirty, maybe fifty different inks in all--every possible shade from sunrise pink, to blush, to rose, to red, then on through violet, purple, indigo, navy and clear blue sky. I think that's where I got my addiction to laying out colors in rows, trying to create a steady pattern of change to remind me of my pen.
It's also where I got the sudden need to write my first novel, at age, maybe, ten. After all, a magical pen like that? It needed a magical task to make it complete.