I guess whatever maturity is there may be there because I've been keeping a journal forever. In high school my friends would make fun of me - you're doing your man diary again. So I was always trying to translate experience into words.
I had the little Radio Shack crystal radio, and then my aunt Judy bought me a shortwave radio. It was amazing to me: like on these really clear nights - I lived in Ohio - I could get Texas or Florida. You felt like the world was a smaller place.
When people ask for book recommendations, I say this: Do some math. If you read one book every week for the rest of your life, and if you're lucky enough to live for 50 more years, you're only going to get to 2,600 books.
In my early 20s, a friend and I worked for a few months on a sheep farm in New Zealand. Working with ewes, I learned a lot about the power of wool - how it keeps you cool when you're hot, warm when you're cold, dry when you're wet.
It took me about three years to write About Grace. I wasn't teaching two of those years, so I was working eight-hour days, five days a week. And it would include research and reading - it wasn't just a blank page, laying down words.
Hour by hour, minute by minute, I make decisions that seem like the right things to do at the time but which prevent me from reflecting on the most significant, most critical fact in my life: Every day, I participate in a system that is weaponizing our big, gorgeous planet against our kids.