MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- Six years and 60 poems mesh in Joseph Sturm's recently published "Counting Clouds."
The Mercersburg resident started writing poetry at age 16. Now 21, Sturm self-published the book and is selling copies through Web sites and his college's bookstore.
Sturm said he hears a lot of comments like "wow" and "whoa" when people are reading the book near him.
"I have a lot of random people e-mailing me and thanking me," Sturm said.
Born in San Diego, Sturm moved to Altoona, Pa., as a child. He entered the foster-care system and was adopted at age 13 by Nicholas and Diane Sturm of Mercersburg.
The beauty of Mercersburg made an impact on Sturm.
"I think the reason I liked it was because of the views," he said.
Sturm studied at Mercersburg Academy and fell in love with martial arts at Thompson's Karate Studio in Greencastle, Pa. He enrolled at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., where he studies English and is working on a minor in anthropology.