If you read Monday’s post about my fabulous bookcase you may have noticed an extra special shelf at the top right. That would be my Appalachian novels shelf. Yup, a whole shelf just for books I’ve written!

This is astonishing to me. I mean, there’s still plenty of room for more books but at the same time there are enough to have a . . . presence. It felt downright momentous to hold that first story–Miracle in a Dry Season–in my hands. And the feeling has yet to fade!

Now and again I’ll gift one of my books to someone and joke that I made it with my own two hands (and ten fingers!). Which is a joke because I’m really not crafty at all.

But I have friends who are!

Which brings me to the other super special item on MY shelf. It’s a brick. But not just any brick. It’s one that’s been painted by my folk artist friend Neil Derrick to look like . . . my latest novel! I admired one he’d painted to look like To Kill a Mockingbird and next thing I knew–I got a brick in the mail. If you look closely, you’ll even see that the edges look like pages . . .

A whole shelf of handmade things. Now that’s the icing on the bookcase!