My neighbor interrupted my Thursday morning drive to work with an unexpected gift passed through the open passenger side window.

“Good morning, neighbor,” she said.  “I saw this and had to get it for you.  It had your name written all over it.”

I laughed at the message on the 7-by-7 inch slab of pine, thanked her, and marveled at the pure thoughtful expression of human connection.  She probably picked it up at a thrift store or garage sale.  Neither of us knows who had it, how they got it or why the owner gave it up.  The story of its origin and provenance to occupy space on the wall over the desk where I write may one day find its way to pages published for e-reading or turning by the reader’s hand.

Writers sift and sort through what we uncover and discover in the cedar trunks and cardboard boxes of our memories. My neighbor’s thoughtful gesture could shape the motivations of a character in my next story.

Let the message on my pine plaque serve as a blessing or a warning to anyone who knows a writer.

Careful or you’ll end up in my Novel.