A Literary Shadow Box

It’s been a few months since my short story “Makers of Men” was published in Issue 3 of midnight & indigo. One of the things I was excited to do when the book came out was to memorialize a copy for myself. I had an old shadow box that I bought on sale at Michael’s (*cough* from 2013 *cough*) that I’d never done anything with, so I decided to decorate it around my first (paid) published piece.

The first thing I did was paint the box inside and out. It took a while to mix the right shades to compliment the colors of the book cover, and the first couple of layers of paint disappeared into the wood entirely (mostly because I didn’t have primer on hand). After I was happy with the inside and outside colors, I had to figure out how I was going to mount the book in the middle of the box.

My first thought was to attach a frame inside for the book to rest in, but it would’ve taken up too much space and I was trying to keep my project budget low. Instead, I hung a mini copy of the book inside the box using a binder clip and a clear hook. Lots of hot glue was used in the making of this shadow box.

Before I could hang the mini copy I had to do a few things. First, I had to decorate the background. I had some wide burlap ribbon in my craft box from a few Christmases ago, so I hot glued three overlapping strips inside the shadow box. Second, I purchased an eBook version of Issue 3, converted it to a PDF, and printed basically everything except other people’s stories (to keep the ink and paper low) onto small sheets of paper. Then I used hot glue to secure the clear hook onto the burlap, making sure it also made contact with the back wall of the box, and hung the mini book on the hook with a yellow binder clip.

Then it was time to decorate! I got the glass bottles, paper flowers, and mini terra cotta pot from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby; salt and loose leaf tea (herbs) from the kitchen; obsidian, butterflies, and a chicken from Etsy, and sand from a trip to the beach. I also made a small anklet from leftover beads and string I used to make my waist beads.

Put it all together and we have a literary shadow box!

Of course, you’ll have to read “Makers of Men” to know how it all fits together to represent the story. You can get Issue 3 of midnight & indigo here. There’s also an eBook version. Of course, I have both!

I’ve been wanting to share this little project with you for a while, I just… I forgot, okay. I may never truly get over the excitement of seeing my name on the cover of a book that I didn’t have to publish myself. I’m sure I’ll also be excited once I finally figure out the best self-publishing method, but it’s been a challenge trying to navigate all of the many ways to get my own book done. It’s been a little stressful and a bit pricey, but I don’t want to just throw something out there all willy nilly. There’s enough junk in the world.

Until next time…

Happy crafting!

Book Update

I try to do a book review at the end of each month, but I haven’t finished Parable of the Sower yet. I’m about halfway done because I’m not speeding through it and also because some days I’m not reading at all to be quite honest. So let’s talk about my book.

I’m shopping for an editor right now. It took a bit longer to get feedback from people I already know who are in my target audience than I’d anticipated. And yes, that was partially because I took forever to actually ask these people to read it because I was uncertain and untrusting. But the girls did good and made me feel really excited about what I’d created.

That being said, I won’t get it completed and published by the end of the year like I’d hoped. I didn’t plan well with timing, but it’s my first book and I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m totally winging it here. However! I’m hoping the publishing process will go smoothly once the professional edit and my inevitable rewrite is complete and I can get it out before my half-birthday in March. Are half-birthdays a thing?

I’ve already got a cover designed based on a dream I had about receiving the proof copy of my book and so I’m likely to go with what I have, but I feel like I should probably create a couple more options and get some feedback on the cover art before formatting it for publishing.

Aside from the editing, this book is all DIM (do-it-myself) because I’ve been on a super tight budget this year getting my car paid off (which I did last week, yay!) and getting some additional things paid in December. And then of course January continues my debt-free journey with saving to pay off the student loans that I’ve been pretending don’t exist for eight years.

All that being said, I still have a surprise next month that I mentioned a while ago. It’s just taking some time to get there, but I’ll definitely let you in on it in a few weeks.

I’ll keep you updated on book progress, and may even post cover options over on our IG page (@ninentwo) for you to vote on. Who knows.

Once I’m done with Parable of the Sower I’ll let you know if my thoughts/feelings about it have changed since I first read it years ago. I also want to watch/listen to the 4-part discussion of the book done by the Smart Brown Girl Book Club on YouTube. I’ll probably do that first before I come talk about it here.

In the meantime…

Happy Reading!