I keep two slim journals on top of a bookshelf in my bedroom. The large floral designs on their soft covers remind me of the first stories I wrote in my classroom Writing Center when I was six. My teachers made blank books by folding legal-size copy paper in half and fashioning the covers from wallpaper samples. I loved these. Every time I pick up one of my journals, the memory of these other books comes back to me: small and simple, but to a budding writer, special — even sacred.