What’s the First Thing You Ever Made, Tara Austen Weaver?

The first thing I ever made was a series of small books that contained stories I had written. The early ones are crafted from construction paper that some grownup must have helped me glue and staple together. They have colorful covers and inside are blank pages on which I wrote my stories, the first having to do with a lion and a mouse.

I remember being so proud I had written a book that could be put on the shelf with other books, though my thin booklets disappeared amidst the chunky spines. I remember wondering how I could get a larger spine, so you could see it on the shelf.

As I got older, I discovered my mother’s stationery made a better book and used up all her second sheet—without the name engraved on the top—to make my books. I hand-sewed the binding with embroidery thread from her sewing basket, making sure it coordinated with the lettering on the front. She was none too pleased when she discovered her expensive, creamy writing paper had been commandeered.

But I still remember the feeling that my ideas would sit next to other people’s ideas. That they might go out into the world and be read by people I didn’t even know.

-Tara Austen Weaver, author of The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis and the award-winning blog Tea & Cookies