Workspace decor is important.
  1. This Montblanc pen.
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    In 1998, I left my job waiting tables at The Flying Burrito to begin teaching creative writing at UNC. My co-workers took up a collection to buy me this. The idea was Lara Tucker's: she was a poet and understood how much it would mean to me. She has since passed away.
  2. My mom's old piggy bank.
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    For all of my childhood, this sat in the kitchen, right by the sink. Whenever I look at it, I think of my mom cooking dinner on weeknights with All Things Considered playing in the background.
  3. My aunt Bobby's baby cup.
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    I didn't realize until after she passed away that her name was actually Caroline, not Barbara. Not sure why she changed it. It seems awful I didn't know this crucial fact.
  4. Shells collected from beach in Emerald Isle, NC.
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    So it always feels a little like summer in one of my favorite places.
  5. Inspirational Broad City art made by my babysitter Hannah.
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    She knew I was having trouble writing. I keep it taped to my monitor.
  6. More Bubble Gum and Root Beer dumdums than I could ever possibly eat.
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    They are big part of my latest book, and I love that people bring them to my events. Also when they have them at my bank it feels like a good sign.