I debated buying the $5.99 magazine or just browsing through a copy, but then I thought that if I’m serious about this writing thing, I needed to make the small investment.  With tax, the July/August issue of Writer’s Digest magazine came to $6.47. I handed the Barnes and Noble cashier $7 and she plopped two quarters and three pennies into my hand. As I walked away, I anxiously peered at the dates on my pennies—as I always do—and, oh my goodness, when I saw the 1973 cent I wanted to shout because I was so ecstatic! Could this be a sign from the Writer Wizard: Here’s the magic, now go with it!

I snapped a picture of the cent in my palm with my iPhone, but then thought that to really do it justice I needed to show it with the magazine. So right in the middle of a busy Starbucks, I propped the penny on the magazine and shot several angles rotating the penny, then cropped and auto-enhanced the image before texting it to my kids. Emmali responded first with as much enthusiasm as me and agreeing without a doubt (emphasized by a string of exclamation points) that it was a sign to keep laboring away at my novel.

This particular penny got its start in Philadelphia, noted by the lack of a letter under its imprint date, unlike my novel penny that was minted in Denver and has a D stamped under its year. But I am sure this penny and that penny must have linked up sometime along the way in their 40 years in circulation. Sometimes I just sense these things.

Where have you been, my friend? Who has traded you in? What wishes have you carried? What good luck have you brought? How many thoughts have you bought before mine today? Have you been heaven sent to other folks like me in the instant we needed a sign to carry on?

And what will I do with you now?