It turns out that on Wednesday, the same day the Palencar Project was unveiled, I found a package on my doorstep when I arrived home.
I’d been expecting the package. But I definitely wasn’t expecting what I found inside.
I’d been in touch with a really cool bookseller who was very keen to get signed copies of Bitter Seeds. (Hi, Steve!) But he also arranged to have several copies signed by none other than Mr. Palencar himself, since it’s his artwork that graces the cover.
So the books first went to JJP, then from him to me. (And, okay, squeeing fanboy moment here: how cool is it that I got to scrawl my signature right alongside that of John Jude Palencar? Extremely. Yes. The answer is, “Extremely.”)
The books were all there, as expected. But one copy had a post-it stuck to the cover. It read, “For Ian, from JJP.”
And this is what I found when I opened it:
Not just signed, but signed WITH ARTWORK.
Clearly, Steve the bookseller told him of my great admiration for his work. What a pair of gentlemen! Thank you Steve and John for a wonderful surprise. (And what is now the most prized book of my collection.)