Vanity is such an ugly word. Really, it’s hard to think of a way to use it about yourself or  your “things” without it having negative connotations. Which hasn’t stopped me from creating a vanity shelf.

Following on from my post about my latest book being published – the one that is in no way appropriate for this blog about gardening, food and animals – I’m posting about my vanity shelf. Go figure, huh?


This is what I look at as I type my blog (does that mean I can post about it in my blog?). It’s got all my printed works on it: 2 novels, 2 magazines smart enough to print one of my short stories and 4 anthologies, each containing 1 or more of my short stories. Ezines, online competitions and ebooks (including ebook versions of my own manuscripts which outsell the paperback versions) are making printed works as rare as hen’s teeth (there, since I talked about chickens, this post isn’t totally out of place 😛 ) so I like having a few of my publications sitting where I can actually touch them. One day I’d love to have the shelf full of just my writings with the framed cover shots on the wall but, for now anyway, I’m content with my success.

Oh, and see those 3 cute little chickens above the framed cover of Starting Over? They were made for me by the wonderful Melissa at when I lost my 3 lovely girls. They sit over my computer and remind me of how great chickens are and how wonderful people are out there in the blogosphere. Again, thanks Melissa!

Yes, I’m still stoked about having my second book published. I’m sure this excitement will die down soon though. It’s darned hard to stay vain when you’re getting stung by bees,  cleaning chook poo off of the floor of a coop, picking dog hair off your clothes and being totally ignored by a cat.

But, when all of the chores are done and all of the animals are resting quietly, let me tell you, it’s pretty fantastic having 2 books in print, it means I never have to struggle to find something good to read. 🙂

Laura reading



About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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18 Responses to Vanity

  1. Glenn Rittenhouse says:

    I love your vanity shelf. I think it is great to have a place to see and show what all you have accomplished. I’m so proud of you and know you will continue to do well in the future.

    • Thanks – every writer needs a number 1 fan and you’re the best fan ever!!!

      See that little framed picture of a building on the upper shelf? That’s one of the postcards that great grandpa painted then sent to Mutti from a clinic when he was sick. Grandma gave it to me so I could use it in my book, Starting Over. It’s one of the historical facts that litters that book thanks to Bam having it framed.

      • Glenn Rittenhouse says:

        I always loved those post cards. How fascinating that he painted them and then posted them. I still have all the post cards you sent me during your many travels. It is fun to look at them and think about all the different places you have been.

  2. hobacaitbe says:

    It’s good to have a vanity shelf. Everybody should be proud enough of what they create to sign their work. Now, what’s with the drug scale??

    • That’s an old postal scale from my husband’s grandmother’s shop in a small village in East Germany. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out if it had been her grandmother’s. It’s pretty much his only family heirloom and I think it’s pretty cool. Hadn’t thought of it as a drug scale before but maybe I could use it to measure out vitamin C powder for Molly 🙂

  3. vuchickens says:

    I’m so flattered my little chickens have such a place of honor on your vanity shelf! And I’m impressed by your novel writing abilities as well… my mind just doesn’t work that way… imagining out all those characters and conversations, I don’t know how you do it! Maybe I’m just way more of a visual creator than a verbal one?

    • Or I have an over fertile mind because I spend too much time day dreaming when I should be being productive 😮

      Yes, those little chickens are always there reminding me of my girls and of the great people on this planet. It’s easy to think the whole population is out there to wreak havoc if you watch the news every day. You and your little chickens don’t let me forget that there is good in humanity.

  4. I don’t like the word vanity. It has all sorts of false,vain connotations. I think you need a better word here, something a bit more uplifting and proud 🙂 Amelia

  5. Lee Griffin says:

    Awesome 🙂 love it xL

  6. Congratulations! You certainly deserve to have your own vanity shelf. What an accomplishment (or accomplishments)

    • Thanks. My first published work was a short story (no longer in print 😦 ) and I felt like I’d hit the big time. Then my first novel was published and I started calling myself an author (why not?). Now with several short stories and 2 books published I can accept the plural on “accomplishments”. But, honestly, it’s a hobby that doesn’t earn me any money or recognition beyond my father’s unending praise but it does give me a pretty sweet vanity shelf!

  7. cohutt says:

    I actually have a category “vanity” on my blog. Of 500 + posts, only 2 were in this category. Not that I wouldn’t put more here of course,;if only I achieved more things worthy of such….
    For perspective the “nonsense” category has 53 posts, which is surely a more accurate indicator of my accomplishments… 😉
    Seriously, congratulations. That is impressive.

    • Oh no, I’m not brave enough to add “nonsense” as a category to my blog. “Nonsense” sort of covers my blog and my life so 100% of my posts (except maybe one sad one) would qualify. “Vanity” I like to think would be kept to a minimum. But, just to be safe, I’ll leave that one off too. I’m okay being honest – to a point 🙂

      Thanks for the congrats. Not totally impressive but enough to impress myself which is what matters!

  8. thelivesofk says:

    Apart from your dad, Laura, I also loved both your books. So keep writing and keep publishing them. Remember if you like what you write, then there are many out there who like similar things. Good luck. – K

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