I Wonder If J. K. Rowling Gets Owls?

In high school, a friend of mine made the mistake of sharing with us that she collected penguins.  A birthday and Christmas later, she told us all in no uncertain terms that we were never to buy, make, or in any way give her penguins again.  She was tired of them, and had too many.

This is the difficulty that arises from obvious gifts – they are the default, easy thing to give someone.  Imagine getting nothing but penguins as gifts.  No matter how lovely or rare or perfect they are, a part of you is going to want variety.  Add in the hideous, ugly, “what were they thinking?” penguins and you understand her frustration.

I’ve heard that this happens to authors and celebrities, too, especially when there is something easily associated with their work.  It makes me wonder: if my book gets published and goes viral, will people start giving me butterfly stuff?  I’m not sure I would enjoy that, although I would enjoy my book being popular enough that it is a problem.  🙂

A llama with dragon wings!

The two things that I already have as obvious gifts do not create this difficulty.  I have collected llamas since I started working with them as a teenager.  Llamas (unlike penguins) are not easy to find, so if someone gives me one I know they took some time and effort.  Plus, my collection grows slowly, which means I am always excited to add one.  Besides the llamas, I recently started accumulating dragons (in small amounts).   While I am somewhat particular about my dragons (I prefer the European-style flying type over the sinuous Asian-style dragons) I have yet to be inundated with dragons in large quantities.  Whitney did give me some neat little dragon earrings, but mostly I have acquired my dragons myself.  Even if this changes, for now I like dragons.  I wouldn’t mind a few more.  I have to say I was very excited when I got a package from my parents containing a llama with dragon wings – as if it were made for me!

The butterfly thing is a bit worrisome, though.  The Butterflies in my book are not flying insects, but female spies.  Yes, the butterfly is the insignia of the queen, and there are some used as symbols, but the insects themselves are not part of the story.  I did realize the possibility of this when I bought myself some butterfly accessories – butterflies can be kitschy, or overly girly, or even downright tacky.  And unlike llamas, they are everywhere

I am looking forward to the possible day when I have fans and get fan mail.  I just hope it’s not accompanied by a mountain of butterflies…


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 20:29:24

    LOVE the llama with dragon wings! I have never seen one like that before. And I promise to never you buy you butterflies. 🙂


  2. stvsgrls
    Dec 13, 2010 @ 10:45:13

    So do you call it a Llagon or a Drama?


  3. Leigh Townsend
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 17:55:59

    A little follow-up: My secret Santa at work (DeAndra, who has read Butterflies) got me butterfly stuff for my gift. They are beautiful, writing-related items: a notebook and notecard set. Being thoughtful and applicable, I appreciate them a lot. I guess not all butterfly items are bad. 🙂


  4. Trackback: Wearing a Gift « Butterflies and Dragons

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