People assume that because you’re an author, you have a supply of ready-made gifts for all occasions. While this may be somewhat true in the early days following the release of your first book, I can assure you that it does not last very long. Christmas was a frenzy of mailing out “See what I’ve done” copies of Urban Mermaid and although some wound up in the hands of appreciative readers, just as many probably wound up in the hands of people who don’t give a fig about fantasy romance stories, much less those which count mermaids as the main subject matter
No doubt many of those copies were leafed through with the general feeling of “What the heck is this?” and then either relegated to a place of honour on some bookshelf at the back of the linen cupboard, passed on to a niece – favourite or otherwise – or quietly consigned to the Spring book sale at the local library or house of worship.
I’ve given copies to friends and relatives who have asked for one and have been pleasantly surprised by their feedback. From others, I have heard nothing more on the subject and most likely will not hear any more in either the near or distant future. I, of all people, am the first to admit that fairytales for grown-ups involving mermaids are not everyone’s cup of tea.
With all this in mind, I was presented with the opportunity to gift a graduation present over the past weekend. The young lady is a relative on mom’s side of the family and to be precise, is the granddaughter of my mother’s niece. (For extra credit, determine the proper term for the familial relationship between the graduate and myself.)
Thinking back 45 years, I remember all the Cross™ pens, neckties, and other doo-dads which came my way; each one had disappeared somewhere within eighteen months of the event. Not knowing the graduate’s taste in jewelry, etc., I was left with few choices. There was always the possibility of giving her a cheque but if memory serves, those disappeared even quicker than the pen and pencil sets.
We wound up presenting the graduate with a crystal graduation sculpture and a signed copy of Urban Mermaid. I was under no illusions and fully expected the book to wind up in the hands of a younger friend since the graduate probably hasn’t been into mermaids since she was 11 or 12 years old.
I was pleasantly surprised. According to her mother, mermaids are a recent “thing” for the graduate. Even the guest of honour was thrilled by the present. I just may have finally gotten it right for a change.
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