I'm somewhat of a collector, but I didn't know it. The word "collection" caught my attention recently when my publisher said she'd like to change the anthology she's putting together for me from "A Western Romance Anthology" to "A Western Romance Collection."
Yes, I liked that word, but I couldn't say why.
If asked, I'd say, no, I'm not a collector. To me, a "collector" is someone who has many objects that fit into a certain category, and that person displays those in some manner. I've seen some lovely collections in friend's homes, but still didn't think I fit the category. All I could think of was dusting those pieces.
For example, I do have several angel figurines, but that happened by accident. One Christmas, I displayed a small white angel that's actually a bell. A friend saw it. Next Christmas, she gave me a pretty angel figurine. It went beside the now-permanent white bell angel. Later, someone else gifted me with an angel, saying..."I noticed you collect angels."
Hmm, I didn't think I did. Today, I have several--all gifts from people who say--"this is for your collection." And I'm thinking...yes, the collection I didn't think I had.
But I do collect books--don't all authors? My book shelf holds copies--some old, some newer--of every one of LaVyrle Spencer's romances. Since I hold her in the highest esteem, I eventually bought every book and kept them. There you go...another collection.
However, I don't collect items as a general rule. That rule becomes a moot point, though, when I'm talking jewelry--especially jewelry that is in the shape of a heart or has hearts on it somewhere. This began when we started traveling after retirement. We toured many foreign countries, plus the US, and instead of buying t-shirts or postcards, I searched for a piece of jewelry from the country that was heart shaped--necklaces and earrings.
The material from which the heart was made didn't matter--an amber heart on a silver chain from Stockholm, a black plastic heart painted with tiny flowers from St. Petersburg, a nickel heart on a copper chain from Rostock, Germany, a silver heart on a silver chain from Rome...and on and on. I have a drawer full of the stuff.
In addition to heart jewelry, I searched for "the all-important refrigerator magnet." These were more difficult to find. Some countries, I suppose, don't believe in refrigerator magnets! Still I found one in Key West, Mexico, Calgary, Yellowstone, Paris, etc.
Recently, I have given up collecting. My time is consumed with writing and sorting and scanning old photos. Maybe that's still a kind of collecting--different versions of the same thing.
Are you a collector?
I'm always interested in people's homes, to see what they like and what they collect. What does the practice say about a person? Is it a human trait to hold on to artifacts?
In any case, it provides entertainment and satisfaction for the collector.
Lone Star Dreaming is a Western Romance Collection that contains the four 99 Cent Dime Novels (novellas) I wrote for Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery. I love this book, and if you haven't read these novellas, the ebook edition gives the reader all four for the price of three. Both the print and ebook are available now, on Amazon.