Friday, September 14, 2012


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.




  1. I can't say I'm a collector - one look around my house and there doesn't seem to be anything I can term a 'collection'. Yes, I have a bookcase full of books, but even they're a mixture of genres.

    I do think 'collecting' would be fun though; to find something that you absolutely love to the point that the hunt for items becomes as enjoyable an experience as the find. It must be very satisfying when that happens x

  2. I love the heart photo. Is that one of yours? Like Suzie, I only collect books. Oh, and owls. I collect owls.

  3. I'm not a dedicated collector, but I do like blue and white china. recently I bought a very pretty blue and white soap dish and a miniature teapot. I keep my bits and bobs in the dining room along with Bristol blue glass.

    Like most authors I also collect books. I have a shelf of comfort reads never to be parted with and favourite novels. Recently I've collected all of Elizabeth Chadwick's mediaeval novels which I shall read several times.

    As a historical novelist I have a large collection of books for research and am always adding to it.

    Sadly, I had to declutter my house and get rid of books I shall never read again. Amongst them were gardening books, cookery books, craft books and novels. I should have donated them to charity but I knew if I boxed them up I would go through them again and change my mind about parting with them so I put them in the dustbin and piled smelly rubbish on them to resist all temptation to reclaim some of them.

    All the best,
    Rosemary Morris

  4. Suzie--I think most people are collectors--of something. I like to "collect" items I can use--such as the heart jewelry. I wear something with hearts on it almost every day.
    I also love bone china coffee mugs. But they break when used often, or at least someone breaks them.
    Thanks for your visit!

  5. I am a collector, big time. In additon to way too many books, I collect angels, nativity sets, family photos, crosses, bells, certain tyoes of figurines, fans, and other stupid things. Like you, some of them didn't start out as collections, but grew into them, like the bells.

    Congratulations on your new story collection!

  6. Jenny-I wish that were something I own. But no, I copied it from the internet. Owls? See? You are a collector.

  7. Rosemary--My opinion is--who doesn't love blue and white china? It always catches my eye. My formal china is blue and white--love it.
    I'm not familiar with Bristol blue glass--obviously it's a British thing! And I love "cookery" books--to us--they're cook books.
    My mother had a few pieces of Depression glass-it's a soft rose pink--and she divided it up betwen us three girls. I have four pieces. I do love that, too.
    I'm sorry you have to give up some of you books, but that, I certainly understand. We're trying to thin out our "stuff"--for no reason other than we just have too much. Books...I hang on to those.

  8. Caroline--somehow, I just knew you'd be a collector. Crosses always appeal to me, but the only one I bought was a thick black one with cut-out starbursts in it. It's handmade from lava by a Mexican artist. It's on the wall right in front of me, over my desk. Love it.
    Thanks about the books. It's fun to get the four Dime Novels (novellas) in one print.

  9. I've collected loads of thing over time. Leather bookmarks from places I've visited, china thimbles too, and of course fridge magnets. I have a postcard collection going back to the 1950's -I never throw postcards away. And as for frogs ... pottery ones, I hasten to add. In the 1980's, when I took over my parents' caravan (trailer) in the Lake District,my daughters decided to collect frogs (pottery ones, not real ones!) to display on the pelmet above the windows. Everyone who visited us there bought us another frog for our collection, and I started buying them too from wherever I went! I guess I'm an inveterate collector!

  10. Paula--I see you are a true collector. What is a "pelmet" over a window? Frogs, I understand, although I don't have any.
    I miss you, Paula. I barely see you on FB and then I'm skimming and saying..Oh, there's Paula. You could email and stay in touch...but hey, I could, too, couldn't I?
    I'm reading a very good Free book I got off Amazon (I delete at least 3/4 of the Free ones I download--really, really bad.) But this one is a Regency romance--which I don't read much--Only Mary Balogh--but it is soooo good. I can't remember the author's name now, though, but I'll find out. Such a good book.
    She's British, also, because of the spelling of certain words, such as Favorite (favourite) And there are no periods after Mr., etc. Sorry, but it drives me crazy.
    Keep collecting--whatever is fun for you.

  11. Hi Celia, I know what a pelmet is. We call it a window valance. And what we call a dust ruffle is a bed valance. Sheers are nets. See why I say I don't speak English? I collect bookends, trays, pitchers, and in England I collected trios--cup, saucer, and dessert plate in matching pattern. A good psychologist would have a field day with the fact that everything I collect holds something.

  12. In this case, the 'pelmet' was a narrow wooden strip that covered the top of the curtains. It formed a kind of small shelf above them, ideal for a collection of frogs LOL

    I wrote a blog at HWH last week about the differences between American and British words and spellings! Drives me mad when my American editor wants to change my words to American spelling when I'm writing about British people in Britain!

  13. Linda--I'm not surprised you knew what a pelmet was. I know the word valance, of course, for pelmet--never heard it.
    There are rather humorous differences between American and British words. I can't think of specifics, though, at this moment. Like a "bonnet," on a car. My dh was reading The Brat by Sherry Gloag last week--he goes through my stack...uh...collection...of books once in a while, and chose that one to read--and said--is this author British?
    Your collections are a little different--an item that holds something. Interesting. Now, what does that mean?
    Thanks for commenting--I know you're so busy!

  14. Paula--in some older homes,I've seen narrow shelves that cover the top of a curtain, and are used for knick-knacks. I think we call those shelves, though.
    Thanks for clearing that up.
    I remember your problem with the editor wanting to change words to the American spelling, even though your story was about British people living in Britain.
    That just simply doesn't make sense. I'd question the validity of the credentials of that editor.
    Thank you....

  15. While some people may think we collect golf clubs, sets of clubs pass through our house like water.

    Like you I have an angel collection, a refrigerator magnet collection, a book collection, and an LP collection. I thought we might get rid of the LPs (record albums for the young set)when we downsized, but oh, no. Those might be valuable.

    I've accidentally been collecting plant containers. Those containerized plants keep needing water, and I forget to water them, then they die, then the containers become part of our yardscape.

    I tend to accumulate pens, which isn't the same as collecting them. Still I have a nice sized cache of pens. Oh, and I also like to have a lot of grossgrain ribbon on hand. Never know when you might need a ribbon for something...

    Maggie Toussaint

  16. I'm not a collector, but somehow yes I do have collections: over 50 coffee mugs from all over the world; same for refrigerator magnets; same for shots; same for embroidered tableclothes; same for oven mitts; and more recently aprons for my grandchildren!

  17. Maggie--grosgrain ribbons? I can't imagine why. I understand the involuntary collection of outdoor flower pots. Our shop runneth over, and it's a big shop. Jim keep asking me to get rid of them--but how? They can't be recycled at Green Guy unless I pay; they're too dirty and yucky to give to Goodwill. More than once we've put something out by the road with a FREE sign. Maybe that would work.
    Yes, I suppose there's a difference between collecting and accumulation. Pens? You can't imagine how many I have--and the one I pick up...doesn't work.
    Thanks for your identity as a non-collector.

  18. Mona--it cracks me up that people say they're not collectors--and yes, every one of us are. 50 coffee cups from different countries? I don't have 50, but I have too many--I use them, so they do get broken, because I only buy the bone china kind.
    Sounds like a lot of us collect refrigerator magents--I have one that has Mona Lisa on it--bought it in the Louvre!
    Thanks for your list--this is fun.

  19. When my daughters were younger and took a trip, they always asked what I wanted them to bring back so I said a bell. It rolled over from them to my parents. I have no idea how many I have but there are lots. :)

    I have my older daughter's collection of globes and, like you, I have a broad collection of angels. My friends think I need as many as possible to watch over me.

    OH, I just thought about my new collection. One of my friends started sending me pug dogs in various forms - ceramic, bean bags and now one she crochet...and a purse with little pugs around the middle. I will confess that it is because I collect Gerry Butler. ;)

  20. I stand corrected, Paula. Can pelmet mean any type of topping for a window? We call the board kind a cornice board here. And I love the English spelling of words. I vote for the editor to leave your work alone!

  21. Paisley--you are a tried and true collector. I find it interesting that so many collect angels. All kinds of odd objects and critters are collected, but angels seem to be the favorite. I, too, Paisley, need a little safety net--an angel or two wouldn't hurt.
    Thanks for visiting!

  22. Linda--I remember cornice boards, but those I remember did not have a shelf. They were just flat boards--decorative, maybe, to hide the curtain rods. Daddy made one for our picture window in our 50s house. He stained and varnished it.