To some they’re creepy. To some they’re cute. To some they’re Ordinary Wizarding Levels, exams every Hogwarts student must take.
I find them fascinating.
And sometimes creepy.
And sometimes cute.
In all honesty, I can’t explain their appeal to me. I’d like to say something clever about owl symbolism. But I don’t think wisdom had anything to do with my impulse purchase of owl towels, or the incessant begging that got me my owl PJs for Christmas.
And I certainly can’t claim any sort of dignity in this picture. I showed it to my kids and when Monkey laughed, Chunky leaped to my defense. “Don’t laugh at Mommy,” he told his older brother.
“It’s all right,” I said, “Mommy is wearing an owl hat. You can laugh at Mommy when she’s wearing an owl hat.”
Sometimes there’s an explanation behind why we like certain things. I know several people who love butterflies because they represent metamorphosis. My friend and critique partner, Beth Vogt, who gave me the awesome owl hat, loves hummingbirds and has a lovely reason for doing so.
She isn’t fond of owls, however, after a particularly nasty one sprang from my imagination into the pages of my novel and made her skin crawl. I think giving me the hat was her way of saying she accepts me despite the crazy things I make her read. Either that or she wanted to see if I'd wear it to the next writing conference I attend.
Another friend, also named Beth, who made my awesome steampunk owl bag, is all about octopi. She doesn't exactly collect them, yet. But she is developing her own line of steampunk baby accessories called Kinder Kraken. I hope someday to write children's stories about the adorable baby kraken she's created.
Speaking of writing, as I said before, owls have already made it into one of my books. Yes, Blood Beak the owl is horrifying and unnatural not cute and cuddly, but I’ve already thought of another character, Woot the owl, who might make an appearance in a children’s book someday. And he WILL be soft and downy and squishy in all the right ways.
I also collect ornate keys and love clocks, and I have stories brewing that involve those items. Even if at first we struggle to explain why we like a certain thing, if we reflect a moment we often discover that the object ignites our imagination or connects with our emotions.
So I’d love to know, what do you like? What draws you to a shop window? What do you collect? Is there a specific reason or does it simply capture your fancy?
And how do YOU feel about owls? Creepy? Cute? Equivalent to the SATs? Please share.