In this blog post, author Birdie Song asks us about the best gifts we've received or given. I have to say that for me, the best gifts are the ones that are really wanted or needed. Or the ones that tell the receiver that the giver understood them well enough to know what would be meaningful to them. In most cases, it has nothing to do with how much something costs. Thanks for raising such an interesting question, Birdie. Welcome!
What makes a good gift?
Like words, gifts are a limited means of expression, and can’t always convey what you want to say. And even if they could, there’s no guarantee that the receiver will understand. Everyone’s experiences are different, and what may mean something wonderful to a group of people may still offend an individual. Yet both perspectives remain completely valid.
Gift giving isn’t my primary love language, so I was curious about exploring it in my new novella, “The Guy From The Internet”. Being far away from the heroine Holly, love interest Florian needed more than just words to convey his birthday wishes for her. It took several revisions of this manuscript before I figured out what gift he would choose to represent their friendship and his intentions.
And, of course, because this is a romance story, his gift was received perfectly.
Real life, of course, is often less clear. Sometimes I turn to philosophical wisdom to help me decide what to get someone. But as nice as the thought of giving premium rubber bands and olive oil seems to me, I just don’t think it’ll be everybody’s cup of tea.
What do you reckon makes a good gift? How do you decide what to buy someone — say, someone close to you versus someone you barely know (hello, office Secret Santa)? What’s the best gift you’ve ever given? What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
The Guy from the Internet by Birdie Song
A sweet romance with a touch of family drama.
Holly Chee does not have her life together. She's flip-flopped on uni courses and career choices, and somehow scared off her long-term fiancée-to-be, much to the chagrin of her immigrant parents.
But she does have her streaming channel, where she broadcasts her art from her one-bedroom Mount Lawley apartment. And she has that guy from France... assuming he's even who he says he is.
"The Guy From The Internet" is a sweet #OwnVoices Asian-Australian romance novella, set in the world of Somerville Downs.
Release date: 2 Nov 2020
Genre: Sweet romance, contemporary romance, Australian romance
You know how something can happen, and suddenly all the crap you were dealing with—no matter how important it felt at the time—just vanishes into thin air? My day was reborn, thanks to this drab padded envelope, with its a French postmark and a Paris return address.
It’s hard to concentrate on drawing when that parcel is sitting right there, staring at me while I try to look directly into the webcam. Pretty sure the undo combo on my keyboard is starting to fade.
But I can’t open it yet. I want to wait for Rin to get home, to get online, then open it with him.
Is that weird? Am I obsessive? Friends do that kind of thing too, don’t they? Even when they’re all grown up… or supposed to be? Rin’s still not on. It’s later than usual for this time of the week. Not that I’ve memorised his schedule or anything.
As we get closer to midnight, I end the broadcast and decide I’ve been tragic for long enough. I pick up the envelope and give it a proper shake. Something rattles inside.
Waiting any longer would be weird now. It would totally send the wrong signal. Like I don’t care. Or that I care too much.
I’m definitely overthinking this.
I grab the rip tab and pull it open. As soon as it detaches from the packaging, a message pops up on my screen.
About Birdie Song:
Birdie Song is an Asian-Australian romantic who writes sweet stories about people falling in love. She believes love is more important than labels, integrity is our most attractive quality, and that no one should be judged for putting pineapple on a pizza.