What’s your fairy? (Redux)

A while back I asked my faithful blog readers what their fairy is or what fairy they wanted. Twas a popular post so in honour of the imminent publication of my latest book, How To Ditch Your Fairy, set in a world where almost everyone has a personal fairy, I asked these questions of a tonne of writers. I’ll be sharing their answers with you over the next few months.

Here’s what John Green, multiple-award winning author and all-round good guy, had to say:

The fairy I most wish I had at the moment is the Dog Whisperer fairy, because then I would understand why Willy just peed inside.

I seem to have something of a Spare Change fairy. I find an unusual amount of spare change, and it’s almost always heads up. Thanks, fairy! (Although I do rather wish you specialized in hundred-dollar bills.)

Lauren McLaughlin, debut author of the absolutely wonderful Cycler,1 answered thus:

I think the fairy I would most like to have is a noise canceling fairy. Not, mind you, a fairy that made me temporarily deaf, but rather a fairy that would eliminate any sound I didn’t want to hear.

The fairy I think I have is the neatness fairy. Not so grand, but it’s something.

I so don’t have either of those fairies. Though I think the noise cancelling one is a superb idea. How about you guys? Any of you gotten any new fairies since last I asked? Any of you longing for a particular fairy? Do share!

Note: Being on the road—I did my first appearance of the tour today—means not getting to my email or responding to comments. Sorry. I do love you all. I is just busy. And the appearance today? Fabulous! More on that later.

  1. Why haven’t you read it?! Go forth and read! []


  1. Jez on #

    Just this morning as I was driving into school, looking desperately for a parking spot close enough not to make my tendonitis flare up, I caught myself thinking “I wish I had a parking fairy.” (your book is all I’ve been reading lately, it’s taken over my mind!)

    But I definitely have a bladder fairy, no question about it. I can drink as much as I want & not have to get up to go to the bathroom during a very long movie or have to pull over on a long car trip. And whenever I have to go there’s always a bathroom close by. I’m pretty happy with my fairy actually…but I still want that parking fairy sometimes.

  2. Sabrina on #

    I have a crazy-fairy that makes me say insane things when I am sleeping. I will actually bolt upright and utter complete nonsense, which fortunately The Boyfriend is often awake for and sometimes records for me. Here are two recent ones:

    “I’ve never been the kind of person to catch balls from strangers in my mouth, especially in a cold hospital. That’s why I’m here today, doc.”


    “Bayside High School Dance Club? That’s not what it was called.”

    Clearly I would never say these sorts of things while awake. So my fairy puts magical nonsense words into my head and makes me say them while I sleep. The Boyfriend himself is also a kind of fairy, because he is the one who documents these priceless tidbits, which I’m sure will one day be book-fodder.

    … But I wouldn’t mind Lauren McLaughlin’s neatness fairy. That would be nice.

  3. Herenya on #

    At the moment, I desperately, desperately, desperately want an essay-writing fairy. A fairy which would help me find useful, relevant research and ways to incorporate it, and help me think of intelligent things to say, or even just stop me from being so distracted and help me focus and … stay sane.

  4. Joey on #

    Welcome to our timezone! Best of luck with the real food, though I’d like to think the SF Bay Area isn’t one of those problematic areas, though we do have Krispy Kreme locations.

  5. janet on #

    I think I have a “seeing-both-sides-of-everything” fairy, which is annoying a lot of the time. I can never really commit.

    What I want is a “get things done” fairy. Or an “infinite patience” fairy (very useful for any parent).

  6. the dragonfly on #

    I’d really like to have a “keeps my toddler from getting into things” fairy. Or perhaps a “folds laundry” fairy.

  7. Andrew on #

    I seem to have attracted a Job Interview fairy.

    Unfortunately, he doesn’t help me actually get jobs, but does have the ability to suss out from the interview as to whether the job is going to suck or not.

  8. lotti on #

    My fairy, while useful sometimes, really annoys me. It’s the Exam Questions Fairy. See, every time I haven’t studied for something, the questions will always be about things I know.

    I need a Study So You Don’t Have To Panic About The Test You Didn’t Study For Fairy.

  9. Kelly on #

    I’m pretty sure I have a Friend-To-The-Animals Fairy. Fun and useful that animals instinctively like me (and I like them), but sometimes I would love a more utilitarian fairy that helped me in daily life. Like, I don’t know, a Deadline Fairy that brought about happy coincidences to allow me to do things late. Or maybe an Always-Gets-There-When-There’s-No-Line Fairy. God, that would be incredible!

  10. Diana Peterfreund on #

    I think my fairy is going to be posted sometime later. Meanwhile, I’m giving away two copies of JL’s new book today on my blog. Check it out!

  11. Maggie on #

    I really like the idea of that noise-cancelling fairy! I’d make her specialize, though. She’d have to be a lawn-mower coordinator fairy, so that lawn mowers can only mow on one day of the week, but not in the morning when I just sit down to write and not in the evening when I just sit down to read or watch TV.

    I think I have the clean-car fairy. I always seem to be able to keep my car clean for unusally long periods of time.

  12. alys on #

    I would love to have a no-stepping-out-in-front-of-traffic fairy, because I’m always thinking of something else (usually plot-problems or dialogue!) while I walk, and tend not to notice I’m about to cross a street.

    What I seem to have is the finds-cool-stuff-in-charity-shops fairy. (That’s op shops in Australian, right?) It’s not a bad fairy to have, but I might find something really cool and get run over before I have a chance to wear it…

  13. sylvia_rachel on #

    I think I have a remembering-useless-information-and-song-lyrics fairy. Or possibly a putting-other-people’s-babies-to-sleep fairy. Both of which can be useful (the former, admittedly, mostly for flummoxing people), but what I really need is either a decluttering fairy or a not-missing-the-bus fairy.

  14. Winchester Grey on #

    I need a visa appointments fairy that miraculously produces conveniently timed appointments with the US consular service whenever I look for one. Not only would it help me enormously now, but it would be a very profitable fairy in the future.

    I seem to have an amusing immigration drama that works out in the end fairy, that I would like to take out back and shoot.

  15. kam on #

    i think i have a says-things-you-don’t-mean-to-say-out-loud fairy. and i wish i had a realy-good-at-drama fairy or a realy-good-at-softball fairy.

  16. emily. on #

    i have a red light fairy. i hit every light between here and my school- turning 15 minute ride into a 35 minutes one.

    i wish i had a neatness fairy. or a no homework fairy. or a lab report fairy, who would tell me how to get this lab report done.

  17. Jay-wa on #

    I think I have Trip-Up-The-Stairs fairy. Its awesome, I know. It’d be great to have like, Super-Speed fairy.

    lotti Says:

    My fairy, while useful sometimes, really annoys me. It’s the Exam Questions Fairy. See, every time I haven’t studied for something, the questions will always be about things I know.

    [[I need a Study So You Don’t Have To Panic About The Test You Didn’t Study For Fairy.]] I need one of those too…

  18. Haddy-la on #

    i think i wnt a fairry that plays music in my head but i can still hear everything tht would be fantastic.

    i dont think i have a fairy nothings very consistant in my life thats good i mean fairys are supposed to be helpful (i understand that they can be annoying but helpful in idea) right

  19. Dorotheia on #

    Speaking of noise cancelling fairies, that’s exactly what I’ve got. For short, I have the Automatic Tune-Out fairy. This is great until you realize that half the time I don’t know that I’m employing it. For instance, I’ll be into a book and not hear what my parents are saying I should do, or I’ll be into a homework problem and the teacher will comment about something and I realize that, whatever they have been saying, I’ve missed it completely. It takes about three repetitions of the same sentence to drag me out of my zone; and even then I might say, “Could you repeat the question?”
    However, there is a good side: I can ignore my brother for longer periods of time, though this also backfires because my brother is a pest about attracting attention. He’s very persistent.

    The fairy I wish I have is the “Always on Time” fairy. Then I’d never have to worry about catching the bus, getting to meetings on time, or having to wait for my family. This would even extend to deadlines, like returning books or finishing and handing in assignments.

  20. Deidre on #

    I wish I had a writing fairy. Or maybe a time controlling fairy, to give me more time to write.
    I think I have a test fairy. She whispers all the multiple choice letters in my ear. It’s quite useful.

  21. PrettyxMindedxRusty on #

    I think I have a reading fairy. I always manage to find a book that I want to read (although seeing as how I’m an avid reader and extremely un-picky, this isn’t so hard). That or a bad-impression fairy. When I try to act serious and responsible I seem shy and stupid, and when I try to be outgoing I seem insane and stupid.
    What I really want is a good-coincidence fairy. Like if I didn’t have my homework one day, it would turn out my teacher is out sick and we’d be giving it in tomorow. That’s pretty much the polar opposite of mine.

  22. Leonadine on #

    I am sure I have a fairy addicted to Orange Juice of all things. And I’m sure my boyfriend has a “perfect strategy” Fairy. He keeps winning every game he plays.

  23. Nadai on #

    I’ve got a You’ll-Always-Have-A-Job fairy, which is useful. I’ve never been turned down for a job I interviewed for, and I’ve never been unemployed except when I wanted to be. Three times, I had people come looking for me to offer me a job.

    Of course, I’d trade her in for a Win-the-Lottery fairy. 🙂 I wonder if there’s a [redacted] around here somewhere I might slide down?

  24. Susan Adrian on #

    I had to come back to this post, because I realized what fairy I have!

    I have a spelling fairy.

    I have a photographic memory for spelling, so if I’ve seen a word I remember how to spell it. Which, if a little annoying, at least helps in my job as an editor.

    I wish I had the strong bladder fairy of the first commenter! I am the reverse of that. Okay, no, I wish I had a “make it easy” fairy like the whole Staples button thing. I promise I wouldn’t use it all the time.

  25. natalie on #

    I think I have an amusement fairy. I can always come up with something to do, whether or not I should be doing it at that particular time.Which mans I’m never bored, which is good… but the fairy that I would like to have is a concentration fairy, to keep me from getting distracted from all the nice things I could be doing instead of my homework.

  26. Ellen on #

    I commute by train, and I have a very helpful ‘be standing right where the doors are when the train stops’ fairy most mornings, which means that even when the train is crowded, I usually get a seat. Thank you, fairy!

    I’d love a ‘tidy my house up’ fairy and a ‘declutter’ fairy. They could work as a team!

  27. Lethe on #

    I have a multiple choice test fairy. This was (obviously) a fantastically useful fairy during my education; I still giggle a bit at missing only three questions on the GRE after an intensive study program consisting of taking one practice exam the night before while watching “Buffy” on TV. I used to joke that you could give me a Scantron sheet and a test written in Amharic or Tagalog or proto-Finno-Ugric and I’d have a reasonable shot at making a passing grade. The enormous downside to this fairy is that it became completely useless the moment I put down my #2 pencil upon completing my Chemistry GRE, since for some strange reason, no one has been interested so far in giving me a multiple-choice test in graduate school or the real world. My fairy sits idle, drumming its fingers and thinking wistfully of the PSAT…

    I wish I had a task commitment fairy, one who could make me do my damn job without falling victim to distractions like posting overlong comments on weblogs.

  28. claire on #

    um, i haven’t wanted to say this, but I’M the one with the parking fairy. which is stupid, because i have never owned a car, even though i’ve been driving for 21 years. because of this, the fairy is absent-minded, and failed me the one time it mattered: when my friends were out of town and needed me to move their car because of street cleaning. otherwise, i usually find parking right at the door of the place i want to go, especially when it’s a park-unhappy part of town, as most of san francisco is.

    i WANT a perfect-health fairy: the one that not only miraculously heals all my current body woes, but also effortlessly guides my hand to the pole on the bus that HASN’T been touched by someone with a cold yet.

  29. HypotheticalDystopia on #

    I have the never-run-out-of-toilet-paper fairy. Boring but useful.

  30. Darice Moore on #

    I think I might have a deadline fairy. If I have a deadline, I immediately work at a pace that ensures I meet the deadline — even if I have an off day. It always works out. I’d like to claim that it’s my planning and determination, and those are part of it, but the fairy seems to step in whenever things go off the rails (sick child, sick self, sudden emergency) to make sure I can still deliver the goods on time. It’s a pretty useful fairy, actually, and I don’t mind keeping it.

    The flip side of this fairy is that if I DON’T have a deadline, the work doesn’t get done. This goes for housework, personal hobbies, and my own writing. I have to assign myself arbitrary deadlines to fool the fairy into helping out!

  31. Megan Crewe on #

    I seem to have a residence-finding fairy. Each of the three times we’ve had to find an apartment, I’ve had a sense that one particular place would be the right one, without even seeing pics. And all three times, the one I had that feeling about ended up being the one we liked best after seeing it. (And it wasn’t just self-fulfilling prophecy, because Chris–my SO–liked them best, too. 🙂 ) It cuts down on apartment-hunting time quite a bit. I’ve also been able to find great cottages (and great deals) for the two retreats my writers group has done. I love my fairy!

  32. Jen on #

    I just finished this book and I absolutely loved it. Great job 🙂

    When I stopped and thought about it, I realized that I probably have a reading fairy. (Hey, PrettyxMindedxRusty, maybe our fairies are related or something) Sound boring? Perhaps, but it lets me love to read and read fast. Books that take people a few weeks to read, I can finish in a day or two. And I understand it all! In school we had assigned book reading where we had to stay with the class and read only certain chapters at certain times. For example, one week we’d read chapters one and two, the next week we’d read chapter three, etc. It killed me! I’d have such a hard time sticking to the assignment because I’d always read ahead.

    The fairy I’d like to have though is a likability fairy. It’s kinda hard to explain but basically someone would come up and talk to me and when they walked away be thinking, “There’s something about her… She’s very nice.” Or something to that extent. I sound totally stupid but it makes sense in my head. Perhaps a perfect ‘putting the words from your head into your writing without sounding riddiculous’ fairy would be better!

  33. Holly-Wa on #

    I Do have the Craziness Fairy (Sleepwise).
    I was at an all-night with friends and I unfortunately dozed off. Much to the amusment of said friends, I proceeded with:
    ” I say, I would like some cheese and beans, old bean.Spiffing!”
    and then with:
    ” HAHAHA!The fear will keep us warm, Melissa!”
    Needless to say,there wasn’t a Melissa present.

    The fairy I would Actually LIKE or want, would be the Nice Hair fairy. I will brush my hair, bend over, and …frizz.

  34. Mark on #

    I didn’t write this when I first saw you ask “what’s your fairy” a few months ago, but now I’m quite sure. I have a fairy for finding good seats. It doesn’t matter if it’s a movie, a cabaret show, live theater, or street performance; I can always get the very best seat, the one where you can see and hear perfectly from, no matter how late I arrive. But it only works for me, and it’s shy and often won’t help me if I’m with anyone else.

    I never suspected it with movies. If I’m seeing a movie with a group of people, there’s always one last little thing to do, and lots of people don’t care about getting good seats as much as I do, so usually the group will leave at the last possible moment and arrive in the theater during the trailers. Then they’ll all want to sit together, and the only rows that will still be empty will be at the very top or very bottom. Whereas, I’ll try to get there half an hour early, and bring a book. And even if I show up just as the movie starts, people usually don’t sit right next to each other, so there will always be a couple of one-person gaps right in the middle of the best middle rows.

    But a few months ago, I went to a bar where there’s live bellydancing every once in a while. I didn’t think it was too hard to get a seat at the bar where you could see the bellydancers from, but given the shape of the bar, and that some people sometimes stand up and take a long time to leave, it turns out that there are lots of seats that you can hardly see anything from. I always could see pretty well, but when I went with my cousin, for most of the dance there was a cluster of people standing up and blocking our view. For me, there was a little window in the group that I could see from; for him, she might as well have been in a different bar entirely.

    The clincher for me came last night. There was going to be a dance performance in a theater in Hampshire College, which is a short bus ride away from where I go to school. I got off the bus about fifteen minutes before the thing was scheduled to start, not knowing even where the theater was; I asked some passersby to guide me. When I arrived, the line snaked all the way down the hall, and it turned out that they’d already sold out, so if you wanted a seat, you’d have the ticketseller put your name down, and she’d call those names, in order, if it turned out that people who’d reserved tickets didn’t show. While I was waiting in line to do this, a girl I didn’t know came out of the theater and told me that she mistakenly bought a ticket for her friend as well as herself, and would I buy it? (She was asking for the same price as the officially listed one.) I did.

    The theater was so full that they’d put mats down on the stage in front of the last row of seats, and these mats were mostly full already. Every seat was full, of course. As I approached the mats, the usher added one more chair to the very front row. I could see over the people on the mat easily but I was still right up next to all of the dancers and could see them perfectly. I am sure I have a good-seat fairy.

  35. Syleste Hartman on #

    I think i have a “no-getting-a-detention fairy because in 6th grade Mrs.Olson (my old science tacher she was mean) gave me 3 and i mean three detentions!And never gave them to me and on a piece of paper she litteraly rote “SYLESTE HARTMAN DETENTION”!!!!!!!! And in7th grade which i am now, i almost got one detention in Social Studies from talking in class!befor he even rote it down i got up and gave him the papers i had to right, i asked him “am i getting a detention?” and he shuke his head “as a no” and he had his mouth wide open literaly wide open!!!!!!!! I really do love the book “How TO Ditch Your Fairy!!Its really awsome I couldent stop reading it!I got mad at me teacher because she told us that we had to put our A.R books away!!!!!!I “have” tryed writing a book before but I lose intrest in it after about………5 minutes at the most!!!!!!!!!I want to read more of her boooks but sadly I can’t because my school dont have them :'(!! Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Syleste Hartman on #

    you keep writing books!!!!!!

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