Later that afternoon, a friend of mine told me that she’d seen my bouquet on The Mary Sue.
Two days after that Corey Doctorow showed up on my flickr page and asked if he could put it on Boing Boing, and from there, well… it went everywhere. Seriously everywhere.
I remember thinking at first that it was pretty neat that my wedding bouquet was something everyone on the internet seemed to love. Hell, the Official Doctor Who tumblr posted it.
But as it went on, there were people hating on my wedding bouquet, people saying that I destroyed a book, people saying that Stephen Moffat should be creeped out because I’m a stalker.
Suddenly, the bouquet which I’d actually had made because Sherlock Holmes was my first favorite book (and a character which my friends joked I would marry one day) and added a River Song Sonic Screwdriver to because Dr. Who makes me happy, and I have called my husband my Dr. Watson, and my Companion frequently. If we could, we WOULD travel through time together. I wanted paper flowers because I didn’t want to carry something that had been cut so recently from its life source, rather I wanted to carry something timeless. Bookpage flowers. Of a story that has been with me my entire life, and something that will be with me. The stories I read as a child will continue on.
Instead I get called a book burner, I am told that I am awful for destroying a book.
It’s lovely that so many people think my bouquet is awesome, and geeky and nerdy, and Moffaty as All Get Out. But what they forget, is that it’s still my wedding bouquet. No matter how many people recreate it for their own because they are that geeky, it is still close to my heart. And it feels strange to have something so very personal as that suddenly be the property of the internet.
Nobody asked me why I made the bouquet I did, they just liked it for the pop culture references (or hated it for those references.) In fact, few people who posted it even bothered to get in touch with the bride – with the exception of Corey Doctorow who went straight to the source. (Offbeat Bride is the other exception, because I’d shared it in their flickr pool).
All in all, the experience of having something go viral is wonderful, but remembering that it is still yours, and you still retain ownership of your attachment to the item is important.
So, Pros: The world loves what you do
The Cons: Sometimes it feels as though everyone wants something special to you, and suddenly it feels like you don’t own it.