Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

In my free time I...

Posted by Susan

I’ve decided I need a hobby. Now it’s not that I don’t have enough to do in a day. Honestly, I’m swamped and not getting everything done I should be. (In case any editors are reading, I’m not getting stuff like the laundry done. My pages flow quickly and creatively every single morning. I am a writing machine.)

Anyway, my to-do list stretches on endlessly, but nothing on it is especially fun. While Nikki, possibly the world’s cutest dog, sees our morning walk as the highlight of her day, I don’t share her narrow view. So I need more fun in my life and I’m thinking I can find that with a hobby.

For a while I thought maybe Nikki and I could get involved in agility training. She’s athletic and really smart. We even signed up for an obedience class. But I don’t know. She’s a sweetie, but not really interested in commands, unless there is food involved. And the instructor was very clear. Do not give them treats. Which meant trying to teach her to heel involves me bending over and planting her butt on the ground with my hand. I’m 5’8”. She’s a 6 pound toy poodle. By the end of the first day of training, I’d twisted my back so badly I couldn’t walk for two days.

I tried one of those painting kits once. The kind where you load the flat brush a certain way and then swirl it onto a vase or a plate or something, creating perfect flowers and trims. But I could never really get it right. My stuff ended up looking blobby.

Maureen taught me how to make granny squares one year at plot group. I had big plans to make blankets. I’m not sure for who. But it was tough to have yarn around with two cats and then we got Nikki and all bets were off.

I took a cake decorating class as research for one of my books—Falling for Gracie—where the heroine is a wedding cake maker. I was so awful at the decorating thing, the instructor took me aside and *begged* me not to take the intermediate class. Which is too bad. I sort of liked the cake decorating.

I was talking to Bruce, our landscaping professional, today and mentioned that the dh and I had talked about a greenhouse out back. Nothing fancy—just a heated structure to grow stuff. You know, plants. I was thinking maybe some citrus, a dwarf avocado, maybe some flowers or something. Bruce mentioned it would give me a chance to get a jump start on my hanging pots. I assume he means the plants that go in the pots. I’m pretty sure the pots themselves don’t grow. I mentioned I’d never managed to keep a hanging plant alive longer than two weeks. He mentioned they have to be watered from time to time. Who knew??

So maybe a greenhouse. Or yoga. I downloaded some information on a yoga center in Bellevue. I could learn to breathe and find my zen center. Of course I could also snap a bone.

So I’m open to suggestions. What are you hobbies? What do you love to do for fun?


At 8:34 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Oh, Susan. I just know your hobby will find you. Probably not a greenhouse, however. Is that negative thinking? Okay. Get a greenhouse. Go ahead...

My hobbies are so ordinary. I enjoy pulling weeds. No kidding. I do. And playing bridge. Especially when I win. I also love to eat out. That counts as a hobby, right...?


At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does reading count as a hobby? I swear that takes most of my free time. Pre-kids, I use to work out as a hobby (not that I liked it but I did it.) Hmm, I use to cross-stitch, but quit after doing a huge project for my mom (took me 6 months to finish). Wow, I guess I don't have any hobbies anymore.


At 9:13 AM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

Reading! Yeah, Cady, that's my hobby too.

I do Pilates and other sweaty things, but not sure I can call them hobbies as much as necessities else my reading hobby will make my butt the size of Susan's maybe-greenhouse.

I have lots of embroidery projects unfinished because the fact is...I'd rather be reading. And I don't like to pull weeds (Christine, come visit and you can exercise your hobby in my yards!) which actually would be a noble cause if only I would do it.

I say try yoga, Susan. Lots of people I know (writers and regular folk) do it and love it.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

Is helping with my kids' homework a hobby? It seems like that is about what I get done.

I love to cook. I used to be a caterer--in my other life. :) I wish I had more time for it. I love to eat out--but my computer geek husband doesn't like it when I critique everything--so we don't do it much...:)

Reading...yup...thats the one I come back to. Ya'all keep writing and I'll keep reading.

Lovely fall day! Enjoy!


At 10:02 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Kim, Cady, Christie...right there with ya. Reading. I also crochet, as evidenced by my trying to help Susan find a hobby two years ago. But reading is more fun!!

I tried Yoga once. Bought a tape, put it in, all set to go. And for fifteen minutes, they kept telling me to 'breathe. find your center.' When I started yelling at the tape to get one with it already, the DH pointed out that perhaps I wasn't patient enough for Yoga.

I love gardening, but hate weeding. Is that wrong? All of my plants die and nursery owners regularly shudder when I walk in. And I have to admit, I laughed myself silly when Susan told me about the greenhouse!! But hey, Susan, go for it!

And I'm sorry. When did gardeners become Landscape Professionals???

At 10:50 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

I like to make things, mostly reservations. And I like to watch people cook for me. I like to travel and especially enjoy the planning part.

I'm with everyone else - reading is my favorite hobby.

Chris, I've always wanted to play bridge. My parents used to play in tournaments but they never taught us. I think they wanted to keep some tiny bit of enjoyment all to themselves and I can't blame them for that! I should probably learn to play one of these days...

And while I appreciate the need for exercising and keeping fit, I just can't do yoga. Strangely enough, it's most painful on my wrists. Those downward doggy poses are deadly!

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

I forgot to mention wine. I love wine. Can wine be a hobby?

Reservations is good, too. I love to make those.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Gina Black said...

I knit. It's very relaxing and it goes well with writing, although its hard to knit and put fingers-to-the-keyboard at the same time, although one can knit and think-through-a-plot-point at the same time.

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Jill said...

I can make the granny squares too, I just never finish a blanket. I can rug latch hook, or whatever it's called, but I can't finish a project there either. So I hike and ski, because apparently I have attention deficit, lol.

At 7:18 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Kate, I really do love bridge. It's recommended for increasing brainpower and concentration. I'm really hoping these benefits are going to kick in for me soon...

And may I chime in, Cady? Yes. Reading counts.

Kim, we need to get together. You can cook. I'll eat what you cook. That's another of my hobbies. Eating great stuff that other people cook.

Oh, and Susan. Yes. Definitely. Wine is a hobby for you. You know a lot about it and you enjoy the best. So that counts. All you need is that greenhouse and a yoga class--so you won't be bored in your copious free time. Hah!

Hey, Jill and Gina. *waving*

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Christie, hmmm. I could be like the traveling weed-puller. A whole new type of hobby.

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous SunniBrook said...

I've always wanted to try making candles. Not sure why since I don't burn candles due to having 2 little girls in the house, but I've always wanted to try. That and making soap. Another "not sure why" since I'm allergic to fragrance and wouldn't be able to use any of it unless I want to be all itchy.

People keep enthusing (is that a word?) about scrapbooking but I really have no interest in that. Although, now that I think about it, in high school I did a lot of that. Even made a scrapbook of my ex-boyfriend's high school wrestling career. Huh, isn't that odd? Gee, I should've started the scrapbooking idea and I could maybe be rich now. LOL


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