Jessie: In New Hampshire, grateful to see that the days are becoming noticeably longer.
We all have passions and interests that suddenly show up on our radars. You know those hobbies or pastimes or items you create boards for on Pinterest or circle in glossy catalogues? This week I am wondering what is a current obsession for each of you?
Edith: I’d have to say it’s the history of my town, which I incorporate into my Quaker Midwife mysteries. I had no idea I was a closet historian! I recently took a few inherited silver antiques to an auction house downtown to be appraised. The man I dealt with, Jay Williamson, knows tons about local history and we exchanged information for a long time. I had to borrow a pen to take some notes on the back of the receipt he gave me so I wouldn’t forget about the steamboats on the Merrimack River in 1888 or the New Orleans style hotel on Main Street right here in Amesbury. Luckily I haven’t tired of this obsession yet. Hope I never do.
Julie: Obsession? I never get obsessed! LOL. My current obsession is KonMari-ing my home. Have you heard about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? I have been toying with it, but starting to really drill down on clothes. I live in a 2 room apartment, and have no storage, so getting rid of stuff is critical. It makes me think/dream of clear table tops, tidy bookshelves, and a closet I can find things in. My desk? Isn’t going to happen.
Liz: I’m currently re-obsessed with Feng Shui (the Chinese art of placement, for those not familiar). I’ve been practicing for years, but haven’t spruced things up in a while. There are a million books out there on Feng Shui, but my favorite is Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter. It explains the art in a very plain-English sort of way, and shows you how to figure out where each room of your home sits in the bagua map and what elements, colors and objects work best in each area. For example, we recently fixed up the “prosperity” area, which is the back left corner of the house. After rearranging the furniture (and most importantly, moving the cat litter box out!), we added a tapestry of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and fortune, and a purple crystal to get the “chi” moving again!
Barb: Oh, man, am I going to admit it? I haven’t told anyone but Bill, but over New Year’s, I succumbed to the siren song of an Ancestry.com discount. I told myself it was because in Iced Under, the fifth book in the Maine Clambake series, which I’m writing now, Julia is researching her Morrow ancestry, trying to understand the history of her mother’s family. But of course, I had to look at my own roots, right? Once you get past the last four generations of only children and two-kid families into the enormous 19th and 18th century farm families, you can go swinging along on other people’s family trees back to the 1600s. But other people are occasionally sloppy, (an ancestor born in Connecticut in 1605? I don’t think so), so it all needs to be redone and verified in the clear light of day. I’m glad the family bible and other documents are at home in Massachusetts, or I’m not sure Iced Under would be getting written at all.
Jessie: I’ve been working on improving my handwriting this year. So pens and paper have shot to the top of my list of current passions. My husband commissioned a custom pen for me for Christmas that I use with pleasure every day. I recently came across Frixion pens by Pilot which are completely erasable and come in a wide variety of inks and tip widths. I have a growing collection of fountain pens which I adore and have led me to choose paper that works well with lushly laid down ink. Rhodia notebooks feature Clairefontaine paper well suited for that purpose and so do the Hobonichi line of planners and journals with their Tomoe River paper.
Sherry: Ooohhh, pens and Ancestry. com — don’t get me started. However, Julie introduced me to Canva.com a few months ago and I’m addicted. I’ve never thought of myself as a very artistic person but putting together things on Canva fulfills some kind of creative spot in me that is very satisfying. Here are a few I’ve done recently:
Readers, what have you fallen in love with lately?
Oh, oh! A quote from me!!!!!!!! How lovely!
The closest I’ve come to a current obsession is Angie Tribecca. I wasn’t sure what I thought of it after the pilot, but I gave it one more episode and I was hooked. It’s completely stupid humor filled with puns and plays on words, and therefore right up my ally. I watched it thanks to the “binge event” on TBS (spread out over about a month) and already can’t wait for season 2.
I’ve never heard of it, Mark (no surprise, really). Glad you liked it! Fun to binge watch sometimes.
I must know more about this Angie Tribecca!
I haven’t heard of it either! Thanks for the tip!
Good to know. I thought it looked funny, but hadn’t tried it. Of course, I don’t need another obsession!
It’s only 13 half hour episodes. No big deal, right?
It’s on TBS, and they are now showing the first season in a once a week format. I could easily see where some would find it stupid because, well, it can be. But I found it mostly hilarious with just a bit of stupid thrown in. Kind of surprising since I’m not usually a big Steve Carrell fan.
Louisiana! People keep asking me questions about gumbos and grandmeres–which is great because it means writing folks are learning about the culture. Thank you, Bouchercon!
Cool. Funny, nobody ever asks me about California…
That reminds me, Ramona, my husband and I are planning to go down early for Bouchercon, and…
I’m going early too!
Genealogy and Ancestry are addictive! (Warning: you are NEVER finished.) My most recent obsession (for the past couple of years) is collecting antique cookware, much of which I use. There’s something special about using items that many people (mostly women) have handled in the past.
Julie, Nora Roberts has taken Kondo’s book to heart as well. I guess I’ll have to take a look at it. Can’t hurt, right? Funny–nobody else in my family collected stuff endlessly.
While I don’t collect cookware, I always think about who stood before this dresser looking in this mirror, or who sat in this chair, or who bought this bench.
My latest obsession, and I have several, is organizing my calendar and planners(thanks a lot Jessie and Julie!!). I now need to schedule time to make schedules. After my week with Jessie I am also more than a little interested in pens and paper. I have to admit last summer I had to give up my ancestry.com subscription because I was giving myself eye strain. It’s amazing how quickly four hours can pass when you’re reading that site!
You remind me of my mother-in-law, who was once heard to exclaim, “Oh, no! I’m late to my time management class!”
That’s my life exactly!
You could schedule it in with a stop time to take place before you do yourself a mischief!
I am going along with Jessie. I am obsessed with finding the perfect pen. I’m a lefty so I need ink that doesn’t smear easily. I also have to have a medium point and the barrel must be just the right circumference. A custom made pen sounds like heaven!
I hope you find just what you need. Maybe you could try Etsy!
Great suggestion…I never thought of Etsy!
My current obsession is a website. Explore.org has live cameras set up in a number of different places, and I’ve been following this amazing place called Service Dog Project, in Ipswich, Mass. They breed and train Great Danes to act as balance and mobility dogs for veterans with TBIs, people with Parkinsons or MS, or any number of other conditions that result in mobility limitations. The dogs are trained from puppyhood in the basics and then, when they are matched with a human, are trained for that person’s specific needs. The dogs are given to the recipients — there’s never any charge for them. Some of you may have seen the viral video or news reports about Bella, the 11 year old girl, and her service dog George, who was named Service Dog of the Year by the AKC. George came from there. Anyway, it’s fun and educational to watch these dogs growing up, being trained, being loved, and then going on to fulfill their mission.
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