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?