Crafty Skills and Writing Thrills

Joanna here with this month's question for the Wenches:

Do you have a hobby or handicraft that's important to you? Does it ever find its way into your writing?

 

Mary Jo sWench MaryJoPutney_RiverofFire_200pxays:

Alas, I am not crafty, except perhaps in my plotting.  I learned basic sewing as a girl and made some of my own clothes because that's what girls did in that time and place, but I wasn't enthusiastic about it, and I was a complete loss at handcrafts.  I botched cross-stitch and never mastered crochet and had zero interest in embroidery.  I did learn to knit in college because it was a way to keep hands busy when we sat around and talked, and I even managed a few large needle sweaters.  But they weren't very good except for basic warmth, and I haven't knit since I got out of college. 

 

 With the exception of young Bree, the hero's daughter in Sometimes a Rogue, my female characters aren't very interested Wench NotQuiteAWifeMMin handwork, though they can mend things as required. And now that I think of it, Laurel, the heroine of Not Quite a Wife, crocheted baby blanket squares while on a long carriage ride, but that was more because poor babies needed warm blankets.  I don't think she was much interested in crocheting for crochet's sake.  <G>  So I guess you could say that my lack of handicraft interest has made its way into my writing!

 

  On the other hand, while I don't have much gift for crafts, I have my share of interests.  As an art school graduate and a professional designer, art and design creep into stories, most strongly in River of Fire, where all the major characters are artists and don't know how they feel unless they have a paint brush in hand.  <G>  And I love music, though again I have no particular talent other than being able to do some research, but it's fun finding a four hand piano version of Vivaldi quartets on youtube, then telling my characters to take it from there.  <G>  A nice thing about writing is all the elements we can weave into our stories!

 

Nicola offers us music:

It’s interesting how many writers are also creative in other artistic fields. I have absolutely no talent for painting or drawing, or sewing, Wench Unmasked - US publishedknitting or making anything with my hands. As a child I did make patchwork cushions in my sewing classes at school and I was also passably good at cookery, which I think is another creative talent. However it was music that I loved and singing was a hobby of mine from childhood.

 

 I studied music at school and learned the piano and wrote some (bad) songs. I joined my school, college and church choirs and was also a member of a local choral society that toured Europe one summer. That was very exciting. My first love was always church music but I have tackled just about everything except opera! My singing tutor was a very fierce Scots lady called Mrs Buchan who had been a professional singer and was a very inspiring teacher.

 

 A number of characters in my books are musical and have good signing voices. Some of my heroines are talented at the piano or other musical instruments. When I am researching a book I do enjoy seeing which pieces of music were popular in the period and choosing something that my heroine might be singing or playing in the drawing room after dinner to entertain the other guests. In Unmasked, the heroine Mari gives away the secret of her ancestry by singing a Russian folk song.  When I write musical characters I am always reminded of Mary in Pride and Prejudice who loved playing the piano even though she had little aptitude for it, and her father saying: “You have entertained us long enough!”

 

Susan is musical as well as craftsy:

 

 

Writers and some kind of creative handiwork are a natural fit — the creativity often spills off the page and Wench susan 1into some other expression like arts, crafts, gardening and so on. And if we're not craftsy otherwise, we can scribble and type a mile a minute, and that's a talent of the hands if there ever was one! 

 

 

I went to art school, so for years I did paintings, drawing, prints and so on, even while I thought about stories. I haven't made art for years (though I do want to return to it), but I always have some kind of handiwork going. I try different things rather than stick with one, so I am master of none and explorer of many. I've done lots of crochet and knitting, and usually have a knitting project going; I've churned out throws and scarves and such, and keep it simple (I love big circular needles and soft yarns, and have no patience for small-stitch projects). I've done beading, basket weaving, needlework, sewing, collage, murals, scrapbooking — it often comes down to my degree of patience for the thing. I especially love to refinish furniture and paint rooms. My routine after completing a book usually involves painting walls or redoing furniture. Give me a ladder, a can of paint, some music and I'm happy.

 

Wench susan 2Some of the art has worked into my novels – I've written about a painter, an illuminator, a sculptor, an art historian and so on. I also wrote about harp playing after taking lessons in Celtic harp years ago. I loved it, and better understood long-ago harpers and harp music. That definitely helped when I wrote The Angel Knight, Lady Macbeth and Queen Hereafter, and if I write about a harper again, I'll dust off my Irish harp and tune it up!  
 
Cara/Andrea brings us:
 
I have an art background, so I’ve featured a both a heroine and a hero who was an accomplished Wenches A Diamond In The Rough-medwatercolor artist. But I’m also the Wench “jock”, as I enjoy sports as a way of relaxing. A while back, I took up golf—I’m pretty athletic, but it was one of the hardest endeavors I’ve ever tried— the swing may look easy, and the ball is not moving, but trust me, getting the timing right takes practice and patience! However I really enjoyed both the cerebral challenge and walking the course. After a day of writing, I love going out in early evening and playing a few holes. I can’t tell you how many plot tangles I have unraveled on the fairways. There’s something about switching gears and doing something physical that clears the brain synapses!
 
On a trip to Scotland, I visited the Old Course at St. Andrews, where golf was popular during Rgency times, and then was lucky enough to play a round with the Duke of Roxburghe, who is a passionate golfer . . .which got me to thinking! I decided it would be great fun incorporate my new hobby into a Regency romance. I did a little research on clubmaking (there are some wonderfully quirky clubs, like clerks and mashies fron that era) and then penned A Diamond in the Rough.The heroine is a great golfer but must disguise herself as a boy and work as a caddie to be allowed to play at St. Andrews. She’s assigned to teach an English lord how to play the game in order for him to play a match to win back his ancestral home, which his wastrel father has gambled away. And well . . . the game is on, in more ways than one.
 
 
Jo comes back with a very down-to-earth hobby:
 
Wench josgarden2Gardening. I'm not sure I've ever written a garden-obsessed character, but my books often have garden scenes and named plants with significance. My
characters are going to have gardens as most people in the past did until the
worst town developments of the 19th century, which led to the allotment
movement — an awareness that people, especially the poor, need a place to grow
food and also to have touch with the land and growing things.

Most of my characters are wealthy enough to have estates and gardeners, but they still take an interest. Interestingly, my book-in-progress, The Viscount Needs a Wife, has a hero and heroine who don't. They're both London people, not fond of the countryside, and know nothing about how to grow anything. I like to be different!

 
Anne says (and this is so cool. I had no idea about the dolls):
 
Wenches myWrapBraceletsI nearly always have some craft activity on the go, whether it's hand-made Christmas decorations, small things for dolls houses, or various kinds of jewellery. I'm more slapdash than meticulous, but I do enjoy making small things.
 
I used to babysit a friend's daughter on a regular basis and as a result I developed dolls house disease. I made lots of tiny things for a dolls house that one of my adult students had given me when she'd learned I was looking after a little girl and had No Dolls!!
 
It was a weekly ritual — my little friend would arrive, we'd get out the dolls house and the box of contents and set the house up from scratch — different every time. At the end of the day she'd tell me what new thing the dolls house needed, in that very cute imperious way three and four year olds have. "I think the dolls house needs. . . a dolls house." Or "I think next week the dolls will go . . . to the races. They'll need hats." This was after Melbourne Cup day and someone had been watching "Fashions on the Field" on TV. So I made hats for tiny dolls.
 
Currently I'm playing with jewelry. Fiddling with small things helps me concentrate and you'd be surprised Wwenches DollHathow often, while apparently concentrating wholly on a necklace or bracelet, I solve a plot problem. I go through stages with the jewelry, too. Not so long ago I was making things using natural crystals, which I love, but was sidetracked recently when a friend suggested I make a beaded leather wrap bracelet — and I was off and playing.
 
Few of these things ever find their way into my writing. I wrote one story, The Virtuous Widow, a Christmas novella that included a dolls house, and that was inspired by my little friend and our dolls house games — she's mentioned in the dedication. Nothing since then, but you never know . . .
 
 
Wenches pat rice wickedPat rounds us off with some wonderfully practical hobbies:
 
I garden and I fix up old houses, so I’m going to guess those aspects of my life creep into my books on a regular basis. I believe readers have upon occasion remarked that they know they’re going to get houses and kids when they read my books. Apparently I’ve disguised the gardening fever better. Even in Formidable Lord Quentin, when the characters have plenty of fancy London houses that need no work, my protagonists end up in a neglected rural mansion battling rodents and bird nests. We have the kids and horses in that one, but no garden.
 
I outdid myself in Wicked Wyckerly, though—the heroine owns a farm and gardens, the hero owns a truly neglected mansion AND townhouse, and we have kids galore. But I’m thinking children probably aren’t a hobby!
 
 
So. What about you? What hobby brings you joy and makes you more creative? If you were to write a book, which of your avocations would sneak into the text?
 
Some lucky commenter will win a copy of any of my books they choose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 thoughts on “Crafty Skills and Writing Thrills”

  1. There are a few authors I know of who have Etsy shops where they sell their handmade jewellery and things…
    Since my grandmother died I’ve been determined to get back into Ukrainian embroidery and cross stitch (which is a massive, MASSIVE part of Ukrainian culture). So I’m starting on the basic designs from the local craft shops before getting back into the more detailed, more difficult Ukrainian work.
    I guess being a former ballet dancer counts as creative!

    Reply
  2. There are a few authors I know of who have Etsy shops where they sell their handmade jewellery and things…
    Since my grandmother died I’ve been determined to get back into Ukrainian embroidery and cross stitch (which is a massive, MASSIVE part of Ukrainian culture). So I’m starting on the basic designs from the local craft shops before getting back into the more detailed, more difficult Ukrainian work.
    I guess being a former ballet dancer counts as creative!

    Reply
  3. There are a few authors I know of who have Etsy shops where they sell their handmade jewellery and things…
    Since my grandmother died I’ve been determined to get back into Ukrainian embroidery and cross stitch (which is a massive, MASSIVE part of Ukrainian culture). So I’m starting on the basic designs from the local craft shops before getting back into the more detailed, more difficult Ukrainian work.
    I guess being a former ballet dancer counts as creative!

    Reply
  4. There are a few authors I know of who have Etsy shops where they sell their handmade jewellery and things…
    Since my grandmother died I’ve been determined to get back into Ukrainian embroidery and cross stitch (which is a massive, MASSIVE part of Ukrainian culture). So I’m starting on the basic designs from the local craft shops before getting back into the more detailed, more difficult Ukrainian work.
    I guess being a former ballet dancer counts as creative!

    Reply
  5. There are a few authors I know of who have Etsy shops where they sell their handmade jewellery and things…
    Since my grandmother died I’ve been determined to get back into Ukrainian embroidery and cross stitch (which is a massive, MASSIVE part of Ukrainian culture). So I’m starting on the basic designs from the local craft shops before getting back into the more detailed, more difficult Ukrainian work.
    I guess being a former ballet dancer counts as creative!

    Reply
  6. I enjoy the counted embroideries: counted cross-stitch and needlepoint. I have been an avid knitter for 65 years, but a damaged rotator cuff has cut down on the activity. I also used to garden until age got in my way; I still have three thriving african violet plants, potted in 12-inch pots, so they have a much greater display than the usual pots. I enjoy cooking, But I live and breath music (even though I have been hearing impaired all my life and I now approach true deafness.) I sang in school and church choirs until my hearing interfered. I still sing around the house. And the ODDEST song combinations exist in my head. (Why did I suddenly remember “We Will Have These Moments to Remember”? And why is it mixed with “Do You Ken John Peel in the Morning”?

    Reply
  7. I enjoy the counted embroideries: counted cross-stitch and needlepoint. I have been an avid knitter for 65 years, but a damaged rotator cuff has cut down on the activity. I also used to garden until age got in my way; I still have three thriving african violet plants, potted in 12-inch pots, so they have a much greater display than the usual pots. I enjoy cooking, But I live and breath music (even though I have been hearing impaired all my life and I now approach true deafness.) I sang in school and church choirs until my hearing interfered. I still sing around the house. And the ODDEST song combinations exist in my head. (Why did I suddenly remember “We Will Have These Moments to Remember”? And why is it mixed with “Do You Ken John Peel in the Morning”?

    Reply
  8. I enjoy the counted embroideries: counted cross-stitch and needlepoint. I have been an avid knitter for 65 years, but a damaged rotator cuff has cut down on the activity. I also used to garden until age got in my way; I still have three thriving african violet plants, potted in 12-inch pots, so they have a much greater display than the usual pots. I enjoy cooking, But I live and breath music (even though I have been hearing impaired all my life and I now approach true deafness.) I sang in school and church choirs until my hearing interfered. I still sing around the house. And the ODDEST song combinations exist in my head. (Why did I suddenly remember “We Will Have These Moments to Remember”? And why is it mixed with “Do You Ken John Peel in the Morning”?

    Reply
  9. I enjoy the counted embroideries: counted cross-stitch and needlepoint. I have been an avid knitter for 65 years, but a damaged rotator cuff has cut down on the activity. I also used to garden until age got in my way; I still have three thriving african violet plants, potted in 12-inch pots, so they have a much greater display than the usual pots. I enjoy cooking, But I live and breath music (even though I have been hearing impaired all my life and I now approach true deafness.) I sang in school and church choirs until my hearing interfered. I still sing around the house. And the ODDEST song combinations exist in my head. (Why did I suddenly remember “We Will Have These Moments to Remember”? And why is it mixed with “Do You Ken John Peel in the Morning”?

    Reply
  10. I enjoy the counted embroideries: counted cross-stitch and needlepoint. I have been an avid knitter for 65 years, but a damaged rotator cuff has cut down on the activity. I also used to garden until age got in my way; I still have three thriving african violet plants, potted in 12-inch pots, so they have a much greater display than the usual pots. I enjoy cooking, But I live and breath music (even though I have been hearing impaired all my life and I now approach true deafness.) I sang in school and church choirs until my hearing interfered. I still sing around the house. And the ODDEST song combinations exist in my head. (Why did I suddenly remember “We Will Have These Moments to Remember”? And why is it mixed with “Do You Ken John Peel in the Morning”?

    Reply
  11. I think many authors turn to writing fiction when they retire … often partially or early. By bringing professional knowledge into their fiction they add a certain authentic plausibility to their stories.
    Fred Hoyle the cosmologist comes to mind for SciFi. Several Romantic suspense authors at http://kissandthrill.com/ also come to mind for Archaeology and Psychology.
    Perhaps one of the most interesting though is Lexi Revellian http://www.lexirevellian.com/ who is a practicing jeweler who also repairs old rocking horses.
    Myself … I’m still thinking about it! LOL

    Reply
  12. I think many authors turn to writing fiction when they retire … often partially or early. By bringing professional knowledge into their fiction they add a certain authentic plausibility to their stories.
    Fred Hoyle the cosmologist comes to mind for SciFi. Several Romantic suspense authors at http://kissandthrill.com/ also come to mind for Archaeology and Psychology.
    Perhaps one of the most interesting though is Lexi Revellian http://www.lexirevellian.com/ who is a practicing jeweler who also repairs old rocking horses.
    Myself … I’m still thinking about it! LOL

    Reply
  13. I think many authors turn to writing fiction when they retire … often partially or early. By bringing professional knowledge into their fiction they add a certain authentic plausibility to their stories.
    Fred Hoyle the cosmologist comes to mind for SciFi. Several Romantic suspense authors at http://kissandthrill.com/ also come to mind for Archaeology and Psychology.
    Perhaps one of the most interesting though is Lexi Revellian http://www.lexirevellian.com/ who is a practicing jeweler who also repairs old rocking horses.
    Myself … I’m still thinking about it! LOL

    Reply
  14. I think many authors turn to writing fiction when they retire … often partially or early. By bringing professional knowledge into their fiction they add a certain authentic plausibility to their stories.
    Fred Hoyle the cosmologist comes to mind for SciFi. Several Romantic suspense authors at http://kissandthrill.com/ also come to mind for Archaeology and Psychology.
    Perhaps one of the most interesting though is Lexi Revellian http://www.lexirevellian.com/ who is a practicing jeweler who also repairs old rocking horses.
    Myself … I’m still thinking about it! LOL

    Reply
  15. I think many authors turn to writing fiction when they retire … often partially or early. By bringing professional knowledge into their fiction they add a certain authentic plausibility to their stories.
    Fred Hoyle the cosmologist comes to mind for SciFi. Several Romantic suspense authors at http://kissandthrill.com/ also come to mind for Archaeology and Psychology.
    Perhaps one of the most interesting though is Lexi Revellian http://www.lexirevellian.com/ who is a practicing jeweler who also repairs old rocking horses.
    Myself … I’m still thinking about it! LOL

    Reply
  16. Cooking. I really like to cook, and once upon a time I wrote a weekly cooking column. Since these days I am writing about 19th century aristocrats, it would be a bit of a stretch to have any of them actually get toward in the kitchen, but now that you mention it, I realized that from time to time I get fairly specific about the food they eat.

    Reply
  17. Cooking. I really like to cook, and once upon a time I wrote a weekly cooking column. Since these days I am writing about 19th century aristocrats, it would be a bit of a stretch to have any of them actually get toward in the kitchen, but now that you mention it, I realized that from time to time I get fairly specific about the food they eat.

    Reply
  18. Cooking. I really like to cook, and once upon a time I wrote a weekly cooking column. Since these days I am writing about 19th century aristocrats, it would be a bit of a stretch to have any of them actually get toward in the kitchen, but now that you mention it, I realized that from time to time I get fairly specific about the food they eat.

    Reply
  19. Cooking. I really like to cook, and once upon a time I wrote a weekly cooking column. Since these days I am writing about 19th century aristocrats, it would be a bit of a stretch to have any of them actually get toward in the kitchen, but now that you mention it, I realized that from time to time I get fairly specific about the food they eat.

    Reply
  20. Cooking. I really like to cook, and once upon a time I wrote a weekly cooking column. Since these days I am writing about 19th century aristocrats, it would be a bit of a stretch to have any of them actually get toward in the kitchen, but now that you mention it, I realized that from time to time I get fairly specific about the food they eat.

    Reply
  21. I’m a knitter, but lots of writers use that. I read in one of my knitting books that Queen Victoria knitted for the veterans. When she presented some finished pieces at some function, an old woman commented loudly, unaware that she was the Queen, that she hoped she knitted better for her own man.
    I also picked up decoupage years ago, when I was going through a stressful period. My daughter was scheduled to have open-heart surgery after Christmas and somehow I fixated on decoupage as therapy. Looking back, I suppose it was the idea of taking something worn and making it beautiful…Decoupage was all the rage during the time of Marie Antoinette, from what I’ve read. Original artworks were actually taken off the walls, which accounts for the loss of, well, a lot of art. One story haunts me, of a famous decoupageur (deceased, I believe) who remembered learning his trade from a family whose entire house was either decoupaged or housed clipped pieces of paper to be used in decoupage. That house, and the family was destroyed in WWII. Oh, an update – my daughter is well and even more her beautiful self. She crochets, btw.

    Reply
  22. I’m a knitter, but lots of writers use that. I read in one of my knitting books that Queen Victoria knitted for the veterans. When she presented some finished pieces at some function, an old woman commented loudly, unaware that she was the Queen, that she hoped she knitted better for her own man.
    I also picked up decoupage years ago, when I was going through a stressful period. My daughter was scheduled to have open-heart surgery after Christmas and somehow I fixated on decoupage as therapy. Looking back, I suppose it was the idea of taking something worn and making it beautiful…Decoupage was all the rage during the time of Marie Antoinette, from what I’ve read. Original artworks were actually taken off the walls, which accounts for the loss of, well, a lot of art. One story haunts me, of a famous decoupageur (deceased, I believe) who remembered learning his trade from a family whose entire house was either decoupaged or housed clipped pieces of paper to be used in decoupage. That house, and the family was destroyed in WWII. Oh, an update – my daughter is well and even more her beautiful self. She crochets, btw.

    Reply
  23. I’m a knitter, but lots of writers use that. I read in one of my knitting books that Queen Victoria knitted for the veterans. When she presented some finished pieces at some function, an old woman commented loudly, unaware that she was the Queen, that she hoped she knitted better for her own man.
    I also picked up decoupage years ago, when I was going through a stressful period. My daughter was scheduled to have open-heart surgery after Christmas and somehow I fixated on decoupage as therapy. Looking back, I suppose it was the idea of taking something worn and making it beautiful…Decoupage was all the rage during the time of Marie Antoinette, from what I’ve read. Original artworks were actually taken off the walls, which accounts for the loss of, well, a lot of art. One story haunts me, of a famous decoupageur (deceased, I believe) who remembered learning his trade from a family whose entire house was either decoupaged or housed clipped pieces of paper to be used in decoupage. That house, and the family was destroyed in WWII. Oh, an update – my daughter is well and even more her beautiful self. She crochets, btw.

    Reply
  24. I’m a knitter, but lots of writers use that. I read in one of my knitting books that Queen Victoria knitted for the veterans. When she presented some finished pieces at some function, an old woman commented loudly, unaware that she was the Queen, that she hoped she knitted better for her own man.
    I also picked up decoupage years ago, when I was going through a stressful period. My daughter was scheduled to have open-heart surgery after Christmas and somehow I fixated on decoupage as therapy. Looking back, I suppose it was the idea of taking something worn and making it beautiful…Decoupage was all the rage during the time of Marie Antoinette, from what I’ve read. Original artworks were actually taken off the walls, which accounts for the loss of, well, a lot of art. One story haunts me, of a famous decoupageur (deceased, I believe) who remembered learning his trade from a family whose entire house was either decoupaged or housed clipped pieces of paper to be used in decoupage. That house, and the family was destroyed in WWII. Oh, an update – my daughter is well and even more her beautiful self. She crochets, btw.

    Reply
  25. I’m a knitter, but lots of writers use that. I read in one of my knitting books that Queen Victoria knitted for the veterans. When she presented some finished pieces at some function, an old woman commented loudly, unaware that she was the Queen, that she hoped she knitted better for her own man.
    I also picked up decoupage years ago, when I was going through a stressful period. My daughter was scheduled to have open-heart surgery after Christmas and somehow I fixated on decoupage as therapy. Looking back, I suppose it was the idea of taking something worn and making it beautiful…Decoupage was all the rage during the time of Marie Antoinette, from what I’ve read. Original artworks were actually taken off the walls, which accounts for the loss of, well, a lot of art. One story haunts me, of a famous decoupageur (deceased, I believe) who remembered learning his trade from a family whose entire house was either decoupaged or housed clipped pieces of paper to be used in decoupage. That house, and the family was destroyed in WWII. Oh, an update – my daughter is well and even more her beautiful self. She crochets, btw.

    Reply
  26. I should do that. Not so much an etsy shop, but maybe I could give them my ceramic pots away to readers …
    I think it would be so cool to have a Ukrainian grandmother and carry on a family tradition of fine embroidery.

    Reply
  27. I should do that. Not so much an etsy shop, but maybe I could give them my ceramic pots away to readers …
    I think it would be so cool to have a Ukrainian grandmother and carry on a family tradition of fine embroidery.

    Reply
  28. I should do that. Not so much an etsy shop, but maybe I could give them my ceramic pots away to readers …
    I think it would be so cool to have a Ukrainian grandmother and carry on a family tradition of fine embroidery.

    Reply
  29. I should do that. Not so much an etsy shop, but maybe I could give them my ceramic pots away to readers …
    I think it would be so cool to have a Ukrainian grandmother and carry on a family tradition of fine embroidery.

    Reply
  30. I should do that. Not so much an etsy shop, but maybe I could give them my ceramic pots away to readers …
    I think it would be so cool to have a Ukrainian grandmother and carry on a family tradition of fine embroidery.

    Reply
  31. It’s as if you combine all the arts and crafts of the Wenches. A little of this. A little of that.
    I am so sorry to hear about the rotator cuff. I know other people this happened to. It just seems as if the body is poorly designed when things like go on.

    Reply
  32. It’s as if you combine all the arts and crafts of the Wenches. A little of this. A little of that.
    I am so sorry to hear about the rotator cuff. I know other people this happened to. It just seems as if the body is poorly designed when things like go on.

    Reply
  33. It’s as if you combine all the arts and crafts of the Wenches. A little of this. A little of that.
    I am so sorry to hear about the rotator cuff. I know other people this happened to. It just seems as if the body is poorly designed when things like go on.

    Reply
  34. It’s as if you combine all the arts and crafts of the Wenches. A little of this. A little of that.
    I am so sorry to hear about the rotator cuff. I know other people this happened to. It just seems as if the body is poorly designed when things like go on.

    Reply
  35. It’s as if you combine all the arts and crafts of the Wenches. A little of this. A little of that.
    I am so sorry to hear about the rotator cuff. I know other people this happened to. It just seems as if the body is poorly designed when things like go on.

    Reply
  36. The thing about writing fiction is that you can indeed keep doing it at any point in your life. I think older folks bring special knowledge and a lovely point of view to their work.

    Reply
  37. The thing about writing fiction is that you can indeed keep doing it at any point in your life. I think older folks bring special knowledge and a lovely point of view to their work.

    Reply
  38. The thing about writing fiction is that you can indeed keep doing it at any point in your life. I think older folks bring special knowledge and a lovely point of view to their work.

    Reply
  39. The thing about writing fiction is that you can indeed keep doing it at any point in your life. I think older folks bring special knowledge and a lovely point of view to their work.

    Reply
  40. The thing about writing fiction is that you can indeed keep doing it at any point in your life. I think older folks bring special knowledge and a lovely point of view to their work.

    Reply
  41. Do you think you might be able to put your characters into the kitchen for some special rare activity.
    Maybe a Christmas pudding they make with a recipe very different than that used by their husband’s family? Maybe a special sort of cake they simply enjoy making and are support enough and original enough to insist on doing so?

    Reply
  42. Do you think you might be able to put your characters into the kitchen for some special rare activity.
    Maybe a Christmas pudding they make with a recipe very different than that used by their husband’s family? Maybe a special sort of cake they simply enjoy making and are support enough and original enough to insist on doing so?

    Reply
  43. Do you think you might be able to put your characters into the kitchen for some special rare activity.
    Maybe a Christmas pudding they make with a recipe very different than that used by their husband’s family? Maybe a special sort of cake they simply enjoy making and are support enough and original enough to insist on doing so?

    Reply
  44. Do you think you might be able to put your characters into the kitchen for some special rare activity.
    Maybe a Christmas pudding they make with a recipe very different than that used by their husband’s family? Maybe a special sort of cake they simply enjoy making and are support enough and original enough to insist on doing so?

    Reply
  45. Do you think you might be able to put your characters into the kitchen for some special rare activity.
    Maybe a Christmas pudding they make with a recipe very different than that used by their husband’s family? Maybe a special sort of cake they simply enjoy making and are support enough and original enough to insist on doing so?

    Reply
  46. I did a fair amount of sewing and needlework in the past, but I confess I’ve given it up in favour of shopping! However, I do have a hobby, which is putting digital photo books together. I started with recent photos and I love the fact that you can create a physical album and also get a digital record. Now I am starting to look at older photographs to see what can be used. It’s amazing how much the quality of photographs has improved in the digital era. Even the best, most in-focus picture from 30 years ago looks a little pixelated.

    Reply
  47. I did a fair amount of sewing and needlework in the past, but I confess I’ve given it up in favour of shopping! However, I do have a hobby, which is putting digital photo books together. I started with recent photos and I love the fact that you can create a physical album and also get a digital record. Now I am starting to look at older photographs to see what can be used. It’s amazing how much the quality of photographs has improved in the digital era. Even the best, most in-focus picture from 30 years ago looks a little pixelated.

    Reply
  48. I did a fair amount of sewing and needlework in the past, but I confess I’ve given it up in favour of shopping! However, I do have a hobby, which is putting digital photo books together. I started with recent photos and I love the fact that you can create a physical album and also get a digital record. Now I am starting to look at older photographs to see what can be used. It’s amazing how much the quality of photographs has improved in the digital era. Even the best, most in-focus picture from 30 years ago looks a little pixelated.

    Reply
  49. I did a fair amount of sewing and needlework in the past, but I confess I’ve given it up in favour of shopping! However, I do have a hobby, which is putting digital photo books together. I started with recent photos and I love the fact that you can create a physical album and also get a digital record. Now I am starting to look at older photographs to see what can be used. It’s amazing how much the quality of photographs has improved in the digital era. Even the best, most in-focus picture from 30 years ago looks a little pixelated.

    Reply
  50. I did a fair amount of sewing and needlework in the past, but I confess I’ve given it up in favour of shopping! However, I do have a hobby, which is putting digital photo books together. I started with recent photos and I love the fact that you can create a physical album and also get a digital record. Now I am starting to look at older photographs to see what can be used. It’s amazing how much the quality of photographs has improved in the digital era. Even the best, most in-focus picture from 30 years ago looks a little pixelated.

    Reply
  51. What a fun post. I am an organizer, and fixer (as long as it’s not mechanical). I also love to garden, cook, eat, and have renovated houses in Europe and the States. As a young woman I embroidered for myself and friends, mostly on blue jeans. I can’t draw, but if someone else drew the outline I can fill it in. All of those things,except the blue jeans, find their way into my books.

    Reply
  52. What a fun post. I am an organizer, and fixer (as long as it’s not mechanical). I also love to garden, cook, eat, and have renovated houses in Europe and the States. As a young woman I embroidered for myself and friends, mostly on blue jeans. I can’t draw, but if someone else drew the outline I can fill it in. All of those things,except the blue jeans, find their way into my books.

    Reply
  53. What a fun post. I am an organizer, and fixer (as long as it’s not mechanical). I also love to garden, cook, eat, and have renovated houses in Europe and the States. As a young woman I embroidered for myself and friends, mostly on blue jeans. I can’t draw, but if someone else drew the outline I can fill it in. All of those things,except the blue jeans, find their way into my books.

    Reply
  54. What a fun post. I am an organizer, and fixer (as long as it’s not mechanical). I also love to garden, cook, eat, and have renovated houses in Europe and the States. As a young woman I embroidered for myself and friends, mostly on blue jeans. I can’t draw, but if someone else drew the outline I can fill it in. All of those things,except the blue jeans, find their way into my books.

    Reply
  55. What a fun post. I am an organizer, and fixer (as long as it’s not mechanical). I also love to garden, cook, eat, and have renovated houses in Europe and the States. As a young woman I embroidered for myself and friends, mostly on blue jeans. I can’t draw, but if someone else drew the outline I can fill it in. All of those things,except the blue jeans, find their way into my books.

    Reply
  56. I think the period equivalent of creating a digital photo album would be drawing. Catching the likeness of a face or building or landscape and keeping that forever as a memento would have been just as satisfying and taking photographs today.
    We underestimate the skill these Regency people brought to their art, and yet we see it again and again when we get access to old sketching books and watercolors.
    My character Pax in Rogue Spy was an accomplished artist. He uses it for his spying … *g*
    I had to ask friends what it was like to create visual arts since I do not have this skill myself.

    Reply
  57. I think the period equivalent of creating a digital photo album would be drawing. Catching the likeness of a face or building or landscape and keeping that forever as a memento would have been just as satisfying and taking photographs today.
    We underestimate the skill these Regency people brought to their art, and yet we see it again and again when we get access to old sketching books and watercolors.
    My character Pax in Rogue Spy was an accomplished artist. He uses it for his spying … *g*
    I had to ask friends what it was like to create visual arts since I do not have this skill myself.

    Reply
  58. I think the period equivalent of creating a digital photo album would be drawing. Catching the likeness of a face or building or landscape and keeping that forever as a memento would have been just as satisfying and taking photographs today.
    We underestimate the skill these Regency people brought to their art, and yet we see it again and again when we get access to old sketching books and watercolors.
    My character Pax in Rogue Spy was an accomplished artist. He uses it for his spying … *g*
    I had to ask friends what it was like to create visual arts since I do not have this skill myself.

    Reply
  59. I think the period equivalent of creating a digital photo album would be drawing. Catching the likeness of a face or building or landscape and keeping that forever as a memento would have been just as satisfying and taking photographs today.
    We underestimate the skill these Regency people brought to their art, and yet we see it again and again when we get access to old sketching books and watercolors.
    My character Pax in Rogue Spy was an accomplished artist. He uses it for his spying … *g*
    I had to ask friends what it was like to create visual arts since I do not have this skill myself.

    Reply
  60. I think the period equivalent of creating a digital photo album would be drawing. Catching the likeness of a face or building or landscape and keeping that forever as a memento would have been just as satisfying and taking photographs today.
    We underestimate the skill these Regency people brought to their art, and yet we see it again and again when we get access to old sketching books and watercolors.
    My character Pax in Rogue Spy was an accomplished artist. He uses it for his spying … *g*
    I had to ask friends what it was like to create visual arts since I do not have this skill myself.

    Reply
  61. I’m a singer, so that’s my hobby as I am craft impaired. 🙂 And while I see singing a great deal in romance, I don’t see choral singing as much (one Carla Kelly short story comes to mind). And considering I met my husband that way, I’d like to see that as a way for some primary or secondary couple in a book to meet!

    Reply
  62. I’m a singer, so that’s my hobby as I am craft impaired. 🙂 And while I see singing a great deal in romance, I don’t see choral singing as much (one Carla Kelly short story comes to mind). And considering I met my husband that way, I’d like to see that as a way for some primary or secondary couple in a book to meet!

    Reply
  63. I’m a singer, so that’s my hobby as I am craft impaired. 🙂 And while I see singing a great deal in romance, I don’t see choral singing as much (one Carla Kelly short story comes to mind). And considering I met my husband that way, I’d like to see that as a way for some primary or secondary couple in a book to meet!

    Reply
  64. I’m a singer, so that’s my hobby as I am craft impaired. 🙂 And while I see singing a great deal in romance, I don’t see choral singing as much (one Carla Kelly short story comes to mind). And considering I met my husband that way, I’d like to see that as a way for some primary or secondary couple in a book to meet!

    Reply
  65. I’m a singer, so that’s my hobby as I am craft impaired. 🙂 And while I see singing a great deal in romance, I don’t see choral singing as much (one Carla Kelly short story comes to mind). And considering I met my husband that way, I’d like to see that as a way for some primary or secondary couple in a book to meet!

    Reply
  66. I am so envious of folks who are deeply moved by music and make it part of their lives. And I’ve seen some wonderful books where music leads the hero and heroine together.
    That said, I’m about totally unmusical myself. I’m not even ‘singing in the shower’ qualified. I’m afraid my book folks tend to follow in my footsteps.
    One of my heroines, Annique from Spymaster’s Lady, has not been trained in music. Her musical grandfather attempts to remedy this, without much success.

    Reply
  67. I am so envious of folks who are deeply moved by music and make it part of their lives. And I’ve seen some wonderful books where music leads the hero and heroine together.
    That said, I’m about totally unmusical myself. I’m not even ‘singing in the shower’ qualified. I’m afraid my book folks tend to follow in my footsteps.
    One of my heroines, Annique from Spymaster’s Lady, has not been trained in music. Her musical grandfather attempts to remedy this, without much success.

    Reply
  68. I am so envious of folks who are deeply moved by music and make it part of their lives. And I’ve seen some wonderful books where music leads the hero and heroine together.
    That said, I’m about totally unmusical myself. I’m not even ‘singing in the shower’ qualified. I’m afraid my book folks tend to follow in my footsteps.
    One of my heroines, Annique from Spymaster’s Lady, has not been trained in music. Her musical grandfather attempts to remedy this, without much success.

    Reply
  69. I am so envious of folks who are deeply moved by music and make it part of their lives. And I’ve seen some wonderful books where music leads the hero and heroine together.
    That said, I’m about totally unmusical myself. I’m not even ‘singing in the shower’ qualified. I’m afraid my book folks tend to follow in my footsteps.
    One of my heroines, Annique from Spymaster’s Lady, has not been trained in music. Her musical grandfather attempts to remedy this, without much success.

    Reply
  70. I am so envious of folks who are deeply moved by music and make it part of their lives. And I’ve seen some wonderful books where music leads the hero and heroine together.
    That said, I’m about totally unmusical myself. I’m not even ‘singing in the shower’ qualified. I’m afraid my book folks tend to follow in my footsteps.
    One of my heroines, Annique from Spymaster’s Lady, has not been trained in music. Her musical grandfather attempts to remedy this, without much success.

    Reply
  71. I am now quilting which really surprises my Mom as I glued my sewing projects together in Jr. High (I wasn’t allowed to take shop as I was a girl). I like to play with color and create something specifically designed for a family member or friend.
    So I guess I have a bit in common with the heroines who can’t stand “ladies’ skills” and want to ride and shoot or paint with oils.
    Thank you for you books with so many different types of characters and their interests. I am perfectly happy that you create with words.

    Reply
  72. I am now quilting which really surprises my Mom as I glued my sewing projects together in Jr. High (I wasn’t allowed to take shop as I was a girl). I like to play with color and create something specifically designed for a family member or friend.
    So I guess I have a bit in common with the heroines who can’t stand “ladies’ skills” and want to ride and shoot or paint with oils.
    Thank you for you books with so many different types of characters and their interests. I am perfectly happy that you create with words.

    Reply
  73. I am now quilting which really surprises my Mom as I glued my sewing projects together in Jr. High (I wasn’t allowed to take shop as I was a girl). I like to play with color and create something specifically designed for a family member or friend.
    So I guess I have a bit in common with the heroines who can’t stand “ladies’ skills” and want to ride and shoot or paint with oils.
    Thank you for you books with so many different types of characters and their interests. I am perfectly happy that you create with words.

    Reply
  74. I am now quilting which really surprises my Mom as I glued my sewing projects together in Jr. High (I wasn’t allowed to take shop as I was a girl). I like to play with color and create something specifically designed for a family member or friend.
    So I guess I have a bit in common with the heroines who can’t stand “ladies’ skills” and want to ride and shoot or paint with oils.
    Thank you for you books with so many different types of characters and their interests. I am perfectly happy that you create with words.

    Reply
  75. I am now quilting which really surprises my Mom as I glued my sewing projects together in Jr. High (I wasn’t allowed to take shop as I was a girl). I like to play with color and create something specifically designed for a family member or friend.
    So I guess I have a bit in common with the heroines who can’t stand “ladies’ skills” and want to ride and shoot or paint with oils.
    Thank you for you books with so many different types of characters and their interests. I am perfectly happy that you create with words.

    Reply
  76. Hi LynS —
    I don’t know if I can call it a ‘craft’, but I rather enjoy making pots. I guess some of us never outgrow the desire to play in the mud.
    I’m pretty sure Regency ladies didn’t ‘pot’ — though I think they painted china and sent it back to the factory for the last firing.
    Quilting is another of those crafts that appeals to me that has rather slipped off the list of possibilities. Had I but world enough and time …
    Thank you for the kind words about the writing. I do so enjoy it. I suppose it’s my ‘craft’.

    Reply
  77. Hi LynS —
    I don’t know if I can call it a ‘craft’, but I rather enjoy making pots. I guess some of us never outgrow the desire to play in the mud.
    I’m pretty sure Regency ladies didn’t ‘pot’ — though I think they painted china and sent it back to the factory for the last firing.
    Quilting is another of those crafts that appeals to me that has rather slipped off the list of possibilities. Had I but world enough and time …
    Thank you for the kind words about the writing. I do so enjoy it. I suppose it’s my ‘craft’.

    Reply
  78. Hi LynS —
    I don’t know if I can call it a ‘craft’, but I rather enjoy making pots. I guess some of us never outgrow the desire to play in the mud.
    I’m pretty sure Regency ladies didn’t ‘pot’ — though I think they painted china and sent it back to the factory for the last firing.
    Quilting is another of those crafts that appeals to me that has rather slipped off the list of possibilities. Had I but world enough and time …
    Thank you for the kind words about the writing. I do so enjoy it. I suppose it’s my ‘craft’.

    Reply
  79. Hi LynS —
    I don’t know if I can call it a ‘craft’, but I rather enjoy making pots. I guess some of us never outgrow the desire to play in the mud.
    I’m pretty sure Regency ladies didn’t ‘pot’ — though I think they painted china and sent it back to the factory for the last firing.
    Quilting is another of those crafts that appeals to me that has rather slipped off the list of possibilities. Had I but world enough and time …
    Thank you for the kind words about the writing. I do so enjoy it. I suppose it’s my ‘craft’.

    Reply
  80. Hi LynS —
    I don’t know if I can call it a ‘craft’, but I rather enjoy making pots. I guess some of us never outgrow the desire to play in the mud.
    I’m pretty sure Regency ladies didn’t ‘pot’ — though I think they painted china and sent it back to the factory for the last firing.
    Quilting is another of those crafts that appeals to me that has rather slipped off the list of possibilities. Had I but world enough and time …
    Thank you for the kind words about the writing. I do so enjoy it. I suppose it’s my ‘craft’.

    Reply

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