It would be easy to assume that, as mystery writers, we spend our days sitting around thinking up dastardly plots, planting clues and framing suspects. But when we’re not killing off characters, we actually have a lively and diverse set of outside interests. What are we obsessed with at the moment? Read on to find out—and tell us what your current obsession is in the comments below!
Right now I’m into planners. Scarily so. As I kinda, sorta briefly referenced last week, there is a whole movement devoted to women who drop 50-plus dollars on a daily or weekly planner and then spend even more money on stickers, pens and something called washi to decorate them. Evidence A: YouTube! And I’m about .2 seconds away from joining them. Mind you, I have two half-filled Passion Planners from the last two years but whatever. This is the year I’m getting organized. I am currently waiting for a custom Plum Paper Planner to show up. In my excitement, I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole, which lead to me joining—no lie—nine planner-focused Facebook groups and buying a whole bunch of Writer Planner stickers and erasable gel pens and highlighters. I even stepped foot in a Michaels store for the first time in 38 years of being on this Earth. Feel free to stage an intervention. Just let me know the date so I can put it in my planner.
This winter, it’s all about cardigans. Not the sweater kind—I prefer a nice cotton French terry. Speaking of which, does it really come from France? Or is it just supposed to increase the chic potential? (Actually not sure if “terrycloth” and “chic” are allowed to exist in the same sentence without disrupting the order of the universe…I mean, I think they can, but I may have heard some fashionista protests off in the distance.) Anyway, cardigans go with everything and they feel like wearing a little hug—not many things you can say that about!
I’ve been obsessing over creating the perfect smoothie. Everything except a banana and strawberry base is negotiable. Some mornings blueberries and raspberries are added, others it’s mangoes and peaches. Then there’s finding just the right combo of spices – cinnamon and ginger, along with a splash of vanilla are current faves. But I’ve also tried out mixtures with cloves, nutmeg and even a dash of Tabasco. And it’s not just about taste. I add protein powder and almond milk for energy and ground flax seeds for fiber. Breakfast has never been the most important meal of the day for me. I’m content to drink copious amounts of coffee until lunch. But I’m striving to ratchet up my morning productivity, especially with my writing. By mornings I simply mean the time period before noon – not the crack of dawn. There’s not enough coffee, protein powder or Tabasco in the world to transform me into a morning person!
My obsession is more of a re-obsession. I’m all about needlepoint once again. I turned my Cajun Country Mysteries logo into a canvas – yay, me! – and now all I want to do day and night is needlepoint. Part of the reason is that it relaxes me. Life has been pretty stressful lately, so it’s soothing to focus on the repetitive motion of stitching. My fingers are getting calloused from pushing the needle in and out of the design, but watching my canvas come to life makes it so worthwhile. And of course, now I want one of Lisa’s cookies. I want it soooo badly.
I’ve been kind of multi-obsessional lately. Well, okay, maybe that’s me all the time. I’m the Lorelai Gilmore of obsessing. Right now it’s sports talk radio and Patriots football (specifically, Tom Brady–no haters, please); binging House of Cards (I’m in, um, Season One), searching everything wedding on Pinterest (middle daughter), online yoga (the kind where you lie on the floor and breathe) and…cookies. Yes, it’s true I’m waiting for The Call from that TV contest show Worst Cooks in America, but anyone can make these, I swear. Four ingredients: coconut, almonds, chocolate chips, and condensed milk. Stir. Throw on cookie sheets and shove in oven. Eat as many as you want, especially if you live in NH like I do and need all those extra calories to stay warm. I mean, if the LL Bean down coat fits, who cares, right? (Somebody stop me. Please.) And GO PATS!!!!
This winter, I found myself in the grips of a sudden and inexplicable obsession with genealogy. I’d played around a bit with a free account on ancestry.com, but right after I turned in my manuscript for Dying on the Vine, they ran a special on six-month memberships. So, finding myself with a little time on my hands, I ponied up the fifty bucks and started discovering long-lost kin. It wasn’t just about growing my family tree; I had a real-life mystery to solve. My great grandmother, whose portrait now hangs in my bedroom, seemed to have come from nowhere. So I spent hours—days—chasing down clues and testing theories. When they sent me a notice that my membership was about to expire and asked me if I wanted to extend it, I said no thanks. I don’t have the time for that; I have books to write. Plus, I was starting to get carpal tunnel from clicking on all their ancestor hints. Thank goodness I didn’t need an intervention and was able to quit of my own accord.
Readers, what are your current obsessions? Tell us in the comments below!
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