Chick Chat: Hobbies, Old and New

The topic of the day is hobbies! Old favorites, new adventures… and maybe some future hobbies suggested by you, our intrepid readers!

Lisa Q. Mathews

At the moment I am racking (apparently it’s not “wracking” anymore) my brain trying to figure out exactly what I do these days, besides work and writing. Extra housework, for sure. I also anxiously scroll the news, then run to make cranberry coffee cake. “Hobbies” implies that you enjoy those activities, though, right? Well, then: My new hobby is…online shopping. Yes, I know that sounds terrible. It’s not like I have extra money to spend. But near-instant delivery is relatively new to my little part of the planet, so it’s kind of exciting. Recently I’ve bought items both essential and non-essential: PPE and sanitizing stuff; fleecy/flannel-y, cozy lounge (um, writing) wear; fresh office supplies; a giant instant pot (which I’m scared of); ridiculous pet toys; cute cuddly baby outfits, holiday doormats; funky blue light glasses in red, and a little black dress (with nowhere to go). Oh, and a small fairy-light tree from someplace called Celtic Serenity. My daughter mentioned this morning that there’s a new Home Edit show on Netflix. Maybe I need to tune in, but…the guilt. The shame. Marie Kondo is already gonna hunt me down and slap me. 

 Ellen Byron

I have a new hobby this year – mask collecting! Not the kind you wear on Halloween. The kind we’re all wearing every day. I began with a basic boring mask from the hardware store. Then people began getting creative and I jumped on board. I bought masks featuring Cajun/Creole food as in New Orleans. I sent doggy-themed fabric that was collecting dust in a bin to a reader  making masks for local school kids and was rewarded with my own doggy-themed masks. I donated unused Halloween-y fabric to a fiend and now I actually do have Halloween masks… kind of. I found a site where they turn photos of your pets into masks. I bought them for the whole family. Even my mom clamored for one. Best of all, I found a site where I could customize masks with my book covers and logos.mask 1

So what if no one can get close enough to see that the pattern on my mask is the cover for MURDER IN THE BAYOU BONEYARD? I know it’s there, and I love the mask for that. And if one person asks about the design, well, that could be one new reader. Ellen Byron, Human Billboard!



Vickie Fee

So, truth be told, my hobbies are still reading and watching old movies. But, I have developed a recent obsession of sorts. I’ve been googling celebrities from the 1970s (mostly). For instance, I was watching an episode of Password from the mid-seventies and the celebrity guests were Patty Duke-Astin and her husband John Astin (best know as Gomez on the Addam’s Family). I wondered if they were still married. My Google foray showed they had divorced in 1985. Also, sadly, I saw that Patty had died in 2016 at only 69 years old. Duke won an Oscar for her portrayal of Hellen Keller, but as a kid I became a fan of the Patty Duke TV show, in which she starred as as identical cousins! She remarried after her divorce from John Astin, and was married for 30 years to a military man named Michael Pearce, and I like to believe her last years were happy ones. I know this is kind of a odd pastime, but it beats watching the news these days!

Cynthia Kuhn

Well…this is a hard topic for me because I have never had a hobby other than reading. Which is now technically part of my teaching and writing work, so I don’t even know if I can count it anymore? There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to add something new, but this post is making me think that I should consider picking one up (maybe after the kids go to college?), so if you have any suggestions for relaxing hobbies that take no longer than a minute at a time, please share in the comments. 🙂

Leslie Karst

I’ve never thought of myself as someone with “hobbies.” Sure, I keep plenty busy: I garden, cook, read, ride my bike, walk the dog, read some more, do the crossword… Oh, yeah, and I write. A lot.

But to me, these things constitute “life,” not “hobbies.” I think of a hobby as what you do in your spare time to relax and which creates something, such as sewing or embroidery, baking, or building model airplanes. I don’t do any of these things to relax.

What I do to truly relax is sit in the sun in my backyard, close my eyes, and simply space out. Does that count as a hobby?

Kathleen Valenti

Hobbies, you say? Ah, yes, I’ve heard of those. I’ve been so busy of late my “hobbies” have become respiration and blood circulation. I do hobby—in its glorious verb form—vicariously, however. I occasionally try my daughter’s Tik-Tok dance routines with hilarious results, and I’ve been enjoying (I guess??) my son’s recent forays into learning how to do a death metal growl. (I’m not even kidding.) It keeps things interesting in these very interesting times.

Becky Clark

I turned my hobby of crossword puzzles into a new book series! My dad always did crosswords so he taught me and I’ve done them ever since. Then when I was noodling over a new series, I thought it made perfect sense that the main character would construct puzzles. Of course, that meant that I had to teach myself how to create crosswords. Even though I use pretty heavy-duty software, it’s still really hard, specifically trying to figure out where those &*^%$% black squares go. But just like completing a puzzle in ink, there’s a huge satisfaction (and relief) when I make a puzzle for the books and my testers give me the thumbs up on them. I also make purses out of old books, which I think I’ve showed here before. I haven’t been in my workshop for ages though (see crossword construction whining above), but I have some finished ones I think I’ll give away for my book launch for Puzzling Ink. I have a dictionary purse that might be perfect!

Jennifer Chow

I’ve actually revived an old hobby of mine. As a child, I spent my free time painting with watercolors. I even took an art class in college as an elective. Staying at home during the pandemic has resulted in me picking up watercolors again. Bonus: I’ve got to spend some fun creative time with one of my kids.

Readers, drop us a note in the comments below!

Readers, what are your relaxing hobbies? 


50 thoughts on “Chick Chat: Hobbies, Old and New

  1. Hobbies. I used to have those. I have been meaning to pick up my counted-cross stitch materials again. But honestly? Work has gotten so crazy that I barely have time to keep up with my writing deadlines, never mind anything extra. Sigh. Some day.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I used to do cross-stitch when my kids were little. I made two absolutely gorgeous christmas stockings for the two older ones but they took me for-freakin-ever. When it was time to make one for #3 kid, he was already like 9 so he said, “Can you just buy one and sharpie my name on it?” Done and done! My eyes couldn’t take it much more.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I used to do those really intricate patterns when I was in college. I did a baby blanket for a co-worker many, many years ago. I wonder if my eyes could keep it up.

        Ellen, sure, I’ll take it! LOL


  2. I am detecting a certain pattern here…Maybe all of us readers/writers are just always busy, and reading is our main/sometimes-only respite?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Every day I write or do research, I read (77 books so far this year, according to the Goodreads reading challenge), and I watch TV in the evening with my sweetie (mostly crime shows, since I write crime fiction). Boring life, huh?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m happy with my life – I worked hard for it for many years. And I’m still working hard – I’m releasing my fifth Natalie McMasters Mystery, Sniper! in a few weeks – that’s three novels released this year.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I like tole/decorative painting. I’m taking an online class this weekend. Should be interesting. I also like counted cross-stitch, though I haven’t done much of that in a while. I recently purchased a macrame kit from Herrschner’s of cute gnomes. I remember really like doing that in junior high when it was very popular. And reading, of course.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I wore a LOT of chokers but I wasn’t fancy enough for the macrame kind, Vickie. Hey, maybe you can start googling who wore macrame chokers in the 70s!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Vickie, when I was a kid I was really into crafts. I made (and wore) those tiny bead chokers and even managed to make the little flowers in them. Sigh.


  5. I have taken up mowing the lawn and attacking the weeds that I see in it. As a side benefit (other than my neighbors no longer dropping hints about the sad state of the lawn ) I can listen to audio books while I work — whoops enjoy my new hobby.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Who has time for hobbies when you work full time at home (thanks virus), and cleaning!
    Who am I kidding? Yes, I have plenty of hobbies that I do consistently.
    Refurbishing old furniture, which I need to get back to.
    Piano. Yes, in my formative years I was on the fast track for the philharmonic until I had an accident.
    Using and decorating my planner. I have created planners for Black Friday, parties, thanksgiving and Christmas I will be sharing with friends this weekend.
    Reading and trying to remember to write reviews. I got to do that this weekend.
    Puzzles (currently doing ones that there is no picture for as reference).
    Cooking/baking/candy making.
    Doing murder mystery boxes and virtual escape rooms with my daughter.
    Christmas shopping ( I do it year round).
    Trying to figure out how to take my literary twists and affordable toss them in the Malice Goodie bag next season.
    3D paint with diamonds. I need to get started on my next one.
    Prepping for nanowrimo with a whole new story base.

    And Lisa, I am scared of my instant pot too!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I’ve never actually seen a pictureless jigsaw puzzle. Is it on purpose or is it like those “mystery cans” you can buy for cheap at the grocery store when the labels fall off?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Becky,
        The ones I do are actually mystery puzzles. There is a story, and you are trying to solve the mystery based on the puzzle picture once it is complete. But the picture on the box is not what the completed puzzle looks like.
        They are pretty cool, but it takes a while. Especially when both the hubby and I do it together.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa and Tammy, Hubs and I completed a pictureless jigsaw once. I learned I’m not good at that kind of mystery! And Tammy, it sounds like you may not be getting enough sleep!🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Vickie,
        I get plenty of sleep. Usually 6-8 hours a night. I’m just one of those people who can’t relax and do nothing.

        Liked by 2 people

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