Here I am, dipping a toe into blogging again. Sometimes I wonder whether I have too many hobbies—although, truth be told, most of the time I don’t think about it. However, since it’s a retrospective time of year, here’s what I’ve been up to, and what I have to say about it:
- Writing my novel, A Footnote to Plato. I’ve got the plot pretty much settled (I think, I hope) so now it’s a matter of tweaking sentences—the fun stuff. I’m at the point now where I need to take some time off and come back to it later, with fresh eyes. Perfect timing, because here are the holidays to distract me.
- Reading. Book club books mostly. I’ve got a post on “Machines Like Me” by Ian McEwan coming up next (I’m nearly done writing it, otherwise I wouldn’t be making promises). Plus, just for me, one by a local author, Kimi Eisele, who’s connected with a woman in my writing group. Eisele’s debut novel, The Lightest Object in the Universe, was a pleasant surprise. I doubt I would’ve chosen to read an environmental apocalypse romance story had I stumbled upon it in a bookstore, but I’m glad I did. I didn’t find the characters terribly compelling, but that didn’t matter, the story’s scope made up for that. It’s been a little while since I’ve read it, but sometimes I find myself thinking about its premise: What would the world be like if we had a chance to start over?—Note: A chance to start over…Optimism is the theme explored here, both the good and the bad.
- Baking. Bread, cookies, pies, you name it. It occurs to me that I’ve been baking a lot more ever since the doctor told me I have the diabetes gene (thanks Ma), so I’ve been experimenting with low-sugar, whole-wheat, etc. Many blah cookies came out of this process, let me tell you, but now I have a decent cookie recipe that will be my consolation should I at some point in the future come home from the doc with bad news.
- Flamenco. This has been taking up a great deal of my time. I’ll be doing a flamenco performance with the Southern Arizona Women’s Chorus, “A Spanish Allelu,” on December 22nd. It’s my first real gig, and while I’m a bit nervous, I’m also looking forward to it. It’s been interesting choreographing to choral music. Also, I’ll be doing another gig/demonstration in January which might involve me modeling a vintage Sevillanas dress originally made for a 12 year old child. If it fits…
- Movie-making. Short home videos over the summer, as inspiration hit:
- Gardening. For a long while I simply gave up on vegetable gardening. But then it occurred to me that I might have more success if I did things on a smaller scale, using only the out-of-the-way space where we’ve installed Geordie’s sandbox. I bought a raised—maybe I should say elevated—bed to plant some lettuce, carrots, and peas over the winter, rigged it to the irrigation system, and now I’m letting it do its thing. And Geordie’s taking his job of guarding the area very seriously, as you can see. No critters are getting my veggies this year!
- Watercolor painting. Thanks to the Great Courses, I have a renewed interest in painting, this time working with a split primary palette (why wasn’t I taught this in high school?) in watercolor—far simpler to set up and clean up. And it appears I’m specializing in dogs. Here’s one I did of Geordie (not the greatest photo…unfortunately the lighting comes from below) and another of his girlfriend, Bean:
Now then, have I been spreading myself too thin with all these hobbies? Perhaps. But then again, let’s follow that quote to its conclusion…
- Jack of all trades, master of none,
- though oftentimes better than master of one.
I figure I might as well do what interests me rather than force myself to slog through something I’m not into at the moment. Life is too short. And there’s something to be said for cross-disciplinary study. Besides, I find these things come in cycles, seasons, if you will. So then, is this my season for blogging? Too soon to tell. But here I am for now.
What do you think? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your hobbies/interests? Is it better to master one thing rather than be a jack of all trades?
To my American friends, I hope you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and happy holidays to everyone!