Monday, December 10, 2012


I have this image in my mind of what an author does. An author sits at the computer (in my case) or in a comfy chair with a notebook and pen in hand (in the case of someone with much better handwriting than I have), and brilliant stories are written. But when I look at all the things I do with my time, I find that the writing is only one portion. There are so many other things I enjoy doing. Things not related to writing at all. So I thought I'd ask my fellow authors here at the Inkpot what their hobbies were also, and share them.

And I'd love to know what your hobbies are! What do you do besides writing (if you are a writer) or besides your main job (if you aren't a writer)?



When I'm not writing, I enjoy practicing Kung Fu (I'm working toward my 3rd degree black belt), making chain-mail, playing Wizard 101 (think Harry Potter meets World of Warcraft), and solving Rubik's Cubes.



I run a tiny card printing company - but I think a lot of use dabble in art on the side!
I'm on etsy as Parrack Prints :
I also love photography and am movie obsessed!



I have no creative skills whatsoever but I excel at eating.

I also love to watch kdramas - Korean dramas, so addictive! But I'm not allowing myself to watch any while I'm on deadline because once you start, you can't stop! And some of them have like over 20 episodes! I also love tumblr and have become addicted to making gifs. Mostly I gif food, badass fighting scenes, k-dramas and hot men. My husband must never find my tumblr!



Learning about Edgar A. Poe is my hobby. I have Poe jewelry and a first edition of the LITERATI, a sort of "annual" that he wrote. I have a costume that is correct for his period (New Romantic.) I asked Santa to bring me a Poe lunchbox I have my eye on!



I used to do a lot of handweaving and sewing, but that has gone by the wayside. I love gardening--as soon as I go into the garden, I can feel my blood pressure drop. I love to do genealogy (family history) because it's all about stories. And I'm trying to pick up the guitar again.



My hobbies include book and cover design. I've done mock covers of my novels for years and have just recently started doing it more seriously. (For example, I designed the cover for the second edition of my novella, shown here

I adore hunting down the perfect images--much like those orchid hunters in the rain forest ;)-- or simply admiring existing cover art, especially YA fantasy. Most recently I've been captivated by collectible hardcover books. After my latest batch of research (and what fun research it is) I plan to do some new cover designs myself, focusing on type as an artform.



My most regular non-bookish hobby is martial arts. I've been learning Fut Gar Kung Fu for the last six years--currently have my blue sash and am working on my first sword form. Which is excellent experience for when I write sword-fighting characters, and also just plain cool. :D I feel like a book character myself when I'm disabling imaginary foes.

I'm also an avid traveler--would be visiting someplace new every other month if I could afford it. So far I've made it to various parts of the US, Mexico, the UK, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, China, and Japan. Pretty much everywhere I've been, I want to go back and spend more time there to see everything I missed and see the things I loved again. But there are so many other places (Egypt! Thailand! Morocco!) I'd love to see too... If only flying across the ocean was not so expensive.



I play violin, viola, and piano--all sorts of music, from Beethoven to bluegrass. I write music, too, and have some songs out there in the wild that are on their way to becoming "Anon/Trad"--the greatest of all possible glories.

Also I write occasional sestinas. For all occasions, I mean: weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, retirements, or to commemorate particularly good games of Dictionary. :)



i have been a student of chinese brush painting for over eleven years. in fact, i don't think i would have written Silver Phoenix if it weren't for my interest in this art. my heroine ai ling is also a student, so i was able to incorporate much of the subjects and colors i love into Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Phoenix.

i love painting nature (flowers and plants) and small cute critters as subjects. but currently i'm painting my second chinese classic beauty and loving it very much.

chinese brush art is pure therapy for me, and just for joy and fun. it is a creative pursuit with no outside expectations, unlike writing, so i enjoy it that much more.

you can see my paintings on my website:

and i also sell cards of my paintings on etsy:



I garden because I like fresh vegetables and flowers -- but I hate doing it! I like to walk my dog and bake -- my desserts are usually yummy but not very pretty!



I'm partial to photography, knitting, and aimless wandering driving in search of oddball places. I'm also a bourbon nerd and an MMA (mixed martial arts) and muay thai (Thai boxing) fan. I used to train in muay thai until too many deadlines got in the way, but one of these days I'm going back.



Does designing book covers count as a hobby? Because other than writing, that is my main passion. I also like to do art that is totally unrelated to books, and really hope to get back into that. Oh--and I totally hate baking. :)



I love live theater, whether I'm directing the show, acting in it, or watching from the audience. For a couple of years, I wrote and directed musicals (with help, of course) for my kids' elementary school, including one show in which we staged a 30' pirate ship, complete with mast and sails.



I'm a historic cemetery wanderer, an obsessively detailed cookie froster, and an actress in lots of local theatre productions (there are many embarrassing pictures I could share, but I won't). I also play the piano, but only when no one's listening. And I like to make collages out of magazine ads from the 1940s-1960s.



I garden in the summer and knit in the winter, but sporadically in both cases and not very well. My obsession in the summer is finding the time to get out on the water in a kayak; in the winter it’s getting into the woods on my skis. Since I live in coastal Maine, where the weather can be chancy and we sometimes have a winter snow drought, I have to grab every opportunity that presents itself. Crossing my fingers for this year!



Camping--the decadent kind in a pop-up trailer, not the hard kind where you hike all day with a heavy pack. Board games--they've gotten a lot more sophisticated and fun in the last few decades. I'm also addicted to political TV. Hoping that one backs off a bit now that the election's over, but it never seems to back off too far.



Other than reading and writing, I'd say karate, baking, board games, costuming, puppetry, clothespin dolls, improv theater and elaborate theme parties. ...That's a hobby, isn't it?



My favorite thing (which counts as a hobby, right?) is to jump on the back of our Gold Wing cruising bike with hubby and explore the Great North West. My hobby goal is to learn stained glasswork. Classes begin in Feb!



My main hobbies are hiking and biking, and I don't do either of them at a particularly high level. (My bike is still the same one I rode in high school!) I used to love traveling, but I've come to accept that I need to take a break from it until my kids are older. Even so, I've attached a picture of from my traveling days, of one of the most fun activities I've ever done - snowmobiling on a glacier. That would totally be my hobby if I lived closer to some convenient glaciers.



Baking's my therapy - I find my bliss in buttercream and cookies and pie. Luckily, I like to walk, too, especially if there's a historic site on the way. I love music, so I fool around with the piano when I can, and I've just started singing with a local group - nothing remarkable, but it makes me very happy.



I've started taking photographs again, something I haven't done since college. With some turning-40 birthday money, I splurged on a good digital camera, an SLR, last summer, and I've been playing with it ever since. It definitely helps me look around me in fresh ways and think on different story ideas.


P. J. Hoover is the author of the upcoming dystopia/mythology YA book, SOLSTICE (Tor Teen, June 2013), the upcoming Egyptian mythology MG book, TUT (Tor Children's, Winter 2014), and the middle-grade SFF series, THE FORGOTTEN WORLDS BOOKS (CBAY, 2008-2010). You can read more about her and her books on P. J.'s website or blog.


  1. I agree with Ellen Oh - Kdramas are the ultimate addiction! When I'm not at work being an accountant, I'm at home crafting with polymer clay, watching Asian dramas (not just kdramas but also Japanese dramas & Taiwanese dramas), making music videos of the same, or designing manga/anime-inspired computer wallpapers with Gimp.

  2. Oh, fun! I'm going to have to check this out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm not sure I have hobbies anymore. Maybe I will once the kids start school? I spend too much time on the Internet. I don't read books as much as I used to and I'm even worse at writing (which is definitely at the "hobby" stage, if at all, right now. I do journal regularly). Now I'm kind of freaked out, because I don't know what I'm doing with my life! What DO I like? What DO I do with my time? Why do I have the impression that I USED to have hobbies but don't anymore? Why is this such a hard question?

  4. Love this post, PJ! And I found the Rubic's cube vid very impressive! :)

    ps Cindy, I want that panda!

  5. I'm sure there are things you love, Amy! A few years ago I gave myself permission to spend time doing things completely for fun, and it's really helped my overall well being!

  6. i love this post. thanks so much, PJ! great and fun topic!

  7. I'll bet that is small-kids-related, Amy! I had the same feeling reading this article. I used to do so many fun and interesting things that have fallen by the wayside, but I hope and assume that when the kids are a bit older, it will start to feel like there is more room in my life again.

    Love Cindy Pon's brush paintings - I am going to get me some of those cards!

  8. When I slept on it I realized my fun stuff happens combined with other things. I listen to music-- right, I don't COLLECT music lately or go to concerts or follow the news on it anymore, but I LISTEN, when the radio's on, especially in the car, and I have OPINIONS on it, and if it's a good opinion I sing and play steering wheel drums and refuse to turn off the car until it's over if I got to where I was going too soon. I think that counts. And I've started going to yoga-- right, it's pretty much a necessity for my health, but I COULD have gone to the gym or some other kind of physical activity, but yoga just fits me better. So... I think that tides me over for now.

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