Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guest Blogger Christine Verstraete on "When Collecting and Writing Collide"

I recently "met" Jennifer Stanley after posting an excerpt of her new book, Stirring Up Strife, on my blog,Candid Canine.

She drooled over my collection and invited me to drop by Cozy Chicks, so here I am. You don't have to invite me twice. ha! Btw, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one outside of the collecting community who enjoys a hobby, mine being dollhouses and miniatures.

I began collecting quite a few years ago, and I've stuck with it. Usually when I'm not writing, (when is that?) I'm dreaming up some new project. Actually, one process isn't all that much different from the other.

While I sometimes struggle to find the words I want, or to get a story to go in the direction I had in mind, working in miniature works much the same way. I'm still planning and creating except with paper, clay, wood, paints and other materials instead of on the computer. The one drawback is doing something in miniature often requires measuring and math, which I'm really not good at. (Read: Hate it!)

I think the best thing about having a hobby is it can actually improve your writing (or at least your well-being!) I can stew over my writing subconsciously while I concentrate on something else.

Often the problem, or the solution I'm looking for, comes to mind once I'm not obsessing over it.

Oh, and it saves calories! Better to work on something instead of look in the fridge when the writing isn't working, right? Or I can look at miniature food – no calories! Lunch anyone?

I'm sharing a few photos of my miniatures or you can see others at my blog,Candid Canine or at my website.

My latest story "My Dear Mrs. Jones" is in the anthology, The Bitter End: Tales of Nautical Terror from Pill Hill Press.

My next story deals with the Titanic and will be in the time travel anthology, Timeshares, coming out March 5 from DAW Books.


Mason Canyon said...

I think having a hobby does help in just about all things we do. It gives us that chance to step away and then look at the project with fresh eyes. Sounds like interesting books.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That one miniature looks good enough to eat!

Chris V. said...

Jennifer thanks for hosting me! At least these foods save calories! I have a few other foods i thought Jennifer was putting up so I'll put them on my blog today also so feel free to stop by there too!

signlady217 said...

I'm taking an online class for medical transcription and it can become frustrating sometimes! Thank goodness for my hobbies: reading, scrapbooking, sewing/quilting, art, favorite TV shows, and just hanging out with my friends. I need all this to keep me sane! Giving the brain a break from one thing certainly does help it with another.

Deb Baker said...

When researching roomboxes for one of my doll books, I visited a miniature shop and was mesmerized by everything in the store. There is something about miniatures that draws people in. Great to see you here!

Chris V. said...

Hi Deb, and didn't you say you resisted too? Nerves of steel! ha!
Hi Signlady, scrapbooking is fun too though I tend to buy the papers to use as wallpaper. (I do not need another hobby. ha!)

Heather Webber said...

Welcome, Christine! Those miniatures are amazing. Wow.

Dru said...

I love your miniatures. I've often wonder how miniatures are done.

jbstanley said...

Dear Chris,

I tried so hard to add more pictures last night, but Blogger was being supremely fickle!

Readers please do visit Chris's site and feast your eyes!

Chris V. said...

Oh that's ok Jennifer, I know how that goes! I put the fast food on my blog.

Hi Dru, well the food here is made of polymer clay, you bake in the oven. Little tricks like sand and Gallery glass stain can make great faux coatings! (I cheated on the cookies and made pen marks instead of putting in chips. ha!)

Hi Heather, thank! Boy, it's tempting to work in mini today instead of figure out this story I keep revising. lol!

Jessica said...

Christine...WOW. You made those? Talk about talent wooh wooh! Lol really amazing!

Chris V. said...

thanks Jessica! The building is a kit but all the stonework and design is mine, and I did make the food. :>)

Sarah said...

These are marvelous creations - very fun!