In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!
When I was small, I was not a healthy child. I recall many days spent in bed, not feeling well at all. But, with that duology that all small children seem to possess, I was also terribly bored. And a bored, sick child is a joy to no one, least of all herself. Too young to read, and vastly disinterested in dollies and such, those days were miserable for me.
Let me hasten to remind you that at that time, our family had only recently acquired a small, black and white television, and it resided in the living room. There were no personal electronics, no Gameboys or DVD players. The family radio was almost as big as I was, and it, too, resided downstairs. I made a brief foray into coloring books as a pastime, but the crayons too often rolled off into the bedclothes, and other than the occasional maze to solve, I found the process of coloring in someone else’s image almost unbearably tedious.
I think it was my father who came up with the solution. In those days, almost every kitchen was equipped with a breadboard, a wooden surface for kneading bread that pulled out above the kitchen drawer. My father brought that into the bedroom, propped me up with pillows and set it on my lap. Then he opened a box and spilled out the jigsaw puzzle pieces. I was immediately intrigued.