The Secret of Hobbies in Keeping Us Sane


This week at the SFF Seven we’re talking about those hobbies that take the pressure off writing.

This is relevant for more than curiosity because hobbies are key for creatives to fend off burnout. It’s interesting, because it seems like when we talk about “hobbies,” we’re already assigning whatever project it is a lesser status. A hobby is something you do on the side, for pleasure and no other reason. I’m going to add that a hobby usually doesn’t generate income (until it does). You might not even be that good at it, because if you were good at it, people would pay you, right?

We talk about hobbies in a slightly indulgent, somewhat disparaging way:

“Oh, my spouse’s hobby is woodworking, but mostly they just putter in the garage.”


“My spouse reads countless books. It’s a cute hobby, but an expensive one!”

See what I mean?

The thing about hobbies, though, is that they are critical to our wellbeing. They keep us sane. For creatives, hobbies refill the well, which is what we need to avoid burnout.

What happens for a lot of us making a living from our creative work – I’ll stick with writing as my example – is that what started as a hobby becomes a job. The thing we did for fun, for pressure release, simply out of love, becomes the thing we must do to pay the mortgage and keep the lights on. We lost our hobby and frequently don’t replace it. Because we’re doing what we love for work! That should be enough, right?

Spoiler: it’s not enough.

One of the most important things any creative can do is have a non-monetized creative outlet or two. AKA, hobbies. The non-monetized aspect is important, because it allows us to be creative without that feeling of needing to pay the bills or track sales or make business decisions. I met a US Poet Laureate who also painted – and very well – but had a solid rule never to sell his work. He only gave his paintings as gifts. I’ve remembered that lesson ever since.

What do I do? I confess that, in the eight years since I became a full-time, career author – as in supporting my family with my writing – I have not been super great at keeping up hobbies. I’ve burned out once, too, and come close to it a couple of other times. I’m trying to do better. What do I do?

  1. Gardening
  2. Reading
  3. Interior Decorating
  4. Hiking
  5. Yoga


It was instructive to make this list coming at it from the lens of a “hobby” rather than “non-monetized creativity.” I’ve been trying to implement creative things I can do, but I’m just now realizing that these other activities – even something as prosaic painting my living room (I decided to include an in-process photo), as I’m doing this weekend – also count as leisure-time, restorative activities. Theoretically, everything on my list could be monetized.

(Maybe not. Can you be paid to hike? And I will never, ever be that good at yoga! Trust me: a yoga teacher I will never be.)

Anyway, celebrate those hobbies! They aren’t silly or pointless. They’re what feeds us as human beings.


First Cup of Coffee – October 30, 2023

Why do some tasks feel more difficult that others and what makes them easier all of a sudden? Also, reader events and my process for deciding which to attend. And a recommendation for a really great, data-filled podcast!

First Cup of Coffee – June 5, 2023

Thoughts on learning to paint by numbers, or learn to follow the rules of craft before you break them. How I’m breaking my own rule, on epistolary romances, and a funny story about my granddaughter.

First Cup of Coffee – April 3, 2023

What to do when an author’s editor leaves the house, the one question to ask career authors, studying movies made from books to understand theme and what subplots/side characters aren’t important.

First Cup of Coffee – May 17, 2022

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. What do you think should I just say that I should probably like stick to None thing. This is the story of my. Writing life that I don’t stick to None thing today is Tuesday may none outside again. Beautiful morning running a little bit later this morning because the man suggested a walk then we took a walk. It was lovely. He needs to exercise more so I was like yeah I’ll take a walk with you I was seeing what you can see of my gardening stuff there. Got a little bit nicer background now see I’ve got my moved my plants outside I don’t think I mentioned that yesterday because I sort of got off on this whole rant about details details shmi tells right? Um, yeah, so. Ifinally moved all the plants outside decide that the terrible winds were done with and so it was time to do that isaac I also didn’t mention that we had a really nice time on Sunday because I wanted to go to the nursery get a few more plants I got that nice orange poppy see that. Pretty I got a pink poppy too. For some reason I have trouble growing poppies here I don’t know why I don’t know if it’s too dry. They don’t over winter I’ve also realized belatedly because I do not keep a chart spreadsheet of my garden, Alexia. People really do that I am not see okay tangent. But and I’ve mentioned this before that my friend telling me many years ago that she had read that people who have uber organized lives tend to have very messy gardens. And people with messier lives have very organized gardens I am the first she told me about it because she was so incredibly amused that this was like me in a nutshell because it’s like yes and I’ve always been this way. I’m the meticulous volcano right? Leo Virgo Cusp and my life is very calm and neat and ritualized and organized I like it that way I like it peaceful no drama. No um, you know what.

Best I can do it no unexpected things but my garden is chaos which I like it that way and she was so amused that this is like exactly who I am I like the absolute. You put my picture next to it. So anyway, I was realizing as I was planting some new stuff that none of my echanasia over winter I have planted I got really serious about it and I think maybe I didn’t notice last year. Maybe I forgot. I can’t remember which year it was but I’ve planted I bet none a connection purple comb flower various stages bear root full plant none of them over winner. So I don’t know our winners are very dry. So maybe they dry out too much. Maybe they get munched by the go fars, you know and people laugh when I say I don’t know how to categorize my podcast is it. A fitness podcast is it a writing podcast is it a. Gardening podcast I don’t know.

That was funny like little rock dropped or something ghost. At a dream the other night that I attended my own funeral guys ever had that kind of dream. First time I’ve ever had it. It was funny because I was with my friends and I was going to something else or thought I was going to something else and we were going to this huge auditorium. And there were all of these people here and they had my picture up on you know, like the poster on the easel like they do for memorial services and stuff and um, like little. You know the little pamphlets that they give out at funerals and there were a lot of people there I mean it was a big auditorium and I was like why are there so many people here at my funeral and I don’t know most of them. What does it mean. I was just really kind of funny and it was I wasn’t sad. In fact, I kept thinking they’re all could be really surprised when they find out I’m not dead. Um, so. So that was a tangent and I shouldn’t have gotten on the tantret because now I’ve forgotten what I was going to say not knowing how to categorize my podcast. What did I start out with sorry you guys. It’s like the final two weeks of finishing the book. Plus the nebula conference what brilliant timing on my part and by this I mean it was not brilliant timing I did. Okay yesterday I didn’t get None words but I got enough to keep on track and I’ve got. None words 80400 so I’m getting close. Um, especially since I figure in the neighborhood of um, None to None are going to be my 4 epilogues.

Dang I could we wish I remember what I was starting out say going to the garden center. We had fun who knows. But anyway it was fun going to the garden center and it was fun that David went with me. He doesn’t always feel like going out and doing stuff but he felt like doing that and then we went to whole foods something else. We never do because we wanted to look for some good fresh fish and Sunday morning is really time good time. Go shopping at whole foods. And yes, it was expensive even with the prime discount but we did get some really good fresh fish in fresh cherries. There was a lady ahead of me in line who had gotten the same cherries we had in those none cherries that we’ve seen this season. And we’ve gotten 2 bags of it without looking at the price and it turned out they were like $15 a bag. Ah $8 a pound none a pound um and £2 in a bag. So yeah, those were expensive cherries. But the lady in line ahead of me was questioning how much she’d been charged for the cherries and they said oh but there’s seven ninety nine a pound and she said no, they’re supposed to be none of pound and she whipped out her phone and she was showing the ad and. I’ll tell you what this kfuffle took a long time to settle. Ah and I mean we were good. It was gorgeous day. We were having fun out doing our Sunday shopping and she kept apologizing to me and I was like no no worries at all I said we bought some too so you’re you know, doing a service for me and I said it drives me crazy. When it’s a different price on the bin versus at the register or in an ad you know because I think a lot of people don’t pay attention.

So we did that and then David suggested we go out to breakfast so we went out to breakfast and that was lovely too and then I came back and planted my plants and that was fun. So yeah I think um. Started into that whole chaos. Oh I guess the whole point was that I I don’t know what happened to the echhanasia things just don’t come back and then I forget about them until like years later when I’m like but wonder what happened to my whole plan to plant a bunch of Ehanesia and make more ihanneia tincture. So this time I um I was complaining to David when we were at the nursery that I couldn’t couldn’t seem to get poppies to grow here and he said why not they should you grew them and learn me and I’m like I know I don’t know what it is know and maybe our son’s too intense I don’t know. And he said well maybe you should try planting them in a different place and which was sort of like oh well gully g whiz maybe I will do that because there’s this one part of the garden that is a little bit of a barren wasteland. It’s very sandy. There. It’s I don’t know. I’m not sure why but things do not thrive there and I keep planting new stuff there because it is the barren wasteland but now I’m realizing that I’m also maybe dooming things to die. So I planted the poppies over here to see if I could get them to grow. There had to move the computer a little bit because the sun is coming so um, what else do I have to say I know I was thinking about things and I was going to write them down and then I did not being bad and wrong. I think I’m going to scoot over here. So I’m not leaning okay, that’s better. It’s whoops have to do this angle a little bit there. Ah the sunshine angle this time of day. So nicer view for me. Not so nice for you. If you’re on video which I don’t you know I don’t look at my stats much but that’s a whole nother whole nother discussion. So let’s see. Yeah I’ve just been thinking hard about the book. How to finish the book. Um and reading.

Still doing this read of this series and picking up these other novellas and something that I am considering doing is and I had this long conversation with Grace on Saturday because I think she should consider doing it too. But. A lot of people have asked me about writing from rafe’s point of view from the mark of the talla and he is the only one that I’ve never really written. Well there’s a couple I haven’t written from Raeve’s point of view I’ve not written from marsalll’s point of view 0 point of view careen or crawl. Um, would be hard to write from Karl’s point of view but I had always thought with the None kingdoms books that especially when I was younger and more idealistic than I am now. That I would eventually get my Hbo of me and miniseries. But that series this is what we all think right and I thought that when I got my Hbo miniseries for the Twelve kingdoms one of the things I would do is I would go in and I would write the intervening storylines like what was going on with the people who are not on the page since those books are written from none person point of view of whoever’s book. It is so like the first book. It’s all from Andi’s point of view and but there are other things going on. Ah you know because that’s the thing about first person point of view. So I love first personson point of view because it’s very intimate but also it imposes a certain kind of discipline because the story can only take place where the None person narrator. Is observing so you only know what they hear about so there are all these other so things going on in other parts of you know the world other characters and so forth that Andy only learns about right? We only know about it because she learns about it. So I had always thought you know it would be really cool to write these other storylines and that I would do that I wasn’t planning to be the screenwriter. But I thought I’d write these other storylines I mean it still could happen. You know people get these shows or that um you know like Patricia Briggs is getting ah.

a show for Mercy Thompson and when did those books come out.

So sorry about that it wasn’t letting me pause. So the none book in the mercy thompson series is moon called and that came out in 2006 you know so 16 years she’s just now getting her series. So anyway, I was thinking recently why wait although it’s not like I’m running out of stuff to write but would it be interesting to rewrite those 3 Twelve kingdoms books at least from the hero’s point of view. I know this is kind of in vogue right now but partly because it’s in vogue. It’s um, it’s an interesting way to regenerate interest in a series I think and I’m observing my own reader behavior. Going to this series which you guys could totally guess what it is at this point. Um, but I’m not going to confirm nor deny since I’ve been complaining about it. I also love it I mean that’s the thing is I really love this series and so it’s been educational to go back and reread. And I know something I was going to say earlier because yesterday I was talking about how I thought that I had not finished that um, whatever it was book None and now I’m on book None something like that. Um. I I have totally I thought maybe I would have to buy book 6 because I thought I fell off the series but I had book None on my Kindle and and it’s familiar. So it’s like did I just like not finish book None and skip to book None or what it’s before I was tracking. Which books I read so now I’m just really curious. What went on but I didn’t remember easily the second half of that book 5 so I don’t know what I did so anyway I um. Starting to think about other things and I can’t do that and talk at the same time I’m thinking about that it could be fun and interesting to redo at least rewrite Mark the Tala from Rayfe’s point of view. Um, because what I’m doing with this series is like I said I’m going back and I’m buying the novellas I didn’t get and I’m probably going to buy whichever book will find out where did I fall off this series for real because I’ll probably end up buying the rest of the books. Um.

And it has been a great way to get me thinking about this series again. So I think that there’s something to be said for that. Um, there are readers who will say that it’s a cop out. Ah, and yeah. I mean yeah, but it’s also like a good way to pay the mortgage and also provide fan service because I know people ask me about Rayfe’s point of view all the time I don’t get it so much for the others other than my assistant Carien campaigning for Zyr’s point of view and I don’t know Carien – would you be happy if I rewrote um, what is it? the arrows of the heart if I rewrote that from Zyr’s point of view or does it feel like too much the same story. She wants her Zyr novella she wants. Um. She is none? That’s all there is to it but you know I did those novellas from Ash’s point of view and Harlan’s point of view and I’m my forgetting any I don’t know. See that’s the thing you start to forget your own books too. Anyway, it’s not like I’m running out of stuff to do but um I think that that could be fun. Um, so what else I told you got great magics out in audio book I told you that. Sorcerous Moons is on KU with the new covers I told you that that I’m getting new covers for covenant of thorns that were very excited. Oh and I was going to follow up on this because I had a conversation with Carien – Assistant Carien who has read all my books which is one of her wonderful qualities I talked to her about deleting that scene that I’ve been talking about in Rogue’s Pawn in covenant of thorns and she agreed it should be deleted. She said that? yeah she thought it didn’t match the tone of the rest of the book. So there. We are um and and Megan Ciana Doidge who listens in comments sometimes said made a very good point that just because Jim and I would go back and look to see what had been changed does not mean that the normal reader will do that. I fully am aware that I am not a normal reader if I ever was I stopped a long time ago being a writer reader is different reading what that editor bring analytical bring. So.

I am going to delete that scene and then I it was funny because Carien and I were chatting like on Google chat and I said well if anything occurs to you in the other books that should be changed. Let me know and she’s like well actually there is something. And it was something that had never occurred to me that um that she thought I needed to clarify and clean up I was like oh all, right? and opinions. So any of you out there who loved covenant of thorns. Um. If you think that there’s stuff that needs to be tweaked or clarified etc. Here’s your chance and and thank you all for the advice that you have been passing along and I appreciate the support and on that note I’m going to go get to work. And I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 2, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

Ah, so it’s been it’s been a thing ah I had a great weekend I kind of finished off with a bang. Oh I should say Monday today Monday bla blah blah it is monday. May second we are fully into the merry months of may which means um, sexy things for those of you who know we won’t get into it even though we are hardly Pg here at first cup of coffee. Yeah, whatever. Ah I did get this secret garden cleaned up if you’re on video you could say it’s looking much better I did not quite finish the vine behind me that needs yet to be done. Might be able to see that I have the hummingbird feeder up I’ve actually spotted hummingbirds. It was so nice to have them back again. Um, and everything is leafing out ah in cleaning up the yard yesterday. The garden I got a really. Nice surprise and I don’t know if I mentioned it here on the show last fall but I was looking back at old pictures of our garden and Laramie, Wyoming where we lived for 20 years and we had had this beautiful. Bleeding heart by the front door of the first house we bought together and it was in the shade east facing and it was gorgeous. It was like a couple feet tall and. I don’t know I might have seen 1 in someone else’s garden but it reminded me I was like oh I love that bleeding heart I wonder if I could grow out in Santa Fe was a little bit of background on this is I do love to garden you guys probably know that already. Although this was here when we bought the house. It is however changed over enough that I think I can start taking some credit for it. But um. Um, I yeah I’ve I’ve always really loved garden and in we had 2 different houses in Laramie where yeah, we really created some some knee gardening type stuff.

We put in ponds and waterfalls and my garden at 1 of them the first house with which had the great bleeding heart was actually on the town’s ah, garden tour one year which is not. Ah, fantastic accomplishment probably because um it was a small town but I was proud I was proud and and I put took flowers and plants to the garden show and won prizes so there you go my grandmother loved garden. And my mom says it skips a generation that’s her excuse. Although my mom loves to do potted plants and she’s amazing at design and I just splashed my coffee everywhere. That’s not good. It’s a Monday somebody has a kiss on the Mondays. So um, last fall I thought well oh I should this was the other bit of backstory is that when we moved to Santa Fe I thought oh it’s going to be so much easier to garden there because we always. Joked about gardening and laremie as being an exercise in building character because the environment is just really very harsh. It’s high altitude and it’s cold. A whole lot of the year we had a shorter growing season than Fairbanks Alaska that was great detail to share with visitors. Ah. 1 of my friends a poet had a ah a chapbook of poetry that was entitled hope in zone four because we were the zone 4 which was we were like teetering on the edge of zone 3 and maybe not. Not even that sometimes but that summed it up I thought that was a great title hope and zone for can’t remember her name right now you could probably look it up Alice oh well. So um. When we moved to Santa Fe I thought here is my chance I will be able to um garden without having to build so much character and it’s interesting because yes in some ways it’s easier. The growing seasons much longer. There’s the warmth of. Water becomes a big thing and it’s too hot for some things. But anyway last fall I thought huh I wonder if I could grow bleeding hearts here. So I got 3 bare root plants and I planted them at 3 different locations of the garden and yesterday and properly forgot about it. That’s 1 thing about gardening is.

Um, are there gardeners out there who like remember absolutely everything they plant. This is an interesting corollary to the fact that as a writer I consider myself to be a gardener. Um, and I totally don’t remember everything I plant until it grows it pops up. So yesterday as I was clinging things out I found a little bleeding heart and it was already starting to bloom it so I’ll put a photo off that because I know you’re dying to see and then I was like okay where did I plant the other ones and I found one other and right behind me and it’s also about to bloom and. The other one I think is hunted the crab Apple I’m gonna have to go look for it. Um, for a while I did have these markers like these copper markers that you could use a special pen to Mark things on um, it it didn’t last you know the garden doesn’t love. Having things really neatly laid out at least mine doesn’t um, one of my friends in Laramie who was also a writer and was also a gardener. We shared a great deal that way she said that she had read an interesting study on that people with. Really well ordered gardens tend to have have well-ordered gardens because they have more chaotic lives and people with really organized lives have more chaotic gardens um behold my chaotic garden. She always thought that was really funny that I was like I never know where I’ve planted things. And some things don’t come back I mean that’s the thing about Santa Fe um we things just don’t always over winter um rodents dryness sometimes it gets really cold but we had a lot of things over winter this year um so yeah. And the lilacs are starting to bloom. You probably can’t see it very well. But I’ll turn the video in case, you are on video. You could see that the lilacs are starting to pop so that’s cool. Um, so yeah I got that all finished by yesterday afternoon and. Showered off and was enjoying the grape arbor and got a call from my stepsister that my parents were in a car wreck. They’re both okay more or less okay totaled the car this kid going really really fast. Um. They were going through. They’d stopped his stop sign and we’re going through the intersection and my mom keeps calling the kid. We don’t know how old he is but he was going really fast and slammed into them spun them around stepdad had to stay the night in the hospital. Ah, he’s.

He’s generally okay, his blood pressure is high and my mom sent me pictures of the car and the air bags had gone off and on his so he was driving on his side. The blood is on the air bags. He got a big hemotoma on his arm and his leg and had to Lancet and. We’re having trouble stopping and bleeding and all of that so stay tuned. Um, my stepsster is funny because a couple of times that something like this has happened she calls me which she almost never calls me. We usually text she calls me and she says so if you talk to your mother. Lately yeah and the second time she’s asked me that and I know I laughed at her for it later because I and she said well I don’t know what you already know and I’m like yeah I know I understand why you’re asking it. It’s still funny because now I know if hope calls me and says have you talked to your mother that means that something has happened. So so that was our big thing. Um I talked to my mom this morning and she did get good sleep. So that’s something she’s was really shaken up and so we’ll just see how things go I asked her if she wants me to come to Tucson and she said not yet. So. Um, but if you’re listening to this mom I will a couple other things. This is just like back to our usual programming. Um I’ve started listening to poetry. This is a new thing. And it’s ah amazingly immensely gratifying and well refilling I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before so some of this came out of ah the rabbit hole of reading this biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning I think it’s funny because the transcript always makes browning lowercase I have to go in and fix it I don’t catch them all but they um obviously were poets and married to each other and it was fascinating. To read and there were some excerpts of their poetry but it mostly focused on them and talked about so like their works in context of what was going on in their lives at the time and their relationship and so forth. So after I finished the book which I think I finished on friday. Something like that I looked up a few of the poems because I wanted to see what? um you know, just get the context for it. Some of them I knew already some I did not I was of course familiar with how do I love thee, let me count the ways. Although I don’t know that I’d ever really.

Read the whole poem and paid attention to it. So as I was looking that up googling on my phone I got suggestions for hearing people read and so I’d I’d read the poem. Um, it’s it’s not called how do I love thee. But I can’t recall what it’s called right now but the actual title is and I listen to um, a famous actress Helen Mirren read it. And it was lovely hearing her reading it and then you know how it is when you start googling things I got the very helpful suggestion of did I want to hear my bestie Tom Hiddleston read me some poems and I thought that that one was going to be in it. But. It was um, it was not that was like a red herring on the keywords but still delightful and I listen to this 30 minute thing and I’ll I’ll try to remember to post it in the show notes because it’s well worth listening to It’s a collection of poems. Read by Tom Hiddleston who does a great job of reading. He’s got a lovely voice too and and it was some poems that I was familiar with from school and so forth and other ones that I was not and I was getting ready in and the morning you know like doing my skin care routine. And all of that. It’s a little breezy this morning you can kind of see my hairs flying around supposed to be Wendy today alas, which at least keeps the smoke off. We do have a fire up in the ymaz mountains which transcript will not get right up up near Los Alamos and Saturday are. Air was listed as unhealthy. So I just stayed in on Saturday but then fortunately wind shift to direction and it moved out so I was able to be out here on yesterday. So that was a positive. Um, what we’re saying oh the poems. So I was listening to these poems and just found it really stimulating and invigorating and I never thought of that as being a thing for refilling the well and when I was on looking up some of these poems that pop ups and I reflexively close pop ups because I hate popups and I hate that we can’t stop them anymore but they did ask me if I wanted to receive a poem a day in the mail mail email and I you know like said no write as I was.

Reflexively closing their fucking pop up and now I kind of think maybe I do want that it would be interesting. 1 thing about poems is and you guys probably learned this in school too that they’re almost always better read aloud and I learned to read a poem. 3 times right? you read it through um just to get the poem in once and then you read it through much more carefully parsing it for sense and then a third time again faster and and one of those. And I’ll usually the last time read it out loud or is the first time even if I just get poems much better if I read them aloud so listening to other people read them is great and I one of the ones that Tom Hiddleston read was The Love Song of J Alfred Proofrock from which I recognized many many lines and I’m sure I had to have studied that at some point in school. But I’ve never paid that much attention to it and again this is something about you know what? we bring to to a work. Ah I never knew probably because I was. Ah, dense teenager when I first read that poem or studied it I think people may have done it for like poetry competition and speech and debate because I did do poetry one year I read um, an and Sexton Poem you do not do old black shoe. Now that I think I did it like way too dramatically with a blue star on my forehead anyway I’m sure people did j alfred proof of love song of but I never picked up on. All the reflections about growing older and how do you feel about love later in life. Um, and it was really enlightening and delightful and I recommend the listen my coffee got really cold. It must be chilly out here. Chilllier than I thought but we’re almost done. Um, so we watched another episode of winning time the LA lakers story last night and also another episode of Julia about Julia Child which I think I’ve also recommend enjoying both of those shows very very much in the episode last night there is this point at which they’re talking about how basketball is only a game and Jason Segel who plays Paul Westfield says you know why are we even doing this.

It’s only a game and the older man 1 of the team managers starts talking about when he was a young man and he says he graduated from high school on Monday married his sweetheart on Tuesday and shipped off to the navy on. Wednesday night so he has to be referring to world war two I would think and he says you know here they were a bunch of kids on this boat and the on like once a week they would stream a game baseball basketball football. Whatever and they would all. Watch this game and become totally involved in it and he said here they were in this life in death situation and it yes it was only a game but it was also this much needed distraction and and that really hit me because you know i. I’ve been disdainful of sports in the past and and a few of my friends have called me out on it and I think rightfully so because there there’s nothing wrong with being into sports any more than there’s anything wrong with being into romance. Ah it is. Not I don’t want to say it’s a distraction. It is something that allows us to look away a little bit from the very difficult things we’re dealing with and there’s. There’s just um I think there are people who want us to make want to make us feel that there’s something bad about that and there just isn’t apparently this woman and I don’t know who she was but she tweeted something a couple of weeks ago saying um, ah she. She even started saying I’m probably going to get in trouble with this for this which if you start your tweet saying that you should probably seriously rateconsider whether you really want to tweet it. But she said how can any of you be reading fiction at a time like this. We all need to be reading nonfiction so we can understand what’s going on. There are always these people in the world and apparently she later deleted the tweet after getting thoroughly shouted down but you know these people who. Think that you have to be totally focused on the brutal reality of the moment. Um, you, you don’t especially when you know we we now have the curse and blessing of being able to know all of these things that are going on around the world.

There isn’t an escape for from it unless you give yourself the escape and so my permission wand is inside but I shall wave it nonetheless in absentia ah, you do not have to watch the news. You do not have to read nonfiction to understand what’s going on. You can watch your sportsings games. You can read your escapist romances. You can listen to Tom Hitddleston read you poetry because all that you can control is right here right? Your your internal environment. So. You do what you need to do to create your own zone of happiness because then that gives you the the energy it refills that well and it enables you to go out there and then make changes in the world and on that note. I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 22, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee but I left the spoon in it’s a good thing that I noticed that. Before I sipped today is who knows Tuesday March Twenty second I could show you guys this little spoon for those of you on video. It’s um, make sure it’s the right way up. It wasn’t I think people used to collect these things. But anyway it says um Denver engraved. It’s a little like a little baby silver spoon I like it because I could do just a little dollop of cream I’m pretty sure it’s real silver and it’s got a um indian head. I would say native american head but this is clearly like fantasy indian somebody’s conception of the thematic ah ideal of Denver was this ah I don’t know. I mean it’s really kind of funny because if you could see him on video like there’s ah, an ear piercing and a necklace that looks considerably more maori than any native american who lived anywhere in the Colorado area. Definitely an artist’s fantasy. But then in the bowl of the spoon it says Denver and so I kind of like it. It’s it’s a nice little petite spoon I should probably sell it melt it down for silver just because it’s a little bit heinous with the fantasy indian chief on there but um. I like it I was some I think my grandmother’s might have been what if my great aunts. There were a lot of Maiden Aunts among the Kennedy family.

So um, today is a special day because I know something that I rarely know about my own podcast but today is episode 700 whoo ah, a little while back I was trying to figure out how many episodes I’d recorded and I believe Laura Darnell was very helpful with that and telling me exactly how many there were I got a little confused even though I do keep it on the spreadsheet of course um some of them were like 2 parters. Mostly through my own technological ineptitude. So but now I figure out a better way to keep track and I believe that today is officially 700 so kind of cool and and I even made a note to myself to remember it. And say something. Other people know like how many episodes they’ve had I do not well clearly I do know more precisely I should say that um, when I first started doing this lo these what five years ago honey how time flies. Um I started keeping track by seasons. Um, so I did um season one you know and and then where I started season 2 I started over so season 2 episode 1 whereas other people do it numerically which is probably wiser and I did not keep track of dates for that first season I had 80 episodes in that first season and I know I started like sometime around July. Probably look at it on buzz sprout. But do we care that much. So anyway I should probably like put the years on these that would be helpful so this is season 5 so we know it’s been five years and this is 2022 last time I check. I’m just gonna tap these in here right now. Sorry if this is boring.

Yeah, so season 1 was 2018

Pretty amazing. How so. I was just noticing I keep track of that on my goals spreadsheet because I have a spreadsheet for everything and as no say ah I have not updated these goals in a while. Um right. I have goals for 2019 2020 and then clearly I did not do it for 2021 and 2022 so I guess I must have moved on to other things but I should probably like. Revisit that and see which things I’ve already done and which things I need to do always good. Okay, there now. My spreadsheet’s a little bit neater for at least today I get to do. On the kingdom of thirst podcast today being interviewed on that so that’ll be fun and it’s um, cold and snowy morning here in Santa Fe more snow. It’s nice. So yesterday we got quite a bit of rain it rained whilst allll the day i. Did get my sweet pea seeds planted before the rain started so that’s that’s ideal that’s like the ah the gardener’s nirvana right is if you can get things planted right before a gentle soaking rain and the sweet pea seeds are great. That’s part of why you can plant them early because they can withstand the frost. So um, yes I saw again Laura Darnell who often comments on stuff was nice to hear from her she um, had not been familiar with sweet pease. How is this possible. Ah, you know like I said I follow I was talking about this yesterday anyway, you know I follow my grandmother again my grandmother with the anus indian spoon I follow her gardening advice. My mom often says that the green thumb skipped a generation that I have my grandmother’s. Gardening ability my grandmother beautiful garden but my grandmother would plant sweet peace seeds in Denver on St Patrick’s day and so I do the same or more or less st patrick’s day is the trigger and I don’t know she did it exactly on.

And soak the seeds and buttermilk overnight like she does. But boy you know all, but you know my even my mom complaining that she did not have ah a very good garden. She I always thought she had a great garden and my aunt. Um, they we always had sweet pe. And and my mom would cut the sweet piece and bring them inside and they are. They’re so fragrant. They’re beautiful and they’re fragrant and um, they bloom for most of the summer so so yes if you are not familiar with sweetpeas. Go get you some I’m Laura I hope that you will share some photos of yours. My mom can’t grow them in Tucson. It’s just way too hot as but you know in Laramie Wyoming they were great and I don’t know. Kansas City maybe they’ll do better in like the spring and the fall might get a little hot for them in the muggy part of summer since Kansas City really does that muggy part of summer. So um. Yesterday was good day. Got my um 2000 words we got the Jeep into the mechanic have to do a little bit of work on it but it should be certified for David David to drive it for lyft and uber today. And he already has a scheduled ride for tomorrow. Did you guys know that lyft is doing a real scheduled ride thing. Um, it’s it’s really pretty cool because you know how like on uber it offers you the scheduled ride option. But then it’s not. They don’t actually schedule a ride for you. They just like send out a call for a car at that time because uber is so freaking wedded to that algorithm they do not want to budge off the algorithm. So this is something that has cropped up in the last couple of months where lyft has asked. David sent him a message through the app and asked him if he would like to accept a scheduled ride for this address at this time on this date and he can opt in or not and then the first time we were like what is this? What is this strange creature and. It was someone in our neighborhood who needed a ride to the albuquerque airport. So the at once he confirmed we’re like okay try it. Why not once he confirmed then it said okay you know be online on the app like 15 minutes before this time.

And he did and then it directed him to the pickup and and he drove the person down to Albuquerque so it’s it’s a real kind of scheduling and it’s it’s great and he’s gotten one for like you got a request for like may fifteenth. Um, so. You can you can actually plan ahead and I think it’s just so smart of lyft to be doing that because it’s what we all want you know uber keeps trying to force us to bend to their their algorithm I think they think that they’re going to be Amazon and may and enslave us to the algorithm. But. What they don’t realize is that the reason that we become enslaved to the Amazon algorithm is because Amazon makes seems really really easy for the consumer. They give us exactly what we want in exactly the way we want it. Ah. And uber is not doing that they they want their algorithm to work and they want us to you know be and trained to it but something like that like actually being able to schedule a ride and have a car show up. And exactly the time you want it to show up. Um, uber doesn’t want to do that. So interesting. So sir David’s already got a ride scheduled for tomorrow so he’ll be back in action. We still don’t have word on the camera. Ah apparently Usaa was taking down to their. Approved storage facility in Albuquerque which is an hour away and this is new. This is new because we’ve had Usa a for a long time but you know they’ve gone public now and things are different. Things are changing which is unfortunate because I don’t I try not to resist change for resisting changes sake but some of these changes to sa a I feel like are not positive.

Then also it adds time so we shall um we shall see apparently whether or not the car is totaled is still in question I mean obviously it’s in question but different people have weighed in Darynda’s husband owns. Um. Body shop and he looked at the photo and said he doesn’t think the car is totaled so he said unless there’s damage. You can’t see which is possible. So so why she’ll find out and. Got my nails done yesterday I went with yellow mom isn’t that funny I was kind of thinking yellow anyway, my mom and I were talking about how we’re like into yellow all of a sudden I think this is like how fashion trends happen I always think of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Predicting the trends before they become a trend is yellow. The next trend you heard it here first on first cup of coffee. So um, yeah, otherwise I’m I’m feeling like. And maybe I say this all the time my business to do list is very long at this point and some of it’s because I’ve broken things out into smaller tasks. Ah but like i. Need to upload the audiobook for bright familiar I have to register for a couple of conferences I still owe spreadsheets to someone because I was crunching her. You know like how she does her writing over the course of the year um I’ve got to set up a preorder of. Gotta put some books on ingram because I didn’t do it. Yeah, bright familiar and gray magic I didn’t put on inggram and I’m just gonna have to bite the bullet and do it um make a preorder list for a polyon I had to update a bunch of books and I need to reupload them I go. Ah, the faro gal gals a blog post for March and now we are March Twenty second I really got to get that done. So I’ve still got figure out a plus marketing I like I don’t know what is time who am I but. I don’t understand why I’m like not well I guess I do kind of understand why I’m not getting to all these things but it’s annoying me that I’m not getting to all these things I should look at my at those goals right? Um, which.

I Do have these different categories like revivifying the to do list minimizing the tasks that float for a long time god. That’s an ongoing thing so I won’t examine this list but maybe that was meant I need to um I need to figure out ways to get to some of this. Stuff that maybe you know maybe it’s partly being president of sfwa that like those hours that I would spend doing business-y things I’m spending a lot of that on SFWA things.

So um, what else because I wrote down those things to talk about. Maybe I don’t have much else to talk about. Yeah, maybe I don’t it’s interesting talking to people about conferences I’m sorry we’re not doing nebula conference in person. Ah the board felt very strongly that it was too much of a financial risk. I wanted to do it but I wasn’t gonna go against what the rest of the board wanted and it made things easier in a lot of ways. Ah but I was texting yesterday with Mary Robinette Kowal and. For for a funny. It was actually very funny because someone asked a question in the sifwa slack that had to do with last year’s conference like how long the panels were going to be up and because we’d kept the recorded panels up in the nebula airship. And somebody they asked how long are they going to stay up because they hadn’t finished watching all of them and I was like oh that’s a really good question even I do not know the answer but let me talk to the team and find out what everyone is thinking because I was a part of the events team last year and and. Then this text pops up for Mary Robinette and and she answers the question she says um, let’s see if I can find it here. Well she said we told. So she just texts me out of the blue and says we told panelists that we would leave nebula panels up for 1 year and I was like and I said god is that you and she said verily it was I and it turned out that she. Had notifications set on that channel and so it had she didn’t even remember she had had it because I know she doesn’t monitor slack closely and so she’d gotten a notification on it and answered the question for me and it was just it was just a funny thing. You know like. It goes in here and comes out there. So then we text it back and forth for a little bit and I was catching her up on just she’s very good about checking in with me on whether or not I’m being aggravated by being president and then she asks me for background stuff on some of the.

Ah, stuff that we’re dealing with and it’s um, it’s very kind of her. It’s very supportive of her. We one of the things that we have in so well which is a semi-official role is the role of past president and the past president I mean we have lots of past presidents. But we have. Usually each president designates 1 person to be their past president advisor and she is that for me and she’s good about checking in with me and just like doing the are you taking care of yourself thing because 1 thing about having been president before is you know that some of it can be aggravating and stressful. So at any rate I said well um, you know if we get to see each other in person again. We can do a a long drinking binge and I think it’s gonna be I told her I think I think I’m gonna go to chicon at the end of August. Um, world con in Chicago but I think that’s the next time so but at least there will be that time so that’s one of the things I have to do is register for that conference and I’m gonna register for world fantasy convention which is in New Orleans and November so I’m committing. And committing to things du but Don it’s exciting all right I’m going to go and get going on my things I’m gonna try to get some of this shit off of my to do list but this is my resolve wish me luck. And I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take him bye bye.