What Else Do You Do?

I've been thinking lately that it would be interesting to ask people what else they do other than writing that's hugely significant in their lives. Also, does it in any way relate to your writing (it doesn't have to)?

Personally, in addition to writing I've been doing a certain amount of bass guitar playing lately-mostly in church, to be honest. The church I go to has no organ and thus has a variety of rotating all volunteer groups that play. Some of them are more focussed on a particular theme than others. For example, I play in the Guitarchestra. It ranges from 8-20 people playing guitars, mandolins, basses (guitar and double bass), and (often) an accordion.

I've been learning how to play a fretless bass lately which is different from a normal bass guitar in that the lack of frets allows you options in playing a note that a fretted bass does not.

It also allows you to slowly (or quickly) go out of tune in a way that's simply impossible on a fretted bass.

So that's a bit of a learning experience.

At points in the past, I've also been involved in long distance running, and the martial arts. Most of my experience in the martial arts is with Tae Kwon Do, though I know a little bit of aikido, and a Filipino stick-fighting style.

Honestly, I'm not sure if any of these affect or apply to my writing except in terms of background knowledge, and a general sense of how entertaining people with music is similar and different to writing.

Hehe Jim I was just lurking through here and trying to think of a topic to keep the ball rolling. ^^ So glad to see this!

I was really into music in HS, playing flute, piccolo, and conducting the flute ensemble. Also marching band. I definitely agree that music and writing are similar in that they're both modes of expression. I actually think about music a lot when I write, from word choice to emotional dynamics.

I think most people know that I draw and do comics. I'm a mom. Raising my kids, drawing, and writing take up most of my life, though. I was never into sports but I do exercise every day, whether it's in the form of a 1-2 mile walk with my baby or stationary bike at night. I don't want to die young. :P

I probably should have included kids in what I wrote earlier, but my kids are finally old enough that I'm not involved in dressing them or dealing with... uh... their bodily functions any more. It seems like less work. Of course, now I'm involved in nagging them to do homework and/or practicing instruments, so that takes time too.

Let's see... I've published a webcomic since 1996, some times more sporadically than others. I was a musician at one point but I'm at "inactive" status right now, since I haven't recorded anything since the mid 2000s. I'm podcasting my webfiction, so I guess "podcaster." I'm a technical writer 9-5, a father of a four and a half year old girl, and the husband of a very, very, very patient woman.

Like Amy, grew up with music in my life . Played piano, flute, piccolo, percussion, and whatever else people told me to try. I never pursued a minor in music (even though i was pushed to) because I had stage fright. I can play anonymously as part of a large ensemble, but put me out as a soloist and I would croak.

I enjoy flower gardens, museums, music performances, Japanese history, Asian culture, high tea, photography and traveling.

I also maintained a million websites for some reason. (But most of them are linked to http://red-bird.org so I can keep them all straight.)

The last five years I was active with artist alley conventions but as I've gotten older I have cut back on them pretty heavily. (The process of prepping for and recovering from is taxing. )

So now that I have downtime I read voraciously (all fiction) and watch as much serialized animation as I can tolerate. (I love 2D animation <3.) I also read Wikipedia for no reason sometimes.

I spend a lot of time working on my car (1970 Morris Minor), I recently put a new engine in it which was fun.

I used to do a lot of programming, making games and stuff but I don't so much anymore.

Wow.. what else?

Full time working plus two kids and a house that needs far more attention than it gets pretty much sums up my time. I wish I had more time to write but by the time I do get time I'm usually so zonked out I barely can think. There are nights I don't even have the mental energy to pick up an XBox controller...

Unfortunately, due to time alone, I'd have to put work in the category of 'hugely significant' in my life. I like my work well enough, but I sometimes wish there was less of it to do so that I wasn't so pressed so much of the time.

As far as other significant things, I'm happy to admit to being a musician as well. I have a huge love for bass players, especially since my spouse is one - his big challenge to himself of late has been to move from four string to six string bass. He likes it because he's always been one for playing double and triple stops on the bass (OK, if it were a guitar, we'd call it 'playing chords') and now he has much more latitude for that, since he has more strings. As for me, my challenge has been trying to master my huge new synth and figure out everything it can do...I think years might be sufficient for me to feel I've mastered it. Although we haven't recorded anything much recently due to the new instruments, we have twelve albums to our credit. :D Cool to see so many other musicians here, too.

SgL - no wonder we get along so well! I'm also a big anime fan, as well as voracious reader myself. I've also been a weightlifter for about a dozen years now (as those who read my writing might have guessed), and although I haven't had time to roleplay game in person for years now, my husband and I have gotten into one of the online games, which we've been playing a bit of recently. I've always thought that everything I do has some effect on my writing, I just don't always realize it until I've written it into a story.


Super: Sci-fi/Suspense/Adventure, with Superheroes

SgL I totally get sucked into Wikipedia too! You're not alone.

I used to have a lot of different interests, but I gave them all up when my girlfriend died. they just don't give me joy anymore.

Now I just write, and even that doesn't give me the pleasure that it used to.

Casanders: Have you talked with anyone about that? On the one hand, grieving can be like that, but on the other, that sounds a little like depression to me.

Ubersoft: What did you play? Or were you a singer?

AGreyWorld: Programming is one of the things I do for a living. I think I do less programming for fun now that I'm getting paid for it.

SGL: My wife plays various types of flute (piccolo, and alto flute in addition to the standard flute). She's actually involved in a local flute choir.

Palladian: I'd like to get a hold of a six string bass. That, and a bass Chapman Stick.

Casanders, I was going to kinda say that as well but I wasn't sure I'd been around long enough for that. As Jim said there's grieving and there's slipping into depression. Sometimes an outside ear that just listens and such can be a real help in sorting out where you are and where you want to be.

I did the making games thing for a while when NWN was big stuff. Then came NWN2 and they made things too complicated for the casual user and I didn't have the time to get back into it. I miss that, really. I think I've settled into a good MMO with Secret World but I find myself writing too much character back story. Heck it was playing XCom on the XBox that got me really fired up to write Bastion. Got tired of giving all my operatives back stories that no one would know.

Jim, I played a guitar, bass, and sang. Er. Screamed into a microphone, at any rate. Punk and industrial stuff.

Like ubersoft, I'm a technical writer by day, though that's sliding more towards general software development stuff (I manage a development team).

The rest of my life pretty much revolves around writing now (which is where I want it to be). If I'm not writing, I'm organising events or hanging out with the local writing peeps or going to events... it's a shockingly busy social life for me. Sometimes I wonder how that happened.

I dabbled in martial arts when I was at uni, but I'm woefully out of practice (and shape) now. Pretty sure that I can still knock someone out in about 4 seconds, provided he doesn't see me coming.

I'm not as musical as most of you guys. I tried a couple of instruments, but I don't have the patience or talent for it. However, I rock at Guitar Hero.

@ Jim Zoetewey

Yeah, a similar story with me. I taught myself how to program for fun, making games and things. When I left Uni I managed to get a job doing it and it took all the fun out. I haven't done much since, even though I only did it for a year and I've had plenty of time since to pick it up again. I suppose I have gathered other hobbies that require my time.

I am currently free of major responsibilities (no house, no kids, relationship not yet advanced as far as cohabitation) so my life is mostly writing, board games, day job and going to the pub. It's a good existence. I'm sure it has to end eventually.

The board games are great though. I had an evening the other day of playing Citadels and Bonanza, we're meant to be attempting the official A Game Of Thrones game next week.

Speaking of board games, they had Ticket to Ride Europe Edition for free this weekend for iOS. Amazingly fun little board game, reminded me a lot of Settlers of Catan for simple rules yet complex planning. And screwing over.

Dammit, I missed out. It now costs the regular price.

But yes, the standard physical universe version of Ticket To Ride is one of my favourite games. Great fun.

I'd still snag it. I bought the US version for the $1.99 because I think it'll be easier to get my 5 year old (who we discovered has his first cavity this morning) to play.

Oh... I also make videos:


(go-go iMovie)

Hey Craig - the main thing is to try to just keep going one day at a time. Sometimes things that you used to love won't do enough for you -- but sometimes that joy comes back through that same activity or another you may discover. If it's not writing that's all right.

Palladian: I love anime. I think the storytelling structure works for me very well. I like the balance of character/plot that many shows take... if anything, I think more like anime/animation as my ideal serial type of scripting versus comics or graphic novels. I wish that the market for that kind of medium existed outside of Japan. (I recently caught up on "Zetsuen no Tempest" and "Psycho-PASS" while keeping up with "Chihayafuru" and "Uchuu no Kyoudai.")

I also lapse into gaming of all sorts every few years. Sometimes it's a MMORPG (because I love roaming scenery in games and mindless hack/slash fighting while chatting inane things in global chat). Or sometimes I pick up yet another installment of Final Fantasy because the fandom around that is pretty passionate. I like to dissect things that people like a lot. It doesn't hurt that the animation and rendering is fantastic.

Jim, Amy: Aghhhh flute choirs. My teacher wanted me to join but commuting downtown twice a week when I was in high school would have been too much. Plus I would have likely been asked to play the alto or bass flute which would have meant another few thousand dollars for something that I didn't enjoy as much as playing in orchestra.

I love stalking books as reference... I think my favorite thing to do when I travel to larger cities is to go to bookstores and hunt down mythology texts, fairy tales from Asia, historical clothing texts, or accounts Meiji-era Japan. One of my favorite things to do in NYC is to go to the Strand and go crazy...