There are two ways I “cross train” as a writer.
The other thing I do is play with my dollhouse. Yes, you read that right. I’m a fifty six year old wife/mother/writer/dog owner who still plays with dolls. The dollhouse in question had been given me as a partially constructed shell. It was my intention to finish it in order to showcase the collection of dollhouse furniture and accoutrements I had saved since childhood (I’d had a doll house back then but only the contents, not the shell, survived the ensuing decades). My husband stepped in, at first just to jump start the project but very quickly his natural talent and dexterity took over and he created a mini-masterpiece, with hand cut and dyed shingles on the roof, inlaid floors, William Morris wall paper and terra cotta tiles on the kitchen floor. I love this house for itself, and also for the act of love that built it. And I find nothing so soothing and de-stressing as rearranging the miniature sofas, chairs, tables and the like into new and pleasing configurations. I have so much furniture that the house will not hold it all, so I rotate the pieces according to my whim and fancy. I also make seasonal adjustments: in winter, I place a tiny Xmas tree and even tinier wrapped gifts on the living room’s Persian rug; in summer, out come the white wire lawn chairs, settee and oval table for the porch. It’s an activity that brings me back to childhood and allows my mind and spirit to roam peacefully. After an hour or so this playful yet productive puttering, I am ready to return to my work, and hope that this time, the mercurial writing gods will have lost their frowns and come out smiling—and guess what? They almost always do.