What are Zinnia's hobbies?

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What are some hobbies you have? If you have a job, what’s your job?

I write professionally - but not really the fun kind of writing; I write how-to guides and documentation for a tech company. I also work part time at my church, and I am a therapeutic foster parent, which is both “not a job” and totally a job, in the sense that it takes way more than 40 hours a week and uses all my professional and organizational skills. (Foster parents do receive money, but it is not a “salary” for the work that we do, it is intended to cover the costs of meeting the child’s needs.)

As for hobbies, I’ve already talked about playing Pokemon Go and enjoying forum roleplaying and tabletop gaming. In that vein, I also like board games, and I’m huge into Keyforge lately. I also like “solo roleplaying” which is just a silly way of saying “fiction writing” - the writing I do for fun lately is mostly high-fantasy adventures with worlds and characters I’ve created. And I’m just a big internet nerd, so I spend a lot of time goofing around with my friends on tumblr, discord, slack, and other forums I’m part of.

I like crafting, and the main things I do are beadwork and resin pouring. I started learning resin pouring to make Keyforge pieces but also make jewelry. I do alcohol ink techniques as well as “inclusions” - like glitter, stones, dried flowers, etc. It’s an interesting hobby because there’s lots of trial and error and you have to wait 24 hours to see how something came out, so it’s been a serious learning curve for me and it’s made me much less of an anxious perfectionist, which is nice.

I spend at least 3 hours a day driving because being a foster parent means lots of shuttling to and from appointments and other things, so I’m a huge podcast aficionado. Some of my favorites are Reply All, The Nod, Dear Prudence (and other advice podcasts, for “industry research”), RedHanded, Lovett Or Leave It, and Pod Save America.

I also read a lot, though I don’t have much time to read “fun” fiction lately and mostly read books that inform my work at my church or as a foster parent, so books about trauma, community building, youth work, parenting, etc. The last fiction book I read was Where The Crawdads Sing which was amazing and I can’t recommend it enough.

I love to cook and once a week I host a bunch of my friends for dinner. Coming up with weekly variations on large-scale meals, meeting everyone’s dietary needs, and keeping it under my budget is a challenge, but one I really enjoy! I also have 2 pet lizards, and taking care of them is a hobby, I suppose. I like to create healthy, varied meals for them, and to set up their “enrichment tub” with things to explore, climb on, and find to eat.

Perhaps the most “unusual” hobby I have is American Girl Doll collecting and restoring! I loved American Girl as a kid, and realized as an adult I could finally indulge in that! AG dolls are very expensive brand-new, though, so I usually buy damaged ones for a much lower price, and learned how to fix up their limbs, hair, eyes, and vinyl skin. While I grew up with the AG books and love the characters, I always make my dolls into custom OCs (original characters) and write bios and stories for them. Then I take photos of them in various outfits and poses. Because my daily life involves addressing a lot of trauma and challenges, it’s nice to have an escape that’s pure innocence and fun.

Technically, writing this blog is also a hobby! I would love to be able to make it a source of income, and I do have a patreon, but for now it’s just a hobby.