Once again, I have been influenced by a hobby or special interest of one of my MC's. It's usually the other way around: I project my interests and hobbies onto my characters. A good example of this is the Cyrille from one of my WIPs, a park ranger in her late 30's.
I applied and interviewed for a summer job at a state park. Not a ranger, as desired (I lacked the qualifications), but as park security. But several issues, like making my long distance relationship harder for me and my girlfriend, deterred me. And so I decided to have the experience I wanted via researching for the role and writing a story around it.
The end result turned out to be more of a romance than whatever park escapades I had in mind (whoops). Not that I mind, of course! But you can see what I mean by the influence.
Likewise, I became more intrigued by botany, mushroom hunting, and beekeeping for my ongoing web serial, Last Train Home. Mushroom hunting in particular appeals to me, just because I like to hike and walk, and am always encountering mushrooms along the way. I want to be able to name and identify them, and maybe even take some home to enjoy. Or even grow them!
I saw my first mushroom growing kit in Home Depot last year, and thought it was quite the novel idea. But after watching some of Miss Mina's videos, I realized there's more than that! You can buy (or make, if you're savvy enough) inoculated wood and grow shrooms that way!
Pretty amazing, right?
But as much as I'd love to grow my own shrooms at home, I can't afford to do so. I'm highly allergic to a variety of molds, so unfortunately have to limit my mushroom intake as it could give me a greater reaction, as I'm taking allergy shots. My partner agrees that I should wait a year before trying, or when we have more space.
There is, however, nothing stopping me from mushroom hunting! I just need to wear a mask and take an antihistamine before I go. We'll see how summer turns out. Even if I can't start hunting this year, I can still lookout for wild shrooms along the way!