A puzzling hobby ~ by Kristine Raymond

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved jigsaw puzzles.  Something about the myriad of colors and shapes fitting together precisely to form a picture is both enthralling and relaxing to me. 

In my teen years, jigsaw puzzles were a big part of my life.  While my classmates were at the movies or partying or whatever they were doing on Friday and Saturday nights, I was sprawled out on the floor of my bedroom listening to George Winston and Scott Cossu albums, patiently snapping cardboard shapes into place into the wee hours of the morning.  Excitement building as the image began to take shape, it wasn’t unheard of for me to finally crawl into bed at two or three in the morning, not wanting to stop but unable to keep my eyes open a moment longer.

Over the years, my interest in my hobby waned as full-time jobs and day-to-day life and a husband filled my time, though, on occasion, I’d still pick up a puzzle that caught my eye, one with kaleidoscope colors or peaceful scenery.  Not having the time or space to adequately pursue puzzling, boxes and Ziploc bags filled with jumbled pieces took up multiple dresser drawers in my closet.

When I began writing a little over five years ago, I found myself consumed with my craft, literally spending seven days a week at my desk working on some sort of book-related project – writing, proofing, designing covers or promotions, interacting on social media, writing blog posts – anything and everything you can imagine, and that pace slowly but surely caught up with me.  I decided I needed to break up my work day (or night) and shift gears now and again.  Focus on something I enjoyed that would still keep my mind active.  So, into the closet I went, randomly opening a drawer and withdrawing the first jigsaw puzzle I laid my hand on.  Since my office is a pet-free zone (well, it’s supposed to be, but that’s another post), I set out my mat on the table behind my desk and dumped all of those glossy pieces out of the box.                                                                                                          

Though my days of sprawling on the floor are behind me (waaay behind me!) my soul hasn’t forgotten how much it enjoys the satisfying sound of interlocking pieces clicking into place or the slow, yet steady, emergence of a picturesque scene.  When my mind gets bogged down or the words won’t come, I swivel around in my chair and spend a few minutes sorting colors or matching up odd shapes, the respite clearing my head, allowing my thoughts to flow freely, and I realize how much I've missed this hobby of mine.

 Now, how about a little Scott Cossu?



  1. Puzzles are so relaxing. I think it is important as writers to find something that will challenge our brains in a different way, or maybe allow our brains to rest from the tangled web of story lines we harbor up there!

  2. This is the first Christmas season in many years that I did not set up a table with a jigsaw puzzle. My extended family always designates a puzzle table at our 3 day reunions.

    1. Sounds like a fun tradition! Sorry you didn't have the opportunity to do it this year.

  3. I used to do puzzles years ago. Come to think of it, I guess I moved from pieces of cardboard to pieces of glass! Thanks for the memory, Kristine


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