Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Time Out For a Little Fun

It's still early enough in January to be thinking about resolutions. Not being one to rush into anything, I have spent the first week or so just trying to come up with some to add to Elspeth's fine list from earlier this month. (I really don't like being told what to do, even by myself.)

Anyway, one of my top goals - isn't a goal easier to deal with than a resolution? Resolutions are so…. resolute and so hard to ignore. Whereas a goal is not as intimidating.

So back to my top goal. I decided this year I will write first. No matter what. Right after I finish this game of Solitaire.


Did you just slap my hand?

"Yes I did. Step away from that game."

But… but. Can't I play just one hand?


Not even…?


Did you just yell at me in Russian?

"Yes. You seem to have a problem with English."

I do not. I understand English just fine. And I use English all the time in my writing.

"But you are not writing."

Uh, right. But sometimes playing a mindless game helps when your subconscious is trying to work out a story problem.

"Snort. Do you really believe that?"

Of course. It's the same principle as washing the dishes or cleaning the toilet. Concentrate on something other than your story issue.


Nine? What's that?

"Not the number. It's German for 'no'."

No, what?

"No, playing games is not the same as washing dishes or cleaning toilets. Who ever got addicted to those, huh?"


"Nothing to say to this?"

Leave me alone. I'm playing a game.

Maryann Miller
is a novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her latest release is Stalking Season, the second book in the Seasons Series. The first book, Open Season, is available as an e-book for all devices. To check out her editing rates visit her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas, and sometimes she plays on stage. She also tries to avoid computer games as much as possible.


  1. Solitaire? I don't have time for things like that. Right after I check my email, watch the latest video that someone sent through, read a few blog posts, comment on them, check Facebook, follow some links, follow some more links, get caught up reading something interesting, Google more information on it, read another article, click on an unrelated but attention-grabbingly titled link, post the link to a forum, read other posts on the forum, respond to them, open Twitter, click some interesting links, retweet them, have problems with my Internet connection, fix problem with my Internet connection, check my email again, check Facebook again, check the forums again, read my horoscope, check if there were any responses to the comments I left on blogs yesterday, check email and Facebook again, I will... go to bed.

    Heck, where's that game of Solitaire? I may as well add it to the list.

  2. Love this, Maryann. Do I ever play Solitaire when I should be doing something else — like writing? Uh . . . uh huh. Do I ever slap my hand? Uh . . . no — I play another game. Am I going to set a goal to reset my priorities. Uh . . . oops, gotta go. Problem with my Internet connection.

  3. Maryanne, have you put a keystroke logger on my computer? Are you tracking me? But, please note, I only play solitaire when waiting for a long download or ... Did someone just slap my wrist?

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  5. I agree with you Maryann ... that's exactly how I feel about naps ... they give my subconscious the room it needs to work out plot points of my WIP ... at least that's what I tell my wife.

  6. LOL! Thanks, Maryann, I needed this laugh to start my day!

  7. I had a Solitaire Issue. I then moved on to a Game on Facebook Issue. Then I was in England for the summer and couldn't be on the internet for too long - stopped playing. Haven't started again. Yet (she says, knocking wood).

    And thanks for mentioning my blog post!

  8. Snort! Much to realistic. :D

  9. Glad everyone enjoyed the post. Elle, I sometimes get caught up in all the Internet stuff, too. I am really trying hard to just do 15 minutes at a time with checking social sites. It's a tip I picked up from Elizabeth Spann Craig. Hard to do sometimes, as it is so easy to start jumping from site to site.

    I think a lot of us have very red wrists. LOL

  10. Addiction is a terrible thing. I should know - I'm addicted to Spider Solitaire, Sudoku, and online jigsaw puzzles.

    Lots of hand slapping over here.

  11. And what game are you playing? Free Cell or Spider Solitaire? Of course, I know nothing about those two. Nothing. Ooh, you didn't hear that, did you? Sometimes I forget to turn down the sound on the games.

  12. I should write first, but it usually turns out to be last.

    Morgan Mandel

  13. Maryann, you and Elle should form a comedy team. Loved both post and comment! Solitaire or fill in the blank—much truth embedded here...

  14. L.D., I enjoy online jigsaw puzzles way too much, too, but I seldom do them during the day. I play with those in the evening if I don't have a real puzzle going.

    Helen, that darn sound will get you every time. I turn my speakers off so my husband can't hear the game in progress and yell from the other room, "You're not working."

    Morgan, my intentions are always good. Follow up is more often not so good. Sigh...

    Kathryn, I think Elle and I would have to do some kind of virtual stand-up comic routine since we live on opposite sides of the world. (smile)


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.