Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yeah, honey, I'm working...

Today, I'm supposed to be working on my book that's due March 1, as well as a proposal due Monday. Oh, and the one due the 13th. The deadlines are stacking up, fast and furious, and I am resolutely sitting in front of the computer...

Playing FreeCell.

Hello, my name is Shirley and I'm a FreeCell addict.

It's the dang statistics that get me. I want to see my percentage of wins increase. If I lose a game, I have to play, and win, two to make up for the lost one. Otherwise, my stats will go down. I tell myself I'm keeping my mind sharp for old age (despite the fact that I haven't yet crested the hill). That I'm giving my overworked hands a rest. That I do it for relaxation.

Yep, I'm a true addict. I'm justifying, you see. Giving all these more or less plausible reasons why playing FreeCell (instead of working) is a good thing for me. Every time I try to quit, I start dreaming about putting red Jacks on black Queens. Replaying lost games, knowing if I had moved that five instead of the four, I would have won.

People have told me to delete, to expunge the FreeCell devil from my computer altogether. Being that it came pre-installed with Windows, I tell myself something dire and cosmic will happen if I mess with Windows.

Uh-huh. That's what I said about that donut I crammed in my face yesterday, too.

FreeCell does have its merits. It requires just a bit of skill and strategy and when I am stressed, it's an instant soother. Until I look up and realize I've spent a half an hour moving cards around. Then I panic again about work.

Starting today, I am not playing FreeCell anymore. Not until all my projects are done. But wait. I haven't finished game #28159. If I resign the game, it goes down as a loss. FreeCell doesn't understand noble intentions.

Okay, one more game and then I'll quit. I promise. :-)

Shirley Jump


Colleen Thompson said...

LOL, Shirley. I feel your pain. Snood and Literati (Yahoo's version of Scrabble) are my time-killers -- and exactly where I end up when I'm stuck on something tough in the manuscript.

Alfie said...

Uh-oh, Shirley. Don't try Sudoku. ( It's more addictive than...well, you name any game you've been addicted to.

Shirley Jump said...

LOL, Colleen and Alfie! Now I want to try those :-) I did try Sudoku. DD is into it. I used to do it daily in the paper when I was out visiting my parents. My paper doesn't carry it...or I'd be doing it there, too :-) It's enough to stay away from the daily crossword!


JoAnn Ross said...

Shirley -- Don't worry about it. It's your process. Just assure yourself that need it to transition into your writing. Or to let your mind float while you're thinking where to take the next scene.

Besides, my kid read an interview with Nora in the Washington Post where she said she begins each writing day with an hr of Free Cell and that certainly hasn't hurt her productivity.

Besides, all work and no play makes for a very dull writer. And, it would seem, by extension, dull books. :)

Shirley Jump said...

Glad to know I am in such good company :-) And you are right -- a little play is a good idea. Too much play makes for missed deadlines, though ;-)


according to cindy said...

My addiction now is Spider Solitaire... Once I start, I can't stop.