Monthly Archives: February 2013

Solitaire: Me vs. Me

250px-GNOME_Aisleriot_SolitaireFrancine Prose has found me out:

“{Solitaire} is the ideal writer’s game. It even feels a little like writing, only more relaxing. You’re sitting at the same desk, working with the same keyboard and monitor. You don’t even have to get up. Like writing, it’s entirely private, the exertion is purely cerebral; you’re playing against yourself, against your previous best, against the law of averages and the forces of chance. You’re taking random elements and trying to put them together in a pleasing way, to make order out of chaos.

No wonder so many writers (including myself) play more solitaire than we should. All I have to do is complete a decent paragraph to feel I’ve earned the right to take a break and play a few games. Like many sports, it’s right on the border between addiction and pastime. That’s why teaching someone to play computer solitaire can feel like the equivalent of a giving a junkie that first shot, though the toll it takes isn’t in money or health, but in time, the writer’s most precious gift.”

excerpted from Solitaire: Me vs. Me

Downton Abbey Quiz

The Dowager Duchess gave her interview on 60 Minutes, and now the world knows she is unaware of how the alternate universe of the upstairs/downstairs play out – since she does not watch the televised series herself.  Nonetheless, for those who ardently succumb to the weekly installments – and wonder why they do – John Kelly of the Washington Post offers a viable alternative script in his humorous column – Anyone can write a ‘Downton Abbey’ episode .  It might be fun to add a few lines yourself.  Watch out, Julian Fellowes!

Thanks to a good friend and fellow follower who sent me the clipping, here is an excerpt, featuring my favorite character:

Thomas pulls a yo-yo from his trouser picket and proceeds to demonstrate Around the World, Pop the Church, and Wall the Dog.

Dowager Countess:  How perfectly ghastly.  The only thing I’d like to see dangling at the end of a string is a suffragist. May I have that “yo-yo” please, Thomas.

Thomas:  Of course, ma’am.  He hands the Dowager Duchess the yo-yo. she takes it in her gloved hand, examines it as is if was a dead vole then deftly flings it at Lady Edith, striking her smartly in the brow.

Lady Edith: Oww! Granny, that hurt! Why did you do that?

Dowager Countess: Because you’re ugly, and we hate you.

Roll credits.