Am I the Only Crime Writer out There Addicted to Spider Solitaire?

Am I the Only Crime Writer out There Addicted to Spider Solitaire?

I can sit at my desk with the current mystery I’m working on open in one screen, and all too easily switch screens, and say that I’m going to allow myself only one game. Then two. And so it goes. I’m addicted. (MP) When I’m feeling generous to myself, I call my obsession with Spider Solitaire a kind of thinking, plotting, planning, letting my mind run on idle while I think up the next brilliant twist in my new Santa Monica mystery. But I know different. I’m addicted. Something about lining up the cards in an orderly row soothes me.

After all, it’s not as if I feel the world is breathless with anticipation for my next mystery.

Spider Solitaire

My brain gets itchy and restless after I’ve focused down hard on writing. I’ve already twitched back and forth from my Facebook pages to Twitter to email just to see what’s going on. Like there’s ever anything going on with Twitter.

In an effort to limit my Spider Solitaire addiction, I placed a five minute timer on my desk, the old fashioned kind where sand runs through from one compartment to another. Of course, you have to set it to run. And remember to do it.

Yes, I know there is software which helps you limit the amount of time you spend on internet gambling, cybersex, video game addiction, and surfing for porn. But I’m not that bad!

I tell myself Spider Solitaire is a procrastination tool. And so is Facebook and Twitter. I must have some modicum of self-discipline because I’ve stayed away from Pinterest and any other latest internet craze.

Anything to delay the agony of writing. Perhaps you’re familiar with that great yawning space on the page below your last good sentence?

I’m working on a first draft of two mysteries; one set in Santa Monica, one set in the tranquil village where I live in the mountains in Central California. I’m working on two at once because the theory was that when one got hard I could turn to the other. That’s what they say at least.

Guess what? They’re both hard.

In the end, after three or four games, it all comes down to self-discipline, rooting myself in my chair, opening the document file and reading over the last horrible bit of stilted writing that lays there inert on the page. I poke at it for a while.

I know that if I dig through the mess long enough, something will catch fire. I will find myself inserting a comma. Then I’ll rearrange a sentence, and maybe the next paragraph isn’t that bad.

Oh! Something twitched in my brain. Ah, an idea. And sometimes off I go. If I can just drag my fingers back from Spider Solitaire.

I’ve written six mysteries now. I can do this again. It’s not hopeless.

See, what–despite my nasty little Spider Solitaire addiction–I’ve accomplished so far. Visit my page and check me out.  Mar Preston Books

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Mar Preston is the author of No Dice, Rip-Off, On Behalf of the Family, and A Very Private High School, all featuring Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department and his girlfriend Ginger McNair, a community activist. Payback, the debut of a second series, features a Kern County Sheriff’s Detective and takes place in a village somewhat like the one where she lives in Central California. She is a co-founder of the local SPCA, an expert Spider Solitaire player, and picks up road kill for her wildlife rehab buddies to feed the big raptors. Expect a second title in this series in 2016. She could tell you she is 27, a tall, leggy brunette with a Ph.D. in physics, speaks four languages, and writes every day. This is not true.

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