Monday, January 26, 2009

Procrastination, Thy Name is Evelyn

Let me rephrase that: thy name is the Northern half of Evelyn David.

I’m what is politely known as “between assignments” – or more bluntly, unemployed.

Last week I handed in the manuscript for my latest nonfiction project, The Everything Baby’s First Year Book. It will be published later this year. Loved the topic. There is a sweetness about even the virtual smell of a newborn – and it’s a lot easier to write about colic than to live through it. If anyone, however, doesn’t think I paid my dues, let me introduce exhibits A, B, and C – my sons, with whom I walked hundreds of miles in my living room as I desperately sought to comfort them during the colic era.

But, anyway, I should have, while hip deep in research on baby topics, also been immersed in a dozen other subjects so that I had book proposals for consideration already in the hands of editors. Ideally, there would have been a seamless handoff from one project to the next. Instead, I am breathlessly awaiting the greenlight on some fun book ideas – keep your fingers and toes crossed.

I do have several mystery projects already underway with the Southern half of Evelyn David. One is a short story that has a paranormal element and when it is not scaring the you know what out of me – I’m having the time of my life integrating ghosts and whodunits.

Or at least, I’m having fun thinking about a ghost with a serious cat allergy – but writing it, not so much. Instead, for every three sentences that I manage to eke out, I either do laundry, search for chicken recipes, or most brainless of all, play Spider Solitaire, which is my new online addiction.

I know writers who have removed all computer games from their hard drives; others who refuse to answer e-mail, talk on the phone, or go out to lunch until they’ve turned in their manuscripts. Of course, I also know people who can be offered a brownie and firmly turn it down – a concept that is absolutely foreign to my way of thinking.

But I think what I’m saying is that I lack self-discipline. In my defense, I’ve never missed a deadline and I’ve written 12 books, countless articles, and now, a weekly blog. But I need to find something to jumpstart me back into the fiction writing habit. The Southern half is threatening to send me an e-mail virus that destroys only computer games – and I’m half-tempted to encourage her to do so.

But before I delete Spider Solitaire from my computer – what’s the best score you’ve ever gotten – and are there any tricks to winning?

Shhhh – don’t tell anyone that I asked!

Evelyn David


  1. I used to be addicted to solitaire, but now I don't play computer games anymore. When I'm procrastinating, it's usually on the Internet, reading or checking out some blogs. I'm really trying to cut back on that now, too! Except, of course, I'll always read The Stiletto Gang faithfully. ;-)

  2. Thank goodness I don't know how to play Spider Solitaire. I do play the simple version sometimes just to unwind.

    I don't really procrastinate, just have things that have to get done, darn it! By evening I'm not good for anything except reading or watching TV and usually do both at the same time.


  3. Ooooohhhh, don't get me re-started on Spider Solitaire, not here in my home office with no boss to fear looking over my shoulder (and occasionally catch me)... you'd think the fear of not-eating would trump the lure of computer solitaire but does it? No!