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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Words (and procrastination) With Friends

May I have a word with you, friend?
It’s about Words With Friends.
For way too many days I’ve been meaning to update my blog. There’s been no shortage of topics to write about. For instance: my son Joe’s college graduation and the torch ceremony at which no one’s hair caught fire, the de-postering and conversion of my working son David’s bedroom to a den, the almost-wrapped-up search for a social scene reporter, the New York Racing Association shakeup (that I didn’t see coming), the grassroots revolt that will be required for public school districts and governments to scale back benefits to stay within the 2 property tax cap without cutting programs, excitement over seeing “Romeo + Juliet” next month at SPAC while acknowledging the financial challenge of maintaining the New York City Ballet’s residency, and my father’s advice about Vicks VapoRub, although applying it to your soles to break up chest congestion is urban myth.
So what finally got me going on the blog? An addiction that took hold this weekend as I lay in bed with Vicks VapoRub slathered on my chest and soles, trying to shake off 10 days of coughing.
After finally updating the operating system on my iPad with the help of IT guru Pete Blanchette, I responded affirmatively to an invitation from Lisa Lewis, editor of The Record in Troy, to play Words With Friends. Two days later, I am itching to see whose turn it is to play this poor man’s Scrabble among the almost 20 games I have going with friends, relatives and colleagues as far away as Johannesburg and as close as, well, 15 feet from my office in the newsroom. I am fighting the urge to check out Words With Friends when I should be catching up on 6,000 emails.
I hope to whip Online Editor Emily Donohue , who was 17 points ahead of me after playing “wad”  earlier today. But I must not succumb to the temptation. I cannot let my blog slide for weeks yet get distracted by … OK, here we go, 21 points for “sills” (along with pluralizing “luger”).
This morning I tossed out a New York Times piece about procrastination that I had clipped and deposited in my stack of bedside must-read articles. The gist of it was to create little reward-like incentives to get things done. So here’s my inducement: Finish a task, add a word. If this works as planned, as everything always does, you’ll be hearing from me much more often.
Your move, Ms. Donohue.

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