2008 Whirlwind Scrabble Tour

After my dear friend Martha introduced me to Scrabble, I spent a year or so being fairly so-so about it. I learned the basic words, went to a few Scrabble club meetings, and played in the April 2007 tournament in Charleston, WV. Somewhere between April and fall 2007, my interest in the game got stronger and, by late last year, I was excitedly awaiting the chance to travel to tournaments. So far this year, I've attended four tournaments. And it was going pretty well...until Pittsburgh, which I blogged about here and here. Don't get me wrong. I love Pittsburgh and the people there are some of my favorites in the Scrabble world!! They're all very friendly and say "dahntahn" and "youins."

But Pittsburgh was hard on me. I did so, so poorly. On one hand, it seemed like I was drawing really bad letters the whole time. On the other hand, a good player should be able to work with those a little better than I did.

So...NOW...I've decided to step it up a notch. (Well, many notches, if possible.) With the help and advice, of our local club's loyal director, I've started studying Scrabble words (every day). In order to be well-rounded about it, I've been studying using a three-pronged approach: anagram recognition, word list recall, and flash card study of bigger words. (I bet the non-Scrabblers out there didn't know people actually study this stuff, huh?) Logically, investing this effort into a game I've grown to love (if I'm not hating it at that second), should yield some better play. I should be able to survive the "bad racks" a little better and hopefully play more bingos to give myself a better buffer.

And it's worth the investment in time. Scrabble is about the only thing I do for fun anymore. I have three young children and a demanding job. The past year, since my husband's work injury, there haven't been a lot of extra funds to invest in recreation. But I don't believe you can stay sane, though, unless you have some fun now and then. So, since we're moving to a house that's more affordable (slightly less on the rent and fairly lower on the utilities), I've made a commitment to myself to really go all out this summer and fall traveling to Scrabble tournaments.

Pretty much anything within about a six-hour drive is my target. Based on the schedule right now, that puts me heading to:

  • Rocky River, Ohio on July 12th;

  • Pontiac, Michigan from August over Labor Day weekend;

  • Fenton, Michigan on September 13th and 14th;

  • Hudson, Ohio on September 20th to the 21st;

  • Elyria, Ohio on October 18th and 19th;

  • Lexington, Kentucky on the first weekend in November;

  • Strongsville, Ohio on December 6th and 7th; and,

  • Maybe Durham, North Carolina on October 24th though the 26th.

So, yeah, that's a little more than one a month for the rest of the year. Why? I don't know. Because I've committed myself to putting in a huge effort all around (even if it means traveling on the cheap)? Because we've had a tough year all around? Because I've become obsessed? Because I'm a really nice person and I'm giving myself permission?

Whatever the reason, I decided to do it! My 2008 Whirlwind Scrabble Tour!!! Then I figured, if a New Yorker can use the Internet to get strangers to pay off her $20,000 in shopping debt, maybe people would be happy to contribute to my worthy cause!! What's the benefit?? An investment in hope and my effort and helping someone who has, in the last 36 months, spent 26 months standing in the background of her husband's military service, his dedication as a firefighter, and his subsequent injury. The second half of 2008 is going to be my (half) year!!

So, anyone who feels as excited about my whirlwind tour as I feel about my tour, or who just wants to see if I can pull off this studying=winning thing, or who just figures "what the heck!"...then you may ask yourself, "Why don't I click here?" No contribution is too small (or big...heh). Live vicariously through me as I throw my responsibilities to the wind (except for the studying thing)!!

(A huge "thank you" to Chris. Chris has been one heck of a pal not just since he came to my birthday dinner, but especially this last week. Of course, feel free to link to this post, too!)


jedijawa said...

Awww ... shucks.

Deadpan Alley said...

AWESOME!! You so deserve it, Tina!!

So are we getting t-shirts made, or what?

TTHBTK said...

Hellz yeah! We can sweep the Mid-Atlantic...and maybe Michigan but those people are tough!!!

bgscrabble said...

I'm glad to see you are planning to play Fenton in September. I added your name on cross-tables.
Nice picture on Seneca Mountain. Good luck with the move and Happy 4th.