Saturday, January 23, 2010


Working on my novel, I'm writing a scene where two of the sisters are discussing their Thanksgivings. They're talking about playing cards; my family nearly always played cards whenever we got together. The family game that we played at my grandmother's house was Schmier, a game that no one I've ever met has heard of, much less played. I was considering sticking it into my novel, and googled it--it turns out to be a regional card game, played primarily in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Who knew? I love the internet. Thank you,!

Not surprisingly, I grew up playing the northeastern Wisconsin variation, though in western Wisconsin--Eau Claire, to be exact. Maybe that's why we kept the two in the deck and threw out the seven and the eight; that's the western Wisconsin variation. The guy who submitted the northeastern Wisconsin rules also called it Smear. I never spelled it any way at all, but I think it's said with the schm. Though I'll ask family, and they may or may not agree.

My novel is more or less set in a variation on upstate New York, so I guess they'll be playing something else.

Now go write, Elissa.

1 comment:

Carpenter said...

Check out this novel:
In it some men play smear for 151 days straight!

All best,