Friday, August 06, 2010

A little bit is more than nothing

All that talk of chocolate yesterday on the blog -- not to mention a near red-alert status when I was down to my last Reese's Peanut Butter Cup -- put me in the mood for brownies. Luckily, The Kiddo asked for candy and I could offer brownies instead, so that it appeared that it was all her idea.

Why, yes, I am devious that way.

What I am not is much for forethought, apparently. I opened my big box of Hershey's Cocoa to find a scant three tablespoons. That was a red alert situation all in and of itself, as it was very late in the evening, past time when the sidewalks are deflated and rolled up in My Neck of the Woods.

For a bare moment, I considered tossing in the towel and saying, "Whoops, Kiddo, no brownies tonight." But then I thought, Hmm, three tablespoons. That's half a brownie recipe's quota of chocolate. Maybe I could make half a batch of brownies."

I double-checked the recipe, and sure enough it called for two eggs -- which is good, because I've yet to figure out how you half an egg when you half a recipe. Are you supposed to put the whole egg in? Because it sure won't taste the same if you round DOWN.

But as I mentioned, the recipe fortunately skirted the whole half/whole egg issue (dadgummit, now I've got this image of half an egg in my head), and The Kiddo and I proceeded with our brownie making endeavor. To make sure that we had a pan small enough to hold half a batch of brownies, I suggested that we use her mini-cupcake pan she got for Christmas from The Sister. The Sister is a Good Cook (who would know how to half an egg), and she hopes her niece will turn out to be as well.

The brownies turned out loverly, if I do say so myself. Each one was bite-sized, with a crispy little crust around the top, with a sinkhole of chewy goodness in the middle. I could have eaten about a dozen of them all by myself, had the little suckers been unguarded.

As I enjoyed the small tastes of heaven (three, just three), I thought about how I give up sometimes on writing, when I don't think I have a block of time, say an hour, to give to the effort.

The brownies made me realize how foolish I am. True, fifteen or twenty minutes of writing or editing time won't be as productive as an hour would be. There's the two minutes while I wait for the computer to whir and gig, and the 30 seconds it takes me to find the document in question, and the two minutes I stare at that blasted blinking cursor, afraid that this time it WILL outlast me. (It's a phobia of mine.)

But fifteen or twenty minutes might get me a paragraph. And a paragraph is better than no words at all.

So how about you? Can you write or edit in concentrated bite-sized moments of time?


Jessica said...

I get panicky if I don't have a chunk of respectable time to write. Even just an open hour will sometimes prompt me to throw in the towel. That's one of the reasons I kicked my blog into full gear in June. I decided to write no matter what. A blog post is small, has a sense of completion about it.

You make such a good point about the "little bit." I won't be afraid to attack my WIP even as I do wait for my computer to warm up and pull my notes out (I really am too impatient about this part!)

Piedmont Writer said...

No, I need hours to write. I can't do anything with less than two. Sometimes if the mood hits and I have paper and pen handy, I'll jot something down but that's about it.

Patty Blount said...

Oh, Lord, you're killing me. First, chocolate keyboards and now brownies? Great post judging by the degree of salivation you inspired.

To answer your question, I began writing by stealing pockets of time while my sons napped and later, practiced sports. I regularly write during my dayjob lunch hour, or even while waiting for a meeting to begin. I'm so used to stealing time, when I have an hour or two, I'm not nearly as productive.

Linda G. said...

Mmmm. Brownies.

Hey, I just finished Not On Her Own. So good! I really enjoyed it. Uncle Jake is such a sweetie pie -- love him to death. :)