Archive for 'Corporate sell-out'

Get ‘em while they’re hot
by Jessa Slade on November 17th, 2008

Currently working on: Book 2
Wherein our heroine refers somewhat rudely to the hero’s “little dragon.”
Mood: Snickery

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving feast day and the more-or-less middle of National Novel Writing Month, our topic this week is “Favorite Writing Foods: The Recipes That Get Us Through “That Time” of the Month.” (That time meaning, first drafts, revisions, holidays, copy edits or other public events where we are expected to perform like fuctioning members of society.)

So here’s my writing recipe:

  • Open bucket.
  • Heft spoon.
  • Bake if desired.

Yes, it is here, for the first time, that I will publicly reveal the secret of writing 50,000 words in a month: Bucket o’ cookie dough.


The small heart symbol on the label doesn’t actually say “perfect for romance writers”; it says zero grams of trans-fats. So bucket o’ cookie dough is good for you. Also I am in no way implying that the authors whose book spines appear beside this bucket are similarly inspired by chocolate. But I wouldn’t doubt it.

Preparing for my first NaNo years ago, I realized 1666.666 repeating words wouldn’t get written every day on inspiration alone. No, to achieve such a monumental goal I’d need chocolate. In a quick, convenient and plentitudinous form.

In loving support of my writing dream, my sweetie brought me English Bay Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough from a restaurant supply company he frequents for work. He has since come to regret introducing me to the bucket o’ cookie dough.

The 8 lb. bucket (they call it a pail, as if that somehow negates the mental image of a mid-NaNo writer with her head buried shoulder-deep in said bucket) provides enough cookies for breakfast  a writing session pick-me-up for the entire month. If you do the math (and I have), it comes to about ½ ounce of cookie dough per page. A mere .003 oz per word. Which, according to Yahoo Answers, is the weight of the average raindrop. (Not in the Pacific Northwest, of course, where the average raindrop weighs about the same as the entire bucket o’ cookie dough.)

Considering that my understanding of ounces in the English measurement system is based primarily upon an ounce of cocaine from the ‘80s TV show Miami Vice, I don’t think that four ounces of cookie dough to achieve my required eight pages per day is an unreasonable evil. At least addiction to cookie dough doesn’t somehow force me to wear pastels, boat shoes and oversized sunglasses.

Based on its weight of approximately one ounce and my average word count of 210 words per page, this cookie represents 420 words, my dears.  To continue the drug references.

Based on its weight of approximately one ounce and my average word count of 210 words per page, this cookie represents 420 words, my dears. To continue the drug references.

Wait? What do you mean opening a bucket o’ cookie dough doesn’t count as a recipe? Fine. If you MUST bake something for Thanksgiving just to prove to your friends and family that you are a Superwoman who can pull off 50K words PLUS a tasty baked good, I recommend The Cake Mix Doctor.  Frost any of her creations with melted Dagoba chips, and I promise you will sucker those friends and relatives into believing you actually dirtied measuring cups and spoons and such to grace them with your creation this Thanksgiving.

What? Lying about your baking mastery isn’t cool? We’re fiction writers, people. We’re EXPECTED to exaggerate. All right already. Here’s a real recipe. But it contains raw eggs. So if your friends and family who couldn’t be satisfied with buckets and box mixes get salmonella and ends up confined to bed while you finish your 50,000 words, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

French Silk Chocolate Pie
1 cup butter
1½ cups sugar
4 oz unsweeted chocolate (Dagoba!), melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 baked 9-inch pie shell, cooled
Whipped cream

1. Beat the butter with the sugar until very well blended. The mixture should be smooth, fluffy and pale yellow. (Jessa’s note: No really, follow the directions. Crunchy sugar butter is very yummy, but you want this smooth. Using super-fine baking sugar can help this process and then just keep beating. Hmm, kinda like revisions).
2. Blend in the chocolate and the vanilla. (Lick the chocolate bowl. That Dagoba isn’t cheap.)
3. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat in the eggs, on at a time, taking 5 minutes to incorporate each. (5 minutes is longer than you think so use an egg timer. Unless you’re doing timed writing, and then 5 minutes takes for flippin’ ever.)
4. Turn the mixture into the pie shell and chill for several hours. (Do I have to remind you to lick the bowl?)
5. Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. (Dagoba!)

Meanwhile, if English Bay would like to be my corporate sponsor (I’m imagining a banner waving gently behind me at book signings… or possibly a sweeeet zippy sportscar in a rich two-toned bronze tricked out with a built-in toaster oven and emblazoned with my name, my latest book cover, and the image of a mystery-eyed bare-chested man holding out a plate of three cookies) I can be reached here at Silk And Shadows every Monday.