Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lazy or Efficient?

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
I am, at heart, an energy efficient person. Some might call this trait laziness, but if it weren't for people like me, we'd never have wonderful inventions like the cotton gin, the car or the, oh, I dunno, the apple slicer, to free up our valuable time for other tasks. Happier tasks. Writing and reading books, for example. (apple image from Wikipedia)

No longer do those of us who like our apple in lovely, biteable wedges have to spend 4 minutes chopping at it with a sharp knife. We can do it in 30 seconds with an apple slicer and return to the couch where our book awaits. Quit laughing. Those 3.5 minutes might make all the difference in finishing the chapter before the kids get off the bus.

In fact, clever devices like the apple slicer can inspire us to greater heights of efficiency. I just prepared a big pot of beans, something I didn't want to do because I was in the middle of a scene, but hey, we gotta eat. The bean pot called for beans (check), diced tomatoes (can! no salt added!), diced bell pepper (frozen this summer!), seasonings (packet!) and chopped onion. Man, I hate chopping onions. I'm a delicate flower, you guys. My lacrymal glands get so irritated when the onion mist hits me, it's unsafe. I can't see what my fingers and that aforementioned sharp knife are up to through all the tears.

So I looked at my three little onions. And I looked at the apple slicer. And I looked at my three little onions. And I looked at my apple slicer. I think you can do the math here, and then I had time to write this blog post without *any tears*.

Whether my experiment will be a success remains to be seen. The pieces of onion weren't exactly a fine dice. It may mean certain people under the age of 10 yell about how much they hate onions since they can actually SEE the onions in the beans. And it may mean I'm kind of awesome.

Which got me to thinking about my writing. (Arrogant much?) Well, that and the fact I'm supposed to blog about my writing, seeing as Here Be Magic is a writer blog and all. I do this efficiency thing in books, too. I look at an apple slicer -- or, say, an alpha male werewolf -- and I think, "How is this device used? Why is it used this way? Can I use it differently? Will it be efficient? Will I cry? Will I lose sight of the knife? And will the chunks of werewolf that remain be too big for the story?"

Pack and Coven, my February Carina release, has an alpha male werewolf. Who is kind of an onion. He'd rather gnaw off his own foot than be in charge of a pack. That sounds like WORK. And the female protagonist is a lot older than he is and frequently bosses him around. She's an onion that needs to be sliced, too. (Onion image by http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Ayla87)

Again, it remains to be seen if onions chopped with an apple slicer are delicious or if an alpha male werewolf who doesn't want to boss anybody around is popular with readers. The reason the apple slicer is not commonly used on onions might be because it does a crappy job, and the reason alpha male werewolves are not usually protrayed as less than commanding might be because readers don't like them that way. But, as with the onions and the beans and the ten minutes I gained today, I'm willing to take the chance, and I hope readers will too.

You can meet Harry and June here in the first chapter at my site: http://www.jodywallace.com/snips/packandcovenexcerpt1.htm

Jody Wallace
So much cyberspace, so little time!
www.jodywallace.com  / www.meankitty.com

PS The bean soup with apple-chopped onions was not hated.
PPS If you like holiday stories, I have a free holiday short you can find out about at my site and a contemporary holiday romance that just went on sale today, November 29.


  1. Ok wow, interesting analogies! Here Be Magic indeed! Good luck with those onions and can't wait to read about the prickly Alpha! Love to Meankitty!

  2. Meankitty said she HATED the beans, btw.

  3. Excellent! I would never have thought to use an apple slicer for onions or to make a reluctant alpha werewolf. Leave it to you, Jody ;)

    Congrats on the upcoming release and those out!

  4. Jody, I just read the first chapter of Pack and Coven and I loved it. I've got it on my wish list and I'll be looking forward to reading it when it comes out.


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