Taking Tea in the Kasbah


If you give a writer a brownie, she’ll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She will immediately stop her writing, go into her kitchen and get out the Italian coffee pot to brew some nice, strong coffee.

Strong coffee will remind her of her recent trip to Italy. She will want to look at her photos from her Italian adventures, so she will pull them up on her laptop while she eats her brownie and drinks her coffee.

Venice, you enchanting temptress…

Seeing her photos will make her want to figure out where her next international trip will be, so she will go to her library’s website to reserve multiple guide books for places in Africa, like Tanzania and Zanzibar.

african elephant at sunset

Thinking about going to Africa will make her realize that she doesn’t have the necessary travel gear, so she will go to several websites and seriously contemplate purchasing some necessary items.

indiana jones hat, camera, map

Seeing the hat will remind her of the other hats in her collection, including the one from the 1930’s that her friend recently gave her. She will put the hat on and look at herself in the mirror. The writer will be frightened by the reflection staring back at her because she is in desperate need of a haircut. She will quickly take off the hat and walk to her closet to put it away.

On the way, she will see one of her cats lounging about, looking completely and insanely adorable. She will stop to pet and snuggle him.

sleepy lil' Hen on chair

Sweet little Henry

Having awakened the cat from his hours-long slumber, the writer will commence her one-sided dialogue with him, talking in Β what could only be described as a terrible rendition of Ricky Ricardo:

“Lil’ Hen, you have some ‘splaining to do. Can you ‘splain to me why you are so cute?”

It will not be the writer’s finest moment.

The cat, bored with all of the compliments, will go back to sleep, leaving the writer to resume her prior activity. Except the writer will not be able to remember what she was going to do before petting the cat. She will shrug her shoulders, as she will often do in moments like that, and then will notice her laptop sitting open on the table nearby. It will remind her that she is a writer and really should be doing some writing.


She will hop on the internet and notice that she has not yet checked her Twitter, Facebook, or email accounts, not to mention working on her novel-in-progress or writing blog posts. The writer will feel completely overwhelmed by all of this and will have a sudden, strong desire for another cup of coffee.

The writer will head into the kitchen to fix herself another cup of coffee to give her the necessary writing mojo to crank out some brilliant prose. And if the writer has another cup of coffee, chances are she’ll want a brownie to go with it.

Inspired by “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

I know I’m not the only one who can get distracted from my daily goals. So, in the interest of keeping me company (and so my poor cat doesn’t have to endure any more Ricky Ricardo imitations) tell me, dear readers, what has distractions have you faced today? How did you overcome them?

44 thoughts on “If You Give a Writer a Brownie

    • My youngest daughter and I love the whole series of these books. The illustrations crack me up every time!

  1. It’s pretty much the same. Sooo the same that I’m cracking up. Only the task at hand is that I’ve pretty much let the mail pile up all over my livingroom for about a month, and there are bills and other things trapped at the bottom. There is just so much that is more interesting than plowing through that … junk, with only the tiniest thing of importance buried within.

    • Mail can pile up so quickly, can’t it? It just keeps coming and coming… Thankfully, a lot of my mail has been switched to online bills, etc. Though, getting on the internet is just it’s own form of distraction of a most evil variety. πŸ™‚

  2. I love this! So true! My mom calls it “oh-but-first” syndrome.

    I think the internet distractions are the worst, because your BODY is in the right place (at your computer, where you should be working on your WIP) but your MIND is in the wrong place (running around on Twitter).

    Those brownies, however, look positively irresistible. I want one! And maybe some coffee to go with it πŸ™‚

    • “Oh but first” syndrome – that’s a great way to put it! And I totally agree that the internet is the worst distraction of all!

  3. There’s SO much truth in this! It makes me laugh, but at the same time I’m cringing inside. That’s exactly why I never get anything done! I always thought I had ADD or something. Now I know it’s WSDD – Writer’s Syndrome Deficit Disorder. Or maybe it’s just procrastination. Na, couldn’t be that. πŸ˜‰

    Great post!

    • The internet has made it more and more difficult for me to sustain my focus these days, especially as I continue to branch out in social media. I’ve been feeling a lot like the mouse in that story lately. πŸ™‚

  4. Love this so much and yes it totally rings true! My distractions? This morning the puppy barked at the window so I went to stop her and that led to the final outcome of my morning which was washing her crate and the blanket in it.
    Now she is asleep and I can get back to work. Ridiculous.

  5. Wow, and I, not even 1 full into my week of working on “The Book” of a lifetime have been successfully sidetracked by this post shared by a wonderful writing friend who is jealous ! πŸ™‚ Now where is my coffee?

  6. You nailed me. Now I must quickly tweet this, the resist the urge to look at any photos from recent trips or look for that hiding camera battery charger for my next trip. And get back to writing. Great job!

  7. on ,
    Debbie Morella said:

    What a great post Tami! Had me laughing the whole way through. I can totally relate and sometimes wonder how I get anything done at all. What a nice read!

  8. I just happened be eating a big dish of devils food cake with vanilla icecream on top when I noticed this link on my friend Susie’s facebook page. Yep, Yep Yep, that perfectly describes me! While I am trying to write…life happens! The great thing about that is that it gives me more writing material! Vicious cycle…writing about life, life keeps happening so I can write more about life… Thanks for being so real! We can ALL identify!

  9. If you have brownies at your house that look like that, I’m taking a big writing detour and heading your way. Also your coffee maker might be a draw. I adored this post as much as my family and I adored those books. I don’t know your voice but I felt like you were reading me the story. Maybe when I come by, you can read it to me again. πŸ™‚

    • Sara, I would definitely make you some strong coffee, give you a big plate of brownies, and read the story to you again, providing I don’t get distracted along the way. πŸ™‚

  10. Love this so much! I’m not familiar with the book, so I’m prepared to accept it’s just your brilliance. Exactly like my life.

  11. Aw, Ricky … I absolutely love this post! Not only is it as funny as it is true, but I have every reason to believe that just before I can settle into writing this afternoon, I am certain to have an incredible urge to watch “just a couple” episodes of I Love Lucy. I think the cat will really enjoy it πŸ˜€

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  13. So cute and clever, Tami! I have to ask…you don’t really think the makeup I have on half my face, the cold half a cup of coffee sitting by the computer, the bag of opened rice crackers lying by the kitchen sink and the partially opened envelope on the sofa are signs of obsessive distraction, do you? Oh dear…I think that was a “yes.” Can anyone recommend a good Distractionary Specialist?

  14. on ,
    hmcmullin said:

    This is great! And I love the “oh but first” description – that’s me! By the time I get all the distractions taken care of, its time to go to bed.

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