When I had taken care of all the urgent business, there were only 45 minutes before my darling husband's shift ended! How would I ever get a half hour of production out of that? I turned on my writing laptop (it's not connected to the internet, so as to avoid distractions!) and clicked off all the updates and greetings and toolbars and booby trap detectors that keep popping up (it's a Window's 7 machine, and they are just ever so helpful at interrupting one's screen with advice unrelated to what you're doing!) (Moi, je suis PC et Windows 7, c'est mon idee...mais oui!). Okay, where is that story? Aha! 42 minutes left... I started reading through the 743 words I had so far, and ever so naturally, a scene came to me and I inserted it with total concentration for 25 minutes. Then I was freezing, and had to go down and turn off the air conditioner fan. We seem to be easing right into autumn here, already. The trees started turning color during the second week of August! It's like they said, "We've had enough of this stupid heat, we're going to bed and you all can work on getting the temperature down!" Then, of course, I realized that I had no life-giving water at my laptop, so I had to go back down for that. I reentered the story by fiddling with word choices, then started in on that scene at the end of the manuscript, which means that it is the way into the plot development and necessary if I'm ever to finish the story. At some really important juncture, my husband called to say that he had finished his shift, ten minutes late. Aha! That meant that, even with the physical environment so mercilessly pressing in on me with its demands, I had exceeded my goal of one straight half hour of work on that story. So it was at that moment that I realized I was very sleepy and so hungry. The laptop went to sleep for another day, because, as they say, "Empty bag can't stand up."
Overall, I'm pretty thrilled with the results of my goal-setting. A scene I had never been considering came to me, and it helps with character development and the basic interest level of the story. It's probably a matter of just sitting down with serious intent.
If I have time, that is. My husband only works four hours today!