the second hand

Some of my earliest memories center on the television. Fame. 21 Jump Street. TGiF. Dallas. Miami Vice.
The one and only time I ever heard my mother cuss was while we were sitting around the TV watching Dallas. Momma looked at Daddy and said, “That Sue Ellen is such a B****”
I was floored. My mother just shrugged and said sometimes you couldn’t describe a person with any other word.
As I got older I definitely understood what she meant, but my nine-year-old brain was just afraid she was going to burn in hell.
I know I waste a lot of time watching TV. I tell myself it’s an exercise in quality writing. I mean anything that can bring out the kind of passion that makes my mother cuss is something special. 🙂 I watch for hooks, for story lines, for characterization. Heck I watch Desperate Housewives for sheer fun. Tonight after DW, I planned on writing. Instead I watched Grey’s Anatomy. I love the show. I excuse watching it by saying the theme is so well developed for each episode, that the characters sparkle, that the writing eclipses a lot of what’s out there.
But then since I watch Survivor and Amazing Race with the zeal of a reality TV addict, I know there’s a good chance I’d watch the show just because.
I know TV’s taking up too much of my time. It’s eating away at my writing schedule and I’m letting it.
So that’s got to change.
You can’t get published if you don’t write. I keep telling myself that while I’m flipping through the 121 cable TV stations I now have.
I need to remember how to put down the remote. I need to remember how to hit the off button. I need to remember the joy of creating my own characters, my own stories, my own themes that run through entire books.
I can’t get back the minutes I lose. They’re gone.
And memories of a great TV show aren’t going to offer a lot of comfort if I still have a load of unpublished manuscripts sitting in my desk and the beginning of a new work on my computer by the end of this school year.
The clock’s ticking. I better get busy.

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