When is Watching Trash TV is Good for Your Writing?

I'm leading a home study group on a book called Birthing a Greater Reality (which is an amazing book on the evolution of consciousness, by the way) and our first meeting was Tuesday night.  As an icebreaker, I had everyone talk a little about themselves and then say something that was surprising or unexpected about them.  My surprising thing is that I love trashy reality TV.


Why is this surprising?

Well, I've railed against TV-watching on this very blog more than once.  Probably a bit sanctimoniously, it pains me to say.  Even though it is true that TV is one big time-sucking panacea for the masses.

And yet, I'm now hooked on reality shows.  I comfort myself by telling myself that the reality shows I watch are relatively highbrow.  Ones like Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Tanked.  Shows that actually depict people doing interesting things.

But then how to explain my obsession fondness for American Idol, and now, X Factor?

Heavy sigh.

It's unexplainable.


Rationalization #1: When you've spent the day throwing words at the page, putting it all out there as hard as you can, you're brain dead by evening.  And a little mindless TV is about all you're good for.

Rationalization #2: When you own the world's oldest pug, and his greatest joy in life is sitting next to you on the couch watching TV, you want to make him happy in the time he has left.

Rationalization #3:  When you convince yourself that watching trash TV is good for your writing, well, then, anything goes. 

So here's why watching the X Factor (which, I don't think, has quite hit its stride yet, and by the way, there's a reason why American Idol fired Paula, because she is a-noy-ying) is good for your writing:

Reason #1: Because it's inspiring.  Watching people who've been working at their dream of singing with little support or encouraging suddenly getting props for their amazing voices makes my heart swell. 

Reason #2: Because it's a reminder that it can happen to any of us at any time.  Ya just gotta keep believing.  Keep submitting the novel, keep revising the memoir, keep at it.  A 53-year-old woman got up and sang her heart out last night and got put through to the next round.

Reason #3: Because even the bad ones have interesting stories.  And it is fascinating to watch how the producers shape the stories.  And as writers, we should all be soaking up stories as much as possible.

So there you have it, my reasons why you should watch TV once in awhile.  And it will no doubt be the last time I ever recommend such a thing, so enjoy it while you can. 

Do you watch TV?  What shows do you watch?

**Don't forget to sign up for my mailing list.  You'll get a subscription to my bi-weekly newsletter, The Abundant Writer, and a free copy of my Ebook, Jump Start Your Book With A Vision Board.


Photo from Everystockphoto.

Promptitude: Departing for Another World

A friend wrote and told me she seems to be surrounded with people who are having their own personal earthquakes and tsunamis.  I, appparently am no different.  So if you are not in the mood for a short, downer post, click away now.  I'll forgive you.

I was going to do a prompt this week around journal writing, specifically, something to do with writing your way back to yourself.

But right now I'm sitting with a dying pug.  My poor sweet Ally's health problems are overwhelming her and she's got a foot in each world right now.  I'm just happy I got to have her for a few months.  And that she is having a peaceful, loving death.

Here's the prompt of the week, snitched from the book of prompts that I'm creating:

And then we came to the end.

Send a little prayer for the safe passage of my beloved writing companion, would you please?

Why I’m Distracted Today

BusterSitting (Excuse the sideways photo, its how my phone sent it to my computer and as far as I can tell, Typepad doesn't let me rotate it.  Why, Typepad, why?) 

Anyway, meet Ally (the fawn) and Buster (the once-upon-a-time black one).  Ally is 7 and Buster is 13.  Poor old guy is pretty rickety but he is a love.  The two of them were raised together and given up by a family who didn't have time for them.  Yes, Buster is a bit high maintenance but I love him anyway.  It is so wonderful to have pugs and puggie sounds in the house again–Ally follows me everywhere and is currently snoring beside me.

And Now For Something Completely Different: Igor, the Blind Pug

Igor Doing High Five
Due to popular demand, I'm posting photos of Igor, the blind pug.  The photo to the right is a bit blurry because he is in the process of doing a high five, which he does because he thinks he is going to get food (note to new pug owners: pugs will do anything for food).   Igor learned how to do this all by himself–I'm not kidding–years ago.   Assorted family and friends were sitting around the dinner table with the pug on the floor next to me (he knows who the sucker who will feed him is) and I looked down at him and said, "Give me five, Igor," and he did.  I'm not kidding, that really happened.  It is his one and only trick, and it is a good one.

Igor started going blind a couple of years ago, due to cataracts.  Pugs do tend toward eye problems because their eyes are so bulgy.  You can get cataract surgery for dogs, but he is not the best candidate for it, as he has had breathing problems in the past.  One New Year's Eve day he had to spend an entire day in the oxygen room at Dove Lewis, the emergency hospital here in town. 

Our vet calls him the King of Pugs because he is, well, huge.  He used to weigh nearly 50 pounds but now he's down to his fighting weight of 45.  Its not fat, its muscle!  (The average weight for a male pug is about half that.)  But his father was very big, much as he is.   Here are a couple other photos of him:

Christmas 2007--New Polaroid 001
Christmas 2007--New Polaroid 032Christmas 2007--New Polaroid 028He gets around amazingly well in his blindness, he uses his head to bump into things and tell where he is.  Also uses his paw to reach out and feel the edge of a step he knows is there, such as when he is attempting to get off the back deck.

All I can say is, if you have ever thought about getting a pug–do it.  They are the best dogs in the world, comical, sweet, endearing, great companions.  The best dog a writer could possibly ask for.