‘Morning Joe’ on MSNBC, my addiction /or: How Washington is screwing up my daily word count

I am not interest in beginning a political discussion here, but politics – the past election and daily uproar on the news – has been responsible for me not getting as much writing done as I should.

It all began with the primary circus. I am a fan of Morning Joe. I record it and prior to the primary, I would watch it after writing all morning. Things would come up and, often as not, I wouldn’t make it to the end of the program. What kept my interest was the selection of guests. They came from both parties, so I got to hear both sides of the argument.

As the Republican candidates for president began to shrink, the debates didn’t interest me. I’d get the highlights on Morning Joe. And I did. Usually in the afternoon.

I am not sure when, but one day I made my cafe con leche – Cuban coffee – and  instead of going to my home office to write, I sat down in front of the TV. Something happened late the day before and I knew Joe or Mica would have the scoop. I watched the show and wrote in late morning and into the afternoon.

It surprised me that I could get my word limit done in the afternoon. Within a  week, I had my Cuban coffee in front of the TV listening to Joe & Mica and a list of politicians, political analysts and NBC political reporters.

I should explain that my early life involved working at a Boston newspaper as a copy boy, through an apprentice program and eventually a cub reporter. It left me with “ink in my veins” as the old adage went. I’m a news junkie. And a mystery writer. A fate I wish on no one!

What would make a fantastic thriller? How about the Russians getting involved in our presidential election? How about the elected president and his top circle of aides all working with the Russians? Maybe blackmailed? Imagine! No limits to a writer’s imagination.

So, when I watch the news now it’s as a mystery writer looking at someone’s video synopsis!

A writers’ mind is full of twists and turns, seeks the unexpected and likes to hide things in plain sight. I’m guessing I am not the only writer (or person) who looks at the news and fantasies about an ending.

Today, I got some writing done on chapter 32. Timeline is right, finally. Now, someone has to attempt to kill Mick Murphy! How and where? Tomorrow is a road trip north, so I guess I’ll find out on Friday. But, taking long rides often helps me with my plot ideas. So, with a little luck by Friday I’ll have more than enough ambushes and shootouts and whatevers to get back to the discipline of writing daily and watching the news in the afternoon.

Wish me luck! Not many news junkies break the bonds of their addictions.

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