It’s About Time

“Time” has been a recurring theme of late. From the STEM event at NIU where guest author, Mike Mullins, said people always ask him when he has time to write, to which he replies- do you have a television? The average American, he says, watches approximately 35 hours of TV a week. Go home, he suggested, and put your foot through the television screen. Voila, you just found time to write.

brokenTV copy

Which was in high contrast to the agent I heard speak in Madison the week before. Marilyn Atlas says we’re in the third golden age of television right now with the best writing ever. Characters are deep, layered, flawed and relatable. If you want to be a good writer, you need to expose yourself to good writing. And you can find that on TV, so don’t raise your foot just yet.




Then this week’s In Print guest speaker, Bryan Cohen, talked about finding time, too. His take seems to be that the time is there, you just need to commit to it. He talked about all the distractions we have to deal with, and overcome…
Electronics (being my number one—shakes fist at Facebook), as well as location, the pull of home chores, family obligations, and procrastination in general.

An old friend from high school that I have contact with through the aid of my nemesis, FB, references the Bermuda Triangle of Productivity where your novel sinks, mired in the dead zone between Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.
So true.

Writers, it seems, have a million excuses.

Lastly, (firstly?) there’s this month’s Prompt Club assignment, “Your character has the ability to manipulate time.”


I have been thinking about this a lot. What would I do if I could manipulate time?

What would you do if you could manipulate time?

I have asked many people this question.
Because I don’t know.
I have a thousand ideas and yet…

The most obvious of time manipulations, I think, is time travel.
But where–or when–would I go? And would I be gone from here while I am there?
Can I travel simultaneously, say from two times at the same time?
Can I go forward? How weird would that be to experience things that had yet to happen?


I had a dream last night that I asked my daughter and her friend what they would do.
They both said they would live in downtown Chicago and “commute” to work. Interesting, I thought, I honestly hadn’t considered that kind of interpretation (consciously). But why Chicago? Why not California? Or Paris? (Maybe because it was a dream?)

Time is tricky. I had an idea for a novel about the Master of Time but I got bogged down in the logistics of it, the timely limitations. There are too many rules—rules which I would break on the page, but you have to know and understand them before you can successfully change them. I worry that there’s always someone smarter reading who will call me on it.


I think if I could manipulate time, I would pause it frequently.
In essence, creating more time.
For me.
Wasn’t that an episode of The Twilight Zone?
TTZ dealt with many types of time manipulations.
I love The Twilight Zone.


Maybe it’s time to do some research?
(sorry, Bryan)

Time is fascinating.
And overwhelming…
Which is making this prompt a challenge.

But it’s not due until August 20. I’ve got time.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
This entry was posted in It's all about me, It's all about You, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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