Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Weekly Scribblings #80: Sudden Moments

Hello  again, dear Wordsmiths. How are you surviving the weather, the pandemic, the politics? Escaping into books (if only temporarily) is one of my strategies.

Lately I’ve been reading Tim Winton – such a beautiful writer! 


This time it’s not one of his brilliant novels, but The Boy Behind the Curtain, a collection of autobiographical stories which the blurb describes as ‘a powerful evocation of those charged moments that make up a life’. It further describes these moments as, ‘joyous, traumatic and transformational.’ In the early part of the book, which is where I am, they are moments of accident and havoc.

Winton himself says, in the book, that he has been ‘a chronicler of sudden moments … the abrupt and the headlong’. Certainty, he suggests, is an illusion, yet we have come to expect it. He tells of an editor rejecting one of his stories on the grounds that 'the shark attack came out of nowhere' – as if that were 'so unlikely as to seem improper'. 

The book was written in 2016. By now we have been reminded en masse that life is not as predictable as it may seem. 

On the other hand, we can get a sixth sense. He mentions also the 'sudden, skin-prickling proximity to havoc’ in situations of danger, whereby ‘sometimes its arrival is no real surprise at all … If you’re attuned, you can see things coming unstuck before it starts to happen, and it’s an eerie feeling.’

At this point he’s talking about catastrophic events, but the same prescience might also apply to the joyously serendipitous.

I would love to read what you have to say about sudden events which people somehow sensed coming – and also those which they didn’t. Whether traumatic or joyous, your own or someone else’s, real or fictional – that’s up to you.

New or newish writing, please, or old stuff considerably reworked; one per person; verse or prose, with prose capped at 369 words. Link us to your post via Mister Linky below; and leave us a few words here, too, if you will.

On Sunday Magaly will host our next Writers' Pantry, on the first day of August. Goodness, how did we get here so fast?


  1. What an interesting book, Rosemary. At the moment, I am reading The New Hot: Cruising Through Menopause with Attitude and Style, by Meg Mathews. I find it informative and funny. When I read your prompt, my first thought was, I should write about menopause, since it took me completely by surprised even though I should've been expecting it. But the androgynous angel won.

    Thanks so much for hosting, sweetest Rosemary.

  2. Thanks for hosting Rosemary. This is my sudden event. I did not see it coming. I was traumatized for quite a while after that, realizing all that I might have lost, beyond just my life. But I survived it. April 14th 2017, at 2:00 AM, while in Evergreen Hospital, Kirkland WA, recovering from heart surgery — my heart stopped beating. I was saved by the efforts of their Code Blue team. That morning, a pacemaker was implanted in my heart. I began this poem not long after that, but never finished it. I finally finished it early this morning for this prompt.

    1. I'm glad you finished the poem; one worth writing, and reading. And I'm very glad you returned to life (in more ways than one)!

  3. First time poster. Not sure what to expect. Pretty nervous. I really like this blogs vibe. You guys seem nice. I enjoy reading your writing, well what I've read.

    Thank you for the good work you guys are doing.

    1. Thanks, Jack. I love what you shared, and hope you will come back and let us see more. Yes, we are pretty nice, I think, and have a sense of community. As you have posted your link a little later than most, you might not get many readers this time around. Please don't let that put you off. (But if you comment on other people's, they'll probably come looking for yours, to reciprocate.)

    2. Welcome to Poets and Storytellers United, Jack.


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