Moments in Time

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal


Today while I was walking I got to thinking about how I remember odd moments in my life. I’m sure you do too. Of course we all have those universal moments we remember. Moments of tragedy or world changing events so intense that we remember exactly what we were doing when we got the news. The bombing of Pearl Harbor. Kennedy’s assassination. The space shuttle explosion. 9/11. Times seared in our memories. I’m not old enough to remember Pearl Harbor, but I remember all the others.
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But we also remember other moments in time not so dramatic and that seem to have little reason to linger so vividly in our minds. Little snippets of ordinary moments come back to me like how a mockingbird used to perch in the topmost branch of a tree at my old home and sing while I hung clothes on the line. That bird not only sang but would also flutter up off that branch in a bird dance of joy. In another moment I remember the sweet weight of my baby daughter’s warm body against my chest and how she giggled when I rocked her. I know how my father-in-law’s whiskers felt under my fingers when I lathered up his cheeks to shave him after he got older and wasn’t able to shave himself. I can remember how it sounded to open up the lid of the big red metal cooler full of cold water at the country store and pull out a glass bottle of orange cola. Or how the screen door slammed when I came in from school. Then there was the deliciously cool feel of the linoleum floor after I kicked off my shoes and peeled off my bobby socks and how those socks left a pattern of little indentions on the top of my feet. Little moments in time that stick in my mind for no other reason than they happened.
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As a writer, I have to invent all those little moments in time for my characters. Of course in a story I need the big moments when a character is faced with challenges and life changing events, but to make my character really come to life in my head as well as for the readers, I have to know some of those little moments in time for my characters too. Those moments might not all make it into my story, but some of them will. Moments in time. That’s what makes a story. Moments strung together in a forward march to find out what happens next or in flashback moments to see what happened before. Picking the right moments in time to put in a story – that’s a writer’s challenge.
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What ordinary moments in time live on in your memory?
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Oh yeah, and the peony picture is just for pretty. Second oh yeah – if you haven’t signed up for my new giveaway, I’ll be doing the first drawing for a chance to win an autographed copy of my new book, The Seeker, next week and then several more drawings in the month of June and July. Leave a comment with a way to contact you or if you don’t want to leave your e-mail address here, contact me from my website, http://www.annhgabhart.com/. You might be one of the lucky winners. Plus if you’d like some bookmarks for The Seeker, e-mail me your address and I’ll send you a few along with a signed book plate.
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