Nov 14, 2012

Moments to take away

by Jill Burgoyne

Near the closing of my day to blog, I write to you with the few moments I have. Having spent the night in the ER due to not being able to keep anything down, I have spent the day juggling auto loan applications, prescriptions, and two adorable little girls. The dishes did not make the priority cut today, but the living room did at one time.

As I seek to train myself to be a better writer, I am taking whatever free online classes and other advice I can. I realize that not everyone gives advice worth remembering, but almost everyone knows more than I do. The last chapter of the particular writing class that I am reading talked specifically about the moments that people will take away. The class is geared towards people who would like to write screenplays, but I think that those specific moments are vital to a memorable story.

The teacher specified humorous moments and poignant moments. I think back on the movies I like and the moments that impress me most. They are usually the funny and poignant one-liners that Ironman spits out in Avengers, or the moment in Hook when Peter and his family are reunited.

I'm picking a few moments in a manuscript I'm working on. As I've been trying to decide what moments people take away, I look at my life and try to identify the moments in each day that I take away. Yesterday, I realized that I don't remember the painful and constant nausea, or the blood drawing very much. I remember the tenderness with which my husband treated me as he walked me into the ER at 2:30am or the way that the nurse, who had to draw my blood, did it quicker than I thought. I'll probably remember how fast my Mother in Law got to our house to watch our children. OH: and how amazing the ice water tasted once they had me on the anti-nausea medication.

Today, the moment I'll take away forever, won't be the one where my daughter pinched me so hard I bled, or the countless diapers I changed, but I'll remember my little toddlers (1 and 2) dancing in their new(ish) Christmas dresses to a CD my deceased uncle gave us. They were giggling and holding hands gently with one another and spinning in circles to one of my favorite Christmas songs. (Yes, it's early, but both the music and the dresses were special requests) and the moment they produced was timeless.


  1. Jill, I hope that you are feeling better! Thank you sharing those tender moments. They are important to our writing and to our memories! One of those movie moments for me is the scene in Steel Magnolias when the women are at the cemetery and things get really intensely sad until Olivia Dukakis takes matters into her own hands and creates some comic relief. I still cry and laugh at the same time when I watch that scene...even though I know what's coming!

  2. Jill, sorry you were sick. No fun for sure. Love your moments. I hope you keep this picture in your mind forever of you your two sweet angels dancing together. Oh, and no, you aren't too early for Christmas music. My Christmas decorations start going out November 1st. It is such a lovely holiday so why not?


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