The Moment
The Moment Home Readings Moments Online Extras Buy the Book About Press Center
Line Break
Line Break

The Moment: A Selection

Classroom of the Week: Windsor High School’s “Moments”

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Inspired by SMITH Magazine’s recent anthology, The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure, English teacher Paul Jolly of Windsor High School in Windsor, CA asked his students write and share some Moments of their own.

Jolly first heard about The Moment when SMITH editor, Larry Smith, was interviewed on San Francisco public radio station KQED. “I loved the book and had shared several stories with my students, all high school juniors and seniors, most of whom have little to no confidence in their writing,” says Jolly. “They’ve had the usual crappy experiences in English class: inability to understand the reading, which leads to an inability to know what kind of help to ask for, which leads to lousy essays, which leads to insights such as, ‘School sucks.’” (more…)

Christine Macdonald’s Moment— “Sunset Strip”

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Since its release earlier this year, we’ve heard from readers across the world that The Moment is a book that people snuggle up with in bed, reading a few essays a night. At the same time, one of the most unexpected pleasures is just how these stories have come alive at the events we’ve had across the country. At a truly phenomonal evening at San Francsico’s indie gem, Booksmith, a crowd of 75+ people didn’t stir as twelve Moment contributors shared their stories. Here’s Christine Macdonald reading her essay, “Sunset Strip.”

Stephen Tobolowsky’s Moment: “The Moth and the Window”

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Recognize this guy? It’s the inimitable Stephen Tobolowsky, who you’ve probably seen in Deadwood or Glee, and is perhaps most beloved for his role as Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day. He recently read his piece, “The Moth and the Window” at SMITH Magazine’s The Moment reading at Gallery at The Bootleg in Loa Angeles. Joining Stephen that evening to share their “moments” were Ray Richmond, Rich Ferguson, Rebecca Woolf, Sascha Rothschild, Jeremy Toback, Elizabeth Jayne Liu, Laura Cathcart Robbins, Christine Macdonald, and Craig T. Williams.

Moment Mondays: “Cornrows” by Lori Sabian

Monday, June 6th, 2011

My turn was last. It became clear very quickly my hair did not respond as expected. More vaseline was applied. More rubber bands came out and still it did not obey. We tried our very best to keep my slippery straight hair bound by tiny braids.

Each Monday, we’re featuring a story submitted for consideration in our upcoming book, The Moment, coming out in January 2012 from Harper Perennial. What’s a “moment”? It’s a story, told in words, images, emails or even the occasional poem or tweet (or sometimes a poetic series of tweets), about something large or small, playful or profound, that changed a life.

So many of the Moments we receive take place when the author was quite young. I suppose it’s not surprising that so many of us have turned into the people we are because of our earliest experiences and influences. Still, I’ve been blown away by the intensity and wisdom of these moments. As a new dad, readings stories like “Cornrows” by Lori Sabian (below) reminds me of the most obvious and yet often-forgotten notion there is for a parent: every single moment in a child’s life counts. (more…)

Moment Mondays: “If I Don’t Die Today, I Will Marry Kristin Moore” by Aaron Huey

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

“The shooting had started three hours ago, and we had no clear exit. In the back seat of our unarmored Ford F250 there was a translator and a Dyncorp medic. I pressed down between them as close to the floor as I could so that they would absorb the bullets.”

Each Monday, we’re featuring a story from our upcoming book, The Moment, coming out in January 2012 from Harper Perennial. What’s a “moment”? It’s a story, told in words, images, emails or even the occasional poem or tweet about something large or small, playful or profound, that changed a life.

The story below and image above is by Aaron Huey, a photojournalist for National Geographic, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, The Smithsonian, and The New York Times. It’s a moment about facing the worst—in his case an ambush by the Taliban, which is pretty much as bad as it gets—and figuring out what, or who, is the best part of your life for the first time. Thankfully, most of us won’t face what Aaron did, but everyone goes through gut checks. Read on for a very big moment. (more…)

Moment Mondays: “Just a Man” by Nadja Cada

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Each Monday, we’re featuring a story from our upcoming book, The Moment, coming out in January 2012 from Harper Perennial. What’s a “moment”? It’s a story, told in words, images, emails or even the occasional poem or tweet (or sometimes a poetic series of tweets), about something large or small, playful or profound, that changed a life.

The image above and story below comes from Nadja Cada, a student in Ramona Pringle’s Visual Studies course in the New Media department at Ryerson University in Toronto. This second-year class encourages students to explore the nature of narrative in the digital, visual age, and experiment with multi-platform production and non-linear modes of storytelling. This “moment” feels especially relevant in time between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and given the topic of SMITH Mag’s May 18 Story Show.

“The Moment was our first assignment of the year, a way of getting to know each other as individuals, artists and storytellers,” says Pringle, who was recently featured in a New York Times story about how virtual connections in gaming culture are fueling real-life connections. “Students were first asked to write a moment and accompany it with an image for print (of any media) and then asked to create a time-based piece (video, animation, etc), based on their moment.” (more…)

Moment Mondays: “Flash” by Caroline Paul

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Each Monday, we feature a story from our upcoming book, The Moment, coming out in January 2012 from Harper Perennial. What’s a “moment”? It’s a story, told in words, images, emails or even the occasional Tweet, about something large or small, playful or profound, that changed someone’s life. Everybody has a Moment—what’s yours?

The Moment below, “Flash,” comes from Caroline Paul, a writer who in a previous life was a San Francisco firefighter. It’s a singular moment in one person’s life, one most of us would never even come close to experiencing. And yet like the best Moments, “Flash” tells a larger story about growing up.

Flash
By Caroline Paul

“The situation now in the house’s hallway was pretty typical—pitch black from smoke, and hot. Very hot. We were all crawling and dragging hose, bumping into walls and each other. Then—it was this simple—the world exploded.”

Black smoke was pumping heavily from the house when we arrived. The chief looked unhappy; the first arriving crews hadn’t pinpointed the fire yet, and the situation was devolving. (more…)

Comic Legend Arthur Suydam’s Moment

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

“I was in the hospital for a year, wrapped up like a mummy from head to toe. They thought I was going to die.”

Arthur Suydam, an iconic comic and sci-fi artist for Marvel Comics, National Lampoon, Heavy Metal and most everywhere else interesting, edgy art is found, writes about the moment he began to draw. His illustration below tells that story as well.

When I was five years old, a group of kids and I were outside playing and got a hold of some fireworks that didn’t go off. We’d seen a lot of cartoons where you tie a string to the dynamite, and the coyote is running with the dynamite in his pocket and it blows up. (more…)

Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Moment”: The Secret Life of Parents

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

“Hearing my mother’s voice calling to my father like that filled me with the most eerie and unsettling realization—namely, that these two people, my parents, existed separately from me.”

I must have been three years old because this happened in our old house, and we moved when I was four. I was upstairs, on the hallway carpet, on my belly, pushing a Barbie across the floor on her belly, as though she were a racecar. It was evening—after dinner, but before bedtime—and the household was slowly shutting down for the day. I could hear my parents moving about downstairs, making the mild noises of domestic life. (more…)

A Moment: Mom’s Tattoo

Monday, October 11th, 2010

“It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve seen my mom and she says, “look what I got,” and shows me the tattoo on her tan shoulder.”

Summer Pierre, a contributor to our most recent Six-Word Memoir book (”Arty dad, rocker mom, crazy childhood.”) offers a lovely illustrated Moment about her unusual mother with an unusual tattoo. She was eight years old when this Moment occurred. Click on the image below to enlarge, and let this intimate Moment sink in.

 
SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.