What can happen in a second? (642 things to write about project)


I’ve received a surprise present from my family this week; a copy of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto’s new book “642 things to write about”. I’ve been a fan of the Grotto ever since reading about it in Po Bronson’s books and it’s been great to finally see something they’ve produced. As I’m suffering from a bout of writers block on two of my projects at the moment, I’m going to be working through the exercises in it over the next few months and I will be posting some of them here. So, for your consideration, here is day one. Please let me know in the comments what else can happen in one second that I’ve missed.

IN ONE SECOND a butterfly can flap its wings, a tree can fall in a forest, a raindrop can land on a window pane, a lightning bolt can hit the top of the Taj Mahal, an airplane door can be opened after a ten-hour flight, someone can click ‘Search’ on Google, a flower can bloom, a shooting star can cross the sky, a desktop globe can be started to spin, a pen can run out of ink, a hummingbird can flap its wings fifty times, a book can be found on a shelf and its title can be read, a gift can be given, a light can be turned on or turned off, a cat can fall asleep, a car can be started, the sun can finish setting, a fish can jump in the sea, a coconut can be split open, a star can explode in a supernova, the last button can be pressed in a video game, a set of curtains can be drawn, a cat can come through its cat flap, someone can step on a drawing pin, a window can be broken, a goal can be scored in football, the last panel of a comic can be read and the last line of a play said, someone can be put into checkmate in a chess game, an electric toothbrush can run out of battery power, a mobile phone can bleep because it is low on power, someone can call your name from across a crowded market, a camel can spit, lunch can be ordered, a bottle of wine can be dropped and broken, a new universe can be created by a new big bang, an old friend can suffer a heart attack, two lovers can kiss for the first time, a new book can be opened, a sculptor can make the first cut with his chisel, a whale can spout water through its blow hole in a South China Sea, a cheetah can bring down a gazelle, a tortoise can take a bite of a strawberry, a bag of rubbish can be dropped into a bin, a snow globe can be turned over, a new tomb in Egypt can be opened, a dog can bark at the moon, the last grain of sand can fall in an hour glass, a TV screen can flicker, a light bulb can blow, ‘equals’ can be pressed on a pocket calculator, a phone can ring, an email can arrive, a martial artist can disarm a knife-wielder, someone can click ‘Save’ on a computer, a post-it note can be stuck to the wall, a dart can hit the bulls eye in a dart board, someone can pot the black in a game of pool, an envelope can be torn open, a pencil can be turned in a pencil sharpener, someone can put a pair of sunglasses on, a prayer can be said in a Buddhist temple, a match can be struck, a bath plug can be pulled out, a horse can start to run, someone can take a bite from a cheeseburger, the sun can come out from behind a cloud, dust can be swept from a shelf, a baby can smile for the first time, a wheelchair user can run over someone’s foot, a twig can be snapped, glasses can be chinked in a toast, a compass needle can spin from west to east, a sewing needle can be threaded, a drawing can be started, a photo can be taken and someone can have an idea.

(Image: http://sandiego.ncsy.org/hamans-second-by-eli-milstein/)

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