Serendipity: Not Just A Cool-Sounding Word

On April 21, 2015, in Uncategorized, by rsguthrie

Author_Madonna_Dries_ChristensenAn author friend and fellow Read A Book, Make A Difference (RABMAD) member, Madonna Dries Christensen, is putting together a collection of short stories and poetry on Serendipity—any serendipitous event or moment in the writer’s personal experience (in fact, if you would like to contribute, the specifics are that the submission not be more than 1500 words (flexible); deadline for submission is May 15th, 2015; submissions are being accepted here; because Madonna donates her profits, there would be no compensation other than publication—which for a writer is pretty good all by itself.

serendipity3And we could look at it this way: imagine the writer who has been looking for somewhere to have his/her poem on serendipity published; said writer could publish two pieces: the poem, and the serendipitous finding of Christensen’s project!

When I first saw her email detailing the anthology, the thought of writing something (much less submitting it) seemed impossible to me, as I have faced so much tragedy since 2008 I can hardly stand on two feet without wanting to walk to the edge of a cliff and find out how long it takes a being without the capability to fly to reach the bottom.

serendipityOne of my favorite words (and my wife will back this up) is fortuitous. The definition of serendipity IS actually an unexpected, random or coincidental fortuitous event or happenstance. It was also the original name for Sri Lanka (Serendip). Madonna Dries Christensen included the follow (more expansive and literary) definitions in her email:

An unsought, unintended, unexpected, but fortunate discovery—

Looking for something specific; finding something better— (this is my favorite)

Combined happenings that might or might not be individually beneficial, but coming together, immediately or years apart, they produce a good or welcome outcome—

I started thinking about my own experiences and realized that I have fortuitous events all the time (ergo my wife’s playful criticism of my love for the word). So technically, each of those would be serendipitous, although I think “serendipity” (and most certainly a 1500 word piece for an anthology) implies a higher level of life significance to the event.

(Not very literary or monumental when the grocery clerk serendipitously asks if I need ice and it turns out the product was on my list but I had forgotten to pick it up.)

Fortuitous, though!

Perhaps not, however, serendipitous.

dream-big-wire-art-complete-wordBut I wanted to help my friend. Being at my core an optimist, a dreamer, and a hopeful man full of faith, I really wanted to think of something in my life that was truly serendipitous. And I recently turned 50 (I know; please, a moment of silence), so that is a lot of days from birth until now. None said the event or happenstance need have occurred recently.

So I have decided to 1) Blog about the anthology and give other writers the opportunity to participate, and 2) Try to put together a short story of something significantly serendipitous in my life, to include in the anthology.

Hey, at least I have now already accomplished 50% of my goal.


The blank page is dead…long live the blank page.



2 Responses to Serendipity: Not Just A Cool-Sounding Word

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Rob. The ice story would be great if you took the ice to a party where a woman needed ice and you provided some and that woman became your wife.
    Is this a nonfiction book?

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