Clever Tweets about the Quake

When the quake rocked the Eastern seaboard yesterday, the news hit Twitter in microseconds, and the topic trended for well over an hour.

My heart went out to those unaccustomed to earthquakes. As a native Californian, I’ve experienced several quakes and know how unsettling they can be. Thankfully there were only a few minor injuries and only a few structures sustained damage.

As I watched the tweets flood the stream—after surmising that this wasn’t the “big one”—I marveled at the creativity of the tweeters recording their reactions to the unusual event.

Because I follow writers who are talented wordsmiths, it made sense that clever tweets abounded. I noted some that were posted in the two hours following the initial quake.

Some tweets showed how much a part of our thoughts our writing is. . .

@RobinKayeWrites – Working outside a Safeway in MD. Grabbed computer, left the pocketbook and ran out into the parking lot What does that say about me?

@shawnsmucker – Today’s #earthquake : just another reason not to do any more meaningful work today. #writersblockisanaturaldisaster

@Brad_Parks – That #earthquake epicenter was Mineral, VA, which means it might have been @steveweddle slamming down his latest manuscript in frustration.

@Hope Ramsay – Earthquake! Wow! photos came off walls. Power died long enough to require systems reboots. Talk about an interesting release day.

@donlinn – Happy that my Twitter pal, @GretchenMcNeil ‘s book POSSESS, was greeted on its release date with such earthshaking approval.

@LindsayRibar – The world better not end before my book pubs. #earthquake

Some tweets poked fun at government and the economic situation. . .

@adamlevine – Ok. Even GOD is pissed off at Washington now.

@HighCheese – Congress deadlocked in debate over what just happened. #earthquake

@KarlFrisch – Did the debt ceiling just collapse?

@PorterAnderson – Dow up 294, Nasdaq up 95, after brief dip post-shaking. Investors do enjoy a good #earthquake. 🙂

Some tweets made me chuckle. . .


@JosephScrimshaw: An #earthquake is mother nature’s way of stealing focus from celebrity divorces. #TwitterLessons

@jamesscottbell – In California we call 5.9s “foot massages.”

@BookEmDonna – Tweeps, I’m off to stock up on essentials (coffee, half-and-half, chocolate). I hope to be back before the next natural disaster.

• • •

Note: I don’t mean to make light of a serious situation, but I understand that some people employ humor as a way of helping them cope. Those who did helped me relax a bit.

Were you one of the ones who felt Tuesday’s earthquake? If so, how did you react?

If you weren’t affected by the quake, have you experienced one at another time?

Do you make use of humor to help deal with scary situations?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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35 Responses to Clever Tweets about the Quake

  1. bethkvogt says:

    I am all about comic relief, Keli. Case in point: The time I learned how to rappel down a cliff? My friend/instructor is at the top, instructing. I’m going down in all my rock climbing garb, laughing the entire way. When my feet touched solid ground again. I looked up and he said, “You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?”
    Nope. But I had fun–and I accomplished the goal.
    I realize sometimes scary situations are just that: scary.
    But if humor can diffuse the tension (if not during, then after) I’m all for it.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Beth, you’re a brave woman. I can’t imagine rappelling down a cliff. If I were to do so and were to laugh at the same time, my laughter would be of the hysterical variety. =)

  2. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    OMG, Keli, I hope that you,your family and friends and all people over at the East Coast of the USA are well and calm again now! We heard the news 2 hours ago here.
    I have been in an 8.1er quake in 2001 in Arequipa, Peru, followed by 3 tsunamis at the coast of Camaná, soI know how it feels. I still jump up now when the wind makes the windows rattle….

    A big hug to all over in the USA and to you! xxxx


    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Martina, I’m in California, so I’m fine. Even though my state is known for earthquakes, this one rocked the other coast. I’m thankful the injuries were few and the damage minimal.

      I can’t imagine being in an 8.1 quake and don’t even want to think about a tsunami. I can understand why you’re jumpy after that.

      While I’ve felt a number of quakes, my husband and I had moved to Germany from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, seven months before that big quake in 1989, so I’ve never experienced a major quake. The biggest I’ve felt was in the 7.0 range. Lots of shaking but not too much damage. Even a small quake can be very unsettling, though.

      • Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

        I forgot about that as I was writing to Char Chaffin at the same time, Keli. Nevertheless, California is USA`s most quaky region, and I am very glad you missed out that big one in 1989! 7,0 is very serious, though. Did you ever get used to the quakes?

        In Peru wer were used to the smaller/monor ones, but after that big one in 2001 we couldn´t sleep well for months (had a lot of aftershocks, too), often had days when the brain just would take a rest from that constant stress,and I still hate standing on shaky grounds.

        Stay safe and take care!


        • Keli Gwyn says:

          Martina, I don’t know if one can ever get used to earthquakes. They are always startling. However, I know what one feels like, so they don’t have the same effect on me as they do on a person who’s never experienced one before.

  3. Donna Pyle says:

    Talk about clever! Your post captured a moment in time that we could all relate to. Isn’t that what writing is all about? Love it!

  4. These were great. I love the gal who ran outside with her laptop and left her pocketbook behind. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Erica, since I love my Coach bags, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to chose between my purse and my computer. Talk about a tough decision. 🙂

  5. Wendy says:

    Felt it. Thought I might finally be losing it. Glad that wasn’t the case. 😀

    I also seemed to react fairly casually compared to a lot of the tweets I read. If I thought God was doing any talking to me, I wondered if He was encouraging me to get off the computer b/c that’s where I was when the ground started to move.
    ~ Wendy

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wendy, I’m glad you’re OK and that you took things in stride. You strike me as someone who has her head together and doesn’t panic–a well grounded soul.

  6. I laughed at @Brad_Parks tweet!!!

    I didn’t feel it here, I was at the barn when it happened. But those in higher levels of buildings around here did, so it reached as far as Southern Ontario.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Eileen, I was amazed to hear how far away the quake was felt. It’s not like that here in California. We can only feel a quake if we’re within 30-50 miles from the epicenter.

      Being a curious type, I did some checking online and found out that quakes east of the Rockies can be felt up to 10x further away from the epicenter than quakes west of the range. I can vouch for that. I live around 100 miles from San Francisco, and yet I don’t feel quakes that occur there. In fact, our area here in the Sierra Foothills is considered so seismically sound that our insurance agent laughed at my hubby and me when we opted to purchase earthquake coverage for our house because the likelihood of a quake here is so slim.

  7. Too funny Keli. I’m glad the quake wasn’t too bad for everyone. Sounds like everyone rebounded quickly – or if you’re like Wendy, you weren’t even phased! 🙂

    I know I’ve been in a few earthquakes but nothing serious enough that I actually remember them!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lacie, like you, I’ve experienced several earthquakes, but none of them were serious. My hubby and I had moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area just a few months before the big quake of 1989. We were living in Germany and watched the news in a state of shock. Thankfully none of our friends was hurt, but my heart went out to the many who lost loved ones and suffered property damage. I doubt I’ll ever forget the pictures of the freeway collapse. Scary.

  8. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    I once wrote a novel that played mainly on Hawaii and in the USA. I wrote about a quake in Iran in it, and then later that quake happened.Then I wrote about a war against Iraq, and it happened. Then I wrote about a hurricane hitting Hawaii, and later it happened. Then my husband ordered me to stop writing that novel….

  9. Lisa Jordan says:

    The trembling hit my house during naptime. I thought I had a sudden bout of vertigo, but then my computer trembled too. Loved Jim Bell’s response!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Keli, what a way to start my day! Loved these! And here in my little neck of the woods, it’s not the earthquakes that tend to rock our world–it’s the tornadoes.

    You asked about humor in scary situations…Yes, I’m one of those people who who tend to look at the lighter side during frightening moments. Example–During the last big tornado that swept through here, we were down in the basement in our safe room. We could hear the wind and all the debris hitting the brick upstairs. Our lights had gone out of course, but we had flashlights. When we heard what literally sounded like a locomotive roaring over our house, I remember thinking I hope we still had a bathroom left ’cause I really had to go. I knew I shouldn’t have had those three glasses of tea with supper! (Blessedly, our damage was minor compared to our dear neighbors’ and I was able to use the bathroom in the nick of time!)

    • cynthiaherron says:

      Keli, “anonymous” was me…guess I wasn’t logged in properly. 🙂

      • Keli Gwyn says:

        Cynthia, I can’t imagine being in the midst of a tornado. That has to be so scary. I’m glad you’re able to employ humor to help you deal with the twisters.

  11. Didn’t feel a bit down here in FL. Funny tweets! I’m so glad everyone was okay. My cousin posted something funny about the national debt falling of the president’s desk, causing the founding fathers to turn over in their graves. lol
    btw, I had a card I meant to send to you when your book sold (or maybe when you sent me a card for my book selling?). Anyway, I lost it so ended up e-mailing, but now I found it, so you should get it in a few days. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jessie, I wondered if you felt the quake down your way. Sounds like your brother has quite the sense of humor. If I’d seen his tweet, I’d have added it to my list. 🙂

  12. These tweets are awesome! Writers sure are clever. 🙂

    I guess I was walking into my living room when it happened because I saw the television shaking like mad. I was puzzled, but I shrugged my shoulders and got on with what I was doing. Then my husband texted me to call him so I did and he was like, “Are you okay? We just felt an earthquake here.” I thought he was joking! He felt it at work, even ceiling tiles fell down. He’d tried calling me for five minutes but couldn’t get through. I was chuckling at the news when all the west coasters were making fun of us east coasters because people just streamed into the streets when they felt it because we really have no idea what to do for an earthquake, LoL! I think it was more startling than scary for us here because we didn’t what it was at first. Ignorance is bliss!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Laura, I’m glad you’re OK. I think it’s sweet how your hubby’s first reaction was to touch base with you.

      I know some West Coasters poked fun at those of you on the East Coast. We’re used to quakes. However, you should see us when a teensy tiny twister makes an appearance. The regular news was preempted the last time one formed here in Northern California so we could watch the little twirler until it petered out. No one was really in danger since the little thing swirled over a remote area where only a few head of cattle took notice. Even so, the twister was the top news story. I’m sure some Midwesters would have clutched their sides laughing at us then.

  13. Talking about humor to deal with something. My daughter works at a hospital in the Bronx where she lives. She sent me the email that was sent to all employees computers giving everyone an update and stating that some buildings in that borough had experienced “some movement.”

    I wrote her back and said … “stay calm and don’w walk under any pedestrian bridges.” 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Florence, I’m glad your daughter and the rest of those in the hospital were OK.

      Here in California in the areas prone to quakes, we’re taught how to deal with them. I lived in the Los Angeles area as a young child and remember the “Duck and Cover” drills when we had to dart under our desks and crouch into little balls.

      Even though my hubby and I live in the Sierra Foothills, which isn’t a seismically active area, when we moved into our house, I figured out the safest place to go should a quake occur and made sure there wasn’t anything heavy on the walls over our bed that could clunk us on the head. Guess those drills really did their job. 🙂

  14. Jessica R. Patch says:

    I was knee deep in cleaning house. I got a Twitter from a friend who said, “Did you feel the earthquake there?”

    “What earthquake?”

    “Nevermind. Go back to your biz.”

    I jumped on twitter and saw many of these same tweets. I chuckled and prayed. 🙂

  15. Keli,
    Saw this on a friend’s facebook this morning. So glad the earthquake didn’t make a huge situation. Made it easier to laugh at this.

    The USGS has determined that the epicenter of the Va earthquake was in a graveyard just outside of DC. The cause appears to be all of our Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves.
    Posted by Julie Harding Marx

  16. Heather F says:

    I’m in Madison, NC.

    I was sitting on my bed talking to my husband and i noticed things were shaking. Then I realized I wasn’t doing laundry. I go, “Honey the house is shaking.”. He LAUGHS, “oook”. “No honey the house is SHAKING shaking. I’m on the bed and it’s vibrating… I think this is how and earthquake feels…..I think we’re having an Earthquake!”. Him, “Are you sure it’s not just one of the helicopters or big trucks?” (Side note: We live in the boonies where they still routinely do checks for pot farmers and moonshiners. So we get low flying planes and helicopters that sound and feel like they are going to land on the house. And when big trucks go down our road it does give us a nice “foot massage”. Lol.) Me, “No honey I think this is really and earthquake. Our house is shaking. Who do you call when your house is shaking and you don’t know why?? Let me call mom and see if she knows anything (step-dad works at 911).” We hang up. He calls right back. “Did you check your Facebook yet?”. Me, “No, why? Wait! I was right! It WAS a earthquake wasn’t it?!?”.

    Once again I’m right and smarter. My phone lines were messed up for hours. But I was more excited about getting to experience a (safely sized) earthquake. My boys came home from school telling me they felt it. It hit during my youngest’s nap time and he goes, “Mommy my bed was shaking!”.

  17. James Scott Bell’s Tweet cracks me up. I didn’t feel the quake, but we had our own 5-plus earthquake here a few years ago. It was definitely a little eerie. I can’t imagine thinking of it as a foot massage, LOL.

  18. Enjoyed this post, Keli – – and personally, I think the humorous comments that came out after the East coast earthquake the other day were great! (and I’m certainly not making light of it either–but the world can definitely use more humor). 🙂 I live south of Atlanta and didn’t feel anything; however my nephew who works in an office in Atlanta said several of his co-workers felt their desks shaking.

  19. Jill Kemerer says:

    Thanks for making me laugh, Keli! I agree with you that writers can spin humor on any event–gruesome or not! Have a fun weekend!

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