Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can I Quote You on That?

Rue d'Orchampt Graffiti - Montmartre, Paris -  by DG Hudson

Quotes are collected by a lot of people. In them we find something that meshes with our way of viewing the world. It’s all about how we interpret the words.

From My Writing Collection:

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” Anais Nin, author.

  • Try not to annoy your neighbours while you’re getting in the mood for writing.

“I’m enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world.” Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist.

  • Exactly what writers need to hear. Imagination fuels our chosen task.

“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.” Oscar Wilde

  • I don’t agree with censorship, let me make my own choices.

“Nothing limits intelligence more than ignorance; nothing fosters ignorance more than one’s own opinions, nothing strengthens opinions more than refusing to look at reality.” Sheri S. Tepper, author.

  • How about alternate reality in that parallel universe? Or is that non-reality?

“The first draft of anything is sh*t.” Attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

  • Not the most encouraging words to hear when you’ve just finished an 85,000 word manuscript.
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.” Franz Kafka

  • Beware of icebergs.

Bouquinistes of Paris-Booksellers by the Seine - DG Hudson

Old Indian Proverb (handed down through the male line): “If you wait long enough down at the river, you will see the bodies of your enemies float by.”

  • Not sure what has to happen up river for this to occur. That part is hazy. Could be a good plot though in the right setting.

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.” Jeremy Irons

  • Are we talking fantasy and science fiction? Or Book dreams?

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

  • This could be applicable to many things. . . like publishing.

“A clean house shows a life misspent,” because: “Children grow up and leave home, the dust & dirt will always be there.”

  • (Unknown author, but a reassuring mantra if you’d rather spend time with the kids and/or writing that book)

“Never forget where you came from and who you are.” (A native teacher reminding the younger ones of their inherited chieftain bloodline in a Native band)

  • Good advice if you’re writing memoir. But don’t use their real names.

“Non, Je ne regret rien” or “No, I regret nothing”, attributed to Edith Piaf, French chanteuse.

  • Do our regrets align with our expectations? It’s something to consider when crafting our characters.

"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it."  Jean-Paul Sartre, author.

  • A great reason to write a story.

"In every author let us distinguish the man from his works." Voltaire, author.

  • Is this referring to those authors who smudge the lines between truth & fiction, or is he saying to keep the narrator in the background?

"I never said most of the things I said." Yogi Berra, baseball icon.

  • Some recent authors must have studied at the Yogi Berra School of Denial.

"I don’t write a quick draft and then revise; instead, I work slowly page by page, revising and polishing."  Dean Koontz, author.

  • A bad habit? I’m not so sure. It works for me sometimes, if I don’t let myself get bogged down. It’s interesting that a lot of authors take all that advice about how to revise with a big grain of salt.

I’m not a quote fanatic, but some things that people say (even off the cuff) have staying power. It’s always comforting to know we’re not the only ones who think a certain way. It’s also important to remember what works for one might not work for another.

Do you have any favourite quotes?  Add them in the comments if you want to share them.

***References:  Brainy Quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/