Quote of the Day: Judith Barrington

from Judith Barrington’s classic Writing the Memoir

  • What we really need . . . are new images of of what it means to be a writer: images that include healthy food, exercise, a sane attitude, and a tranquil soul — all of which are surely more compatible with great writing than is being a physical and mental wreck. We need to encourage one another in these directions and reject the old stereotypes; we must remind one another that fighting with our families or suffering through a love affair that denigrates us are not essential pastimes for a writer. After all, writing is hard enough without adding alcoholism, drug addiction and angst to the qualifications. There is no evidence that good writing requires any of them. What writing does is require that we nurture the stamina it takes to work hard and that we stay fully conscious — and alive.

— Chapter 11 of Writing the Memoir (“Watch Out for the Myths”)

MAGNUS BANE, LAST WORDS: CLOCKWORK PRINCESS

SPOILERS SPOILERS OF COURSE SPOILERS

p. 534, Magnus and Will:

Will:  I can feel Jem with me, though he is gone, and it is like I am missing a part of myself.

Magnus:  He is not dead, Will . . . He would have stayed with you and died, if you had asked for it, but you loved him enough to prefer that he live, even if that life is separate from yours. And that above all things proves that you are not Sydney Carton, Will, that yours is not the kind of love that can be redeemed only through destruction. It is what I saw in you, what I have always seen in you, what made me want to help you. That you are not despairing. That you have an infinite capacity for joy . . . Those of you who are mortal, you burn so fiercely. And you fiercer than most, Will. I will not ever forget you.

WAAAAAH!!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of The Day: NOT Clockwork Princess

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

— Albert Einstein

You’re welcome.

Chapter XXVIII, FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR: Pudd’nhead Wilson Quote

Self does remember telling dear blog readers a little while back that each chapter of Following the Equator began with a quote from Pudd’nhead Wilson.

And many’s the time she fully intended to share a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote, but that resolution usually fell by the wayside because she is having so much fun reading the Cassandra Clare trilogy, The Infernal Devices.

But now self will make a Pudd’nhead Wilson quote. Here it comes. Ready?

  • Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

What Is Story?

Maple, 1989: A Painting in Lloyd Hall, The Banff Centre

Wendy Allen, “Maple, 1989″: Collage, Mixed Media, Lloyd Hall, The Banff Centre

A few thoughts self scribbled down after yesterday’s symposium/discussion between mentors and participants here in the Banff Writing Studio:

  • The end of a novel is not the end of a STORY.
  • The writer is not responsible for hope.
  • Sample story: Someone comes. They make someone miserable. And then they leave. (Or maybe they don’t leave. Thereby extending the misery? Wouldn’t it be so Deus ex machina for the cause of misery to just pick up and go?)

Self this afternoon finished reading the first story in the Bluestem Spring 2015 issue:  Meagan Cass’s “ActivAmerica.” Oh, it is a good one. Here are a few of the gorgeous sentences:

Out on the track, the cold settled over our bodies like wet cement.

*          *          *

“No weather exceptions for non-management,” the monitor told us, his face shining with Vaseline, heavy lines around his mouth, dark shadows under his eyes . . . “You’d have to check the binder . . . I think there’s a liability clause.” I didn’t want to know his story, what they were paying him and who was sick in his family and why he needed the money. I only wanted to kick him in the shins.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The $10,000 You Don’t Want to Spend (If You’re a Struggling Writer)

Reading Susan Kushner Resnick’s “The Heartbreak of Publicity: A Cautionary Tale”, in the November/December 2013 Poets & Writers (Clearly, self is way behind in reading magazines she’s been subscribing to for years and years). Read the rest of this entry »

Submitting to CLARKESWORLD Magazine: Do’s and Dont’s (Well, Actually Just Dont’s)

NO to the following:

  • stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
  • stories in which the words “thou” or “thine” appear
  • talking cats
  • talking swords
  • stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
  • stories where FTL travel is as easy as it is on television shows or movies
  • time travel
  • stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires; the End Times are ‘a-comin'; Communion wine turns to Christ’s blood, literally; and it’s HIV positive; Satan’s gonna getcha, etc.)
  • stories about rapists-murderers-cannibals
  • stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING: a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING.

Stay tuned.

SILAS MARNER Quote of the Day

p. 44:

The sense of security more frequently springs from habit than from conviction, and for this reason it often subsists after such a change in the conditions as might have been expected to cause alarm.

San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday 18 January 2015

“Two great talkers will not travel far together.”

—  Spanish proverb

Quoted in Quotable Traveler by Larry Habegger, p. L3 of the San Francisco Chronicle (18 January 2015)

Two More for the Reading List

Self just finished reading the Women’s Review of Books *(Vol. 30, No. 5: Sept/Oct 2013). Sigh. She is just so way behind in her catch-up reading of magazines and journals. Thank goodness she’s having a very quiet Christmas.

Here are two books she discovered from WRB:

  • My Beloved World, a memoir by Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice (Knopf, $27.95)
  • Trauma and Recovery, by Judith Herman

More books will probably be added to the list as self continues her inroads into the Humongous Pile of Stuff

Stay tuned.

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