Thursday, April 11, 2013

Just A Few Words

"Just one more page..."  I love to read, and often I get so lost in the pages that it is difficult to pull my attention away to attend to the important things in life, like sleeping.  As a teenager I can remember staying up all night with a good book or two.  Or three.  I gladly suffered the headache of sleep deprivation the next day.  Along my travels through a book or magazine, I find pictures, snippets, passages, and quotes and other items that I mentally sock away for another day.  These are some of my treasures that I take out of my memory and think about during staff meetings and lengthy church sermons.  No, I don't quote the Bible, although there's much wisdom to be found among its pages, no matter what your religion.  Judge not, lest ye yourself be judged, for example.  Great stuff, and certainly worth contemplating, but I don't want to get into any sort of pissing contest over who has the best taste in biblical quotes.  I want no part of that, thank you very much!

"A smile relieves a heart that grieves."  -The Rolling Stones   Yes, this is not a quote from a book.  It's actually a quote from a song, "Waiting on a Friend", by one of my favorite bands, The Rolling Stones.  Mick Jagger and Keith Richards should write a book about marriage.  They've been married as long as they've be together, musically speaking.  I digress; this quote reminds me, when I'm in the cesspool of depression, that smiling or changing my perspective can help give me the strength to begin the long trek back into the "normal" range of emotional stability. 

"Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel."  I have no idea who said this, but I love it.  Trust in God, it says, and that's certainly something to strive for.  However, it's the second part of the quote that makes it work.  "Tie up your camel" means to be prepared for anything that may manifest as a result of your faith.  If you pray for a new job, for instance, that new job might be in another town or in another field.  We need to be ready to accept whatever we are offered.  As my son is often heard saying, "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit!" 

"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."--Friedrich Nietzsche  Nietzsche seems like a real buzzkill.  He probably didn't get invited to too many parties.  This quote is really a variation of "Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas."   We can become what we hate if we are not careful.  Republicans and Democrats consider each other evil, but their behaviors aren't really that different.  Think about that horrible, evil church in Westboro and the people who attend there.  They may have been nice people, once upon a time.  But their hatred has consumed them, until what is supposed to be a 'Christian' church is warped, their views mangled. That abyss is not a good place to be! 

"If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  (Corollary: "...and try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party."--Ron White)   Making lemons into lemonade is good.  Again, this quote is all about perseverance, and making do with what you have.  Nothing goes to waste.  Do what you can with what you have, and that will suffice.

"[You all can] go to hell, and I [am going] to Texas"--Davy Crockett  As Jules from Pulp Fiction might say, "That's a bold statement."   And indeed, it is a bold statement.  Davy Crockett didn't know what he was getting into when he came to Texas. Nobody ever does. Crockett had no idea he would be fighting and dying at the Alamo, but if he did, I'd like to think that he would have gone anyway. He was a larger than life character, after all, one who had cheated death before. We all need that courage to "boldly go" into unexplored areas. That is how discoveries happen.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”--Eleanor Roosevelt  This statement tells me that I have some control when it comes to how I respond to what comes at me. I can choose to feel horrible just because someone put me down. Or I can let the insult fall away like water. It is not always easy, but the choice is mine.

And this is extra, but I find it appropriate.  We're all writers here, right?  Well, Elmore Leonard books are certainly hilarious.

“Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

What about your neck of the woods.

Mamakat's Awesome Prompt:

1.) List 6 of your favorite quotes.

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. One of my favorite quotes for sure... when life give you lemons, make lemonade. I didn't mention that one, but it surely fits my life right now.

  2. . Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
    I like that, I am always straining to look for other words. I am also struggling with adverbs they jump out at me lately.
    Favorite Quote My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.
    Jane Austen

  3. I like Dr. Seuss's "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened". (Oh, but I am not very good at following it)

  4. I really like your first quote. I ALWAYS end up reading way too late because I just can not put the book down! Often times, I'll end up staying up until I finish the entire book.

  5. Great quotes. I especially like Elmore Leonard's 10 rules. Thanks for sharing them!

  6. I've always liked the one by Eleanor Roosevelt; wish I could always remember it when I need to!



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