Friday, December 21, 2007

Rhys Alexander

"Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Beverly Lowry

"The material's out there, a calm lake waiting for us to dive in."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

John Updike

"Art is like baby shoes. When you coat them with gold, they can no longer be worn."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Harlan Ellison....

"People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Angus Wilson....

"All fiction is for me a kind of magic and trickery - a confidence trick, trying to make people believe something is true that isn't."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

P. G. Wodehouse....

"Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

John Gregory Dunne....

"Writing is manual labor of the mind: a job, like laying pipe."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gustave Flaubert....

"I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within."

Friday, September 21, 2007

J.M. Synge....

"When I was sitting writing 'The Shadow of the Glen' I got more aid than any learning would have given me from a chink in the floor of the old Wicklow house where I was staying, that let me hear what was being said by the servant girls in the kitchen." (Preface to The Playboy of the Western World)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Winston Churchill.....

"Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him out to the public."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s first letter to Emily Dickinson asked her what reading she had done. When Dickinson replied that she had only heard bad things about Whitman, critic Higginson replied:

"It is no discredit to Walt Whitman that he wrote 'Leaves of Grass,' only that he did not burn it afterwards. A young writer must commonly plough in his first crop."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Grahame Greene....

“When I describe a scene, I capture it with the moving eye of the cine-camera rather than with the photographer's eye — which leaves it frozen.”

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Umberto Eco....

"The real hero is
always a hero by
mistake; he dreams
of being an honest
coward like
everybody else."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

C. S. Lewis....

"It is in their 'good' characters that novelists make, unawares, the most shocking self-revelations."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rod Serling...

"Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

James M. Cain....

"I write of the wish that comes true - for some reason, a terrifying concept."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

John Updike....

"When I write, I aim in my mind not toward New York but toward a vague spot a little to the east of Kansas. I think of the books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a countryish teenaged boy finding them and having them speak to him."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Stephen Leigh...

"You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer."

This quote is dedicated to J. D. Rhoades

Eugene Ionesco...

"A writer never has a vacation.

For a writer
life consists
of either writing
or thinking about writing."

This quote is dedicated to J. D. Rhoades.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Joan Didion...

"Why had he forgotten to bring note cards that night? Had he not warned me when I forgot to my own notebook that 'the ability to make a note when something came to mind was the difference between being able to write and not being able to write.'"

Joan Didion on her husband’s advice to always carry note cards. From "The Year of Magical Thinking."

Friday, June 01, 2007

John Gregory Dunne...

"I started all over again on page 1, circling the 262 pages like a vulture looking for live flesh to scavenge.”

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

William Mizner...

"When you take stuff from one writer, it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research."

Robert Burton...

"They lard
their lean books
with the fat
of others' works."

Ralph Waldo Emerson...

"All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients."

Archibald MacLeish...

"A real writer learns from earlier writers the way a boy learns from an apple orchard-by stealing what he has a taste for and can carry off."

Jack Smith...

"I'd rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer."

Josh Billings...

"About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment."

Herman Melville...

"But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Marge Piercy...

Writers are like crows; they carry off what is bright and shiny, without respect for its original use or intent.

Thornton Wilder...

Everybody should eavesdrop once in a while. There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.

John Le Carre...

A spy,
like a writer,
lives outside the mainstream population.
He steals his experience
through bribes and reconstructs it.

Shannon Stacey...

Fold it into a lovely and graceful Origami swan, and then step on its little head.

From "Thirteen things you can do with a printed copy of a negative review."

Gustave Flaubert...

Writing is a dog's life,
but the only life
worth living.