Quotes

Do you use quotes? (I don’t mean when you are writing dialog – those are quotation marks silly!)

No, what I mean is, are there quotes from books or movies or (gasp) even TV shows that just resonate with you or have even become part of your family vernacular? Or maybe there is a song lyric (or two) that just speaks to you.

Last week Mama Kat had a writing prompt to list 6 of your favorite quotes but I chose to write about facing a fear instead.

But I’ve been thinking about this prompt because there are quotes that I love. Probably because I love words so much. Sometimes I read words that are so beautiful I can almost feel them in my mouth weighing down on my tongue. I like to hold them there like I would a sip of a bold Cabernet and taste their deliciousness.

I like different quotes for different reasons. Some quotes inspire me. Some quotes are funny. Others make me cry.

Every once in a while one of my friends will say, “And to quote Charlene…” And that makes me feel special. That I said something worth remembering. Worth repeating.

Mark_Twain_life_1900s
Forever in search of the right word

My favorite quote about writing is this one from Mark Twain…

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

So true. Writing is hard people. At least writing well. I have literally spent hours trying to perfect a phrase or a paragraph (not on my blog obviously) that isn’t coming together the way I heard it in my head. But when it comes – that word that puts it all together, makes it right, makes it flow… That is nothing short of magic. And truly makes all the difference in the world.

anne-lamott
Anne Lamott, photo credit James Hall

Another quote about writing I love is from a Sunset Magazine article called Time Lost and Found by Anne Lamott. In this article Lamott tells about teaching writing and how she tries to impress upon her students that if they want to write they need to stop making excuses and make time to do it.

“Can’t they give up the gym once a week and buy two hours’ worth of fresh, delectable moments? (Here they glance at my butt.)”

I cannot tell you how many times I think of this quote. (Mostly when I’m skipping the gym so I can write.) But making time for everything except writing is so easy. Because writing is hard. (See above.)

So the next time you see me and think to yourself that my jeans are looking a little tight, it’s not because I’ve been blowing off the gym, it’s because I’m taking the time to write. (At least that’s the story I’m sticking with!)

mahatma-gandhi
Be the change…

A quote that inspires me and one that I try to live by is from Mahatma Gandhi…

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

‘Nuff said!

yacht

And to show you that I’m not really a deep thinker (though I’m pretty sure you already know that) here is a quote from David Lee Roth…

“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.”

I’ve written before about how I don’t believe that money can buy you happiness. (And I don’t.) But I’ll be honest. I’ve had money and I’ve not had money and all things being equal – having money is better. (A lot better…)

the-girls
If you have not read this book you must!

From the book The Girls by the awesome Lori Lansens…

“I don’t want to learn, I just want to know.”

I may not have this quote 100% right (I’ve loaned my book out so I can’t check) but it’s close enough – you get the picture. The Girls is one of my favorite books and this quote stuck with me because it reminds me so much of my daughter Marley. (And perhaps, ahem… maybe more of me than I like to admit.) The coolest thing ever is that some time after reading this book I met Lori (she lives in my town – how random is that?!) and we became friends. I told Lori about how much I loved this quote because of it reminding me of Marley and she said is was inspired by her daughter. (Lori and I have spent a lot of time talking about the similarities of our very spirited daughters!)

Eat-Drink-Be-Merry
Please ignore my unkempt backyard.

“Eat Drink and be Merry”

I have this plaque hanging over my kitchen window. Yeah, like I said, I’m not very deep – but seriously… this quote says it all doesn’t it? Because what is life if you can’t Eat Drink and be Merry? I, for one, do not want to find out.

I’d love to know – what is your favorite quote?

yacht photo courtesy of  Yorick R via Creative Commons

9 thoughts on “Quotes

  1. I kept one of my favorite quotations pinned to a bulletin board above my desk for 16 years while I taught English:

    “The poet is occupied with frontiers of consciousness beyond which words fail, though meanings still exist.”

    That’s a statement by T.S. Eliot and yeah – it’s why I don’t write poetry. At least not well. Because words are hard enough. So when THEY fail, I’m stuck on the sidelines, admiring the gifts of others who are better at expressing meaning than I am.

    I also love this quotation:

    “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

    I can hardly comprehend that Anne Frank had the wisdom and compassion to think this way given her circumstances. But if she can believe in humanity, so can I.

    • I love that Anne Frank quote too. And as for not writing poetry well, I bet I’m better at that than you are (writing it poorly I mean) than you my beautiful-prose-writing friend!

  2. Over my door, I have a sign that says, “It’s a Wonderful LIfe.” It’s a good reminder to me, especially when I’m not feeling it, that all in all, I need to get over myself, I have it pretty good.

    But I get what you’re saying about quotes. The right quote at the right time makes the world right. And helps you get on with your life. And makes the world a better place. It’s obviously not something I’m being very good at right now…

  3. “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill

  4. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
    George Carlin

    Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
    Benjamin Franklin

    And mixed with these were splashes of California poppies. These too are of a burning color – not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies.
    John Steinbeck, East of Eden

    And just to keep it real:
    It’s moo. Like a cow’s opinion.
    Joey, Friends

  5. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
    George Carlin

    Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
    Benjamin Franklin

    These too are of a burning color – not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies.
    John Steinbeck, East of Eden

    And just to keep it very real:
    It’s moo. Like a cow’s opinion.
    Joey, Friends

  6. You know, I love READING quotes, but other than sharing ones that I’ve seen other people post on Facebook, I don’t know that I make reference to any on a regular basis. I will have to start doing that. Thank you for helping me to realize that.

    And as he wasn’t the most cleanly opinionated person that has walked the earth, to me he has been an eye opening saint that has helped me to better understand the love that we are all supposed to be on this earth holding each other within, I leave you with one of my favorite Bill Hick’s quotes:
    “It’s just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one.”

    Thanks again.

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