Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Favorite Quotes


In going through my old papers, I’ve found several of my favorite quotes. These tidbits of wisdom have been taped to the edges of my monitor or pinned to my bulletin board since I started writing professionally, giving me a nudge when I needed it most. Maybe there’s something here that will give you a little inspiration as well.


The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow. –H.G. Wells


Exquisitely developed characters and heartbreaking stories are the obligations of any novel worth remembering. –John Irving


We must be the change we wish to see in the world. –Gandhi


There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. –Martha Graham


Write a little every day, without hope, without despair. –Isak Dinesen


Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? –Shirdi Sai Baba


Every act of love is a work of peace, no matter how small. –Mother Teresa


And my personal favorite, found in a fortune cookie:


Show-off always shown up in showdown. –Confucius



I also have a clipping that was given to me by a friend’s mom. It’s basically a crash course in grammar, with each rule humorously illustrating the point.


How to Write Good


Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.

No sentence fragments.

It behooves us to avoid archaisms.

Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.

Don’t use no double negatives.

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.

Avoid commas, that are not necessary.

Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

Writing carefully, dangling participles should not be used.

Kill all exclamation points!!!

Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Take the bull by the hand, and don’t mix metaphors.

Don’t verb nouns.

Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

Last but not least, avoid clich├ęs like the plague.


--William Safire


If you have any words of inspiration you’d like to share, please do.

2 comments:

Patrick said...

A few of mine:

"Ain't no sense worryin' about the things you got control over, 'cause if you got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'. And ain't no sense worryin' about the things you don't got control over, 'cause if you don't got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'." - Mickey Rivers

"Harold, everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude (Ruth Gordon)

"All things are at odds when God sets a thinker loose on the planet." - Edith Hamilton

"When you pray, move your feet." - African proverb

"I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance." - Adlai Stevenson

"I'm not a snob. Ask anybody. Well, anybody who matters." - Simon le Bon

Hey - I never said they were all inspriational...

Stephanie Doyon said...

I knew I could count on you to come up with some good ones...