For Friday, March 23, 2018:
… [I]f one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours … If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau, WALDEN
For Tuesday, March 20, 2018:
First, [style] ensures that writers will get their messages across, sparing readers from squandering their precious moments on earth deciphering opaque prose…
Second, style earns trust. If readers can see that a writer cares about consistency and accuracy in her prose, they will be reassured that the writer cares about those virtues in conduct they cannot see as easily…
Style, not least, adds beauty to the world. To a literate reader, a crisp sentence, an arresting metaphor, a witty aside, an elegant turn of phrase are among life’s greatest pleasures… This thoroughly impractical virtue of good writing is where the practical effort of mastering good writing must begin.
Steven Pinker, Harvard psycholinguist – THE SENSE OF STYLE: THE THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO WRITING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
For Friday, March 16, 2018:
When you’re in a dark place, you sometimes tend to think you’ve been buried.
Perhaps you’ve been planted.
Meme on Facebook by Esoteric Empyre
For Tuesday, March 13, 2018:
When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his [or her] kind of work may be, he [or she] becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He [or she] becomes interesting to other people. He [or she] disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he [or she] opens it, shows there are still more pages possible.
~ Robert Henri (1865-1929), American painter (with thanks to Clara Rose Thornton)
For Friday, March 9, 2018:
Art is a public possession, because the formation of ‘felt life’ is the heart of any culture, and molds the objective life for the people. It is their school of feeling, and their defense against outer and inner chaos. It is only when nature is organized in imagination along lines congruent with the forms of feeling that we can understand it … Then intellect and emotion are unopposed, life is symbolized by its setting, the world seems important and beautiful and intuitively ‘grasped.’
Suzanne Langer, FEELING AND FORM: A THEORY OF ART
(Quoted in CHANGE OF COURSE: THE EDUCATION OF JESSIE ADAMSON, a novel by Margaret M. Blanchard, pg. 139)
For Tuesday, March 6, 2018:
After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons — the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night.
For Friday, March 2, 2018:
… [W]henever I see a first novel dedicated to a wife (or a husband), I smile and think, There’s someone who knows. Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.
Stephen King, ON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT
For Tuesday, February 27, 2018:
Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life. This has been the case with me. Connections slowly emerge. Like distant landmarks you are approaching, cause and effect begin to align themselves, draw closer together. Experiences too indefinite of outline in themselves to be recognized for themselves connect and are identified as a larger shape. And suddenly a light is thrown back, as when your train makes a curve, showing that there has been a mountain of meaning rising behind you on the way you’ve come, is rising there still, proven now through retrospect.
Eudora Welty, ONE WRITER’S BEGINNINGS
For Friday, February 23, 2018:
The primary task of a writer is to write well. (And to go on writing well. Neither to burn out nor to sell out.) … Let the dedicated activist never overshadow the dedicated servant of literature — the matchless storyteller.
For Tuesday, February 20, 2018:
When we are self-conscious, we cannot be wholly aware; we must throw ourselves out first. This throwing ourselves away is the act of creativity. So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we also escape our self-conscious selves.
Madeleine L’Engle, GLIMPSES OF GRACE: DAILY THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS