Monday, October 29, 2012


You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.
— Cheryl Strayed 

Always Jane

"I have heard of day-dreams — is she in a day-dream now? Her eyes are fixed on the floor, but I am sure they do not see it — her sight seems turned in, gone down into her heart: she is looking at what she can remember, I believe; not what is actually present. I wonder what sort of girl she is."

— Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre 


"Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it."
 —David Foster Wallace 


"The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down." 
— Lemony Snicket


"awe is the most reverent of feelings. you feel, when you are in awe, that you are human, that your mind is dwarfed by what it confronts...that you had best keep your mouth closed and your mind open while awaiting further disclosure."

-paul woodruff

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh Poe

"If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered."
-Edgar Allan Poe

Thursday, October 25, 2012


"If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." — Sirius Black 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Show Up

"You learn the most from the experience you would have avoided if you could.” -Richard Peck


"To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed. Many people know about camera angles now, but not so many know about sentences." — Joan Didion on writing 


"We can’t behave like people in novels, though, can we?" 
— Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence.

Well Then

"Maybe your first love is the one that sticks with you because it’s the only person who will ever receive all of you. After that, you learn better. But, most of all, no matter what, a piece of you forever remains left behind in the heart of the one you loved - a piece no future lover could ever get, no matter what. That piece holds innocence - the belief that love really can last forever. It holds friendship and pain, trial and error, that one kiss you’ll never forget and that night under the stars you can never get back. It holds youth and everything you thought love would be. Everything that was proven wrong." — Anonymous (via two20two)

Wild and Tame

Jeanette Winterson 

Monday, October 15, 2012

You are the faucet, not the water

"You are the faucet, not the water:  One of my coaches, Trina Harmon, always reminds me of this.  There is no need to try and prove anything to your audience.  You are merely the channel through which light and love are being transmitted to those around you.  Your show is not actually about you.  That takes a lot of pressure off of you as the performer, right?  Remember, you are the faucet, not the water."

-Mindy Gledhill  found here


"The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed." 
— Ernest Hemingway

Sunday, October 14, 2012


"When did she lose her wonder? When did she start existing, and quit living?"
-Denise Daisy, Haytham

Saturday, October 13, 2012


“No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
–Edmund Burke

Book Banners are Invariably Idiots

Found here and for more banned letters click here

When, in 2007, author Pat Conroy was told by a concerned student that two of his books, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music, had been banned by theKanawha County school board following complaints from parents, he sent the following letter to the area's local newspaper, The Charleston Gazette, and made known his disgust at such censorship. It was immediately published. After much deliberation and publicity, the bans were eventually lifted.

To read other letters of note related to the banning of books, click here. To discover more about Banned Books Week, which ends tomorrow, click here.

(Source: Pat Conroy; Image: Pat Conroy, via Tulsa Town Hall.)

October 24, 2007

To the Editor of the Charleston Gazette:

I received an urgent e-mail from a high school student named Makenzie Hatfield of Charleston, West Virginia. She informed me of a group of parents who were attempting to suppress the teaching of two of my novels, The Prince of Tides and Beach Music. I heard rumors of this controversy as I was completing my latest filthy, vomit-inducing work. These controversies are so commonplace in my life that I no longer get involved. But my knowledge of mountain lore is strong enough to know the dangers of refusing to help a Hatfield of West Virginia. I also do not mess with McCoys.

I've enjoyed a lifetime love affair with English teachers, just like the ones who are being abused in Charleston, West Virginia, today. My English teachers pushed me to be smart and inquisitive, and they taught me the great books of the world with passion and cunning and love. Like your English teachers, they didn't have any money either, but they lived in the bright fires of their imaginations, and they taught because they were born to teach the prettiest language in the world. I have yet to meet an English teacher who assigned a book to damage a kid. They take an unutterable joy in opening up the known world to their students, but they are dishonored and unpraised because of the scandalous paychecks they receive. In my travels around this country, I have discovered that America hates its teachers, and I could not tell you why. Charleston, West Virginia, is showing clear signs of really hurting theirs, and I would be cautious about the word getting out.

In 1961, I entered the classroom of the great Eugene Norris, who set about in a thousand ways to change my life. It was the year I read The Catcher in the Rye, under Gene's careful tutelage, and I adore that book to this very day. Later, a parent complained to the school board, and Gene Norris was called before the board to defend his teaching of this book. He asked me to write an essay describing the book's galvanic effect on me, which I did. But Gene's defense of The Catcher in the Ryewas so brilliant and convincing in its sheer power that it carried the day. I stayed close to Gene Norris till the day he died. I delivered a eulogy at his memorial service and was one of the executors of his will. Few in the world have ever loved English teachers as I have, and I loathe it when they are bullied by know-nothing parents or cowardly school boards.

About the novels your county just censored: The Prince of Tides andBeach Music are two of my darlings which I would place before the altar of God and say, "Lord, this is how I found the world you made." They contain scenes of violence, but I was the son of a Marine Corps fighter pilot who killed hundreds of men in Korea, beat my mother and his seven kids whenever he felt like it, and fought in three wars. My youngest brother, Tom, committed suicide by jumping off a fourteen-story building; my French teacher ended her life with a pistol; my aunt was brutally raped in Atlanta; eight of my classmates at The Citadel were killed in Vietnam; and my best friend was killed in a car wreck in Mississippi last summer. Violence has always been a part of my world. I write about it in my books and make no apology to anyone. In Beach Music, I wrote about the Holocaust and lack the literary powers to make that historical event anything other than grotesque.

People cuss in my books. People cuss in my real life. I cuss, especially at Citadel basketball games. I'm perfectly sure that Steve Shamblin and other teachers prepared their students well for any encounters with violence or profanity in my books just as Gene Norris prepared me for the profane language in The Catcher in the Rye forty-eight years ago.

The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language. Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer inLonesome Dove and had nightmares about slavery in Beloved and walked the streets of Dublin in Ulysses and made up a hundred stories in The Arabian Nights and saw my mother killed by a baseball in A Prayer for Owen Meany. I've been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language.

The school board of Charleston, West Virginia, has sullied that gift and shamed themselves and their community. You've now entered the ranks of censors, book-banners, and teacher-haters, and the word will spread. Good teachers will avoid you as though you had cholera. But here is my favorite thing: Because you banned my books, every kid in that county will read them, every single one of them. Because book-banners are invariably idiots, they don't know how the world works—but writers and English teachers do.

I salute the English teachers of Charleston, West Virginia, and send my affection to their students. West Virginians, you've just done what history warned you against—you've riled a Hatfield.


Pat Conroy

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What if...

"There is always a story-- it may not be a great story, or a publishable story-- but there is always a story behind the words, 'what if...'" -Lois Lowry

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To feel love and pain

From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Then said Almitra, "Speak to us of Love." 
      And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said: 
      When love beckons to you follow him, 
      Though his ways are hard and steep. 
      And when his wings enfold you yield to him, 
      Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, 
      Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. 
      For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. 
      Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, 
      So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. 
      He threshes you to make you naked. 
      He sifts you to free you from your husks. 
      He grinds you to whiteness. 
      He kneads you until you are pliant; 
      And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast. 
      All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart. 
      But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, 
      Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor, 
      Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears. 
      Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. 
      Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love. When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, I am in the heart of God." 
      And think not you can direct the course of love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. 
      Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself. 
      But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: 
      To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. 
      To know the pain of too much tenderness. 
      To be wounded by your own understanding of love; 
      And to bleed willingly and joyfully. 
      To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; 
      To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; 
      To return home at eventide with gratitude; 
      And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


"As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better. "
— Steve Maraboli 

Sunday, October 7, 2012


People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
— Elisabeth Kübler-Ross 

Thursday, October 4, 2012



— Henry David Thoreau


"As to the practical side of the question, I do. But as to the artistic, the romantic side, I don't. For me words have colour, form, character; they have faces, ports, manners, gesticulations; they have moods, humours, eccentricities;—they have tints, tones, personalities. That they are unintelligible makes no difference at all. Whether you are able to speak to a stranger or not, you can't help being impressed by his appearance sometimes—by his dress—by his air—by his exotic look. He is also unintelligible, but not a whit less interesting. Nay! he is interesting BECAUSE he is unintelligible."

Lafcadio Hearn   here

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I can normally tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am. — Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses


Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit, talk about your joys. — Rita Schiano 


And at night I love to listen to the stars. It is like five hundred million little bells. — Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
-Anne of Green Gables


She’s being kind. Which is much more a sign of character than mere niceness. Kindness connects to who you are, while niceness connects to how you want to be seen.
— David Levithan, Every Day