Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Madeleine L'Engle:

When I start working on a book, which is usually several years and several books before I start to write it, I am somewhat like a French peasant cook. There are several pots on the back of the stove, and as I go by during the day's work, I drop a carrot in one, an onion in another, a chunk of meat in another. When it comes time to prepare the meal, I take the pot which is most nearly full and bring it to the front of the stove. So it is with writing.

Walking on Water, p. 215

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Anne Lamott:

Writing is about learning to pay attention and to communicate what is going on.

Bird by Bird, p. 97

Monday, February 23, 2009

Woody Guthrie:

It's my job to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Madeleine L'Engle:

There is no topic which is of itself taboo; if it springs from the writer's need to understand life and all its vagaries and vicissitudes, if it is totally honest and unself-pitying, then it will have the valid ring of truth.

Walking on Water, p. 123-124

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Words and Music

I am thrilled to be able to combine two of my great loves tomorrow -- music and literature/writing. I will be attending a roundtable discussion featuring Mary Gauthier, Minton Sparks, Linford Detweiler and Karin Berquist of Over the Rhine, and Julie Lee. The musicians will discuss "Shadows of the Word: Songwriters and Literary Legacies of Religion and Place." The gathering concludes a series hosted by Nashville's Vanderbilt University focusing on the late author Flannery O'Connor (pictured above).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anne Lamott:

Try to remember that to some extent, you're just the typist. A good typist listens.

Bird by Bird, p. 72

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

C. S. Lewis:

You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Madeleine L'Engle:

Remembering the lovely things we have forgotten is one of the reasons for all art.

Walking on Water, p. 121

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thornton Wilder:

Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?

No. The saints and poets, maybe. They do some.

Our Town

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Flannery O'Connor:

All I have is a talent and nothing else to do but cultivate it.

In a letter to Betty Hester

Monday, February 2, 2009

Anne Lamott:

If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, this is how you spend your days -- listening, observing, storing things away, making your isolation pay off. You take home all you've taken in, all that you've overheard, and you turn it into gold. (Or at least you try.)

Bird by Bird, p. 66