Friday, December 31, 2010

Rachel Held Evans:

The first thing I noticed while reading through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John was that Christians who claim to take the Bible literally or who say they obey all of his teachings without "picking and choosing" are either liars or homeless.

Evolving in Monkey Town, p. 103

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Larry Kramer:

We must understand and confront the unprecedented.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Randy Pausch:

It's a thrill to fulfill your own childhood dreams, but as you get older, you may find that enabling the dreams of others is even more fun.

The Last Lecture, p. 117

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jeff Pearlman:

One of the greatest things about morality is how those who claim to act on its behalf are often the ones drinking from the emptiest cups.

Sports Illustrated, "Belmont gets it all wrong in ousting woman's soccer coach Lisa Howe"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

Making art depends upon noticing things -- things about yourself, your methods, your subject matter.

Art & Fear, p. 109

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

John Updike:

What art offers is space -- a certain breathing room for the spirit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Audre Lorde:

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rachel Held Evans:

It's like, as soon as you're able to step into someone else's shoes or look at the world from a different perspective, everything you believe becomes less certain, or at least less black and white.

Evolving in Monkey Town, p. 85

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

No matter where your adventure takes you, most of what is truly meaningful is still to be found revolving around the mundane stuff you did before you embarked on your adventure. The stuff that'll still be going on long after you and I are both dead, long after our contribution to the world is forgotten. But often, one needs to have that big adventure before truly appreciating how utterly wonderful all that simple, mundane stuff actually is.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 147

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Randy Pausch:

No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse. At the same time, it is often within your power to make them better.

The Last Lecture, p. 88

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wendy Gritter:

For a faith or conviction that is demanded is a weak and unsustainable faith indeed.

Bridging the Gap, "Living Like Jesus & Letting Go of Control"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

Some people who make art are driven by inspiration, others by provocation, still others by desperation. Artmaking grants access to worlds that may be dangerous, sacred, forbidden, seductive, or all of the above. It grants access to worlds you may otherwise never fully engage.

Art & Fear, p. 108

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oscar Wilde:

It is tragic how few people ever "possess their souls" before they die... Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Audre Lorde:

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

The size of the endeavor doesn't matter as much as how meaningful it becomes to you.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 146

Monday, December 6, 2010

Randy Pausch:

Brick walls are there for a reason. And once you get over them -- even if someone has practically had to throw you over -- it can be helpful to others to tell them how you did it.

The Last Lecture, p. 174

Friday, December 3, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

In making art you declare what is important.

Art & Fear, p. 108

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dorothy Day:

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Audre Lorde:

In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Charles Krause:

People join cults unwittingly. Even reasonable, intelligent people can be fooled by demagogues, and too often, the deeper they become involved in one of these quasi-religious or quasi-political groups, the more difficult it may be to see the potential dangers.

Seductive Poison, Forward

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

I've often been asked by young people, which do I think is a better career choice: "Creativity" or "Money"? I say both are the wrong answer. The best thing to be in this world is an effective human being. Sometimes that requires money, sometimes it doesn't. Be ready for either when it happens.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 129-130

Monday, November 22, 2010

Randy Pausch:

Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.

The Last Lecture, p. 151

Friday, November 19, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

As a maker of art you are custodian of issues larger than self.

Art & Fear, p. 108

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thomas Kuhn:

The answers you get depend upon the questions you ask.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Audre Lorde:

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Deborah Layton:

When our own thoughts are forbidden, when our questions are not allowed and our doubts are punished, when contacts and friendships outside of the organization are censored, we are being abused for an end that never justifies its means. When our heart aches knowing we have made friendships and secret attachments that will be forever forbidden if we leave, we are in danger. When we consider staying in a group because we cannot bear the loss, disappointment, and sorrow our leaving will cause for ourselves and those we have come to love, we are in a cult.

Seductive Poison, p. 299

Friday, November 12, 2010

Richard Rohr:

In the second half of life you might look a little more like a liberal, but the real difference is that you have been overtaken by love and let go of fear. That is the meat, the muscle, and the message.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Randy Pausch:

The brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

The Last Lecture, p. 51-52

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

We do not remember those artists who followed the rules more diligently than anyone else. We remember those who made the art from which the "rules" inevitably follow.

Art & Fear, p. 95

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lord Acton:

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Timothy Kincaid:

...tolerance is not defined by the extent to which it allows intolerance to prevail.

"My Existence Is Not a Violation of Your Rights"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lucius Annaeus Seneca:

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Suddenly you realize that you're just not into the same things you once were. You used to be into staying up all night, going to parties, and now you'd rather stay in and read a book. Sure, it sounds boring, but hey, sometimes "boring" can be a lot of fun. Especially if it's on your own terms.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 127

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Randy Pausch:

I always liked telling my students: "Go out and do for others what somebody did for you."

The Last Lecture, p. 158

Monday, November 1, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

For the working artist, the very best writings on art are not analytical or chronological; they are autobiographical. The artist, after all, was there.

Art & Fear, p. 91-92

Friday, October 29, 2010

Malcolm Forbes:

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

John Shelby Spong:

Religion almost inevitably tries to take our anxiety away from us by claiming that which religion can never deliver -- absolute certainty.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But...the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

John Shore:

The extent to which we fail to take personally the persecution of others is the extent to which we fail as Christians.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Part of being creative is learning how to protect your freedom. That includes freedom from avarice.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 124

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Randy Pausch:

The person who failed often knows how to avoid future failures.

The Last Lecture, p. 149

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

What artists learn from other artists is not so much history or technique (although we learn tons of that too); what we really gain from the artmaking of others is courage-by-association.

Art & Fear, p. 89-90

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Strong and weak, wise and foolish, gifted or ungifted, pious or impious, the diverse individuals in the community are no longer incentives for talking and judging and condemning, and thus excuses for self-justification. They are rather cause for rejoicing in one another and serving one another.

Life Together

Monday, October 18, 2010

St. Augustine:

In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothings pains some people more than having to think.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Remain frugal. The less you can live on, the more chance your idea will succeed. This is true even after you've "made it."

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 123

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Timothy Kincaid:

All we can do is try and live our lives with dignity, decency, and self-worth, to spread the truth about sexuality as it is further developed, and to be consistently compassionate to those who are caught in a conundrum.

"The Great Conundrum"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Randy Pausch:

When we're connected to others, we become better people.

The Last Lecture, p. 176

Friday, October 8, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

The security of a monthly paycheck mixes poorly with the risk-taking of artistic inquiry.

Art & Fear, p. 88

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

I can never know beforehand how God's image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that come solely from God's free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.

Life Together

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tony Campolo:

To reach out to the LGBT communities and join them in their cry for justice, and to champion their efforts for inclusion in our churches, is to simply imitate Christ. Being followers of Jesus requires this.

Guest post on

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Anyone can be an idealist. Anyone can be a cynic. The hard part lies somewhere in the middle -- that is, being human.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 117

Friday, October 1, 2010

Henri Nouwen:

For as long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. You need not look at this only in a negative way. You wanted to give your heart to others, and you did so quickly and easily. But now you are being asked to let go of all these self-made props and trust that God is enough for you. You must stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

C. S. Lewis:

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

You can corral good arguments, successful examples, prominent graduates -- and insufferable converts -- to champion any of a whole flock of possible pathways.

Art & Fear, p. 86

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image.

Life Together

Monday, September 27, 2010

Randy Pausch:

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.

The Last Lecture, p. 148

Friday, September 24, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

An amateur lets the negative opinion of others unman him.

The War of Art, p. 91

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Life is messy; cliches are clean and tidy.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 117

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Deborah Layton:

Nobody joins a cult. Nobody joins something they think's going to hurt them. You join a religious organization, you join a political movement and you join with people you really like.

As featured on "The Life and Death of Peoples Temple"

NOTE: Deborah Layton was a Peoples Temple member and is a Jonestown survivor. She is also the author of Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor Story of Life and Death in The Peoples Temple.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Albert Einstein:

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find within him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction.

Life Together

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Andrew Marin:

Respond to everything—because if you’re not telling your story someone else is.

Part 1: How Jesus Handled Critics

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Each individual will make a matchless discovery. He will be able to cease from constantly scrutinizing the other person, judging him, condemning him, putting him in his particular place where he can gain ascendancy over him and thus doing violence to him as a person. Now he can allow the brother to exist as a completely free person, as God made him to be. His view expands and, to his amazement, for the first time he sees, shining within his brethren, the richness of God’s creative glory.

Life Together

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Randy Pausch:

If nobody ever worried about what was in other people's heads, we'd all be 33 percent more effective in our lives and on our jobs.

The Last Lecture, p. 141

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nikki Giovanni:

when i die i hope no one who ever hurt me cries
and if they cry i hope their eyes fall out
and a million maggots that had made up their brains
crawl from the empty holes and devour the flesh
that covered the evil that passed itself off as a person
that i probably tried
to love

First stanza from "When I Die"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oscar Wilde:

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mother Teresa:

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A. A. Milne:

The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

H. L. Mencken:

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blaise Pascal:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ernest Hemingway:

A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" Vanity asks the question, "Is it popular?" But, conscience asks the question, "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chely Wright:

I was raised to know the difference between right and wrong. Telling my story is the right thing to do.

Like Me, p. 3

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ernest Hemingway:

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nikki Giovanni:

…life is precious, which is all we poets...are trying to say


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Andy Stanley:

Where definitions fall short, a story often achieves clarity.

Visioneering: God's Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision, p. 7

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Steve McVey:

By God's grace, I'm done with judging people. I've learned I can't even change me, let alone somebody else. I want to just love people, no matter who they are, how they live, what they believe or anything else that used to separate me from others created and loved by our Father. Their behavior isn't my business. That's up to God. Loving them is my business.

"Musings of a Middle-Aged Man"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chely Wright:

I don’t feel like I’m coming out. I feel like I’m coming together.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Napoleon Bonaparte:

I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Marilynne Robinson:

Love is holy because it is like grace – the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.

Gilead, p. 209

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chely Wright:

Isn’t that the best thing you can ever imagine -- that your story can facilitate ease for someone else?

Friday, June 18, 2010


Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

Do we have to stare death in the face to make us stand up and confront Resistance?

The War of Art, "The Unlived Life"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dr. Seuss:

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Reading on the Run

I packed three books in my vacation bags last week – A. J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer by Chely Wright, and Philip Yancey’s Finding God in Unexpected Places. While I only touched the latter, I enjoyed the little that I did read and look forward to picking up the others in the near future.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jens Lekman:

The beauty of the collage technique is that you’re using sounds that have never met and were never supposed to meet. You introduce them to each other, at first they’re a bit shy, clumsy, staring at their shoes. But you can sense there’s something there. So you cut and paste a little bit and by the end of the song you can spot them in the corner, holding hands.

Friday, May 21, 2010

William S. Burroughs:

All writing is in fact cut-ups. A collage of words read heard overheard. What else?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lewis Hyde:

Most artists are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself. Finding one’s voice isn’t just an emptying and purifying oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing of filiations, communities, and discourses. Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Maya Angelou:

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Amy to Perform at Women's Work

Amy will be sharing some of her poetry this Sunday at the fourth annual Women's Work festival. Come and enjoy an evening of original poetry and spoken word presented by women wordsmiths.

Sunday, May 9, at 5:30 p.m.
Z. Alexander Looby Theater
Looby Branch Library
2301 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Nashville, TN

For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit Tennessee Women's Theater Project online.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Richard Hugo:

I believe that the moment you declare yourself great you put a curse on yourself. You can get away with it in baseball (Johnny Bench) or boxing (Muhammed Ali) if you have the physical gifts to back it up. But the poet who says "I am the greatest" has damned himself forever.

The Triggering Town, p. 70

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Big offers are a good thing, but personal sovereignty matters a whole lot more over the long run.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 20

Monday, April 19, 2010

David Bayles & Ted Orland:

Lincoln doubted his capacity to express what needed to be said at Gettysburg, yet pushed ahead anyway, knowing he was doing the best he could to present the ideas he needed to share.

Art & Fear, p. 19-20

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Highly Recommended New Book

Young artist Austin Kleon's debut, Newspaper Blackout, is available in stores everywhere, as of today. A Harper Perennial release, Newspaper Blackout features Kleon's fresh take on poetry.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Being good at anything is like figure skating -- the definition of being good at it is being able to make it look easy. But it never is easy. Ever. That's what the stupidly wrong people conveniently forget.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 11

Monday, March 29, 2010

Somerset Maugham:

I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rob Bell:

Do you know that feeling in class when somebody raises his hand and says, "I don't get it," and you feel so relieved that you aren't the only one who isn't getting it? That's what great artists do. This is what great people do. They ask it. They say it. They express it. They put in words what so many others are thinking and feeling and wondering. They affirm that you aren't the only one having this experience.

Drops Like Stars, p. 46-47

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 7

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paul Valery:

Each newcomer feels obliged to do something else, forgetting that if he himself is somebody he will necessarily do that something else.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Frederick Douglass:

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

Re: the emancipation of West India, August 4, 1857

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mary Pipher:

Personal essays allow us to struggle on paper with our deepest questions, and then to share that struggle with others.

Writing to Change the World, p. 213

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mary Karr:

That's why I pray and poetize: to be able to see my brothers and sisters despite my own (often petty) agonies, to partake of the majesty that's every sinner's birthright.

Sinners Welcome, p. 93

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships. That is why good ideas are always initially resisted.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 2

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Richard Hugo:

Scholars look for final truths they will never find. Creative writers concern themselves with possibilities that are always there to the receptive.

The Triggering Town, p. 56

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance, even when he was seventy-five. In other words, fear doesn't go away. The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.

The War of Art, p. 14

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mary Pipher:

Only by facing our own grief fully can we do the work necessary to alleviate the world's grief.

Writing to Change the World, p. 208

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hugh MacLeod:

The more original your idea is, the less good advice other people will be able to give you.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, p. 1

Friday, February 26, 2010

Richard Hugo:

Quest for a self is fundamental to poetry.

The Triggering Town, p. 33

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dizzy Gillespie:

You can’t steal a gift. Bird [Charlie Parker] gave the world his music, and if you can hear it you can have it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

The War of Art, p. 12

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mary Pipher:

The deeper we dive into our own experience, and the more honest and insightful we are in reporting, the more we connect to all other humans.

Writing to Change the World, p. 206

Monday, February 22, 2010

Richard Hugo:

Then there's that banal, tiresome question: can writing be taught? Yes it can and no it can't. Ultimately the most important things a poet will learn about writing are from himself in the process.

The Triggering Town, p. 33

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mary Karr:

Poetry and prayer alike offer such instantaneous connection -- one person groping from a dark place to meet with another in an instant that strikes fire.

Sinners Welcome, p. 92

Friday, February 19, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius.

The War of Art, "The Unlived Life"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Abraham Lincoln:

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jim Jarmusch:

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mary Pipher:

Personal essays connect the events in our personal lives to greater world events.

Writing to Change the World, p. 206

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Richard Hugo:

The young poet is too often paying attention to the big things and can't be bothered with little matters like that. But little matters like that are what make and break poems, and if a teacher can make a poet aware of it, he has given him a generous shove in the only direction. In poetry, the big things tend to take care of themselves.

The Triggering Town, p. 32

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Audre Lorde:

Perhaps ... I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am a woman, because I am Black, because I am a lesbian, because I am myself -- a Black woman warrior poet doing my work -- come to ask you, are you doing yours?

"The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be?

The War of Art, "The Unlived Life"

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mary Pipher:

My best advice is to love your audiences. Be present with them. Form a small community in the time you have together. If you love them as neighbors and family members, they will know it, and they will allow you into their hearts. Then you can create moments for them in which transformation is possible.

Writing to Change the World, p. 203

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

The War of Art, "The Unlived Life"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

William Zinsser:

Writers are the custodians of memory, and that’s what you must become if you want to leave some kind of record of your life…

How to Write a Memoir

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mary Pipher:

Public speaking is a weird mixture of stress, drudgery, and moments of grace.

Writing to Change the World, p. 197

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Richard Hugo:

When (Theodore Roethke) read his favorites aloud, Yeats, Hopkins, Auden, Thomas, Kunitz, Bogan, poets with "good ears," something happened that happens all too infrequently in a classroom. If a student wasn't a complete auditory clod, he could feel himself falling in love with the sounds of words. To Roethke, that was the heart and soul of poetry. And that was his strength as a teacher: he gave students a love of the sound of language. His classes were clinics. He performed therapy on the ear.

The Triggering Town, p. 28

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Steven Pressfield:

There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is the sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

The War of Art, "What I Know"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Robert McKee:

When inspiration touches talent, she gives birth to truth and beauty.

Excerpt from the Foreward to Steven Pressfield's The War of Art

Monday, January 25, 2010

John Shore:

Believe you’re a genius. Hey, someone’s gotta be. Why not you? And it’s surely not your goal to be a mediocre writer, is it? Believe you’ve got a unique, valuable, indispensable, irreplaceable voice. Because you do.

"My Last, Best 10 Tips on How to Make It as a Writer,"

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mary Pipher:

Success means we have done our best. We have not squandered our gifts or ignored our responsibilities. We have given our time and talents to help others. We have used our freedom to free someone else. Success is not fame or awards; it is having our ideas discussed by other people.

Writing to Change the World, p. 162-163

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Richard Hugo:

Assumptions lie behind the work of all writers. The writer is unaware of most of them, and many of them are weird. Often the weirder the better. Words love the ridiculous areas of our minds. But silly or solid, assumptions are necessary elements in a successful base of writing operations. It is important that a poet not question his or her assumptions, at least not in the middle of composition. Finish the poem first, then worry, if you have to, about being right or sane.

The Triggering Town, p. 19

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ethiopian Proverb:

When spiderwebs unite, they can tie up a lion.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

John Shore:

Get an agent. Trying to publish a book with one of the larger, mainstream book publishers without an agent is like trying to fly without wings.

"My Last, Best 10 Tips on How to Make It as a Writer,"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.:

Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual.

"Loving Your Enemies," Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Ala., November 1957

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mary Pipher:

The truth is, most preaching is to the choir. Choirs produce almost all the important social action in our world. The people most likely to read us are people who think like we do.

Writing to Change the World, p. 154

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Carl Jung:

Infinite nuances are needed if justice is to be done to individual human beings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Richard Hugo:

Auden was wrong. Poets take some things far more seriously than other people, though he was right to the extent that they are not the same things others would take seriously or often even notice.

The Triggering Town, p. 18

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bookin' It in 2009

I read more books in 2009 than I have in any year previous. The following 10 titles are the books that impacted me the most in '09, in alphabetical order.

1. Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians by Candace Chellew-Hodge

2. The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley

3. Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

4. If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland

5. The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey

6. Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation With the Gay Community by Andrew Marin

7. Mocha With Max: Friendly Thoughts & Simple Truths from the Writings of Max Lucado

8. Red Letter Christians: A Citizen's Guide to Faith and Politics by Tony Campolo

9. Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America by Mel White

10. Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher

Monday, January 11, 2010

Meeting a Master

I had the privilege of meeting author Tony Campolo this past Friday. Campolo is not only a prolific writer, but a gifted speaker and professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, as well. Last year I read his book Red Letter Christians, a book that made my forthcoming "Bookin' It in 2009" list. Having authored over 30 books, Campolo's latest, Choose Love Not Power: How to Right the World's Wrongs from a Place of Weakness, was released just last month.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

John Shore:

People in publishing are just like everyone else in the world, and everyone prefers to do business with people they know, or at least people who know people they know. Buy a Rolodex. Get busy emailing, phoning, writing, networking. Be proud; never act like you need anyone more than they need you. But make it so that when as many people as possible do need someone, they think of you.

"My Last, Best 10 Tips on How to Make It as a Writer,"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

William Stafford:

We live in an occupied country, misunderstood. Justice will take us millions of intricate moves.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mary Pipher:

The best writers enlarge the points of view of their readers. They create overarching metaphors and build bigger frames that allow readers to understand this world more deeply.

Writing to Change the World, p. 142

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ted Kooser:

If you keep the shadow of that reader -- like a whiff of perfume -- in the room where you write, you will be a better writer.