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.