Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Frank Schaeffer:

Atheists can live as moral a life as any religious person.  Where atheists have a problem is in pinning down a definition of what morality is.  Religious people have that same problem.  Because religions and factions within religions don't agree, we're all in the same boat.  So there is no reason to pull a New Atheist tantrum, or preach a proselytizing evangelical/fundamentalist sermon and try to lord it over one another.  There is no "they."  There is only us.  Life is too short to know, so religion's most basic lesson -- humility -- is not just a good idea but also logical.  And humility is, I think, also the most basic lesson taught by science, which, by definition, illumines the vastness of our ignorance.
Patience With God, p. 43-44

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Seth Godin:

The first imperative is to be aware -- aware of the market, of opportunities, of who you are.

Poke the Box, p. 4

Monday, October 29, 2012

Isabel Miller:

Believing in death has made me brave. 

Patience & Sarah, p. 127

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rita Mae Brown:

An entire mental construct has faded away, except for right-wing pockets.  There are still some people, men and women, who believe women are second-class citizens, a discretionary labor force (last hired, first fired), should be barred from certain careers, etc.  They're small but noisy.  History has already brushed them aside in America, which may explain why they are so emotional.  Losers squeal.  Winners head into the future.

Rita Will, p. 268

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Austin Kleon:

In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what's really important to them.  Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities.

Steal Like an Artist, p. 137

Friday, October 26, 2012

Frank Schaeffer:

And for all the in-your-face "attitude," the New Atheists are positively polite compared to the religious fundamentalists.

Patience With God, p. 10

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seth Godin:

Part of initiating is being willing to discover that what you end up with is different from what you set out to accomplish.  If you're not willing to discover that surprise, it's no wonder you're afraid to start.

Poke the Box, p. 67

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

William Butler Yeats:

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth.  We are happy when we are growing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rita Mae Brown:

America contains strange contradictions.  One is that we worship the Declaration of Independence but blanch at the thought of certain Americans being independent.  Another is that we pride ourselves on being a democracy but we create few safe public places where people can practice the mixing that is so important to democracy.  Europe abounds in beautiful public squares where people promenade, eat, talk politics and flirt.  By contrast, the American, hermetically sealed in her/his car, drives home.

Rita Will, p. 225

Monday, October 22, 2012

Austin Kleon:

Soon after [college], you learn that most of the world doesn't necessarily care about what you think ... This is actually a good thing, because you want attention only after you're doing really good work.  There's no pressure when you're unknown.  You can do what you want.

Steal Like an Artist, p. 78

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Frank Schaeffer:

The New Atheists pit religion's literalistic truth claims against their own literalistic truth claims.  In that sense the New Atheists turn out to be secular fundamentalists arguing with religious fundamentalists.

Patience With God, p. 8

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Seth Godin:

The relentless act of invention and innovation and initiative is the best marketing asset.

Poke the Box, p. 60

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jeffrey Eugenides:

I think about the reader.  I care about the reader.  Not "audience."  Not "readership."  Just the reader.   That one person, alone in a room, whose time I'm asking for.  I want my books to be worth the reader's time, and that's why I don't publish the books I've written that don't meet this criterion, and why I don't publish the books I do until they're ready.

The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction No. 215

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rita Mae Brown:

Every family collects stories, folding them into their memory book like pressed flowers.

Rita Will, p. 137

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Austin Kleon:

Remember: Even The Beatles started as a cover band.  Paul McCartney has said, "I emulated Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis.  We all did."  McCartney and his partner John Lennon became one of the greatest songwriting teams in history, but as McCartney recalls, they only started writing their own songs "as a way to avoid other bands being able to play our set."

Steal Like an Artist, p. 35

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Frank Schaeffer:

My definition of fundamentalism, religious or otherwise, is the impulse to find The answer, a way to shut down the question-asking part of one's brain.  Fundamentalists don't like question marks.  Fundamentalists reject both Christian humility and postmodern paradox.  In that sense an atheist too may be a fundamentalist.  And a fundamentalist wants to convince others to convert to what fundamentalists are sure they know.

Patience With God, p.9

Monday, October 15, 2012

Seth Godin:

Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency and new.

Poke the Box, p. 60

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jessica Ravitz:

Before I go extinct, though, I want to explain and defend my stupidphone position.  And I want to make one thing clear: I am not your 90-year-old grandmother.  I am only 43.  I work in an environment where I'm surrounded by tech savviness and am more than aware that I'm an oddball.  But I was hired to report and write stories -- to talk and listen to, focus on and engage with human beings -- and, frankly, I'm neither ashamed nor apologetic that I do my job without a fancy phone.

Friday, October 12, 2012

J. D. McClatchy:

A poem -- and a person too? -- needs disguises.  It needs secrets.  It thrives on the tension between what is said and not said; it prefers the oblique, the implied, the ironic, the suggestive; when it speaks, it wants a person to lean forward a little to overhear; it wants him to understand things only years later.

The Letter Q, p. 111

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jeffrey Eugenides:

The novels I love are novels I live for.  They make me feel smarter, more alive, more tender toward the world.  I hope, with my own books, to transmit that same experience, to pass it on as best I can.

The Paris Review, The Art of Fiction No. 215

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rita Mae Brown:

My deepest instinct is to go about my business without intruding on anyone else.  (It may be one of the reasons I became a writer.  Talent alone does not make an artist.)

Rita Will, p. 134

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Austin Kleon:

Not everybody will get it.  People will misinterpret you and what you do.  They might even call you names.  So get comfortable with being misunderstood, disparaged, or ignored -- the trick is to be too busy doing your work to care.

Steal Like an Artist, p. 112

Monday, October 8, 2012

Frank Schaeffer:

If only making ourselves happy, kind, and tolerant were as simple as giving up religious faith.  If that's all it took, the Soviet Union under Stalin and China under Mao would have been such nice places to live, and for that matter, our secularized Ivy League universities would be filled with saints, instead of back-stabbing intellectuals ready to destroy each other over who gets tenure.

Patience With God, p. 3-4

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Seth Godin:

That's the way all great science works.  An individual does something audacious, something counter to the status quo, pursuing a journey that seems ridiculous at first.

Poke the Box, p. 56

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Paul Monette:

When you finally come out, there's a pain that stops, and you know it will never hurt like that again, no matter how much you lose or how bad you die.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Marion Dane Bauer:

Your capacity to love is your greatest strength and the greatest gift you have to bring to the world.

The Letter Q, p. 236

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Frank Schaeffer:

Evangelicalism is to America what the Pharisees were in ancient Israel. These guys wreak vengeance on the people who bring the good news of a loving God who cares less about theology than the content of your character. Because in essence that message puts the gatekeepers out of a job.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mark Twain:

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rita Mae Brown:

From Carrie I learned that piety is like garlic, a little goes a long way.  Whenever I see someone utterly secure in the rightness of their restrictive beliefs I think, "Ah yes, this one's kin to Mamaw," and I pop into reverse and get the hell out of there.

I also remember that the only spot in heaven promised to anyone by Christ was that given to the thief who died on the cross with him.  I often wonder if these strident Christians, I'm-better-than-you folks, read the same Bible I do.

Rita Will, p. 14

Monday, October 1, 2012

Austin Kleon:

A day job puts you in the path of other human beings.  Learn from them, steal from them.

Steal Like an Artist, p. 124