Randomly Chosen Quotes of the Day

Happily working away on my talk for the Poconos SCBWI conference next week ("Muddles, Morals, and Making It Through: Journeys for Children and Writers"), so my post for today will be ten quotations from my fifty-two-page quotation file, chosen by putting my cursor at the top of the file, pressing the "down" button, closing my eyes, and counting to ten. Here goes:
  • "Genius is mainly an affair of energy." -- Matthew Arnold
  • "Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better." -- John Updike
  • "The great pleasure in reading literary criticism is having someone else telling you exactly what it is you like." -- Jameela Lares
  • "Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for?" -- Alice Walker (I am not sure I agree with this. -- CK)
  • "You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "I write from obsession, habit, and because I have a thorn in my foot, head and heart and it hurts and I can't walk or think or feel until I remove it." – Janet Frame
  • "The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." -- Jack London
  • "People's lives, in [my hometown] as elsewhere, were dull, simple, amazing, unfathomable -- deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum. It did not occur to me [as a child] that one day I would be so greedy for [my hometown] ... to want every last thing, every layer of speech and thought, stroke of light on bark or walls, every smell, pothole, pain, crack, delusion, held still and held together -- radiant, everlasting." -- Alice Munro

And two more lovely Munro quotes just because I like her so much:

  • "I am at home with the brick houses, the falling-down barns, the occasional farms that have swimming pools and airplanes, the trailer parks, burdensome old churches, Wal-Mart, and Canadian Tire. I speak the language."
  • "Georgia once took a creative-writing course, and what the instructor told her was: Too many things. Too many things going on at the same time; also too many people.... Eventually [Georgia] wrote a story that was about her grandfather killing chickens, and the instructor seemed to be pleased with it. Georgia herself thought that it was a fake. She made a long list of all the things that had been left out and handed it in as an appendix to the story. The instructor said that...she was wearing him out." – from the story "Differently"

Enjoy the weekend!