I thought I’d share with you from time to time books that I love, and that you might, too. The idea came to me this morning, when, finding myself in something of a poor mood, I looked around for a book to lift my spirits. I don’t have to look far. I sit surrounded by books. I have a sort of nest in the dormer of my office and books are beside, behind, surrounding me on the floor.
I spied an old favored paperback of writer quotations– The Writer’s Quotation Book, James Charlton, editor, third edition revised and expanded, published all the way back in 1992. I can still recall when I bought the little book. I was browsing with a writer friend in a bookstore–Waldenbooks. Remember those stores? Magical places! A book and quotations paired, and even better, writer quotations. It doesn’t get any better.
Mr. Charlton gives us quotations to inspire, to bring us down to earth, to motivate, and to laugh. I heartily recommend this book, and since I’m pushing the book, I’m going to claim the right to quote from it.
“I put things down on sheets of paper and stuff them in my pockets. When I have enough, I have a book.” ~John Lennon.
I am reminded of my compulsive jotting of thoughts, and inspired to enjoy it more. I like to find these notes, see what I wrote, and am either puzzled or pleased with myself. Usually the latter.
“Getting even is one reason for writing.” ~ William Gass.
Yes, it is. I have done this many, many times in my novels. In my historical, White Gold, long out of print, I killed a bad guy and got out a lot of frustration.
“Most serious writers work slowly and, thus, miss deadlines, sometimes several deadlines, publishers’ deadlines, that is. A serious writer cannot have any deadline but his own. ~ Merle Miller
I got burned out on deadlines. After ten years or novel writing, I got worried about them as they passed, and after another ten years, I realized I had no ability to meet deadlines. The trait remains a disappointment to me, but the quote prods me to rethink this attitude.
“There is only one trait that marks the writer. He is always watching. It’s a kind of trick of the mind and he is born with it.” ~Morley Callaghan.
I have done this all of my life, and it is so much fun!
The Writer’s Quotation Book is long out of print, but you can find used copies here and here, and I imagine many other places on the web. I smile just looking at it.
“A room without books is like a body without soul.” ~Cicero
3 thoughts on “The Writer’s Quotation Book”
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thank you, what a lovely post, how does one become a “watcher” ? How does one trick his mind to be a watcher? I would like to know. 🙂
Thank you for such an interesting question. I’m thinking on it. I know I have a natural ability for watching, but how can I cultivate it? Maybe journalling about this question is a place to start.