Another Quick Meme: Oh My!

Ahem.  Interrupting The Neverending Writing Meme for something not-so-entirely different:  another meme.

Yes, that’s right.  I’ve been tagged.  Again.  By someone else:   Steven

Okay, here we go:

1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?

Shapeshifting!   I love to change forms in creative meditations.  It would be so amazing to shift for real on the physical plane.   Just transform into a bird and take off.   That’s freedom.  🙂 

*and as an extra, if somewhat nefarious reason, there are a few jerks I’d want to perch on top of*
2. Who is your style icon?

This one is difficiult to answer.  I’ve never thought of emulating someone’s style.  I admire Cain’s terse style, his rawness.  But I also really admire Wilkie Collin’s highly descriptive prose and his deep character portraits.   I’m probably some weird mix of all the different types of writers I enjoy.

Recently, a beta told me I reminded her of Iris Murdoch.  That was pretty cool to hear!  🙂
3. What is your favorite quote?

This quote by Goethe is always good to keep in mind:  “An unused life is an early death.”

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

“That I’m my own person.”
5. What playlist/CD is in your CD Player/iPod right now?

Actually, nothing.  I’ve been enjoying the beauty of silence.
6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Both.  I love the fresh, somewhat inspiring feeling of dawn.  Yes, I’m an optimist.  😉  And night, because it’s so peaceful.

It’s the afternoon that I’m quite happy to sleep through if possible.
7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?


Cats are cool, and they fascinate me with their meditative poses.  But dogs bring out the maternal side in me.  Uh, yeah.  I react the way towards canines the way other women supposedly do toward human babies.  What can I say?

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

Ah, this one is easy.  (and probably obvious).  I’ve been interested in gypsy culture since I was a little kid.  Of course, in the years since, I’ve learned the true plight the Romany have suffered.  But that romanticized image remains.  And when I hear the term, “gypsy”- I think of a carefree person living by their own terms.

Published in: on October 17, 2010 at 9:01 pm  Comments (11)  
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Quotes from the Romantics

 Friedrich, “Wanderer Above the Mists”

1.  “A cheerful life is what the Muses love, A soaring spirit is their prime delight. ” – William Wordsworth

2. “Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. “- Wordsworth

3.”Faith is a passionate intuition. “- Wordsworth

4. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”- Wordsworth 

5.  “Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.”- Wordsworth

6. “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. “- Wordsworth

7.  “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”- Wordsworth

8. “That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.”

9.  “To begin, begin.”- Wordsworth

10.  “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. “- Keats

11.  “He ne’er is crowned with immortality Who fears to follow where airy voices lead. “- Keats

12.  “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of imagination.”- Keats

13. “It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.”- Keats

14. “Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity, it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance. ”

15.  “Praise or blame has but a momentary effect on the man whose love of beauty in the abstract makes him a severe critic on his own works. ”

16.  “You speak of Lord Byron and me; there is this great difference between us. He describes what he sees I describe what I imagine. Mine is the hardest task.”- Keats

17.  “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent. “- William Blake

18.  “Active Evil is better than Passive Good. “- Blake

19.  “As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers.”- Blake

20. “Do what you will, this world’s a fiction and is made up of contradiction.”- Blake

21. “Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.”- Blake

22.  “For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.”- Blake

23. “Great things are done when men and mountains meet. “- Blake

24.  “I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. “- Blake

25.  “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”- Blake

26.  ” If a thing loves, it is infinite. “- Blake

27.  “Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow. “- Blake

28.  “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”- Blake

29- “The difference between a bad artist and a good one is: the bad artist seems to copy a great deal; the good one really does. “- Blake

30.  “The soul of sweet delight, can never be defiled.”- Blake

31.  ” The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. “- Blake

32.  “Those who restrain their desires, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained. “- Blake

33.  “To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour. “- Blake

34.  “What is now proved was once only imagined.”- Blake

35.  “If I could always read, I should never feel the want of company.”- Byron

36.   “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”- Byron

37.  ” In solitude, where we are least alone. “- Byron

38. “The ‘good old times’ – all times when old are good. “- Byron

39.  “The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain.”- Byron

40.  ” Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction. “- Byron

41.  “To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all. “- Byron

42.  “A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. “- Percy Shelley

43.  “Death is the veil which those who live call life; They sleep, and it is lifted.”- Shelley

44.   “Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”- Shelley

45.   “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. “- Shelley

46.”The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself. “- Shelley

47.  “The soul’s joy lies in doing.”- Shelley

 “Funeral of Shelley” by Fournier

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm  Comments (14)  
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Agatha Christie: Quotes on Writing


From, Agatha Christie:  An Autobiography

1.  “I myself was always recognized, though quite kindly, as ‘the slow one’ of the family.  The reactions of my mother and my sister were unusually quick- I could never keep up.  I was, too, very inarticulate.  It was always difficult for me to assemble into words what I wanted to say……It  is probably one of the causes that have made me a writer.”

2.   “There always has to be a lapse of time after the accomplishment of a piece of creative work before you can in any way evaluate it.”

3. “You start into it, inflamed by an idea, full of hope, full indeed of confidence.  If you are properly modest, you will never write at all, so there has to be one delicious moment when you have thought of something, know just how you are going to write it, rush for a pencil, and start in exercise book buoyed up with exaltation.  You then get into difficulties, don’t see  your way out, and finally manage to  accomplish more or less what you first meant to accomplish, though losing confidence all the time.  Having finished it, you know it is absolutely rotten.  A couple of months later you wonder if it may not be all right after all.”

4. to a friend who wished to be in one of  her novels, “I don’t think I could put you in.  I can’t do anything with real people.  I have to imagine them.”

5.  “It is awfully hard for an author to put things in words when you have to do it in the course of conversation.  You can do it with a pencil in your hand, or sitting in front of your typewriter- then the thing  comes out already formed as it should come out- but you can’t describe things that you are only going to write; or at least I can’t.  I learned in the end never to say anything about a book before it was written.  Criticism after you have written it is helpful.  You can argue the point, or you can give in, but at least you know how it has struck one reader.  Your own description of what you are going to write, however, sounds so futile, that to be told kindly that it won’t  do meets with your instant agreement.”

6. “Your criticism is bound to be that you yourself would have written it in such and such a way, but that does not mean that it would be right for another author.  We all have our own ways of expressing ourselves.”

7.  ” An early story of mine was shown to a well-known authoress by a kindly friend.  She reported on it sadly but adversely, saying that the author would never make a writer.   What she really meant, though she did not know it herself at the time because she was an author and not a critic, was that the person who was writing was still an immature and inadequate writer who could not yet produce anything worth publishing.  A critic or an editor might have been more perceptive, because it is their profession to notice the germs of what may be.   So I don’t like criticizing and I think it can easily do harm.”

8.  “The only thing I will advance as criticism is the fact that the would-be-writer has not taken any account of the market for his wares.  It is no good writing a novel of thirty thousand words- that is not a length which is easily publishable at present….You have got something you feel you can do well and that you enjoy doing well, and you want to  sell it well.  If so, you must give it the dimensions and the appearance that is wanted….It is no good starting out by thinking one is a heaven-born genius- some people are, but very few.  No, one is a tradesman- a tradesman is a good honest trade.  You must learn the technical skills, and then, within that trade, you can apply your own creative ideas; but you must submit to the discipline of form.”

9.   “The disadvantage of the dictaphone is that it encourages you to be much too verbose.  There is no doubt that the effort involved in typing or writing does help me in keeping to the point. ”

10.  “There is a right length for everything.  I think myself that the right length for a detective story is fifty- thousand words.  I know this is considered by some publishers as too short.  Possibly readers feel themselves cheated if they pay their money and only get fifty-thousand words- so sixty- thousand or seventy-thousand are more acceptable.  If your book runs to more than that I think you usually find that it would have been better if it had been shorter.”

11.  “When you begin to write, you are usually in the throes of admiration for some writer, and, whether you will or no, you cannot help copying their style.  Often it is not a style that suits you, and so you write badly.  But as time goes on you are less influenced by admiration.  You will admire certain writers, you may even wish you could write like them, but you know quite well that you can’t. If I could write like Elizabeth Bowen, Muriel Sparks, or Grahame Greene, I should jump to high heaven with delight, but I know that I can’t, and it would never occur to me to attempt to copy them.  I have learned that I am me,  that I can do the things that, as one might put it, me can do, but I cannot do the things that me would like to do.”

Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm  Comments (33)  
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Writing Quotes from, “The Sea Priestess”

music playing:  Swan Lake

Here are some quotes on writing  from Dion Fortune’s, “The Sea Priestess” (1938)

From the Introduction:

1.  “It was said by a reviewer of one of my previous books that it is a pity I make my characters so unlikeable.  This was a great surprise to me, for it had never occurred to me that my characters were unlikeable.  What kind of barber’s blocks are required in order that readers may love them?  In real life no one escapes the faults of their qualities, so why should they in fiction?”

2.  “Any writer will agree that narrative in the first person is a most difficult technique to handle.  The method of presentation is in actuality that of drama, though maintaining the appearance of narrative; moreover everything has to be seen not only through the eyes, but through the temperament of the person who is telling the story.  A restraint has to be observed in the emotional passages lest the blight of self-pity appear on the hero.”

3.   ” People read fiction in order to supplement the diet life provides them…It is too well known to need emphasis that readers, reading for emotional compensation, identify themselves with the hero or heroine as the case may be, and for this reason the writers who cater for this class of taste invariably make the protagonist of the opposite sex to themselves the oleographic representation of a wish-fulfilment.  The he-men who write for he-men invariably provide as heroine either a glutinous, synthetic, saccharine creature, and call the result romance, or else combine all the incompatibles in the human character and think they have achieved realism.”

4.  “Equally the lady novelist will provide her readers with such males as never stepped into a pair of trousers; on whom, in fact, trousers would be wasted.”

From Main Text:

5. “The keeping of a diary is usually reckoned a vice in one’s contemporaries  though a virtue in one’s ancestors.”

6. “We read novels as a kind of supplement to daily life.   If you look over the shoulder of the mildest man in the railway carriage, you will find he is reading the bloodiest novel.  The milder the man, the bloodier the novel- and as for maiden ladies-!  Any particular tough-looking individual, with overseas tan still on his skin, is probably reading a gardening paper.”

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm  Comments (25)  
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Quotes on Writing

1. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. – C.S. Lewis

2. Be generous, be delicate, and always pursue the prize. Henry James

 3.Make him [the reader] think the evil, make him think it for himself, and you are released from weak specifications. -Henry James

4.The story…must be a conflict, and specifically, a conflict between the forces of good and evil within a single person.
 -Maxwell Anderson
5. If you look at anything long enough, say just that wall in front of you — it will come out of that wall. -Anton Chekhov

6. Brevity is the sister of talent- Anton Chekhov

7. Easy reading is damn hard writing- Nathanial Hawthorne

8. Before I write down one word, I have to have the character in my mind through and through. I must penetrate into the last wrinkle of his soul. – Henrik Ibsen

9. Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. – Mark Twain

10. Don’t say the old lady screamed — bring her on and let her scream. – Mark Twain

11. It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.- Virginia Woolf

12. Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible.- Virginia Woolf

13. I delight in what I fear- Shirley Jackson

14.You start at the end, and then go back and write and go that way. Not everyone does, but I do. Some people just sit down at the page and start off. I start from what happened, including the why. – Anne Perry

15. I am little concerned with beauty or perfection. I don’t care for the great centuries. All I care about is life, struggle, intensity. -Emile Zola

16. One forges one’s style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines. -Emile Zola

17. Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough. -Gustave Flaubert

18. Everything which one invents is true, be sure of it. – Gustave Flaubert

19. The author in his book must be like God in his universe, everywhere present and nowhere visible. -Flaubert

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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