For reasons of high aesthetic principle

For reasons of high aesthetic principle, I do not write on a computer. Writing on a computer makes saving what’s been written too easy. Pretentious lead sentences are kept, not tossed. Instead of sitting surrounded by crumpled paper, the computerized writer has his mistakes neatly stored in digital memory.

P.J. O’Rourke

Writer’s Block

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.

Terry Pratchett

Max stepped into his private boat

Max stepped into his private boat and waved goodbye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him—and it was still hot.

Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

But wherever they go

But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.

The House At Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne

In other words

In other words, they belong to types that could fall in love, but couldn’t live together.

E.M. Forster, Howards End

She was limp and pathetic

She was limp and pathetic and woozy and I loved her, I realised, even more because I knew how completely it was doomed.

Olivia Sudjic, Sympathy

Dear Matthew

Dear Matthew-
There’s one more thing I didn’t get to tell you that night in my bedroom. Here it is: I love you. I’m in love with you. I have been for a long time. This might seem like a strange thing for me to say given the fact we aren’t speaking to each other. But I’ve decided that it’s possible to love someone for entirely selfless reasons, for all of their flaws and weaknesses, and still not succeed in having them love you back. It’s sad perhaps, but not tragic, unless you dwell forever in the pursuit of their elusive affections.

― Cammie McGovern, Say What You Will

Bad Writing

A day of bad writing is always better than a day of no writing.

Don Roff

A Voice Actor

When a voice actor shifts their focus on to the listener and off of themselves, their instrument (voice and body) has freedom from their mind to fully express itself.

Rosemary Chase

Before you voice a piece, ask yourself, “What do I bring to this that nobody else does?”

Nancy Wilson

Marketing

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

Peter Drucker

Listen to your customers, not your competitors.

Joel Spolsky

Provincialism

In the last analysis, provincialism is your belief in yourself, in your neighborhood, in your reality. It is patriotism without belligerence. Convincing cases have been made to show that all great art is provincial in the sense of reflecting a place, a time, and a Zeitgeist.

Richard M. Weaver

The Desert

The desert surrounds your every step and you walk forever a thirsty man.

Christopher Pike

In the desert, the line between life and death is sharp and quick.

Brian Herbert

Here she is mending her dress; mending her dress as usual

Here she is mending her dress; mending her dress as usual, he thought; here she’s been sitting all the time I’ve been in India; mending her dress; playing about; going to parties; running to the House and back and all that, he thought, growing more and more irritated, more and more agitated, for there’s nothing in the world so bad for some women as marriage, he thought; and politics; and having a Conservative husband, like the admirable Richard. So it is, so it is, he thought, shutting his knife with a snap.

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

Coal

Coal is a portable climate.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ideas

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.

Joseph Stalin (perhaps)

There are two kinds of truth

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art, science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science, art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.

Raymond Chandler

I was never the Pretty Girl

It is clear I was never the Pretty Girl. I had my two front teeth knocked out when I was 10 and didn’t fix them until I was 19. I have a crooked smile and a nose that looks like it’s been broken 12 times but never has been. My nose was always red, so people called me Rudolph. My whole face is off-center.

Ellen Barkin

Spies for Money

There are some who become spies for money, or out of vanity and megalomania, or out of ambition, or out of a desire for thrills. But the malady of our time is of those who become spies out of idealism.

Max Lerner

Only Idiots

Only idiots refuse to change their minds.

Brigitte Bardot

Poetry

Poetry was the maiden I loved, but politics was the harridan I married.

Joseph Howe

Clothes make the man

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society

Mark Twain

Science Fiction

Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.

Isaac Asimov

Insanity runs in my family

Look I probably should have told you this before but you see… well… insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.

Mortimer Brewster (played by Cary Grant) in the film Arsenic and Old Lace

Hubris is interesting

Hubris is interesting, because you get people who are often very clever, very powerful, have achieved great things, and then something goes wrong – they just don’t know when to stop.

Margaret MacMillan

Hubris – Redux

Hubris is one of the great renewable resources.

P. J. O’Rourke

Hubris

Each era has the fatal hubris to believe that it has once and for all climbed to the top of the mountain and can see everything as it is, from the highest and most objective vantage point possible.

Eric Metaxas

A cynic

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

H. L. Mencken

In this game of life

In this game of life your family is the court and the ball is your heart. No matter how good you are, no matter how down you get, always leave your heart on the court.

Kwame Alexander

Duke Russell

PG hasn’t read a John Grisham novel for at least several years. However, he started a new Grisham book, The Guardians, and immediately came upon a lovely first sentence:

Duke Russell is not guilty of the unspeakable crimes for which he was convicted; nonetheless, he is scheduled to be executed for them in one hour and forty-four minutes.

John Grisham

One cannot rule out a blizzard in Minnesota

One cannot rule out a blizzard in Minnesota after Labor Day, and so when I travel for Thanksgiving or any time in the fall, I am careful to fly into Des Moines instead of Minneapolis and then drive the 200 miles north to my hometown.

Hope Jahren

tough competition

I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.

Walt Disney

The taxpayer

The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.

Ronald Reagan

There is always the danger

There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.

Mother Teresa

No work

No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

A hundred times every day

A hundred times every day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

Albert Einstein

Writer’s Block

One of the pieces I’m deeply proud to have written started with a paragraph that read: “This story needed an ending before it could find its first sentence. So please forgive me for delivering it ten years overdue.” That ten years was a war with writer’s block.

Cal Fussman

An author

An author who gives a manager or publisher any rights in his work except those immediately and specifically required for its publication or performance is for business purposes an imbecile.

George Bernard Shaw

Libel, Slander, etc.

Slanderers are a species of creatures, so great a scandal to human nature, as scarce to deserve the name of men. They are, for the generality, a composition of the most detestable vices, price, envy, lying, hatred, uncharitableness, etc… And yet it is a lamentable truth that these wretches swarm in every town, and lurk in every village; and, actuated by these base principles, are ever busied in attacking the characters of mankind; none are too good or too great to escape the level of their envenomed dart; nor does the inefficacy of their malicious intentions in the least deter them from persevering in their villainy.

Wellins Calcott

Your tittle-tattlers, and those who listen to slander, by my good will should all be hanged — the former by their tongues, the latter by the ears.

Plautus

An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

Proverbs 11:9

Slander is worse than cannibalism.

John Chrysostom

Just because something isn’t a lie does not mean that it isn’t deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.

Criss Jami

You can’t just slander someone, defame them, lie about them. You can’t incite people to crime. There’s all sorts of reasonable restrictions on free speech that are already codified in the British common-law system.

Jordan Peterson

The battle for Iwo Jima

There was reason to believe the battle for Iwo Jima would be even more ferocious than the others, reason to expect the Japanese defender would fight even more tenaciously.

In Japanese eyes the Sulfur Island was infinitely more precious than Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, and the others. To the Japanese, Iwo Jima represented something more elemental: It was Japanese homeland. Sacred ground. In Shinto tradition, the island was part of the creation that burst forth from Mount Fuji at the dawn of history…. the island was part of a seamless sacred realm that had not been desecrated by an invader’s foot for four thousand years.

Easy Company and the other Marines would be attempting nothing less than the invasion of Japan.

James Bradley, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima

Fruits of Victory

The fruits of victory are tumbling into our mouths too quickly.

Emperor Hirohito, April 29, 1942

Razor Blades

The Americans only know how to make razor blades.

Hermann Göring


We could do with some of those razor blades, Herr Reichsmarshall.

Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

Look around the table

Look around the table. If you don’t see a sucker, get up, because you’re the sucker.

Amarillo Slim

The older I grow

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

H. L. Mencken

I always wanted

I always wanted to get into politics, but I was never light enough to make the team.

Art Buchwald