Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Musings: April 6 2014

Chris here again with our Muse Family’s musings. This week MIU author, Charles Bowie is asking “I want to hear (read) the quote that keeps each writer going. Even the critical ones: “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”

Great suggestion, Chuck!  I actually have a journal I keep nothing but quotes in. My own favourite is from Meister Eckhart “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”

I have another and well, it’s actually a poem by Ogden Nash “The Octopus.” It makes me smile. It’s easy to remember. And I wish I had wrote it.

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me Us.

Now onwards to our MIU Family. You’ll note a slight change…our family of writers, well they never stop writing. They’re full of such wonderful tales that we were running out of space to include all the titles. So, please give their names a click and discover each and every one of them.


Two of my favourites include: For personal growth..."If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." By, Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clements). And my significantly less formal quote, used upon receipt of ANY rejection..."Do your best and frig the rest." I never felt the need to insert a stronger version of the word 'frig'. It seemed to work best like this.

My father's favorite writer was Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock. Here are three of MY favorite Stephen Leacock quotes:

first quote:  "Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl."
{grin} So funny, and so true.

Second quote:  "Personally, I would sooner have written Alice in Wonderland than the whole Encyclopedia Britannica."

I love Alice in Wonderland, which I reread every exam time in college -- this echoes my personal sentiments exactly.

Third Quote:  "He flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse, and rode madly off in all directions."

I grin every time I read this one. I can picture the poor guy, riding off, attempting to ride in every direction at once and going nowhere. Absurd, funny. I love it.

S. WILLETT - author

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

In the quiet of the morning
You only have to rise
To feel something's wrong.
Uncontrollable circumstances
Tense the air and you know
Something's going to happen.

~Susan Bernhardt from The Ginseng Conspiracy

In the movement of their eyes,
People give themselves away.
It reveals everything.
No other proof is necessary.

~Susan Bernhardt from The Ginseng Conspiracy

Music floats slowly
Through a dimly lit room.
Nostalgic, rhythmic, melancholy;
A note rises up the wall amid the shadows
And fades.

~Susan Bernhardt from The Ginseng Conspiracy

I have three quotes to share (it was hard to pick!), and they're all short:

"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe." --Laozi

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." --Oscar Wilde

"Wisdom begins in wonder." --Socrates

JAMI GRAY, author

One of my fav writing peeps-EVAH! Chuck Wendig, author, blogger, screenwriter, and butt kicker. Need a shot in the pants? Check out his blog, Terrible Minds ( Warning, his language is strong, so go in armed.  "You do not find the time to write. You make it. You snatch it from the jaws of whatever temporal beast has your minutes and hours clamped between its gnarly teeth.”

Another fav (because it’s Stephen King, peeps) is:  “When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘One word at a time.’”
Seriously, if it doesn’t flow like wine for him, why should I expect anything different?

And last, but never least, is this one from film director, Quentin Tarantino…
“A writer should have this little voice inside of you saying, Tell the truth. Reveal a few secrets here."

MARSHA R. WEST, author

Thomas A. Edison:
"The most necessary task of civilization is to teach men how to think."

I'm sure this is from my belief we can teach anything if the person is willing to learn, and the most important skill is to know how to think. Of course, we mean "people" not just "men.")

Josh Billings:
"Consider the postage stamp; it's usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there."

(This reminded me of writing and how important it is to "stick" with the job. Of course, at some point this may cease to be a good analogy if paper mail goes out of style.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"Skill to do comes of doing."

(This is really how we learn to do anything: drive a car, bake a cake, write a book. We have to do it. Sometimes we wreck, the cake flops, or the book stinks. But if we've learned how to think (a la Mr. Edison) and we are willing to follow Mr. Billings's comments about sticking to it, then we develop the skill by doing according to Mr. Emerson and are able to fix the problems.

ERIN LILES, editor

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”   ~Anne Lamott

  “Writing practice brings us back to the uniqueness of our own minds and an acceptance of it. We all have wild dreams, fantasies, and ordinary thoughts. Let us feel the texture of them and not be afraid of them. Writing is still the wildest thing I know.”   ~Natalie Goldberg
“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”
~Stephen King

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
~ Walt Disney

When writer's block or marketing woes get me down, these words inspire me to hang in there.


1.      “Tomorrow always brings with it new stars to wish upon, new skies to enjoy, new dreams to bless us and cheer us on!” – Roman Lapointe

2.      “If one advances confidently in the direction of her dreams, she will meet with success unexpected.” – Henry David Thoreau

3.      “The greatest joy in all of livin’ is the joy that comes from freely givin’.”- Jed Clampett (The Beverly Hillbillies)

DAWN KNOX, author

My first favourite quotation is from the Bible. Jesus replied to the person asking what was the most important commandment, with the following “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself..." Matthew 22:37-39 (English Standard Version Anglicised). I like this because he simplifies religion into two commandments and they both involve love. Love of God, (who or whatever you perceive that to be) and then, love for everyone else. Complications such as women bishops, gay rights etc just get in the way. If we loved our God and treated everyone the way we'd like to be treated, we'd know the answers to such problems. Or perhaps they wouldn't be problems in the first place.

A quotation that has stayed with me for years, is from my mum, who used to tell me "The saddest phrase you're ever likely to hear is 'You're too late'". Such a short phrase and very simple but so chillingly final.

If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely...Roald Dahl

MEG AMOR, author


"Everyone lives a thousand lives, but only one life to remember ~ will this be yours?"
Attributed to an old Chinese saying. Noel Barber uses it in Tanamera.

I think we do get that many lives and only some are memorable or ones we would love to do again. It reminds me to live from my heart and ignore tick tock societies rules and regulations.

"A life lived in fear, is a life half lived."

Attributed to a Spanish quote. Baz Luhrmann from his film Strictly Ballroom.

See above for explanation. :-) My motto in life is pretty much, make sure you live, despite the fear.

Last one:

"Life should be a little nuts; otherwise it's just a bunch of Thursdays strung together."

Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in movie Rumor Has It.

Again, see above. :-) I do not aspire to ever live a 'normal' life. I like things to be on the move and happening, with a touch of what other people might view as 'crazy.' I loved it when I could wake up on Monday and think, Ireland - I need to go. On Tuesday or Wednesday, I'd be on a plane, winging my way out there. Pure heaven.


Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield but to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone; but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure.

- Rabindranath Tagore

"The very first thing necessary to anyone who's weird is a place where they don't give you a hard time just because you're weird" – Spider Robinson

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

 "Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

When I get particularly flustered, or just for inspiration, I read this quote my husband told me.

  “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday…”

In GOOGLING it to find out who said it, I find that the quote is incomplete, it has left off the final thought.  The actual quote is:

“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday, and I love today.” 

I like the complete quote better.

It is credited to William Allen White, (an American Journalist) who lived from 1868-1944.

Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at


Meg Amor said...

Aloha Chris and everyone!

Thanks so much for putting this up. Such great quotes. I love them.

Aloha Meg :-)

Meg Amor said...

Aloha Chris and everyone!

Thanks so much for putting this up. Such great quotes. I love them.

Aloha Meg :-)

Unknown said...

The ones by Socrates and Rosevelt were really cool. Wish I woul have remembered in time to get mine in

Meg Amor said...

Well, say them now please James. :-) So we can have some more great quotes please.

Aloha Meg :-)

Marsha said...

Wow! This may be the best musings ever! We can change the world if enough folks read these. :) Share, share, share! I will.
Seriously, Chris. This is wonderful.

John B. Rosenman said...

Some of these comments could have been mine. I always liked the one my father quoted, which I once found written on a napkin in a bar:

As you ramble on through life, brother,

Whatever be your goal,

Keep your eye upon the doughnut,

And not upon the hole.

I always thought writing was part of the doughnut.

Meg Amor said...

Love that John! :-) So true!

Thanks and aloha Meg :-)

Heath Greenis said...

Sorry I missed this post. My quote, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is posted on my website.

Heather G - Natasha Saga

Jami Gray said...

These are awesome, you guys. I so love seeing what keeps everyone going. Nice to see a wide range of inspiration.
Thanks, Chris for putting this together and thanks to Charlie for the awesome idea.

ChrisChat said...

Thanks everyone! Love the energy and sharing, makes this process of writing not so lonely.

Susan Bernhardt said...

Heather Greenis, Carlos Ruiz Zafon is my favorite author.

Nice job everyone.

Susan Bernhardt