Friday, November 23, 2012


Using quotations in our writing can sometimes cause logistic problems. I saw a line from  Maya Angelou on a funerial remembrance website and thought it was a good fit for one of my novels. It took hours of searching through most of her poetry books when I discovered it wasn't part of a poem. It was from a collection of her quotations. Then of course the next step was to take the route of permissions from her publishers. You can tell, I'm sure that what I'm saying is, quotations should really  be valuable to you and pertinent to your writing for you to spend the time. That quote was a key to the plot of the first book in my series, The Maine Shore Chronicles. A continuing character in that series is always spouting cryptic observations, sometimes critical, sometimes motivational such as scriptural quotes, and sometimes just a plain common sense adage. One of hers I particularly like is "Mama says If you can't sing along, just hum and smile while you do it."
Since my creation of Tante Margaret's character, I am always on the alert for good quotations.

To my delight this year GOODREADS website began a "Quote of The Day" program. As a member of that site I have enjoyed that column from the start, especially when the quotes have to do with writing! Some are ancient, some are contemporary. Below are two my fellow writers should enjoy.

August 24, 2012
"I am not sure that I exist,actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited."
Jorge Luis Borges
The author of Fictiones was born on this day in 1899.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
"I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded,no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight,to create a sense of the hunger for life that gnaws in us all."
Richard Wright
The author of Native Son was born on this day in 1908.

One of my favorites by Voltaire, early author of Candide is :
 "Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats"
And one for which I've never found the author, but seems to suit for a closing of this blog:
"Life isn't about how to survive in the storm. It is about learning how to dance in the rain."


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Mary,

These are excellent quotes! I relate to each of them. I like to start each of my novels with a quote as well. But I haven't used anything modern because I wasn't certain whether or not we had to have permission to use a modern quote. Maybe you can enlighten me?
In any case, thanks for sharing these with us.

bdtharp said...

Quotes can be such fun. I keep trying to find a good one I can create - the best so far - "crap on a cupcake." So, I doubt anyone will be excited to use it in their work, it is in my new book, though. Thanks, Mary.

Mary F Schoenecker said...

Depending on the date, the source and/or the publisher it's always best to write and inquire. Many old ones are in public domain and need no permission. Thanks for commenting.

Mary F. Schoenecker said...

I'm glad you find them fun, BD. I love the comical ones, but am inspired by the serious ones.