Thursday, April 30, 2009

Found: Truth

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Found: Wisdom

"Sometimes the best friends you can have are dumb enemies."

(Well, according to the Interwebs, Henry Copeland said it, but I'm pretty sure someone anonymous said it first.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

From: "Time to Pretend"

"I'm feeling rough, I'm feeling raw, I'm in the prime of my life.
Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives."


Friday, April 24, 2009

From: "The Drinking Song"

"And we'd drink.
Ever notice how drinking's like war?
Cup o' troops o'er the gums
To the end of our health,
A campaign against myself,
Armed with bourbons,
and scotches,
and rums.
And the band played on..."

Moxy Fruvous

Thursday, April 23, 2009

From: Walden

"No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new."

Henry David Thoreau

When other kids were saying, I wish I was born in the 60s or 70s, I was all, I'd like to live in the transcendental period. Lately, I've been meaning to re-read Walden, but never got around to it until I stumbled upon DailyLit.

Go register and choose a book (you can pay for something new or choose something free from the public domain). They send you a page or two every day via email or RSS feed. I love my morning dose of transcendentalism.

What time do you dream of visiting?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrating: Earth Day

"i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes"

e. e. cummings

as a young man, e. e. cummings wanted to be a visual artist. when he began to write poetry, he retained his need to make the poems visually stimulating on the page. his poems often appear as chaotic as the natural world, like children skipping across the page.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Found: Truth

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."

Henry David Thoreau

Monday, April 20, 2009

Arts & Crafts: Salvador Dalí

Another one of my favorites, this one reminds of me of summers at Brigantine Beach when I was a kid. I don't own a cheap print of this yet, but I have plans.

Salvador Dalí painted Person at the Window in 1925.

The model is Dalí's younger sister Ana Maria, and the view from the window is the sea beyond Cadaqués, a coastal village in Spain where several incredible artists, including Dalí, spent their summers.

Friday, April 17, 2009

From: Housekeeping vs. The Dirt

"Please stop patronizing those who are reading a book--The Da Vinci Code, maybe--because they are enjoying it… reading for enjoyment is what we should all be doing… turning pages should not be like walking through thick mud."

Nick Hornby
(p.s., Happy Birthday Nick Hornby)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From: "Flightless Bird, American Mouth"

"Now I'm a fat house cat
nursing my sore blunt tongue
watching the warm poison rats
curl through the wide fence cracks."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From: The Rules of Survival

"Is she still dangerous to us? Maybe. Anybody can be dangerous. But once she was all-powerful in our lives. She was the queen bee and we served her. Now she's dangerous like a mosquito. A mosquito might bite you. It might carry malaria. But most of the time, a mosquito just whines and buzzes. And even if it bites you, even if it draws blood, well, so what?"

Nancy Werlin

Monday, April 13, 2009

Found: Intolerance

“To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not reason …”

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Doing: Calamity Physics

I've been trying to find a good quote about resurrection for today, but nothing screamed at me--that is--until I got the Barnes & Noble bargain book list in my inbox. Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics is in the bargain book list.


This book was so good. I recommend you get your bargain copy and settle in for a long evening's read. I am resurrecting this awesome shiz from the bargain book table. Happy Easter.

From Special Topics in Calamity Physics

"… We’ll look back on this moment and detest ourselves. It’ll be a thing we won’t get over for years and years and then we’ll die alone with tons of cats or be hit by cars. We’ll end up road pizzas—"

"Will you shut the fuck up?" shouted Charles. "I—I’m tired of hearing this shit every fucking weekend! You’re a fucking moron. All of you!"

He banged his glass on the bar and raced from the room, his cheeks red, his hair the color of the palest, barest wood, the soft kind you could dent with your thumbnail, and then seconds later—none of us spoke—we heard the front door thump, the whining motor of his car as he sped down the driveway.

"Is it me or is it obvious none of this ends happily," Jade said.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Found: Wisdom

"It is harrowing for me to try to teach 20-year-old students, who earnestly want to improve their writing. The best I can think to tell them is: Quit smoking, and observe posted speed limits. This will improve your odds of getting old enough to be wise."

Barbara Kingsolver

Friday, April 10, 2009

Found: Author Envy

Only a total dork like me would think this shot of Neil Gaiman is totally hot. Thanks to Bust magazine for sending it to my inbox.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

From: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"In a better world, I would have kissed her over the ice trays and that would have been the end of all our troubles. But you know exactly what kind of world we live in. It ain’t no fucking Middle-earth. I just nodded my head, said, See you around, Lola, and drove home."

Junot Díaz

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Arts and Crafts: Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh painted Irises in 1890. The piece was only a study, but van Gogh’s brother Theo entered it in his next exhibition. A very cheap print of it hangs in my living room.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Found: Old Stuff

After attending the SCBWI writers retreat this weekend, I am now subscribed to 1 million blogs. Today, Roger Sutton over at Read Roger posted this quote from a 1943 book about kids and reading:

"Girls, like boys, are seeking life, but in a different way. They need some so-called boys' books with moving plots and an adventurous hero to take them out of themselves and to keep them from becoming too introspective; for the opposite reason boys need some of the so-called girls' books, for their suggestions of self-analysis and wholesome sentiment."

You can read more on his blog.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Found: Wisdom

"Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
what the swift mind beholds at every turn."

Pity Me Not
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Friday, April 3, 2009

From: The Bell Jar

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.

From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out.

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Poem: "Wanting Sumptuous Heavens"

No one grumbles among the Oyster clans,
And lobsters play their bone guitars all summer.
Only we, with our opposable thumbs, want
Heaven to be, and God to come, again.
There is no end to our grumbling; we want
Comfortable earth and sumptuous Heaven
But the heron standing on one leg in the bog
Drinks his dark rum all day, and is content.

Robert Bly
The Best American Poetry 2008

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

From: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"In the old days when his so-called friends would hurt him or drag his trust through the mud he always crawled voluntarily back into the abuse, out of fear and loneliness, something he'd always hated himself for, but not this time. If there existed in his high school years any one moment he took pride in it was clearly this one. Even told his sister about it during her next visit. She said, Way to go, O! He'd finally showed some backbone, hence some pride, and although it hurt, it also felt motherfucking good."

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Junot Díaz