Friday, March 30, 2007


“All writing comes by the grace of God.”

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


“True ease in writing comes in art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learn’d to dance.”

~~Alexander Pope

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“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

~~E. L. Doctorow

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Supreme solace...

“Writing is the supreme solace.”

~~Somerset Maugham

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Monday, March 26, 2007

A noble soul...

“If any would write in a noble style, let him first possess a noble soul.”

~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Friday, March 23, 2007

I write toward...

"When I write, I aim in my mind not toward New York but toward a vague spot a little east of Kansas. I think of the books on library shelves, without their jackets, years old, and a countryish teen-aged boy finding them, and having them speak to him."

~~John Updike

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Obsessed with accuracy...

I found this on the Writer's Almanac today...

L'Amour was obsessed with the accuracy of his novels, and filled his personal library with more than 8,000 reference books, including hundreds of personal diaries by cowboys and pioneers. Whenever he wrote about a particular place, he always went there to see exactly what kinds of plants were growing, and what the geological formations looked like. He once said, "When I say there is a rock in the road in one of my books, my readers know that if they go to that spot they'll find that rock."

Louis Lamour wrote over 100 novels, over 200 million are in circulation today. Wow...what a legacy.

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Normal daily drone...

In 1930, (Harry) Sinclair Lewis, became the first American writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He said his inspiration as a writer came from, "sitting in Pullman smoking cars, in a Minnesota village, on a Vermont farm, in a hotel in Kansas City or Savannah, listening to the normal daily drone of what are to me the most fascinating and exotic people in the world — the Average Citizens of the United States."

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A weak moment...

"In a weak moment I have written a book . . . "

~~Margaret Mitchell 11/19/1935

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Poem for writer's block!

This just seemed to sum up how it feels to be blocked...
to know where the road (of your story) is going...but in consternation to find there's a 'stone' blocking the road!

My sympathies and empathies...and a call to remember...all stones can be moved!

"In the Middle of the Road"
by Elizabeth Bishop, from The Complete Poems: 1927-1979 . ©

In the Middle of the Road

In the middle of the road there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the road
there was a stone
in the middle of the road there was a stone.

Never should I forget this event
in the life of my fatigued retinas.
Never should I forget that in the middle of the road
there was a stone
there was a stone in the middle of the road
in the middle of the road there was a stone.
Literary and Historical Notes:

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Friday, March 16, 2007

I need inspiration...

"Got a favorite writing quote to share???"

Email it to Tricia at

Thursday, March 15, 2007

From the writer to the reader too...

The character as well as the fortunes of the gospel is committed to the preacher. He makes or mars the message from God to man. The preacher is the golden pipe through which the divine oil flows. The pipe must not only be golden, but open and flawless, that the oil may have a full, unhindered, unwasted flow . . . The man, the whole man, lies behind the sermon. Preaching is not the performance of an hour. It is the outflow of a life. It takes twenty years to make a sermon, because it takes twenty years to make the man. The true sermon is a thing of life. The sermon grows because the man grows. The sermon is forceful because the man is forceful. The sermon is holy because the man is holy. The sermon is full of the divine unction because the man is full of the divine unction.

~~POWER THROUGH PRAYER by Edward M. Bounds, Chapter 1, Men of Prayer Need

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007


"Once a new idea springs into existence, it cannot be unthought. There is a sense of immortality in a new idea."

~~Edward de Bobo


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Well Said...

Here's another great insight from Jim Thompson in response to this Mark Twain quote:

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.

Ol' Sam Clemens knew how to spin a phrase.

I did a little reading about him, and by modern standards, his early life was a failure. That gives me hope that I might still have some future communicating my wacko ideas to others.

I love his imagery of the diffuse light becoming a luminous flash. I could compare it to the grape juice I'm drinking at the moment. The pure juice, though one of God's more remarkable creations, is almost too rich. Dilute it with water, and it just becomes weak. But dilute it with some complementary substance, and it tastes delightful.In case my comparison needs some explanation, the pure grape juice is the essence of a beautiful story. Diluting it with stylistically flavorless prose just weakens the story, rendering it unappealing. The right stylistic ingredient, though, turns the story into a gourmet's delight.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Take the time...

If you read bad stuff, you will learn to write bad stuff. If you listen to only bad music, you ill grow up to compose lousy music as well. If you do not take the time and make the effort to listen and to study and to reflect on and to engage yourself deeply in the things that move you deeply, then it will be difficult to begin to make anything that will move anyone else very deeply at all.

--Robert Benson: A Good Life: Benedict’s Guide to Everyday Joy, p.40

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Thursday, March 08, 2007


My writer friend, Jim, left this as a comment on one of my blog posts.

"Recreational writing can be hit-and-miss, but for the Christian who feels God's commission to write for Him, that is not an option. Jesus' apostle Paul wrote, "For I am under compulsion, for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel." The same sort of compulsion exists for Christian writers. While we may not always "preach" the gospel through our writing, Jesus' gospel must form our frame of reference for what we do write."

~~Jim Thompson,

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pressing forward...

This quote was sent by my writing friend, Suzan Robertson.

“....With God's help, we can all do great things for the kingdom, that we can ruthlessly pursue excellence and when the voices of disdain grow loud from talented folks and those who wish they were, let’s drown them out with the most beautiful, thoughtful words we can muster, displayed on the pages of our own work.
“Don't be discouraged and set that manuscript in a drawer. Keep pressing forward always remembering there is no one out there that can write like you, that has lived the life you have lived, or can tell the stories you alone can tell.”

--Lisa Samson Blog, July 27, 2004

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A lot of ideas...

Nobel prize winning chemist Linus Pauling said, "The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."

I so agree, one of them is bound to be good. :)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Health and the Writer by Camy Tang

Whether you’re a writer who also works a full-time job or are a busy stay-at-home-mom, it’s hard to stay healthy. I researched and figured out a bunch of tips and tricks to help me stay in shape without carving out of my precious writing time. I also found some tips to help me have just general better health. Pick and choose which of these will work for you.

Working out while traveling

I’ve started traveling more since I started writing. Has that happened for you, too? Writers’ conferences, or research trips, or visiting publishers or agents.

Travel would always mess up my exercise schedule, sketchy as it is. Not all hotels have exercise rooms, and even fewer don’t charge for you to use them.

And then when I came back home, it would take a while for me to get back into my exercise rhythm.

But I came across this neat article from about how you can exercise in the privacy of your hotel room while traveling. It’s fabulous! I don’t know if I’d pack an exercise mat—I’d probably just use a hotel towel or two—but a resistance band is both cheap and easy to pack. Check out the article:

Travel Light, Stay Fit by Michael Stefano on

Camy here: This is my last Health and the Writer column. It's been fun! I can always be reached via my website. Write healthy!

Camy Tang is a novelist also fighting the battle of the bulge. She previously worked in biology research, and she is a staff worker for her church youth group. She runs the Story Sensei critique service, and her Asian chick lit novel, Sushi for One?, releases in September. Enjoy the read on her blog at


Friday, March 02, 2007

We Need Story...

"The narrative impulse is always with us; we couldn't imagine ourselves through a day without it. ... We need myths to get by. We need story; otherwise the tremendous randomness of experience overwhelms us. Story is what penetrates."

~~Robert Coover, author

Thursday, March 01, 2007

2 thoughts on the writing life...

"Writing a book is an endurance contest, and a war fought against yourself, because writing is beastly hard work which one would just as soon not do. It's also a job, and if you want to get paid, you have to work. Life is cruel that way."

~~by Tom Clancy

"We all ended up just the tiniest bit resentful when we found the one fly in the ointment: that at some point we had to actually sit down and write."

~~Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird