Writing daily is tricky while caring for children, a home, a partner and oh yeah myself! But thinking creatively and finding inspiration doesn’t have to be…in fact, its deeply necessary and essential to an artistic mind. Below are some quotes that I’ve kept in my “inspiration” list. This is a living document, something that is constantly growing and changing over time. I enjoy collecting these tidbits, images, quotes, or thoughts for various reasons including simply reminding me that I am still immersed in the writing life, even when I don’t have a moment to write. This helps jump-start my writing or just makes me remember the joy of creation, particularly on days when that’s furthest from my mind. Enjoy!
This is a classic one for me since discovering it in college: “The first act of the conquered is to imitate their conqueror.” ~Ibn Khaldoun
I’ve always been a fan of political poetry/spoken word and this one introduced me to this new writer as well:
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
You were raised to believe anything was possible, but in a threatening sort of way that meant seemingly inanimate objects could pose very real danger. ~Edward Gorey
I accidentally discovered Gorey after buying a desk calendar… but what a nice discovery indeed. One day I’ll visit the Gorey house!
“You were born for these transitional times. You came to create. You are here to make a difference. You are a player in a grand experiment. You are a change agent. You are an emissary of our New Earth…”
Astrological thoughts to inspire deed as well as character creation for a fantasy novel…!
Any observation or information about pre-1948 Palestine always gets me:
“There is little evidence of the people who lived here because their houses were razed to the ground after 1948 by the Israeli government, but blue Mesopotamian irises continue to grow on the grounds of the village cemetery. The custom was to bury the dead with three irises: one placed on the head, one on the stomach, and one by the feet. Today, the succulent buds poke through the earth of the cemetery of Sar’a, as nature continues to both witness and renew.”
Darwish is the man:
And I have vowed
To fashion from my eyelashes a kerchief,
And upon it to embroider verses for your eyes,
And a name, when watered by a heart that dissolves in chanting,
Will make the sylvan arbours grow.
I shall write a phrase more precious than honey and kisses:
‘Palestinian she was and still is’.
A remembrance of the sacred is key
This is not a world that sustains our models of economic growth and consumer desires.
This is rather a world of wonder and magic, and a world that needs our attention
“In short stories there’s more permission to be elliptical. You can have image-logic, or it’s almost like a poem in that you can come to a lot of meanings within a short space.” – Karen Russell
“A short story works to remind us that if we are not sometimes baffled and amazed and undone by the world around us, rendered speechless and stunned, perhaps we are not paying close enough attention”— George Saunders, in an interview with Ben Marcus on Granta, quoting Marcus’s introduction to New American Stories
And finally, from the writer Salman Rushdie’s new book Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
“To be thin skinned, far-sighted, and loose tongued, he said, is to feel too sharply, see too clearly, speak too freely. It is to be vulnerable to the world when the world believes itself invulnerable, to understand its mutability when it thinks itself immutable, to sense what’s coming before the others sense it, to know what the barbarian future is tearing down the gates of the present while others cling to the decadent, hollow past. If our children are fortunate they will only inherit your ears, but regrettably, as they are undeniably mine, they will probably think too much too soon, and hear too much too early, including things that are not permitted to be thought or heard.”