A Gathering of Days

Our fantasies are what most closely resemble us.
Victor Hugo

Today, combining day fourteen and day fifteen, is the conclusion of Lerowen's charming writer's challenge. I'm a trifle sad to see it go because it has been enjoyable, albeit a little difficult at times, but too much of a good thing, you know, is too much.

day fourteen: your favourite quotes about writing

As with books about writing, I had difficulty culling out of my meagre stash of poems and quotations those that had to do with writing. I enjoy a good piece of poetry, though I am rarely poetic myself: I have spent my time studying prose, I'm afraid, and poetry is still an unlocked mystery. Still, I keep an old notebook that fills with extreme slowness with poems and quotations, and in its dog-eared depths I found those quotations that have struck me over the years as regards writing.

He who uses his words loosely or unsteadily will either be not minded or not understood.
John Locke

Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.

A good novel tells you the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells you the truth about its author.
G.K. Chesterton

Daddy says you really aren't allowed to quote someone until they are dead, but in conclusion I must give a quote by my husband to myself:

You need to write. You are always happier when you are writing.

And now for the very last subject of the fifteen-day challenge. It would not let me go off without a desperate squeeze through the bottleneck, I dare say, and today's topic is certainly a challenge.

day fifteen: your favourite song to write to

I am one of those dreadfully annoying people who can listen to the same song back-to-back all day, sometimes all week, if I enjoy it enough - and yet I could not tell you what is my most favourite song. As for writing, music definitely conjures up moods, and every mood needs a different sort of tune. Music impacts: music once impacted a whole nation to violence. So the music has to be fitting to the scene. No one song will do. These may not make a great deal of sense, and may not seem to have to do with what they say that have to do, but then...it is my own mind to me.

The Pastoral: Storm (Fernando Ortega), This Good Day (Fernando Ortega), If I Stand (Rich Mullins), Romantic Flight (How To Train Your Dragon)

The Traveller: The Traveller (Fernando Ortega), If I Stand (Rich Mullins), Marco Polo (Loreena McKennitt), Let Mercy Lead (Rich Mullins)

The Fight: Kingsword (Heather Dale), Brother, Stand Beside Me (Heather Dale), Creed (Rich Mullins), While The Nations Rage (Rich Mullins)

The Aching: I've Seen Hell (North & South), Thornton's Walk (North & South), Elysium (Gladiator), Toy Soldiers (Carbon Leaf) Hold Me, Jesus (Rich Mullins)

The Quietude: A Place On The Earth (Fernando Ortega), Sleepless Night (Fernando Ortega), Cymbeline (Loreena McKennitt), Vanilla Twilight (Owl City)

A Kind of Everything: Now We Are Free (Gladiator), Extended Serenity Theme (Serenity), The Celts (Enya)

if I stand let me stand on the promise
that You will pull me through
and if I can't let me fall on the grace
that first brought me to You
and if I sing let me sing for the joy
that has born in me these songs
and if I weep let it be as a man
who is longing for his home
Rich Mullins, If I Stand

9 ripostes:

  1. Bah, you van quote anyone, I say, be them dead or alive.

    day 15 is gonna be hard for me...:-D.

  2. I won't trouble you again about music but I do have some fantastic quotes in my collection about books and writing:

    "Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all." – Thoreau (These are words I live by.)

    "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot speak thereof one must be silent." – Wittgenstein

    "A man is a fool not to put everything he has, at any given moment, into what he is creating. You're there now doing the thing on paper. You're not killing the goose, you're just producing an egg. So I don't worry about inspiration, or anything like that. It's a matter of just sitting down and working." - Frank Herbert

    "There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others." - William Faulkner (Also words I live by.)

    "He who has nothing to assert has no style and can have none: he who has something to assert will go as far in power of style as its momentousness and his convictions will carry him." – George Bernard Shaw

  3. Apart from the whiskey (because I have not had any) I must soundly agree with those quotes - particularly the one by Thoreau, whom I have unconsciously been quoting myself whenever I run across someone perusing a lesser tome. There simply isn't time to read the bad books along with the good: for Heaven's sake, read the good books and do your mind some credit. We are stewards, too, of our minds, and responsible for what we put into them.

    As for Frank Herbert's quote, I've been reading Dorothy Sayers' collection Letters to a Diminished Church, and I must say it is always nice when providential conspiracy organizes many people to say much the same truth at once. Her proposal of a biblical outlook on work is, not merely as a means of employment, not merely as a means to earn a living, but as a means to express that creative spirit which God has gifted man: to work is a thing all humans must do as an expression of their humanity and is, therefore, to be a joy and an act of worship when we endeavour to do whatever our work may be, whatever our creation may be, according to the glory of God.

  4. I have to get the highly not profound comment out first: that is an adorable picture and caption. It reminds me of Beatrix Potter.

    Moving on. I found a quote by David McCullough that was so perfect that I nearly leapt up and shrieked, "YES!" I'm going to use that in my Day Fifteen post, but I'll post it here, too:

    "People often ask me if I'm working on a book. That's not how I feel. I feel like I work in a book. It's like putting myself under a spell. And this spell, if you will, is so real to me that if I have to leave my work for a few days, I have to work myself back into the spell when I come back. It's almost like hypnosis."


    That man is a genius. He gets it. I still say, a writer isn't a writer, he's a conjurer. He's an illusionist. He's a necromancer by pen and ink. Well said, well said indeed.

  6. *wanders in, slightly dazed*

    I, too, laughed at your graphic's quote. Of course, as my Dad said when I read it to him, this stage is just the rehearsal for the Real stage, and the Real performance. Thankfully we have a bit of time to be polished up. A bit. "Teach us to number our days..."
    At the same time, the preparations are complete. We have been transformed, we are being conformed. ...Perhaps my wording is a bit off.
    The bottom line is that this world is not the end. There is so much more, and all this is simply the overture.

    On another subject- I find it cool that all three of us (you, Lerowen, and I) mentioned Enya among our favorite writing music.

  7. I actually couldn't say Enya is among my favourites. That one song of hers is rather thrilling, but otherwise I don't listen to her all that often, save when my sister-in-law has one of her albums playing.

    As for the majority of your comment, I had much the same thing to say in After the World's Last Night.

  8. Mmhm. I remember. :)

    Just feels a little more... /real/ today is all.

  9. I know what you mean about the conspiratorial conjunction of truths; some of it must stem from the fact that when we're dwelling on one particular thought already, we're more apt to notice others that line up with it, but sometimes it's so overwhelming that you'd almost think someone was purposefully organizing it. Happened to me the other day, in fact.

    I don't have any reason to believe that Herbert was writing from a Christian perspective, so his humanistic injunction, "Do what you do well because there is value in the work itself," takes on a much more fulfilling meaning as you expressed it, "Do what you do well because there is value in the One who gave it to you to do." Something I could certainly stand to remember more often.

    I believe I copied that quote from the introduction to Eye, my copy of which is currently residing at your house, if you'd care to read more. But don't quote me on that; I may have wrangled it from the Webs.