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I will on occasion review a book on this site. I don’t do so often. There are people more qualified to write intelligent, fair reviews and I will leave that up to them. There is one book I plan to review, Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool by T. J. MacLeslie. The review is actually long overdue, but there’s quite a bit to ponder in this book and in fairness to its author and those who may choose to read (or not read) it based upon a review, I need to spend time going back over some points in there. Too many people write either glowing, over the top reviews or scathing, negative reviews then post them on Amazon. I don’t find either particularly helpful. I will say that I liked the book, and if you’d like more information about it you can click on the link.

Okay, I know I just said I don’t often do book reviews here, but sometimes I stumble across a book that I feel compelled to share with you. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and On Writing by Stephen King are two such books. I also just said I don’t find glowing, over the top reviews helpful, but come on–those books rock.

I found another such book yesterday whilst digging in the bargain books at the local Books-a-Million. It’s rare that I will buy a book without opening it and at least reading the first page, but as I tweeted from the bookstore yesterday, I bought this book because of the back cover:

There’s just something about devastatingly honest cynicism that makes me giddy. And how can you NOT buy a book by Lemony Snicket when it’s at the bargain basement price of $3.97?

The extent of my knowledge of this author comes second hand from my son, who devoured Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events books in elementary school. He glanced at the book cover and proceeded to inform me that he’s pretty sure the author suffers from depression. Alas, some of the most talented souls are tortured ones.

When we arrived home from the mall, I figured I’d read a few pages then set it on my nightstand. But to my delight, upon opening the book, I discovered it is a collection of quotes from its author. I’m a sucker for a good quote, and this book is chock full of them:

I can’t possibly share them all here, and I won’t even promise the few I’ll share are among the best, but if you love a good (albeit sometimes cynical) quote, I would highly recommend this book if you can find it.

Here’s just a few:

“An old cowboy song celebrates home on the range, where deer and antelope play, but anyone who has seen deer and antelope knows that when they are frolicking they scarcely look where they are flinging their hooves, which is why cowboys have been pummeled almost to extinction.”

“Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother’s wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.”

“It is not very polite to interrupt a person, of course, but sometimes if the person is very unpleasant you can hardly stop yourself.”

“In most cases, the best strategy for a job interview is to be fairly honest, because the worst thing that can happen is that you won’t get the job and will spend the rest of your life foraging for food in the wilderness and seeking shelter underneath a tree or the awning of a bowling alley that has gone out of business.”

“No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don’t read is often as important as what you do read.”

“There are those who say that life is like a book, with chapters for each event in your life and a limited number of pages on which you can spend your time. But I prefer to think that a book is like a life, particularly a good one, which is well worth staying up all night to finish.”

“A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.”

“If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[pasdlgkhasdfasdf.”

“I’m sure you have heard it said that appearance does not matter so much, and that it is what’s on the inside that counts. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because if it were true then people who were good on the inside would never have to comb their hair or take a bath, and the whole world would smell even worse than it already does.”

“The way sadness works is one of the strangest riddles of the world.”

“Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby–awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.”

“In love, as in life, one misheard word can be tremendously important. If you tell someone you love them, for instance, you must be absolutely certain that they have replied ‘I love you back’ and not ‘I love your back’ before continuing the conversation.”

“Having an aura of menace is like having a pet weasel, because you rarely meet someone who has one, and when you do it makes you want to hide under the coffee table.”

Okay, okay. I’ll stop now. I love me some good quotes!

What’s your favorite (or one of your favorite–it’s hard to choose just one) quote?

Winter waiting

Winter seems to be a time for waiting.

Ever notice that? Once the holidays are over, most of us can’t wait until spring.

Poets and prose writers often lament winter:

“Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it. We know it.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

“No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.”
– Hal Borland

Baseball players, too:

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
– Roger Hornsby

It seems to me that much of winter is spent wanting it to be over and looking forward to spring. Seems like wasted time somehow, but much of life is about waiting, anticipating good things to come, and realizing in the winters of our lives our own ability to endure:

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.”
– Albert Camus

Or not…

“I like these cold gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.”
– Bill Watterson

Winter is the only time of year when you can get away with blaming your grumpiness exclusively on the weather. There’s something deeply liberating about that, don’t you think? (I’m mostly only kidding…Okay, not really.)


This post is part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival hosted by my friend Peter Pollock. For more posts about winter, please visit his site,

Slow down, you crazy child…

image courtesy of

I’m talking to you.

You, Superman or Superwoman, carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, convinced if you don’t do the things you do, they won’t ever get done. I have a question for you.

Of all these important things you do (that only you can do), how many of these things, if left undone (even just for a day or two) would cause the world to stop turning?

What if you said no because you didn’t want to do something instead of yes because you’re afraid of disappointing someone?

What if you stopped long enough to breathe? I know you’ve got responsibilities and people depending on you. I know you have goals and dreams, and no one’s going to hand them to you on a silver platter–you’ve got to put in the work.

But just for today, give yourself permission to step back and simply enjoy being in the moment. To be still and know that He is God, and we are not. He’ll keep the world spinning until you get back. Promise.

Vienna (by Billy Joel)
Slow down you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart tell me why
Are you still so afraid?
Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize…Vienna waits for you

Slow down you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight (tonight)
Too bad but it’s the life you lead
You’re so ahead of yourself
That you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you’re wrong
You know you can’t always see when you’re right(you’re right)

You got your passion you got your pride
But don’t you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on but don’t imagine they’ll all come true
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s alright you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize…
Vienna waits for you.

And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you can just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through

Why don’t you realize…Vienna waits for you
When will you realize…Vienna waits for you

“Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present, and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”
~ Audrey Hepburn

Feel Free to Quote Me

If you know me well, you know that I love a good quote. My Google home page has two separate widgets on there – one for daily cheeky quotes, the other for daily literary quotes. Dig that. Just a sec, let me pop over there and see what they say….

Literary Quote:
“I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better.”
– William Faulker (American Writer)

Cheeky Quote:
“Dad, is it all right to take things from people you don’t like?” – Lisa Simpson

Not bad…sometimes they’re really good, sometimes, not so much.

Since I’m all about reader participation, I thought I would give you guys and gals an opportunity to share your some of your favorites here. They don’t have to be the “be all end all” favorites, because if you’re like me (there are some effective medications available), picking a favorite quote is like picking a favorite book. There’s just too many good ones to choose from.

Okay, I’ll start with a couple from my kids:

Here’s my son’s first memorized scripture verse (Age 3): “Follow me, and I will make you fishers. Amen”

And here’s one from my daughter last night (Age 8): “I don’t really care for queso, but I’ll take some of that melted cheese you got there.” (I don’t know where she gets that from.)

Favorite passage of scripture: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9a

And here’s a few other I like just because I like them:

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
– Judy Garland

“If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world, it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets off and makes you different from every other living creature.”
– Bruce Barton

“If you want to be miserable, think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, what respect people ought to pay you and what people think of you.”
-Charles Kingsley

“There is a logic of color, and it is with this alone, and not the logic of the brain, that the painter should conform.”
-Paul Cezanne

And just for fun, one more:

“If you want to be a holy man, you have to be committed. When you make a decision you cannot waver in any way. You’d never see Gandhi during a hunger strike sneaking into the kitchen in the middle of the night. “Gandhi, what are you doing down there?” “I, um, I thought I heard a prowler and was going to hit him over the head with this giant bowl of potato salad.”
-Jim Carrey

Okay…your turn. Talk to me…

But before you do, be sure to catch Part Two of Billy Coffey’s interview with Lynn Rush today about the call that every writer dreams about.

Quotes and Non-Conformity

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

-John F. Kennedy
“If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it.”
-S. I. Hayakawa
I love quotes. I suppose my affinity for them is rooted in the harsh reality that while I can often express myself somewhat effectively with the written word, I get a bit tongue tied when attempting to convey an idea verbally. My mind is often several steps ahead of my mouth, and synchronicity between the two is rarely achieved.
Years ago, when I was ordering my (our) wedding invitations, I also ordered a large supply of note cards that are blank, save the “Mr. and Mrs. ……” I have used them occasionally over the past 12 years, but have hardly put a dent in the box. During my recent organization rampage (which is still in high gear, hence the lack of blog posts), I decided that I would write a note of encouragement or quote each school day for my kids and tuck them in their backpacks. It’s been a big hit so far. My son told me it’s like having a little piece of me with him while he’s at school. (I’m a little ve-clemped, talk amongst yourselves………………….). Okay, I’m better now.
I have found many great quotes (including the two above) from a book that I received years ago, “The Right Moment” by William E. Hyche. As an amusing (or not) aside, the book is autographed by the author with a note that says “Kathy – this book is a gift from Dad and Maureen”. Wow. That’s profound! (BTW – Maureen is not her real name. She is my father’s ex live-in girlfriend who hated my husband and I with a white-hot passion because we are Christians and she is a left wing feminist who believes that “our kind” are trying to keep women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. I wonder what she thinks of Sarah Palin…) Not that I’m against the feminist movement as a whole. I am indebted many brave women who, at great personal cost, pushed through the 19th amendment and fought for many of the freedoms I enjoy today. However, I take great issue with NOW because of their stance on abortion. How is it that a woman’s right to choose takes greater priority over an unborn child’s right to live? But as usual, I digress.
Where was I? Oh yes — quotes! I stumbled across this one yesterday. I have to say that this definitely makes it into my top ten list of all time favorites:

What you really have to do, if you want to be creative, is to unlearn all the teasing and censoring that you’ve experienced throughout your life. If you are truly a creative person, you know that feeling insecure and lonely is par for the course. You can’t have it both ways: You can’t be creative and conform, too. You have to recognize that what makes you different also makes you creative.

– Arno Penzias, 1978 Nobel Prize winner for physics

Are you getting the vibe that I’m a bit of a non-conformist? While I believe that label would be an accurate one, I would qualify it by stating that I’m not a non-conformist for the sake of being a non-conformist. If you think about it, that’s a little ridiculous. It makes me think of an angst filled teenager bent on being unique and different who dresses exactly like all his/her equally angst filled friends.

So now I’m looking for some reader participation. Mostly because I have yet to catch up on my blog reading and I miss hearing from you guys. Do you have a favorite quote?

In closing, I’ll give you my all time favorite: 2 Corinthians 12:9 (New King James Version)9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Quote for the Day…

I’m totally copying this idea from Vince Antonucci’s blog, but I DO LOVE QUOTES! So here’s one to ponder, and one just because:

“There comes that mysterious meeting in life when someone acknowledges who we are and what we can be, igniting the circuits of our highest potential.” – Rusty Berkus

“We have no disgruntled employees here…everyone is extremely gruntled.” – Michael (The Office)