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Jonathan Ames (b. March 23): “I don’t know what’s more difficult, life or the English language.”

23 Mar

Jonathan Ames, born 23 March 1964, is an American author of novels and comic memoirs, which include Wake Up, Sir! And The Extra Man. He was also a columnist for the New York Press. He created the HBO television series Bored to Death.

Quotes on writing:

  1. I don’t know what’s more difficult, life or the English language.
  2. A lot of writing is a form of seeing – putting down what you see in terms of action and landscape.
  3. People don’t expect too much from literature. They just want to know they’re not alone with being confused.
  4. A lot of writers, probably because they’re sensitive and that makes them want to be writers, have fears about their masculinity, so they overcompensate by having an interest in boxing and tough-guy things.
  5. When I was in college, I had the good fortune to have Joyce Carol Oates as my writing teacher. She told me that I could take an aspect of myself, and from that one bit of personality, I can create a character. This is what I have done, particularly in my novels.

Erich Fromm (b. March 23): “We do not understand our dreams…”

23 Mar

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“We all dream; we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake.”

~ Erich Fromm, b. 23 March 1900

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James Patterson (b. March 22): “If you want to write commercial fiction, it’s story, story, story…”

22 Mar

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“If it’s commercial fiction that you want to write, it’s story, story, story. You’ve got to get a story where if you tell it to somebody in a paragraph, they’ll go, “Tell me more.” And then when you start to write it, they continue to want to read more. And if you don’t, it won’t work.”

~ James Patterson, b. 22 March 1947

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For Patterson’s interview with the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/7052581/James-Patterson-interview.html

John Updike (b. March 18): “Writers dare to go it alone…”

18 Mar

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“Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom, but they dare to go it alone.”

~ John Updike, b. 18 March 1932

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Algernon Blackwood (b. March 14): “No man can describe to another the magic of the woman who ensnares him.”

14 Mar

Algernon Blackwood, London, 1951; photograph by Norman Parkinson

Algernon Blackwood, born 14 March 1869, died 10 December 1951, was an English short story writer and novelist. He was one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre. His two best known stories are The Willows and The Wendigo.

Quotes on writing:

  1. Invention has ever imagination and poetry at its heart.
  2. Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil.
  3. No man can describe to another convincingly wherein lies the magic of the woman who ensnares him.
  4. But the wicked passions of men’s hearts alone seem strong enough to leave pictures that persist; the good are ever too lukewarm.
  5. And if thought and emotion can persist in this way so long after the brain that sent them forth has crumpled into dust, how vitally important it must be to control their very birth in the heart, and guard them with the keenest possible restraint.

Douglas Adams (b. March 11): “I love the whooshing sound of deadlines as they go by.”

11 Mar

Douglas Adams, born 11 March 1952, died 11 May 2001, was an English writer who is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series which sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime. It also became a television series, was adapted into several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and a feature film.

Quotes on writing:

  1. I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.
  2. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
  3. I tend not to read or watch Science Fiction, particularly not comedy Science Fiction. The point is that if it’s less good than what I do, there’s no point in reading it, if it’s better than what I do it makes me depressed. If it’s like something I’m intending to write I have to twist myself into knots trying to avoid it and if it’s like something I have written I feel ripped off. Simpler to read something else.

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (b. March 10): “Every uneducated person is a caricature of himself.”

10 Mar


Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
, born 10 March 1772 and died 12 January 1829, was a German poet, literary critic, philosopher, philologist and indologist.

Quotes on writing:

  1. Every uneducated person is a caricature of himself.
  2. Only a man who is at one with the world can be at one with himself.
  3. An artist is he for whom the goal and centre of life is to form his mind.
  4. Wit is the appearance, the external flash of imagination. Thus its divinity, and the witty character of mysticism.
  5. Women are treated as unjustly in poetry as in life. The feminine ones are not idealistic, and the idealistic not feminine.
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