stories


Random quote of the day:

“Seeing oneself as acting in a movie or play is not merely fantasy or indulgence; it is fundamental to how people work out who it is they are, and may become.”

—Benedict Carey, “This is Your Life (and How You Tell It),” New York Times, May 22, 2007

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”

—Gabriel Garcia Márquez, quoted in The Guardian, 21 January 2001 from his then memoir-in-progress

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

The first time I had a writer’s block of years’ duration was after my father died. I realized, in hindsight and after the words started flowing again, that I was blocked because I needed to redefine myself as a writer. I couldn’t tell the same old stories in the same old way. I had changed; my subject matter had changed; my voice was developing in new ways. When the words came back, it was to write something totally new—and when they came back, they came in a flood. I could hardly transcribe fast enough.

The good news was, after the torrent of words started flowing again, I was able to return to some of the older ideas and reshape them to my new self.

Now I am in the midst of another writer’s block of years’ duration. The words stopped first when I became so consumed by taking care of my mother that I didn’t have time for anything but caregiving and my job and trying to keep life together. My mother has been gone two years now, and still the words won’t come. I’ve poked hopefully at several of the things I’d been working on before crisis descended on our lives, and although I like several of those things, nothing happens.

A couple of weeks ago I had the same old epiphany: I need to write something new. I’m not the same person. I have a new subject matter. What that subject matter is hasn’t emerged. It’s not time yet. I still have to be a while longer in the space I’m in. I suspect, as with the last time, when those new stories emerge, they will come to me instinctually rather than intellectually. I won’t figure out the new subject matter in my head because it’s a soul process. And whatever it is, whenever it happens, it will be exciting to see.

Patience is what’s required of me now. And the ability to let myself be. And see.

Random quote of the day:

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”

—Muriel Rukeyser, “The Speed of Darkness”

universe4WP@@@ 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“Find the key emotion; this may be all you need to know to find your short story.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

(I couldn’t verify he said it, but it’s widely attributed to him, and the advice is sound, so…)

 emotion4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“The story is not in the plot but in the telling.”

—Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft

telling4WP@@@ 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“Clinical diagnoses are important, since they give the doctor a certain orientation; but they do no help the patient. The crucial thing is the story. For it alone shows the human background and the human suffering, and only at that point can the doctor’s therapy begin to operate.”

—Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

 story4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

PHOTO REMOVED AT THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S REQUEST

While recently reading American Folklore by Richard M. Dorson, I came upon a passage relating the curious testimony of John Josselyn from 1638. He’d taken ship to New England and upon arriving in Massachusetts Bay, was catching up on news from those he met on shore, including prodigious tales of earthquakes, mermen, monster births. He went on to say:

Mr. Foxwell came forth and related how he had passed a night at sea in a small shallop, hugging the shore but afraid to land; suddenly at midnight a loud voice called him, “Foxwell, Foxwell, come ashore,” and upon the beach he beheld a great fire ringed by dancing men and women. After an hour they vanished, and next morning Foxwell put ashore and found their footprints and brands’ ends on the sand. But no living Englishman or Indian could he find on shore or in the woods.

The passage is odd in itself, to be sure, and although logical reasons might be found to explain it, they are no fun at all. I reject them soundly. I love the fairy-like creepiness of it, and think it’s a good thing Mr. Foxwell was too timid to put ashore. The story really sets my imagination to quivering.

But the passage has extra resonance, extra quiveration, because it reminds me of a more famous passage, this one from Plutarch, On the Failure of Oracles, 17-1:

The father of Aemilianus the orator, to whom some of you have listened, was Epitherses, who lived in our town and was my teacher in grammar. He said that once upon a time in making a voyage to Italy he embarked on a ship carrying freight and many passengers. It was already evening when, near the Echinades Islands, the wind dropped, and the ship drifted near Paxi. Almost everybody was awake, and a good many had not finished their after-dinner wine. Suddenly from the island of Paxi was heard the voice of someone loudly calling Thamus, so that all were amazed. Thamus was an Egyptian pilot, not known by name even to many on board. Twice he was called and made no reply, but the third time he answered; and the caller, raising his voice, said, ‘When you come opposite to Palodes, announce that Great Pan is dead.’ On hearing this, all, said Epitherses, were astounded and reasoned among themselves whether it were better to carry out the order or to refuse to meddle and let the matter go. Under the circumstances Thamus made up his mind that if there should be a breeze, he would sail past and keep quiet, but with no wind and a smooth sea about the place he would announce what he had heard. So, when he came opposite Palodes, and there was neither wind nor wave, Thamus from the stern, looking toward the land, said the words as he had heard them: ‘Great Pan is dead.’ Even before he had finished there was a great cry of lamentation, not of one person, but of many, mingled with exclamations of amazement.

The sea holds many mysteries and dangers, but let’s not forget that strange shores do as well.

You can find the rest of this Loeb Classics Library translation of Plutarch here.

Random quote of the day: 

“What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon

ashamed4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

—Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks On the Road

(This one is widely misattributed to Maya Angelou.) (Which is kind of ironic if you consider the content of the quote.)

story4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Next Page »