Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekly Quotes Part 39

[T]he character of God can change (as it does, for example, from the Old and New Testaments) depending on the needs and intentions of deity’s followers.  (105)

I am aware of the explanation that Christians use to explain the seeming change in how God engages with his chosen people.  Of course, the Jews have no problem because by not accepting the New Testament as God’s word, there is no need to rationalize the differences.  But this quote interests me and I’ve been returning to it in my thoughts time and time again.

The following quotes are on the craft of writing so if you yourself are not a writer and have no aspirations to be a writer, you can probably skip the next few quotes.

One mark of bad dialogue is that it is only doing one thing, at most, at once.  (144)

[I]t’s another example of the wise authorial decision to write a scene from the point of view of a character most likely to notice what’s happening, and to mind.  (183)

Details are what persuade us that someone is telling the truth—a fact that every liar knows instinctively and too well.  (196)

If a gesture is not illuminating, simply leave it out, or try cutting it and see if you later miss or even remember that it’s gone.  (229)

Quoting Hoda al-Namai
I have not withdrawn into despair,
I did not go mad in gathering honey,
I did not go mad,
I did not go mad,
I did not go mad.          (September 26)

Don’t you just love this quote?  Don’t you wish Sarah Ban Breathnach had bothered to cite the title of the poem or at least the book from which she read it?  I sure do. But she didn’t so I went online and guess what I found.  A lot of people quoting Breathnach quoting Hoda al-Namai.  If anyone can tell me where I can read this Lebanese poet’s works in an English translation, I would greatly appreciate it.  In the meantime, SBB, if you’re reading this and you’re feeling a twinge of pain in your neck, lower back, or ass, that’s about what you deserve because your books are giving me twinges daily.  Would it kill you and so many other writers to allow your readers a context for where and how you discovered a beautiful quote?  Oh.  Maybe it would.  If it would kill you then I won’t begrudge you and all the rest but in the meantime, you’re all on notice and those twinges you feel are from yours truly.   With love and frustration.

Working happier accomplishes much more than working harder.  (September 29)