What's pinned to your noticeboard?
By Maree Anderson, for Writers Gone Wild
I was gazing round my office, desperate for some inspiration as to what the heck this post was gonna be about, when my gaze lit on my noticeboard.
Pinned to it are the usual school and sports club notices, hairstylist appointment cards, and orthodontist appointment reminders (those last being for my daughter to have her braces -- or "smile enhancers" as we like to call them -- periodically checked and adjusted).
But all that paraphernalia only takes up a small portion of the board. What fills up my noticeboard is all the scraps of paper on which I've scrawled phrases that speak to me. These can be quotes, snatches of song lyrics, lines spoken by characters in TV shows or films, snippets from books that have jumped out and grabbed me by the throat, and even some emails that I've been sent and felt compelled to print out.
There's no rhyme nor reason to what I've written down and stuck on my noticeboard. I have no idea why these particular words imprinted themselves on my brain and insisted that I stop whatever I was doing, and quickly grab a pen and paper to record them. All I know is that at the time, they meant something to me and so I've kept them. And one of these snippets actually sparked an entire book!
So I thought it'd be interesting to share some of them with you.
And I'd like to invite you to share some of the gems from your own noticeboard. Or fridge. Or notebook. Or whatever!
(This is the theme song for Joss Whedon's TV series of the same name. Serenity is the name of the lead character's spaceship.)
Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand.
I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't coming back.
Burn the land and boils the sea, you can't take the sky from me....
There's no place I can be,
Since I found Serenity, you can't take the sky from me.
Animate darkness, an incorporeal stain.
I've never killed a man, but I've read many obituaries with great pleasure.
He compresses the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.
Absolutely platinum with grief.
We became friends, we became lovers, then we simply became.
From a Birthday card given to me on my 40th birthday:
If you can dream it, you can do it!
Jean Baudrillard (The Economist, March 17th, 2007)
...a lone man jogging, oblivious to his surrounding, hearing only the music of his own sound-system and aware only of the statements he himself was making: health, fashion, endurance. He was running straight ahead, but with no end in view.
Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it.
Everything is as it is. Everything is as it must be...this moment.
(I think this might be from a J.D. Robb book?)
The sulky stink of death...
Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
"Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely, "And go till you come to the end, then stop."
(I reckon this is also the best advice on how to write a book that you could ever give to an aspiring writer!)
One pain can not outweigh another; no pain can balance out another. In the end, all pain stands alone.
Richard M. Devos:
The only thing that stands between a woman and what she wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible.
Infidelity Rules (The Economist, 31st March, 2007)
Americans do it guiltily,
And the French, habitually.
Terrible wounds can be inflicted and the entire course of a life changed - by doing nothing.
Life is all about ass;
You're either covering it,
laughing it off,
trying to get a piece of it,
or behaving like one.
Heroic Qualities (from an email sent to the RWNZ loop by Gracie Stanners)
A hero must be:
Brave enough to face the danger,
Creative enough to solve the conflicts that arise,
Driven enough to keep going against all odds,
Patient enough to keep his cool,
Friendly enough to attract the heroine,
Vulnerable enough to allow his human side to be seen,
Flexible enough to change direction when necessary,
Caring enough to think of the little important things,
Smart enough to make good decisions,
And desperate enough to do ANYTHING to get the girl.
Remember that authors are important. It does no harm to repeat as often as you can: "without me the literary industry would not exist. The publishers, the agents, the sub-agents, the accountants, the libel lawyers, the departments of literature, the professors, the theses, the books of criticism, the reviewers, the book pages -- all this vast and proliferating edifice is because of the small, patronised, put-down and under-paid person."
From the website: Romantic Lyrics (Author unknown)
From every human being there rises a light that reachers straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together and a single, brighter light goes forth from their united being.
And finally, I'll leave you with a poem that my husband emailed to me. (And just so the title makes more sense, Russell Flint is an artist.)
A Russell Flint by John Betjeman
I could not speak for amazement at your beauty
As you came down the Garrick stair,
Grey-green eyes like the turbulent Atlantic
And floppy schoolgirl hair.
I could see you in a Sussex teashop,
Dressed in peasant weave and brogues,
Turning over, as firelight shone on brassware,
Last year's tea-stained Vogues.
I could see you as a large-eyed student,
Frowning as you tried to learn,
Or, head flung back, the confident girl prefect,
Thrillingly kind and stern.
I could not speak for amazement at your beauty;
Yet when you spoke to me,
You were calm and gentle as a rock pool
Waiting, warm, for the sea.
Wave on wave, I plunged in them to meet you -
In wave on wave I drown;
Calm rock pool, on the shore of my security
Hold me when the tide goes down.