Rollo May Quotes

Rollo May betray yourselfToday, I opened a book at random and found the following quote by Rollo May:

“The boundaries of our world shift under out feet and we tremble while waiting to see whether any  new form will take the place of the lost boundary or whether we can create out of this chaos some new order.”

The quote reminded me of reading several existentialists’ books when I was in my twenties. Rollo May, 1909-1994, was an American existential psychologist and author of the influential book Love and Will in 1969. Paul Tillich, philosopher and theologian, was a close friend. According to Wikipedia, “Anxiety is a major focus of Rollo May and is the subject of his work “The Meaning of Anxiety”. He defines it as “the apprehension cued off by a threat to some value which the individual holds essential to his existence as a self” (1967, p. 72)…

“One way in which Rollo proposes to fight anxiety is by displacing anxiety to fear as he believes that ‘anxiety seeks to become fear’. He claims that by shifting anxiety to a fear, one can therefore discover incentives to either avoid the feared object or find the means to remove this fear of it.”

Since fear is one of the themes with my WIP, Norman in the Painting, I can use Rollo’s propositions in Jill’s character. Fear is natural to people and writers often use fear in their writing. In Chapter 18, Jill’s underlying fears are challenging her comfort zone. What felt like a simple fear in her past has multiplied to many fears that dash her environmental security.

Here are more quotes by Rollo May:

Rollo May run faster when lostRollo May on mythRollo May imagination not frosting

Has any of Rollo’s quotes inspired you or resonated with what you are writing now?

John W. Gardner and John C. Gardner Quotes

John Gardner pic with quote

John W. Gardner, October 8, 1912 to February 16, 2002, was an American statesman. He was a vigorous advocate for social action.

John Gardner accepting for who they are

John C. Gardner

John C Gardner born July 21, 1933 in New York, died September 13, 1982 in a motorcycle accident. He was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic, and university professor. Gardner’s novels range from the award winning October Light in which a crochety New Englander takes a shotgun to his television, to Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf story by the troubled monster himself: “I observe myself observing what I observe. It startles me…No thread, no frailest hair between myself and the universal clutter!”

John Gardner book cover GrendelThanks to one of my first writing teachers, Jessica Barksdale, Grendel is one of my favorite books. Gardner created a murdering monster that the reader cares about, drawing tears from me several times.

In my search for John C. Gardner quotes, both Gardners were mixed together, many without the middle initial. So I’ll add a few here and you can decide who said what.

john gardner dragonsjohn gardner read five words and see imagesjohn gardner sit on goldjohn gardner poor Grindel

John Gardner realm where spirit more solidjohn gardner transforming but changing nothing

John Gardner life without an eraser

john Gardner Real suspense
























Some information and Photo credit of John C. Gardner:

Quote by Pauline Kiernan About Backstory

Pauline Kiernan“Your character’s backstory should feel to you that it doesn’t ‘end’ where the story proper begins. It needs to still be there, under the surface. And if it’s strong enough it will help immeasurably in creating a powerful (story).”

Pauline Kiernan is a screenwriter, award-winning playwright, and Shakespeare scholar.

“Pauline is interested in exploring themes of identity and power through strong female characters with sharp wit and humour, and inspirational characters who struggle in their world against inner conflicts. If there is one defining characteristic of her characters it is an indomitable spirit.”

Quote by Charles Chigna

Charles GhignaCharles Ghigna is an American poet and author of more than 100 books from Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and more. The themes of his books and poetry reflect a celebration of childhood, as well as a reverence for nature and animals and also humor, holidays, riddles, seasons, school, sports, and the power of a positive attitude. (information from Wikipedia) He lives and writes in a tree house in Homewood, Alabama.

Here is a quote by Ghigna:

“Enter the writing process with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery. Let it surprise you.”

Harper Lee Quotes and New Novel

Harper LeeHarper Lee is an American novelist who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The book was published in 1960 and became an immediate bestseller with more than 30 million copies in print by 1999. It deals with the racism she observed as a child in her hometown in Monroeville, Alabama. Lee was born on April 28, 1926 and is 88 years old.She helped her childhood friend, Truman Capote, with his research for the book, In Cold Blood.

Lee’s Go Set a Watchman was completed in the 1950s and will be released on July 14th this year, more than fifty years after her first novel. The story takes place before To Kill a Mockingbird and Lee thought it had not survived. Her friend and lawyer,Tonja Carter discovered it.

Here are some quotes by Harper Lee:

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

Eudora Welty Quotes

Eudora Welty bio book“Characters take on life sometimes by luck, but I suspect it is when you can write more entirely out of yourself, inside the skin, heart, mind, and soul of a person who is not yourself, that a character becomes in his own right another human being on the page.”

Eudora Welty about time“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.”

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.”

“My main disappointment was always that a book had to end. And then what? But I don’t think I was ever disappointed by the books. I must have been what any author would consider an ideal reader. I felt every pain and pleasure suffered or enjoyed by all the characters.”
“One place understood helps us understand all places better”

Eudora Welty about snapshot moment“People are mostly layers of violence and tenderness wrapped like bulbs, and it is difficult to say what makes them onions or hyacinths.”

“I wanted to read immediately. The only fear was that of books coming to an end.”
“My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.”
“Art is never the voice of a country, it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction.”

Henry David Thoreau Quotes

Thoreau quote about toolsThoreau quote about character“”What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
Henry David Thoreau

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Things do not change; we change.” ― Henry David Thoreau

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.”
Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau quote with photo of him

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right. Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau's signature

Writers' Quotes

projection quote“The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story.” – Byron Katie

“The well bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.” – Oscar Wilde

Byron Katie quoteJill, the protagonist in my novel, Norman in the Picture, lives by the above quote. It’s what makes her do what she will do at the end. Does your protagonist or antagonist have a favorite quote?

Quotes for Writers

Writing is the painting of the voiceI like to read quotes for writers at the end of the day. Some inspire, some make me laugh, and some I nod my head in agreement.

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
―Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt 

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L”Engle

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
― Mark Twain

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
― Saul Bellow

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”
― Lloyd Alexander

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
― E. L. Doctorow