“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Does your protagonist have a room without books?
“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:
Has any of Rollo’s quotes inspired you or resonated with what you are writing now?
John W. Gardner, October 8, 1912 to February 16, 2002, was an American statesman. He was a vigorous advocate for social action.
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!”
Thanks 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.
Some information and Photo credit of John C. Gardner: http://www.todayinliterature.com
Charles 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.”
“When I graduated from high school I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library 3 days a week for 10 years.”
“Good writers define reality. Bad ones, merely restate it.” –Edward Albee