In Praise of Quotes

In my late teens, I started a quote collection. I would underline sentences (and sometimes entire paragraphs) in books and jot down inspiring thoughts from other print media. I would then copy these words of wisdom into a journal. When I joined Pinterest, I set aside a page—Words I Love— where I recopied these quotes.

Maintaining a personal collection of quotes has helped me immensely. Here are some of the benefits I have discovered:

• Quotes have the power to transform moods. While books and movies can accomplish the same goal, quotes do it faster. I don’t have to invest hours of my time to experience the same effects. Whenever I need a quick jolt of inspiration, I click on my Pinterest page or visit one of many twitter hashtags devoted to quotes, among them #Quoteoftheday, #Inspirationalquotes, and #quotes.

Continue on reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.

Honoring Toni Morrison

The first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize in 1993, Toni Morrison lived a life filled with achievements and presidential honors. Her novels, among them The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, contain rich prose and unforgettable characters.

Ms. Morrison also taught at Princeton University and held workshops for aspiring writers. Her advice to her students is even more relevant in today’s world.

“When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”

Last night, Toni Morrison died at the age of 88.

Here are more of my favorite quotations from Toni Morrison:

You wanna fly, you got to give up the thing that weighs you down.

Make a difference about something other than yourselves.

There is really nothing more to say—except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.

The function of freedom is to free someone else.

Anger…it’s a paralyzing emotion…you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling. I don’t think it’s any of that—it’s helpless…it’s absence of control—I have no use for it whatsoever.

You are your best thing.

At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.

If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.

Make up a story…For our sake and yours, forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light.

20 Motivational Quotes That Will Inspire You to Succeed

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here are twenty quotations that inspire and motivate. At this point in time, the words of Maya Angelou, Tommy Lasorda, and Zig Ziglar resonate with me the most.



Embracing Winter

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, as well as the official start of winter. While winter can be a challenging season—especially for those of us living in northern climes—there can be moments of beauty and majesty during those months.

Prepare yourself for winter by reading these inspiring quotes:

“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” — Tom Allen

“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” — Pietro Aretino

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” — William Blake

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'” — Lewis Carroll

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”
— Anton Chekhov

“Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.” — Mary Oliver

“A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder.” — Susan Orlean

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for a home.”
— Edith Sitwell

“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” — Paul Theroux

“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” — Gary Zukav

Happy Winter Solstice!

10 Favorite Dream Quotes

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Christine Grabowski to the Power of 10 series. Today, Christine shares her dream quotes and her debut novel, Dickensen Academy.

Here’s Christine!

I released my debut novel, Dickensen Academy, last month. Without giving away the premise, the book deals with multiple variations of the meaning for dreams.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite dream quotes. (Some of these are used in so many places, the original author is unknown.)

1 – A dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s fast asleep. ~ Cinderella

2 – Cherish yesterday. Dream tomorrow. Live today.

3 – Don’t dream your life, live your dreams.

4 – Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. Dreams are Forever. ~ Tinkerbell

5 – If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. ~ Walt Disney

6 – All of your dreams can come true, if we have the Courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

7 – Dream as if you could live forever… Live as if you only have today.

8 – Dreams don’t work unless you do.

9 – It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

10 – If you work hard, your dreams may become your reality. ~ Josh from Dickensen Academy

Blurb

Dickensen Academy isn’t a typical boarding school. The faculty is hiding an unbelievable secret within their fine arts program. When Autumn Mattison receives an invitation to attend the high school, she yearns to escape her overbearing father yet remains reluctant to leave her mother and brother. Her doubts fade away when a vivid dream convinces her she belongs there.

Away from home, Autumn discovers a unique school environment that awakens her creative potential, and her new friends become like a second family. However, as she uncovers more about the dark side of the school and struggles with its curriculum, she questions whether Dickensen Academy is truly where she belongs.

When tragedy strikes, Autumn must learn to believe in her own power and stand up to her greatest fear or risk having her memories destroyed to protect the school’s secrets. Caught between secrets and dreams, can she find her true self?

Book Trailer

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Bio

After graduating from the University of Washington, Christine earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA).

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

Where to find Christine…

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub


Honoring Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin has passed away at the age of 76. A talented pianist with a powerful voice, Ms. Franklin is considered one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. She achieved commercial acclaim and success with such songs as “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and “Spanish Harlem.”

The recipient of many accolades—among them 18 Grammy Awards and 112 charted hits—she also earned the “Queen of Soul” title and stood as a symbol of black empowerment during the Civil Rights Movement.

One of the truly amazing voices of our time!

My favorite quotations from Aretha Franklin:

I sing to the realists. People who accept it like it is.

Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, it’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.

Never take the music for granted…whether you have a hit or not.

Sometimes, what you’re looking for is already there.

People really don’t have to give you anything, so appreciate what people give you.

It really is an honor if I can be inspirational to a younger singer or person. It means I’ve done my job.

My faith always has been and always will be important to me.

Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.

Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.

Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I’m using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I’m happy with that.

My favorite song …


Honoring Amelia Earhart

Born this day in 1897, author and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. For this flight record, she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross.

Ms. Earhart continued to set record after record demonstrating that women could aspire to the same heights as men. And even more amazing she was able to transform her hobby into a career going on to become an author, lecturer, poet, and airline industry vice-president.

A powerful role model, she continues to inspire girls and women of all ages.

My favorite quotations from Amelia Earhart:

Everyone has oceans to fly, if they have the heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?

Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.

Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off! But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.

There’s more to life than being a passenger.

Never do things others can do and will do if there are things others cannot do or will not do.

Preparation, I have often said, is rightly two-thirds of any venture.

The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.

Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks

Happy National Amelia Earhart Day!


Happy Birthday Dalai Lama!

Today, the Dalai Lama celebrates his 83rd birthday. The recipient of numerous awards, among them the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, he continues to inspire us with messages of non-violence and universal compassion.

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Here are ten of my favorite quotes from His Holiness…

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.

We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.

Someone else’s action should not determine your response.

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.

Anger or hatred is like a fisherman’s hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.

I always say that people should not rush to change religions. There is real value in finding the spiritual resources you need in your home religion.

Happy Summer!

summer-solstice-clipartLonger days and shorter nights…Today marks the start of the summer solstice.

The term “solstice” is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). The sky at noon does not appear to change much during the solstice and its surrounding days. The rest of the year, the Earth’s tilt on its axis—roughly 23.5 degrees—causes the sun’s path in the sky to rise and fall from one day to the next.

Here are ten of my favorite “summer” quotations:

Summer’s lease hath all too short a date. ~ William Shakespeare

Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.
~ Jenny Han

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime! ~ Kenny Chesney

Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds. ~ Regina Brett

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~ Sam Keen

Summertime is always the best of what might be. ~ Charles Bowden

I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.
~ Kellie Elmore

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~ Celia Thaxter

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~ Wallace Stevens

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Honoring Barbara Bush

Earlier this evening, Barbara Bush passed away at the age of ninety-two. An extraordinary woman of great faith and strength, she served as the 37th First Lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

She was one of only two First Ladies who was also the mother of a president, a distinction she shared with John Adams’ wife Abigail, the mother of John Quincy Adams.

Mrs. Bush devoted her life—during and beyond the White House years—to the cause of universal literacy. She authored two children’s books, C. Fred’s Story and the best-selling Millie’s Book, both of which have benefited literacy through proceeds from sales.

My Favorite Quotations from Barbara Bush…

Cherish your human connections – your relationships with friends and family.

You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.

You just don’t luck into things as much as you’d like to think you do. You build step by step, whether it’s friendships or opportunities.

Believe in something larger than yourself… get involved in the big ideas of your time.

Your success as a family… our success as a nation… depends not on what happens inside the White House, but on what happens inside your house.

Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.

When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.

Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.

And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse. I wish him well!

I have enjoyed reading her books and listening to her interviews. An inspiring and entertaining speaker, Mrs. Bush delivered the Wellesley commencement address in 1990. It was listed as #45 in American Rhetoric’s Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century.