10 Quotes for Writers by Writers: Real Talk II
"My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying."
— Anton Chekhov
"Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil—but there is no way around them."
— Isaac Asimov
“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”
— Erin Bow
I am sitting on the bus and I can’t use my phone this morning because I forgot my charger. I need a full charge so I can call my mother after the biopsy, so my roommate can let me know she is there in the waiting room.
This is the same bus I ride every morning, but today I notice that everyone is wearing black. This isn’t New York, none of it is fashionable, why are we all in black? I can’t stop staring. Black is the presence of every color, maybe we are all full of too many things today. Maybe I am projecting.
There is a man five seats in front of me and he looks miserable. I pull out my phone—I have to. I type a note that says “Man chugging coffee. Depression.” I think it is a story idea, but I know it is a maniacal thought.
An old piece for a new place. Excited to be sharing on Medium’s Human Parts collection.
Thought Catalog is founded on the belief that “every thought is relevant” and that “anyone can use Thought Catalog to articulate their ideas and stories to the world,” with “no one excluded from the conversation.” Which is not entirely true — Thought Catalog has a submission process and it’s not a free platform. Thought Catalog does not have to publish anything they do not want to. They do have a selection process and it is not a free-for-all, though it has certainly read like one in the last few years. Nowadays, Thought Catalog seems to mirror much of our society: whoever shouts the loudest, or has the most controversial thing to say, or tends to be the most strident about expressing their views… well, guess who’s there, waiting in the digital wings to publish them and reap the traffic rewards? Thought Catalog chose to publish McInnes and McInnes used them to get very loud with his views.
So, are Gavin McInnes’ First Amendment rights being violated?
Is anyone ever happy with their headshot? Forever feeling weird about them.
Sharing about business and pleasure in the best of British Columbia over on Sharp Heels.
It has been a week of travel writing. My photo essay about Cumberland is up on The Village.
**You can see the original error-free version with the correct photos on my website
Whenever Vancouver Island comes up back home in the states, anyone remotely familiar with the Island asks, “Victoria is there, right?” There are a lot of reasons Victoria is one of the only pieces of the Island outsiders know — it’s the capital of all of British Columbia, nearly half of Vancouver Island’s residents live within its city limits, and the food, coffee, and shopping rival much larger cities.
Finally getting around to posting more essays and photos from my travels over on my website. Just put together a post about two of my favorite places in Victoria.
Once a librarian, always a librarian
If you see a photo online of a pile of old and discarded books (I just saw one this morning with the caption “These words used to matter :(” under it), or ever come across a similar pile or box, please consider a few things:
- If they belonged to any sort of institution, chances are they had a librarian in charge of them
- Librarians adhere to carefully selected criteria for deselecting (“weeding” in library lingo) books with regards to things like their publication date, content, physical shape, and relevance
- It’s likely those books were offered to charities, other libraries, schools, donation centers, etc. first and these are the remains
- It’s also possible the librarian felt the books were not usable or useful to any of the places mentioned in #3 and made the careful and educated decision to weed them
- Librarians need Master’s degrees to be certified librarians — they have spent a good amount of time learning how to be good at what they do, including deselecting
- If you really think someone just dumped a big ol’ pile of books, consider contacting your local news station or charities to see if they might be able to help find use for them
- Take a look at the books — if they have a black line through the name of the library or any of the barcodes, etc. they have been marked for deselection and you do NOT need to mail them back to the library (but it’s really nice that you thought of it!)
- Give your favorite librarian a hug — it’s hard to get rid of books, we love them, too — but I promise their disposal was given a lot of thought.
If you’re a writer, I can’t recommend a portfolio on Contently more. It’s free, it puts all of your work together for you in a visually pleasing manner, it links to your social networks, and more. If you don’t have a website for your writing it’s especially nice to send along with pitch emails, to use as your website on your twitter account, etc.
Have a look at my portfolio to see what I mean (No, this is not a shameless plug for me or my writing, its just easier/nicer to see how it works with an actual portfolio!)