Thursday, January 23, 2014

‘As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul.'

 ‘Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun,
and with him rise weeping.’ ~ShakespeareWinter’s Tale
‘If you set it,
the cats will eat it,
If you sow it,
the cats don’t know it.
~Philip Miller, The Gardener’s Dictionary, Referring to Catnip
‘Salt is a preservative. It really holds flavor. For example, if you chop up some fresh herbs, or even just garlic, the salt will extract the moisture and preserve the flavor.’ ~ Sally Schneider
‘The Herbs ought to be distilled when they are in their greatest vigor, and so ought the Flowers also.’ ~Nicholas Culpeper
‘The intense perfumes of the wild herbs as we trod them underfoot made us feel almost drunk.’ ~Jacqueline du Pre
‘I plant rosemary all over the garden, so pleasant is it to know that at every few steps one may draw the kindly branchlets through one’s hand, and have the enjoyment of their incomparable incense; and I grow it against walls, so that the sun may draw out its inexhaustible sweetness to greet me as I pass ….’
-  Gertrude Jekyll
“There’s fennel for you, and columbines; there’s rue for you: and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of graceo’ Sundays. O! you must wear your rue with a difference.  There’s a daisy; I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.” ~Shakespeare, Hamlet
‘Thine eyes are springs in whose serene And silent waters heaven is seen. Their lashes are the herbs that look On their young figures in the brook.’ ~William C. Bryant
Waters are distilled out of Herbs, Flowers, Fruits, and Roots.
~Nicholas Culpeper
“We have finally started to notice that there is real curative value in local herbs and remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware that there are little or no side effects to most natural remedies, and that they are often more effective thanWestern medicine.”  ~Anne Wilson Schaef
‘The basil tuft, that waves
Its fragrant blossom over graves.’
~Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookhm, Light of the Harem
“The herb that can’t be got is the one that heals.” ~ Irish Saying
‘See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colours through the air: Get up, sweet-slug-a-bed, and see The dew-bespangling herb and tree.’ ~ Herrick, Robert ~Corinna’s Going a Maying
‘As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not
only because my bees love it but because it is the herb
sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a
sprig of it hath a dumb language.’
-  Sir Thomas Moore
‘Eat leeks in oile and ramsines in May,
And all the year after physicians may play.’
(Ramsines were old-fashioned broad-leafed leeks.)
‘My gardens sweet, enclosed with walles strong, embarked with benches to sytt and take my rest. The Knotts so enknotted, it cannot be exprest. With arbours and alys so pleasant and so dulce, the pestylant ayers with flavours to repulse.’ ~Thomas Cavendish, 1532.
‘When daisies pied and violets blue, and lady-smocks all silver white. And Cuckoo-buds of yellow hue, do paint the meadows with delight.’ ~ William Shakespeare, 1595.
‘Women with child that eat quinces will bear wise children.’ ~Dodoens, 1578.
‘Gardening with herbs, which is becoming increasingly popular, is indulged in by those who like subtlety in their plants in preference to brilliance.’
-   Helen Morgenthau Fox
‘And because the Breath of Flowers is farre Sweeter in the Aire (where it comes and Gose, like the Warbling of Musick) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for delight, than to know what be the Flowers and the Plants that doe best perfume the Aire.’ ~ Francis Bacon, 1625
‘Caesar….saith, that all the Britons do colour themselves with Woad, which giveth a blew colour… ‘ ~John Gerard, 1597
‘You have got to own your days and live them, each one of them, every one of them, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you.’~Herb Gardner
‘Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything.’~ Herb Gardner
‘Would You Marry Me?
“According to old wives’ tales, borage was sometimes
smuggled into the drink of  prospective husbands
to give them the courage to propose marriage.’
-  Mary Campbell, A Basket of Herbs
‘As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul.-  Anonymous
‘As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat.’ ~   Pliny the Elder
‘How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers?’
-  Andrew Marvel
‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance;
pray, love, remember; and there is pansies,
that’s for thoughts.’
-    Shakespeare, Hamlet
‘The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby – how could anything so beautiful be mine.  And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year.  There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown.’
~  Alice B. Toklas
‘How I would love to be transported into a scented
Elizabethan garden with herbs and honeysuckles,  a knot garden and roses clambering over a simple arbor ….’ ~Rosemary Verey

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Great Writing Quotes–With Fabulous Commentary and Pics!

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~E.L. Doctorow
Although it worries my mother when I say I’m talking amongst myselves….
*Image of me writing surrounded by grandbabies.
“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”  ~Franz Kafka
Well that’s cheery, Franz, and why writers surround themselves with cats, keep pouring those heartening cups of coffee or hot tea, dive into chocolate, light candles, play our favorite music… sneak back online.  Again.
I especially like this quote:  “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~W. Somerset Maugham English dramatist & novelist (1874 – 1965)
A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.”  ~Charles Peguy
 I compare capturing just the right word to netting butterflies before they soar away.  Words flee my thoughts just as swiftly if I don’t snag them.
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath
Amen to this Sylvia.
Although I must add there’s a difference between courage and writing about the worst life has to offer and calling it art.
“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  ~Toni Morrison
I actually do, do this in my writing.
Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.”  ~Sharon O’Brien
This is true as long as I am writing what I WANT.  Not what I think may sell.  And considering my sales of late, I must be in the minority about what’s popular.
Publication – is the auction of the Mind of Man.”  ~Emily Dickinson
And it’s going too cheap these days.  Not all books can sell for .99 on kindle or be free.  Assuming the author wants to eat.
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
I love Mark Twain, who, BTW, is an ancestor on my father’s side.
I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”  ~James Michener
I can and do rewrite interminably.
“The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend.”  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer
Now, it’s the delete key on my laptop, but I remember the days of handwriting everything in ink and using whiteout until the pages were stiff with the stuff, then I’d crumple and throw until a pile accumulated around me and my faithful furry writing companions, both feline and canine.  As I write this there’s a small dog snoozing on one side, a large tabby purring under my arm and a playful kitten trying to get a rise out of someone.  To no avail.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  ~William Wordsworth
Trust Wordsworth to come up with something  this lovely and poetic.  And to him I reply, I do!
“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”  ~Vladimir Nabakov
What an optimist.  Face it, to most writers blank pages are scary.  Sit there leering at us and must be filled with something, anything, as fast as possible.  One can always edit something, but not nothing.
And similarly a quote by James Thurber: “Don’t get it right, just get it written.”
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
He sure knew what he was talking about.
The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air.  All I must do is find it, and copy it.”  ~Jules Renard, “Diary,” February 1895
Heck, I’ve got a number of those floating around.  Not terribly marketable in that form though.
A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.  ~Karl Kraus
Yes, there’s a lot of Yoda in writers.  We’re all striving to be Jedi’s.
“Size matters not.  Look at me.  Judge me by size, do you?” ~Yoda
“Do, or do not.  There is no try.” ~Yoda
And very apt for writing as well as training to be a Jedi.
“Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong.” ~Jeb Dickerson,
*Mine too.
“I love being a writer.  What I can’t stand is the paperwork.”  ~Peter De Vries
Or all the promo he probably didn’t have to deal with.
“A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.” ~Mignon McLaughlinThe Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960
Ah yes, there are times I wonder if the reviewer read the same book I wrote.   Other times, I delight that they totally got my story.
“I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top.” ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University
This could have been said of me who got a D in a college class called The Novel.
“Most editors are failed writers – but so are most writers.”  ~T.S. Eliot
“For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain [and] the noise of battle.”  ~John Cheever
And all that other good stuff, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling…the five senses.  I also like to include the sixth.
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”  ~Elmore Leonard
Oh gosh, me too.  Most people are probably skipping this post.
Write down the thoughts of the moment.  Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.  ~Francis Bacon
And this, dear readers, is the essence of my writing.  I am not a PLOTTER.
“Every writer I know has trouble writing.”  ~Joseph Heller
“Writer’s block is a disease for which there is no cure, only respite.”  ~Terri Guillemets
“When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela
“A good style should show no signs of effort.  What is written should seem a happy accident.” ~W. Somerset Maugham, Summing Up, 1938
With these quotes I am in utter agreement.
When you are describing,
A shape, or sound, or tint;
Don’t state the matter plainly,
But put it in a hint;
And learn to look at all things,
With a sort of mental squint.”
~Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)
I suppose it’s sour grapes to point out that Carroll was an opium addict.  However, opium alone cannot make you brilliant so I still have to give him that.
“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”  ~Lord Byron
Many writers are slightly mad.  I have a theory about writers, those who are on medication and those who should be.  I am.
“All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I love Emerson.  And to this I say, let’s steal them back.
“What no wife (*spouse) of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.”  ~Burton Rascoe
I spend a great deal of my writing in these sorts of thinking times.
“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”  ~Agatha Christie
Which also ties into the above quote, those vital pondering moments.
“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”  ~Saul Bellow
“It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”  ~Sinclair Lewis
And to all fellow writers I say, may the muse be with you.  And where would we be without the story tellers?  Now go snag those butterflies!