I think this is the first time I’ve done this on a Thursday! It doesn’t look as good as the Wednesday quote on a Wednesday but hey, nonetheless welcome back to another Writers Quote Wednesday! As hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading, co-hosted by Ronovan of Ronovan Writes.
I really want another dog. But that’s not why you’re here. To the quote.
This weeks theme is: Happiness:
I don’t know who said it, but this point is so timely. Its hard to be positive when everything is going wrong but thats when we have to be the most strong. Sometimes you just gotta find the light, even when its dark. When we fall or make mistakes its hard to smile and be happy but if you’re reading this at least you woke up this morning; lots of people didn’t. So, even when the sun sets, the moon is still there. Sometimes you just have to find that source of light.
Welcome back to another episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. As you may notice, I have decided to go back to the traditional WQW for now. You can imagine my excitement when Colleen stated this was OK. If you can’t imagine it, below is my happy dance:
OK, to the point.
My inspiration today comes from James Baldwin:
“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”
― James Baldwin
I love Baldwin’s last line “Vomit the anguish Up”. At first I thought about struggle literally but then I thought about writing and combining the two. This got me thinking about the struggle of writing and struggles incorporated into writing. This lead me to Baldwin’s quote. It still has me pondering, but what I got out of it for now is how each artist, writer in this sense, have a responsibility to tell the truth and in so doing have the courage to speak whatever struggle that truth reveals. This struggle can be historical, personal, or emotional but at some point a writer has to dig deep. I think this is because good writing is about the struggle and how said struggle has been survived. It could be the villain’s survival, the heroes survival, or the writer him / herself. Why? Well, that’s real life. Struggle makes people strong. Where is the overcoming if not for the struggle?
“James Baldwin — the grandson of a slave — was born in Harlem in 1924. The oldest of nine children, he grew up in poverty, developing a troubled relationship with his strict, religious stepfather. As a child, he cast about for a way to escape his circumstances. As he recalls, “I knew I was black, of course, but I also knew I was smart. I didn’t know how I would use my mind, or even if I could, but that was the only thing I had to use.” By the time he was fourteen, Baldwin was spending much of his time in libraries and had found his passion for writing.
During this early part of his life, he followed in his stepfather’s footsteps and became a preacher. Of those teen years, Baldwin recalled, “Those three years in the pulpit – I didn’t realize it then – that is what turned me into a writer, really, dealing with all that anguish and that despair and that beauty.” Many have noted the strong influence of the language of the church, the language of the Bible, on Baldwin’s style: its cadences and tone. Eager to move on, Baldwin knew that if he left the pulpit he must also leave home, so at eighteen he took a job working for the New Jersey railroad.
After working for a short while with the railroad, Baldwin moved to Greenwich Village, where he worked for a number of years as a freelance writer, working primarily on book reviews. He caught the attention of the well-known novelist, Richard Wright – and though Baldwin had not yet finished a novel, Wright helped him secure a grant with which he could support himself as a writer. In 1948, at age 24, Baldwin left for Paris, where he hoped to find enough distance from the American society he grew up in to write about it.
After writing a number of pieces for various magazines, Baldwin went to a small village in Switzerland to finish his first novel. Go Tell It on the Mountain, published in 1953, was an autobiographical work about growing up in Harlem. The passion and depth with which he described the struggles of black Americans were unlike anything that had been written. Though not instantly recognized as such, Go Tell It on the Mountain has long been considered an American classic.”
That’s it for me. I hope you enjoyed this weeks Writer’s Quote Wednesday Segment. Until next week, yall be great.
This week has been great so far in the writing world. It’s my first week in Blogging U’s Writing 101 course! I’ve met a lot of new bloggers, followed a lot of them, and am really enjoying the process of networking the blogosphere overall.
I like this quote because there’s a duality about it. On the one hand its just funny and yall know how silly I am. I also like it because it’s real. It does not sugar coat the truth. Writing is hard work and without the motivation, the discipline, or the drive to keep at it, it can easily fall by the way side. The other side to this quote, for me, is that it’s a subtle reminder not to allow these things, TV, and social media, to become such a distraction that it prohibits us from writing. When it does, it becomes time to cut off or separate that distraction until the work is done. I do not believe it is an option, but separation is mandatory when something becomes a hindrance if we are serious about staying focused on our writing endeavors. Speaking of life, Chintakunta is also an Indie Author! You can find out more about her book at the end of this post. In the meantime, here’s more about her.
“I’m a stay at home Mom, a former IT professional, a writer, a toastmaster, a book worm and an Indian who moved to the United states. Above all, I am an eternal optimist who wants to spread good cheer”
Jahnavi Chintakunta is a stay at home mom with a wide range of expertise. Electrical Engineer turned Software Professional turned Author, Jahnavi Chintakunta, believes in simple solutions for problems, small or big.
Gold medalist in Electrical engineering – Postgraduate degree holder from a prestigious university – Manager in an IT bellwether- Chintakunta is a Techie who traveled around the world. While trying to connect the dots of her life, she found that the one thing which encompasses all her diverse credentials is the vast experience she gained fighting against all odds to achieve her dreams. A bibliophile with a flair for writing, she sought out to share her knowledge with the world. Thus her first book ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’ is born where she shares a simple remedy to all the maladies of life.
When a computer is not responding, what do we do? We press Ctrl+Alt+Del. Similarly when your life is going nowhere, then do a Ctrl+Alt+Del. It is a 3 step process where you move from Controlling your emotions to Altering your perception to Deleting the problem.
This book contains the details of the Ctrl+Alt+Del process with simple practical tips to deal with any tough situation in life. It alters your perception of life and motivates you to get the best out of your life. You can thrive in your life irrespective of your current situation. However tough your situations may be, as you begin looking at the positive aspects of your life, you will not only begin to appreciate your life, but you will also find a way to emerge as a winner.
Good Afternoon Loves, this Writer’s Quote Wednesday is from Arundhati Roy:
Arundhatiis is so pretty to me and this quote is one of my favorites. (I do feel like I’ve done this one before but who doesn’t like re-runs? lol) To me, this quote is a way of reminding me of the things that are most important in life: to seek joy, pursue beauty, respect strength and most importantly, in the midst of my goals, always to stay focused. To always notice my own insignificance, to never feel the need to over-complicate the simple things and to above all never forget who I am and what I do this for.
About The Author:
“Suzanna Arundhati Roy (born 24 November 1959) is an Indian author who is best known for her novel The God of Small Things (1997), which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997. The novel is a semi-autobiographical and a major part captures her childhood experiences in Aymanam and became the biggest-selling book by a no expatriate Indian author”.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to present for this week’s episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday, hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading. Even on into the night I still had no idea what to post. But, as my husband and I settled into the night and popped in a movie I found the answer. Right there in the eyes of Ray Charles mother in the movie Ray, I stopped. “That’s it!” That’s my writer’s quote for this week:
I felt extremely connected to these words in that moment. The movie faded away in the background and this woman’s words resonated against my consciousness. I started to think about all of the ways in which we, mankind, allow the world at large to cripple us. I began to ponder all of what this crippling can embody. There are so many levels to this that it would be impossible to complete in one post. But here’s what I gathered for today:
Sometimes our weaknesses becomes a crutch; something to lean on whenever a convenient excuse is not available. Eventually, it rots our desire to move forward or creates more baggage to lean on when the going gets tough. The cant’s and wish’s pile up until they reach the heavens but we ourselves never get there, only our excuses do. Someone somewhere told you something is impossible or that you will never be able to do something. If you take that advice to heart and you sit on your hands because of it, you have allowed that person and those circumstances to weaken you. In truth, it is not the struggles, people, or places that weaken us; it is we who weaken ourselves. Whatever you allow to hinder your ability to love, and to seek righteousness, and all that is good, only cripples your ability to function. But like the lady said,
“don’t let nothing or nobody turn you into no cripple…”
“… the truest writers are those who see language not as a linguistic process but as a living element….” – Derek Walcott
I think this is such a great motivational quote for writers. It has a way about it that can be explained in much more detail than what I can give but in short, it reminds me of the living attribute of words. Just the power of words and how breathing language is. I think that when we seek to create vision for the reader it’s much more than the language aspect in the literal form. It is not merely collaborating strings of words together for English sake, but it is feeling. Experiencing the moment and then putting that moment into words. Personally, I think some of my best writing has occurred during times where I did not purposely set out to write, but the language itself was so moving, and so feeling, that I simply had to.
About the Author (from Poets.org)
“The recipient of the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, Derek Walcott was born in Castries, Saint Lucia, the West Indies, on January 23, 1930. His first published poem, “1944” appeared in The Voice of St. Lucia when he was fourteen years old, and consisted of 44 lines of blank verse. By the age of nineteen, Walcott had self published two volumes, 25 Poems (1948) and Epitaph for the Young: XII Cantos (1949), exhibiting a wide range of influences, including William Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound.
He later attended the University of the West Indies, having received a Colonial Development and Welfare scholarship, and in 1951 published the volume Poems.
The founder of the Trinidad Theater Workshop, Walcott has also written several plays produced throughout the United States, The Odyssey: A Stage Version (1992); The Isle is Full of Noises (1982); Remembrance and Pantomime (1980); The Joker of Seville and O Babylon! (1978); Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays (1970); Three Plays: The Last Carnival; Beef, No Chicken; and A Branch of the Blue Nile (1969). His play Dream on Monkey Mountain won the Obie Award for distinguished foreign play of 1971. He founded Boston Playwrights’ Theater at Boston University in 1981.
About his work, the poet Joseph Brodsky said, “For almost forty years his throbbing and relentless lines kept arriving in the English language like tidal waves, coagulating into an archipelago of poems without which the map of modern literature would effectively match wallpaper. He gives us more than himself or ‘a world’; he gives us a sense of infinity embodied in the language.”
He currently divides his time between his home in St. Lucia and New York City.
And that’s it for Writer’s Quote Wednesday!
Don’t forget to check out Colleen on Silver Threading to see how you can join the fun.
I believe life tends to happen in stages. There are certain bridges that we have crossed as stepping stones to get to where we are; a small portion of the bigger picture to lead us on. And even where we are today is of itself a mere foundation for where we will be tomorrow. As I think about this, I am recalled to Lucille’s quote and I am reminded of the compassion and the respect that we should have for one another because you never know what’s beyond those eyes. What they have seen, what they see, or what they have endured. And even our idea of what seems difficult or simple can play a different role in the life of someone else. I may have known homelessness but the man who lost his mother to cancer may experience a struggle that would have broken me, whereas my homelessness could have broken him. Makes me think about what each person has endured and how it has contributed to their strength. No matter how seemingly small it was something that we ourselves probably could not have faced if given the chance to do so.
About the Author:
What I noticed right away about Lucille is that she puts the sweet in “short and sweet”. Her poems are often not very long-winded, but they are short, almost speeding like, but not tasteless. Clifton is noted for saying much with few words. In a review of her work, Peggy Rosenthal commented, “The first thing that strikes us about Lucille Clifton’s poetry is what is missing: capitalization, punctuation, long and plentiful lines. We see a poetry so pared down that its spaces take on substance, become a shaping presence as much as the words themselves.”
In an American Poetry Review article about Clifton’s work, Robin Becker commented on Clifton’s lean style: “Clifton’s poetics of understatement—no capitalization, few strong stresses per line, many poems totaling fewer than twenty lines, the sharp rhetorical question—includes the essential only.”
In addition, Lucille Clifton’s work hinges largely on life, emphasizing endurance and strength with a focus particularly on the African American experience and family life. It is another reason I enjoy her poetry. In 2007, Clifton was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in which the judges remarked,
“One always feels the looming humaneness around Lucille Clifton’s poems—it is a moral quality that some poets have and some don’t.”
In addition to the Ruth Lilly prize, Clifton was the first author to have two books of poetry chosen as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980 and Next: New Poems (1987).
An additional plus is that Lucille was not just a poet, but she was also an author of children’s books, designed to help them to understand the world and enable an understanding of black heritage specifically.
In books like “All Us Come Cross the Water “(1973), Clifton raises awareness of African-American history and heritage. Her most famous creation, though, was Everett Anderson, an African-American boy living in a big city; an eight title series that won the Coretta Scott King Award. Connecting Clifton’s work as a children’s author to her poetry, Jocelyn K. Moody in the Oxford Companion to African American Literature wrote: “Like her poetry, Clifton’s short fiction extols the human capacity for love, rejuvenation, and transcendence over weakness and malevolence even as it exposes the myth of the American dream.”
And that’s it for this weeks episode of Writers Quote Wednesday!