Recent entries in my commonplace book
I collect words and sentences like some people collect salt and pepper shakers, stamps, or paintings. I love words and sentences for their sounds and ideas. My commonplace books are home to poems, quotes, and snippets of text that inspire me. If you’re interested in learning more about commonplace books, read, A twist on the writer’s journal: The commonplace book.
For a glimpse at recent entries from my commonplace book, check out the excerpts below. Then feel free to share something from your commonplace book.
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Cesar Cruz
“A poet once told me that he was reading a draft of a new poem aloud to himself when a thief broke into his Manhattan loft. Instantly surmising that he had entered the dwelling of a madman, the thief turned and ran without taking anything, and without harming the poet. So it may be that reading your work aloud will not only improve its quality but save your life in the process.” – Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them.
“The difference between the white doctor and the shaman is that the white doctor’s medicines tend to be very mechanical. The patient is repaired, but he is not a better person than he was before. It is possible in the Indian way to be a better person after going through a sickness followed by the proper medicine.” – Ernie Benedict, Mohawk elder
“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going…I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence and then go on from there.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast