guest post: grandpa, round 2

my dad’s dad keeps the wisdom coming and it’d be a crime to keep it from you.

you’re welcome.

Words are things; and a small drop of ink / Falling like dew upon a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. Lord Byron, (1788-1824)

It is my belief that the writer, the free-lance author, should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives. It is easy enough, and always profitable, to rail away at national enemies beyond the sea, at foreign powers beyond our borders who question the prevailing order. But the moral duty of the free writer is to begin his work at home; to be a critic of his own community, his own country, his own culture. If the writer is unwilling to fill this part, then the writer should abandon pretense and find another line of work: become a shoe repairman, a brain surgeon, a janitor, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a bus driver.
Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

My stories run up and bite me in the leg — I respond by writing them down — everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.
Ray Bradbury, science-fiction writer (b. 1920)

A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.
William Faulkner, novelist (1897-1962)

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, poet and essayist (1873-1914)

Most people think that shadows follow, precede, or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories.
Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

Language is not an abstract construction of the learned, or of dictionary makers, but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground.
Noah Webster, lexicographer (1758-1843)

This passage is a quotation from Henri Nouwen‘s book “Reflections on Theological Education”:

“Somehow I believed that writing was one way to let something of lasting value emerge from my little, quickly passing life….. Most students think writing means writing down ideas, insights, visions. They feel that they must first have something to say before they can put it down on paper. For them writing is little more than recording pre-existent thought. But with this approach true writing is impossible. Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals what is alive…. The deepest satisfaction is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know.”

In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: they must be fit for it; they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it.
John Ruskin, author, art critic, and social reformer (1819-1900)

i’m so grateful i have a grandfather whose research skills and internet know how are top notch (because mine aren’t) because i’m certain i never would have found these without his help. even though these authors’ works are unfamiliar  to me, their words above all seem familiar in their sentiment, which in turn, makes ME feel like a writer and not so much a “writer.” thank you for that, grandpa! and thank you charles peguy for saying what you said.


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8 thoughts on “guest post: grandpa, round 2”

    1. i had the easy part. i just had to cut and paste. grandpa did the hard part — the research! i’m a fan of this partnership. ha.

  1. Most people think that garbage follows, precedes, or surrounds beings or objects. The truth is that garbage also surrounds words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories. says:

    It’s WONDERFUL that your family is so supportive of you, Ms. WRITER (note: not “writer”).

    I liked the Elie Weisel/shadows quote so it felt a bit disrespectful to make it into garbage. But I had to.

  2. Thanks for your compliments. I had forgotten most of the small pieces i had forwarded to you. I’m so glad these have encouraged you to WRITE. Your Uncle Rob has encouraged me to start writing again – this time about Grandma Carol. I’ve been pondering that endeavor and feel more motivated to begin my own writing again. Love, Grandpa

    1. it appears writing is in these genes as well! good luck to you! if you ever need inspiration, feel free to refer back to this post. :)

      and as someone who knew and loved carol, i suspect the words will flow. i can’t wait to read those installments!

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