Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Make Your Art

Monday, February 10th, 2020

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you.

Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself, that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.

— Neil Gaiman, Art Matters, “Make Good Art”

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, December 25, 2019

Make Good Art

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Life is sometimes hard.

Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong.

And when things get tough, this is what you should do…

Make good art.

— Neil Gaiman, ArtĀ Matters, “Make Good Art”

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 11, 2019

Make Art

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

And remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do, you have one thing that’s unique.

You have the ability to make art.

— Neil Gaiman, ArtĀ Matters, “Make Good Art”

Photo: Burg Lahneck, Germany, August 22, 2004

Blinders Off

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Reading and writing help us take the blinders off so we can look around and say “Wow,” so we can look at life and our lives with care, and curiosity, and attention to detail, which are what will make us happy and less afraid.

— Anne Lamott, Almost Everything, p. 99

Photo: After 2019 ALA Annual Conference

Writing Your Life

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

And everything that has happened to you belongs to you. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

— Anne Lamott, Almost Everything, p. 92

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, March 20, 2019

Intercessory Prayer

Friday, May 18th, 2018

When you want to give the audience an emotion — whether in acting or in singing or in writing — you have to be on the other side of the emotion. In talking with one of you, I likened it to intercessory prayer. When you are praying for someone, beware. Do not manipulate. Do not try to control. Do not try to order the universe. You simply move through into that person and then offer whoever it is to God. But, again, you go through and out and on other side of emotion. If you are manipulative with your character — one you’re playing, one you’re writing about, or one you’re praying about — then it doesn’t work.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 222

[Photo: Rhein River, Germany, from Burg Rheinstein, July 1997]

Listen

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Inspiration comes far more often during work as things get rolling than before you sit at the typewriter. This is because the largest part of the job of the artist is to listen. To listen to the work and to go where it tells you to go. And this involves faith. Letting go of your own control and having faith in something you do not control.

To pray is also to listen. To move through my own chattering to God, to get beyond those words to that place where I can be silent and then listen to what God may have to say.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Wheaton College Writing and Literature Conferences, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 132.

Story First

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

So it was a theological as well as a literary enterprise for me, but as a storyteller I had to make the story come first. I sat down and typed out “It was a dark and stormy night.” The theology is down deep. It’s not there unless you look for it. And that’s where I think it should be in stories. It should not hang below your skirt like a slip.

— Madeleine L’Engle, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase

In the Company of Artists

Friday, September 1st, 2017

When I look back on [my] decade of total failure – it’s been a mixture, both before, and since – there was, even on the days of rejection slips, a tiny, stubborn refusal to be completely put down. And I think, too, and possibly most important, that there is a faith simply in the validity of art; when we talk about ourselves as being part of the company of such people as Mozart or van Gogh or Dostoyevsky, it has nothing to do with comparisons, or pitting talent against talent; it has everything to do with a way of looking at the universe. My husband said, “But people might think you’re putting yourself alongside Dostoyevsky.” The idea is so impossible that I can only laugh in incredulity. Dostoyevsky is a giant; I look up to him; I sit at his feet; perhaps I will be able to learn something from him. But we do face the same direction, no matter how giant his stride, how small mine.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Circle of Quiet, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, p. 32

Very Different

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

The novel we sit down to write and the one we end up writing may be very different, just as the Jesus we grasp and the Jesus who grasps us may also differ.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 14