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Friday, September 28, 2012

Don't Quote Me, But...

...by Olivia Kelly

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.

Who said that?
Theodore Roosevelt?
Virginia Woolf?

Nope...Sophia Loren! 

I know this because I love quotes. I am that person who can spend hours just reading short blurbs on those quote websites, instead of doing actual, productive work. I love quotes because, although they are taken out of context and are only part of a whole speech/idea/conversation, they can provide great insight into the mind and character of a person.

For example, Erma Bombeck was known for her pithy, hilarious commentary on being a housewife and mother- something I can relate to in many ways. Here's one of my favorites (because it's true).
That's why I make them eat outside... ;)

All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.

The funny ones are some of my favorite quotes, like the one here from Bill Cosby.

 No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.

But I do enjoy the deeper thinking quotes as well.

 "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau

And creative types such as Lewis Carrol are always highly quotable.
Me? A butterfly? Shut the front door!

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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 mental sort of squint.

Imagination taking flight...

I've found that sometimes a quote can help me if I'm stuck on a page or paragraph that I'm writing, or it can even inspire an entire story. Sometimes it just helps to refill my creative well without the commitment of reading a novel or watching a movie. And I find that there is a quote, from someone, somewhere, that fits almost any situation you find yourself in!

Tell me what some of your favorite quotes are! Funny, serious and thought-provoking, all are welcome... 



  1. So before I give you my favorite quote, I have to comment on... "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau

    I remember reading Walden in high school and thought Thoreau was bat sh*t crazy. I can't remember how long he went on about the black ants and the red ants fighting each other, but at the time I thought "What kind of grown man sits around watching ants fight for days on end?!?" So that quote is particularly hilarious to me this morning.

    So now for one of my favorite quotes... No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt (who I think was awesome and whose advice on this subject I strive to take, and I think successfully so, every day)

  2. Every other Monday, MrMr and I gather with friends to play tabletop roleplaying games. One of our great joys with those friends is that we all appreciate pop culture. As we're gaming, I keep track of the movies that were quoted during the gaming session. As an example, this past Monday:

    "Movies quoted at tonight's Pathfinder gaming session: Threesome, The Little Mermaid, Foghorn Leghorn (special cartoon exemption for breaking the GM), Star Wars-Episode 4, Pitch Black, Finding Nemo, Kung Fu Panda 2, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, The Princess Bride, Willow, Monty Python's Holy Grail, Jeremiah Johnson, Lord of the Ring-Fellowship of the Ring, Hellboy, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Salome, and Ever After."

    The thing is, sometimes quotes strike a certain chord. I think as we write our novels and dream our dreams, we should aim for striking a chord with our readers like movie script writers do.

  3. Love this post! I have a little notebook somewhere that I used to write quotes in when I came across something I liked. I haven't added to it in years - we have the internet and Pinterest now for that now. ;)

    My all time favorite is the Eleanor Roosevelt quote added by
    Ava Stone above, but another one of favs is from Dr. Seuss, which runs along a similar vein: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

  4. Olivia, I'm a huge quote lover, too. I plan to print and frame some of my favorites to have on the walls of my office soon. I have three or four books of various sorts of quotations on the bookshelf in my office, and it isn't uncommon for me to take a break from my writing to read through some of them. Here's one that I've always loved, from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

  5. Olivia,
    I love the idea of reading quotes to inspire a story. Mark Twain is one of my favorites.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. It owes you nothing. It was here first. ~Mark Twain

    Then I like the nonsensical ones like "Cauliflower is just cabbage with an education." It makes me laugh.

    In our family, we often quote movies, like Jennelle said, or comedians. It's a way of connecting with each other, and I love that we never have to explain it to each other. For example, we have a giant stripped towel with a hole in the middle, so I slipped it over my head and said, "If someone asks me if I own a poncho..." My husband and kids got it immediately and laughed, because it's a joke Dmitri Martin tells, and we listened to him on our last trip.

  6. Olivia,
    You know I love my quotes almost as much as my fun facts. I adore Bill Cosby and Erma Bombeck, but my favorite person to quote is often Lucille Ball. She was brilliant, charming and gifted with self-deprecating humor.
    "The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age."
    Lucille Ball

  7. I'm a quote lover too, Olivia! To sum up my life, here's a little Robert Frost for you...

    "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference."

  8. I have a lot of inspirational ones, but I when somebody asks this question, I always want to answer:

    "When at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed." Which inspirational advice was given by Squiggy on the Laverne and Shirley show.

    Which most of you are too young to remember!


    1. I loved Laverne and Shirley. We used to watch reruns of it with my mom all the time. It was one of her favorites.

    2. Did you drink milk and pepsi? My sister and I had to try it! :-)

  9. Hi Olivia!

    My favorite quote is one from my High School Latin class back in the 1960's and is de gustibus non este disputandum (and loosely translated is everyone to their own famcy said Nancy as she kissed the cow!)

    I like the translation the best!