Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Saints Said It!


Saint John Bosco said: The music of the young should be listened to with the heart and not with the ears.

For more wisdom from the saints, check out my Facebook page, Saints Said It!

Friday, July 1, 2016

More writing wisdom!

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it. Mark Twain

We write by the light of every story we have ever read. Richard Peck

A writer's job is to imagine everything so personally that the fiction is as vivid as memories John Irving

I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity. Edgar Allan Poe

My books are water; those of great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water.  Mark Twain

Saturday, June 25, 2016

More writing wisdom!

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up whenever you felt like it.         J.D. Salinger

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.                    Ray Bradbury

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. Mark Twain

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you. Zora Neale Hurston

Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for. Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

More Writing Wisdom!

All except the shallowest living involves tearing up one rough draft after another. Msgr. John Sullivan

I have likened writing a novel to going on a journey with some notion of the destination I will arrive at, but not the whole picture -- which emerges gradually as a series of revelations, as the journey goes along.     Rose Tremain

What a writer must enjoy, or at least tolerate, is the utterly solitary nature of the work. Lawrence Block

Writers should be read but neither seen nor heard. 
 Daphne DuMaurier

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.    Ernest Hemingway

Monday, May 30, 2016

Saints I Need Now!

Thanks to my first grade teacher, Sister Celeste, and her dramatic stories about holy people, I developed an early fascination with the saints. Once I could read well enough, I devoured every saint book in our school library and dreamed of growing up to be a martyr. Over the years, I looked to the saints for inspiration and turned to them for help.
I still do.
But sometimes I find myself wishing for new saints…special saints…saints who fit the life I'm living right now and the problems I wrestle with every day. I recently wrote about  these saints-that-don't-exist-but-really-should on the Catholic365 site. If you missed it, you can still read about Saint Peter the Podiatrist, Saint Kitkat Goodbar of Hershey, St. Tardia the Venerable Procrastinator, and all my other imaginary saints here

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Could we have a moment of silence? Please?

This was originally published in The Indianapolis Star several years ago, but lately I've been thinking again about the noise of our lives....

As soon as I start pumping my gas, it begins. A small television on the side of the pump comes to life, and a tiny talking head announces the latest news. Luckily, there’s a mute button. Unluckily, the mute button silences the little man for only ten seconds.

I never thought of pumping gas as a quiet moment, but now that I can’t escape a news report that I don’t want to hear, I’m suddenly appreciative of my previous gas station experiences. And I wonder: who decided that I couldn’t have that quiet moment?

Probably the same people who set up televisions in waiting rooms. Waiting around for hours was never great fun, but listening to too-loud cartoons hasn’t made things any better! I used to get this waiting-room zen thing going. It was practically meditation. Now I find myself getting more tense and impatient the longer I have to listen to that grating noise. Another quiet time bites the dust!

I can understand how someone might think it a good idea to install televisions wherever quiet raises its noiseless head. After all, many of us dislike silence so much that we listen to music every possible waking moment. Boom boxes, radios, IPOD systems fill the air with musical selections that one person has chosen to share with the rest of the world. The music in restaurants and bars drowns out not only the quiet, but also any chance of conversation. Oases like the gas station must have seemed disturbingly peaceful to whatever good Samaritan thought of using televisions to save us all from the sounds of silence.

Maybe the ever-present noise of televisions in waiting rooms and bars, music in restaurants, radios in passing cars, and cell phones everywhere annoys me because I still have some hearing left! I haven’t deafened myself with years of wearing headphones and listening to music so loud that the people around me can sing along. I don’t have to rattle the windows with my stereo in order to feel that I’m having a good time. And I don’t go to concerts any more, even for the relatively mild-mannered entertainers I like. My last concert required ear plugs just to be bearable!

I can still hear – and I’m tired of listening! Walking through a mall means being bombarded by constantly changing music as I pass different stores. If a ringing cell phone doesn’t interrupt a movie, somebody’s ongoing commentary will. Other people are always choosing the soundtrack for my life!

Does silence scare everybody? Are we afraid that we might be forced to interact with a stranger in a TV-free waiting room? If we’re not instantly available by cell phone, do we cease to exist? Without music pounding at our brains, would we have to THINK? And who knows what we might have to do with our kids if we didn’t have computers and televisions and video games!

I know we don’t have to listen to real birds since we have singing clocks. And we’re really involved with the lives of our television friends and family. And yes, it’s true that music hath charms to soothe every troubling thought out of our heads. But couldn’t we just try a quiet moment now and then?

Couldn’t we turn it all off?

And listen?