72…er, 73 of the Best Quotes About Writing

Great blog article about writing http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/72-of-the-best-quotes-about-writing#comment-754401. In particular, I love the quotes about writing not having any rules. How can one rule the mind? How can one rule inspiration? Who is to say what a writer should write and a reader should enjoy?

Here’s No. 73:

“Write, not that you may call yourself a writer; but rather, write, that you may not, in earnest, call yourself anything else.”

Do you have any good ones not already on the list?


Thankful for Children of Sanchez

Monster chills while listening to Chuck Mangione’s “Children of Sanchez“, as it occurred to me that we are all the children of Sanchez…as we are all the children of God, of the universe, of the great Creator, of timeless eternity and life itself.

Man cannot live by bread alone, so the adage goes…food that feeds only the physical form leaves one always hungry; whereas, food that feeds the hearts, minds, and souls fulfills like the endless loaf of bread and the endless net of fishes.

On this post-Thanksgiving Sunday, I am so very grateful to have fed stomachs with the food prepared from my heart, my mind, and my soul…also, my hands, my back, my feet…hopefully this was soul food realized in its true, intended form. Love manifest as food; positive, healthy, healing energy submitted as sustenance; delicious indulgence purveyed in pots and pans and in pumpkin pies.

Indeed, Chuck’s music lifts my spirits and fulfills my hungry soul; and I am thankful for this blessed music and this blessed musician and human being.

The Ish Caboose

Tagging along on the back end of my non-committal, one-word responses these days is a little gem that serves to lazily answer for all manner of inquiries.  I like it.  But it’s dangerous.  It’s like a drug.  You know it’s fun and feel-good and even entertaining at times…and yet, it can be very addictive in its seduction.  It can make you high, the life of the party; and it can steal your mind and your creativity…make you a sell-out.  I try to inject it sparingly, rationing out the rationale of using my little dime-bag of diction and in complete control of my verbiage…with my little secret, my love, my passionate…ish.

It started innocently enough.

It’s cold…ish.

It’s hot…ish.

I’m hungry…ish.

I’m nervous…ish.

He’s cute…ish.

But then, with a taste of the dreamy realm of possibility splattering across the page like so many freeform abstract paint strokes, I realized that simple adjectives cannot contain this substitute of subtext subverse.  I have relented to a stage of this…use…of ish as something that helps me to communicate complex verbiforms of words previously indefinable.  Now I can drive in my stick-shift languagemobile and be in complete control of where and when my pecking takes me, without lines and conforms and limits, without rules and consequence and ridicule.  I am, I snort, a mighty intellect with my ish, and I am in complete control.

Shall you present me with an unrealistic demand, depending on what I want, I shall perform.  Ish.  Should you inquire as to my appearance of caring, I shall assure you.  Ish.  And should the heavens open up and heave vomitous rain upon my path, I will maneuver.  Ish.

You see, this little sub-supposition, in the wrong hands, could be quite misused and even abused.  As I ponder the preponderance of probability, I see the inevitable demise of my gem, my hidden little jewelpiece that shines on my words exquisite and helps others to swallow them whole.

I would jail those who would attempt to extort extols of excrement in favor of the effort of linguistic langor.  I would strike down upon thee with great vengeance and anger, those who would pulpify my pudelistically potent palor for a pittance.  And I would defend with my pensword those who would rise up and bang boisterously on impressionable platforms of mirth the misgivings of minor hands at such moral ineptitude.  But I shall not judge.  I will not judge.  I know the seduction.  I am intimate with the infernal inference.

And so, in reverence to the inimitable, the all-knowing, the loving, loyal, lustful companion of conundrum, I sing its praises.

Behold, I raise my glass to you…ish.

I restrain my imbibence…ish.

With rhetoric and respect, I resolve to rely on you only as

a trusted friend…ish.

I renounce pithy, I renounce pun, I renounce the cheesy work I’ve done…ish.

And in glowing, glorious edification,

I sculpt an honorable homage,

With all the fortitude of will and won’t and want and wanton,

Amok in wild abandon,

I salute, with virtual vectored digits

Erect against somber brow,

Folded and neatly circumspect,

Delivered, deftly, deliberately, doubled over

In quiet final closure.

My patronage, in scarlet splendor,

Humbly rests upon your breast…ish.

No words can justify your existence, your expression,

Your steadfast solitude.

Just a little more of your tempting taunt,

A little further the fraying of form,

A little wider the elliptical edict…ish.

Your humble servant…ish.



As I fall fitfully into nirvana,

the lead of my extremities becomes weightless.

I drift and hover

Above my covers,

Not a single nerve pinched,

Not a single muscle twitched.

Euphoria as my goal is me.

The sting, the jab, the prick

On the soft flesh of my arm

Intending no real harm

Causes my brows to knit,

My teeth to grit,

My lungs to spasm.

And then, the calm ensues,

The lovely warmth and total relaxation,

The humming drumming of

Inner peace and gratification,

A soul at rest.

But if I stir, do I dare,

Do I care,

That the stings will come again?

The needles so gentle,

So firm and loving,

So sharp and stinging,

Almost to make me weep.

Kitty, why don’t you let me sleep?


The Other Side of the Pillow

Awoke, disturbed, an unsettling dream

penetrating my sleep, a recurring theme.

The heat radiates on my neck and my head.

Just can’t get comfortable in my own bed.

Too cool without covers, too hot with them on,

flat-out like bread, or curled up as a prawn.

Turn up the a/c, turn down the heat.

Pull my hair back, take the socks off my feet.

Drink some more water, get up to pee,

Lie down again, hope the nightmares flee.

But worry I will not, nor weep as a willow,

I’ve reached out to grab,

To flip,

To smooth,

To rest again…

And I’m cooler than the other side of the pillow.


Weeds are People, Too

I have always loved dandelions.  From their bright yellow blooms to their white, floating seeds that we called, “Santa Clauses” as children, I have always loved them.  And I know that they are edible, too, although I admit I have never tried eating or drinking any part of or recipe containing dandelion.  I will endeavor to do so, after finishing this post.

However, today as I contemplate the yard work which awaits, this nagging question keeps gnawing at my consciousness:  Who decides which plants are good and which are bad?  Here in the desert, we have much vegetation that grows, survives, and thrives naturally.  Many insects and some small animals feed off these indigenous plants.  When in bloom, African daisies are some of the most beautiful “weeds” I have ever seen, with their bright orange and yellow blossoms blanketed atop their green-stem foundations.

As I dig and pull out a weed by its roots from a crack in the driveway, I contemplate the conflict inside me.  Why do we work so hard to remove, control, oppress these living things that occur so naturally?  Why do we spray poisons on them to prohibit their lives and their growth?  And then we turn around and plant seeds to grow grasses, and we dig holes and insert plants and trees that, while they may appear beautiful, require the utmost of maintenance, water, and care in order to sustain life and to thrive.  It is so counter-intuitive to me that we place such importance on making the appearance of our yards so pleasing to the eyes of others; and the eyes of others also depend upon the judgment of our eyes to accept and appreciate their efforts in herbicide and germination.  Murder that which does not please us, and coddle that which is unnatural.  And we are praised by each other for doing so; and we are judged and reprimanded by each other if we do not abide by this senseless cycle of killing and nurturing.

It is an inner conflict in me, a conflict which I am working to resolve, to see the beauty in all living things.  All is created from love, and all strives to exist and to thrive for love.  No one living thing is less worthy of a bountiful, complete existence than any other.  I am struggling with this conflict as I fight the urge to kill a spider in the corner.


Poor Food

For the past, oh, ten years or so, I’ve tried my hand at coming up with recipes for basically whatever was in the cupboard, the fridge, and on the floor (just kidding, that last part).  My kids have affectionately bestowed the moniker of “poor food” upon my creations, as they sometimes occurred between paydays as a way to stretch a dollar or three.  The term, “soul food” also references this type of cooking–although the latter, I think, probably feeds the soul a lot better than do my creations.

My poor-food dishes have included something that ended up to be a sort of “meat cake”, which looked like and had the consistence of a very smooth meat–probably like a thicker, chewier, heavier pate.  However, it contained no meat whatsoever and was intended by me to be a cake without frosting (and without baking powder or soda, the lack of which gave no rise to the occasion).   Some of my creations have turned out well, even delicious, I’d argue.  I’ve made casseroles from leftovers that were incredibly tasty and soul-feeding.

My latest creation…well, perhaps you could try the recipe and let me know what you think…was quite interesting.  I wanted something fairly lo-carb, filling, and with a hint of sweet.  This was going to take some imagination, as I also did not want to drag out baking dishes and supplies–something quick would be on my poor-food menu today.  As I stood in front of the open fridge, these items seemed to jump out into my vision…”Take me, take me!”, they seemed to be saying.  And so, just as I’ve adopted stray animals, I also believe in adopting food that needs a home, food that calls to be taken home to my warm and inviting tummy.  So I did.  I introduced the ingredients lovingly to each other in my soup bowl.  I think they turned out good…but my son, who is 23 as of this writing and not fearful of much, was horribly skittish of getting his tongue bitten by these stray ingredients that were thrown together.  So I ate the whole dish myself.  At first, it was, I guess I would say, it was alien to anything I’d ever eaten (or made) before.  Then it began to remind me of something.  With each subsequent bite, as I rolled it around in my mouth, I began to learn the flavor of the related item.  Now, it was not an exact replica by any means, neither in taste nor in texture…but it was a related flavor, the way burgers taste like steak and bacon tastes like ham.  (Okay, this is making me think of a savory poor-food concoction now.)

Anyway, here are the ingredients.  I did not measure them, I just threw them all into a soup bowl in somewhat-equal parts:


Cottage cheese (small curd)

Peanut butter


Whipped cream (Reddiwhip)


What do you think of my latest concoction?  Have you ever made “poor food” that turned out great (or nightmarish)?