Quotenik
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“I soon realized I had made no mistake in my choice of a wife. I was helping her pack an overnight bag one afternoon when she said, ‘Put in some tooth twine.’ I knew then that a girl who called dental floss tooth twine was the girl for me. It had been a long search, but it was worth it.”

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source: Letters of E. B. White, rev. edition edited by Martha White (New York: Harper Perennial, 2007), 81.

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notes: This recollection is recorded in the notes for Chapter IV, “The Most Beautiful Decisions,” 1929–1930

“Other people’s words are the bridge you cross from where you were to wherever you’re going.”

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source: “That Crafty Feeling,” in Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (New York: Penguin, 2010), 102

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medium: nonfiction

“Stet is my slogan.”

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source: Letter to Louis Untermeyer, September 6, 1938, in The Letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963), 311.

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medium: letter

Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.

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source: “Everything I Know About Writing Poetry,” in A Hundred White Daffodils (Saint Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1999), 141.

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medium: nonfiction

“I think I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Part of it is just learning what makes me happier and doing more of it, and learning what makes me unhappier and doing less of it.”

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source: interview, The Happiness Project

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medium: interview

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source: interview, The Happiness Project

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medium: interview

“Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness then daffodils.”

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source: The Unquiet Grave (New York: Persea Books, 1981), 17.

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medium: nonfiction

notes: Ernest Hemingway described The Unquiet Grave as “a book which, no matter how many readers it will ever have, will never have enough.”

“Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.”

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source: entry dated July 18, 1978, in Mourning Diary, translated by Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 2010), 162.

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medium: diary

notes: On index cards, Roland Barthes starting keeping a mourning diary the day after his mother died in October 1977.

“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his or her work for peace.”

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source: Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (New York: Doubleday, 2009), 81.

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medium: nonfiction

“‘Carpe diem’ doesn’t mean seize the day—it means something gentler and more sensible. ‘Carpe diem’ means pluck the day. Carpe, pluck. Seize the day would be ‘cape diem,’ if my school Latin serves. No R. Very different piece of advice. What Horace had in mind was that you should gently pull on the day’s stem, as if it were, say, a wildflower or an olive, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your finger, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things…Pluck the cranberry or blueberry of the day tenderly free without damaging it, is what Horace meant—pick the day, harvest the day, reap the day, mow the day, forage the day.”

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source: The Anthologist: A Novel (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009), 127.

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medium: Novel

via: Whiskey River

“Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation out of all forests and mines and stone quarries; and every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.”

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“Your habits reflect your identity, so if you struggle to change a particular habit, re-think your identity.”

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source: pre-publication notes for her forthcoming book Better Than Before; more info here

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medium: author website

“My ordinary state of mind is very much like the waiting room at the DMV.”

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source: Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo (New York: Da Capo Press, 2003).

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medium: Interview

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source: ARTNews, “How Non-Artists Can Draw: Comics Great Lynda Barry on Teaching Creativity,” by Nicole Casamento, June 5, 2014.

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medium: Magazine

“Don’t let anyone say there aren’t magic words.”

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source: The Blazing World (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2014), 17.

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medium: Fiction

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