Quotes from the Notes

I have a small bound book that I carry around so I can scribble dialogue and plot points, things that interest me and stuff that might be useful later.   I often forget why I bothered, but it’s always a trip going through it.

And I needed a blog post.*

So here’s a sample, in the exact order they were written.  I only edited one entry—a brownie point awaits the first person who figures out which one it is.

Oh, have I mentioned that I’m a quote-hoarder?


If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
—Mark Twain

To err is human; to forgive infrequent.
—Franklin P. Adams


“My team was killed because I thought I was invincible. I’m sure you’ve heard the story.”

“Several versions.  Yours is the only one that blames you.”

“Yeah, well, I’m the only one left who was there.”


Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
—Arthur Schopenhauer

Fernando Botero

We must have infinite faith in each other.  If we have not, we must never let it leak out that we have not.
–Henry David Thoreau

Traver—collector of bridge tolls

Silver doesn’t tarnish on the moon.

Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.
—Lily Tomlin

Shanking:  “stabbers never show; and showers never stab”—watch the hands


“You may be the big sociopath in this little pond of yours, but I’m the monster of the deep.”


People enjoy just the right amount of strangeness, and authenticity is often too strange.
—Jo Walton

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
—Saul Bellow


Her abrupt answer stung, though he knew better—or hoped he did—than to take it personally.  But it meant he didn’t have a lot of time to talk her around.  And if she refused to help—truly refused—he was going to have to respect her decision.

But not yet.


PA does not require firearms to be registered.  LTCF’s can be issued to res and non-res.  Good for 5 years. For res—applications are handled by their county sheriff’s office, with the exception of Philadelphia (the Gun Permits & Tracking Unit of the PPD). Permits by one county must be honored by all counties, Philadelphia, too.

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
—Jorge Luis Borges

Just because we’re in charge doesn’t mean everything is okay; we are not very nice.
—Benjamin Rosenbaum

If you’re violating your standards faster than you can lower them, time to go away.
—Robin Williams

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who only dream by night.
—Edgar Allen Poe

St. Drago—patron saint of unattractive people

If you could see infrared light, you could use your TV remote as a flashlight

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Biography lends to death a new terror.
—Oscar Wilde

The only people who can change the world are people who want to.  And not everybody does.
—Hugh MacLeod

Alcohol detection Bracelets.  Personal Technology.  Starter interrupt for cars—anti-On Star??—missed payments, drinking, etc.  Electrocution?

My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what’s really going on to be scared.
—P.J. Plauger

You can’t wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.
—Jack London

There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
—Will Rogers


X is a mole!!! S/he’s been feeding info to the bad guys the whole time! That’s how they knew! And Y suspects!  This fixes EVERYTHING !!!

K.  can’t break into the Courthouse for the marriage record. -Recorder’s Office has them on microfilm.  Have C. distract the guard–that’ll tick her off, too J. has marriage covered, don’t dup.  K & C go after Pinstripes?  K. goes, C. tags along to irritate him.


Justice does not come from the outside.  It comes from inner peace.
—Barbara Hall

Aurivorious—craving gold

The louder he talked of honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reason lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place is that the same place isn’t there the second time.
—Willie Taylor

Ring the bells that still ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
—Jules de Gaultier


“Would you want someone digging up your past, even to save your life?”


Taphophiles—cemetery lovers

A rumor without a leg to stand on will get around some other way.
—John Tudor

Cerumen = earwax

Dentures were made of the teeth of dead soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars—these were cherished by their owners.  Oh, yurgh.

Freedom deserves a better epitaph than fear.
—Leonard Pitts

We live in a Newtonian world of Einstein physics ruled by Frankenstein logic.
—David Russell

To repeat what others have said required education; to challenge it, requires brains.**
—Mary Pettibone Poole

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
—Philip K. Dick

Callipygian—having a shapely bottom

In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.—Mark Twain

Call it a clan, call it a Network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
—Jane Howard


And for a rousing finish, here’s a poll for no reason whatsoever, except I finally figured out how to set one up:

Anyone want to share their favorite quotes or scribbles?  It’s kind of cathartic . . .


*Which is rapidly becoming my favorite excuse next to, “I didn’t hear the dryer ding.”



19 thoughts on “Quotes from the Notes

  1. That was brilliant, I loved reading it! It really made me smile.

    Oh, and I will certainly be attempting to use “callipygian” in a sentence today – maybe when I’m changing my toddler’s nappy? “Why, son, your bot-bot is very callipygian today!”

    Though he’d probably just giggle and say “No, YOU’RE a troublesome truck!” That’s his favourite thing to say at the moment, right behind “You’re silly Mummy!” ^_^

    • I’m loving ‘bot-bot’, myself! 🙂

      And thank you—I’m a little worried about how many people will check the “thanks for wasting my time” option. . . I probably shouldn’t offer an opening like that!

  2. Love this.

    Hi. My name is Lyra. I am a quote hoarder.

    “But by accident, not by cunning calculation, books, because of their weight and texture, and because of their sweetly token resistance to manipulation, involve our hands and eyes, and then our minds and souls, in a spiritual adventure I would be very sorry for my grandchildren not to know about.”
    -Kurt Vonnegut

    “Like crystalline masses it may take any form, and yet be beautiful; we have only to pour in the right elements – genuine observation, humour and passion.”
    -George Eliot

    “We are on a perilous margin when we begin to look passively at our future selves, and see our own figures led with dull consent into insipid misdoing and shabby achievement.”
    -George Eliot

    • In your article, “God’s Really Weird”, as found on page 80 of the October 2005 issue of Locus. The last line of the third paragraph from the end.

      I like to grab a few random back issues to read at lunch! 🙂

  3. I love the Borges one about libraries.

    “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
    Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey

  4. I’ll start out my comment by adding that I’m a newcomer to your blog; I just stumbled upon it yesterday, but have already linked to it on my blogs link page.

    What I found most interesting is the fact that you carry around a notebook with you everywhere you go. So did the writers of old, like Robert Frost for example. Today writers rely on the Internet for quotes and ideas, and most of the time their writing sucks because of it (my personal opinion). I like to think that my writing is superior to that of a handful of others because I carry around a Moleskine notebook everywhere I go.

    Thank you for helping me feel so not alone anymore.

    • I don’t know if my use of a notebook use is a sign of superiority—I think it’s more an indication that my memory is shot. Plus, the current one is pink with “Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake” embossed on it (unearthed on the clearance shelves at Borders).

      But aside from this, you’re definitely not alone, Thomas—I know several writers who carry notebooks and a few who slide index cards and golf pencils in their back pockets in homage to Anne Lamott.

      (and thanks for the link!)

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