Sunday Book Review – Not Just Quotes by Dorothy Sander

Today’s Sunday Book Review is for Dorothy Sander’s beautiful book – Not Just Quotes. This book was a beautiful read, written from the author’s perspective on life through her aging and wisdom experiences. Besides the author’s perspective, there are also pages added after each short chapter with questions we can answer for ourselves, along with various quotes on each topic from some of the greats in literature.


I was delighted to receive a paperback copy from the author after she emailed me and asked my permission if she could add my review of her earlier book to the editorial page of this book.




Quotes, essays and reflection questions entice readers to explore the fundamental principles that guide their lives. Essays from the author on topics that include Change, Courage, Beauty, Friendship and Wisdom are paired with quotes from well-known teachers, writers and spiritual guides and reflection questions. A perfect companion for exploring personal beliefs, especially during times of transition and change. Use as a practice for those who wish to align their external life with their internal beliefs and values.


My 5 Star Review:

This is a most beautiful book – from cover to words. Sander takes us with her on these short. yet, powerful self-reflections on the various elements of life through aging and wisdom. Some of the many topics covered are about love, joy, friendship, fear, forgiveness, and many more. Each chapter is written from the author’s perspective on the aforementioned topics, accompanied by questions she leaves with us to fill out on our own with lined spaces for us to express our thoughts in answer. To end each chapter there are beautiful quotes the author has compiled from some of the literary greats of our time, which relate to the topic of each chapter.

Two quotes that stuck out to me from Sander’s writing are on forgiveness and happiness.

Forgiveness – “The first step in finding forgiveness is to turn away from the other and turn toward ourselves.”

Happiness – “You cannot become unstuck by focusing on something outside of yourself, because the stuck-ness lives within you.”

This book is timeless and one I now keep by my bedside for a daily dose of inspiration.

Friday #Blogshare – Inspiring Writing Quotes from Famous Authors

Friday blogshare



My Friday blogshare is full of wisdom. I’m sharing Anne R. Allen’s blog post on famous quotes by famous writers. A fun read and a lot of ‘aha’ moments to be had!


Just a few of these goodies to whet your appetite. Please visit Anne’s blog to read more. . .


by Ruth Harris

Editing, revising and rewriting—

“I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.” — Oscar Wilde

“I handed in a script last year and the studio didn’t change one word. The word they didn’t change was on page 87.” — Steve Martin

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” — Mark Twain

“I work very hard on the writing, writing and rewriting and trying to weed out the lumber.” — David McCullough

“Most of my work consisted of crossing out. Crossing out is the secret of all good writing.” — Mark Haddon


“Any time you get two people in a room who disagree about anything, the time of day, there is a scene to be written. That’s what I look for.” — Aaron Sorkin

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

“Creativity flourishes in small structured spaces.” — Eve Barbeau (in a comment on this blog.)

“Inspiration comes from so many sources. Music, other fiction, the non-fiction I read, TV shows, films, news reports, people I know, stories I hear, misheard words or lyrics, dreams. Motivation? The memory of the rush I get from a really good writing session—even on a bad day, I know I’ll find that again if I keep going.” — Trudi Canavan

“Good writing excites me, and makes life worth living.” — Harold Pinter

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Stephen King

“When I was writing Kitchen Confidential, I was in my 40s, I had never paid rent on time, I was 10 years behind on my taxes, I had never owned my own furniture or a car.” — Anthony Bourdain

Writing routines (or lack thereof)—

“I don’t have much of a routine. I go through periods where I work a great deal at all hours of the day whenever I am around a typewriter, and then I go through spells where I don’t do anything. I just sort of have lunch—all day. I never have been able to stick to a schedule. I work when there is something due or when I am really excited about a piece.” — Nora Ephron

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” — Ray Bradbury

“Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk—away from any open flames—to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty.”— George Singleton

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“If I don’t feel like writing on a certain day, I just go to the cafe and hang around.” — Elizabeth Berg

Shit, crap and housework—

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” — Octavia E. Butler

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” — Agatha Christie

“Writing advice is bull****, but sometimes bull**** fertilizes” — Chuck Wendig

“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.“ — Anne Lamott

“All first drafts are shit.” — Ernest Hemingway

The road to hell—

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”— Stephen King

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” — Philip Roth

Sales and pay checks—

“The first page sells this book. The last page sells your next book.”— Mickey Spillane

“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.” — Robert Benchley

Natural talent—

“Some critics will write ‘Maya Angelou is a natural writer’—which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.” — Maya Angelou

“I was too heavy to be a jockey and too honest to be a producer, so I became a writer.” — Leon Uris

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” — Ann Patchett

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The first four months of writing the book, my mental image is scratching with my hands through granite. My other image is pushing a train up the mountain, and it’s icy, and I’m in bare feet.” — Mary Higgins Clark


Please visit Anne’s blog to read more quotes for more categories.



Sunday Book Review – Writing Hard Stories by Melanie Brooks

Sunday Book Review

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Today’s book review is on memoir writer, Melanie Brooks’ book – Writing Hard Stories. I always try to read a book on my craft in between reading other genres I enjoy too. I was drawn to this book, not only for its whimsical cover (covers do attract), but for the content of the book, which is a series of interviews the author conducted with other more well known memoir writers. Brooks was searching for the heart of why and how each writer goes about writing their memoirs – what inspires them, how they get over the tough parts to write, overcoming fears of featuring people in their lives and how their work will be accepted.




Some of the country’s most admired authors—including Andre Dubus III, Mark Doty, Marianne Leone, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Richard Blanco, Abigail Thomas, Kate Bornstein, Jerald Walker, and Kyoko Mori—describe their treks through dark memories and breakthrough moments and attest to the healing power of putting words to experience.

What does it take to write an honest memoir? And what happens to us when we embark on that journey? Melanie Brooks sought guidance from the memoirists who most moved her to answer these questions. Called an essential book for creative writers by Poets & WritersWriting Hard Stories is a unique compilation of authentic stories about the death of a partner, parent, or child; about violence and shunning; and about the process of writing. It will serve as a tool for teachers of writing and give readers an intimate look into the lives of the authors they love.


Insights from Writing Hard Stories – Melanie Brooks

“Why we endeavor collectively to write a book or paint a canvas or write a symphony…is to understand who we are as human beings, and it’s that shared knowledge that somehow helps us to survive.”—Richard Blanco

“Here’s what you need to understand: your brothers [or family or friends] are going to have their own stories to tell. You don’t have to tell the family story. You have to tell your story of being in that family.”—Andre Dubus III

“We all need a way to express or make something out of experiences that otherwise have no meaning. If what you want is clarity and meaning, you have to break the secrets over your knee and make something of those ingredients.”—Abigail Thomas

“What we remember and how we remember it really tells us how we became who we became.”—Michael Patrick MacDonald

“The reason I write memoir is to be able to see the experience itself…I hardly know what I think until I write…Writing is a way to organize your life, give it a frame, give it a structure, so that you can really see what it was that happened.”—Sue William Silverman

“After a while in the process, you have some distance and you start thinking of it as a story, not as your story…It was a personal grief, but no longer personal…[It’s] something that has not just happened to me and my family, but something that’s happened in the world.”—Edwidge Danticat

“Tibetan Buddhists believe that eloquence is the telling of a truth in such a way that it eases suffering…The more suffering that is eased by your telling of the truth, the more eloquent you are. That’s all you can really hope for—being eloquent in that fashion. All you have to do is respond to your story honestly, and that’s the ideal.”—Kate Bornstein

“You can never entirely redeem the experience. You can’t make it not hurt anymore. But you can make it beautiful enough so that there’s something to balance it in the other scale. And if you understand that word beautiful as not necessarily pretty, then you’re getting close to recognizing the integrative power of restoring the balance, which is restoring the truth.”— Richard Hoffman


My 5 Star Review:

I read this book about Brooks’ journey to seek out and learn about some esteemed memoir writers to learn about their journeys to writing memoir. Brooks was seeking the essence of how they go about writing their stories, what are the hurdles for them – the most difficult parts, how they feel their work will be received, and will their stories connect with readers and possibly help readers with their own similar journeys in their lives. As a memoir writer myself, I was absorbed into all the stories.

There is a commonality with memoir writers – the journaling, the scattered notes and journals splayed around our living spaces, the pain on the pages relived, the coming to terms with how we’ve been abused, injured, slighted, or triumphed in life in some way. Many of us memoir writers start out wanting to fictionalize our stories, sometimes afraid to step up and own them personally, only the brave step up to the plate and write our own truths. Read this book and find out how various writers hone their craft.


I also want to share for my readers, some memorable lines I took from some of these stories:


Andre Dumas:  “Don’t leave out the family from your story. Tell your truth as you remember it.”


Sue William Silverman“It’s like writing that pressure out of the pressure cooker. Each word that comes out is like taking a little piece of pain with it and putting it on the page.”


Richard Hoffman“. . . writing and publishing are two different things. Don’t confuse them. As soon as you start thinking, ‘Well I could never publish that then the censor is right in the room with you with a pencil crossing stuff out . . .”


Suzanne Strempek Shea:  “. . . how much easier it is to look at what you’re hiding from them to keep it in the basement. It’s much scarier, has much more power in the dark than brought up to the light.”


Mark Doty“It’s nice to get a compliment or have your writing praised, but when somebody can say, ‘Your book showed me this,’ or ‘This is what I got from it,’ that’s what I love most.”


Edwidge Danticat:  On not talking about her WIP “I feel very vulberable where it’s happening if they criticize, it might lead you to kill something because you are giving more value to their opinion than perhaps even they are.”


Jerald Walker:  “Will I get tired of writing about my own experiences? And I think the answer is no. As long as there are people in my orbit who I think deserve some attention, I like being the vehicle to deliver it.”


Kate Bornstein:  “Tibetan Buddhists believe that elopquence is the telling of truth in such a way that it eases suffering. And the more suffering that is eased by your telling the truth, the more eloquent you are.”


Melanie Brooks:  “During a presentation I attended at the Miami Beach Fair, Mary Karr said, ‘Writing memoir, if it’s done right, is like knocking yourself out with your own fist.’ In one sentence, she summed up what we all discover when we venture into this territory: writing hard stories is excruciatingly hard work!”


Allan Hunter:  “Pain is like a stone. If you put it in your pocket, it weighs nothing at all. If you put it inside your shoe, it will cripple you. The same little bit of pain. You are moving the grief from where it is doing no good to the place where you can carry it more easily.”


Melanie Brooks“We find language to unravel the complexities of what happened, and we re-stitch those complexities into narratives that can become meaningful to others. And those are the narratives that have the potential to give others the courage to find their own.”




How To Become a Good Writer: 50 Quotes From The Greats | WTD

Reblog Share


Today I’m sharing a fun and interesting post I came across by Mary Jaksch on a website called . 50 Quotes from writers on how to become a good writer. These should bring a smile and perhaps be some inspiration for some of us as writers for the new year!


“Do you want to become a good writer? Check out these 50 quotes and be inspired, sustained and entertained on your journey as a writer.”


How to Become a Good Writer


  1. “I feel like part of getting better at writing is knowing where to find that inspiration. Right after something happens to me, the first thing I’ll do is go write when those feelings are really, really fresh.” ~ Troye Sivan
  2. “I’m not patient at all. I avoid writer’s block by writing. I power through with a bad version, so I can move on, and usually once I’ve gotten to the next scene, I’ll discover what was missing from the bad version scene. Then I can easily rewrite it to get back on the right path.” ~ Anders Holm
  3. “I think one of the keys to better writing is releasing all of your ideas and to not be afraid. Dream big. This could be the greatest novel in the world you know.” ~ Adora Svita
  4. “Writers get ideas all day every day. The FedEx guy delivers a package from Sears and the writer is thinking how it could actually be a ticking time bomb.” ~ Dan Alatorre
  5. “Writers don’t forget the past; they turn it into raw material.” ~ Joyce Rachelle
  6. “Coffee, my delight of the morning; yoga, my delight of the noon. Then before nightfall, I run along the pleasant paths of the Jardin du Luxembourg. For when air cycles through the lungs, and the body is busy at noble tasks, creativity flows like water in a stream: the artist creates, the writer writes.” ~ Roman Payne

Continue reading these interesting thoughts HERE

Source: How To Become a Good Writer: 50 Quotes From The Greats | WTD

#Writing in #Memoir


writing memoir

Writing in memoir can be a painful experience. I know how many times I’ve heard this from fellow memoir writers, and I can certainly attest to this.


As writers, we all go through the cycle of self-doubt, writers block, frustration, jubilation, and of course, all of our emotions are touched while bringing our characters to life when using some of our own experiences in our stories. There’s no difference in whether our books are factual or fiction because there is much truth in fiction too.


Memoir writing brings its own special kind of pain – the pain of having to relive unhappy moments over and over again, not just while we write and conjure up these painful memories, but again in re-writes, revisions, and edits, while we polish our stories. The process becomes similar to going to a therapy session where we bear our raw selves and hurts to a specialist until we can reach some resolution while remembering emotional pain.


I know that my writing in memoir takes me back to some dark places in time, and quite often I have to put the pen down, or walk away from the computer for an emotional time out to distance myself from the past abyss of emotional pain.


Writing in memoir is writing raw. Not only do we have to relive unpleasant memories to be able to convey our stories, but we’re baring and sharing our souls to the world once published. It takes a lot of guts to write in memoir – to face our demons and share them publicly. So what’s in it for me despite the pain?


  • My aim is to help others who can not only relate to my stories, but to offer hope for those who share similar struggles in their own lives and hoping they can take in some encouragement from my own lessons learned and my own resolutions.
  • By the time I’ve finished writing and re-writing, I discover the catharsis in my own revelations. The process becomes similar to one of those long sessions I might have otherwise have had with a therapist who helped me to discover resolution and peace to my inner conflicts.

I came across an interesting quote regarding the pain of writing in memoir.

tell your stories


Blogging Award and a #3 Quote Challenge

thankyou new

Big shout out to Shey from for considering my blog worthy of her nomination for Best Blog Award. And I can’t help but wonder if her ‘Hamster Dudes’ had a hand in this nomination, considering she’s sometimes a little rough on them, and they love when I visit.

best-blog award

And thank you Aquileana, , my great story telling friend of Greek mythology, for inviting me to join in with her invitation to share 3 quotes.


Of course there are rules to this challenge. But I am notorious for breaking rules. The rules were to post 3 quotes on beauty, memory, or inspiration, either all together or done as separate posts. Then challenge 3 other bloggers per quote to continue the challenge and link back to the one who invited you.


I will share 3 quotes here and only ask if anyone would like to join in to do so by posting and linking back to my post if they wish. Alternatively, feel free to leave a favorite quote right here in my comment section.


“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” ~Buddha~


In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
~Abraham Lincoln~


If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.” ~William J. Clinton~

Live Love Laugh Every Day – #Valentine’s Day

Not Just for Valentine’s Day


val heart live


Wishing all of you here a Happy Valentine’s Day!


While some of us get caught up in the romance of Valentine’s Day, I’m reminding everyone here that Valentine’s Day can be much more than just a day for romance.

Let Your Heart


Valentine’s Day is a day to remind us to show some love to those dear to us, but love and kindness is something we should practice every day . . . and not just to our loved ones.

kindness transport


If Valentine’s Day was acknowledged every day amongst one another, how much better could we make the world?


Don’t forget to love yourself. To give love freely, start first with yourself.


Don’t forget to love yourself – Soren Kierkegaard


To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance – Oscar Wilde


You, yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection – Buddha


Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives – Louise L. Hay


If your heart is a volacano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom? – Khalil Gibran


Sharing Love


In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years – Abraham Lincoln


We do not remember days, we remember moments – Cesare Parese


Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them – Dalai Lama


If life had a second edition, how I would correct the proofs – John Clare



►#Three #Quotes – Philosophy: “Beauty, according to Plato” / Mythology: “Some Greek Myths, based on Beauty”⭐ .- | La Audacia de Aquiles

3 quotes on beauty


I was invited by the lovely Aquileana of La Audacia de Aquiles to join the 3 quote challenge. I invite all of you to post a quote here that you find resonates with you on the topic of beauty.


Here are my picks:


“Everything has beauty, but not everyone see it.”

~ Confucius ~


“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”

~ Audrey Hepburn ~


“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”

~ Anne Frank ~


Below Aquileana’s post, I will be adding any quotes you all leave here in the comment section.

Now go visit Aquileana’s beauty blog on mythology and read her incredible article on beauty.



Philosophy: “Beauty, according to Plato” / Mythology: “Some Greek Myths, based on Beauty”⭐ .-

plato beauty


The rules of this challenge are: ♠Post your favorite quotes or your own quotes for three (3) posts in a row. ♠Thank the person who nominated you. ♠Pass it on to three (3) other bloggers per quote, each time you post them. Or pass it to nine (9) bloggers if you choose to post all the quotes together, in the same post.
Note: I will post the three (3) quotes together. Thus I will nominate nine (9) Bloggers.
Also, I thought It would be pertinent to choose quotes on Beauty,



A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” John Keats’ Endymion

Added by Marian of


“Only when we learn to value the difference among us can we achieve the true spirit of humanity.”  –  Charles S Weinblatt

Added by Cat of


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” (Margaret Wolfe Hungerford)

Added by Tess of


Source: ►Philosophy: “Beauty, according to Plato” / Mythology: “Some Greek Myths, based on Beauty”⭐ .- | La Audacia de Aquiles


D.G. Kaye ©2015