Good Lines

When I ask myself, “Why spend so much time at your keyboard scribbling out profiles of people or thoughts on religion, politics, love, death, and loss, I have a few ideas of my own and even better ones from others to share with you.

First, I can deal with “grown-up” assignments, such as how does Boris Pasternak develop the theme of “storm” in Doctor Zhivago when the White Russian General says, “I will kill everyone for the sake of humanity”; what did Henry David Thoreau mean by “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”?; or how does Garcia Marquez use humor to develop tension in Love In The Time of Cholera as Fermina Daza listens to her husband urinating…”the sound of his stallion’s stream seemed so potent, so replete with authority, that it increased her terror of the devastation to come”?

Those are some good lines to consider in fashioning any number of stories. But, as promised, I’ll leave you with some stolen tidbits from the more eloquent tongues of others.

Left to Right: Vita Sackville-West, Eudora Welty, Gertrude Stein, Cal Ripken and Polyhymnia, the Muse of sacred poetry, standing in for Jody Evans.
Left to Right: Vita Sackville-West, Eudora Welty, Gertrude Stein, Cal Ripken and Polyhymnia, the Muse of sacred poetry, standing in for Jody Evans.

“It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by…the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.” –Vita Sackville-West, English author and critic

“Writing fiction has developed in me an abiding respect for the unknown in a human lifetime and a sense of where to look for the threads, how to follow, how to connect, find in the thick of the tangle what clear line persists.”–Eudora Welty, American author

“He had the syrup, but it wouldn’t pour,” a remark reportedly made by Gertrude Stein about a lesser writer of the Lost Generation.

To me what keeps you vital is: You don’t live each day remembering who you were. Baseball almost seems like another lifetime ago. You need to do something that makes you feel good day-to-day. Just as you have a sense of accomplishment as a baseball player each and every day–you have a goal to win a game or success as a hitter or make good plays in the field–I need to feel I am accomplishing something. –Cal Ripken, Baltimore Oriole Shortstop and member of Baseball Hall of Fame

“Stay alert and always proofread.”–Jody Evans, Major Muse

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David Evans

David Evans

I'm retired from another life and live in the mountains of eastern West Virginia with my muse Jody along with one little and two big dogs and a diminishing pride of two cats and other critters who come along the path from time to time. I retired one morning years ago when I woke up and said, "This is the day." It was simply time to do something new with my life. I had done whatever I did long enough, and now it was time to do something else. Being independent and no longer in the reins of someone else's driver, I believe I have found something to cherish that I never had before. Retirement may be dull and boring, but that's true only if you are dull and boring. But if you’re like I was, and am, I saw a lot of things as I went along the trail that I would have liked to linger over a lot longer if I had had the time to spare. Above all, I wanted to think about what they meant and have the chance to go back over them and figure them out. I'm not abashed to say that today I lead a life of real luxury. I also recognize that I'm a lucky boy. In the words of Katherine Anne Porter: "My life has been incredible, I don't believe a word of it." I am the author of the recently published collection of essays entitled Meeting Memory In The Dark. Earlier I self-published Words To Woo Her By And Other Distractions Along The Way; Tunes of Glory: The Slow Ticking of the Heart; Cradle My Soul: Glimpses Into Other Lives; and Unscheduled Stops: Essays on Love, Loss and Other Roadside Attractions. All are available on either Amazon or Create Space, a subsidiary of Amazon. Proceeds go to the Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.