Literary Birthday - 24 April - David Morrell

Happy Birthday, David Morrell, born 24 April 1943

13 Quotes 
  1. There are no inferior types of fiction, only inferior practitioners of them.
  2. As much as I like it when a book I'm writing speeds along, the downside can be that an author becomes too eager to finish and rushes the end. The end is even more important than the first page, and rushing can damage it.
  3. Don't give in to doubt. Never be discouraged if your first draft isn't what you thought it would be.
  4. When I teach at writers’ conferences, I always begin by asking my students, “What defect in your personality makes you want to be writers?” They chuckle, assuming that I’ve made a joke. But my question is deadly serious. Writing is so difficult, requiring such discipline, that I’m amazed when someone wants to give it a try. 
  5. To all librarians everywhere, God bless you.
  6. The difference between fiction writers and civilians is that we make it our life’s work to put our daydreams and day-nightmares on paper. 
  7. Writers write. It’s that basic. If you just got off an assembly line in a factory and you’re certain you have the great American novel inside you, you don’t grab a beer and sit in front of the TV. You write. If you’re a mother of three toddlers and at the end of the day you feel like you’ve been spinning in a hamster cage and yet you’re convinced you have a story to tell, you find a way late at night or early in the morning to sit down and write.
  8. On every page, confidence fights with self-doubt. Every sentence is an act of faith.
  9. Before I start a project, I always ask myself the following question. Why is this book worth a year of my life? There needs to be something about the theme, the technique, or the research that makes the time spent on it worthwhile.
  10. When I teach writing, I have a mantra: Be a first-rate version of yourself, and not a second-rate version of another writer.
  11. A thriller must be thrilling. A mystery may or may not be a thriller depending on how much breathless emotion it has, as opposed to cerebral calculation.
  12. You have to follow your own voice. You have to be yourself when you write. In effect, you have to announce, 'This is me, this is what I stand for, this is what you get when you read me. I'm doing the best I can - buy me or not - but this is who I am as a writer.' 
  13. 'What if?' Through the alchemy of those two words, something new comes into the world.

Morrell is a Canadian novelist. He is well known for his 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become the successful Rambo film franchise. He has written more than 30 novels, and his work has been translated into 26 languages.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 22 April - Wendy Mass

Happy Birthday, Wendy Mass, born 22 April 1967

Seven Quotes
  1. The trick is that as long as you know who you are and what makes you happy, it doesn't matter how others see you.
  2. Read. Read everything you can, but especially read the type of material you like to write. 
  3. Take creative writing classes and share your work with your peers whenever possible–in school, summers, online, etc. It’s great practice. It really helped me to keep notebooks with ideas that I would add to whenever I thought of one, or learned something interesting, or overheard something. That way when I wanted to write a story, I didn’t have to face an empty page. 
  4. Ideas aren’t as hard to come by as you might think. I once heard the great Paula Danziger say that ideas come from only three places–Experience, Observation, and Imagination. And we all do those things every day. 
  5. A writer is someone who writes. Just by writing, you’re already there.
  6. I'm going to tell you a secret. Our lives are shaped by the future, not by the past. Once you decide how you want your life to be, all you need to do is live into that future.
  7. The sidelines may be safer but life is played on the field.

Mass is an American author of young-adult novels and children's books.

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 19 April - Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes was born 19 April 1900, and died 28 April 1976

Quotes
  1. Middle age snuffs out more talent than ever wars or sudden deaths do.
  2. All that non-fiction can do is answer questions. It's fiction's business to ask them.
  3. Do your bit to save humanity from lapsing back into barbarity by reading all the novels you can.
  4. A method involving apparent obscurity is surely justified when it is the clearest, the simplest, the only method possible of saying in full what the writer has to say.

Hughes was a British writer of poems, short stories, novels and plays.

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 5 April - Richard Peck

Happy Birthday, Richard Peck, born 5 April 1934

Nine Quotes
  1. I read because one life isn't enough and in the pages of a book, I can be anybody.
  2. Humour is anger that was sent to finishing school.
  3. We don't write what we know. We write what we wonder about.
  4. When I get a page exactly the way I want it, and that will be in the eighth or 10th version, I go back and take out 20 words. And then when I feel I’ve pared it to the bone, and can’t pare it any more, then I’ve got five more words to go. And they’re always there for the paring. There are no first-draft sentences in any of my work. 
  5. Fiction isn't what 'was'. It's 'what if?'.
  6. We write by the light of every story we have ever read.
  7. In the end, I take the first chapter I’ve written and throw it away. The first chapter has to have all the issues, themes, hints and clues laid in, but I don’t know all of that until the end. I always enjoy writing that first chapter last.
  8. Nobody but a reader becomes a writer.
  9. The only way you can write is by the light of the bridges burning behind you.

Peck is an American novelist known for his contributions to modern young adult literature. He was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel A Year Down Yonder . 

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 31 March - Mandla Langa

Happy Birthday, Mandla Langa, born 31 March 1950

Seven Quotes 
  1. I am somewhat familiar with chaos, having had a ringside seat in places where it has unleashed itself and, if truth be told, caused a little bit of it in my days of youth. 
  2. Storytelling is about imparting something that is indestructible. Once you tell your story, it's yours, but now it also conjures up images in the imagination of the recipients and plays a role in the telling of their stories.
  3. I have learned that people at the bottom use others' bodies to climb to the top.
  4. Each generation always imagines that it has a patent on truth. We thought that we were the bees’ knees and knew it all. We did have those icons that we invoked but we also thought that had we lived under those conditions in those earlier years we could have sorted things out then and there. I was fortunate in that I could straddle a number of periods and generations. I could relate to those who were both where I was as a youth and transpose that to where others were as old people. 
  5. Where we were growing up in Durban there was always that mythical heroic figure of the ANC guerrilla – someone who could infiltrate back into the country and teach military warfare and train cadres. When you heard that one of them had been captured that increased their heroism for us. When I left the country and met some of those people who had been mythologised it was possible to write about the reality and myth of what passes as generational conflict. 
  6. The strength of a political movement derives from its internal capacity to deal with its most horrible hour.
  7. [South African literature is]getting younger, it’s getting brasher, it’s getting much more inventive, dealing with themes you would never have dreamt of. The political circumstance in South Africa has thrown up, to my mind, a lot of creativity.

Langa is a South African poet, short story writer, and novelist. His novel The Lost Colours of the Chameleon won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Africa region).

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 27 March - Dana Stabenow

Happy Birthday, Dana Stabenow, born 27 March 1952

Eight Quotes
  1. To be a writer is to embrace rejection as a way of life.
  2. I get up at 5:30 a.m. every morning, I'm at work at my computer by 7 a.m. I write 10 pages a day, every day, no exceptions except for days when I have to look at copy edits or do line edits of pass proofs or print out a manuscript. 
  3. The blogosphere rewards no-holds-barred smartassery.
  4. The library is what keeps us a step ahead of the apes.
  5. Keep writing. Write every day, even if it's only one paragraph a day. That's one paragraph more than you had the day before, and by the end of the month you might have a chapter. If you don't use your skills, you'll lose them, and then you'll truly never get published. 
  6. Science fiction is the agent provocateur of literature.
  7. When you put four Alaskans into a room, you have five marriages, six divorces, and seven political parties.
  8. Writing is a job like any other in that to get paid, you must produce. So I make sure I produce. 

Stabenow is an American author of science fiction, mystery, suspense, and historical adventure novels. She is the author of The Kate Shugak Series, The Liam Campbell Series, The Silk and Song Trilogy, and The Star Svensdotter Series.

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 25 March - Toni Cade Bambara

Toni Cade Bambara was born 25 March 1939 and died 9 December 1995

Nine Quotes
  1. Revolution begins with the self, in the self.
  2. All writers, musicians, artists, choreographers/dancers, etc., work with the stuff of their experiences. It's the translation of it, the conversion of it, the shaping of it that makes for the drama.
  3. Writing is one of the ways I participate in transformation.
  4. Write a lot and hit the streets. A writer who doesn't keep up with what's out there ain't gonna be out there.
  5. The purpose of a writer is to make revolution irresistible.
  6. Words are to be taken seriously. I try to take seriously acts of language. Words set things in motion. I've seen them doing it. Words set up atmospheres, electrical fields, charges.
  7. The dream is real, my friends. The failure to make it work is the unreality.
  8. I've never been convinced that experience is linear, circular, or even random. It just is. I try to put it in some kind of order to extract meaning from it, to bring meaning to it.
  9. Take heart to flat out decide to be well and stride into the future sane and whole.

Bambara was an African-American author, documentary film-maker, social activist and college professor.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 24 March - Jo Shapcott

Happy Birthday, Jo Shapcott, born 24 March 1953

Three Quotes 
  1. A lot of things jostle in my notebook, things that I have overheard, or heard about. In all the jostling are ideas that can link, form a new kind of emotional truth, a different kind of truth than just simply the facts.
  2. I am very curious as a writer, as a person. Whatever it is that is happening, there’s nothing that’s not interesting. Every experience is fascinating.
  3. I have a load of courses under my belt. The artist should be curious about everything. As for scientists, look how often they rely on analogy and metaphor to explain complex ideas. Look at the term ‘string theory'.
Shapcott is an English poet, editor and lecturer. She has won the National Poetry Competition, the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and the Costa Book of the Year Award.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 23 March - Julia Glass

Happy Birthday, Julia Glass, born 23 March 1956

12 Quotes

  1. People take their same old lives wherever they go. No place is perfect enough to strip you of that.
  2. There were quite a lot of books throughout, tumbling out of haphazardly placed bookshelves, stacked beneath chairs, beside beds, even in the bottoms of a closet or two. But I was never a ‘collector’. My love of books is a love of what they contain; they hold knowledge as a pitcher holds water, as a dress contains the mystery of a woman’s exquisite body. Their physicality matters—do not speak to me of storing books as bytes!—but they should not inspire fetishistic devotion.
  3. Read like a maniac; your best teachers will always be the best writers you read.
  4. Understand that success in writing may (a) take a long time (for me, seven years to publish a short story, seven more to publish a book) and (b), once it arrives not offer you much in the way of financial reward. 
  5. Iif you like the company of other people, try a good workshop. I am always amazed at how energizing it is for most writers who attend. I got where I am the lonely way and sometimes wonder if I missed out on something—and if maybe I’d have been published sooner if I’d had a broader network. In the end, connections do help.
  6. Mind who you love. For that matter, mind how you are loved.
  7. You have not truly met someone until you have looked him or her in the eye as a soul with a place in your future.
  8. When it comes to life, we spin our own yarn, and where we end up is really, in fact, where we always intended to be.
  9. Ever noticed how sisters, when they aren’t best friends, make particularly vicious enemies?
  10. What is the biggest tragedy you wouldn’t be conscious of? Letting life pass you by. Living like a starfish, clinging to your one unchanging colourless rock.
  11. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than fatally disappointed.
  12. We’re all alive the day before we die.

Glass is an American author whose début novel, Three Junes, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2002.

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

Literary Birthday - 19 March - Ryū Murakami

Happy Birthday, Ryū Murakami, born 19 February 1952 

Five Quotes
  1. Everybody wants to talk about themselves, and everybody wants to hear everybody else's story, so we take turns playing reporter and celebrity.
  2. Malevolence is born of negative feelings like loneliness and sadness and anger. It comes from an emptiness inside you that feels as if it's been carved out with a knife, an emptiness you're left with when something very important has been taken away from you.
  3. What makes somebody nice or unpleasant to be around is the way they communicate. When people are fucked up, their communication is fucked up.
  4. People who love horror films are people with boring lives... when a really scary movie is over, you're reassured to see that you're still alive and the world still exists as it did before. That's the real reason we have horror films - they act as shock absorbers.
  5. Parents, teachers, government - they all teach you how to live the dreary , deadening life of a slave, but nobody teaches you how to live normally.
Murakami is a Japanese novelist, short story writer, and filmmaker. His best known novels are Almost Transparent Blue, Coin Locker Babies and In the Miso Soup.

Source for photograph

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.