“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Michael Michalko is one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world and author of the best sellers Thinkertoys (A Handbook of Business Creativity), ThinkPak (A Brainstorming Card Deck),Cracking Creativity (The Secrets Of Creative Genius), and Creative Thinkering (Putting Your Imagination to Work).

 

“Modern life is, for most of us, a kind of serfdom to mortgage, job and the constant assault to consume. Although we have more time and money than ever before, most of us have little sense of control over our own lives. It is all connected to the apathy that means fewer and fewer people vote. Politicians don’t listen to us anyway. Big business has all the power; religious extremism all the fear. But in the garden or allotment we are king or queen. It is our piece of outdoors that lays a real stake to the planet.” Monty Don, My Roots: A Decade in the Garden. Montagu Denis Wyatt “Monty” Don (1955-) is a British television presenter, writer and speaker on horticulture, best known for presenting the BBC television series Gardeners’ World.

 

“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.” Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 –1900) Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and wit.

 

“Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” Agatha Christie (1890-1976) British crime novelist, short story writer, dramatist and poet. Credited in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling novelist in the world, with over two billion books sold, and third best seller after The Bible and Shakespeare.

 

“I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,

If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,

If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing, robin, sing;
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

I wonder if the springtide of this year
Will bring another Spring both lost and dear;
If heart and spirit will find out their Spring,
Or if the world alone will bud and sing:
Sing, hope, to me;
Sweet notes, my hope, soft notes for memory.

The sap will surely quicken soon or late,
The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate;
So Spring must dawn again with warmth and bloom,
Or in this world, or in the world to come:
Sing, voice of Spring,
Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.” Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), English poet and member of the pre-Raphaelite movement.

 

““In that distant beginning season, Sun Man’s warm magic flowed over all the land. Whenever he raised his arms, it was day. whenever he lowered them, it was night. The Bee People and the Elephant People and the Tic People loved the rhythm of Sun Man’s light. Their faces crinkled with pleasure in his heat.

But inside the dreamtime, Sun Man grew old. His back grew stiff and his knee joints ached. He rose later and later each morning. He napped soon after breakfast and went to bed in the afternoon.

“What’s going on here?” complained Grandfather Mantis. “I’m not getting heat anymore.” Grandfather Mantis sent the Bird People to find out. The Bird People returned, rumpled and solemn. Darkness was everywhere, even though it was supposed to be daytime. “Sun Man is getting old,” they explained. “This shining all the time is getting too much for him.”

“Well, I’m old,” snapped Grandfather Mantis. “Doesn’t stop me.”

His wife raised her eyebrows but said nothing.” Carolyn McVickar Edwards, The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice

 

“The writer can only explore the inner space of his characters by perceptively navigating his (or her) own.” Peter De Vries (1910 – 1993), an American editor and novelist known for his satiric wit.

 

“Adrian, parting branches to pick redcurrants from bushes planted over a century ago: ‘Oh, there are so many hiding in here!’

Me, walking the labyrinth alongside, ‘There are so many hiding out here too!’

I think about this as I continue and complete the walk. Shall I write about this? Do I need to explain further? Always writing far too much, I choose not.” Summer, 2015

 

“A poet told me that when her boys were small, she used to put her typewriter in the playpen and sit there and work while they tore up the house around her. Of course, she was an exceptionally energetic and resourceful person.” Ellen Gilchrist is an American novelist, short story writer, and poet. She won a National Book Award for her 1984 collection of short stories, Victory Over Japan.

 

“I had a dream that I went to live with an elephant, a rather fractious one. I made clothes for it. At first its trainer, who was a sort of concierge, thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the animal. But, in fact, the animal and I became quite fond of each other, used to each other. The place in which the elephant lived was a castle, or a prison on top of a mountain, and shaped like the elephant’s quarters in the zoo. No-one else could handle this elephant, but the keeper assumed I could.

The elephant is my book.” Lynn Freed (born 18 July 1945, Durban, South Africa) is an author and academic known for her work as a novelist, essayist, and writer of short stories

 

“7 June. Bad. Wrote nothing today. Tomorrow no time.” Franz Kafka (1883-1924). Czech-born German-language writer of novels and short stories; a major figure in the history of European literature

 

“When I was young, I pretended to know everything… One of the most useful discoveries I ever made was how easy it is to say: ‘I don’t know’.” W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965). British playwright, novelist and short story writer; reputedly the highest paid of his generation

 

“An idea has to have some dirt on its shoes, or it’s just air.” Marvin Bell (b.1937), American poet and teacher (http://www.poetrykit.org/iv98/bell.htm)

 

“When I was young, I expected people to give me more than they could – continuous friendship, permanent emotion. Now I have learned to expect less of them than they can give – a silent companionship. And their emotions, their friendship, and noble gestures keep their full miraculous value in my eyes: wholly the fruit of grace.” Albert Camus (1913-1960) – French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist and Absurdist philosopher  

 

“Jessie (aged three): Don’t read me a story. Tell me one with your mouth.” Charles Kenneth Williams (born 1936), American poet, critic and translator

“I am going to write because I cannot help it.” Charlotte Bronte (1816-1854), English poet and novelist

“Thank you for finding me while I am still alive.” Natsuko Kuroda, 75, on hearing she had been awarded the famed Akutagawa Prize, Japan’s most prestigious bi-annual literary award, 2013

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou: http://mayaangelou.com/

“Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.” Stephen King, On Writing http://www.examiner.com/article/stephen-king-s-son-owen-to-join-father-at-writers-festival-toronto

“If you wait for inspiration, you’re not a writer, but a waiter.” Anon.