a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Inspired by Television

The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
Throughout my childhood, familiar television show endings were marked by the words, “Sit Ubu, sit.  Good dog.”  In my twenties, “Fred, move your head,” was the ending indicator of a favorite show.  Now, I am forever pausing my DVR to read Chuck Lorre’s vanity cards as soon as I finish an episode.

Yesterday, my husband and I caught up on a few shows and came across this vanity card.  Who knew there was hidden inspiration for writers tucked away after the final seconds of beloved television shows?

All you have to do is write one sentence.  Write the truest sentence that you know.
-Ernest Hemingway

I am so tired.
-Chuck Lorre

This vanity card is an invitation to write, is it not?

So for today’s slice, the truest sentence I know:

No air conditioning makes for record setting high temperatures in the Chicagoland area.

Open windows entice barking dogs.

It is not an intervention if 60% of students are being exposed to it.

Hope can fill a body up.


  1. This is the best piece of writing advice I've been given for a long while. Easier said than done, but still the best way to go.
    Love it!

  2. Really Christy, we are like two parts of the same soul. My favorite thing to say to students wandering around my room is, "Sit, Ubu, Sit." And I have Chuck Lorre's vanity cards bookmarked on my computer so I can read them whenever I want. As for this one, the perfect slice of life!

  3. Your sentence says volumes about you! I'm glad I know you (via slices), you inspire me with your words because you DO make a difference (and I don't mean just for kids, me too.) Thanks Christy!

  4. We had a dog growing up named Ubu...

    and thanks for the quote. It is great advice to any writer!

  5. Wow, just another wonderful piece of writing advice. Never thought of using his cards for writing. I always hit the rewind button on the DVR to reread, pause and ponder his cards, never thought to write about them! LOVE the idea. Of course, not a surprise, that I've been inspired again. Thank you on this slump day of the week to be inspired. @ Deb, great idea to book mark them also, never thought to do that...you guys are the best!

  6. Oh, the days of "Sit, Ubu, Sit." I think I heard "The More You Know" jingle just now too! I absolutely love your sentence, and the way you included those that didn't quite make the cut. This would be a far different post without those words. Thanks for this slice today!

  7. I don't use my Google account for the SOLSC, but forgot to change to Name/URL before commenting....

  8. I can totally picture UBU! I'm trying to remember which shows it came on after. I want to say, "Kate and Aly," "Family Ties," or "Cheers." ??? Strangest thing is that my husband's pet name for our daughter is Ubu. Don't ask me why.

    Anyway, beside the awesome flashback you gave me with your slice; I can totally appreciate your truest sentence, and I believe in it as well.

    P.S. "Inspired by Television" I KNEW it was possible! :)

  9. Sit Ubu sit! Good dog. Woof! I still quote that at random and most people have no idea what I am babbling about. Thanks for making me smile.

  10. Even though I come from a culture where Chuck Lorre Productions doesn't light any bulbs in a brain, I enjoyed this post inspired by it.

  11. A lot of times we don't bother to pause at the end of The Big Band Theory -- maybe we will have to always do it now! I love the way you showed your thoughts by including the crossed-off sentences that you didn't' choose. That made your final sentence even more powerful!

  12. I love your craft of the writing process - writing what first comes to mind, striking it out, and then shaping what you are pushing yourself towards. It's like sharing your frustrations first and then saying, "What am I going to choose about this?" Hope - thanks for sharing it with us.