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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I have been feeling lost lately.  I have been feeling distant from myself.  I have been feeling disconnected from what really matters.  And I have been downright crabby.

So, Saturday morning, knowing I had an hour of wait time to fill during an oil change and tire rotation, I grabbed a couple of old notebooks to reread.  My hope was that sifting through past notes, wise words, and thoughts I’d forgotten I ever had would offer a spark, perhaps even awaken something inside of me. 

I ended up taking new notes on my old notes.  I marked passages that I intend to revisit soon.  And I came across this gem from Gary Paulsen’s address to teachers at the Illinois Reading Council Conference a couple years ago: 

Boy, did these words ever awaken something inside of me!  Paulsen’s advice was like fuel for my soul.  Don’t let them grind at me.  Is that what I was allowing to happen?  Well, not anymore.  Thanks to Gary Paulsen.


  1. That quote really sounds like one meant for you. I believe that most of the time you actually follow this quote fully. I hope that you can put this fall behind you and move on stronger.

  2. Amazing how an hour plus a notebook can change one's perspective! Go for it Christie! I like the determination in your voice.

  3. The Paulson quote sounds like a great mantra for you. Let it resonate within you. Repeat it to yourself daily. It really does help. For years, whenever the "stupid people" (as I like to silently call them) get to me, I sing to myself "Let it go, let it go, let it go" to the tune of "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." That silly little mantra helps me keep things in perspective and move on.

    And then there's always emailing a friend.....

    Hugs to you.

  4. Sorry it's been a rough time, Christy. I wrote about Paulsen too, although it has to do with a different topic. I'd love to see him speak! But, it was so wise to "do" something, like grab the old notebooks, & look what you found. Great quote, good advice, as is Deb's! Hope things are now on the up!

  5. I needed these words today. You're right - well, I guess technically he's right - I'm letting them grind at me!! I am. No longer. I'm going to kick ass. Thanks.

  6. I love that you took time to peek back into your notebooks. There is so much good stuff living in there, we tend to forget and look for new good stuff. My questions? Why are we all feeling like this? Why are we all feeling the grind? What can we do? I guess this is where Paulsen's words complete the answer, but I'm going to add a word: CONTINUE to kick ass! Hang in there Christy!

  7. Attempting attitude recalibration in five...four...three...
    ERROR: Poor attitude not found.
    Nice, Christy. I'll try to remember this, but I'm counting on you to remind me.