Thursday, July 26, 2007


How do people decide what to start collecting?

I suppose it's a mix of things that appeal and things that one can afford - financially, space-wise, and in terms of acceptance by anyone the person happens to live with.

China with hard-to-find patterns and teapots with impossible-to-pour-from shapes seem to be desired by many, according to ebay. Others scour garage sales for antique potato mashers or yard-long wooden measuring sticks (I kid you not). Just to make things confusing, both movie heros and movie villains lust for sports cars. Chick-lit authors risk arrest by the genre police if their heroines don't collect shoes, hopeless boyfriends, and odious bosses. Hollywood starlets prefer small, mobility-impaired dogs who have to be carried everywhere. Bookworms hold ferocious debates about the reads they most *heart*, evah.


In an ideal world, I could indulge my fondness for large abstract art, with a climate-controlled room holding all the extra canvasses in between tri-annual painting rotations on the perfectly spot-lit walls.

Sadly, my real life art collection never got properly off the ground because it failed the affordability and space tests. The house-sharer test, also, due to my junior apprentice writers' opinions that their Lego / Harry Potter / Thomas Train collections take precedence.

Happily, I turned to the ideal collectible for apprentice writers:


Think about it:
1. They're free.
2. They don't need to be dusted, pooper-scooped, or have their oil changed.
3. They don't break during shipping or impromptu frisbee games.
4. They take no space in the garage.
5. They are biodegradable and can be endlessly recycled.
And most important,
6. They are great for placing at the beginning of novel chapters, to give a hint about story to come, and to avoid the pesky mental effort involved in coming up with catchy chapter titles.

Out of a sense of duty to share my collection with others rather than keeping it selfishly under lock and key ("The Thomas Crown Affair", anyone?), I will use this space to display some of my favorites. To kick thngs off, a pair from Woody Allen that have special meaning for authors:

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."

"Eighty percent of success is showing up."

In other words - go ahead and send that sample of your work in, already! The worst that can happen is indifference. The best that can happen is that you turn into Woody Allen.


carrie_lofty said...

And if I don't want to be Woody Allen because he creeps me out? Can I still sub my work? :)

Amy Ruttan said...

Collecting Quotes is what Oprah does. I collect (besides Thomas and Dora and all the stuff I'm sure is littering your house as well) Movies. I am a movieaholic.

The best is to find a movie I haven't seen in ages and get in on DVD or video.

That's my passion.

As for quotes, my favorite and which will be posted on my new web site in September is from E.B. White

"Write obscure clearly."

Anonymous said...

QUOTES!! I love quotes. For a veritable smorgasbord of quotes on writing, go here and enjoy! :)

Christine d'Abo said...

Perfect! I love quotes and have several tucked away on a Word document somewhere. I need to haul those out...

Wylie Kinson said...

One of my faves is "Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it"