Slice of Life Story Challenge March 24 -Making The Most of Quotes

Making The Most of Quotes

My notebooks are liberally sprinkled with quotations. A significant number of them relate to writing in particular and learning in general. Some of them relate to the philosophy of living a fruitful life. Others are collected purely because they entertain me and make me smile.

Today I was doing some rereading of my current notebook and it further reinforced my penchant for the gathering of such uplifting and inspiring words.

So I then searched further back into my notebooks and found these entries:

‘What’s so romantic about living in a lighthouse? Let me tell you, it’s just me and a lot of fish –and I hate fishing.’
Lighthouse keeper being interviewed on radio

‘Sometimes you think you are finished with the book, but the book isn’t finished with you.’
Khalil, Grade one student P.S 20 Clinton Hill School, NYC

‘Your hormones are back and they’re jumping. I need to talk to your Grandma.’
Teacher at Bushwick Middle School to student

‘There is no permanent truth you can corner in a poem that will satisfy you forever. Stay fluid behind those black and white words. They are not you. They were a great moment going through you.’
Natalie Goldberg

‘From the 26 letters of the alphabet writers create an infinite variety of writing- but not from following a writing recipe.
Georgia Heard

‘Writers notebooks are crucial. But we must show students how writers read the world to find potential things to write about.’
Ralph Fletcher

'You can't make someone read, just you can't make them fall in love or dream.'
Daniel Pennac

'Jesus apparently fed 5000 people with two loaves of bread and some fish. Some people call that a miracle. I call it tapas.'
Edinburgh Comedy Festival 2015

"I feel like I've swallowed a live cat and it's clawing at my insides.'
House Designer on Grand Designs TV Show

'Read a thousand books and your words will flow like rivers.'
Lisa See

'People are filling their smoothies with sadness. You know, kale, spinach and avocado.'
Radio Announcement

‘Give your children all of what they need, some of what they want, and the desire to strive for the rest.’

Lester Holt’s father.

Here is further proof of my proclivity towards collecting quotations. These are from my current notebook:


  1. Alan,
    These are inspiring quotes to have and hold! Perfect for keeping in a notebook! They are words to ponder and savor...

    1. Thank you Amy. They do indeed cause me to ponder and savour and ultimately derive some measure of inspiration.

  2. These are wonderful quotes! I tend to be haphazard in my quote collection and you've inspired me to become a bit more organized. I can't pick a favorite from yours though I LOVE the first grader's comment. But that Natalie Golberg one is great, too, and I love the lighthouse keeper's comment and...Anyway, here are a few that I've recently jotted down.
    "When you have a really effective hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." heard on a radio interview
    "When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one." StoryCorps interview on NPR
    "Thinking is a really great tool." one of my first grade students
    Thanks for sharing and for inspiring me to get more organized with my quote gathering!

    1. Thanks for sharing some of your special quotes Molly. Like you I am amazed by the wisdom of the young as exemplified by one of your young philosophers. May the quotes by with you. The eye and the ear are our tools for the gathering of a little magic.

  3. ‘Give your children all of what they need, some of what they want, and the desire to strive for the rest.’ This one is my favorite. Great writing quotes as well! (Did you know today was Positive Thinking Thursday when you wrote this slice? : )


    1. I too love that quote Jennifer. It resonates strongly. I have re-quoted it many times since first hearing it. I was unaware that it was positive thinking Thursday. A nice piece of synchronicity.

  4. These are a wonderful compilation of quotes, Alan. My favorite:
    ‘Sometimes you think you are finished with the book, but the book isn’t finished with you.’
    Thank you for letting me get a sneak peek into your notebooks. I love them!

    1. Thanks Amy for your generous words. The day Khalil made that comment is forever etched in my memory. What an absolute gem of a comment from a wise young person.

  5. Thank you for curating these wise words.

    1. You're very welcome Tara. The pleasure was all mine.

  6. These are fabulous! I LOVE the idea of looking for quotes in our lives, not just in the pages of our books.

    1. You are so right Anna. It's about scanning widely in order to gather a rich mix of blessings.

  7. These are great! I have not been good about this kind of thing and wish I had. I am going to try and be better at collecting quotes. I love G Heards - " remind us to stay awake."
    Thanks for sharing your notes.

    1. A pleasure Joanne. Good luck with your own collecting.


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