Monday, December 6, 2010

Quips & Quotes & Other Stuff

Do book or movie lines stick with you? How about quotes by notable figures, past or present? Bible verses, classic literature, or political speeches - has anything jumped out at you lately? Have any provided inspiration for your work?

Our family often tosses movie lines back and forth, and I wondered recently how this influences my writing. My first thought is the humor factor, for many lines are either funny or we apply them to situations in a humorous way. My second thought is the timeless application of these or any other words that have stuck with me. What things of lasting value do they spark or possess?

I like to examine the way words are put together and how they sound. If a line from a film, is it spoken with an accent? Another consideration is emotion; is it true to life or something only heard in the movies? How would this translate into characters for a book?

What do you think? Am I the only one who does this? :)

Who Said It? Inspiration in Action

Brownie points to anyone who can tell me who said the following. Answers at the end of the post. Perhaps one will spark an idea for your next project!

1) It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.

2) I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until I finally became that person - or he became me.

3) Imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.

4) Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

5) No more rhymes now I mean it!   

Villains & Guest Posts

Just in case you happened to miss Stephen Tremp's Home and Away series last week, he had a guest post about villains here Friday, and I was his guest Saturday. Click here to check out Stephen's post. Click here to check out my post over at Stephen's Breakthrough Blogs.

Other Stuff

Speaking of guest posts, Susan Reinhardt of Christian Writer/Reader Connection will be guest posting Tuesday over at Susan Panzica's Eternity Cafe. Will stop back tomorrow to post a reminder, but wanted to give you a head's up. Susan Reinhardt's Mom is in the hospital. Her Mom is doing okay, but I am sure they'd appreciate your prayers.

I think I'll be skipping my regular Thursday post this week to catch up on visiting my blog friends, and for some much needed down time. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful support these past weeks. You've been a great encouragement. 

What quips and quotes inspire you? Have any sparked a story or article idea lately?

Happy writing,

Image credit: Naurich


1) Abraham Lincoln
2) Cary Grant
3) Albert Einstein 
4) Benjamin Franklin 
5) Spoken in the film The Princess Bride


  1. I knew that last one! I don't remember literary lines, but movie lines stick with me.

  2. Funny you post about this. There is a line in the movie "Expendables" that I loved and for the life of me I cannot remember the exact words. :)

    I knew #4
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  3. Yes, I love quotes. I don't often recall where they derive from, but many of them stick like glue.

    I like:

    "What's up with that?"
    "That's my story; and I'm stickin' to it!"
    "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."
    "The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

    Happy day,

  4. A business parter always used to say "When the dream's big enough, the facts don't count." That has always stuck with me.

  5. Alex,
    I knew you'd know it! Me too, movie lines are faster to stick. Why is that?

    I do that too; we often ad lib the lines. Hey, we all know what we're talking about...:)

    Good ones! Like that last one especially. There are so many clever ones out there.

    Now that's one to ponder, isn't it? Thanks for sharing!


  6. I did not know ANY of those quotes!

    I'm sorry to hear about Susan's mom.

  7. Glad to see you back Karen. And sorry, too, to hear about Susan's mom.
    Movie lines do stick with me. One of my favourites is "The greastest thing you will ever learn is to be loved and to love in return..." from Moulin Rouge. And the last monolgue in 'A River Runs Through It" is my number one fav.

  8. Karen:
    My all time favorite line is from the movie,"Cool Hand Luke". Every time a convict gets out of line, the person in charge of them (played by Strother Martin) says, "What we have here is a failure to communicate." I felt that way this past week.

  9. I don't know much about movies... but I love quotes from books I read... I have a notebook with quotes that I can open any time and be encouraged and inspired. Like this one: "success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out" - Robert Collier

  10. Jennifer,
    I have the first three in a file with other quotes, otherwise I might be hard pressed to know who said them! :)

    That's a good quote too. We can do so much with words, can't we? I think that movies and books just make some of these words more memorable.

    That sums up a lot of problems, doesn't it? Well, that's what us writers are here for, to help communicate well. :)

    Oh, that's a good one! I need to remember that one, thanks. :)


  11. I quote "Friends", "Gilmore Girls", and "Monty Python" a lot. It's definitely a hazard of knowing me. :0)

  12. Oh, we sure do use movie lines. Anything from Bugs Bunny to Don Knotts to the hilarity in Ice Age. So much fun, especially when one of the boys does the Bugs Bunny accent to go with it!

  13. Yes, yes, yes, and yes! EVERYTHING seems to tweak my gray matter. Lately, it's been music.

    GREAT post, Karen.
    Sigh. I didn't know any of the answers.
    Apparently famous sayings HAVEN'T inspired. :)

  14. What a beautiful tree! I love snow on trees.

    I can't believe my mind is blank on your movie quotes. Sheesh!

    My family does the same thing.

    Here's a line:
    Caesar Romero was tall . . .

    We use that one a lot when conversation becomes confusing.

    Fun post!

  15. Hi Karen! Fun and interesting post! I only knew a couple of those lines. I'm always quoting from movies, songs, name it! I don't think I've used it in my writing, though! It's funny that I'm reading this today because yesterday I had lunch with a friend and we talked about things our co-workers used to say. One in particular has stayed with me for 30 years!! I won't put it here, though...I'll post it on my blog some time!! :D

  16. Interesting discussion. I seldom watch movies, but I do remember lines from books--children's books, usually!

    Blessings, I'll be back to visit again.


  17. Kristen,
    I think we all have such hazards! :) Makes us more lovable, don't you think?

    You know, we have a few quotes from Don Knotts too! Just came across a VHS tape of The Apple Dumpling Gang. Fun stuff:)

    Well, as I mentioned above, with exception of number 4, I'd be guessing on who said what. I do know many of the lines from Who's On First, though. Wonder if that counts for anything?

    I'll have to remember that one! How tall was he, anyway? Good to see you:)

    Will look forward to that post! It's amazing how the writer's mind processes things. Perhaps we're all geniuses? :)

    Nice to meet you. After visiting your blog, I can see why you'd remember lines from children's books. Not a bad problem to have!

    Blessings all,

  18. Yay! My family isn't weird; we're not the only one who does that! LOL Oh yeah, we have many quotes from the Princess Bride and other movies, which we apply (mostly my daughters and I) to other situations that make them humorous, well, at least to us. My daughters even invented a game where we'd take turns quoting a quote and seeing who could guess the movie. If we couldn't guess, that person got another turn. If we could, it would be our turn. ;o)

  19. Hi Karen -

    Thanks for posting this.

    Mom had two stents put in her heart arteries today. She may come home tomorrow.

    My apologies to everyone for sparse blog hopping.


  20. Carol,
    Well if they are, mine is too! LOL My sisters and I use phrases from Ferris Bueller's Day Off all the time. My kids and I use The Princess Bride and others often...the fun just never ends:)

    Glad to hear things are going well. Rest and know we're praying for you guys!


  21. Hi Karen .. I've got a hopeless memory for quotes, movie lines etc .. but I get inspiration from hearing snippets of interest, which then tie in with other things ..

    I'd love to 'have' music, poetry, quotes in me .. but they all slip away .. I love them - but the brain just doesn't retain them .. sad but there it is ..!! Hilary

  22. Thank you Karen! I love quotes, but sometimes I forget where they are from . . . sadly the only one I knew for sure on your list was the last one from the Princess Bride. and I just have to finish it out, "anybody want a peanut?"

  23. Hilary,
    It's amazing how many things tie in with other things! I think we get sparks of ideas from places we are hardly aware of.

    Thanks for finishing that; I was itching to write that too! These quotes come in handy, don't they?


  24. I only knew the first one. You should of made us wait for the answers, then watched to see how many of us are terrible. Who said, "Make my day"? Clint Baby. Or "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." I have no idea, but I can still remember the commercial.
    Thanks, Karen, this was fun.

  25. Hi Karen - The only one I was certain of was #4 (Ben Franklin). My family also quotes movie lines. The quote from "Sweet Home Alabama" ("Why do you want to marry me anyhow?" "So I can kiss you anytime I want.") has known many variations in our household. Also, from "Dirty Dancing", the famous, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," has also been used and used again by our family. Gosh...I had never thought about it before, but there are probably dozens!

  26. Joylene,
    I only knew these because I have a list that I use for teaching or other inspiration, so don't feel bad! I forgot about commercials, they stick too. :)

    We probably all use more than we think, including as Joylene mentioned, commercials. Funny how these inside family jokes and lines start.


  27. Shame on me, I guessed incorrectly on all five! Many lines stick in my head--this post made me happy!

  28. Jill,
    There are so many quotes out there; I'll make sure I post some you know next time! Glad you are happy!

  29. The only quote I knew was the Abraham Lincoln one which has often been attributed to P.T. Barnum. I'm terrible at remembering quotes or anything for that matter.

    Tossing It Out

  30. Taking a little break can be a great thing. I'm vacationing from blogging from Dec. 22 to the 28th, and during that time, I hope to catch up with visits to my blogger friends. Hopefully, they won't all be on vacation at the same time. :)


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!