Thursday, May 29, 2014

50 Favorite Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou (1928 - 2014)

Maya Angelou, who passed away yesterday at the age of 86, was a great poet, author, playwright, director, performer, actress, professor, producer, singer and civil rights activist and mentor who touched the lives of old, young, black and white people across the globe in ways she could never have possibly imagined. I have been privileged to experience her passion, personality, and power through her poetry. I have received hope to go on by reading her and the quotes listed here have been collected from sites across the WWW including,,,,, and

I hope you find something to give you wings until you rise…

1.       “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

2.       “If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

3.       “All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.”

4.       "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

5.       “If you're for the right thing, you do it without thinking.”

6.       “If you want what you’re saying to be heard then take your time and say it so that the listener will actually hear it. You might save somebody’s life. Your own, first.”

7.       "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.”

8.      “I speak to the Black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition — about what we can endure, dream, fail at and survive.”

9.       “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

10.   “One of the difficulties with absorbing what is said of one is that you have to live up to it."

11.    “I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.”

12.    “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

13.    “I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

14.    “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

15.    “When I'm writing poetry, that's the world to me.”

16.    “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.”

17.    “I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”

18.   “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

19.    “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”

20.   “The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.”

21.    “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

22.   “You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

23.   “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”

24.   “We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yea or nay — and rise!”

25.   “Have enough courage to trust love one more time. And always one more time.”

26.   “We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.”

27.   “A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

28.   “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

29.   “The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”

30.   “It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

31.    “The love of the family, the love of the person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.”

32.   “I have created myself. I have taught myself so much.”

33.   “One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

34.   “It is said some put people on pedestals so they can see them more clearly and they can knock them off more easily. I don't consider that.”

35.   “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

36.   “Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”

37.   “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

38.   “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”

39.   “You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

40.   “I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.”

41.    “All great achievements require time.”

42.   “Some people cannot see a good thing when it is right here, right now. Others can sense a good thing coming when it is days, months, or miles away.”

43.   “Had I known that the heart breaks slowly, dismantling itself into unrecognizable plots of misery... had I known yet I would have loved you.”

44.   “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.”

45.   "I know I'm doing my best most of the time, and when I am not, I forgive myself."

46.   “I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.”

47.   “Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant.”

48.   “For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.”

49.   “Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.”

50.   “Some people, unable to go to school, are more intelligent and more educated than college professors.”

Keep your pens bleeding.



Heads Up On Writing Prompts And IntShoWriMo 2014 Badges

Here are the IntShoWriMo 2014 badges. Please, paste them on your blog/site.

I’ll be posting at least, three prompts for each new day’s challenge. It’s meant to ease up the stress on your brain thinking up all those thirty short story ideas for the duration of the writing adventure.

IntShoWriMo 2014 will explore writing prompts dealing with multiple fictional genres and of course, writers can improvise with the prompts; suit them to their particular writing niche. I’ve taken the liberty to acquire ideas from about four sites.
Writer’s Digest feature a weekly writing challenge hosted by its online editor, Brian Klems. IntShoWriMo will feature lots of prompts from here. And then there’s Creative Writing Prompts and the Poets and Writers website. Writing.Com, the premier online writing community, is the fourth and probably, last website I’ll be stealing story inspirations from (I know the StoryMaster won’t mind, though).

Each site is represented by a code. At the end of the day’s featured prompt you will find a set of letters. Here’s what they look like and invariably, stand for.

WDC stands for Prompts Courtesy of WritingDotCom
WD stands for Prompts Courtesy of WritersDigest.Com
P&W stands for Prompts Courtesy of PW.Org
CWP stands for Prompts Courtesy of CreativeWritingPrompts.Com

Of course, you can participate without signing up. It’s about getting your creative juice fired up and not answering a roll call.

Keep your pens bleeding.


Friday, May 23, 2014

How It All Began


IntShoWriMo is not the brainchild of a deliberate and complex design nor is it product of a fickle fancy. It did, however, thrive by default. It just so happened that in December, 2010 I announced in this articlethe last one I posted that yearthat through 2011, I was going to be waist deep in short stories. No regular blogposts, only 2,000-word shorts and about thirty in all. A quick glance at the 2011 archives will reveal a total of thirteen posts and most of these happen to be poetry. So what happened? I couldnt do it, thats what happened. I had a hard time making up my mind on what to post: drafts or revised drafts? And thats how I spent an entire year eating the dirt of my own indecision.

Steven Barnes, in one of several newsletters I received from the great writer, hinted on writing the short story over the novel for young fiction writers. You may write a 100,000 word novel or fifty 2,000 word stories in a year. Youll learn faster writing the short stories. Steven Barnes (rephrased). I was trying to walk that path when I got stuck in 2011 even though, I got the second story I wrote published in an online magazine I knew I had to make good on that promise.

IntShoWriMo (called NaShoWriMo in 2012) was my way of delivering on that commitment I made way back 2010. It was purely an accidental thing that somehow stuck. And the interesting fact is you can become a part of it. And you should.

Keep your pens bleeding!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Time’s Ripe for a Short Story Month


Isnt it about time there was a Short Story Month? Why short stories, you ask. And at this late date? In the following paragraphs Ill try to present valid whys and wherefores. You, Dear Reader, are free to accept or refute the idea; it would do little by way of changing my opinion, though.

IntShoWriMo was founded on the unpretentious principle that the short story cannot be allowed to go extinct. There has to be a new way to reinvent the craft, the art, and keep it fresh in the heart of the reader. Cast your minds back to a time you were much younger than you are; recall all those stories, fairy tales, you grew up with; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Lil Red Riding Hood, and so forth. The stories we heard where animals assumed human qualities to teach us a moral lesson or two while we sat, innocent and rapt in awe, on Mama or Papa or even Grannys bosom.

Many of those tales were spoken and (those we read in books) written in the short form of fiction. Our first taste of fiction came in the form of the short story; we cant deny where we came from just as we must not deprive the next generation a stab at the treasures we inherited. For the short story is itself a peculiar variety of legacy. Facts through fantasy expressed in short, memorable lines of creative imagination which must not be conscripted to the paddy wagon of rut. That's the idea on which IntShoWriMo was created.

Keep your pens bleeding!