Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Words to Live By & Words to Write By

All of my writing mentors have at one point said the same thing:

  1. Don’t give up.
  2.  Keep Writing.
  3. When you’re stuck, change your surroundings.
  4. and my once-upon-a-time teacher teacher Lucille Clifton said, read your work aloud — if you start to stumble, if your tongue starts to trip up, then cut what you’ve written.

Here’s some W.O.W. (words of wisdom): (thanks to AZ Quotes)

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style– Maya Angelou

I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after.–Emily Bronte

Come celebrate with me that every day something has tried to kill me and has failed.– Lucille Clifton

Be open to learning new lessons, even if they contradict the lessons you learned yesterday.- Ellen DeGeneres

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all. – Emily Dickinson

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.-Thomas A. Edison

Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.– Anne Frank

Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.-Anne Frank

There are two days in the year that we can not do anything, yesterday and tomorrow-Mahatma Gandhi

People will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.-Aldous Huxley

Create your own path, hone your talent, be ready to show your talent, and don’t doubt yourself.-Ice Cube

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.– Michael Jordan

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.-Stephen King

If by a “Liberal,” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties – someone who believes that we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say that I’m a “Liberal.”-John F. Kennedy

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.-John Lennon

You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.-Ursula K. LeGuin

Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.-Karl Marx

It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before… to test your limits… to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to stay tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. –Anais Nin

Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence. -Ovid

Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird? –Pablo Picasso

You have to stand for what you believe in and sometimes you have to stand alone.-Queen Latifah

Don’t take my devils away, because my angels may flee too.-Rainer Maria Rilke

Education affects every major challenge we face in society. It creates economic growth, paves the way for peace and stability and helps erase the legacy of marginalization.-Shakira

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. –Desmond Tutu

If you don’t EVOLVE, you dissolve. You evolve or you evaporate. – Usher

Everything is easy when you are busy. But nothing is easy when you are lazy. –Swami Vivekananda

A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life-Virginia Woolf

Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.-Alice Walker

An ambassador should study the welfare of his country, and not spend his time in feasting and riot. –Xenocrates

As you begin to realize that every different type of music, everybody’s individual music, has its own rhythm, life, language and heritage, you realize how life changes, and you learn how to be more open and adaptive to what is around us. –Yo-Yo Ma

I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions. –Zora Neale Hurston

Books to Consider This Week: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and The God of Small Things By Arundhuti Roy



Author: Devi Laskar

Poet, photographer, soccer mom, VONA & TheOpEdProject alum, Columbia MFA, former reporter, debut novelist!