A few years ago at Highlights Foundation, I met my writing guru -- the miraculous Patti Gauch. I can’t say enough about her dedication, gentleness, fierceness, knowledge, and vision.
One of her many bits of advice for the writers involves filling the well. The apparently unrelated quotes in this post, all connect to that magical well, & all come from insightful women of note. I hope they will make their way into your wells, bubble around, blend with what’s already there, mingle, fraternize, ferment, and grow.
“What a richly colored strong warm coat
is woven when love is the warp & work is the woof.”
“Every bit of new truth discovered is revolutionary to what was believed before.”
-Margaret Lee Runbeck
“I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside of you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you.”
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”
“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom & disenchantment of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.”
Readers, I hope you’ll leave a note in the comments section regarding any of these that you’d like to pour into your well.
Big thanks to the folks at the Highlights Foundation, the unparalleled Patti Gauch, my fellow attendees, & this week’s source: Rosalie Maggio’s The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women.
They say it's not easy to find a good mentor, but my experience suggests otherwise. In my writing life alone, I've run into bunches of superb mentors. They include Alexis O’Neill, Kathi Appelt, Andrew Karre, Kathleen Duey, Anne R. Allen, Nick Thomas, the inimitable Patti Gauch & heaps more.
Mentor is defined as a wise & trusted teacher. These folks certainly fit that bill.
The Greek name, Mentor first appeared in Homer’s Odyssey, Mentor was the name of a friend and advisor who just happened to be the goddess Athena in disguise. There’s nothing like advice from a deity. It’s likely that Homer based his character’s name on the Greek word mentos, which meant intent, purpose, spirit or passion. Mentos traces its roots back to Proto-Indo-European & Sanskrit, & was used to mean one who thinks & one who admonishes.
Thoughtfulness, intent, purpose, spirit, & passion (& admonishment when necessary) still figure highly in the role of a mentor. Even the goddess/god connection fits at times. Writerly friends, jump on any chance you have to work with any of the folks listed above.
Good followers, what qualities do you look for in a mentor? What mentors have helped you along your path & what qualities do you most appreciate in them?
My thanks go out to this week’s sources, etymonline.com, dictionary.com, & the OED.
I write for teens, narrate audio books, bake bread, play music, and ponder the wonder of words in a foggy little town on California's central coast.