For many years, I’ve had a very small red notebook. I’ve no idea now where I got it or why. Or why it has a unicorn on the front. (Not a big fan of unicorns. Or even of the color red.) It started out empty, pages blank except for faint blue lines. At some point, I don’t remember when, I started copying into it quotes that struck a chord with me. About writing, about freedom, about Irish nationalism, about feminism, about animals, or about nothing much at all, just things that made me laugh. I’ve used that little red book often in writing my novels, especially the first one, The Rising of the Moon, which was all about Ireland and feminism and freedom. Whenever I needed a quote by Patrick Pearse or Bobby Sands or James Connolly, I dipped into the little red book and found just what I needed for one of Nuala’s speeches. I started this little book so many years ago, I didn’t realize at the time that I might one day need citations for these quotes. So there aren’t any. Sometimes not even the names of whoever said these things. I wish now there were citations, of course, so I could give credit where it’s due. But it is what it is. If I know who said it and where it was published, I’ll say so. If not … well, wise words should live on. If someone stumbles across this blog and knows who said something I quote, please let me know, and I’ll update the post. For now, here’s a little something by a poet named Louise Bogan that sums up why I write:
“No woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of its lost heart.”–Louise Bogan
I try to live up to that. And I treasure that little red book, my own collection of the wisdom of others who use words better than I do.