Jeff Dwyer

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Dwyer's favorite quotations


Eighty percent of success is showing up.    Woody Allen

Nothing matters very much, and very few things matter at all.     Lord Balfour's Contention

Wouldn't it be great if we didn't care who got the credit as long as the job got done?   Mark Beeson

I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here.      Stephen Bishop

I've never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.       Daniel Boone

He's a man, who if he'd looked more like Robert Redford and had not been obsessed with doodoo could have been President.   A description of Mel Brooks in the "Boston Phoenix"

Eat whatever you want and as much as you want. Drink whatever you want and as much as you want especially if someone else is paying. Make love to every woman that will have you. Then, if you don't become a great writer, who gives a shit?  Charles Bukowski responding to a question about what someone should do to become a great writer.

A dog is prose; a cat is a poem. Jean Burden

Leap and the net will appear.  John Burroughs

Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it.     Samuel Butler, the Younger

No one ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have tried while trying to write one.   Robert Byrne

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.   George Carlin   

I'm an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.   Raymond Chandler - The King in Yellow

I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you didn't need a gun, you'd better take one along that worked.  Raymond Chandler

I was sitting on the side of my bed in my pajamas, thinking about getting up, but not yet committed. I didn't feel very well, but I didn't feel as sick as I ought to, not as sick as I would feel if I had a salaried job. Raymond Chandler - Farewell, My Lovely

The first divorce is the only tough one. After that it's merely a problem in economics.  Raymond Chandler - The Long Goodbye

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.     Arthur C. Clarke

The West needs to relearn what the rest of the world has never forgotten – that there is nothing sinful in leisure as long as it does not degenerate into mere sloth.  Arthur C. Clarke

If at first you don't succeed, hide all evidence that you ever tried.  Billy Collins

All dogs look up to you. All cats look down on you. Only a pig looks at you as an equal.     Winston Churchill

I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.     Clarence Darrow

The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall. Civilizations grow old and die out and after an era of darkness. New races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on still young, still fresh as the day they were written, still telling men's hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.   Clarence Day

Don't jump on a man unless he's down.   Finley Peter Dunne

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.    Albert Einstein

Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence.      John Kenneth Galbraith

One should fight like the devil the temptation to think well of editors. They are all, without exception – at least some of the time – incompetent or crazy. By the nature of their profession they read too much, with the result they grow jaded and cannot recognize talent though it dances in front of their eyes.   John Gardner

I don't think I'll get married again. I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house.    Lewis Grizzard

That's all it is, this business of writing. Just get the fucking toys over the mountain.      William Goldman referring to The Little Engine That Could 

Nobody knows anything.    William Goldman

There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person.   Dan Greenburg

We're not selling a cure for cancer. We're just selling books.  Haskell Gruberger

People do not object to artists deserving success – only to their getting it.    Max Harrison

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it.    Moses Hadas

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.     Christopher Hampton

The worm that destroys you is the temptation to agree with your critics, to get their approval.     Thomas Harris

Courage is grace under pressure. Ernest Hemingway

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.   Ernest Hemingway 

Drinking is a way of ending the day.    Ernest Hemingway

Life is short
Art is long
Experiment is risk
Opportunity is fleeting.        Hippocrates  460 B.C. - 377 B.C.

Never explain – your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.    Elbert Hubbard

Reading and sauntering and lounging and dozing, which I call thinking, is my supreme happiness.  David Hume

When Michael Jackson, a poor black boy who grew up to be a rich, white woman, married Elvis Presley's daughter the Scientologist. Makes you proud to be an American, dudn't it?    Molly Ivins

There is nothing so disturbing to one's well-being and judgment as to see a friend get rich.    Charles Kindleburger

To write is human. To edit is divine.  Stephen King  

The dude abides.   Jeffrey Lebowski

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting. "Holy Shit!! What a Ride!    Mavis Leyrer

Books seem to me to be pestilent things, and infect all that trade in them… with something very perverse and brutal. Printers, binders, sellers and others that make a trade, and gain out of them; have universally so odd a turn and corruption of mind, that they have a way of dealing peculiar to themselves, and not conformed to the good of society, and that general fairness that cements mankind.    John Locke

Storytelling is like sex. We all do it naturally. Some of us are better at it than others.   David Mamet

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.  Groucho Marx

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.   Somerset Maugham

When I hear artists or authors making fun of businessmen, I think of a regiment in which the band makes fun of the cooks.   Henry Louis Mencken

God made the cat to give man the pleasure of stroking a tiger.  Francois-Joseph Mery

A guy comes home from college to find his mother sleeping with his uncle, and there's a ghost running around. Write it good, it's Hamlet; write it bad, it's Gilligan's Island.     Lorne Michaels

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.   Moliere

I drink to make other people interesting.     George Jean Nathan

Every book is new to the person who hasn't heard of it yet.    Charlie Nurnberg

The enemy of the author is not piracy, but obscurity.  Tim O'Reilly

Editors are extremely fallible people, all of them. Don't put too much trust in them.     Maxwell Perkins

I am an artist and should be exempt from shit.    P. J. Proby 

I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!    Max Reger

Luck is the residue of design.   Branch Rickey

Most people who have been done a favor consider it an opportunity to show their incorruptibility rather than their gratitude. This is not only considerably cheaper morally, but it sometimes increases their pride so much that pretty soon they look down on their benefactor.   Arthur Schnitzler

The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.   Joseph A. Schumpeter

Happy the man who can endure the highest and the lowest fortune. He, who has endured such vicissitudes with equanimity, has deprived misfortune of its power.   Seneca

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.  Upton Sinclair

Amid chaos of images, we value coherence. We believe in the printed word. And we believe in clarity. And we believe in immaculate syntax. And in the beauty of the English language.    William Shawn

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.   Frank Sinatra

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.   Dan Stanford

The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.   John Steinbeck

Ninety percent of everything is crap.    Theodore Sturgeon (Sturgeon's Law)

Live well. It's the greatest revenge.   The Talmud

God Hates a Coward.    Tomahawk

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.     Mark Twain

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.  Mark Twain

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.    Mark Twain

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. Mark Twain

To write books is easy; it requires only pen and ink and the ever-patient paper. To print books is a little more difficult, because genius so often rejoices in illegible handwriting. To read books is more difficult still, because of the tendency to go to sleep. But the most difficult task of all that a moral man can embark on is to sell a book.    Sir Stanley Unwin

For true happiness, it is not enough to be successful oneself . . . one's friends must fail.   Gore Vidal

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.  Gore Vidal

True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
Now dead,
And I were at a party given by a billionaire
On Shelter Island.
I said, "Joe, how does it make you fell
To know that our host only yesterday
May have made more money
Then your novel 'Catch-22'
Has earned in its entire history?"
And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have."
And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?"
And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough."
Not bad! Rest in peace!   Kurt Vonnegut

I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or banana split.  Kurt Vonnegut

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.  Tom Waits

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits

The main thing is not to let go of the vine.   Johnny Weissmuller

A bad word from a colleague can darken a whole day. We need encouragement a lot more than we admit, even to ourselves.      Orson Welles

He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.  Oscar Wilde

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.   Oscar Wilde

He has Van Gogh's ear for music.  Billy Wilder

In respect of the recurrent emergence of the theme of sex in the minds of his characters, it must always be remembered that his locale was Celtic and his season spring.      Judge Woolsey opinion concerning pornography in Joyce's Ulysses.

Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.     W. B. Yeats