Writing: Turning A Phrase or Two

Did you ever turn a clever quote, a phrase or a description that just jumped out at you and become a favorite?  Sometimes not only to you but your friends?  We do – sometimes.  Even a blind squirrel can get a nut sometimes.  (One of our favorite sayings – usually with a wink and a leer, LOL!)

Some of our favorite phrases and quotes in life (these are one’s we made up and go around saying sometimes) are:

“Just because I talk slow doesn’t meant I think slow.”

or how about another one:

“Some people think – some people think they think.”

and the ever popular:  “I’m not as dumb as you look.”  (that’s the one that always gets them; throws them for a loop.  But we’re kinda like on a roller coaster anyway, so lettuce move on. 😛

The best one ever – and we used to use it on the boss (he blinked at me in amazement, trying to process the thing) – was this when we’d forgotten something:

“I don’t remember having forgot a thing.”

After all – and it’s implied: you haven’t forgotten a thing.  They must be mistaken . . . turn and wheel away (grinning).


Quote from favorite novels – those are always a good – but I’m not looking for quotes.  I’m looking for originals.  No, I’m not going to ‘cop’ them (steal them). Don’t list them if you don’t want.   But what about in a novel or book (or short story or poem – doesn’t matter – these are YOUR quotes, the ones that stand out to YOU.  Those great truths you’ve written, those clever words you’ve said.  You know you’ve got ’em – everybody does.  Things you made up on your own.  You know.  That “There! That’s it!”  situation!.  Short little passages and things.  Nothing major (kinda like we did).    Including wise-cracks and things.

“Do farts gots lumps?” I remember a dear old friend asking me, a look of confusion on his face.  I told him they weren’t supposed to.

But given all that . . . here’s some of our “favorite stuff” from that novel we’ve been writing – the one for the Nanomowri competition . . . two-thousand eleven.

– “The lace was as lifeless as the hands which had hung them, and as yellow with age as the late afternoon sun streaming through.”

– ” . . . the thought of waiting any longer felt like a cold autumn wind sweeping his soul, stirring the rustling husks of forgotten memory through the forests of his mind.”

– Having no other experience to rely on, he relied on his own.  (A Truth About Childhood . . .)

– ” . . . combing through his jumbled memories like a survivor among the shattered ruins of his past, looking for someone or something to help him . . .”

– ” instinctively he knew: Today would lead to tomorrow, and tomorrow to the day beyond. And all of them The great Unknown.”

yeah, we’re writing a kinda angsty “end-of-the-world” from a child’s point of view novel . . . just in case you were wonderin’.  We’re sorta uniquely qualified for that thing, being who ‘we’ are, our past, our training . . . it’s kinda weird, that ‘thing’.  But anyway . . .

I’d love to see some of the ‘gems’ – those one blurb wonders that come trickling out . . . those nifty descriptions that fit like a glove; that fancy ‘turn of phrase’.  Nothing major; just those one-liners and cheap shots that you throw in like costume jewelry – that “perfect fit.”  We love to see from other authors the ‘prizes’ they have sought – and created some times, using the perfect words.  Some of YOUR work.  It’s always good (and sometimes fun!) – to read . . .

And because I’m supposed to go an shamelessly plug it (proceeds go towards abused children) from our novel “The Boy” (available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681/):

My Fav Quotes from “The Boy”

– Wondering at their luck, and glad to have it

– Questions were trouble – especially official kinds of questions – and he didn’t want any trouble.  Especially the official kind

– The thought popped to mind like a corpse that won’t stay down.

– The thought ran around and around in his head like a screaming monkey.

– Dead is something you don’t get over

– He felt his hair rise, as if trying to escape.

And have you ever done this?:

– (He shook) the pants as though that would make the legs longer by deducting from the waist.

I know I have!

some other rough cut gems from the collection:

– (he) untied the bag’s bunny ears

– black silhouetted mesquites twitching stiffly in the ruddy light . . .

– Even the air smells burned, he thought.  (one of my wife’s fav’s)

– (It) had the allure of a can opener to a pampered cat – tantalizing, yet suspicious.

– There’s nothing like a little blood to make a bad situation seem worse. (Always true!)

– The closer to the chest, the closer to the heart, and therefore all the more dangerous. (TRUE TRUE – a philosophy we live by.)

– (he) had enough influence in high circles and sway in low ones to make life difficult. (About dirty politics)

– He felt like an amateur sleuth who’d just been short-sheeted by a master detective. (A cop facing a detective.)

– He’d  smelled a hint of fall in the air, as if it were sneaking in at night and leaving just before dawn.

– The newest loss, the freshest limb pruned from the tree.

– He sauntered towards it.  At least he hoped he sauntered.  (Talking about someone who is trying to appear calm.)

– I can’t send them on a goose-chase unless there’s enough evidence to send them flapping. (an investigator.)

. . . and there’s more.  But everyone’s got their favorite quotes in mind – would love to see them.  There’s always a bit of gold in them hills . . . a gem among the stones.  Here’s hoping that you can find them and list them . . . for everyone to enjoy.


About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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3 Responses to Writing: Turning A Phrase or Two

  1. Michael says:

    “You can’t possibly as stupid as you seem.”

    “If I wanted to I could be like you. You on the other hand do not have want it takes to be like me.”

    If you are going to make stuff up about me that is not credible at least make up something nice.”

    “You have a issue with your wife/girl friend not with me.” Or Maybe it was my brother he looks a lot like me.”

    “No that is something you would do, I am not a scumbag.”

    “It is just a bonus that it pisses you off.”

    “That would only matter if you were relevant.”

    I would think the same thing if I were an idiot to.

    Dangling participles are a situation up with which we shall not put. That is Churchill it is so sweet I included it.


  2. jeffssong says:

    Some of our other favs are:
    “You can’t lose what you never had.” (referring to people’s minds).
    “I can’t read what’s not there.” (when someone says ‘read my mind’)
    “If you beat around a bush long enough, you will end up defining it.” (Defining an issue)
    “In cyberspace, no one can hear you scream.” (Good thing, huh?)
    “The best way out of something is to backpedal rapidly.” (for when you put your foot in it.)
    “In the plans of mice and men, the mice are winning.” (One of our favorites!)
    “Grin and bare it.” (with mental image included.)
    “Life needs an UNDO button.” (I think we’ve ALL said that one a time or two!)
    “Look for the little things and you’ll never miss the big ones.” (A lesson learned and taught to daughter – and other kids.)

    We feel that a person’s ‘phrases’ – those they live by – often give you some insight into THEM – are they ‘helpful and kind’? Do they reflect a state of humor, or even a dry one? When someone insults all the time – if that’s all they’ve got to say: put downs, cuts and cruel cracks, aimed at putting someone else down in order to ‘elevate’ one’s sense of being (intelligence, purpose, importance to the world) – why, that’s just being one’s monkey, pulling another’s tail – trying to pull them down PAST your level – so you can feel better with your own.

    Just an observation; something we’ve noticed about humans in life. They ARE like little monkeys scrambling around, pulling each other’s tails – trying their best to knock the other one down so they can feel better about themselves.
    A common human trait . . . but not a very forgivable one!
    Try being a little kinder – with others as well as yourself. It works sometimes. And let those quote roll on!

    “It’s not about the path ahead – it’s about living in the now. And doing a good thing.”
    And THAT one is for all of us!
    Sincerely, et all, Jeff and Friends


  3. Michael says:

    I like to watch the opening salvo so to speak when I meet someone. How someone greets me. Even strangers.

    Best one ever and I stole it when someone asks how are you doing was “I am doing assume if I was doing any better I wouldn’t be happy.

    I also look like the irrelevant answer. How are you doing. Well I just had to pay $____ for $_____ I don’t care and it is not important. Now if someone says “I am upset as ______ happened than this can be relevant as it is telling me there state of mind. When writing about it I can see that what I am looking for is to know if what they are saying has to do with our relationship or just them. Are they giving me information or trying looking for something.

    Are the venting or communicating. If someone tells me they are tired and letting me know that they do not want to handle anything deep it is different than someone telling me they are tired so I know how hard their life is.


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