Sunday, October 18, 2009

Words, words, words...

Several people commented yesterday at the Book Jam, that one thing that set my work apart is the use of words and quotes. There are a lot of book artists who make amazing works of art from their books, and do not use words. But a book means words to me. So I use them. At times I will write a poem for a book or borrow text in collage form from magazines, etc.

Usually I turn to my faithful companion, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations for help. I have it in several editions and it's one of my favorite books to read just for pleasure. Phrases are indexed by author and by subject. When I have a theme in mind, I look it up by that word, or by variations or associated words (keywords). In the index, part of the phrase is given, so I quickly read through them and take notes of the ones that sound like they might work. I put the page and phrase number in a list, in page order (sometimes I have really long lists). Then I go one by one, page by page from the list, and read each one. I scratch out the numbers on the list that are not appropriate. Some grab my attention immediately and I give them 5 stars. Others my rate 1 - 4 stars. If there is enough on the 5 star list, I dont' go back to the others. I then type the 5 star ones on the computer making sure I have the authors' names and the page numbers, just in case I need to go back and check something. When I'm ready, I print them

I have several other books I like to use. "the 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said" by Robert Byrne; "Hodge Podge, A commonplace book" by J. Bryan, III; Crown's Book of Political Quotations" by Michael Jackman; "Amo, Amas, Amat and More" by Eugene Ehrlich; and many others. This last one as well as several books on translating English into other languages are fun to use. It's fun to mix it up and sometimes something just looks or sounds better in Latin or French - or Japanese! Keep your mind open to using words..... verbum sat sapienti (a word is enough for a wise man)

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