The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words: “I did not have time.”

Franklin Field

So this post was going to be about how I did not have time to post a daily quote every day and how difficult it was to find interesting quotes now that I’ve gone through most of the interesting books I’ve read recently. I had tens of excuses ready.

But then while researching quotes on time management for this post, I come across this line by Franklin Field, and I realised that I had really just failed myself by letting things go. I was letting myself off easy. If it was really that important to me to have quotes ready each day and to post the reviews of books I’d already finished, I would have made time to do it. Instead I allowed myself to be constrained and made excuses.

I had given myself a hard deadline to post the quote by 9 am each day, and as it became more and more difficult to make that daily deadline, I would slip. I’ll do it tomorrow, I told myself. I’ll just change the publish date. What a cheat. That’s not the way to get myself writing again.

So this post is about admitting my failure, and not making excuses. I won’t go into how I “could not find the time” in the last few days to keep up with the daily quote exercise. I’ll just say that I failed.

The importance of admitting failure is so I can look at what went wrong, then start again. I can keep striving to do better. I can’t promise to be completely successful next time. I will fail again, but that’s okay, too. I just have to keep going, despite the failures.

I have two books I’ve finished reading and hadn’t begun reviews for yet. I will catch up. I will return tomorrow with a daily quote of the day, but I won’t give myself a hard deadline anymore. As long as I get in before the end of the day, then all is okay.

Thank you to all those who’ve followed me and liked my posts. I’m sincerely sorry that I haven’t kept up the daily quotes as I should have been.

“You look cute today.”

My very sweet colleague

I’m breaking the rules a little today. This quote is not from a book, but it was said by my older female colleague. It stood out to me because I’ve never had that type of female support around me.

Growing up Chinese, we were humble. Our mothers did not make positive comments on our appearances. Our mothers did not make positive comments about anything regarding us at all.

So it always stands out to me, when another female says something positive about me directly to my face. It’s something that’s so genuine and so against the grain of what I was taught about female companions (I was taught that we were usually petty and jealous of each other) that a comment like this suspends time, and there is an instant connection between us borne of compassion.

Anyway. I like this simple line that is just said out of the blue. It’s very simple, not elaborate, and I’d like to use it in one of my stories to establish a feeling.

How do you feel when someone says something unexpectedly complimentary?

Do the stars gaze back? Now, that’s a question.

Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Gaiman was born in 1960 and published his first novel at age 30.

“I guess under the right circumstances, a man will do just about anything.”

John Grisham, The Racketeer

Grisham was born in 1955 and published his first novel at age 34.

I’ve read a few of Grisham’s novels, and they’ve all been great reads. A Time To Kill left a HUGE impression on me, more so because I was so young and optimistic back then.

“But somethings are just too important to let fear stand in the way.”

Diane Chamberlain, The Lost Daughter

Chamberlain was born in 1950 and published her first novel at age 39.

My list of important things:

  • The Happiness of my little family.
  • Writing.
  • Being the person I want to be.

What are yours?

“I always get the shakes before a drop.”

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

This is the first book I’ve listened to on my own as an audio book. I’d run out of podcasts I enjoyed and I needed something to listen to on my morning jogs. I remember hearing bits and pieces of this book back when Jamie was listening to it on audio, and I remember liking the bits I heard.

The book is amazing. It’s right up there with Ender’s Game, or maybe even better than Ender’s Game. It’s a much more grown up novel, and it was extremely relatable despite the setting being in space. Also very interesting how Heinlein was able to weave so much philosophy into an interesting, futuristic story.

And it is nothing like the movie. Which I thought was awesome. I don’t think any film producer could have really done this book justice, especially when so much of what makes it a great novel is not something you could translate easily into a visual representation. I loved this book so much that I actually want to read a paper copy now just so I can fully immerse myself into the feeling of the novel.

“The hardest choices in life aren’t between what’s right and what’s wrong but between what’s right and what’s best.”

Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Ford was born in 1968 and published his first novel at age 41.

I have to be honest and say that I don’t remember reading this book. I DO remember that I enjoyed the prose, but the plot wasn’t one of those mind-grippers.

Still, reading isn’t always about the thrill of a good plot. Sometimes it’s just about being content with a good piece of prose.