Beautifully Said: Quotes that Fit my Novel, Vivos

As I’ve been working on my novel for about 2 years now, I find that certain quotes or songs resonate with me because they remind me of my story.  In Vivos, my protagonist deals with her fears in the dystopian society she lives in.  This is a quote I found on fear that reminded me of Shea Donovan’s fears, although not every part of it fits my book.  I think it is beautifully written.

From The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes:  “Fear festers in the imagination.  It’s not fear’s fault.  That’s just the way it’s made.  Nightmares breed.  Allies become enemies.  Subversives are everywhere.  Paranoia justifies any persecution, and privacy is a luxury when the Reds have the bomb.”

Vivos is about life.  Not only about being alive, but about living your life as you choose, and to the fullest.  This beautiful quote by poet Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets, sums it up perfectly:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Part of the lyrics to Sheryl Crow’s “Home” fit Shea Donovan’s discovery of a life she loves with a man she loves.

“Home” by Sheryl Crow

“I woke up this morning
Now I understand
What it means to give your life
To just one man
Afraid of feeling nothing
No bees or butterflies
My head is full of voices
And my house is full of lies

This is home…”

In spite of the tension in Vivos, Shea Donovan has a snarky and irreverent sense of humor.  Please see my post “Meet Vivos‘s protagonist, Shea Donovan” for some Sheaisms.  I don’t know if they’re “beautifully said,” but they’re fun!

Thanks for reading – Colleen Eccles Penor

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Beautifully Said: Our Country, Our Military

Having served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer for 4 years, I have a deep respect for all those men and women who have served, or do serve, our country, honorably.  I’m third-generation Army on my mother’s side:  my maternal grandfather, my mother, and then me.  My dad was a Marine.

Even before joining the military, though, I loved my country.  The United States of America is truly a great nation.  Traveling around the world strengthened this feeling.  Sure, I visited some great places, but would I want to live there?  No.  I know we have our problems.  But every time I hear The Star-Spangled Banner, I cry, especially when they get to “And our flag was still there!”  Every time I stand for our American flag and place my hand over my heart, I cry.  Every time I see a flag draped across a casket, I cry.  So this post is dedicated to the men and women who fight and defend our country, past or present.  My examples may not refer to American military heroes, but they are about the military and are “Beautifully Said”.

My dad introduced this poem to me, which refers to the Great War 1914-1918.

In Flanders Fields

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Poppy photographed on the First World War battlefield of the Somme near the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

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Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields.

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

On the sign outside the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sheridan, Wyoming:  “The price of freedom is visible here.”

And some photos that don’t need captions.

Image result for photo of soldier with folded flag at the vietnam war memorial

Image result for photo of soldier with folded flag at the vietnam war memorial

Image result for photo of soldier with folded flag at the vietnam war memorial

And yes, I cried while researching this and posting each item.  Please feel free to include your own “Beautifully Said” items related to loving our country or our military heroes in the comments.

Colleen Eccles Penor