Notes From the Cottage/“In the beginning there was the word…”

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

What is it about great lines? From books, music, and movies, opening lines and interesting or funny bits of wisdom make parrots out of many of us. My family can go through nearly an entire day when 95% of our communication consists of lines from books and movies. After serving milk at the dinner table… “Milk was a bad choice.” Or the phone rings… “Buddy the Elf. What’s your favorite color?

If I heard my daughter proclaim, “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” I would not worry about my kids, I would be transported to my early teens and illicit stories read by flashlight.

The power of a great line can transcend politics, society, religion, and take the universal love of story telling and make it the topic of conversation.

As I writer I allow the occasional dream of someone quoting my lines back to me. But my inner demons usually say: “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it.”

Do you have a great line to share?

Borrowed lines from: Anchorman, Elf, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,  On the Waterfront

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7 Responses to Notes From the Cottage/“In the beginning there was the word…”

  1. Maureen says:

    Nice Sally, very nice. I think it’s probably every writer’s dream to leave their mark in indelible ink. My favorite line to share…
    Sometimes life needs to get ugly, before it can grow into it’s true potential
    It comforts me every time I’m in an ugly phase!!!
    Thanks for the great blog, I really enjoy reading it.

  2. Lis says:

    I agree we get way too many lines from TV/Music/Media…even Church!! For some odd reason, I find saying, “God give me strength!” That line does give me strength but I also find strength in saying “Shut the Front Door,” too. 🙂 Another quote from the former TV show Rosanne….”If the kids are alive at the end of the day, I’ve done my job.” I used to love thinking about that one when the kids were younger….now teens I use the other two above! 🙂

  3. joan chandler says:

    How about these thought-provoking opening lines?
    1. From: The Devil and Daniel Webster…..”You’re only wasting your time writing speeches like that. Why worry about the people and their problems? Think of your own! [What if Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln had thought that way?]
    2. And from Gordon Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”: There was a time in this fair land when the railroad did not run; when the wild majestic mountains stood alone against the sun – long before the white man, and long before the wheel, when the green, dark forest was too silent to be real.” [It makes me long for simpler times]

    I have to admit, the first lines that came to mind were “I’ll be back” and “Go ahead, make my day”. 😀

  4. Trudy says:

    I think most sayings from books come from Aesop’s Fables, the Bible or Shakespeare. Movies? I just saw “Dark Shadows”, so how about “I vant to suck your blood”.

  5. reigning champion says:

    You should be concerned if I start quoting that movie. I hated it!

  6. reigning champion says:

    p.s. That still only counts as one!

  7. reigning champion says:

    p.p.s. If you’re referring to the incident with the Dragon, I was barely involved.

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