Alphabet Challenge: T

I’ve signed onto The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2021.

The challenge is to blog the whole alphabet in April and write at least 100 words on a topic that corresponds to the letter of the day. 

Every day, excluding Sundays, I’m blogging about Places I Have Been. The last post will be on Friday, April 30 when I finally focus on the letter Z. 

T: Taormina

I visited Taormina, Sicily, in fall, 2004. I remember the place well but found surprisingly few notes in my travel journal. I probably soaked up the beauty of the town and didn’t feel the need to document the experience. 

The main section of Taormina looms high over the sea. In town, the white-washed store fronts sold flowers, fresh produce, art, and, made on the premises, cannoli. Hotel Caparena, where we stayed, is still in operation.

I recall walking on the deserted beach on a glorious sunny afternoon. I planted my feet at the water’s edge recording the waves of the Mediterranean sea on my cell phone. I listened to that recording for months after our trip. 

I later learned that Truman Capote had stayed at Villa Britannia in Taormina, another hotel still in operation. He felt New York City held too many distractions to write. 

I would love to have a room of my own in Taormina. 


Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to be doing edits to my manuscript—finally. Especially after spending years writing and rewriting and changing and revising, making chapter four chapter one and later dropping chapter one altogether and replacing it with what was once chapter one in 2006.

So clearly I’m in the home stretch. However, I find editing as challenging as writing, maybe more so.

In order to help me, inspire me, encourage me and just move me along, I have compiled a list of quotes, which I taped by my computer.

Here they are in no special order of significance.

May you find them helpful too.

There is no great writing, only great rewriting.

Justice Brandeis

Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.

Louise Brooks

I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.

Truman Capote

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

-Scott Adams

All writing is a process of elimination.

-Martha Albrand

It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.

C. J. Cherryh

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.

-Thomas Jefferson

Try any goddam thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, toss it. Toss it even if you love it.

-Stephen King

I have written – often several times – every word I have ever published.

Vladimir Nabokov

It is my contention that a really great novel is made with a knife and not a pen. A novelist must have the intestinal fortitude to cut out even the most brilliant passage so long as it doesn’t advance the story.

Frank Yerby

The wastepaper basket is the writer’s best friend.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

“When in doubt, delete it.”

-Philip Cosby

“Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole – so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader’s consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.”

Willa Cather

“The main thing I try to do is write as clearly as I can. I rewrite a good deal to make it clear.”

E.B. White

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