Struck dumb . . . not! #MFRWauthor

Once again, here’s the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. For  week 39, the writing prompt is:

Words to Live By

This is one of those topics that seems to have no clear interpretation. Does it mean quotations? Words of wisdom? Good books? I live by words, yet words to live by conjures such massive chaos of possibilities that I’m struck dumb.




Okay, I found my tongue. (Whaddya know, it was  in my mouth all the time.)

I still can’t think of one or even several sets of words that by themselves are sufficient to live by.  Not even one or two books that cover everything. So, a few random bits of flotsam and jetsam that happen to pop into my head.

  • The Golden Rule is certainly full of words that are great to live by.
  • Love thy neighbor as thyself? Nope, I’m not a good enough person to live by this rule.
  • When it comes to writing romance, I rely on the maxim that men and women and infinitely more alike than we are different.
  • The same is true for people from other cultures. Most people want pretty much the same things I/we do. People from crime-ravaged ghettos? Or our enemy, whomever the leaders say that is at the moment? They aren’t the animals TV and movies portray them to be.
  • When people diverge from the above, a few reasons are mental problems like psychopathy or (and this is a bigger one, because it involves crowds, not individuals) when people become sheep and turn over their thinking to a politician, set of beliefs, or ‘strong man’ (or woman). Every historic evil arises from beliefs run amok — and our best institutions, such as religion and love of country, are most easily perverted.

How on Earth did I get from the Gold Rule to the nature of evil? Ah well, such is the peril of stream-of consciousness blog posts.

I guess maybe I do have some adages to live by. Four of them, in fact:

  1. Think for yourself!
  2. Think of others, not only yourself!
  3. Be ever watchful for intolerance and evil hiding inside our best impulses and in what we allow to happen. Evil isn’t out there in a tower somewhere, or in another nation or ethnic group. It’s inside us!
  4. Most important of all: buy my books!

What about you?

What are your words to live by? Check out the other writers taking part in this blog hop, some of whom are bound to be far wise than I.



  1. Diane Burton · · Reply

    LOL at #4. Your #3 is right on target. I never understood how all the German people allowed/encouraged Hitler’s reign. Now I get it. He told the people what they wanted to hear. He found a segment of the population on which to heap all the country’s problems, then proceeded to eliminate them. All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.

    1. It means we have responsibility for things that are in large part beyond our control, but that doesn’t mean we can sit back and not express our opinions at the ballot box.

  2. And, in addition to Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Venezuela, and that crazy guy in Korea–how do those guys remain in power? It’s a wonder.

    1. It is indeed. I guess once you hold the reins of power you can indeed exercise that power to stay in office.

  3. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    I loved your #4! Great post

  4. Sherry Lewis · · Reply

    I absolutely agree that all of us on this planet are more alike than we are different. Enjoyed your post!

    1. If we weren’t more alike than different, I wouldn’t be able to write female characters and you couldn’t write males.

  5. #4. Check. That is by far the most important rule of them all. LOL

    Great list Ed. #1 and #2 are so hard. These days #2 really seems to be a struggle for a scary amount of people. 😦 Which then bleeds directly into #3.

    1. I glad you think that buying MY books is the most important thing of all. Live by those words, Meka!

  6. I’ve always thought the common people of the world are very similar and mostly want the same things – love, shelter, companionship. It’s the leaders who are the crazy people (“Absolute power corrupts, absolutely…John Dalberg-Acton).

    1. And many times, those who want power are already corrupt.

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