Professor Guerrero's Blog

mguerrero@gmail.com

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories of a Latino immigrant's success in USA; a journey from West Harlem to Sutton Place and Park Avenue. Check out the reviews in Amazon.com and in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

My best seller as of now is

Titanes de la Filosofia

Professor Guerrero's Blog: Quotes Found in Mary Duffy's Writing Guide Professor Guerrero's Blog: Book Reviews, Human Interest Articles, Accounting Lessons, and Writing Techniques

Book Reviews  

Books

Sentence Openers Book: FREE Lessons

Jane Austen  

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy

How to Become a Writer  

Personal Finance  

Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

Greeks Romans Trojans  

Feminism  

Great Gatsby: Is Nick Gay?

All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.

Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99


Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language. Transliterated into easy language for enjoyable reading pleasure. Because The Lazarillo of Tormes pointed a new direction, European and American literature benefited with titles that today are considered classics: Cervantes’ Rinconete and Cortadillo; Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews; Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random, and Peregrine Pickle; Voltaire’s Candide; Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. And many others to include American works ranging from Mark Twain to Saul Bellow.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art. According to Ortega, the arts don't have to tell a human story; art should deal with its own forms—and not with the human form.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic. This e-book teaches how to break the pattern Subject-verb-object--and discard openings that begin with nouns, articles, and pronouns.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality. While business terminology is interwoven throughout these short stories, it's not business lessons that I take away with me, but life lessons. The circumstances and the characters' profound humanity are relatable despite their zip code . "Luke, Postmodern Man" offers a new vista into faith, suffering, and love of neighbor. Way after you read this book you'll find yourself thinking about the various characters throughout the series of stories and will find solace in their unwavering faith. The narrators' ability to reflect on their hardships with such serenity is inspiring.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers! Every page is filled with great writing tips, training lessons, and wonderful useful writing skills! Not only do I write essays for college, but also short stories!
--IVONNIE Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK













All my books are now in KINDLE


Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99
Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Sentence Openers
East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5


The most beloved short story from Spanish literature
All my books are in NOOK $0.99 or in Amazon KINDLE $0.99




Previous Posts




All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.
Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99

Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers!
--Ivonnie Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK





Available in KINDLE $0.99


Available in KINDLE $0.99

Friday, September 7, 2007

Quotes Found in Mary Duffy's Writing Guide

Allen, Woody. Mere Anarchy. New York: Random House, 2007.Stand-up comedian, film maker, actor, musician, writer, and jack of other skills and talents, Woody Allen is a true American genius.
Sentence openers:
   Gasping for air, my life passing before my eyes in a series of wistful vignettes, I found myself suffocating some months ago under the tsunami of junk mail that cascades through the slot in my door each morning after kippers (3).

   Convinced that a firm tone was needed, I stepped between the two and cleared my throat dramatically just as Pepkin swung the bat at his wife, cracking my head with the sound of a bases-clearing triple (Allen 122).


Aristotle. Poetics and Rhetoric. New York: Barnes and Noble Classics, 2005.     All budding writers must read, if not all, at least portions of these two great books.

Auchincloss, Louis. Writers and Personality. Columbia: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.With a lifetime of literary achievements, Louis Auchincloss delights his readers with first class writing.
   "Hemingway's popularity has always surprised me."

Auel, Jean M. The Clan of the Cave Bear. New York: Bantam Books, 2002.Controlled fire was a device of man, essential to life in cold climate (Auel 83).
Confused and hurt, tears welled up, filled her eyes, and overflowed down her cheeks (Auel 104).
Flushed with excitement, she ran to the creek to look for more stones (Auel 184).
Rarely was a deformed child allowed to live; if it was female, almost never (Auel 114).
Never had it been more difficult for him to perform this task (Auel 448).
Only near watercourses did a few wind-twisted pines, larches, and firs, crowded by birches and willows stunted to little more than brush, relieve the monotony of the grassy steppes (Auel 234).
Too long had she been frustrated (102)
Too often had she resisted him; too often had she defied him; too often had he fought … (179)
She was capable of many other important skills as well, and if not as proficient at them as the older, more experienced women, she was at least as adept as some of the younger ones (Auel 139).


Augustine. The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Trans. John K. Ryan. New York: Doubleday, 1960.Struck with terror at my sins and at the burden of my misery, I had been tormented at heart and had pondered flight into the desert (274).
Attached to our lodging there was a little garden; we had the use of it, as of the whole house, for our host, the owner of the house, did not live in it (195).
Brought up modestly and soberly in this manner, and made subject by you to her parents rather than by her parents to you, when she arrived at a marriageable age, she was given to a husband and served “him as her lord” (218).


Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Kent: Hachette Partworks Ltd. and C.I.L., 2001.Elizabeth made no answer, and walked on, her heart swelling with indignation (109; ch. 33).
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticize (14).
In vain did she entreat him to stand up with somebody else, and offer to introduce him to any young lady in the room (62).
In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you (111).

Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 2003.Becket, Samuel. Three Novels. New York: Grove Press, 1958.
To throw him in the hole was all I could have done, and I would have done it gladly (13).
To say I stumbled in impenetrable darkness, no, I cannot. I stumbled, but the darkness was not impenetrable (83).
To cut a long story short he wanted to know if I had seen an old man with a stick pass by (151).


Block, Lawrence. Small Town. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2003.His memory might be spotty in the morning, and he might be like a squirrel who buried nut and forgot where he’d buried them (Block 287).


Borges, Jorge Luis. Collected Fictions. Trans. Andrew Hurley. New York: Penguin Group, 1998.Beatriz was tall, fragile, very slightly stooped; in her walk, there was (if I may be pardoned the oxymoron) something of a graceful clumsiness … (Borges, The Aleph 275).


Borges, Jorge Luis. Selected Non-Fictions. Trans. Esther Allen, Suzanne Jill Levine, and Eliot Weinberger. New York: Penguin Group, 2000.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Miramax Books/Hyperion, 1996.Not liking to sit in the cold and darkness, I thought I would lie down on my bed, dressed as I was (C. Bronte 210).
Having spread the quilt and folded my night-dress, I went to the window seat to put in order some picture-books and doll’s house furniture scattered there … (C. Bronte 25).
What my sensations were, no language can describe; but just as they all arose, stifling my breath and constricting my throat, a girl came up and passed me: in passing, she lifted her eyes.
(Miss Ingram was dark as a Spaniard)—but Mary was deficient her life: her face lacked expression, her eye luster; she had nothing to say, and having once taken her seat, remained fixed like a statue in its niche (Bronte, Jane Eyre 174).
Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had … (C. Bronte 462).

And next the transition with two ‘What’ imperatives:
What a strange light inspired them! What an extraordinary sensation that ray sent through me! (64)


Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1993.I would have asked why Mrs. Dean had deserted the Grange, but it was impossible to delay her at such a crisis, so I turned away and made my exit, rambling leisurely along, with the glow of a sinking sun behind, and the mild glory of a rising moon in front—one fading and the other brightening, as I quitted the park, and climbed the stony by-road branching off to Mr. Healthcliff’s dwelling (263).


Cervantes, Miguel de. Don Quixote. Trans. Edith Grossman. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 2003.If any objection can be raised regarding the truth of this one, it can only be that its author was Arabic … (Cervantes 68).

Now, however, sloth triumphs over diligence, idleness over work, vice over virtue, arrogance over valor, and theory over the practice of arms which lived and shone only in the Golden Age and in the time of the knights errant (Cervantes 465).

I found her enchanted, transformed from a princess into a peasant, from beautiful to ugly, from an angel into a devil, from fragrant into foul-smelling, from well spoken into rustic, from serene into skittish, from light into darkness, and, finally from Dulcinea of Toboso into a lowborn farmgirl from Sayago (Cervantes 671).

…because I know very well what valor means, it is a virtue that occupies a place between two wicked extremes, which are cowardice and temerity, but it is better for the valiant man to touch on and climb to the heights of temerity than to touch on an fall to the depths of cowardice; and just as it is easier for the prodigal to be generous than the miser, it is easier for the reckless man to become truly brave than for the coward; and in the matter of undertaking adventures, your grace may believe me, Senor Don Diego, it is better to lose with too many cards than too few, because ‘This knight is reckless and daring’ sounds better to the ear of those who hear it than ‘This knight is timid and cowardly’ (Cervantes, Don Quijote, 567).


Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.A tall and very good-looking kid in a jerkin came out of the store and rode the coupe off around the corner and came back walking, his glistening black hair plastered with rain (Chandler 31).
Shaved, dressed and lightly breakfasted, I was at the Hall of Justice in less than an hour (Chandler 44).


Christensen, Francis, and Bonniejean Christensen. Notes Toward a New Rhetoric. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.
Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone. New York: Modern Library, 2001.
He was to undertake—either by himself, or by a trustworthy representative—to receive a pre-arranged address, on certain pre-arranged days in every year, a note from the Colonel simply stating the fact that he was a living man at that date (Collins, The Moonstone 39).

Never had I seen and heard our Christian Hero to less advantage than on this occasion (Collins, The Moonstone 218).

Not a word did he say about the business, however, for all that (Collins, The Moostone 102).

Whether the jugglers heard, in the town, of Mr. Franklin having been seen at the bank, and drew their conclusions accordingly; or whether the boy really did see the Diamond where the Diamond was now ledged (which I, for one, flatly disbelieve); or whether after all, it was a mere effect of chance, this at any rate is the plain truth—not the ghost of an Indian came near the house again, through the weeks that passed before Miss Rachel’s birthday (Collins, The Moonstone 54).

At last Samuel came in not with the keys but with a morsel of paper for me (Collins, Moonstone 116).


Coyle, Harold. More Than Courage. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC., 2003.Even before the last long shadows of daylight were absorbed by the gathering gray twilight they would be out and about, pursuing those chores that were so necessary for survival in this harsh and most unforgiving land (5).

Even while still in the States, they had spent more of their waking hours with each other than with their own families (27).

Even without the goggles on, Mendez was still watching and listening (35).


Dickens, Charles. David Copperfield. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.After dinner, when we were sitting by the fire, and I was meditating an escape to Peggotty without having the hardihood to slip away … a coach drove up to the garden-gate, and he went out to receive his visitor (Dickens, Copperfield 47).

Of the geese outside the side-gate who come waddling after me with their long necks stretched out when I go that way, I dream at night, as a man environed by wild beasts might dream of lions (Dickens, David Copperfield 14).

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.


Dickens, Charles. Nicholas Nickleby. New York: Penguin Books, 1978.
Fantastic sentence openers:
Creeping from the house and slinking off like a thief: groping with his hand when first he got into the street as if he were a blind man, and looking often over his shoulder while he hurried away … (Dickens, Nickebly, 902).

Passing through a warehouse which presented every indication of a thriving business, Mr Cheeryble (for such Nicholas supposed him to be, from the respect which had been shown him by the warehousemen and porters whom they passed) … (Dickens, Nickebly 535).

Climbing up another perpendicular flight, composed with great mechanical ingenuity of nothing but corner, stairs, Mr Ralph Nicklebly stopped to take a breath on the landing … (81).

Regarding with no small curiosity and interest all the busy preparations for the coming day which every street and almost every house displayed … (105).
Lifting up his eyes, as he arrived at the conclusion that there was no remedy for this unfortunate state of things, he beheld a horseman toward him … (223).

Uttering in a loud voice such of the latter allusions as were complimentary to the unconscious phenomenon, and giving the rest in a confidential ‘aside: to Nicholas … (466).

Passing through a warehouse which presented every indication of a thriving business, Mr Cheeryble (for such Nicholas supposed him to be, from the respect which had been shown him by the warehousemen and porters whom they passed) … (535).

Reassured by this cheering intelligence, the company in some degree recovered from their fears, which had been productive of some most singular instances of total want of presence of mind… (249).

Occupied in these reflections, as he was making his way along one of the great public thoroughfares of London, he chanced to raise his eyes to a blue board … (254).
Moved by this entreaty, Newman stammered forth a variety of most unaccountable and entangled sentences, the upshot of which was, that … (270).

Appeased by this compliment, the lady of the business took some papers from her desk, which she handed over to Mr Mantalini, who… (278).

Foiled in these attempts, he was fain to content himself with watching for the young lady’s next visit, but here again he was disappointed (606).


Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The Critical Essays. Trans. S. Usher. Vol II. Cambridge: Loeb-Harvard UP, 1985.Prose enjoys complete freedom and licence to vary composition by whatever changes it pleases. The finest style of all is that which contains the greatest amount of relief from monotony and change of structure… (153).

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Trans. Constance Garnett. New York: Barnes & Noble Inc., 1994.The eldest girl was shaking like a leaf (Dostoevsky, Crime 21).


Erasmus, Desiderius. On Copia of Words and Ideas. Milwaukee: The Marquette University Press, 1963.

Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. Trans. Carol Christensen and Thomas Christensen. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying, or dominating, Mama Elena was a pro (97).


Fahnestock, Jeanne. Rhetorical Figures in Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1992.

Though I was curious to see her I had no desire to meet her—but I did (Fitzgerald 28).
Wolfshiem, forgetting the more sentimental atmosphere of the old Metropole, began to eat with ferocious delicacy (Fitzgerald 75).

Inside, the crimson room bloomed with light. Tom and Miss Baker sat at either end of the long couch and she read aloud to him from the “Saturday Evening Post”—the words, murmurous and uninflected, running together in a soothing tune. The lamp-light, bright on his boots and dull on the autumn-leaf yellow of her hair, glinted along the paper as she turned a page with a flutter of slender muscles in her arms (22).

I bought a dozen volumes on banking and credit and investment securities and they stood on my shelf in red and gold like new money from the mint, promising to unfold the shining secrets that only Midas and Morgan and Maecenas knew (Fitzgerald 8).

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1993.
Her pale face framed in a borderless cap was more wrinkled than a withered russet apple (Flaubert 94).


Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. New York: Picador USA, 2001.

To prepare a shirt for pressing she sprinkled it with water and left it rolled up in a towel (Franzen 265).
Although in general Gary applauded the modern trend toward individual self-management of retirement funds and long-distance calling plans and private-schooling options, he was … (Franzen 137).


Freud, Sigmund. The Basic Writings. New York: The Modern Library, 1995.
To-day, forgetting has perhaps become more of a puzzle than remembering, ever since we have learnt from the study of dreams and pathological phenomena that even something we thought had been forgotten long ago may suddenly re-emerge in consciousness (63).


Frye, Northrop. The Anatomy of Criticism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.


Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. Love in the Time of cholera. Trans. Edith Grossman. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

More astonished than flattered, he composed an identifying phrase (Garcia Marquez, Love in Time, 88).


Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991.

She walked with natural haughtiness, her head high, her eyes unmoving, her step rapid, her nose pointing straight ahead, her bag of books held against her chest with crossed arms, her doe’s gait making her seem immune to gravity (56).

He got dressed by feel, listening in the dark to his brother’s calm breathing, the dry cough of his father in the next room, the asthma of the hens in the courtyard, the buzz of the mosquitoes, the beating of his heart, and the inordinate bustle of a world that he had not noticed until then, and he went out in the sleeping street (Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude 27).


George, Elizabeth. In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner. New York: Bantam Books, 2000.
In his mind he saw the picture of the boy that the police photographer had taken, his flesh eaten black by the flames (George, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, 267).
What the dog had found was a scene of chaos (46).

What remained was like a tarpaulin (47).
That Hillier wanted to sack her as much as he wanted to abuse her was clear as could be (57).

That Andy Maiden had been allowed to do so suggested spheres of influence that could easily encroach upon Lynley’s efforts to manage a smooth investigation (67).

‘That’ may also be used in the negative form:
Not that Samantha didn’t mourn her father’s passing herself (George 101).


Gibbon, Edward. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. New York: The Modern Library, 2005.
Distracted with the care not of acquiring but of preserving an empire, oppressed with age and infirmities, careless of fame, and satiated with power, all his prospects of life were closed (Gibbon 97).

Within six days after Augustus had been compelled to accept so very liberal a grant, he resolved to gratify the pride of the senate by an easy sacrifice (Gibbon 47).

Neither the fortitude of Caractacus nor the despair of Boadicea, or the fanaticism of the Druids could avert the slavery of their country, or resist the steady progress of the Imperial generals (Gibbon 13).

Goldsmith, Oliver. The Vicar of Wakefield. New York: Penguin Books, 1986.
Having taken this resolution, my next care was to get together the wrecks of my fortune, and all debts collected and paid, out of fourteen thousand pounds we had but four hundred remaining (Goldsmith 44).

As a bird that had been frighted from its nest, my affections out-went my haste, and hovered round my little fire-side, with all the rapture of expectation (Goldsmith 140).

Never did my heart feel sincerer rapture than at that moment (Goldsmith 90).
From this motive, I had scarce taken orders a year before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and chose my wife as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well (Goldsmith 4).

‘Mr. Thornhill,’ replied I, ‘hear me once for all; as to your marriage with any but my daughter, that I never will consent to; and though your friendship could raise me to a throne, or your resentment sink me to the grave, yet would I despise both (149).
‘Go, and possess what fortune has given thee, beauty, riches, health, and pleasure. Go, and leave me to want, infamy, disease, and sorrow’ (149).


Grafton, Sue. ‘A’ is for Alibi. Orlando: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1987.
He did things to me that I’d only read in books, and at the end of it, legs trembling, heart thudding, I laughed and he buried his face against my belly, laughing too (Grafton, ‘A’ is for Alibi 177).

I was feeling bad about Sharon Napier all over again, guilt sitting in my gut like a low-level colic (Grafton, ‘A’ is for Alibi 123).
Through the carport, I could see a patchy apron of grass, a crescent of yard (Grafton, ‘A’ is for Alibi 170).

Behind me, almost soundlessly, came the low scuffling of the dogs in long loping strides (Grafton, ‘A’ is for Alibi 209).


Grafton, Sue. ‘B’ is for Burglar. Orlando: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1986.

He regarded me with all the boredom of a boa constrictor after a heavy meal of groundhog (Grafton, ‘B’ is for Burglar 92).


Grafton, Sue. ‘C’ is for Corpse. New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2005.
The whole twenty-eight-hundred square feet of space smells like men’s jockstraps (2).
He lowered his face into his hands and sighed once with relief, a sound like a low note on a bagpipe (47).

The whole place smelled like cold carnations in a florist’s refrigerated case (60).
An old woman, lying on the pallet nearest me, was naked, as still as wood and looking faintly dehydrated. A dramatic Y—shaped cut had been made down the middle of her body, sewn back in big clumsy stitches, like a chicken, stuffed and trussed. Her breasts were splayed outward like old beanbags and her pubic area was almost as hairless as a young girl’s (105).

After two unsuccessful marriages, I find myself keeping my guard up, along with my underpants (Grafton, C is for Corpse 15).


Grafton, Sue. ‘G’ is for Gumshoe. New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.

Greenspan, Alan. The Age of Turbulence. New York: The Penguin Press, 2007.
Forced to make the shift overnight, the Soviets achieved not a free-market system but a black-market one (139).


Grisham, John. A Painted House. New York: Bantam Dell, 2003.
We puttered past the barn, the diesel thumping, the trailer creaking, and turned south toward the lower forty, a tract next to Siler’s Creek (Grisham 43).


Guerrero, Marciano. The Poison Pill. Lincoln: iUniverse, 2006.
Cowboy felt the frigid mud shifting and tugging downward at his feet, sucking and crushing around his waist and chest, large bubbles surfacing, gurgling and popping around him, filling his nostrils with the vilest putrid stench (Guerrero 162).

As Joey and Lenox strode to their van, Cowboy felt eyes watching him, his rat-tail stiffening, and a chill running down his spine (Guerrero 103).
“Did they speak English, them souls?” asked Lenox, his eyes bright with fear (Guerrero 207).

The Latino workers would say it was La cachetada del Diablo—the devil’s slap—and as they said that they would make the sign of the cross two or three times (Guerrero 9).
To paraphrase Hamlet, “The serpent that did sting thy father’s life, his crown wants to wear” (Guerrero 115).

Not to inhibit her in any way, he nodded—to show his approval—and changed the subject… (Guerrero 20).

Stunned and humiliated, Punalada held his arm against the front of his guayabera, which slowly soaked up his blood, the dark red stain spreading until it covered the whole front of the pale yellow garment (Guerrero 177).

Not having felt such a strong premonition in the past, he immediately called Sabino (Guerrero 136).

Like sprinters to a finish line, several disjointed ideas that had been meandering in her mind rushed together as she sat there rubbing her temples, and in a flash she saw what she had to do. (Guerrero 17).

As if sharing a secret, she lowered her voice, “Well, your father asked me to promise not to tell you he had been there to see you” (Guerrero 116).
Of all the people riding the elevator with her, she distinguished a middle-aged woman in a wheelchair and a well-dressed young woman holding a red plastic folder against her bosom (Guerrero 93).

Not a second did the pair waste in melding into the crowd (Guerrero 67).
Only when Dion Loco Bromius stepped in did Cowboy spring to his feet with feline motion, his extended right arm looking abnormally long (Guerrero 89).

When he saw the bulking shadow bound toward the restroom, the music stopped. Sabino’s words goaded him to do something—less from the thought that he was a coward, than from the fear that Laura could be hurt (Guerrero 66).

Halberstam, David. The Best and the Brightest. New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 1992.

I began to enjoy the book, not just because it was an obsession, but because it offered me a chance to ask broader questions and to take more time answering them (xiii).

He was less impressed by the form of a government than by his own impression of its sense of legitimacy (Halberstam 15).


Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Blithedale Romance. New York: Penguin Books, 1983.

To bake, to boil, to roast, to fry, to stew—to wash, and iron, and scrub, and sweep, and at our idler intervals, to repose ourselves on knitting and sewing—these, I suppose, must be feminine occupations for the present (16).

“I am blown about like a leaf,” she replied (Hawthorne, Blithedale 171).

There are some spheres, the contact with which inevitably degrades the high, debases the pure, deforms the beautiful (Hawthorne, Blithedale Romance 101)

Even where I sat, about midway between the root and the topmost bough, my position was lofty enough to serve as an observatory, not for starry investigations, but for those sublunary matters in which lay a lore as infinite as that of the planets (Hawthorne, Blithedale Romance 99).


Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Marble Faun. New York: Penguin Books, 1990.

Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2004.
The colonel had really been investigated. There was not an organ of his body that had not been drugged and derogated, dusted and dredged, fingered and photographed, removed, plundered and replaced (15).

The ancient dust, the mouldiness of Rome, the dead atmosphere in which he had wasted so many months; the hard pavements, the smell of ruin, and decaying generations; the chill palaces, the convent bells, the heavy incense of altars; the life that he had led in those dark, narrow streets, among priests, soldiers, nobles, artists, and women; all the sense of these things rose from the young man’s consciousness like a cloud, which had darkened over him without his knowing how densely (Hawthorne, Marble Faun, 74).


James, William. Principles of Psychology. 2 vols. Rpt. New York: Dover, 1950.
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Trans. Stanley Corngold. New York: Bantam Books, 1986.
“Come and have a look, “it’s croaked; it’s lying there, dead as a doornail!” (Kafka, Metamorphosis 54).

King, Stephen. Cell. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.
Jordan drove the bus into the middle of them and there it stopped, headlights glaring, grille dripping (324).

Her friend, Pixie Dark, was backing away from the whole deal, small white hands clasped between her breasts, eyes wide (8).

King, Stephen. On Writing. New York: Pocket Books, 2002.

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1982.
Reverend Sykes was looking down at us, black hat in hand (Lee 164).
Subdued, I fixed my attention upon Reverend Sykes, who seemed to be waiting for me to settle down (Lee 121).

Stunned, Jem and I looked at each other, then at Atticus, whose collar seemed to worry him (Lee 133).

Mollified, Mayella gave Atticus a final terrified glance and … (Lee 180).

While Walter piled food on his plate, he and Atticus talked together like two men, to the wonderment of Jem and Me (Lee 24).

Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted; she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard (7).
and the controlling word is the verb ‘lost’:

Mrs. Radley had been beautiful until she married Mr. Radley and lost all her money. She also lost most of her teeth, her hair, and her right forefinger (Dill’s contribution) (39).

Lewis, Sinclair. Elmer Gantry. New York: Signet Classic, 1967.
To prove that he was still a sound and freethinking stalwart, Elmer went out with Jim one evening and at considerable effort, they carried off a small outhouse and placed it on the steps of the Administration Building (Lewis 37).

Swarming over it all were lilies, roses and vines (Lewis 156).

When Elmer entered, they were on their knees, their arms on the seats of reversed chairs, their heads bowed, all praying aloud and together (Lewis 69).


Llosa Vargas, Mario. Letters to a Young Novelist. Trans. Natasha Wimmer. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.

Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 2004.

Lowry, Malcom. Under the Volcano. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1984.
… and saw again the horizon softened by dust, the buses whizzing past through the whirling dust, the shuddering boys standing on the backs of the lorries holding on for grim death, their faces bandaged against the dust (Lowry 11).

Sucking a lemon he took stock of his surroundings (Lowry 349).

Maugham, W. Somerset. Of Human Bondage. New York: Bantam Books, 1991.
She opened the door of a room on the floor below and took the child over to a bed in which a woman was lying. It was his mother. She stretched out her arms, and the child nestled by her side. He did not ask why he had been awakened (Maugham Of Human Bondage 1).


McNaught, Judith. Almost Heaven. New York: Pocket Books, 1990.
Even now just the memory of the way he smiled, of the intimacy of his heavy-lidded gaze, made her feel hot and cold all over (47).

Even when he reluctantly guided her back to the group around the Townsendes, which still included Valerie and Georgina and Viscount Modevale, Elizabeth felt …nothing (317).


Murakami, Haruki. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Trans. Jay Rubin. New York: Vintage Books, 1998.
After doing the breakfast dishes, I rode my bike to the cleaner’s by the station (Murakami 56).

After introducing myself, I said that I was planning to marry Kumiko in the near future (Murakami 77).


Nabokov, Vladimir. Speak, Memory. New York: Random House, Inc., 1989.

To love with one’s soul and leave the rest to fate, was the simple rule she heeded (Nabokov 40).

Not that the gustatory moment mattered much (Nabokov 43).

O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Random House, Inc., 1990.
As a hedge against bad times, however, Kiowa also carried his grandmother’s distrust of the white man, his grandfather’s old hunting hatchet (3).

He carried a strobe light and the responsibility for the lives of his men (5).

But Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried 34 rounds when he was shot and killed outside Than Khe, and he went down under an exceptional burden, more than 20 pounds of ammunition, plus the flak jacket and helmet and rations and water and toilet paper and tranquilizers and all the rest, plus the unweighed fear (6).

Ortega y Gasset, Jose. The Dehumanization of Art. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.
To excel the past we must not allow ourselves to lose contact with it; on the contrary, we must feel it under our feet because we have raised ourselves upon it (204).

Peck, M. Scott. The Road Less Traveled. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.
To our children we say, “Don’t talk back to me, I’m your parent.” To our spouse we give the message, “Let’s live and let live. If you criticize me, I’ll be a bitch to live with, and you’ll regret it.” To their families and the world the elderly give the message, “I’m old and fragile. If you challenge me I may die or at least you will bear upon your head the responsibility for making my last days on earth miserable” (52).

Radcliffe, Ann. The Mysteries of Udolpho. New York: Penguin Books, 2001.
The green woods and pastures; the flowery turf; the blue concave of the heavens; the balmy air; the murmur of the limpid stream; and even the hum of every little insect of the shade seems to revivify the soul, and make existence bliss (11).

“Ye are to know, Signors, that the Lady Laurentini had for some months shewn symptoms of a dejected mind, nay of a disturbed imagination” (274).
Montoni was discomposed (275).

Notwithstanding his efforts to appear at ease, he was visibly and greatly disordered (275).

“I am not superstitious,’ replied Montoni, regarding him with stern displeasure, ‘though I know how to despise the common-place sentences, which are frequently uttered against superstition (275).



Sabatini, Rafael. Captain Blood. New York: Barnes and Noble Publishing, Inc., 2004.

Master of the English language:
“And Lord Julian, then?” he asked, his eyes watching her, bright as sapphires in that copper-coloured face (Sabatini 337).

His head-piece was gone, his breastplate dinted, his right sleeve a rag hanging from his shoulder about a naked arm (Sabatini 331).

His men stood, grinning, awaiting orders, the two prisoners now fast pinioned (Sabatini 16).

As for mademoiselle, she had risen, and was leaning forward, a hand pressed lightly on her heaving breast, her face deathly pale, a wild terror in her eyes (Sabatini 158).

For a moment she seemed to hesitate, then she plunged forward again, her beak-head in splinters, her forecastle smashed, and a gaping hole forward, that was only just above the water-line (Sabatini 328).

At sight of the doctor, dressed and booted, a case of instruments tucked under his arm, the messenger … (Sabatini 9).

Peter Blood was sold to Colonel Bishop—a disdainful buyer—for the ignominious sum of ten pounds (Sabatini 40).

Peter Blood was ordered to bear a hand in this work, and partly because he spoke Castilian—and he spoke it as fluently as his own native tongue—partly because of his inferior condition as a slave, he was given the Spaniards for his patients (Sabatini 49).

To have done so unless he intended to pardon him was a thing execrable and damnable beyond belief. (Sabatini 21).

Beyond locking them all into that stockade at night, there was no great precaution taken (Sabatini 63).

Smothered in dust and grime, his clothes in disarray, the left sleeve of his doublet hanging in rags, this young man opened his lips to speak, yet for a long moment remained speechless (Sabatini 8).

Undeterred, however, young Pitt rode amain along the dusty road by which these… (Sabatini 10).

Not accustomed to mocking, Wolverstone replied in kind and with interest (Sabatini 293).

Having spoken so, gloatingly, evilly, he sank back again, and composed himself (Sabatini 30).

Having delivered it, he sank back exhausted, his eyes half-closed, his brow agleam with sweat (Sabatini 32).

If Mr. Blood had condescended to debate the matter with these ladies, he might have urged that having had his fill of wandering and adventuring… (Sabatini 4).
Because he liked the place, in which his health was rapidly restored to him, and because he conceived that he had passed through adventures enough for a man’s lifetime, he determined to … (Sabatini 7).

Yet out of the corner of those hazel eyes she scanned this fellow very attentively as he came nearer (Sabatini 41).

But the lady was not satisfied at all (Sabatini 53).

Nor was he likely, on account of it, to allow himself to run to rust in the security of Tortuga. For what he had suffered at the hands of Man he had chosen to make Spain the scapegoat. (Sabatini 135).

And then into the stockade, panting and sweating, came Kent … (Sabatini 84).

In the vessel’s waist they hung awhile, until Mr. Blood had satisfied himself that no other sentinel showed above decks but that inconvenient fellow in the prow (Sabatini 91).

To Pitt, this separation was the poignant climax of all his sufferings (Sabatini 39).
With any other jury it must have made the impression that he hoped to make. It may even have made its impression put on these poor, pusillanimous sheep (Sabatini 29).

Among the privileges enjoyed by Blood was that of a hut to himself … (Sabatini 60).
Had they, themselves, been prisoners accused of treason, he could not have arraigned them more ferociously (Sabatini 26).

Not until the early hours of the morning did Peter Blood succeed in making a temporary escape from … (Sabatini 65).

And so, back to Maracaybo came those defeated victors of that short, terrible fight (Sabatini 176).
What had failed last night would certainly not fail again to-night (Sabatini 68).

At the moment so spent was he by his cruel punishment, and so deep was the despair into which he had fallen, that he no longer cared whether he lived or died (Sabatini 78).

I was convicted for what I did, neither more, nor less. (Sabatini 225).

Never before Have I seen the impossible made possible by resource and valour, or victory so gallantly snatched from defeat. (Sabatini 331).

Whether by skill or good fortune, Peter Blood had afforded the Governor that relief which his excellency had failed to obtain … (Sabatini 43).

One day whether by accident or design, Peter Blood came striding down the wharf … (Sabatini 55).

On the spot he invented not only a title but a whole family for young rebel (Sabatini 16).

Not until four o’clock, when the sun was rising to dispel the last wisps of mist over that stricken field of battle, did he awaken from his tranquil slumbers (Sabatini 7).

For one thing, he was not easily disturbed; for another, his task absorbed him (Sabatini 11).

If only he had ten pounds for this infernal surety, which until this moment had never entered into their calculations, it was possible that the thing might be done quickly and questions postponed until later (Sabatini 67).

Just as our father recognized his brother’s flagship, so will his brother have recognized the Cinco Llagas (Sabatini 120).

Peter Blood chuckled. But his triumph was dictated less by humanitarian considerations than by the reflection that he had baulked his brutal owner (Sabatini 51).

Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1991.

Even though it was Sunday and Phoebe wouldn’t be there with her class or anything, and even though it was so damp and lousy out, I walked all the way through the park over to the Museum of Natural History (Salinger 119).

What I like best is a book that’s at least funny once in a while. I read a lot of classical books, like The Return of the Native and all, and I like them, and I read a lot of war books and mysteries and all, but they don’t knock me out too much.

and next the transition with ‘What’:

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it (18).

Segal, Eric. The Class. New York: Bantam Books, 1985.
Like a nervous infantryman, Dr. Rossi feared he might be crossing into a minefield (10).

Like his famous forebear in antiquity, Socrates Lambros was uncompromising in his way of life (62).

Like modern musketeers, the three decided they’d stick together (91)
“Eliot, Michael’s untimely departure leaves us with a space both in our house and in our hearts” (Segal 112).

“To our beloved new leader, Jason Gilbert, ace racket-man and incomparable ass-man. May his shots in court drop as often as his shorts in bed” (Segal 143).


Stendhal. The Red and the Black. Trans. Lloyd C. Parks. New York: Signet Classic, 1970.
Not to smile respectfully at the very mention of the prefect’s name passes for recklessness in the minds of the peasants of Franche-Comte (Stendhal 88).

Not saying a word, the man in black motioned him to follow. (Stendhal, The Red and The Black 175).


Stern, Laurence. Tristram Shandy. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1980.

To wind up the last scene of thy tragedy, CRUELTY and COWARDICE, twin ruffians, hired and set on by MALICE in the dark, shall strike together at all thy infirmities and mistakes (Stern 20).


Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 2004.
“… his appearance: something displeasing, something down-right detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere …” (11).

… had left of that body an imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I looked upon that ugly idol … (65).

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 2003.

As my eyes opened involuntarily I saw his strong hand grasp the slender neck of the fair woman and with giant’s power draw it back, the blue eyes transformed with fury, the white teeth champing with rage, and the fair cheeks blazing red with passion (273).

There were very few people about, and though the sun was bright, and the air clear and fresh, the big, grim-looking waves, that seemed dark themselves because the foam that topped them was like snow, forced themselves in through the narrow mouth of the harbour—like a bullying man going through a crowd (Stoker 123).


Thackeray, William Makepeace. The History of Henry Esmond. New York: Walter J. Black.
Not having been able to sleep, for thinking of some lines for eels, which he had placed the night before, the lad was lying in his little bed, waiting for the hour … (Thackeray, Esmond 34).

If he had a headache, she was ill. If he frowned, she trembled. If he joked, she smiled and was charmed. If he went a-hunting, she was at the window to see him ride away, her little son crowing on her arm, or on the watch till his return (Thackeray, Henry Esmond, 58).


Thackeray, William Makepeace. The History of Pendennis. New Century Library.

Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. New York: Barnes and Noble Publishing, Inc. 2003.
Without even asking her if she cared to dance, he put out his arm to encircle her slender waist (Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 73).

On entering the study Ryabinin looked about, as his habit was, as though seeking the holy picture, but when he had found it, he did not cross himself (Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 157).

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way (5).
But why is it his ears stick out so strangely? Or has he had his hair cut? (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 105).

Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996.
“Do you or do you not know where that will is?” insisted Prince Vasili, his cheeks twitching more than ever (65).

Pierre obediently sat down, his eyes asking if he were doing right (71).

The spot chosen for the duel was some eighty paces from the road, where the sleighs had been left in a small clearing in the pine forest covered with melting snow, the frost having begun to break during the last few days (273).

During the dull day, in the course of which he was entertained by his elderly hosts and by the more important of the visitors … (Tolstoy, War and Peace 369).

Of these plans he had not merely one or two in his head, but dozens (175).

Not only Princess Mary, who had been won by his gentleness with the pilgrims, gave him her most radiant looks, but even the one-year-old “Prince Nicholas” (as his grandchild called him) smiled at Pierre … (345).


Trollope, Anthony. An Autobiography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
If injustice be done him, let him bear it. To do so is consonant with the dignity of the position which he ought to wish to assume. To shriek and scream and sputter, to threaten actions, and to swear about the town that he has been belied and defamed in that he has been accused of bad grammar or a false metaphor, of a dull chapter, or even of a borrowed heroine, will leave on the minds of the public nothing but a sense of irritated impotence. (Trollope 267).

Though my mother was a writer of prose, and reveled in satire, the poetic feeling clung to her to the last (Trollope 21).

To make that picture worthy of attention, the canvas should be crowded with real portraits, not of individuals knownn to the world or to the author, but of created personages impregnated with traits of character which are known. (Trollope, Autobiography 126).

Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. New York: Bantam Dell, 1981.

But to return to my anomalous position in King Arthur’s kingdom. Here I was, a giant among pigmies, a man among children, a master intelligence among intellectual moles (47).


Unamuno, Miguel de. Tragic Sense of Life. Trans. J. E. Crawford Flitch. New York: Barnes and Noble Publishing, Inc., 2006.
Even though philosophers should be in a position to discover the truth, which of them would take any interest in it? Each knows well that his system is not better founded than the others, but he supports it because it is his. (Unamuno 47).

Wharton, Edith. The Custom of the Country. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 2000.


It was almost a relief when, a moment later, the lights sank, the curtain rose, and the focus of illumination was shifted (Wharton, Custom of the Country 31).

Wharton, Edith. The Writing of Fiction. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.
No one would care to be seen talking to her while Mabel was at her side; Mabel, monumental and moulded while the fashionable were flexible and diaphanous, Mabel strident and explicit while they were subdued and allusive (33).
It was almost a relief when, a moment later, the lights sank, the curtain rose, and the focus of illumination was shifted (Wharton, Custom of the Country 31).

Wollstonecraft, Mary. Mary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Engrossed by the scene of misery she had been witness to, she walked silently by his side, when he roused her out of her reverie by … (16).

Overwhelmed by this intelligence, Mary rolled her eyes about, then, with a vacant stare, fixed them on her father’s face … (16).

Terrified of seeing him so near death, and yet so ill prepared for it, his daughter sat by his bed, oppressed by the keenest anguish, which her piety increased (19).

The community at large Mary disliked (29).

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.,

But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction—what has that got to do with a room of one’s own? (3).


Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 1981.
Like a nun withdrawing, or a child exploring a tower, she went upstairs, paused at the window, came to the bathroom (31).
Like the pulse of a perfect heart, life struck straight through the streets (54).

The writing techniques I employ in this article are all explained in Mary Duffy's bestseller and indispensable writing manual:

www.write rivetingprose.com



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