A Special Edition: Inspiration Comes from the Strangest Places

Three chapters into the proposal, I sit at my desk wondering will this help others or is it just for me?

Then I look at a piece of paper taped above my monitor:

There are many things in life that you cannot control, but you can always control your attitude toward them. Defeat is never permanent unless you allow it to be so. When you have a positive attitude, you will recognize failure for the impostor that it is and realize that it is really a learning experience, a valuable lesson that will help you succeed with the next attempt.

Ask yourself: What could I have done differently that would have altered the outcome? What can I do in the future to minimize problems and mistakes? What did I learn from this experience that I can put to good use next time? If you approach obstacles and setbacks with a positive attitude, you will be surprised how quickly you can turn defeat into victory. ~ Napoleon Hill

He wrote those words about one hundred years ago.

And an e-mail from a friend arrives asking for help on the very thing I’m working on. I turn to my dictionary to make sure I’m using the right words.

Based on her response, they worked.

I relish my lifelong love affair with my dictionary—printed before I was born, and gifted to me because I used it more than anyone else in our home.

While concentrating on my book proposal, I’ve visited my friend, Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, searching for the right word or phrase. He’s never let me down.

There are others out there with the same passion for the dictionary. For the words.

Blogger, James Somers, recently posted a stirring discussion, “You’re Probably Using the Wrong Dictionary.”  It’s tagged under Longreads, but worth the time.

I may never look at my dictionary the same way again.

Special editions require a little something extra, in Louisiana they call it the lagniappe (lan-yap′), how about The Bangles with Eternal Flame. Somehow it seems fitting for a lifelong love affair. . . .

Who knows, maybe Napoleon Hill will show up in a post over at the Blog of Funny Names.—Inspiration comes from the strangest places.


About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
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8 Responses to A Special Edition: Inspiration Comes from the Strangest Places

  1. Liz says:

    awesome, Tracy! Please tell me you’ve read Professor and the Madman. Loving the Bangles and am with you on loving the words.


  2. Dave says:

    Awesome quote, and I love The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame”! I’ll be taking inspiration from that quote today too… grasping victory through a positive attitude is something I strongly believe in.


    • Have you ever read any of Napoleon Hill’s books? He wrote “The Magic Ladder of Success” (still in print) and “Think and Grow Rich” (still in print) and “The Law of Success” (still in print) and more. He was mentored by Andrew Carnegie.


  3. aplscruf says:

    Thanks for the inspirational quote, T! I might have to tape that one to my monitor, too! Can’t wait to hear about your writing adventures in a few weeks–and of course, cheer you on!


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