Grab a pen: You’ll want to write these down.

Fannie Flagg, photographed recently near her California home
Andrew Southam

If you’re a reader living in the South, you’ve likely heard of Fannie Flagg. Her best-known novel, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, took the South by storm and was made into an equally beloved film. If you’re a true fan, you’ve also read Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! and The Whole Town’s Talking. Whether she’s sharing her thoughts or sculpting sentiments through the perspectives of her characters, Fannie Flagg is a source of much quotable inspiration. Read on for a few of our favorites.

Fannie Flagg on Life

“Don't give up before the miracle happens.”

“You never know what's in a person's heart until they're tested, do you?”

“Remember, if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead.”

“Do you think that your worrying can prevent anything from happening? Whatever happens is supposed to happen and whatever doesn’t, isn’t.”

“It’s funny, when you’re a child you think time will never go by, but when you hit about twenty, time passes like you’re on the fast train to Memphis.”

“It was the story of her life and probably how she had survived this long: with a little talent and a lot of flair.”

“There are magnificent beings on this earth, son, that are walking around posing as humans.”

“Being a successful person is not necessarily defined by what you have achieved, but by what you have overcome.”

“That's what I'm living on now, honey, dreams, dreams of what I used to do.”

“I was sitting on the roof, and she didn't see me. I sit on the roof a lot. People never think to look up.”

“Those memories were still there, and tonight, he sat searching for them, just like always, grabbing at moonbeams. Every once in a while he would catch one and take a ride, and it was like magic.”

Fannie Flagg on Love

“You know, a heart can be broken, but it keeps on beating, just the same.”

“Almost losing one person you love shines a bright spotlight on life, and suddenly strips you of everything but your real feelings.”

“They also learned that the very best way to start a marriage was with a good laugh.”

“She knew that being in love all by yourself was the loneliest, most painful experience known to man—or woman—and there was nothing she could do to help him.”

“No matter what you look like, there's somebody who's gonna think you're the handsomest man in the world.”

Fannie Flagg on Happiness

“If there is such a thing as complete happiness, it is knowing that you are in the right place.”

“I wonder how many people don't get the one they want, but end up with the one they're supposed to be with.”

“Depression years come back to me now as the happy times, even though we were all struggling. We were happy and didn't know it.”

Fannie Flagg on Health

“You can’t dwell on sadness, oh, it’ll make you sick faster than anything in this world.”

“I knew I wasn't the picture of health, but I didn't think I was headed for the last roundup.”

“Honey, that’s one thing you be sure and you get on right away, is your Medicaid, you don’t want to be caught without that.”

Fannie Flagg on Food

“And her dumplings were so light they would float in the air and you'd have to catch ‘em to eat ‘em.”

“You know, it’s funny what you’ll miss when you’re away from home. Now me, I miss the smell of coffee...and bacon frying in the morning.”

“The food in the South is as important as food anywhere because it defines a person’s culture.”

Fannie Flagg on Mothers

“Your mother formed an incorrect opinion of you and, naturally, you agreed with her. Children always think their parents are right. But in this case, your mother was entirely wrong. Think about it. Your mother is an overpowering individual.”

“You may not be the person your mother wants you to be, but you are you. Our job here is to try and separate the wheat from the chaff and figure out who you are and not who your mother thinks you are.”

“When you live long enough to see your children begin to look at you with different eyes, and you can look at them not as your children, but as people, it’s worth getting older with all the creaks and wrinkles.”

WATCH: Fannie Flagg: A Southern Storyteller

What are your favorite Fannie Flagg books and quotes? Grab a pen, because some of her sentences are just too good to forget.