“It wasn’t until last year that we even realized there is a thing called Google Alerts and that writers use it to find discussions about them; the result is that we live in a world where you can always hear when people are talking about you. There is one word for such a world: hell.”—Ward Six, in their final post. (via bookshelvesofdoom)
“Republicans took the House Of Representatives after campaigning on jobs, debt, and taxes. But it’s been nonstop assaults on Planned Parenthood and reproductive freedom ever since. The GOP is always going on and on about how they want to shrink the size of government, and now we know why: They want to stuff the government in your vagina.”—Dan Savage (via whiteboydanceparty)
“Being a public school teacher means a lot of things: it means you won’t earn much money given the amount of schooling you’ve gone through to get the job; it means you will almost never have the tools you need to do your job effectively; it means you’ll be demonized by politicians who want to take away your right to organize and collectively bargain for raises and benefits; and it means you’ll be expected to just sit back and take this without complaining because teaching is a calling, not just a job. What it also apparently means is that your private life is now subject to the moral judgments of parents in your school district.”—Want A Private Life? Don’t Become A Teacher - The Rumpus.net
“Publicizing the book is really important, but equally important is to get writing on the next project. My mentor, Ron Carlson, told me when I was on the road with my first book to print out a few pages of the next project. He told me to write one word every day. Of course, I didn’t do it, but I am going to do it this time around. When I was first given the advice, I didn’t understand it—it was so inconvenient to write from a hotel room, and besides, I was too keyed up. But now I understand. He wanted me to remember that I was a writer, not just a salesman. He wanted me to keep putting words down on paper, so I could remember who I am.”—Five Things I Wish I Had Known When I Published My First Book by Tayari Jones (I can’t wait to read her new novel Silver Sparrow!)
“The more honesty is shouted out, the more factors fall into place to allow even more honesty. Then, with any luck, you have a full-on revolution. Or, as they call it on Fox “News,” the Gay Agenda. And we all know what the gay agenda is, right? To be seen as human and treated with respect.”—from "The Brent Effect" by Catherine Ryan Hyde
“We drive to the Cape. I cultivate
myself where the sun gutters from the sky,
where the sea swings in like an iron gate
and we touch. In another country people die.”—from "The Truth the Dead Know" by Anne Sexton
“Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.”—Rule #1 of Margaret Atwood’s rules for writers
“…The nation’s bookshelves sag with doorstop biographies of the founders; Tea Partiers dressed as Benjamin Franklin call for an end to social services for the poor; and the “Path to Prosperity” urges a return to “America’s founding ideals of liberty, limited government and equality under the rule of law.” But the story of Jane Mecom is a reminder that, especially for women, escaping poverty has always depended on the opportunity for an education and the ability to control the size of their families.”—
“Must my children grow up in a world where only one of their parents’ summer homes is surrounded by the beauty of nature? It’s unthinkable, I know, but we must face facts.”—"We Must Preserve The Earth’s Dwindling Resources For My Five Children" via The Onion
“Memory is not a recording device. It’s the past as filtered through the emotional needs of the present. In this sense, memory can be thought of as a creative act, though, crucially, an unconscious one.”—from "The Heroic Lie: A Brief Inquiry into the Fake Memoir" by Steve Almond
“Sex is as much a fact of life as violence; in fact, it affirms life. What a strange value scale we have, when we consider killing people less objectionable than affirming life. Why is that? Why do we consider sex dirty? Why do we think violence in books is somehow “good” because it teaches us how to deal with violence? How sad is it that we don’t consider sex in books “good” because it teaches us how to deal with sex? Why is it that we consider sex so sinful we can only show it when it’s sacred?”—You Will Get Chlamydia…and DIE
“In an age in which America’s class-divide is greater than it’s ever been, our patience has simply waned for the George W. Bushes and Gwyneth Paltrows of the world — people who were born on third base and act like they hit a triple. America was founded on the idea that everyone has equal opportunity to carve out their piece of the American Dream, but increasingly that’s becoming less and less of a reality. And there’s something infuriating about listening to people born into the Dream — silver rattle in one hand, silver spoon in the other — lecture the rest of us on how easy it is to obtain — if we’re just willing to “work our asses off” like they do.”—
"Gwyneth Paltrow Is Right. We’re All Jealous. (Of Her and George W. Bush.)"—Keli Goff
In my latest book, PEARL, a blogger who reviews books wrote that, while she liked the book very much, she couldn’t recommend it because of the homosexual content. A reader thanked her, saying homosexuality in books made her feel “uncomfortable.”
When I read this, I cried. Not because I care about the review, but because of what it says about where we are in this country. The irony about all of this, is that the objectionable piece in the book is about two women who love each other and hide it all their lives because they’re too afraid to be themselves. And why? Because who they are is “inappropriate.” It makes people feel “uncomfortable.”
What message do reviews like this give to gay teens who stumble across them? Keep hiding.
“Today, I am somewhat gleefully celebrating the fact that electronic publishing is really blowing apart the thinking that we in publishing somehow know better and have better taste than the average reader. Why this would be the case I’m not sure. Because some of us have Ivy League educations? Because we live in NYC and therefore somehow more sophisticated and urbane than most readers? Because we read The Paris Review and The New Yorker? Because we have chic haircuts and ironic sideburns and wear trendy little eyeglasses?”—Jenny Bent, literary agent
“High impact doesn’t just mean high sales. It means moving readers’ hearts, shaking their convictions and even changing their world.”—Donald Maas on “beautifully written” literary/commercial novels and how writers can strive for this in their work.
We want to be famous as a writer, as a poet, as a painter, as a politician, as a singer, or what you will. Why? Because we don’t really love what we are doing. If you loved to sing, or to paint, or to write – if you really loved it – you would not be concerned with whether you are famous or not… Our present education is rotten because it teaches us to love success and not what we are doing. The result has become more important than the action.
You know, it is good to hide your brilliance under a bushel, to be anonymous, to love what you are doing and not to show off. It is good to be kind without a name. That does not make you famous, it does not cause your photograph to appear in the newspapers. You are just a creative human being living anonymously, and in that there is richness and great beauty.
”—J. Krishnamurti (posted today by author Karen Mahoney—thank you, Kaz!)
“You want my advice? Write the best book you can. It’s not easy, I know. Believe me, I know! And if all you get are rejections, then write another book, better than the first. And keep writing. Try a new genre or a new age group. Maybe you haven’t found what you’re meant to write yet.”—Lisa Schroeder, via Crowe’s Nest
“For me, writing is a necessity. I exist in sentences. I forget my sense of failure. I forget time. I forget that I’m aging. I forget that one day I’ll die. Revising sentences is an act of hope, and connecting with a reader is the only leap of faith I’ll ever take.”—Tom Grimes, via this review of his memoir Mentor
“I know it’s not easy being an artist. I know the gulf between creation and commerce is so tremendously wide that it’s sometimes impossible not to feel annihilated by it. A lot of artists give up because it’s just too damn hard to go on making art in a culture that by and large does not support its artists. But the people who don’t give up are the people who find a way to believe in abundance rather than scarcity. They’ve taken into their hearts the idea that there is enough for all of us, that success will manifest itself in different ways for different sorts of artists, that keeping the faith is more important than cashing the check, that being genuinely happy for someone else who got something you hope to get makes you genuinely happier too.”—Dear Sugar
“When you glue your butt to that chair, forget about genres and agents and book deals and inspiring other people’s envy. Tell a good story—a ‘devastatingly gorgeous’ story—and don’t worry about the rest of it.”—"Shut Up and Write" by Camille DeAngelis