“When you are passionate about something, doing that thing for the sake of doing it is not even possible. Passion will never settle for good enough. Passion can never be a pastime. You will either do it to make it count, or you won’t. Therein lies the secret between writers who make it, and writers who don’t.”—Therein Lies the Secret « Where the (not-so)Wild Things Are
“You don’t want to start setting up another rule book, like: “This is how you’re a feminist. And this is the way you dress. And this is the way you act. And this is the way you protest.” It’s like, some people protest carrying signs. Some people protest by making activist radical music. Sometimes people try to just make it through a day and not kill themselves, and that’s their activism for right then, because that’s all they have.”—Kathleen Hanna (via riotisnotquiet)
“Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she’s reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You’re just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? You may get some intriguing answers. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does.”—Lisa Bloom: How to Talk to Little Girls
“Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.”—Lisa Bloom: How to Talk to Little Girls
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”—The Velveteen Rabbit (via alexbracken)
“While we read a novel, we are insane—bonkers. We believe in the existence of people who aren’t there, we hear their voices… Sanity returns (in most cases) when the book is closed.”—Ursula K. Le Guin (via bookshelvesofdoom)
Doing what one wants to do because one wants to do it is hard for a lot of people, but I think it’s particularly hard for women. We are, after all, the gender onto which a giant Here To Serve button has been eternally pinned. We’re expected to nurture and give by the very virtue of our femaleness, to consider other people’s feelings and needs before our own. I’m not opposed to those traits. The people I most admire are in fact nurturing and generous and considerate. Certainly, an ethical and evolved life entails a whole lot of doing things one doesn’t particularly want to do and not doing things one very much does, regardless of gender.
But an ethical and evolved life also entails telling the truth about oneself and living out that truth.
…Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from high school and college and built a career as a journalist, interviewing some of the most famous people in the country. On the surface, I’ve created a good life. I’ve lived the American dream.
But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.
“The only artists I have ever known who are personally delightful are bad artists. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are. A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating. The worse their rhymes are, the more picturesque they look. The mere fact of having published a book of second-rate sonnets makes a man quite irresistible. He lives the poetry that he cannot write. The others write the poetry that they dare not realize.”—Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (via libraryland)
“The answer is good things only happen to you if you’re good. Good? Honest is more what I mean… Be anything but a coward, a pretender, an emotional crook, a whore: I’d rather have cancer than a dishonest heart.”—Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (via libraryland)
“You are not talking about having a drunken fight with that same boy on a different night as the car he is driving hurtles down Sunset Boulevard and you are crying because he is just not getting it, and you wait until he slows to navigate one of those endlessly snaking S-curves before you yank up on the cold metal door handle and tumble out, end over end, into the soft shoulder, where you land with your knees pointing in two distinctly different directions, with a clump of dirt buried so deep in your purse it’s like you put it there for safekeeping.”—Excerpt from a piece by Shanna Mahin found in Readers Report Back From… Running Away - The Rumpus.net
When some cultural critics fret about the “ever-more-appalling” YA books, they aren’t trying to protect African-American teens forced to walk through metal detectors on their way into school. Or Mexican-American teens enduring the culturally schizophrenic life of being American citizens and the children of illegal immigrants. Or Native American teens growing up on Third World reservations. Or poor white kids trying to survive the meth-hazed trailer parks. They aren’t trying to protect the poor from poverty. Or victims from rapists.
No, they are simply trying to protect their privileged notions of what literature is and should be. They are trying to protect privileged children. Or the seemingly privileged.
“I always tell girls who say they want to start a band but don’t have any talent, well, neither do I. I mean, I can carry a tune, but anyone who picks up a bass can figure it out. You don’t have to have magic unicorn powers. You work at it, and you get better. It’s like anything: You sit there and do it every day, and eventually you get good at it.”—Kathleen Hanna: The original riot grrrl on Katy Perry, ’90s revival - CNN.com
“I mean, is it really that different when it’s a skinny white woman in a bathing suit singing these things? None of these women ever wear pants, first of all. Second of all, just because you’re wearing a goofy hat doesn’t make it performance art. I mean, that’s just my feeling about it. A lot of the music just sounds like bad Euro disco, though that first Ke$ha song “TiK ToK” was good. But (Katy Perry’s) “I Kissed a Girl” was just straight-up offensive. The whole thing is like, I kissed a girl so my boyfriend could masturbate about it later. It’s disgusting. It’s exactly every male fantasy of fake lesbian porn. It’s pathetic. And she’s not a good singer. I don’t want to trash other women. I mean, I think Jason Mraz is horrible. It’s not just like I hate other women performers. Jason Mraz, and the new James Blunt song is the worst thing that has ever been created on the face of the Earth.”—Katheleen Hanna, The original riot grrrl on Katy Perry, ’90s revival - CNN.com
“According to Gurdon’s story, there are actual flustered parents out there like Amy Freeman of Bethesda, who, despite seeing “hundreds” of covers at the bookstore, didn’t spot a single one that met her criteria of not being about “vampires and suicide and self-mutilation.” How about The Last Blue Envelope, Okay for Now, Anna and the French Kiss, The Cardturner, or Will Grayson, Will Grayson? Those all came out within the last year or so, and it was pretty easy to find out about them: I asked someone who worked in a bookstore.”—Hey, Wall Street Journal: YA Fiction Is Just Fine — Vulture
“If people are concerned about “the children,” perhaps that should be taken up with the publishers, not the writers. When there’s outrage over TV shows, people complain to the network and the advertisers, not the actors and the writers.”—
“It’s time for the rational silent majority of this country to speak up. Loudly, firmly, smartly, and nicely. Because as any reader of YA knows, the only way to defang a bully is to stand up to them, but never, ever lose your cool.”—Gayle Forman » Blog Archive – wall street depravity