“Readers re-create any story to suit their own needs. They re-clothe the story in their own shirts. Put simply: just as we write the story we need to write, they read the story they need to read.”—Jane Yolen (via bethrevis)
“I flailed, hilariously, to be sure my writing could not be confused with mere entertainment. I went through an experimental phase; I grew the requisite chin beard. I wrote text upside down, scribbled counterpoint in the margins. Every story I wrote contained footnotes. I was like John Gardner’s Grendel: forever posturing, transforming the world with words but changing nothing.”—A genre writer accepts himself - Writers and Writing - Salon.com
"There’s something about writing fiction that badly unfits you from reviewing it. When you’re writing a novel, you have to stay focused on what this one gleaming ideal of what fiction should be. You narrow your taste deliberately, so that all that’s left is this one notional book you’re trying to create, and everything else falls away.
"Being a novelist demands arrogance. To be a good critic, you have to be humble."
“When a critic writes a novel, it’s like one of those movies where the cop crosses the line and gets tossed in jail along with the people he put there," he said. "There’s no question, writing fiction has changed the way I review.”—Judge and jury - Writers and Writing - Salon.com
“Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground.”—Francesca Lia Block (via lomaaaa)
“I stood in the main time when panic broke out. I heard shots. I saw him shoot. All started to run. The first thought was: “Why shoot the police on us? What the hell?! “I ran into the little room. People ran. Screamed. I was scared. I managed to get into one of the rooms at the back of the building. We were many in there. We lay on the floor all together. We heard several shots. Were more afraid. I cried. I knew nothing. I saw my best friend through the window and wondered if I should go out and bring him to me. I did not. I saw fear in his eyes.” — Prableen Kaur
“It repulses me, this whole input world that you’re talking about, the constant facts. There’s this tribe in my book, the Lakashi tribe, and I’ve had so many people who are interviewing me say, ‘I’ve been Googling and I can’t find the Lakashi anywhere.’ It’s as if people can’t imagine something that can’t be Googled. No, I made them up, you can’t Google them. Unless you get inside my head, they just don’t exist.”—
“All this is happening in our world where one in three women in the U.S. will have an abortion in their lifetime. So this isn’t just a routine controversial topic; the media silence has silenced all of us, so that women’s stories, common to so many of us, are not being told.”—When, Along with her Characters, an Author Gets In Trouble by Ellen Levine
“They remained silent for some time. The coffee in their cups clouded up and grew cold. The earth turned on its axis while the moon imperceptibly shifted the force of gravity and turned the tides. Time flowed on in silence, and trains passed over the rails.”—Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Murakami Haruki (via ethereale)
“You’ve been assigned an identity since birth. Then you spend the rest of your life walking around in it to see if it really fits. You try on all these different selves and abandon just as many. But really it’s about dismantling all that false armor, getting down to what’s real.”—Libba Bray (via shetakesflight)
“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever. ”—Jeffrey Eugenides, from Middlesex (via the-catstronaut)
What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination, but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and you ask yourself, “What life can I live that will let me breathe in and out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods?”
“…I was wearing white ribbed stockings, which were disgustingly itchy, and wrinkled at the knees and ankles. The feeling of these stockings on my legs is mixed up with another feeling in my memory. It is hard to describe. It had to do with my parents. Adults in general but my parents in particular. My father, who had carried Steve’s body from the river, and my mother, who must have done most of the arranging of this funeral. My father in his dark-blue suit and my mother in her brown velvet dress with the creamy satin collar. They stood side by side opening and closing their mouths for the hymn, and I stood removed from them, in the row of children, watching. I felt a furious and sickening disgust. Children sometimes have an access of disgust concerning adults. The size, the lumpy shapes, the bloated power. The breath, the coarseness, the hairiness, the horrid secretions. But this was more. And the accompanying anger had nothing sharp and self-respecting about it. There was no release, as when I would finally bend and pick up a stone and throw it at Steve Gauley. It could not be understood or expressed, though it died down after a while into a heaviness, then just a taste, an occasional taste—a thin, familiar misgiving.”—from “Miles City, Montana” by Alice Munro
I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges, I see my father strolling out under the ochre sandstone arch, the red tiles glinting like bent plates of blood behind his head, I see my mother with a few light books at her hip standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks with the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its sword-tips black in the May air, they are about to graduate, they are about to get married, they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are innocent, they would never hurt anybody. I want to go up to them and say Stop, don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman, he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things you cannot imagine you would ever do, you are going to do bad things to children, you are going to suffer in ways you never heard of, you are going to want to die. I want to go up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it, her hungry pretty blank face turning to me, her pitiful beautiful untouched body, his arrogant handsome blind face turning to me, his pitiful beautiful untouched body, but I don’t do it. I want to live. I take them up like the male and female paper dolls and bang them together at the hips like chips of flint as if to strike sparks from them, I say Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.