Wonderful ... I was up all night reading it, laughing and crying out in horror...
Archie was an expert at dividing the affairs of life into men's business and women's business. An empty cupboard and a full plate were the man's business, a full cupboard and an empty plate the concern of the woman.
I think it's important to leave spaces in a story for readers to fill in from their own experience.
If you get the landscape right, the characters will step out of it, and they'll be in the right place.
If life was an arc of light that began in darkness, ended in darkness, the first part of his life had happened in ordinary glare. Here it was as though he had found a polarized lens that deepened and intensified all seen through it.
If you can't fix it, you have to stand it.
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.
... there are four women in every man's heart. The Maid in the Meadow, the Demon Lover, the Stouthearted Woman, the Tall and Quiet Woman.
Everybody that went away suffered a broken heart. "I'm coming back some day," they all wrote. But never did. The old life was too small to fit anymore.
Was love then like a bag of assorted sweets passed around from which one might choose more than once? Some might sting the tongue, some invoke night perfume. Some had centers as bitter as gall, some blended honey and poison, some were quickly swallowed. And among the common bull's-eyes and peppermints a few rare ones; one or two with deadly needles at the heart, another that brought clam and gentle pleasure. Were his fingers closing on that one?
It takes a year, nephew... a full turn of the calendar, to get over losing someone.
It's easier to die if others around you are dying.
Develop craftsmanship through years of wide reading.
It is my feeling that a story is not finished until it is read, and that the reader finishes it through his or her life experience, prejudices, world view and thoughts.
What we fear we often rage against.
And I think that's important, to know how the water's gone over the dam before you start to describe it. It helps to have been over the dam yourself.
We're all strange inside. We learn how to disguise our differences as we grow up.
Walking on the land or digging in the fine soil I am intensely aware that time quivers slightly, changes occurring in imperceptible and minute ways, accumulating so subtly that they seem not to exist. Yet the tiny shifts in everything-cell replication, the rain of dust motes, lengthening hair, wind-pushed rocks-press inexorably on and on.
We face up to awful things because we can't go around them, or forget them. The sooner you say 'Yes, it happened, and there's nothing I can do about it,' the sooner you can get on with your own life. You've got children to bring up. So you've got to get over it. What we have to get over, somehow we do. Even the worst things.
Anyway, there's something wrong with everybody and it's up to you to know what you can handle.
You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.
I wish I knew how to quit you.
You know, one of the tragedies of real life is that there is no background music.
Ordinary parties, he thought, were subtle games of sexual and social badminton...
But the only rhyme he could summon for 'out' was 'sauerkraut,' which lacked poetic glory. He let it go. The right line would come in time. That was the thing about poetry. It crept up through the draws and coulees of the brain.
No wonder, he thought, that the panhandle people were a godly lot, for they lived in sudden, violent atmospheres. Weather kept them humble.
Change itself is what fascinates me. I am drawn, as a moth to the flame, by edge situations, by situations of metamorphosis.
He pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth and nose, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack but there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left but what he held in his hands.
and they shook hands, hit each other on the shoulder, then there was forty feet of distance between them and nothing to do but drive away in opposite directions. Within a mile Ennis felt like someone was pulling his guts out hand over hand a yard at a time. He stopped at the side of the road and, in the whirling new snow, tried to puke but nothing came up. He felt about as bad as he ever had and it took a long time for the feeling to wear off.
...all them things I don't know could get you killed if I come to know them
All the travelin I ever done is going around the coffeepot looking for the handle.
I would rather be dead than not read
And it may be that love sometimes occurs without pain or misery.
A spinning coin, still balanced on its rim, may fall in either direction.
If you are looking for smart judging based on merit, skip the Academy Awards next year and pay attention to the Independent Spirit Awards.
In a rough way the short story writer is to the novelist as a cabinetmaker is to a house carpenter.
I am influenced by words and the chewiness of language
Their silence comfortable. Something unfolding. But what? Not love, which wrenched and wounded. Not love, which came only once.
I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.
If a piece ofknotted string can unleash the wind and if a drowned man can awaken... then I believe a broken man can heal.