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    leigh newman Quotes

    Maybe it's easier to think about dishonesty and what kind of trouble you can get into as a writer when love and honesty collide and you sidestep that collision, either because you want to protect somebody or you want to blame somebody - which are the usual impulses in love: protection and blame, frequently at the same time - so you don't exactly tell the truth.
    — Leigh Newman
    It's much harder when you're writing about your life, than when you're writing fiction.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: writing  fiction 
     
    I made myself a rule: write out of love. And when you love somebody, you have to tell the truth about who they are - not the cute "truth" in your head of who they are, the one where you did everything right and they did everything wrong.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: truth  right  cute  wrong  write 
     
    It feels like people talk a lot, in their relationships and in therapy. But my family wasn't like that. My dad wasn't and I wasn't. Things were said, but via the language of action.
    — Leigh Newman
    I wasn't in a position that some other memoirists are, dealing with families who fed them meth, or kidnapped them, or did something that would make the writer not want to see that family again. I wanted to see my family. I wanted to celebrate them. I was proud of who we were, in the wilderness, floating down rapids or hiking over glaciers, and everywhere else.
    — Leigh Newman
    There's a kind of intimacy that happens between a mother and an only child. Which only gets more intimate when it's between a mother and only daughter.
    — Leigh Newman
    When I was growing up, there were no cell phones and no roads into the bush, and so if something happened to your plane, that was serious. Nobody was coming to rescue you.
    — Leigh Newman
    You see things really different when your father is so intimately, so indisputably in charge of your continued existence on the planet.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: existence  father 
     
    Most kids who grow up in Alaska and spend a fair degree of time in the wilderness, grow up being pretty self-reliant. You have to be, in order to survive all the animals and cliffs and crevasses and rapids - at some point, your brain has to kick [out of] that childish daydream world and start making I-want-to-live decisions.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: animals  time  world  decision  brain  kids 
     
    My dad felt pretty strongly that I know about the basic workings of a plane and so he taught me how to read and set the instruments, as well as the basics of taking off and landing.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: read 
     
    It was a life with purpose. And it was also a lot of fun. Fishing is fun. Hiking up mountains is fun. Building a wall out of river rocks dug up from the bottom of a glacial lake is not fun. Not at all. But it does give a work ethic that you can take anywhere in the world.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: work  world  ethics  fun 
     
    If you need somebody to dig up rocks eight hours a day underwater, call me.
    — Leigh Newman
    When you're looking around for metaphor or simile, I do think it's often helpful to keep inside the world of the book, to gather your comparisons from the stuff particular to that world - be they king salmon and aviation fuel, or pot roasts and spatulas.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: world  metaphor  book 
     
    I've managed to create intimacy with people I know, and people that I don't know. The longer things stay inside of us, the more we think they are black or tainted, but they're really not.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: people  intimacy  black 
     
    I didn't write the memoir with any sort of intention of feeling better. I wrote the memoir because I had a weird need to write a good story. But once I was done, I did feel better about myself. Not better, just calmer. Because a tremendous onus had been lifted off my day-to-day.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: memoir  stories  write 
     
    How do you stop longing for what you absolutely know you can't get? Which really means: How do you absolutely know you can't-and won't-get it, not ever? How do you pinch out that wisp of feeble, ruthless hope?
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: longing 
     
    There are still things out there in the universe to contemplate and spend our lives chasing.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: live  universe 
     
    Most dreams are also part reality (otherwise we wouldn't believe them), and reality happens to be a condition that gives you plenty of chances through your life to rise to - no, soar through - the occasion.
    — Leigh Newman
    If you want to write in a mature and interesting way, you have to have sympathy for everyone that's involved.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: write 
     
    While you can't keep your heart from getting broken, you can stop breaking your own heart...once you realize the difference between what you can control and what you can't, and that it's far, far more fun to lavish all that attention on your own self-worth.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: heart  control  fun  broken  attention 
     
    The most reliable path to glory is base brute effort.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: path 
     
    Resisting and avoiding pain sucks energy-and time. The more you let yourself feel those minute-and-a-half hells, the quicker you'll start feeling those minute-and-a-half happinesses.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: happiness  time  pain  hell 
     
    After the age of seven, I began living between my dad in Alaska and my mother in Baltimore. Every three or four months, I would fly the 5,000 miles between the two. And having grown up in Alaska, Baltimore was astonishing.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: living  age  mother 
     
    The minute I landed back in Alaska, it was back to hip boots and fish guts. This cultural flipping wasn't easy - especially on top of the post-divorce fighting that was still going on between my parents. But this is why you don't write a memoir at age fourteen.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: memoir  age  fighting  write  parent 
     
    The reason I could fit in with so many different kinds of people was that I had no self. And then the problem is, if you don't have a self, how can you be with other people? Who the hell are you with them?
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: people  self  hell  problem 
     
    I turned what was a wonderful case of self-reliance into a case of self-exile. Which is not uncommon, I think, in people who grow really early and have to learn how to take care of themselves. They have trouble hinging their lives with anybody else.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: people  live  care  learn 
     
    I'm pretty much of the Shakespearean school. Dialogue is character. How we speak is who we are.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: character  school 
     
    My mom was a social worker. I had a pretty good idea of what the authorities can do when a parent's not around.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: authority  ideas  parent 
     
    I was an only child. And it's very much my temperament. I remember playing with a piece of string in my room for hours. I had never thought about what it would be like to have siblings.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: children  thoughts  child 
     
    I don't think many kids question their surroundings. Everything seems so permanent and inevitable growing up, even chaos.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: chaos  questions  kids 
     
    After my parents divorced, my father remarried and my brothers were born when I was twelve and sixteen. I was thunderstruck at these kids. The "baby-ness" of them. Their toes. I had never been around babies before.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: father  parent  kids 
     
    Often, I think that my brothers were the reason I didn't do something really stupid in my teenage years; I didn't want to disappoint them. Even though was I was pretty committed to disappointing everybody else.
    — Leigh Newman
    Even as my family fell apart and things were at their most hopeless, my dad and I found a lot of happiness in the wilderness - sleeping on the cold gravel and killing as many things as we could get our hands on. Even as my mom got progressively more crazy, we found a happiness, in flashes.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: happiness  crazy 
     
    There was always some germ of joy, some little paramecium of happiness wriggling around, waiting for a chance to get out.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: happiness  chance  joy 
     
    The tough thing is how to cultivate a life where the paramecium of happiness gets a lot of chances to get out and swim and make more paramecia. That seems like an obvious universal goal for most humans.
    — Leigh Newman
    tags: happiness  chance  goal 
     
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