“I love writing in longhand. Writing in longhand, I think, is a marvelous thing to do for a writer these days. If you have a notebook and a nice pen you can go off somewhere, you can write that’s solar powered. You can drop it or get it wet and pretty much all of your work will continue to be there. If you suddenly decide to look up a word or check a reference you will not look up four hours later, blinking, finding yourself somehow in the middle of an Ebay auction you never had any plans to be part of.”
- Neil Gaiman (via writingquotes)
“Well, I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but there comes a point I’m afraid where you begin to suspect that if there’s any real truth, it’s that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise.”
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (via sfarrin17)
“If the movie is a good one, its dreams become part of your memories”
- Roger Ebert (via paulshapiro)
We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.
Okay. Someone asked me how I feel about writing fiction in a world that still needs actual activism and hands-on work to make life better. They said something similar to, “I get pulled away from writing fiction because I feel guilty for not making tangible benefit to the world. Isn’t fiction just escapism?”
But I also got the following message, which I’m filing some of the serial numbers off of, as it were:
“I just wanted to tell you something. When I was 18 years old, my life was a fucking mess. I worked at a store that sold comic books and one day I stumbled upon Spider and the filthy assistants. Your comic kept me from killing myself. There is a character limit here so I can’t say everything I want to but thank you. From the very deepest part of my heart.”
I post this not to self-aggrandise. It is not a unique message, for good or ill. I get them surprisingly regularly. Frankly, messages like that scare the hell out of me, because I’m not very smart and not a very clever writer and I fuck up all the time.
But fiction speaks to people. Even fiction like mine acts to tell someone, somewhere, that they’re not alone.
You want tangible, social benefits to writing fiction? There are people walking around today because other people wrote words that spoke to them. That’ll do.
And thank you.
“Don’t spend a lot of time imagining worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice.”
- Michael J. Fox (via missmeoh)
“My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.”
- Neil Gaiman (via rookiemag)
Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.
Lord, lord, lord. Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer.”
- Douglas Adams - Mosty Harmless (Arthur Dent’s prayer)
“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer.”
- Douglas Adams (via hitchhikersguidetothegalaxy)