“There is a great freedom to it. You set your own hours and pace, you write without anyone looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do. It either happens or it doesn’t, but when it does there is an amazing sense of fulfillment to it. It’s like improvising jazz on a piano or saxophone. What comes out may have roots in something else, but you’ve made it yours.”—Michael Connelly, to The New York Times, on the best thing about being a writer
“What happens when a Canadian author receives the Nobel Prize for literature? Too much happiness, if such a thing is possible when it comes to book sales.”—The Globe & Mail’s “Alice Munro’s Book Sales Soar”
“But the thing that makes a good life isn’t constantly being saintly—it’s just continuing to do shit. We spend so much time waiting to start to live.”—From Larissa MacFarquhar’s “The Tragedy of Aaron Swartz”
I has ritten a book and it is so exciting nobody can put it down. As soon as you has red the first line you is so hooked on it you cannot stop until the last page. In all the cities people is walking in the streets bumping into each other because their faces is buried in my book and dentists is reading it and trying to fill teeths at the same time but nobody minds because they is all reading it too in the dentist’s chair. Drivers is reading it while driving and cars is crashing all over the country. Brain surgeons is reading it while they is operating on brains and airline pilots is reading it and going to Timbucktoo instead of London. Football players is reading it on the field because they can’t put it down and so is Olympick runners while they is running. Everybody has to see what is going to happen next in my book and when I wake up I is still tingling with excitement at being the greatest riter the world has ever known until my mummy comes in and says I was looking at your English exercise book last nite and really your spelling is atroshus and so is your puntulashon.
Following the motorcade downtown, JFK was scheduled to appear at a luncheon in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He never made it. Here is the speech he never got to give:
There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding faults but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.
But today other voices are heard in the land—voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality, wholly unsuited to the sixties, doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness…
We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will ‘talk sense to the American people.’ But we can hope that few people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this Nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is not but just plain nonsense. …
[Our] strength will never be used in pursuit of aggressive ambitions—it will always be used in pursuit of peace. It will never be used to promote provocations—it will always be used to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes.
“Young artists, come East. Come here, have your nervous breakdowns, get insomnia, and, like vampires everywhere, be with as many of your own kind as possible. If you build it, we will watch.”—New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz in a Reddit AMA yesterday, urging emerging artists to come to New York.
“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. Dance on your way out of here. Sing on your way out of here. Write a love poem when you get home. Draw a picture of your bed or roommate.”—Kurt Vonnegut, born today in 1922
“I think ‘write what you know’ is the single worst piece of writing advice. Instead, write what you’re really interested in. Write what is going to keep you awake at night; write what you don’t understand; write to figure something out.”—“Sparks to Make Flame: On the Ideas behind Fiction" at The Millions