“Oh, you’re nearer summer than me. If I was ever a rare fine summer person, that’s long ago. Most of us are half-and-half. The August noon in us works to stave off the November chills. We survive by what little Fourth of July wits we’ve stashed away. But there are times when we’re all autumn people.”—Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes (via lunemoelleux)
“And when you choose a life partner, you’re choosing a lot of things, including your parenting partner and someone who will deeply influence your children, your eating companion for about 20,000 meals, your travel companion for about 100 vacations, your primary leisure time and retirement friend, your career therapist, and someone whose day you’ll hear about 18,000 times.”—Wait But Why - How to Pick Your Life Partner (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)
“It is not memory we want, but forgiveness.
We rub our hands against the dusk.
Out of which sunsets blossom.
Out of which your footsteps weigh, but lightly,
on my soul, you, from whom relation
darts wildly about like a bat in the rafters,
gathering the last scraps of daylight held in
abandoned mirrors, you, hoisting the heaviness
of each failed dream, for it is you I touch as we shift
the burden of our desires from one shoulder to another,
as we watch the swallow’s flight decipher the landscape,
as the scarecrows of feeling are trying on our words,
for who can say, now, how many stars are missing?”—Richard Jackson, closing lines to “Possibility,” from Heartwall (University of Massachuetts Press, 2000)
“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”—Mother Teresa (via pureblyss)
“It’s bullshit to think of friendship and romance as being different. They’re not. They’re just variations of the same love. Variations of the same desire to be close.”—Rachel Cohn, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List (via feellng)
“A kiss in the dark, that’s what this first line is – Wait. What just happened? Who? – a confusing first kiss. We all would like to think that with one line, one brush, we could make a reader fall madly in love, and there are writers that illicit such a response with the appropriately gorgeous. I read a piece where a writer described her stories as beasts gnawing off the lovely clothes she had carefully dressed them in. I, too, find the stories that I will to be beautiful and charming end up, despite my efforts, strange creatures running for the woods. I’m asking you to kiss this strange creature in the dark, dear reader. And after, I want you to think, ‘A little weird, unnerving, but I’d do it again.’”—I’ve writtenbefore about the First Sentence series at Granta. The magazine asks a prominent writer to explain how they came to write an opening line. Recently, they asked Bear Down, Bear Northauthor Melinda Moustakis to talk about the beginning of her story “River So Close”: “She’s a good-for-nothing chummer.” You could also read Jonathan Russell Clark on the art of the opening sentence. (via millionsmillions)
“And then there is my Little House on the Prairie Dress. It is my favorite thing, my favorite dress, then and now. My aunt made me an apron to go with it, and even a bonnet. I wear it every day. I wear it so frequently that my teacher tells my mother I fit in very well with all the children, that I am well-adjusted, especially for a child of my religion.”—In My Clothes by Claudia Smith (via therumpus)
“There are violet hills,
there is the covenant of duskbirds.
The moon comes over the mountain
like a big peach, and I want to tell you
what I couldn’t say the night we rushed
North, how I love the seriousness of your fingers
and the way you go into yourself,
calling my half-name like a secret.”—Stacie Cassarino, from “Summer Solstice,” Zero at the Bone (New Issues Press, 2009)
“And now we’re supposed to go back to our normal lives. That’s what people do. They have these amazing experiences with another person, and then they just go home and clean the bathroom or whatever.”—Susane Colasanti, When It Happens (via larmoyante)
Two trips to Canada for two beautiful weddings in the past six weeks.
It’s fascinating and marvelous to watch my friends get married. I can’t even describe to you how beautiful they looked - Laura beaming and sparkling through the whole ceremony, and Eva calm and regal and effortless. They both got married under wide blue skies on sunny summer Saturdays, both carried wildflower bouquets. Both weddings made me want to throw my arms around all of it, everything, the grass and the cornfields, the china teacups, the maple syrup favors, the parents giving speeches about their babies growing up.
Laura hand painted wooden signs and made centerpieces. I sipped on blueberry wine from Eva’s winery, and we danced to rollicking banjo played by her dad’s band. Laura handed out sparklers, Eva strung up homemade piñatas. I could see their work and their love in every detail. How lucky, how amazing to be allowed to be a part of it.
I lived with Laura for two years, Eva for three - or four if you count all the time we spent in each other’s dorm rooms. It’s been five years since I graduated and moved back to the US. Anything I could say about the quick passage of time would sound trite. I’ll say it’s unbelievable though, the way we grow up and into new lives we never imagined. Weddings make me feel astonished and in love. In love with Ben, yes, but also in love with the idea of honoring our choices, our changes, our brave steps down an aisle or a dance floor or big city street. In love with the idea of being fearless, of saying yes, I do, I will to whatever is coming for us, whatever will be.
“This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.
Explorer, you tell yourself, this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.
But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.”—Gwendolyn MacEwen, “Dark Pines Under Water,” The Shadow-Maker (Macmillan, 1972)
1. If you feel like there are things in the way of you getting your writing done, make a list of those things. Then see which of them are physically tangible (a family member who needs your help, for example, or long hours at your day job) and which of those things are emotional or ego-related. Which is to say this: Which of your stressors are real, and which are imagined? Then start crossing off the things that are imagined from your list. You will find you have more room to write.
2. Write a letter to yourself about what your writing means to you so that you can remember why you do it and why you need it in your life.
3. Remember that you are privileged to live in a country that allows you to express yourself privately and publicly, and that you are privileged to have money to purchase writing utensils, pens, paper, a computer, and you are privileged to have any amount of spare time to worry about your bullshit so why don’t you just use that time to write instead?
“I have never been anywhere but sick. In a sense sickness is a place more instructive than a long trip to Europe, and it’s always a place where there is no company, where nobody can follow.”—Flannery O’Connor (via untranslatablephrase)
“And I ask myself, have I thrown courage away?
have I traded off something I don’t name?
To what extreme will I go to meet the extremist?
What will I do to defend my want or anyone’s want to search for her spirit-vision
far from the protection of those she has called her own?
Will I find O solitude
your plumes, your breasts, your hair
against my face, as in childhood, your voice like the mockingbird’s
singing Yes, you are loved, why else this song?
in the old places, anywhere?”—Adrienne Rich, ”Yom Kippur 1984" (via dolorimeter)
“I found the word so delicate, swallowtail,
I wanted to inhabit its sound as it settled on the leaf of your body.”—Richard Jackson, closing lines to “The Heart’s Uncertain Myths About Itself,” from Resonance: Poems (The Ashland Poetry Press, 2010)
“In the right-hand pocket of my former life I’ve left something for you.
That is, darling, your turn will come.
I’d walk out on myself if I could.
I love the distant glow in the nighttime desert sky
like a worn yellow spot in the dark
everything might still slip through.”—Charlie Smith, from section 1 “Outside Las Vegas” of “Late Days,” Jump Soul: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton & Co., 2014)
“In some of the reaches of literary fiction, I feel like there is still a kind of prudishness around female appetite. That it’s somehow a problem, or it’s only interesting if it’s a problem—if it’s the source of suffering, betrayal, someone getting a bottle cracked over her head, someone self-mutilating. It must have harm attached to it to be considered serious. It’s not necessarily true in other media. In television right now, there are some amazing female characters who are very robust. It’s not necessarily true in music, it’s not true in a lot of places. But in literary culture, there’s this idea that female appetite is only the stuff of serious literature if it’s connected to damage. And I object. I object as a writer. I object as a human being. It’s just simply not true. It’s a kind of censorship masquerading as taste.”—Lyrical Impulse, Naima Coster interviews Stacey D’Erasmo - Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics (via guernicamag)
“Why did I obsess over people like this? Was it normal to fixate on strangers in this particular vivid, fevered way? I didn’t think so. It was impossible to imagine some random passer-by on the street forming quite such an interest in me… I was fascinated by strangers, wanted to know what food they ate and what dishes they ate it from, what movies they watched and what music they listened to, wanted to look under their beds and in their secret drawers and night tables and inside the pockets of their coats.”—Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch (via passionnedenoir)