I used to not like being called a 'woman architect': I'm an architect, not just a woman architect. Guys used to tap me on the head and say, 'You are okay for a girl.' But I see the incredible amount of need from other women for reassurance that it could be done, so I don't mind that at all.
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians.When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer.Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
I think of this girl, this bright light coming from such a dark place. I know that the things she believes about God and the Bible and hope and all that are very real to her. They're not nice sayings on Twitter just to fill a box. They're the things she truly believes.I'm not sure I'm ready to rejoice, and I'm not quite ready to pray.The cool thing is that Marvel knows this. She knows this and doesn't seem to mind.
I thought he should know the truth."Some say that I'm a ... well a ..." I hated to say what others teased me mercilessly about... "A... slow learner."He shrugged as if to indicate that it didn't mean anything to him, but seemed anxious about what to say to console me. Finally, he reached out and touched my hand. "Yeah, but they don't have life mates whose destines are written in the stars." I wanted to groan out loud. I was a slow learner and was to be mated with a vampiric human whose old flame wanted me dead. How was this a good thing?
Q: Where and when do you do your writing? A: Any small room with no natural light will do. As for when, I have no particular schedules... afternoons are best, but I'm too lethargic for any real regime. When I'm in the flow of something I can do a regular 9 to 5; when I don't know where I'm going with an idea, I'm lucky if I do two hours of productive work. There is nothing more off-putting to a would-be novelist to hear about how so-and-so wakes up at four in the a.m, walks the dog, drinks three liters of black coffee and then writes 3,000 words a day, or that some other asshole only works half an hour every two weeks, does fifty press-ups and stands on his head before and after the "creative moment." I remember reading that kind of stuff in profiles like this and becoming convinced everything I was doing was wrong. What's the American phrase? If it ain't broke...
The point I’m trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all-around obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be the best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend, and certainly not the best friend of the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But as I am apparently your best friend, I cannot congratulate you on your choice of companion. Actually, now I can. Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable. John, you have endured war, and injury, and tragic loss — so sorry again about that last one. So know this: Today, you sit between the woman you have made your wife and the man you have saved. In short, the two people who love you most in all this world. And I know I speak for Mary as well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that. Now, on to some funny stories about John...
Clara Oswald: This is just a dream, but very clever people can hear dreams. So please, just listen. I know you're afraid, but being afraid is all right, because didn't anybody ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger. And one day, you'll come back to this barn and on that day you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's ok because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind. It doesn't matter if there's nothing under the bed or in the dark, so long as you know it's ok to be afraid of it. You're always going to be afraid, even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there. But that's ok, because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home. I'm going to leave you with something just so you always remember: Fear makes companions of us all. -Listen, Doctor Who, episode 8.4