I grew up listening to my mother scoff at all the T.V shows and books that I watched or read. She told me how it was all 'rubbish' and 'garbage'. But the thing is, I think somehow, watching along the show I also grew up. I know everyone says that, like when Good Luck Charlie ended everyone was upset and was like 'I grew up now its gone!' Or 'Aww. My childhood gone' But its not like that with me. I actually grow and learn more things about myself. And some of the shows or books I watched/read, motivated me. They were always there. So if that is the definition of 'rubbish' and 'garbage' than please. Cover me in filth.
A lot of things I have turned down ended up being a big embarrassment. Like that script, 'The Beaver.' I thought that was one of the worst scripts I had ever read. But everyone said, 'Ooh it's on the Black List.' Yeah, well, good for it. They're a bunch of idiots. I saw the final film, and there were no surprises.
You've read half the books in this house? This whole house?" "Well, approximately half." Sticky said. "To be more accurate, I suppose I've read more like" - his eyes went up as he calculated - "three sevenths? Yes, three sevenths." "Only three sevenths?" said Kate, pretending to look disappointed. "And here I was prepared to be impressed.
Let me begin with a heartfelt confession.I admit it. I am a biblioholic, one who loves books and whose life would seem incomplete without them. I am an addict, with a compulsive need to stop by nearly any bookstore I pass in order to get my fix. Books are an essential part of my life, the place where I have spent many unforgettable moments. For me, reading is one of the most enjoyable ways to pass a rainy afternoon or a leisurely summer day. I crave the knowledge and insights that truly great books bring into my life and can spend transported hours scouring used book stores for volumes which "I simply must have". I love the smell and feel of well-loved books and the look of a bookcase full of books waiting to be taken down and read.
To be read. To be heard. To be seen. I want to be read, I want to be heard. I don't need to be seen. To write requires an ego, a belief that what you say matters. Writing also requires an aching curiosity leading you to discover, uncover, what is gnawing at your bones. Words have a weight to them. How you choose to present them and to whom is a matter of style and choice.
I want you to stop being subhuman and become 'yourself'. 'Yourself,' I say. Not the newspaper you read, not your vicious neighbor's opinion, but 'yourself.' I know, and you don't, what you really are deep down. Deep down, you are what a deer, your God, your poet, or your philosopher is. But you think you're a member of the VFW, your bowling club, or the Ku Klux Klan, and because you think so, you behave as you do. This too was told you long ago, by Heinrich Mann in Germany, by Upton Sinclair and John Dos Passos in the United States. But you recognized neither Mann nor Sinclair. You recognize only the heavyweight champion and Al Capone. If given your choice between a library and a fight, you'll undoubtedly go to the fight.
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.
Early on, for better or worse, I chose whose child I wanted to be: the child of the novel. Almost everything else was subjugated to this ruling passion, reading stories. As a consequence, I can barely add a column of double digits, I have not the slightest idea of how a plane flies, I can't draw any better than a five-year-old.
I have known many true connoisseurs, with excellent tastes that range across the humanities and the culinary arts--and they never fail to have a fatal effect on my self-esteem. When I find myself sitting at dinner next to someone who knows just as much about novels as I do but has somehow also found the mental space to adore and be knowledgeable about the opera, have strong opinions about the relative rankings of Renaissance painters, an encyclopedic knowledge of the English civil war, of French wines--I feel an anxiety that nudges beyond the envious into the existential. How did she find the time?
It became clear that Keisha Blake could not start something without finishing it. If she climbed onto the boundary wall of Caldwell, she was compelled to walk the entire wall, no matter the obstructions in her path (beer cans, branches). This compulsion, applied to other fields, manifested itself as "intelligence." Every unknown word sent her to a dictionary--in search of something like "completion"--and every book led to another book, a process that, of course, could never be completed. This route through early life gave her no small portion of joy, and, indeed, it seemed at first that her desires and her capacities were basically aligned. She wanted to read things--could not resist wanting to read things--and reading was easily done, and relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, that she should receive any praise for such reflexive habits baffled the girl, for she knew herself to be fantastically stupid about many things. Wasn't it possible that what others mistook for intelligence was in fact only a sort of mutation of the will?
Anyway, I think Florence and I noticed each other before the local train screeched to a halt at the 110th Street station, because as I boarded it felt as though we were supposed to step into the same car, and hold onto the same moist metal bar. My wishful hunch now seems confirmed by the way she's reading her Time magazine article next to me.
Are You Ready for New Urban Fragrances?Yeah, I guess I'm ready, but listen:Perfume is a disguise. Since the middle ages, we have worn masks of fruit and flowers in order to conceal from ourselves the meaty essence of our humanity. We appreciate the sexual attractant of the rose, the ripeness of the orange, more than we honor our own ripe carnality.Now today we want to perfume our cities, as well; to replace their stinging fumes of disturbed fossils' sleep with the scent of gardens and orchards. Yet, humans are not bees any more than they are blossoms. If we must pull an olfactory hood over our urban environment, let it be of a different nature.I want to travel on a train that smells like snowflakes.I want to sip in cafes that smell like comets.Under the pressure of my step, I want the streets to emit the precise odor of a diamond necklace.I want the newspapers I read to smell like the violins left in pawnshops by weeping hobos on Christmas Eve.I want to carry luggage that reeks of the neurons in Einstein's brain.I want a city's gases to smell like the golden belly hairs of the gods.And when I gaze at a televised picture of the moon, I want to detect, from a distance of 239,000 miles, the aroma of fresh mozzarella.
Indeed, there is something about reading in a restaurant that is borderline romantic. Leaning back in that corner booth, an evocative title in our hands, a stale cup of java in front of us, every so often bolting forward to jot a phrase onto the napkin, we look like, well, poets-unknown belletrists scraping through the hardscrabble years and awaiting the distinction that is imminent. the waiter of waitress refills our cup, we drop a memorable apothegm or two, share a laugh fraught with meaning, scope out the joint, and return to our tome. Nonbiblioholics strain to espy our title; conversation is struck up on things Kafkaesque and Kierkegaardian; and we forge a genuine biblioholic simpatico with all around.
[A] couple I had known - who were old friends - asked me what I was going to work on next. I told them I wanted to write a near future book about AIDS concentration camps. They were vehement in their response: they thought it was a terrible idea. Their words both shocked and saddened me. "Do you really want to write a book about homosexuals?" they asked me. "Won't people who read your work be influenced toward sin?"I notice that I don't hear from them much lately.
I would probably have to say that reading fiction — those stories fill the space that other people might use religious stories for. The bulk of what I know about human life I’ve gotten from novels. And I think the thing about novels that make them important to the people who love them is that there’s always another perspective.