Rosencrantz: We might as well be dead. Do you think death could possibly be a boat?Guildenstern: No, no, no… Death is…not. Death isn’t. You take my meaning. Death is the ultimate negative. Not-being. You can’t not-be on a boat.Rosencrantz: I’ve frequently not been on boats.Guildenstern: No, no, no–what you’ve been is not on boats.
We didn't play very well tonight to tell you the truth. If our bench didn't come to the rescue, we would have been in trouble. Michele Hagan had a big night with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 13 minutes. That's almost a triple-double. And Jill saved us in the first half. We weren't shooting very well, and she came in and hit some threes and got four rebounds. The bench carried us tonight.
Death isn't empty like you say it is. Emptiness is life without freedom, Darrow. Emptiness is living chained by fear, fear of loss, of death. I say we break those chains. Break the chains of fear and you break the chains that bind us to the Golds, to the Society. Could you imagine it? Mars could be ours. It could belong to the colonists who slaved here, died here." Her face is easier to see as the night fades through the clear roof. It is alive, on fire. "If you led the others to freedom. The things you could do, Darrow. The things you could make happen." She pauses and I see her eyes are glistening. "It chills me. You have been given so, so much, but you set your sights so low.""You repeat the same damn points," I say bitterly. "You think a dream is worth dying for. I say it isn't. You say it's better to die on your feet. I say it's better to live on our knees.""You're not even listening!" she snaps. "We are machine men with machine minds, machine lives …" "And machine hearts?" I ask. "That's what I am?""Darrow …" "What do you live for?" I ask her suddenly. "Is it for me? Is it for family and love? Or is it just for some dream?""It's not just some dream, Darrow. I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.""I live for you," I say sadly. She kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more.
Isn't it weird," I said, "the way you remember things, when someone's gone?"What do you mean?"I ate another piece of waffle. "When my dad first died, all I could think about was that day. It's taken me so long to be able to think back to before that, to everything else."Wes was nodding before I even finished. "It's even worse when someone's sick for a long time," he said. "You forget they were ever healthy, ever okay. It's like there was never a time when you weren't waiting for something awful to happen."But there was," I said. "I mean, it's only been in the last few months that I've started remembering all this good stuff, funny stuff about my dad. I can't believe I ever forgot it in the first place."You didn't forget," Wes said, taking a sip of his water. "You just couldn't remember right then. But now you're ready to, so you can."I thought about this as I finished off my waffle.
What the dead don't know piles up, though we don't notice it at first. They don't know how we're getting along without them, of course, dealing with the hours and days that now accrue so quickly, and, unless they divined this somehow in advance, they don't know that we don't want this inexorable onslaught of breakfasts and phone calls and going to the bank, all this stepping along, because we don't want anything extraneous to get in the way of what we feel about them or the ways we want to hold them in mind.
I do care. That's why I hunt them. But if you've seen what I have, then you learn to deal with the murders and disappearances. You learn to push it aside and move on. The other life isn't here anymore. This new world has its own rules. Survival of the fittest is one of them. If you're hoping for kindness and pity, don't hold your breath.
Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of "Remember to never split an infinitive" and "The passive voice should never be used." The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules ("Thimk," "We Never Make Misteaks") is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world's largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms:* Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read. * Don't use no double negatives.* Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.* Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.* Do not put statements in the negative form.* Verbs has to agree with their subjects.* No sentence fragments.* Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.* Avoid commas, that are not necessary.* If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.* A writer must not shift your point of view.* Eschew dialect, irregardless.* And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.* Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.* Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.* Write all adverbial forms correct.* Don't use contractions in formal writing.* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.* It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.* Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.* Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.* If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.* Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.* Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.* Always pick on the correct idiom.* "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'"* The adverb always follows the verb.* Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives."(New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)
I don't know what more motivation there is than to be on the brink of elimination and playing before fans that have been great for you all year. Ultimately, we're playing for each other in this room. But without a doubt, there isn't a guy in here that doesn't want to go out and play well and win in front of our fans. I mean, they've been unbelievable for us all year long.
I paid you five thousand instead and promised the balance only if you made the match. As it turns out, this is your lucky day because I've decided to write you the full check, whether the match comes from you or from Portia. As long as I have a wife and you've been part of the process, you'll get your money." He toasted her with his beer mug. "Congratulations."She put down her fork. "Why would you do that?""Because it's efficient.""Not as efficient as having Powers handle her own introductions. You're paying her a fortune to do exactly that.""I'd rather have you."Her pulse kicked. "Why?"He gave her the melty smile he must have been practicing since the cradle, one that made her feel as though she was the only woman in the world. "Because you're easier to bully. Do we have a deal or not?""You don't want a matchmaker. You want a lackey.""Semantics. My hours are erratic, and my schedule changes without warning. It'll be your job to cope with all that. You'll soothe ruffled feathers when I need to cancel at the last minute. You'll keep my dates company when I'm going to be late, entertain them if I have to take a call. If things are going well, you'll disappear. If not, you'll make the woman disappear. I told you before. I work hard at my job. I don't want to have to work hard at this, too.""Basically, you expect me to find your bride, court her, and hand her over at the altar. Or do I have to come on the honeymoon, too?""Definitely not." He gave her a lazy smile. "I can take care of that all by myself.
Well, right now I'm not dead. But when I am, it's like...I don't know, I guess it's like being inside a book that nobody's reading. [...] An old one. It's up on a library shelf, so you're safe and everything, but the book hasn't been checked out for a long, long time. All you can do is wait. Just hope somebody'll pick it up and start reading.
You're dead," I repeated. "So why are you in my dream?"He raised the bill of his olive drab ball cap with one finger. " Good question. Morbid, isn't it?""What?""Dreaming about dead peolpe. Creepy. You ever see a therapist about that?""I'm not -" Even in dreams, I couldn't win an argument. Even when he was dead.
It's a misery peculiar to would-be writers. Your theme is good, as are your sentences. Your characters are so ruddy with life they practically need birth certificates. The plot you've mapped out for them is grand, simple and gripping. You've done your research, gathering the facts; historical, social, climatic culinary, that will give your story its feel of authenticity. The dialogue zips along, crackling with tension. The descriptions burst with color, contrast and telling detail.Really, your story can only be great. But it all adds up to nothing.In spite the obvious, shining promise of it, there comes a moment when you realize that the whisper that has been pestering you all along from the back of your mind is speaking the flat, awful truth: IT WON'T WORK.An element is missing, that spark that brings to life in a real story, regardless of whether the history or the food is right.Your story is emotionally dead, that's the crux of it.The discovery is something soul-destroying, I tell you. It leaves you with an aching hunger.