All writers are mystery writers. We may not employ detectives in our work, but as seekers of guilty parties, we can identify with Nick Charles, Sam Spade, Lew Archer, Miss Marple and the rest. Like them, we muck about in a world studded with clues, neck-deep in motives. Like them, we falter in our investigations and follow wrong leads. We are foolhardy, preposterous, nosy, irritating. No one wants us around. We work alone, yet like Sam Spade, we operate within a tradition of our own, of which we are respectfully aware. Write and you are in the company of all who have written before you. Only when we have finished a piece of work do we know true shamus loneliness, realizing that the chase is over and that no one has been watching us but us.Roger Rosenblatt
There is always a sheet of paper. There is always a pen. There is always a way out.H.L. Mencken
Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.Raymond Chandler
Language is not the lowborn, gawky servant of thought and feeling; it is need, thought, feeling, and perception itself. The shape of sentences, the song in its syllables, the rhythm of its movement, is the movement of the imagination.William H. Gass
If you know me elsewhere on the internets, you’ve already heard about this (more than once, I imagine), but in the interest of being thorough, I thought I’d mention it on this channel as well. I recently put together a print book of my favorite long-form posts from my website Deliberatepixel.com. If you’re into that sort of thing, I have a discount on it for the rest of the weekend. It’s cute. I think you’ll like it.
Until I was about seven, I thought books were just there, like trees. When I learned that people actually wrote them, I wanted to, too, because all children aspire to inhuman feats like flying. Most people grow up to realize they can’t fly. Writers are people who don’t grow up to realize they can’t be God.Fran Lewbowitz
Writers spend all their time preoccupied with just the things that their fellow men and women spend their time trying to avoid thinking about. … It takes great courage to look where you have to look, which is in yourself, in your experience, in your relationship with fellow beings, your relationship to the earth, to the spirit or to the first cause—to look at them and make something of them.Harry Crews
If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.Henry Rollins (via libraryland)
1958 audio recording of Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming in conversation about writing.
Date a girl who reads. (By Rosemarie Urquico).
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does….
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series….
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
On the whole, good and great fiction is not written by beautiful people who feel successful. It’s written by the person who is most overlooked, all their life, and who understands things about the human condition which is very different from that of the experience of the twenty-five year old part-time model. Every author has a professional deformity – club feet, an uncomfortable religious inheritance, short stature, or incurable alcoholism, take your pick. Writers are always outsiders, and our nearest kindred isn’t someone in Hollywood but the bag-lady who rootles through dustbins muttering to herself.Amanda Craig