We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky.
The first thing you have to know about writing is that it is something you must do everyday. There are two reasons for this rule: Getting the work done and connecting with your unconscious mind.
If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day... You don't go to a well once but daily. You don't skip a child's breakfast or forget to wake up in the morning...
It hurts when they're gone. And it doesn't matter if it's slow or fast, whether it's a long drawn-out disease or an unexpected accident. When they're gone the world turns upside down and you're left holding on, trying not to fall off.
I've always loved science fiction. I think the smartest writers are science fiction writers dealing with major things.” – Associated Press interview, 12-7-11
I understood about fear. And I knew better than anyone in that room what Mouse was capable of. But still I had been raised in a place where to show your fear was worse than cowardice. It was suicide, a sin.
You know, one of the interesting things you find about writing fiction is that any fiction you write has to be political. Otherwise, it goes into the realm of fantasy. So like, if you write about a woman in America in 1910, if you don’t write that she can’t really control her property, that she can’t—doesn’t have any say over her children, that she can’t vote—if you don’t put that in it, then it’s a fantasy. Like, well, how is her life informed? That’s true about everybody. If you write about black people, you write about white men, I mean, it has to be political. A lot of people don’t realize that, it seems.
Chirren is the most dangerous creatures on the earth, with the exception of young girls between the ages of fifteen and forty-two.
These short stories are vast structures existing mostly in the subconscious of our cultural history. They will live with the reader long after the words have been translated into ideas and dreams. That's because a good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs. A good short story asks a question that can't be answered in simple terms. And even if we come up with some understanding, years later, while glancing out of a window, the story still has the potential to return, to alter right there in our mind and change everything.
Freedom is a state of mind, I said wondering where I'd heard it before, not a state of being. We are all slaves to gravity and morality and the vicissitudes of nature. Our genes govern us much more than we'd like to think. Our bodies can not know absolute freedom but our minds can, can at least try.
The life most of us live are lives we are forced to live by immediate needs, influences, and pressures.
I think that the power over death and life is the greatest strength that any person can have. It trumps sex and wealth. If I'm willing to die no one can master me.
It's like a door open at the side of the house and this cool breeze is blowing in over the back of my neck. The breeze is Death whispering and that door is open for me to go through anytime I want. And I want to go through. I want the confusion to stop--no, not only confusion but pain too.
I destroyed that doll, hoping the sacrifice would somehow reverse time and bring my father back. I was a mad scientist and an angry child.
That's how powerful you are, girl...You pretty, but pretty alone is not what people see. You the kinda pretty, the kinda beauty, that's like a mirror. Men and women see themselves in you, only now they so beautiful that they can't bear to see you go.
That’s how Ptolemy imagined the disposition of his memories, his thoughts: they were still his, still in the range of his thinking, but they were, many and most of them, locked on the other side a closed door that he’s lost the key for. So his memory became like secrets held away from his own mind. But these secrets were noisy things; they babbled and muttered behind the door, and so if he listened closely he might catch a snatch of something he once knew well.
There are as many kinds of love as there are flowers and bugs put together but men and women and their needs are all the same.
Kit [Carson Kitteridge] watched me for a few moments before saying, That was some impressive killing you did. Naked too.I hope I didn't embarrass Office Palmer.She said that after all she heard about you she thought your johnson would be bigger.Tell her that the air conditioner was on.
I don’t give a fuck what you’re trying to do or what you want. I’d send your ass away if you were a white man with a red ribbon tied around your dick.
He made me question what was, when for a whole lifetime up till that moment, I accepted the world’s excuses.
It was mid-November 2008. There were pirates taking ships with impunity in African waters, terrorists punching holes in Indian security, China sinking towards depression because Americans were afraid to buy cheap goods for Christmas, and the richest nation in the history of the world was talking about how to keep a budget.
It's not that racism doesn't exist. Lots of people in New York, and elsewhere, hate because of color and gender, religion and national origin. It's just that I rarely worry about those things because there's a real world underneath all that nonsense; a world that demands my attention almost every second of the day. Racism is a luxury in a world where resources are scarce, where economic competition is an armed sport, in a world where even the atmosphere is plotting against you. In an arena like that racism is more of a halftime entertainment, a favorite sitcom when the day is done.
We got a call from across the street that a black woman had broken into this house.”“And you were going to arrest her without even knocking on the door?”“We had to secure her first. Um. Are you okay, ma’am?”“Of course I am. Don’t you see me?”“Because we have her in custody. You don’t have to be afraid.”“I’m not afraid of my daughter-in-law, Mrs. Theon Pinkney. She’s the one who should be afraid. Four big men grabbing her and putting her in chains. What’s wrong with you?”The police stood there, slightly confused. I could see that they felt justified, even righteous, for grabbing me in Marcia’s driveway. There was no question in their minds that I was a criminal and that they were on the side of the Law.Marcia glanced at me then. We’d spent hours together but it was as if she hadn’t really gotten a good look at me until seeing the tableau in her driveway.
My father always taught by telling stories about his experiences. His lessons were about morality and art and what insects and birds and human beings had in common. He told me what it meant to be a man and to be a Black man. He taught me about love and responsibility, about beauty, and how to make gumbo.