Tuesday, May 22, 2012


...I'm reading "This Is How" by M.J. Hyland.  I loved both her other books and especially "How The Light Gets In."  Her writing is incredibly clean and spare, with undertones of sorrow.  She has a uniquely fresh voice, which is hard to find anymore.

...Yesterday I finished "Is Life Like This?" by John Dufresne.  It's about novel writing, but really more than that.  It's been helpful as I slog through my novel. 
Here are some of the best bits:

-We make sense of the world by telling stories.  Stories order the chaos of life.

-You can’t tell a proper story while you’re in tears.

-The writer’s problem, and her opportunity, is knowing the world.

-We spend too much of our lives not feeling, not living, so much as acting, going through the motions.

-Failure is a more humbling experience than most of us want to suffer.

-You have to get over the notion that you are wasting your time by sitting and writing, by thinking and feeling frustrated at what you’ve written.

-In the long run, you want to be a writer more than you want to have written one book.

-Every novel is about trouble.

-Fiction is a humbling business.

-Talk is how we find our solace, after all.

-Travel trains us to notice.  We allow ourselves to become susceptible to the stimuli around us.

--Writing is like carpentry—it’s a craft.  You learn it through a long apprenticeship.

--Being a fiction writer is being an archeologist.

--The truth about a good novel is that nothing is ever what it seems to be.

--We read novels for the people who live in them because we read to learn about ourselves.

--Everyone who has a life thinks he has a novel to write.

-At the heart of humor, as at the heart of all art, as at the heart of truth and beauty, is suffering.

-Responsible fiction is subversive in that it asks us to question our lives and the status quo, and it doesn’t let us get away with glib answers.

-The telephone, the internet…All of this keeps us from examining our lives, keeps us bewildered.
-Our job—our privilege—as fiction writers, is to imagine and inhabit the lives of others.

No comments:

Post a Comment