I didn't do anything as active as deciding that I wanted to be a writer. For one thing, I didn't feel like I was the final authority on whether or not I was anything like a writer. (I'm a timid soul.) I just kept writing stories, because becoming a veterinarian seemed as if it involved too much dissection.
I spend a lot of time loathing the sentences that I put down on the page. Once I'm past that phase, it doesn't really matter what the routine is (coffee shop, someone else's house, my dining room table), I'm pretty fast. I go back to the start of whatever I'm working on, every half hour or so, and revise my way back to where I left off. I have my headphones on, I'm checking email, I look at Twitter and Tumblr, and drink a lot of coffee. I need a lot of distraction to work.
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There was something about clowns that was worse than zombies. (Or maybe something that was the same. When you see a zombie, you want to laugh at first. When you see a clown, most people get a little nervous. There's the pallor and the cakey mortician-style makeup, the shuffling and the untidy hair. But clowns were probably malicious, and they moved fast on those little bicycles and in those little crammed cars. Zombies weren't much of anything. They didn't carry musical instruments and they didn't care whether or not you laughed at them. You always knew what zombies wanted.)
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This is the list you carry in your pocket, of the things you plan to say to Kay, when you find him, if you find him: 1. I'm sorry that I forgot to water your ferns while you were away that time. 2. When you said that I reminded you of your mother, was that a good thing? 3. I never really liked your friends all that much. 4. None of my friends ever really liked you. 5. Do you remember when the cat ran away, and I cried and cried and made you put up posters, and she never came back? I wasn't crying because she didn't come back. I was crying because I'd taken her to the woods, and I was scared she'd come back and tell you what I'd done, but I guess a wolf got her, or something. She never liked me anyway. 6. I never liked your mother. 7. After you left, I didn't water your plants on purpose. They're all dead. 8. Goodbye. 9. Were you ever really in love with me? 10. Was I good in bed, or just average? 11. What exactly did you mean, when you said that it was fine that I had put on a little weight, that you thought I was even more beautiful, that I should go ahead and eat as much as I wanted, but when I weighed myself on the bathroom scale, I was exactly the same weight as before, I hadn't gained a single pound? 12. So all those times, I'm being honest here, every single time, and anyway I don't care if you don't believe me, I faked every orgasm you ever thought I had. Women can do that, you know. You never made me come, not even once. 13. So maybe I'm an idiot, but I used to be in love with you. 14. I slept with some guy, I didn't mean to, it just kind of happened. Is that how it was with you? Not that I'm making any apologies, or that I'd accept yours, I just want to know. 15. My feet hurt, and it's all your fault. 16. I mean it this time, goodbye.
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Jeremy and Karl and Elizabeth have known each other since the first day of kindergarten. Amy and Talis are a year younger... Now the five are inseparable; invincible. They imagine that life will always be like this-like a television show in eternal syndication-that they will always have each other. They use the same vocabulary. They borrow each other's books and music. They share lunches, and they never say anything when Jeremy comes over and takes a shower. They all know Jeremy's father is eccentric. He's supposed to be eccentric. He's a novelist.
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So yes, this is a show about an adolescent girl, her friends, and various vampires. Vampires writing in diaries, vampires attending high school, vampires investigating various mysterious supernatural events, vampires tormenting each other, vampires eavesdropping on each other, and vampires being sarcastic about other vampires' hairstyles. Vampires embracing every possible opportunity to take off their shirts.
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I built a cannon out of ice, and wrapped myself in the funeral carpet which my husbands and wives had woven for me out of their own hair, and one of my wives was my gunner. I came back here, after many adventures, and once, when I'd been drinking, donated the funeral carpet to the national museum. When I was sober again, I asked for it back, but they claimed not to know what I was talking about.
I've gotten a little superstitious about listening to music when I write. Once a story is going somewhere, I keep listening to the same music whenever I work on that story. It seems to help me keep in voice, and alternatively, if I need to make some kind of dramatic shift, I'll go and put on something different to shake myself awake.
Well, I don't ever leave out details, in that I don't come up with information or description which I don't then use. I only ever come up with what seems to me absolutely essential to make the story work. I'm not usually an overwriter. As I revise, it's usually a matter of adding in as much vivid details as seem necessary to make the story come clear without slowing down the momentum of the story.
You say that if we hadn't just gotten married, you would want to marry Miss Arkansas. Even if she can't spell. She can sit on her hair. A lover could climb that hair like a gym rope. It's fairy-tale hair, Rapunzel hair. We saw her practicing for the pageant in the hotel ballroom with two wild pigs, her hair braided into two lassoes.
I would like to write a novel, or at least try to write one, although my motives are not entirely pure. For one thing, I get asked about writing novels so much that I feel guilty about never having written one. And although I have no strong desire to write a novel, I would hate not to try. That would just be silly. On the other hand, I hate the idea of slogging through something that turns out to be not good.
Nobody tells her to shut up. It would be pointless. Amy has a large heart and an even larger mouth. When it rains, Amy rescues worms off the sidewalk. When you get tired of having a secret, you tell Amy. Understand: Amy isn't that much stupider than anyone else in the story. It's just that she thinks out loud.