He was having more fun than a barrelful of monkeys.* *Several years earlier Spider had actually been tremendously disappointed by a barrelful of monkeys. It had done nothing he had considered particularly entertaining, apart from emit interesting noises, and eventually, once the noises had stopped and the monkeys were no longer doing anything at all""except possibly on an organic level""had needed to be disposed of in the dead of night.
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There are new gods growing in America, clinging to growing knots of belief: gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon. Proud gods, fat and foolish creatures, puffed up with their own newness and importance. "They are aware of us, they fear us, and they hate us," said Odin. "You are fooling yourselves if you believe otherwise.
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Shadow had heard too many people telling each other not to repress their feelings, to let their emotions out, let the pain go. Shadow thought there was a lot to be said for bottling up emotions. If you did it long enough and deep enough, he suspected, pretty soon you wouldn't feel anything at all.
It's certainly not too late to change to the winning side. But you know, you also have the freedom to stay just where you are. That's what it means to be an American. That's the miracle of America. Freedom to believe means the freedom to believe the wrong thing, after all. Just as freedom of speech gives you the right to stay silent.
We'll win, of course," he said. "You don't want that," said the demon. "Why not, pray?" "Listen," said Crowley desperately, "how many musicians do you think your side have got, eh? First grade, I mean." Aziraphale looked taken aback. "Well, I should think-" he began. "Two," said Crowley. "Elgar and Liszt. That's all. We've got the rest. Beethoven, Brahms, all the Bachs, Mozart, the lot. Can you imagine eternity with Elgar?
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Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody "" no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
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Be proud of your mistakes. Well, proud may not be exactly the right word, but respect them, treasure them, be kind to them, learn from them. And, more than that, and more important than that, make them. Make mistakes. Make great mistakes, make wonderful mistakes, make glorious mistakes. Better to make a hundred mistakes than to stare at a blank piece of paper too scared to do anything wrong.
I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
I only have two kinds of dreams: the bad and the terrible. Bad dreams I can cope with. They're just nightmares, and the end eventually. I wake up. The terrible dreams are the good dreams. In my terrible dreams, everything is fine. I am still with the company. I still look like me. None of the last five years ever happened. Sometimes I'm married. Once I even had kids. I even knew their names. Everything's wonderful and normal and fine. And then I wake up, and I'm still me. And I'm still here. And that is truly terrible.
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The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it's about and why you're doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising ("but of course that's why he was doing that, and that means that...") and it's magic and wonderful and strange.
Gods, religions and national boundaries are absolutely imaginary. They don't tend to exist. As soon as you pull back half a mile and look down at the Earth there are no national boundaries. There aren't even national boundaries when you get down and walk around. They're just imaginary lines we draw on maps. I just get fascinated by people who assume that things that are imaginary have no relevance to their lives.
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There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar apart: first, Mr. Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr. Croup; second, Mr. Croup has eyes of a faded china blue, while Mr. Vandemar's eyes are brown; third, while Mr. Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr. Croup has no obvious jewelery; fourth, Mr. Croup likes words, while Mr. Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing at all alike.
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Nothing [the demon] could think up was half as bad as the stuff [people] thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into their design somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse.
It used to be thought that the events that changed the world were things like big bombs, maniac politicians, huge earthquakes, or vast population movements, but it has now been realized that this is a very old-fashioned view held by people totally out of touch with modern thought. The things that really change the world, according to Chaos theory, are the tiny things. A butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian jungle, and subsequently a storm ravages half of Europe.
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Writing, and especially writing a novel, where you get to sit in a room by yourself with either a pen and a paper or a computer for a couple of years, is a very solitary occupation. You can read sales figures - a hundred thousand books sold, half a million books sold - but they are just numbers.
You know, I'm normally so sanguine. But... being accused of rushing these two books out to cash in on the Newbery Medal, without access to time travel equipment or anything, just makes me want to bang my forehead gently against a tree for half an hour. Is it too much to ask people to think?
I like 'pencil-necked weasel'. It has 'pencil' in it. Pencils are good things. You can draw or write things with pencils. I think it's what you call someone when you're worried that using a long word like 'intellectual' may have too many syllables. It's not something that people who have serious, important things to say call other people.
We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.
There are little pockets of old time in London, where things and places stay the same, like bubbles in amber," she explained. "There's a lot of time in London, and it has to go somewhere""it doesn't all get used up at once." "I may still be hung over," sighed Richard. "That almost made sense.
You see, evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction. It is ultimately negative, and therefore encompasses its downfall even at its moments of apparent triumph. No matter how grandiose, how well-planned, how apparently foolproof of an evil plan, the inherent sinfulness will by definition rebound upon its instigators. No matter how apparently successful it may seem upon the way, at the end it will wreck itself. It will founder upon the rocks of iniquity and sink headfirst to vanish without trace into the seas of oblivion.
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I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck... I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
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Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong""in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: make good art. . . . Someone on the internet thinks what you're doing is stupid or evil or it's all been done before: make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and it doesn't even matter. Do what only you can do best: make good art.
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If you were close enough to her ruby-red lips you would hear her say, 'I will rise now and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek the one I love.' She is whispering that, and she whispers, 'By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. My beloved is mine and I am his.
Lucifer protests he was never to blame for inducing anyone to sin, and that he's never had an interest in owning souls: 'They die, and they come here "" having transgressed against what they believed to be right "" and expect us to fulfill their desire for pain and retribution. I don't make them come here... I need no souls. And how can anyone own a soul? No, they belong to themselves. They just hate to have to face up to it.
It doth not hurt", whispered a faint voice, "She will take you life and all you are and all you care'st for, and she will leave you with nothing but mist and fog. She'll take your joy. And one day you'll wake and your heart and soul will have gone. A husk you'll be, a wisp you'll be, and a thing no more than a dream on waking, or a memory of something forgotten.