I tell my students one of the most important things they need to know is when they are at their best, creatively. They need to ask themselves, What does the ideal room look like? Is there music? Is there silence? Is there chaos outside or is there serenity outside? What do I need in order to release my imagination?
I think being an editor really helped me take other people's notes on my writing. I'd get a note like 'It's too wet' or 'The first couple chapters are good, but then the rest of the pages were so wet that they were completely illegible' or 'Did you dip this in Sprite? This smells like Sprite. Why would you dip your novel in Sprite?' And instead of pushing back, I'd listen. That's an incredibly important skill for a young writer to have.
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The idea of a wanton woman is something I have inserted into almost all of my books. An outlaw figure who is disallowed in the community because of her imagination or activity or status - that kind of anarchic figure has always fascinated me. And the benefits they bring with them, in spite of the fact that they are either dismissed or upbraided - something about their presence is constructive in the long run.
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Two parents can't raise a child any more than one. You need a whole community - everybody - to raise a child. And the little nuclear family is a paradigm that just doesn't work. It doesn't work for white people or for black people. Why are we hanging onto it, I don't know. It isolates people into little units - people need a larger unit.
Anger ... it's a paralyzing emotion ... you can't get anything done. People sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling "" I don't think it's any of that "" it's helpless ... it's absence of control "" and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers ... and anger doesn't provide any of that "" I have no use for it whatsoever." [Interview with CBS radio host Don Swaim, September 15, 1987.]
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Never did he once consider directing his hatred toward the hunters. Such an emotion would have destroyed him ... His subconscious knew what his min did not guess-that hating them would have consumed him, burned him up like a piece of soft coal, leaving only flakes of ash and a question mark of smoke.
True the Black woman did the housework, the drudgery; true, she reared the children, often alone, but she did all of that while occupying a place on the job market, a place her mate could not get or which his pride would not let him accept.And she had nothing to fall back on: not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything. And out of the profound desolation of her reality she may very well have invented herself.
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I remember a very important lesson that my father gave me when I was twelve or thirteen. He said, "You know, today I welded a perfect seam and I signed my name to it." And I said, "But, Daddy, no one's going to see it!" And he said, "Yeah, but I know it's there." So when I was working in kitchens, I did good work.
Never did he once consider directing his hatred toward the hunters. Such an emotion would have destroyed him... His subconscious knew what his min did not guess-that hating them would have consumed him, burned him up like a piece of soft coal, leaving only flakes of ash and a question mark of smoke.