To be honest, in my five years as an electrician, I never got the license.
There’s this sort of male energy that we have that can seem very destructive. But it doesn’t have to be. It actually can be a very positive force.
The attention one gets from being a poet isn’t great.
That soldiers do terrible things during wartime should not surprise us.
That Dick Cheney is pro-torture surprises no one; he freely admits it.
When I was a child, writing was the worst possible choice of a career in my family. My father had always identified himself as a writer to my mother when they met. When they met, he was writing this great novel, there was no doubt about it.
The only strategy I know of is to write every day, which I don’t always do, because sometimes I just can’t, for various reasons that seem out of my control.
The first book I could call mine, my first book, was a picture book, ‘The Magic Monkey’ – it was adapted from an old Chinese legend by a thirteen-year-old prodigy named Plato Chan with the help of his sister.
In life you get one take, and it’s perfect. It’s strange, afterwards you might think I shouldn’t have reacted that way, but that’s the way you reacted. That’s your take; that’s all you get.
I’m not sure why working at a homeless shelter made sense to me, except that I needed to immerse myself in some sort of larger real-life situation to get me out of the cage of my mind, in some ways.
Our job as writers, as far as I can tell, is to attempt to express what seems inexpressible.
What I do is write, and I try to write as closely as I can into what I call ‘the mystery.’
In life you get one take, and it’s perfect.
If you’re going to write about someone’s life, you don’t just use them for wallpaper. You have to honor and respect that life.
My father had always identified himself as a writer to my mother when they met. When they met, he was writing this great novel, there was no doubt about it. Part of why she left him was this delusion of greatness and identifying it very directly with being an artist.