You can find me at deadnovelist.com.
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
“It is the writer’s privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.”
“Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.”
“Wonder. Go on and wonder.”
“…I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire…I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”
“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”
“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. ”
“A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid. ”
“A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”
“The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.”
“The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews. ”
“I’m bad and I’m going to hell, and I don’t care. I’d rather be in hell than anywhere where you are. ”
“I love Virginians because Virginians are all snobs and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little time left to meddle with you.”
“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.”
“Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.”
Dream I was scuba diving with friends and we had stayed underwater so long that our eyes had adjusted to the dark and our skin had adjusted to the cold, and it took someone from above, who had just come down below, to remind us that somewhere else there were bright warm places and we didn’t have to sit on the sea floor, holding our parties there.
Then of smoking with the same friends on a beach resort at night, and someone offered a drink but I didn’t take it.
And then wanting to leave, being ready to move on, in some ways, but there was a dumpster full of old junk I had forgotten to sort, and visions of my childhood room in Philadelphia, with all my stuff still in it, and more. And everyone was willing to help, but I had all this stuff to go through, old cassettes, VHS tapes, and zillions of scraps of paper with writing on them, that I was going to have to scan and throw away if I would have any chance of moving on, of being able to travel lightly.
“…On rushed your groovy understudy, stuffed with blunder, slipping on the pebbles, dressed in a complicated costume, trashing your leading role.” (Penny Goring)
“The blinding light of redemption came a few nights ago. I slumped into the kitchen, pale faced and drawn. I was looking for a quick hit from a half gallon, but the carton was getting low. I needed a fix and I needed it fast. The withdrawls were coming on and the shaking and rickets were unbearable. Captain Amazing put up the last of the dishes and observed me from across the counter. I knew I looked bad, but all he said was:
‘Babe, you gotta start writing again.'” (Crazy Writer Girl)
“Nothing good comes from such a line of thinking, go back to working on the bliss, and a little drinking is sometimes necessary to find the sweetness. Be happy” (Tuesday)
On Sun, Jul 4, 2010 at 3:12 PM, Matthew Temple wrote:
I’m just coming to understand that I’m flawed, that I’m somewhat under my control and somewhat not. And that it might always be that way. What happens to us, we start out young and then we become these very particular, very precisely-defined people, who aren’t everything they might have been, but exactly what we have become. I think I like reflecting on this topic to your email address, just because we knew each other in earlier times.
There’s that great line in Blade Runner when Deckard and Rachael are talking about getting the shakes and Deckard tells her it’s part of the business, and Rachael—as a replicant—says, “I’m not in the business. I am the business.” I love that line and that scene for many reasons that I am not planning to discuss here.
But, thinking about that line this morning while editing, and while generally thinking about art and artists, a meaning or application of that line, strikes me, that I have never thought about before.
Joe Byron of the LA Film school says that if you watch enough movies you don’t have to go to film school. And I know that to be true, in general. But even as going to film school, watching movies, and working on films all teach you distinct sets of lessons, the more general playground is just your life. And that’s the playground artists really need to be paying attention to. Watching enough movies may be a substitute for having to listen to film school teachers break it down for you, but watching your life is the basic school for all art, all science, all business, all love. Movies made by people who mainly pay attention to other people’s movies—instead of their own life, or even other people’s lives—those movies suck. I always said, at film school, that cinematographers and sound people and production designers, yes, they should go to film school. But directors and writers, when they show up, the school should give them their tuition back and send them on a road trip. People who make the best movies are making them about their lives, or something they know about from life…not things they know from school, or even from other movies. We should, as artists, not be in the business…we should be the business.
Of course, with Deckard as an example, maybe it’s possible to do both.