Here’s a mishmash:
My all-time favorite novels are One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
The first YA and MG novels I read as an adult were Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Looking for Alaska by John Green and Walk Two Moon by Sharon Creech. It changed my life.
As picture books go: William Steig.
Some poets I love: Pablo Neruda, Anne Carson, Ilya Kaminsky, John Berryman, C.D. Wright, and Dr. Seuss.
A favorite line from a poem:
“. . . the thing perhaps is to eat flowers and not to be afraid.”
Another couple lines I love:
“The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark.”
–Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
“Later she sat on the ground in the forest between school and home, and spring was so bright and beautiful, the warm air touched her so tenderly, she could almost feel herself changing into a flower. Her light dress felt like petals.
“I love everything,” she heard herself say.
“So do I,” a voice answered.
Pearl straigtened up and looked around. No one was there.”
–William Steig, The Amazing Bone
I’m currently on sabbatical but worked in publishing for many years as a literary agent at Manus & Associates Literary Agency, representing lots of amazing writers.
I have a BA from Cornell, an MFA in poetry from Brown and another MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. I might go back to school again sometime, to study art history and religion. I like to teach as well.
I love rivers, really hot weather, poetry, art, Franz Marc and Marc Chagall, going to many movies in a row, going out to dinner, to France, to the symphony, orange and magenta, a couple wretched reality shows, Pierre Bonnard’s windows, tulips, night-blooming trees and people, myth, magic, music, solitude, sunlight on water, museums, gusto, geekiness, giants, absolutely all finger foods, so very many movies, GIRAFFES, dinner parties with my friends, redwood forests, late nights and early mornings, clunky heels and jewelry, being ridiculously in love.
I adore Northern California, have lived in San Francisco for over twenty-seven years. I’ve recently painted my apartment walls orange like Lennie and Bailey do in The Sky Is Everywhere.
Spiders profoundly freak me out.
I daydream a lot.
As spiritual beliefs go, I’m with Jude in I’ll Give You the Sun, who, after much travail, aspires to be “a wobbly people pole that tries to bring joy into the world, not one that takes joy from it.”
Some quotes about writing I like:
“I finally figured out that if you are going to step on a live mine, make it your own. Be blown up as it were, by your own delights and despairs.”
“Read over your compositions and when you come across a passage you think particularly fine, strike it out.”
“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
“When in doubt, tell the truth.”
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
“To sum it all up, if you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must write dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfume and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish for you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories—science fiction or otherwise. Which means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
One last favorite quote:
“I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections and the truth of the imagination.”
“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”
Just one more:
“No, I do not weep at the world—I’m too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”
—Zora Neale Hurston