The night after her card trick, I told Alice about magic. I told her it was real and that I was a magician. She liked me well enough by then not to fifty-one-fifty me to the cops, but she looked at me like I’d just told her that I was the king of the mushroom people. So, I pinched the flame off one of the candles she’d lit and made it hop across my fingertips. I charmed old magazines, dirty shirts, and Chinese-restaurant flyers up from the floor, formed them into a vaguely female shape, and had them strut around the apartment like a fashion model. I made my neighbor’s yowling cat speak Russian and Alice’s tattoos move around like little movies under her skin.
–Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim: A Novel
One of my favorite lecturers, Fred Wilson of USV, put it best: “I don’t sky dive, I don’t even like roller coasters, so for me pushing the publish button is that moment of risk taking…”
Can you teach someone to be an entrepreneur
As omnipresent as the snow was, I also sensed its waning, melting imperceptibly by the minute all around me. It seemed as alive in its dying as a hive of bees was in its life.
–Cheryl Strayed, Wild, From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
And so the size of my library—containing all that I have read and reread and aspire to read—can grow and shrink and change even as the number of books on the shelves remain the same. The shelves hold not only the books of my choosing, but also the snippets and fragments that I have plucked or added or paraphrased or argued about. They sit between each other, between you and I, bound together by the strength of our connections.
—Allen Tan The Readmill Blog
The strata under examination are Cambrian, dark shale of a near-lithographic quality. And, it seems, they teem with a variety of intricate forms, the paper-thin and thoroughly crushed remnants of an ancient invertebrate fauna.
—The Difference Engine by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling
WRITE EVERY DAY
Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.
When I’m working on a story or novel, I set a modest daily goal — usually a page or two — and then I meet it every day, doing nothing else while I’m working on it. It’s not plausible or desirable to try to get the world to go away for hours at a time, but it’s entirely possible to make it all shut up for 20 minutes. Writing a page every day gets me more than a novel per year — do the math — and there’s always 20 minutes to be found in a day, no matter what else is going on. Twenty minutes is a short enough interval that it can be claimed from a sleep or meal-break (though this shouldn’t become a habit). The secret is to do it every day, weekends included, to keep the momentum going, and to allow your thoughts to wander to your next day’s page between sessions. Try to find one or two vivid sensory details to work into the next page, or a bon mot, so that you’ve already got some material when you sit down at the keyboard.
Leave yourself a rough edge
When you hit your daily word-goal, stop. Stop even if you’re in the middle of a sentence. Especially if you’re in the middle of a sentence. That way, when you sit down at the keyboard the next day, your first five or ten words are already ordained, so that you get a little push before you begin your work. Knitters leave a bit of yarn sticking out of the day’s knitting so they know where to pick up the next day — they call it the “hint.” Potters leave a rough edge on the wet clay before they wrap it in plastic for the night — it’s hard to build on a smooth edge.
–Cory Doctorow, http://www.locusmag.com/Features/2009/01/cory-doctorow-writing-in-age-of.html