When I was younger I used to lock myself in the bathroom and read in the dry tub.
Fiction helps me to reconnect with the true, deep weirdness inherent in everyday reality, in our dealings with one another, in just being alive.
Given the brevity of our time here, it does seem likely that our species, too, must have at best a blinkered understanding of the shape of things, the import of certain events and what distinguishes 'good' from 'bad' luck.
Writers get embarrassed sometimes in talking about how much fun writing can be, but drafting is often really enjoyable. Often, you're tumbling in the dark, and you don't know where the story is going to lead.
Now I'll read anytime, anywhere. I love reading in front of the space heater. Isn't that a sad confession? But it's like my substitute for the roaring fireplace of yore.
It took me the bulk of my twenties to write one book about a family of alligator wrestlers. Whereas somebody like Steve Martin is releasing his latest banjo symphony, having just completed another movie and acclaimed, best-selling novel.
I would love to travel around the world working for a travel company taking students abroad on cultural immersion trips.
I think that different pleasures work for different readers - a friend of mine won't read anything that's not a cardiovascular sort of page-turner. I tend to care less about plot, but I'm a sucker for humor and strangeness.
For me, writing is a parenthesis where I can make sense of life.
My favorite classes were always dumb nerdy vocabulary.
I have friends who are capable of writing a very rough draft and then going back and embroidering - they're sort of the cathedral builders of fiction. I never really know what I'm doing, and all my pleasure's on the level of the line.
I am extremely close to my brother, Kent, and my sister, Lauren, who have been remarkably understanding about all of my weird sibling tales.
I grew up reading a lot of these super weird, genre-bending Southern gothic writers.
At the end of the block where I used to live in Coconut Grove in Miami, there's a swampy area, a no-name alcove with a little mangrove estuary. It's beautiful.
I was sort of growing up at a time of really rapidly expanding ecological consciousness. It was a time of reckoning when people were talking about how the Everglades was on life support. I was always trying to reconcile it as a kid.
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