Every story I create, creates me. I write to create myself.
Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
Not everyone has been a bully or the victim of bullies, but everyone has seen bullying, and seeing it, has responded to it by joining in or objecting, by laughing or keeping silent, by feeling disgusted or feeling interested.
If vampires were a separate species, and they were into genetic engineering, what would they engineer for?
I don't write about good and evil with this enormous dichotomy. I write about people. I write about people doing the kinds of things that people do.
When I was 7 and went to the zoo with my second-grade class, I saw chimpanzee eyes for the first time - the eyes of an unhappy animal, all alone, locked in a bare, concrete-floored, iron-barred cage in one of the nastier, old-fashioned zoos. I remember looking at the chimp, then looking away.
Religion is everywhere. There are no human societies without it, whether they acknowledge it as a religion or not.
Tolerance, like any aspect of peace, is forever a work in progress, never completed, and, if we're as intelligent as we like to think we are, never abandoned.
Delusional pain hurts just as much as pain from actual trauma. So what if it's all in your head?
The big talent is persistence.
Simple peck-order bullying is only the beginning of the kind of hierarchical behavior that can lead to racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and all the other 'isms' that cause so much suffering in the world.
Every story I write adds to me a little, changes me a little, forces me to reexamine an attitude or belief, causes me to research and learn, helps me to understand people and grow.
I'm comfortably asocial - a hermit in the middle of a large city, a pessimist if I'm not careful, a feminist, a black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty and drive.
A 10-pound sack of potatoes lasts a long time.
Getting your writing criticized can be a lot like getting skinned, and you respond to it just as enthusiastically.
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