Mark Twain said, 'The right word is to the nearly right word as lightning is to the lightning bug.' Fill your book with lightning.
Fill your pages with details. Work hard to get the right word.
I am an amateur mountain climber. Once or twice a year I go off to Chamonix in the French Alps, under Mont Blanc, and with a guide do treks that include rock climbing at high altitude.
For me, Fitzgerald was one of the great American writers of the last century; a wordsmith, a storyteller, a perfectionist.
The poetry of Walt Whitman. I can return again and again to these magnificent poems and still get pleasure from reading them.
When people ask me if I have worked for the C.I.A., I often answer: what good to you is my answer? Because if I did, I might not say so.
I am not conventionally religious, but I am an ongoing student of the Old and the New Testament and the history of the Jewish people and the birth of Christianity.
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