Sometimes happiness is like the sound of a plane overhead. You look up to see it but the plane's not there. No matter where you look you can't find it on the sky, although the sound is still there and growing louder. You get a little frantic searching. At the same time you're thinking, this is stupid. But you keep looking and if you do finally see it, you feel absolved. Most of my life I'd been looking for happiness in the wrong parts of the sky.
A short story is a sprint, a novel is a marathon. Sprinters have seconds to get from here to there and then they are finished. Marathoners have to carefully pace themselves so that they don't run out of energy (or in the case of the novelist-- ideas) because they have so far to run. To mix the metaphor, writing a short story is like having a short intense affair, whereas writing a novel is like a long rich marriage.
If you are a success in life, there are places you must go and pay to be humiliated. It is an unwritten law that human beings must be tormented throughout their lives in one way or another. If you are fortunate enough to have risen to a social level where no one does it to you for free, then you must pay for the service.
Time talks behind our back. To our face it's friendly and logical, never hesitating to give more of itself. But when we're not looking, it steals our lives and says bad things about us to the parts of us it's stolen
The Viennese wash everything. Where else in the world does the government hire public servants to wash public telephone booths and the glass over traffic lights? Every time I see someone doing these things, I smile like a child.
It took me less than half a lifetime to realize that regret is one of the few guaranteed certainties. Sooner or later everything is touched by it, despite our naive and senseless hope that just this time we will be spared its cold hand on our heart.
The Wilmington, Delaware, television station that bills itself as The Family Minded Station is Channel 69.
Krakow is one of my favorite places on earth. It is a medieval city full of young people. A wonderful, striking combination.
I have never heard anyone say This is it. I know right now is the high point of my life. It will never get any better. Only in retrospect do we recognize the best times and of course then it is too late.
Most men, no matter how well or badly dressed, carry overstuffed, beat up wallets that should have been replaced years ago. Why is that? Every time I see a guy take out a wallet anywhere, it looks like a piece of old melted chocolate cake-with strings.
At a Boston signing, someone from the audience asked why I was so obsessed with furniture in my books. The question rattled around in my head. I had no idea that I was obsessed with furniture.
May this house stand until an ant drinks the ocean and a tortoise circles the world.
There's almost always a point in a book where something happens that triggers the rest of the plot.