My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like I'm going to die. But the good kind of heart racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I'm about to kick the shit out of life.
Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
When I graduated high school, I was one of many English-majors-to-be traveling through Europe with a copy of 'Let's Go Europe' in one hand, 'Anna Karenina' in the other, a Eurail pass for a bookmark.
I suppose I could admire all these slow Seattle drivers for their safety-mindedness, consideration for others, and peace of mind. Instead, I'm a fury of annoyance.
On my walks, that's when the good ideas come. The kind of hard, gritty work is when you're sitting at the computer and it's kind of intense and you're kind of in super control of it - the walks are when you let go. That's when the really big breakthroughs come in, and it's very strange.
I survived many a youth hostel bunk room reading Tolstoy by flashlight.
I know what it's like to feel snobby; I know what it's like to feel anxiety; I know what it's like to feel like busted because you're crazy.
I'm consistently blown away by 'Mad Men.' Having spent so much time in the writers' room, I'm cursed in that anytime I watch something, I'm always calculating what the writers are up to.
I keep an elaborate calendar for my characters detailing on which dates everything happens. I'm constantly revising this as I go along. It gives me the freedom to intricately plot my story, knowing it will at least hold up on a timeline.
I never understood the concept of a fluffy summer read. For me, summer reading means beaches, long train rides and layovers in foreign airports. All of which call for escaping into really long books.
I don't mind finding these ugly sides to my personality and exaggerating them because that's something you can write towards.
In TV writing, I felt like Gulliver being tied down by the Lilliputians. There's so much more freedom in fiction writing.
When you need a good laugh, do you reach for a book? I don't. I expect books to move me deeply and submerge me in another reality. So when a novel makes me roar with laughter, it's always a delightful surprise.
I quickly realized that shopping on Amazon had made the idea of parking my car and going into a store feel like an outrageous imposition on my time and good nature.
I think that's the most important job of a novelist - to bring authority to their writing.
I drop my kid off at school and then race home, and it's a very limited time. I can only do really serious writing for a couple of hours. And then I always go on a walk, I do a one-to-two-hour walk; I don't go running or hard hiking.
Writing a novel is so hard, and there are so many problems that the last thing you're thinking about is adapting this mess you have on your hands as a movie. You just want to get it to work as a novel. That's your main focus.
After decades spent in rewrite rooms surrounded by other shouting writers, I discovered that I work best alone. I like being in charge of my time, working out the problems according to my own rhythms and being able to nap. That's a big one, the napping on demand!
There's something uniquely exhilarating about puzzling together the truth at the hands of an unreliable narrator.
When you become a parent, that's a whole new level of life intruding. Nobody tells you how boring and time-sucking it's going to be! Or how the responsibility feels like an airbag going off in your life.