"I have gotten into baseball recently, and whenever I have trouble writing, I think about the pace of baseball. It’s slow. You strike out a lot, even if you’re great. It’s mostly individual, but when you have to work together, it must be perfect. My desktop picture is of the Red Sox during the World Series. They aren’t winning; they’re just grinding out another play. This, for me, is very helpful to have in my mind while writing."
"But one ultra-shitty thing about writing, fiction and nonfiction, is that sometimes you may just not be the person you need to be to write the book you want to write yet. I desperately wanted to be the person who could write my novel immediately after I finished ATHSW. But the right stuff hadn’t happened to me yet. You have to trust that you’re having the experiences you need to have in order to become the person who finishes the book."
"I’ve always had the idea that there’s a distinction between what we think of as the author and the person who is actually the writer. That distinction is something along the lines of the author is the person who knows everything, who meant everything that the reader senses or imagines or feels, and is aware of every last meaning in the book. And the writer is this sort of bumbling person who writes, but doesn’t always mean everything, doesn’t always know everything. And then the audience expects the author, but it’s the writer, of course, who shows up instead. I’ve loved enough authors and known enough writers to understand that that distinction is real."
"I’ve had a lot of experience analyzing various bad boyfriends, both mine and my friends’, trying to figure out why men who are smart, and who aren’t evil or unfeeling, did some of the things they did."
—Adelle Waldman (The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.), who will be here for "Sex, Love and the Novel" on Thursday, August 1.
"But I think it’s so important to be actively reading while writing. If writing is like driving a car, reading is stopping to fill up with gasoline."
"Women often have a great need to portray themselves as sympathetic and pleasing, but we’re also dark people with dark thoughts. I wanted to have that on the page, as horrible as it might seem." —Zadie Smith via The world according to Zadie Smith - ES Magazine - Life & Style - London Evening Standard
Sometimes I think I fall more in love with Zadie Smith every day.
Escape the heat wave while enjoying a cold one in our glorious air-conditioning at this week’s events:
- Today kicks off the Summer Fiction Sale! All things not true, totally made up, definitely not semi-autobiographical no sir, lies lies lies on sale, including children’s, YA, comics books, and regular ole’ fiction books. Thirty percent off our already discounted prices, all for charity, you can do no wrong, come buy all the books.
- Tomorrow we welcome Emily Gould, Sadie Stein, and Lukas Volger for a discussion on Laurie Colwin and Home Cooking in 2013. If you eat food (do you?) you won’t want to miss this. We are making gingerbread for it!
- Wednesday, Ask Roulette is back inviting you to ask a stranger a question! Totally not creepy, swear. With special guests Jamie Shupak, Mike Doughty, Jess Dweck, and as always house band Eli Bolin.
- And Thursday The Moth StorySLAM will explore the theme Wanderlust. Line up early for 7pm doors.
- Happy Day Happy Hour will end a little early on Friday; we close at 6pm for a private event, but you can enjoy cheap booze and board games from 10am to 6pm.
- And on Sunday Gotham Writers’ Workshop offers a free article writing workshop at 11am in our cafe area.
BRB, gonna stick my head in the freezer.
"Like the faith that there will always be money *somewhere* in writing, that some other publication will pay its writers so we don’t have to, this is a comforting fantasy, and one that sustains any number of wannabe literary journalists as well as those who’ve earned the right to rest on their laurels. But we have to see that these problems are connected. Publishing and academia, like so many sections of our economy, are split unsustainably between wealthy superstars and part-time, freelance “minions” paid a few hundred bucks here and there to teach entry-level classes and churn out syndicated blurbs about new books for whatever paying book-review outlets still exist."