To take that risk, to offer life and remain alive, open yourself like this and become whole.
I'll make you mine, lovers said in old books. They never said, I'll make you me.
The fact is that blank pages inspire me with terror. What will I put on them? Will it be good enough? Will I have to throw it out?
Forgiving men is so much easier than forgiving women.
I was tired of her getting away with being so young.
It is better to hope than to mope!
Oppression involves a failure of the imagination: the failure to imagine the full humanity of other human beings.
I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.
But my dreaming self refuses to be consoled.
But my dreaming self refuses to be consoled. It continues to wander, aimless, homeless, alone. It cannot be convinced of its safety by any evidence drawn from my waking life.
We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.
We lived in the gaps between the stories.
You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.
You fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye.
Lose your temper and you lose the fight.
Nature is to zoos as God is to churches.
It's doors I'm afraid of because I can't see through them, its the door opening by itself in the wind I'm afraid of.
We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?
Although he doesn't know it yet, she isn't his real life. But he is hers.
This is painful.
Can I be blamed for wanting a real body, to put my arms around? Without it I too am disembodied. I can listen to my own heartbeat against the bedsprings...but there's something dead about it, something deserted.
Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.
Knowing was a temptation. What you don't know won't tempt you.
Because you may think a bed is a peaceful thing, Sir, and to you it may mean rest and comfort and a good night's sleep. But it isn't so for everyone; and there are many dangerous things that may take place in a bed.
I'm not used to girls, or familiar with their customs. I feel awkward around them, I don't know what to say. I know the unspoken rules of boys, but with girls I sense that I am always on the verge of some unforeseen, calamitous blunder.
Love was like a steamroller. There was no avoiding it; it went over you and you came out flat.
If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.
Strange how we decorate pain.
Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.
I have been known to buy e-versions of my books because I was in a hotel room and I needed one right away to look up something in it; very handy for that -- you can have it just the next minute; you can press the button and just have it.
Some bioengineering is good, especially if it results in plants that are more drought-resistant or perennial food crops.
Science never makes things that do not have to do with what we feel, by which I mean what we want and what we fear.
There is good and mediocre writing within every genre.
Some of our earliest writing, in cuneiform, was about who owes what.
The myth that everyone once read great literature is just a myth.
When you're writing a novel, you don't want the reader to come out of it voting yes or no to some question. Life is more complicated than that. Reality simply consists of different points of view.
You quickly find, when you are a hand-reader as I am, that nothing interests people so much as themselves.
Science fiction is filled with Martians and space travel to other planets, and things like that.
I'm from the generation that had the boys' door and the girls' door when you went to school, and you got in big trouble if you went in the wrong one.
Victorian literature was my subject at Harvard.
I learned to read very early so I could read the comics, which I then started to draw.
I grew up with the biologists. I know how they think.
I grew up in the golden age of Flash Gordon and sci-fi.
I'm bad at picking heroes.
I'm the only person you've ever met who has read Longfellow.
The threat to the planet is us. It's actually not a threat to the planet -- it's a threat to us.
Our generation in the west was lucky: we had readymade gateways. We had books, paper, teachers, schools and libraries. But many in the world lack these luxuries. How do you practice without such tryout venues?
I don't think the relationship between novels and realities are one to one. Of course novels play different roles. It's essentially just a long narrative form. What you use that long narrative form for can be very different.
Science fiction, to me, has not only things that wouldn't happen, but other planets.
I'm not interested in cutting the feet off my characters or stretching them to make them fit my certain political view.
For years I wanted to be older, and now I am.
The problem with meditating is I generally go to sleep, and that's because I'm doing it wrong.
I'm a person of whim, and easily distracted. I don't like multitasking. When I'm doing one thing, I like to do just that thing.
Younger people have greatest fears. Why is that? Because they don't know the plot. They don't know their own individual plot... they don't know what's going to happen to them.
There's a difference between describing and evoking something. You can describe something and be quite clinical about it. To evoke it, you call it up in the reader. That's what writers do when they're good.
I began writing at the age of 5, but there was a dark period between the ages of 8 and 16 when I didn't write. I started again at 16 and have no idea why, but it was suddenly the only thing I wanted to do.
I particularly like Twitter, because it's short and can be very funny and informative. It's a little bit like having your own radio program.
If social stability goes pear-shaped, you have a choice between anarchy and dictatorship. Most people will opt for more security, even if they have to give up some personal freedom.
I was warped early by Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe. I was very fond of Franz Kafka.
I spent much of my childhood in northern Quebec, and often there was no radio, no television -- there wasn't a lot to entertain us. When it rained, I stayed inside reading, writing, drawing.
Debt is part of the human condition. Civilization is based on exchanges -- on gifts, trades, loans -- and the revenges and insults that come when they are not paid back.
I didn't go to school for a full year until I was 12. In the summer I was a wild child in the woods, with no shoes, and in the fall it was back to the city, shoe shops and school.
If one of the arguments against eating meat is to do with cruelty and animal intelligence, then lab meat avoids that. There's also the environmental argument for it.
When I am writing fiction, I believe I am much better organized, more methodical -- one has to be when writing a novel. Writing poetry is a state of free float.
I grew up in the north woods of Canada. You had to know certain things about survival. Wilderness survival courses weren't very formalized when I was growing up, but I was taught certain things about what to do if I got lost in the woods.
As soon as you have a language that has a past tense and a future tense you're going to say, 'Where did we come from, what happens next?' The ability to remember the past helps us plan the future.
We shouldn't be saying 'Save the planet'; we should be saying: 'Save viable conditions in which people can live.' That's what we're dealing with here.
Reading and writing are connected. I learned to read very early so I could read the comics, which I then started to draw.
I got into trouble a while ago for saying that I thought the internet led to increased literacy -- people scolded me about the shocking grammar to be found online -- but I was talking about fundamentals: quite simply, you can't use the net unless you can read.
I tend to feel if people say they're going to do something, they will, if given the chance.
I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own.
Popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself.
If you're waiting for the perfect moment, you'll never write a thing because it will never arrive. I have no routine. I have no foolproof anything. There's nothing foolproof.
You're never going to kill storytelling, because it's built into the human plan. We come with it.
Social media is called social media for a reason. It lends itself to sharing rather than horn-tooting.
'1984' is not a wonder tale. Not only could it happen, but it has happened, but under different names.
Writers and books are cheap dates, especially when you compare the cost of a book with a ticket to the opera -- or an NHL game.
Genres aren't closed boxes. Stuff flows back and forth across the borders all the time.
All fat women look the same; they all look 42.
Myths can't be translated as they did in their ancient soil. We can only find our own meaning in our own time.
Canada was built on dead beavers.
War is what happens when language fails.
A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.
A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason. Think of it as the altar of the Muse Oblivion, to whom you sacrifice your botched first drafts, the tokens of your human imperfection.
People use technology only to mean digital technology. Technology is actually everything we make.
The darkness is really out there. It's not something that's in my head, just. It's in my work because it's in the world.
I was born in the Ottawa General Hospital right after the Gray Cup Football Game in 1939. Six months later, I was backpacked into the Quebec bush. I grew up in and out of the bush, in and out of Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto.
You can examine the whole 19th century from the point of view of who would have maxed out their credit cards. Emma Bovary would have maxed hers out. No question. Mr. Scrooge would not have. He would have snipped his up.
My brother and I were both good at science, and we were both good at English literature. Either one of us could have gone either way.
Once upon a time, novelists of the 19th century, such as Charles Dickens, published in serial form.
If I pick up a book with vampires on the cover, I want there to be vampires. If I pick up a book with spaceships on the cover, I want spaceships. If I see one with dragons, I want there to be dragons inside the book. Proper labeling. Ethical labeling.
I think every age lives in a blend of technology so there's always older ones mixed in with newer ones, and when the new technology goes down, the immediate fallback position is either that technology just before that or one several technologies back.
Within one's own family, money is not the measure of things, unless the person is an absolute Scrooge. Only the most extreme kind of monster would put a price on everything.
Canada is a balloon-puncturing country. You are not really allowed to be an icon unless you also make an idiot of yourself.
Time is compressed like the fist I close on my knee... I hold inside it the clues and solutions and the power for what I must do now.
The beginning of Canadian cultural nationalism was not 'Am I really that oppressed?' but 'Am I really that boring?'
You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer.
You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer, an almost physical nerve, the kind you need to walk a log across a river.
Because I am a mother, I am capable of being shocked: as I never was when I was not one.
An eye for an eye only leads to more blindness.