The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
Ninety percent of true love is acute, ear-burning embarrassment.
The important thing about adventures, thought Mr. Bunnsy, was that they shouldn't be so long as to make you miss mealtimes.
The worst thing you can do is nothing.
Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.
A crowbar is a universal pass key.
Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.
Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.
Demons were like genies or philosophy professors if you didn't word things exactly right, they delighted in giving you absolutely accurate and completely misleading answers.
Escapism isn't good or bad in itself. What is important is what you are escaping from and where you are escaping to.
But what's worth more than gold? Practically everything. You, for example. Gold is heavy. Your weight in gold is not very much gold at all. Aren't you worth more than that?
Hello, inner child, I'm the inner babysitter.
Hello, inner child, I'm the inner babysitter!
A woman always has half an onion left over, no matter what the size of the onion, the dish or the woman.
I don't think about the end game. I've got lots to occupy my mind. It's the rage that keeps me going.
It was a large room, heavily outfitted with the usual badly ventilated furnaces, rows of bubbling crucibles, and one stuffed alligator. Things floated in jars. The air smelled of a limited life expectancy.
From the trees around the clearing the snakes and birds watched silently. In the swamp the alligators drifted like patches of bad-assed water.
He said that there was death and taxes, and taxes was worse, because at least death didn't happen to you every year.
Granny Weatherwax believes the world is all about stories. Oh well, we all have our funny little ways. Except me, obviously.
No normal sheet of paper could possibly trace their family tree, which in any case was more like a mangrove thicket.
Possession of the box conferred a kind of power on the wielder -- which was that anyone, confronted with the hypnotic glass eye, would submissively obey the most peremptory orders about stance and expression.
High magic requires a great clarity of thought, you see, and women's talents do not lie in that direction. Their brains tend to overheat.
In defiance of Miss Maccalariat I'd like to commit hanky-panky with you, Miss Adora Belle Dearheart... well, certainly hanky, and possibly panky when we get to know one another better.
Like any sensible witch, she wore strong boots that could march through anything--good, sensible boots.
It's not Brits who think American readers are a bunch of whinging morons with the geo-social understanding of a wire coathanger, it's American editors.
I'm trying to have a moment o' existential dreed here, right? Crivens, it's a puir lookout if a man canna feel the chilly winds o' fate lashing aroound his netheres wi'out folks telling him he's deid, eh?
That was the very centre of his genius -- he invented things that anyone could have thought of, and men who can invent things that anyone could have thought of are very rare men.
It struck Mort with sudden, terrible poignancy that Death must be the loneliest creature in the universe. In the great party of Creation, he was always in the kitchen.
Death stripes away many things, especially when it arrives at a temperature hot enough to vaporize iron ... The immortal remains of Brother Watchtower watched the dragon flap away into the fog ..
Gods play games with the fates of men. But first they have to get all the pieces on the board and look all over the place for the dice.
A man could be dogmatic, and that was all right, or he could be stupid, and no harm done, but stupid and dogmatic at the same time was too much, especially fluxed with body odor.
Money makes people rich; it is a fallacy to think it makes them better, or even that it makes them worse. People are what they do, and what they leave behind.
Things just happen, one after another. They don't care who knows. But history... ah, history is different. History has to be observed. Otherwise it's not history. It's just... well, things happening one after another.
Sometimes I really think people ought to have to pass a proper exam before they're allowed to be parents. Not just the practical, I mean.
All it takes is for people to believe and I am no longer just an artefact put together by clever engineers. I am an idea, a something made of nothing, whose time has come to be. Some may even call me Goddess.
Learning how not to do things is as hard as learning how to do them. Harder, maybe. There'd be a sight more frogs in this world if I didn't know how not to turn people into them. And big pink balloons, too.
You had to deal every day with people who were foolish and lazy and untruthful and downright unpleasant, and you could certainly end up thinking that the world would be considerably improved if you gave them a slap.
You're just as dead if you fall from forty feet as you are from four thousand fathoms, that's what I say.
I'm referred to, I see, as 'the biggest banker in modern publishing'. Now there's a line that needed the celebrated Guardian proof-reading.
Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.
But you ain't part of it, are you? said Granny conversationally. You try, but you always find yourself watchin' yourself watchin' people, eh? Never quite believin' anything? Thinkin' the wrong thoughts?
You call yourself some kind of goddess and you know nothing, madam, nothing. What don't die can't live. What don't live can't change. What don't change can't learn. The smallest creature that dies in the grass knows more than you.
You couldn't escape the pointy hat, though. There was nothing magical about a pointy hat except that it said that the woman underneath it was a witch. People paid attention to a pointy hat.
It wasn't the wearing of the hat that counted so much as having one to wear. Every trade, every craft had its hat.
There was no safety. There was no pride. All there was, was money. Everything became money, and money became everything. Money treated us as if we were things, and we died.
I don't know what to do, he said. No harm in that. I've never known what to do, said Rincewind with hollow cheerfulness. Been completely at a loss my whole life. He hesitated. I think it's called being human, or something.
There are no inconsistencies in the Discworld books; ocassionally, however, there are alternate pasts.
People listened to Hamnpork because he was the leader, but they listened to Darktan because he was often telling you things that you really, really needed to know if you wanted to go on living.
First of all you are a writer, a writer is what you are, so it doesn't actually stop the moment you leave your desk, your computer, your keyboard, whatever. Something is operating the back of your mind.
He had done regular live concerts from San Quentin jail until the civil rights people got him under the Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause.
Of course, just because we've heard a spine-chilling, blood-curdling scream of the sort to make your very marrow freeze in your bones doesn't automatically mean there's anything wrong.
I would like you to teach the orcs civilised behaviour, said Ladyship coldly.
He appeared to consider this. Yes of course, I think that would be quite possible, he said. And who would you send to teach the humans?
Moist groaned. It was the crack of seven and he was allergic to the concept of two seven o'clocks in one day.
You're saying,' he said, weighing each word, 'that we should send Carrot away to be a duck among humans because Bjorn Stronginthearm is my uncle.
Ye know full well that the meaning of life is to find your gift. To find your gift is happiness. Never tae find it is misery.
If, somewhere, any possible world can exist, then somewhere there is any letter that could possibly be written. Somewhere, all those checks really were in the mail.
New things, new ideas arrived and strutted their stuff and were vilified by some and then lo! that which had been a monster was suddenly totally important to the world.
When Geoffrey's not anxious, he radiates calmness, which probably means he sees more things and finds more things than other people do. It makes him open to new things too.
The remainder of the opera passed without anyone dying, except where the score required them to do so at some length.
Some people think this is paranoia, but it isn't. Paranoids only think everyone is out to get them. Wizards know it.
It's very rare that I ever go and research a particular subject. Mostly I do serendipitous research, I read stuff, things spinning out of the page.
Vimes leaned back. 'Don't try to put me at my ease, Miss von Humpeding,' he said. 'It makes me nervous when people do that. It's not as though I have any ease to be put at.
I do not in fact use many puns. Certainly there are far fewer than people believe. But I suspect the ones I do occasionally use tend to hang around in people's memories for a while.
You want a special truth. *You* want the truth to be a truth that *you* like. You want it to be a pretty little truth that fits what you already believe!
The lodgings were on the top floor next to the well-guarded premises of a respectable dealer in stolen property because, as Granny had heard, good fences make good neighbors.
I get it,' said the prisoner. 'Good Cop, Bad Cop, eh?' If you like.' said Vimes. 'But we're a bit short staffed here, so if I give you a cigarette would you mind kicking yourself in the teeth?
The prayers of most religions generally praise and thank the gods involved, either out of general piety or in the hope that he or she will take the hint and start acting responsibly.
We're really good at it, Teppic thought. Mere animals couldn't possibly manage to act like this. You need to be a human being to be really stupid.
Neither of my parents went to church, but they did everything that you needed to do to be Christian. That's something a Quaker would call an intimation of the divine.
The wizards were good at wind, weather being a matter not of force but of lepidoptery. As Archchancellor Ridcully said, you just had to know where the damn butterflies were.
It's lies. It's all lies. Some of them are just prettier than others, that's all. People see what they think is there.
Everybody needed the witches, but hated the fact that they did, and somehow the hatred of the fact could become the hatred of the person.
You couldn't buy it, you couldn't sell it, but you could give it away and still keep it, and even it'd been made of lead, it would have been worth its weight in gold.
No-one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away... The span of someone's life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.
Vampires have risen from the dead, the grave, and the crypt, but have never managed it from the cat.
You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it's just a cage.
And summer isn't a time. It's a place as well. Summer is a moving creature and likes to go south for the winter.
Ricewind had always relied on running away. But somerimes, perhaps, you had to stand and fight, if only because there was nowhere left to run.
It tells him what to say. I know it sounds ridiculous, muttered Hugh.
How can a book tell a man what to say?
He was, he would be the first to admit, a coward, an incompetent, and not even very good at being a failure.
Experience has taught me that you feel better on a flight if you avoid chicken fat in plastic sauce.
Sometimes I feel that the world is made up of sensible people who know the plot and bloody idiots who don't.
Granddad was superstitious about books. He thought that if you had enough of them around, education leaked out, like radioactivity.
On the other hand the Nac Mac Feegle were always looking for a fight, in a cheerful sort of way, and when they had no one to fight they fought one another, and if one was all by himself he'd kick his own nose just to keep in practice.
His sister had been sent down to the village to ask Mistress Garlick the witch how you stopped spelling recommendation.
Raising the flag and singing the anthem are, while somewhat suspicious, not in themselves acts of treason.
When you have been a possession,
then you really understand what freedom means
in all its magnificent terror.
He's got a box with a demon in it that draws pictures, said Rincewind shortly. Do what the madman says and he will give you gold.
Well, the lion is a big ol' coward, mostly. If you want trouble, you want to tangle with the lioness. They're killers, and they hunt together. It's the same everywhere. If you want big grief, look to the ladies.
And he dreamed the dream of all those who publish books, which was to have so much gold in your pockets that you would have to employ two people just to hold your trousers up.
Tell someone you are going to rob them and all that will happen is that you'll get a reputation as a truthful man.
For several years he hadn't moved outside a large, airy room, but this was OK, because he spent most of his time inside his own head in any case. There's a certain type of person it's very hard to imprison.
People are bound to get excited when they see a ten-million-ton starship trying to fly down the street.
This man was so absent-mindedly clever that he could paint pictures that didn't just follow you around the room but went home with you and did the washing-up.
The whole point of the wish business was to see to it that what the client got was exactly what he asked for and exactly what he didn't really want.
The wizards were civilized men of considerable education and culture. When faced with being inadvertently marooned on a desert island they understood immediately that the first thing to do was place the blame.
But there's magic too. You'll pick that up. It don't take much intelligence, otherwise wizards wouldn't be able to do it.
Wizards! They talked too much and pinned spells down in books like butterflies but, worst of all, they thought theirs was the only magic worth practicing.
What I've always said was, hang in there, let me write what I want to write, and you'll probably like it.
When your name is really and truly Percy Blakeney, pronounced 'Black-knee', and you still have bad acne in your twenties, you accept Pimple as a nickname and are grateful that it wasn't anything worse.
Bein' human means judgin' all the time, said the voice behind him. This and that, good and bad, making choices every day…that's human.
And the words people said were just shadows of real things. But some things were too big to be really trapped in words, and even the words were too powerful to be completely tamed by writing.
There are millions of chords. There are millions of numbers. And everyone forgets the one that is a zero. But without the zero, numbers are just arithmetic. Without the empty chord, music is just noise.
Crowley thumped the wheel. Everything had been going so well, he'd had it really under his thumb these few centuries. That's how it goes, you think you're on top of the world, and suddenly they spring Armageddon on you.
I decided at school that the only sensible way to make a living by arranging words in a pleasing order was by working on newspapers, because you got paid at the end of the week or the end of the month.
If we wanted people to fly, we would have given them wings.
You gave me wings when you showed me birds.
I had a deprived childhood, you see. I had lots of other kids to play with and my parents bought me outdoor toys and refused to ill-treat me, so it never occurred to me to seek solitary consolation with a good book.
The relevant equation is: Knowledge = power = energy = matter = mass; a good bookshop is just a Black Hole that knows how to read.
Don't be smart. Smart is only a polished version of dumb. Try intelligence. It will surely see you through.
He could always materialise and sort things out personally. But he liked people to believe that all the bad things that happened to them were just fate and destiny. It was one of the few things that cheered him up.
In a well-organized world he might have landed on a fire escape, but the fire escapes were unknown in Ankh-Morpork and the flames generally had to leave via the roof.
The Captain of the Watch says if you're still in the City by sunrise he will personally have you buried alive.
And, while it was regarded as pretty good evidence of criminality to be living in a slum, for some reason owning a whole street of them merely got you invited to the very best social occasions.
It took place in the midnight in the University's Great Hall, in a welter of incense, candlesticks, runic inscriptions and magic circles, none of which was strictly necessary but which made the wizards feel better.
He was certain he was anorectic, because every time he looked in a mirror he saw a fat man. It was the Archchancellor, standing behind him and shouting at him.
This was, after all, Ankh-Morpork, where a man walked free even if he was not, strictly speaking, a man.
People whose concept of ancient history is the first series of Star Trek may be treated with patience, because it's usually not their fault they were reduced to getting their education from school.
That's the Ankh-Morpork instinct, Vimes thought. Run away, and then stop and see if anything interesting is going to happen to other people.
And we don't often get any wading birds in the River Ankh, mainly because the pollution would eat their legs away and anyway, it's easier for them to walk on the surface.
There's a saying that all roads lead to Ankh-Morpork. And it's wrong. All roads lead away from Ankh-Morpork, but sometimes people just walk along them the wrong way.