I know that books I have written will still resonate in 50 years - particularly 'My Sister's Keeper.' It has sold three million copies in the States alone. I strongly feel that, as a novelist, you have a platform and the ability to change people's minds.
Instead of plotting the demise of the traditional family, as some politicians and religious leaders would have you believe, gay people mow their lawns and watch 'American Idol' and video their children's concerts and have the same hopes and dreams that their straight counterparts do.
I consider myself spiritual and I'm married to a man who is both an atheist and a humanist, and my kids have been raised with the traditions of different religions, but they do not go to church or temple. My feeling is that everyone should be able to believe what they want or need to believe.
If you read a book that's fiction and you get caught in the characters and the plot, and swept away, really, by the fiction of it - by the non-reality - you sometimes wind up changing your reality as well. Often, when the last page is turned, it will haunt you.
Most people in America want an easy read. I call it McFiction - books which pass right through you without you even digesting them. I don't mean a book that has two-syllable words. I mean chapters you can read in a toilet break. Happy endings. We are more of a TV culture.
On a shelf above my computer are five letters that spell out W-R-I-T-E. Just in case I forget why I'm there. I also have 'Wonder Woman' paraphernalia from when I wrote five issues of the comic, and pictures of my husband and kids.
I feel I'm able to get rid of any demons lurking in my psyche through my writing, which leaves me free to create all of this and to enjoy our family life, stepping away from all the fictional traumas and the dramas. If I write about family in crisis, then I won't have to live through it, I guess.
I think many of my books, including 'Handle with Care,' including 'My Sister's Keeper,' circle back to how far are we willing to go for the people we love? I think love changes the way we think. It's the thing that takes you out of what your normal set of beliefs would be.
Every year I tell myself that I'm not going to read any reviews and then I do. We're all human and when I read something negative it hurts. I think when you write it's part of the game, you're going to get some good reviews and some bad reviews and that's how it goes. I don't write for the reviews.
Even though I don't write about things that come from my life because I'm lucky, and I live in a great place with great kids and, you know, a great husband, I think you can find threads of me in the characters, so that's really what being a writer is, probably.
I don't believe in writer's block. Think about it - when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn't it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer's block is having too much time on your hands.
When was the last time someone read aloud to you? Probably when you were a child, and if you think back, you'll remember how safe you felt, tucked under the covers, or curled in someone's arms, as a story was spun around you like a web.
I wondered how long it took for a baby to become yours, for familiarity to set in. Maybe as long as it took a new car to lose that scent, or a brand-new house to gather dust. Maybe that was the process more commonly described as bonding: the act of learning your child as well as you know yourself.
Babies don't come with instruction booklets. You'd learn the same way we all do -- you'd read up on dinosaurs, you'd Google backhoes and skidders. And you don't need a penis to go buy a baseball glove.
What he did was wrong. He doesn't deserve your love. But he does deserve your forgiveness, because otherwise he will grow like a weed in your heart until it's choked and overrun. The only person who suffers, when you squirrel away all that hate, is you.
and he suddenly knew that if she killed herself, he would die. Maybe not immediately, maybe not with the same blinding rush of pain, but it would happen. You couldn't live for very long without a heart.
You know it's never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It's always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride.
Maybe you expected marriage to be perfect - I guess that's where you and I are different. See, I thought it would be all about making mistakes, but doing it with someone who's there to remind you what you learned along the way.
It's never fifty-fifty in a marriage. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works hard to keep things rolling smoothly, someone else sails along for the ride. Someone who would do anything to keep it the way it was in the beginning.
But Katie knew it was a sin, had known from the moment she made the decision to lie with Adam. However, the transgression wasn't making love without the sanction of marriage. It was that for the first time in her life, Katie had put herself first. Put her own wants and needs above everything and everyone else.
Then you're the one. Allie blinked at him. The one what?The one who loves more. You know it's never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It's always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone always puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride.
When you are a kid you have your own language, and unlike French or Spanish or whatever you start learning in fourth grade, this one you are born with, and eventually lose...Kids think with their brains cracked wide open; becoming an adult...is only a slow sewing it shut.
There is a magic to intimacy, a world built of sighs and skin that is thicker than brick, stronger than iron. There is only you, and him, so impossibly close that nothing can come between. Not the enemy, not your allies. In this safe haven, in this hallowed place and time, I could even ask the questions whose answers I feared.
But rules only work when everyone plays by them. What happens when someone doesn't, and the fallout bleeds right into his life? Whats stronger- the need to uphold the law, or the motive to turn one's back on it?"
It was not compassion that led to Daniel's change of heart, and it was not kindness. It was realizing that, against all odds, he had something in common with Jason Underhill. Like Daniel, Jason had learned the hard way that they we are never the people we think we are. We are the ones we pretend, with all our hearts, we can't become."
I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA."
But no one ever said yes to make sex consensual. You took hints from body language, from the way two people came together. Why...didn't a shake of the head or a hand pushing hard against a chest speak just as loudly? Why did you have to actually say the word no for it to be rape?"
There is a curious thing that happens with the passage of time: a calcification of character... Change isn't always for the worst; the shell that forms around a piece of sand looks to some people like an irritation, and to others, like a pearl."
Witness testimony is always flawed. It's better than circumstantial evidence, sure, but people aren't camcorders; they don't record every action and reaction, and the very act of remembering involves chosing words, actions and images. In other words, any witness who was supposed to be giving a court facts is really just giving them a version of fiction.
I leaned forward and kissed him. And again. As if I were passing him all those silent words I cound not say, the ones that explained my biggest secret: that I might not have OI but I knew how he (Adam) felt. That I was breaking apart, too, all the time."-Amelia
The English judged a person so that they'd be justified in casting her out. The Amish judged a person so that they'd be justified in welcoming her back. Where I'm from, if someone is accused of sinning, it's not so that others can place blame. It's so that the person can make amends and move on.
Yes, she is." He looks at me, his face carved in pain. "She is dying, Sara. She will die, either tonight or tomorrow or maybe a year from now if we're really lucky. You heard what Dr. Chance said. Arsenic's not a cure. It just postpones what's coming." My eyes fill up with tears. "But I love her," I say, because that is reason enough.
Turn around, and the people you thought you knew might change. Your little boy might now live half a world away. Your beautiful daughter might be sneaking out at night. Your ex-husband might by dying by degrees. This is the reason that dancers learn, early on, how to spot while doing pirouettes: we all want to be able to find the place where we started.
Why is it that only in the very beginnings of a relationship are you aware of the heat coming from inside a person, of the number of inches you would have to move for your shoulders to brush as if it were an accident?
Life sometimes gets so bogged down in the details, you forget you are living it. There is always another appointment to be met, another bill to pay, another symptom presenting, another uneventful day to be notched onto the wooden wall. We have synchronized our watches, studied our calendars, existed in minutes, and completely forgotten to step back and see what we've accomplished.
It's because of libraries that books like mine get recommended to book clubs and avid readers, who in turn pass them onto others looking to be whisked away from the world for a little while...and perhaps to learn a bit about themselves in the process.
Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.
The reason I am still sitting at Josef's kitchen table is the same reason traffic slows after a car wreck- you want to see the damage; you can't let yourself pass without that mental snapshot. We are drawn to horror even as we recoil from it.
Words, for all they were flimsy and invisible, had great strength. They could be fortified as a castle wall and sharp as a foil. They could bite, slap, shock, wound. But unlike deeds, words couldn't really help you. No promise ever rescued a person; it was the carrying-through of it that brought about salvation.
Sometimes I think there's a beast that lives inside me, in the cavern that's where my heart should be, and every now and then it fills every last inch of my skin, so that I can't help but do something inappropriate. Its breath is full of lies; it smells of spite.
I don't know why it's called "getting lost." Even when you turn down the wrong street, when you find yourself at the dead end of a chain-link fence or a road that turnd to sand, you are somewhere. It just isn't where you expected to be.
Love is not an equation, it is not a contract, and it is not a happy ending. Love is the slate under the chalk, the ground that buildings rise, and the oxygen in the air. It is the place you come back to, no matter where your headed
Into the silence rips a sound that makes me let go of Max's hand and cover my ears. It is like the strafe of a bullet, nails on a chalkboard, promises being broken. It's a note I have never heard - this chord of pure pain - and it takes a moment to realize it is coming from me.
There is a curious thing that happens with the passage of time: a calcification of character... Change isn't always for the worst; the shell that forms around a piece of sand looks to some people like an irritation, and to others, like a pearl.
I can give or take elephants; I never can find the cheetah-but the zebras captivate me. They'd be one of the few things that would fit if we were lucky enough to live in a world that's black or white.
My high school guidance counselor, Mrs. Inverholl, once had me take an aptitude test to figure out my future. The number one job recommendation for my set of skills was an air traffic accident investigator, of which there are fewer than fifty in the world. The number two job was a museum curator for Chinese-American studies. The number three job was a circus clown.
When this is over...we will got to the rainforest, or a beach as white as bone. We will eat grapes from the vine, we will swim with sea turtles, we will walk miles on cobblestone streets. We will laugh and talk and confess. We will.
A place like this wears down everything, and tolerance is no exception. In here, coexistence passes for forgiveness. You do not learn to like something you abhor; you come to live with it...You live and let live, and eventually that becomes enough.
Things break all the time. Glass and dishes and fingernails. Cars and contracts and potato chips. You can break a record, a horse, a dollar. You can break the ice. There are coffee breaks and lunch breaks and prison breaks. Day breaks, waves break, voices break. Chains can be broken. So can silence, and fever... promises break. Hearts break.
It was no coincidence, that fear could move a person to extremes, just as seamlessly as love. They were the conjoined twins of emotion: If you didn't know what was at stake to lose, you had nothing to fight for.
For me it's more important that I outline all the facets of a controversial issue and let the reader make up his or her mind. I don't care if readers change their minds, but I would like readers to ask themselves why their opinion is what it is.
Crazy girls did this, girls who walked like zombies through YA novels. But. Trixie felt the sting of the skin as it split, the sweet welling rise of blood. It hurt, though not as much as everything else idd.
What was wrong with me? I had a decent life. I was healthy. I wasn't starving or maimed by a land mine or orphaned. Yet somehow, it wasn't enough. I had a hole in me, and everything I took for granted slipped through it like sand. I felt like I had swallowed yeast, like whatever evil was festering inside me had doubled in size.
Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.
I think grief is like a really ugly couch. It never goes away. You can decorate around it; you can slap a doily on top of it; you can push it to the corner of the room-but eventually, you learn to live with it.
Families were never what you wanted them to be. We all wanted what we couldn't have: the perfect child, the doting husband, the mother who wouldn't let go. We live in our grown-up dollhouses completely unaware that, at any moment, a hand might come in and change around everything we'd become accustomed to.
Stupid English." "English isn't stupid," I say. "Well, my English teacher is." He makes a face. "Mr. Franklin assigned an essay about our favorite subject, and I wanted to write about lunch, but he won't let me." "Why not?" "He says lunch isn't a subject." I glance at him. "It isn't." "Well," Jacob says, "it's not a predicate, either. Shouldn't he know that?
History tells us that six million Jews disappeared during that war. If there was no Holocaust, where did they go?' She shakes her head. 'All of that, and the world didn't learn anything. Look around. There's still ethnic cleansing. There's discrimination.
Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.
But rules only work when everyone plays by them. What happens when someone doesn't, and the fallout bleeds right into his life? Whats stronger- the need to uphold the law, or the motive to turn one's back on it?
there was not much distinction between losing a friend and a lover: it was all about intimacy. One moment, you had someone to share your biggest triumph, and fatal flaws with; the next minute, you had to keep them bottled inside.
I have the most devoted and loyal following. I could probably type up my grocery list and they'd all want to read it. I love that they're willing to let me go wherever I need to go as an author, and they're happy to come along for the ride as the reader.
You don't have to say I love you to say I love you," you said with a shrug. "All you have to do is say my name and I know." ..."Can't you hear it?" you said. "When you love someone, you say their name different. Like it's safe inside your mouth.
People in the real world would kill for a happily ever after, and you're willing to just throw it away ?" I look away from her. "It's hardly a happily ever after when you wind up right at the beginning.
and another claimed it was inherited through a parent who was a carrier of the defective gene. I had always assumed the latter was the case with Claire. After all, surely a child who grew out of grief would be born with a heavy heart.
I don't know the first thing about holding together a family, especially one that resembles an heirloom vase, shattered but glued back together for its beauty, and no one mentions that you can see the cracks as plain as day.
My chest feels full of glitter and helium, the way it used to when I was little and riding my father's shoulders at twilight, when I knew that if I held up my hands and spread my fingers like a net, I could catch the coming stars.
in nineteen minutes you can norder a pizza and have it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed. You can walk a mile. You can sew a hem. In nineteen minutes you can get revenge.
Everyone knew that if you divided reality by expectation, you got a happiness quotient. But when you invert the equation - expectation divided by reality - you didn't get the opposite of happiness. What you got, Lewis realized, was hope.
It's a fallacy that writers have to shut themselves up in their ivory towers to write. I have all these interruptions, three of which I gave birth to. If I was thrown for a loop every time I was distracted I could never get anything done.
Chicken,' Josie said. 'Have you ever been in love?' Peter looked at Josie, and thought of how they had once tied a note with their addresses to a helium balloon and let it go in her backyard, certain it would reach Mars. Instead, they had received a letter from a widow who lived two blocks away. 'Yeah,' he said. 'I think so.
She suddenly remembered studying the brain in science class- how a steel rod pierced a man's skull, and he opened his mouth to speak Portuguese, a language he'd never studied. Maybe it would be like this, now, for Josie. Maybe her native tongue, from here on in, would be a string of lies.
Nobody, who looks at a shard of flint lying beneath a rock ledge, or who finds a splintered log by the side of the road would ever find magic in their solitude. But in the right circumstances, if you bring them together, you can start a fire that consumes the world.
You know, he told me once, completely exasperated, you've got one glass of water inside your head, with all the tears for a lifetime. If you waste them over nothing, then you won't be able to cry for real when you need to.
Mistakes are like the memories you hide in an attic: old love letters from relationships that tanked, photos of dead relatives, toys from a childhood you miss. Out of sight is out of mind, but somewhere deep inside you know they still exist. And you also know that you're avoiding them.
I learned a long time ago with you that folks who were trying to be kind would rather do it with a macaroni-and-cheese bake than any personal involvement. You hand off a serving dish and you've done your job - no need to get personally involved, and your conscience is clean. Food is the currency of aid.
In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn; color your hair; watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world; or you can just jump off it.
a guardian ad litem... GAL is appointed by a court to be a child's advocate during legal proceedings that involve a minor. You don't have to be a lawyer to be trained as a GAL, but you have to have a moral compass and a heart. Which, actually probably renders most lawyers unqualified for the job.
a public persona that might be different from what we truly feel inside... everyone wonders if they are good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, no matter how old they are. It is an archetypical moral dilemma - Do you act like yourself and risk becoming an outcast?
Music therapy, to me, is music performance without the ego. It's not about entertainment as much as its about empathizing. If you can use music to slip past the pain and gather insight into the workings of someone else's mind, you can begin to fix a problem.
A woman isn't all that different from a bonfire. A fire's a beautiful thing, right? Something you can't take your eyes off, when it's burning. If you can keep it contained, it'll throw light and heat for you. It's only when it gets out of control that you have to go on the offensive.
But I think half the battle is figuring out what works for you, and I am much better at being a mother than I ever would have been as a lawyer. I sometimes wonder if it is just me, or if there are other women who figure out where they are supposed to be by going nowhere." - My Sister's Keeper
she told me she'd be a phoenix." The image of the mythical creature rising from the ashes glitters in my mind. "They don't really exist." "She said that depends on whether or not there's someone who can see them.
I know that there will be other women, but they couldn't compare. Maybe I'll change, maybe love will change, but I think we were a once-in-a-lifetime. You could never leave me; that's why I am not more upset. You can't possibly break these feelings. They stretch, and they last.
Once, I asked my mom why stars shine. She said they were night-lights, so the angels could find their way around in Heaven. But when I asked my dad, he started talking about gas, and somehow I put it all together and figured that the food God served caused multiple trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
You know how every now and then, you have a moment where your whole life stretches out ahead of you like a forked road, and even as you choose one gritty path you've got your eyes on the other the whole time, certain that you're making a mistake.
You give her all your french fries, even when she won't give you back onion rings,' Sophie says. 'And when you say her name it sounds different.' How?' Sophie thinks. 'Like it's covered with blankets.
I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA.
I wondered about the explorers who'd sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.
The weapons an author has at her disposal are flawed. There are words that feel shapeless and overused. Love, for example. I could write the word love a thousand times and it would mean a thousand different things to different readers.
I woke up one morning thinking about wolves and realized that wolf packs function as families. Everyone has a role, and if you act within the parameters of your role, the whole pack succeeds, and when that falls apart, so does the pack.
Fiction is like that, once it is released into the world: contagious, persistent. Like the contents of Pandora's box, a story that's freely given can't be contained anymore. It becomes infectious, spreading from the person who created it to the person who listens, and passes it on.
Each memory is like a paper flower stowed up a magician's sleeve: invisible one moment and then so substantial and florid the next I cannot imagine how it stayed hidden all this time. And like those paper flowers, once they've been let loose in the world, the memories are impossible to tuck away again.
Life, it turns out, goes on. There is no cosmic rule that grants you immunity from the details just because you have come face-to-face with a catastrophe. The garbage can still overflow, the bills arrive in the mail, telemarketers, interrupt dinner.
You can run but you can't hide... but I can try. I feel air catch in my lungs and I get a cramp in my side and this pain, this wonderful physical pain that I can place, reminds me that after all I am still alive.
I don't base my books on my life (thank goodness) and I don't pick the topic first. In fact, the topic picks me - via a question I can't answer as a mom, a wife, a woman, an American. I find myself wondering "What if..." and it blossoms into a whole novel.
In my previous life I was a civil attorney. At one point I truly believed that was what I wanted to be- but that was before I'd been handed a fistful of crushed violets from a toddler. Before I understood that the smile of a child is a tattoo: indelible art.
I don't know what it is about death that makes it so hard. I suppose it's the one-sided communication; the fact that we never get to ask our loved one if she suffered, if she is happy wherever she is now...if she is somewhere. It's the question mark that comes with death that we can't face, not the period.
Peter was, simply, what a person would look like if you boiled down the most raw emotions and filtered them of any social contract. If you hurt, cry. If you rage, strike out. If you hope, get ready for a disappointment.
When we sat down on the couch again, you curled up against my side, like you used to when you were a toddler. What I wanted to say to you, but didn't, was this: Don't use me as your model. I'm the last person you should look up to.
We can't go into the room where Sophie's sleeping, so I haul her into the backseat of her rental car, parked two feet in front of us. It seems ridiculous, adolescent, and in a way, perfectly fitting. Our knees knock against the windows and our feet get in the way, and because it is Delia, we even laugh.
Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, 'You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.
Logically, I understand that it wasn't Edward's fault my family fell apart after he left. But when you're eleven years old, you don't give a flip about logic. You just really miss holding your big brother's hand.
Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?
The answer is that there is no good answer. So as parents, as doctors, as judges, and as a society, we fumble through and make decisions that allow us to sleep at night--because morals are more important than ethics, and love is more important than law.
People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that's not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.
I love you," he whispered, and that was the moment he knew what he was going to do. When you loved someone, you put their needs before your own. No matter how inconceivable those needs were; no matter how fucked up; no matter how much it made you feel like you were ripping yourself into pieces.
You don't have to say I love you to say I love you," you said with a shrug. "All you have to do is say my name and I know."..."Can't you hear it?" you said. "When you love someone, you say their name different. Like it's safe inside your mouth.
The damage was permanent; there would always be scars. But even the angriest scars faded over time until it was difficult to see them written on the skin at all, and the only thing that remained was the memory of how painful it had been.
A lie, as you probably know, has a taste all its own. Blocky and bitter and never quite right, like when you pop a piece of fancy chocolate into your mouth expecting toffee filling and you get lemon zest instead.
So much of the language of love was like that: you devoured someone with your eyes, you drank in the sight of him, you swallowed him whole. Love was substance, broken down and beating through your bloodstream.
Dr. Keller begins pacing. "I don't think we've been hearing Faith just right. Her guard...the words..they sound alike."What do you mean?"Your daughter," Dr. Keller says flatly. "I think she's seeing God.
What is a parent, really, but somebody who picks up the things a child leaves behind - a trail made of stripped off clothing, orphaned shoes, tiny bright plastic game pieces, and nostalgia - and who hands back each of these when its needed?
I was starting to see that what looks like garbage from one angle might be art from another. Maybe it did take a crisis to get to know yourself; maybe you needed to get whacked hard by life before you understood what you wanted out of it.
Cara: I used to believe everything my brother told me, because he was older and I figured he knew more about the world. But as it turns out, being a grown-up doesn't mean you're fearless. It just means you fear different things.
There are so many things I can't believe. That people deserve what they get, both bad and good. That one day I'll live in a world where people are judged by what they do instead of who they are. That happy endings don't have contingencies and conditions.
If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask... with nothing beneath it~?
I closed my eyes and curled my fists around the things I knew for sure: That a scallop has thirty-five eyes, all blue. That a tuna will suffocate if it ever stops swimming. That I was loved. That this time, it was not me who broke
I watch her do the simplest things: brushing her hair into a ponytail, feeding the dog, tying Sophie's shoelaces, and I want to tell her what she means to me, but I never actually say the words. After all, to acknowledge Delia as a drug, I'd have to face the fact that one day I might have to go without her and this I can't do.
You are only as invincible as your smallest weakness, and those are tiny indeed - the length of a sleeping baby's eyelash, the span of a child's hand. Life turns on a dime, and - it turns out - so does one's conscience.
Shelby believed that love was like a solar eclipse - breathtakingly beautiful, absorbing, and capable of rendering you blind. She had not necessarily gone out of her way to avoid a relationship, but she hadn't wanted on either. It was called falling in love for a reason - because, inevitably, you crashed at the bottom.
As a child, what I was missing was so much bigger to me than what I had. My mother-mythic, imaginary-was a deity and a superhero and a comfort all at once. If only I'd had her, surely, she would have been the answer to every problem; if only I'd had her , she would have been the cure for everything that ever had gone wrong in my life.
But as he grew older, he learned that a word was a powerful thing. An insult didn't have to be shouted to bleed; a vow didn't have to be whispered to make you believe. Hold a thought in your head, and that was enough to change the actions of anyone and anything that crossed your path.
...as it turned out, growing up was just as she'd feared. One day when your alarm clock rang, you got up and realized you had someone else's thoughts in your head... or may be just your old ones, minus the hope.
If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask... with nothing beneath it?
She thought of death like the seam of a hem: each time you lose someone close, it unraveled a little. You could still go along with your life, but you'd be forever tripping over something you previously took for granted.
I told myself that if I didn't care, this wouldn't have hurt so much - surely that proved I was alive and human and all those touchy-feely things, for once and for all. But that wasn't a relief, not when I felt like a skyscraper with dynamite on every floor.
Dante believed God punished suicides by trapping the person's spirit in a tree trunk. On Judgment Day, they were the only sinners who didn't get their souls back, because they tried to get rid of them once before.
What I want, more than anything, is to turn back time a little. To become the kid I used to be, who believed whatever my mother said was one hundred percent true and right without looking hard enough to see the hairline crack.
Where did you go?" "To the end of the driveway," my mother says. "I was nine months pregnant; that was the maximum distance I could waddle without feeling as if my uterus was falling out." I wince. "Do you have to be quite so graphic?" "What would you like me to call it, Zoe? A fetal living room?
When you love someone more than he loves you, you'll do anything to switch the scales. You dress the way you think he'd like you to dress. You pick up his favorite figures of expression. You tell yourself that if you re-create yourself in his image, then he'll crave you in the same way you crave him.
People work too hard to figure out the meaning of their lives. Why me, why now. The truth is, sometimes things don't happen to you for a reason. Sometimes it's just about being in the right place at the right time for someone else.
In the space between yes and no, there's a lifetime. It's the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it's the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you'll tell yourself in the future.
I know what it's like to start something and have it suddenly grow out of control. And you want to get rid of it, because it's hurting you and everyone else around you, but every time you try to do that, it consumes you again.
As an American I wanted to explore... why are we the only first world country that still has capital punishment? Is it because we're too afraid to really examine the system, or is it because we really truly believe that this is the best way to deter future crime?
I'm the kind of person you want to kill. I had an incredibly happy childhood. I married a terrific guy when I was 23. I have great, well-adjusted kids. Sometimes my husband and I look at each other and do a little jig in the kitchen. This is the best life.
I'm not going to tell a person how to think, don't believe in that. What I want to do, when I write these books, is just to say don't be so sure of yourself. Let me pull the carpet out from underneath you, and let's see if you can still find the footing.
Writing is total grunt work. A lot of people think it's all about sitting and waiting for the muse. I don't buy that. It's a job. There are days when I really want to write, days when I don't. Every day I sit down and write.
If you read the first page of one of my novels, I can guarantee that you will read the last one. This isn't just social commentary. This is also about writing good page-turners. I want people to keep reading.