Monday, March 17, 2008

Something That's True

Happiness Only Real When Shared.

Christopher McCandless
Into The Wild

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Moon River

There was once a very lovely, very frightened girl.

She lived alone except for a nameless cat.

Two drifters

off to see the world

there's such a lot of world

to see...


...He sat down on a grassy bank and looked at the city that surrounded him, and thought, one day he would have to go home. And one day he would have to make a home to go back to. He wondered whether home was a thing that happened to a place after a while, or if it was something that you found in the end, if you simply walked and waited and willed it long enough.

~Neil Gaiman, American Gods~

How to Wear a Hat

Son, all you need to wear a hat is attitude. And you got that.

...The green fedora was not a thinking cap: but it was the kind of hat that would be worn by someone who not only thought but also came to conclusions of an important and vital kind.

...Some hats can only be worn if you're willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you're only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you. This hat was one of those, and Charlie was up to it.

~Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys~


Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn't a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has it's own words. Very few people get to sing their own songs. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish, or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead.

~Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys~

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Writer's Observations

In the back of the cellar room light was slowly coming up. It seemed as if dawn were breaking. I could see a jungle mist wreathing about huge ferns and hostas; and I could hear, as if from a great way off, the chirp of crickets and the call of strange birds awaking to greet the new day.

And part of me—the writer part of me, the bit that has noted the particular way the light hit the broken glass in the puddle of blood even as I staggered out from a car crash, and has observed in exquisite detail the way that my heart was broken, or did not break, in moments of real, profound, personal tragedy—it was that part of me that thought, You could get that effect with a smoke machine, some plants, and a tape track. You'd need a really good lighting guy, of course.

~Neil Gaiman, The Facts in The Case of The Departure of Miss Finch, Fragile Things~


Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before

Say “please” before you open the latch,

go through,

walk down the path.

A red metal imp hangs from the green painted door,

as a knocker,

do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat nothing.


if any creature tells you that it hungers,

feed it.

If it tells you that it is dirty,

clean it.

If it cries to you that it hurts,

if you can,

ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.

The deep well you walk past leads down to Winter's realm;

there is another land at the bottom of it.

If you turn around here,

you can walk back, safely;

you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the wood.

The trees are old. Eyes peer from the undergrowth.

Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman.

She may ask for something;

give it to her. She

Will point the way to the castle. Inside it

are three princesses.

Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the castle the

twelve months sit about a fire,

warming their feet, exchanging tales.

They may do favors for you, if you are polite.

You may pick strawberries in December's frost.

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them

where you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry.

The ferryman will take you.

(The answer to his question is this:

If he hands the oar to his passenger; he

will be free to leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.

Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that

witches are often betrayed by their appetites;

dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;

hearts can be well-hidden,

and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister:

Know that diamonds and roses

are as uncomfortable when they tumble

from one's lips as toads and frogs:

colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

Remember your name.

Do not lose hope—what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have

helped to help you in their turn.

Trust dreams.

Trust your heart, and trust your story.

When you come back, return the way you came.

Favors will be returned, debts be repaid.

Do not forget your manners.

Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall)

Ride the silver fish (you will not drown)

Ride the gray wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

There is a worm at the heart of the tower;

that is why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the

place your journey started,

you will recognize it, although it will seem

much smaller than you remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden

gate you never saw before but once.

And then go home. Or make a home.

Or rest.

~Neil Gaiman, Instructions from the book Fragile Things~

[Quite literally, what to do when you find yourself in a fairy tale.]