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" My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage. "
" I write as a matter of need - seven books and God knows how many short stories before anyone published me. "
" As a result of manifest destiny, we gutted our resources. "
" I love being a struggling artist; it makes me feel very alive. "
" I really believe in challenging myself, pushing myself to new places. "
" There are holes in our lives that can never be filled - not really, not ever. "
" So often when we historicize material, we use this big wide-angle lens. "
" Limited points of view let the writer dispense - and the reader gather - information from various corners of the story. It all becomes a kind of dance, with the writer guiding the reader through the various twists and turns. The challenge is keeping readers in step, while still managing to surprise. "
" I just need to believe that we're not in some form of stasis, that we can try to be whoever we want to be. We probably won't get there, but we might get a little bit closer, you know? "
" There're so many great writers out there who aren't getting the exposure they deserve. "
" I'm a DIY kinda guy. "
" I've been blessed with an optimistic disposition, I think. "
" Most everything that happens to me in any significant sense finds its way into my fiction. "
" The jocks that used to stuff me into a locker when I was a punk rocker are my best buddies now. "
" For me, an ideal novel is a dialogue between writer and reader, both a collaborative experience and an intimate exchange of emotions and ideas. The reader just might be the most powerful tool in a writer's arsenal. "
" You have to find hope. Hope is such a shape shifter. You tend to look in the rearview mirror for hope, but when it's gone, you have to look forward. You have to get in the van and keep driving on. "
" When I started caregiving, I was not on very firm ground. My first marriage had dissolved. I was working at an ice-cream stand in my thirties. I learned that when you don't have anything to give, that's when you really give, and then you get back so much more. "
" I discovered John Fante when I was 17 years old - strangely, not through Charles Bukowski, but through William Saroyan, who was his drinking buddy. "
" Maybe a theme that touches all of my work is people reinventing themselves. "
" In writing, I've found, playing it safe and familiar is no way to energize anybody. "
" Homesteading is gone. "
" I'm not in the business of meddling with people's destinies - and yes, my characters are real people to me. They have histories and thoughts and yearnings and hurts and misgivings and pleasures that don't belong to me. "
" I usually write in my underwear, with a space heater running full blast, and three dogs sleeping at me feet. "
" After 20 years of writing in basically a vacuum, I love being part of a community. I've vetted other writers' contracts for them and do publicity for free just because I like a book. Some people think of it as hubris or careerism, but I love to champion books. You can't use your whole sphere of influence just to help yourself. "
" I grew up in the Bay Area until 1976, then I pretty much went all the way through primary and high school on Bainbridge, though like anybody who grows up on an island, I ran the first chance I got. "
" Too many writers of fiction don't give the reader enough credit. "