Stephen King



Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth . In the fall of 1971 King took a teaching job at Hampden Academy, earning $6,400 a year. The Kings then moved to Hermon, a town west of Bangor. Stephen then began work on a short story about a teenage girl named Carietta White. After completing a few pages, he decided it was not a worthy story and crumpled the pages up and tossed them into the trash. Fortunately, Tabitha took the pages out and read them. She encouraged her husband to continue the story, which he did. In January 1973 he submitted "Carrie" to Doubleday. In March Doubleday bought the book. On May 12 the publisher sold the paperback rights for the novel to New American Library for $400,000. His contract called for his getting half of that sum, and he quit his teaching job to pursue writing full time. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then King has had numerous short stories and novels published and movies made from his work. He has been called the "Master of Horror". His books have been translated into 33 different languages, published in over 35 different countries. There are over 300 million copies of his novels in publication. He continues to live in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, and writes out of his home. In June 1999 King was severely injured in an accident, he was walking alongside a highway and was hit by a car, that left him in critical condition with injuries to his lung, broken ribs, a broken leg and a severely fractured hip. After three weeks of operations, he was released from the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

  • Active years
  • 44
  • Primary profession
  • Writer·producer·actor
  • Nationality
  • British (modern)
  • Gender
  • Male
  • Birth date
  • 21 September 1947
  • Place of birth
  • Portland· Maine
  • Death date
  • 1915-10-08
  • Residence
  • Fort Wayne· Indiana·Stratford· Connecticut·Bangor· Maine·Portland· Maine
  • Children
  • Joe Hill·Naomi King·Owen King
  • Spouses
  • Tabitha King
  • Education
  • Lisbon High School ·University of Maine
  • Knows language
  • English language
  • Member of
  • Democratic Party
  • Influence
  • J.R.R. Tolkien·Richard Matheson·John D. MacDonald·H.P. Lovecraft·Shirley Jackson·Charles Dickens·Ray Bradbury·Robert Bloch·






(September 1999) Newspapers reported that he has bought the van that hit him on June; he plans to hammer it to pieces on the anniversary of the accident.

(19 June 1999) King was accidentally hit in the back by a minivan while walking on Route 5 near North Lovell, Maine. He suffered a broken leg, a bruised lung and a head laceration. The driver of the van was distracted by his dog. King was found lying in a depression about 14 feet off the road and appeared to have been thrown by the collision. The vans windshield was broken and the right front corner of the car was crunched in from the impact of striking King.

(May 1999) Revealed that he is suffering from macular degeneration, a currently incurable condition which will most likely lead to blindness.

(May 1999) Estimated annual salary is $40 million.

(October 1996) HBO paid $1.5 million for the rights to the novel "Rose Madder".

Has never censored his own work. The death of Dr. Jimmy Cody in "Salems Lot" was cut due to the demands of the editor at Doubleday, which King acquiesced to because his career was still in its infancy.

King published seven novels ("Rage", "The Long Walk", "Roadwork", "The Running Man", "Thinner", "The Regulators" and "Blaze") under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.

Portions of Kings writings from when he was 9 years old appears in the 1993 book, "First Words", edited by Paul Mandelbaum, available from Algonquin books.

Supposedly created his pseudonym Richard Bachman by reading a novel by Donald E. Westlake , whose pseudonym is Richard Stark, while listening to Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

It is falsely rumored that he will not sign autographs because of superstition. Actually, he doesnt sign them because he hates the idolatry of celebrities (he also will not endorse an official fan club for the same reason). He will sign autographs now only at book signings, according to his official website. Another rumor (perhaps started by King) claims that, if sent a book to sign, he will burn it and return the ashes. This is also untrue and was debunked by his official website.

Met his wife Tabitha King while the two were working at the Fogler Library as students at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine.

Used to work for a dry cleaner before publishing his first novel.

(June 2000) His daughter Naomi wed her 54-year-old lesbian partner Thandeka (who is a theological school teacher) in Nashville, Tennessee.

(26 September 2000) Bryan Smith, the driver of the van that hit King, dies. King said in a statement, "I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Bryan Smith.The death of a 43-year-old man can only be termed untimely.".

Scored in the 1300s on the SAT.

Children: Naomi Rachel (b. 1970), Joseph Hillstrom (b. June 4, 1972) and Owen Phillip (b. February 21, 1977).

Wrote "The Running Man", a 304-page novel, in only ten days.

Owns three radio stations in Maine (one has been named AP Station of the Year more than once) Online at

Certified by Guinness Superlatives (the "Book of World Records" group) as having the most number of motion picture adaptations by a living author.

In 1992 he and wife Tabitha King gave a donation to build Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, Maine. The only condition Stephen had was that the score board would be placed such that he could see it from his house while working. In August of 2002 he threw the first pitch at the opening of the Senior League Baseball World Series. The Kings were honored for their generosity with an inscribed stone monument shaped like a home plate.

Contributed a short monologue to two versions of the Blue yster Cult song "Astronomy" (from the out-of-print "Imaginos" album) on a promotional CD single.

His short story "The Man in the Black Suit" won an O. Henry Award for Best Short Story in 1996.

(25 November 2003) - Underwent surgery to remove scar tissue and fluid from his lungs from a bout of pneumonia.

Once said that his favorite personal horror movie was Tourist Trap , and his favorite film is Of Unknown Origin .

Dogs are often described as monsters or -- the opposite -- victims in his books and films (like Cujo or Pet Sematary ).

He is an avid Red Sox fan. Before the Sox won the 2004 World Series, he said he wanted his tombstone epitaph to be a single sock and the line "Not In My Lifetime, Not In Yours, Either."

He is the most successful American writer in history.

Often listens to hard rock music during the time he writes to get inspired. He also plays in a rock band himself.

A recovering alcoholic, King noted in his book "On Writing" that he was drunk virtually the whole time of writing the book "Cujo" and to this day barely remembers writing any of it.

In the 1980s he was battling a cocaine addiction. At one time his wife organized a group of family and friends and confronted him. She dumped onto the floor his trashcan, which included beer cans, cigarette butts, cough and cold medicines and various drug paraphernalia. Her message to him was: "Get help or get out. We love you, but we dont want to witness your suicide." He got help and was able to become clean and sober.

Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, vol. 134, pages 256-271. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.

Is good friends with horror director George A. Romero.

He belongs to a an all-writer rock band called "Rock Bottom Remainders" with other such writers as Amy Tan , Dave Barry , Scott Turow , Roy Blount Jr. , and James Luca McBride. Their motto is, according to Barry, "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels".

A huge fan of Ramones , King penned the liner notes to the 2002 Ramones tribute album, "Were A Happy Family.".

Writes reviews of J.K. Rowling s Harry Potter series for Entertainment Weekly magazine.

Is an avid AC/DC fan.

The fictional town of Castle Rock is located in Maine. Stand by Me , accidentally set it in Oregon. This is because the original story, "The Body," only mentions that Castle Rock is near Portland, without identifying which state. It is only identified as being in Maine in his other stories. The only clues in "The Body" that it takes place in Maine is the fact that the local radio stations begin with W, which, with only a few exceptions, applies only to stations east of the Mississippi River.

Many of his stories take place in or near the fictional small town of Castle Rock, Maine. The first film to be based on a Castle Rock story was The Dead Zone . Director Rob Reiner subsequently named his production company Castle Rock Entertainment.

In 1988 he was offered the chance to write and direct A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child .

Was such a fan of the film 28 Days Later... that he bought out an entire showing of the film in New York City.

Son Joseph Hillstrom King is also a novelist. He spent the past several years writing under the pen name Joe Hill, the name of a labor leader who is also his namesake.

Fan of B-Movie Scream Queen Linnea Quigley.

Cites Sir William Golding s novel Lord of the Flies as a major influence on him. One of the chapters in that book was "Castle Rock," which later became the name of a fictional town in several of Kings stories.

Worked as an English teacher before becoming a professional writer. Many of his characters are also teachers.

In his book "On Writing", he states that as punishment for making fun of Ellen Margitan, the vice principal of Lisbon High, he is sent to the offices of the Lisbon Enterprise to work with the editor, John Gould which he states is not "the" John Gould. In fact, it was "the" John Gould, famous Maine humorist and it was John Gould that helped King develop into a writer that people wanted to read.

Hes a huge fan of the hit ABC TV show "Lost" , which often makes references to his works. He even trusted J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof to adapt the "Dark Tower" series into a film series.

After watching the first cut of Rob Reiner s Stand by Me , he was said to be crying and stated it was the closest adaptation to one of his novels hed ever seen.

A fan of J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter novels.

Controversially, King once wrote a complimentary "Blurb" for the back cover of L. Ron Hubbard s book "Fear".

When it was discovered in 1985 that he and Richard Bachman were one and the same, he retired the use of that name. He resurrected Bachman about a decade later, using the name as the author of The Regulators, a companion piece to his own novel Desperation. Since then, he has issued other new novels using the name Bachman, with the dust jackets jokingly claiming the books to have been a posthumous discovery by Bachmans widow. Bachman is said to have died in 1985 from "Cancer of the Pseudonym".

Adaptations of his work have featured two generations of Sheens and Sutherlands. Kiefer Sutherland appeared in Stand by Me , while Donald Sutherland appeared in "Salems Lot" . Martin Sheen and Ramon Estevez both appeared in The Dead Zone and Emilio Estevez appeared in Maximum Overdrive .

Will allow aspiring film-makers to purchase the film rights to any of his short stories (and only short-stories, not novels) for a dollar. The resulting films are sent directly to him and, if he enjoys them, placed on a shelf marked "Dollar-Babies.".

His novels are frequently adapted to the screen by Frank Darabont , Mick Garris , and Rob Reiner.

In 2009 he fulfilled a lifetime ambition, expressed in Salems Lot, of being interviewed in Playboy Magazine. The Magazine also published a poem by King, entitled "The Bone Church", which featured the immortal line "And balls to your grinning face!".

His characters frequently meet other characters from other Stephen King books. In Tommyknockers, for example, poet Jim Gardner encounters Jack, from The Talisman, on a beach.

The description of the character Ben Mears, in Salems Lot, is taken from King himself.

As a little boy he had a recurring nightmare in which he entered a room and saw a suicide victim hanging from the ceiling. He later incorporated this scene into an early book, Salems Lot.

Several actors have made multiple appearances in television and film adaptations of Kings work. Ed Harris was in Needful Things as well as "The Stand" and a segment of Creepshow . His wife, Amy Madigan , appeared in The Dark Half , which also featured his Needful Things character. John Cusack made a brief appearance in Stand by Me and later starred in 1408 . Kathy Bates starred in Misery and Dolores Claiborne and later had a cameo in "The Stand" . Gary Sinise starred in "The Stand" and had a cameo in The Green Mile . David Morse played Brutal in The Green Mile and also played Adult Bobby Garfield in Hearts in Atlantis as well Capt. Brian Engle in "The Langoliers" . Rob Lowe had major roles in both "The Stand" and TBS of "Salems Lot" . Timothy Hutton starred in The Dark Half and also in Secret Window . Thomas Jane starred in The Mist and Dreamcatcher alongside Morgan Freeman , who was also in The Shawshank Redemption . Both Jeffrey DeMunn and William Sadler were in The Shawshank Redemption , The Green Mile and The Mist . Harry Dean Stanton appears in Christine and has a cameo in The Green Mile . J.T. Walsh has a cameo in Misery and appears in Needful Things . James Cromwell appeared in The Green Mile and Salems Lot the previous version of which featured his wife, Julie Cobb. Miguel Ferrer appeared in "The Stand" , The Shining , and The Night Flier.

Famously disliked Stanley Kubrick s The Shining , which was adapted from his novel of the same name. King was opposed to the casting of Jack Nicholson who, in his opinion, did not accurately portray the gradual descent into madness that the book had described. He also lamented that many story elements, some of them autobiographical and important to King, had not been included, such as alcoholism and his father issue. King therefore produced a mini series of "The Shining" that follows his novel more closely, but is generally regarded as inferior to Kubricks interpretation.

His novel Misery is about a writer with a recurring character in a long series of books, who is in a serious car accident after finishing the last book in the series. King was himself in the middle of an ongoing series; The Dark Tower; when he was hit by a truck in 1999. Surviving that accident is what ultimately prompted him to finish the series. He has recently decided to write one more book in the series, to be entitled The Wind in the Keyhole, due for a 2012 release. In Misery, the writer also decides to continue writing his series after surviving his encounter with an obsessed fan.

In 2011, his fondness for the Harry Potter books came full circle, when it was announced that Potter director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves would be making a new adaptation of his novel The Stand.

His memoir "On Writing" has been praised by Roger Ebert as the most useful and insightful book about writing since The Elements of Style.

A rumor circulated for years that he did not want to complete his novel "Pet Sematary" as it frightened him to do any writing for it. King or Doubleday (the publisher) may have started the story and while not exactly true it is partially based in fact. King fell into a depression while writing it and had no desire to complete it while feeling the strong melancholy.

Suicides have occurred in three of the houses the King family have lived in.

The first author to have three simultaneous titles on the publishers weekly list: Firestarter, The Dead Zone, and The Shining.

In October 1995, King broke his own record by having four books hit the NY Times bestseller list: Skeleton Crew, Thinner, The Talisman, and The Bachman Books.

All three of his children as well as his wife have followed his footsteps into writing.

Writes three drafts for every book.

His favourite way of relaxing is to take a bath while smoking a cigarette, and listen to a Red Sox game on the radio, propped on the sink. He would also drink a beer during the days when he was an alcoholic.

King played guitar (badly) in a high school band. He would often change the lyrics into something gross (but funny) on the spot.

In later years, movie studios and production companies snapped up the film rights for King novels before the books saw print, e.g. Delores Claiborne.

King writes for 3-4 hours a day. He used to write 2000-3000 words a day, now he can only manage 1000.

King once flew on a plane that ran into turbulence. The oxygen mask came out, and his seat was ripped from the floor and he landed on his side, still strapped in. It was a while before he could get on a plane again.

Against abortion because he likens it to abandonment, something his father did to him when he was a child.

Never answers his own phone.

He will never co-author a book with his wife, because he feels that if they ever did, it would lead to divorce court.

In 1993, King played with the Rock Bottom Remainders to sell-out arenas.

King has a deal with Castle Rock; they can have his work for a dollar, but he gets script approval, he approves the director, cast approval, and he can pull the plug anytime, no matter how much money was spent. He gets 5% of every dollar, so in the case of The Green Mile , he made 25 million dollars.

King gets depressed when people say The Stand is his best book because that was written three decades ago and implies he hasnt written anything as good since.

When King was hit by a van in 1999, he was lucky not to have been killed outright. While in recovery, one of his lungs had collapsed, he had four broken ribs, a gash to the head that needed 20 stitches and his spine was chipped in eight places. His right leg almost had to be amputated but doctors managed to save it. The only thing undamaged in the accident were the lenses in Kings glasses; he later replaced the frame.

During Kings recovery after being knocked down by a van in 1999, he was appalled when he was hooked up to a morphine drip, what with his former past as a drug addict. He didnt become re-addicted by doctors keeping him below the recommended dose. He could feel the craving bubbling to the surface, but this time experience prepared him to recognize the danger signs. By the time he came home, he had lost 40 pounds. None of the nurses cracked any "Misery" jokes but he said he would have appreciated the dark irony. He could only write for up to an hour and a half every day, so he spent the Winter in Florida; the warm weather would aid his recovery. He still needs to walk with a cane though. After accepting a literary award in 2003, he had a relapse and had to spend another month in hospital. He weighed 160 pounds and nearly died. Tabitha took the opportunity to refurbish his office.

The one thing King is reluctant to write is an autobiography. The nearest hes ever come to that is the CV section of his non-fictional book On Writing.

Has a fear of therapists. He had to conquer that fear during the worst stages of his alcoholism and drug addiction.

Has a fear of flying. He once suffered an injury on an airplane when it flew into turbulence, which no doubt exacerbated his fear.

Hates being famous. Hes also uncomfortable in large crowds.

Since the publication of Carrie in 1974, his books have never been out of print; a rare feat for an author.

Repeated the first grade because of frequent absences.

On the night Kings mother died, his son had a terrible choking fit at home. Hes had a fear of choking ever since. His mothers death drove him further into drink.

Because The Shining came from a very personal place, King managed to write the book very quickly. The subject matter hit so close to King that he took time out from it to work on his next novel, The Stand.

King invented the pseudonym Richard Bachman to see if he could market books without the attachment of his more famous name.

King used to listen to rock and roll when drafting a novel; now he doesnt need to.

Not long after 9/11, someone left a package on Kings doorstep. The bomb squad were called in and incinerated it. It turns out it was Kings novel, It.

King has a library made up of 17,000 books; hes read them all except for any new additions.

A big fan of detective stories.

The first American to win the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Booksellers Association.

When touring with the Rock Bottom Remainders, they needed extra security because of Kings presence.

Before he wrote Carrie (his first published novel), King wrote a few practice novels first under his pseudonym Richard Bachman. He called them "trunk novels".

Regularly listens to audiobooks, because he believes no book exists until its done in audio.

King owns two neighboring houses in Bangor. He wanted to build an underground tunnel with a trolley you could ride between them. When asked why, he replied, "because I can".

Read many stories about people being buried alive.

Hed like to direct a film now that hes totally sober.

Would like to write a novel about the thing that scares him the most, spiders.

Hit the No 1 bestseller list 36 times, and is still disappointed when he doesnt.

King suffers from insomnia and later wrote a book about it.

Does some of his book tours on motorbike.

The one question King hates to be asked more than any other by the fans is "Where do you get your ideas?".

By 1987, the King family lived in a 24-room restored Victorian mansion.

King is critical of people who write about Maine and didnt grow up there.

Bryan Smith, the van driver who hit King in 1999, had a history of driving offenses and his license had been suspended three times by the time of the accident. He was indicted for aggravated assault and driving to endanger. He later died of a drug overdose.

Has a fear of the number 13, which is called triskaidekaphobia.

Prefers to be called Steve.

Had the idea for the Dark Tower series before he was an established author.

Suffers from high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums. These spared him from being drafted into Vietnam.

Kings first novel Getting It On was sent to an editor and then sent back for revisions four times. In the end it was still rejected, but it taught him much about the editing process. His second attempt The Long Walk failed as well. It wasnt until his third novel, Carrie, that he finally got a book published.

People will often camp outside Kings house to get a view of the great author. A man named Erik Keene broke in April 20, 1991 at 6:00am. He threatened Tabitha with a bomb, claiming King stole the idea for Misery from Keenes aunt. She ran to a neighbour and called the police. They found Keene in the attic and the bomb was a dud. He was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in jail before he was extradited to Texas for a parole violation. The Kings increased security by extending a wrought-iron fence around the yard gates with access codes as well as CCTV.

King is down to three cigarettes a day. Hes kicked alcohol, cocaine, painkillers, but hes still addicted to work and goes into similar withdrawal when hes not working.

A huge fan of author Neil Gaiman.

Is an avid comic book fan.

Has named J.K. Rowling as his favourite author.

Has declared that this will be his last year of writing novels. His books will be published for the next few years, but he has vowed to quit the job in numerous publications on numerous occasions.

(January 2006) Teaches a course as part of the Writers in Paradise Winter Term at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida.

(March 2005) Has denied rumors of retirement saying that "The Dark Tower" series made him want to retire but he loves writing and cannot retire. Is preparing to release a new novel "The Colorado Kid" in October 2005.

(July 2003) Writing a column for the back page of Entertainment Weekly magazine called "The Pop of King".

Father of Joe Hill.

Father of Owen King.

Fellow author Neil Gaiman is a big fan of King.

The recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for distinguished contribution to American letters.

In his novel Doctor Sleep, he uses the line "the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world"; Rebecca De Mornay was the star of the movie of the same name and played Wendy Torrance in the miniseries version of Kings "The Shining" .

King writes his fear of flying into some of his stories, Eg The Langoliers.

Owns a Winter home in Florida.

Grew up in Portland, Maine.

King mentions "The Simpsons" in Doctor Sleep. "The Simpsons" {Treehouse of Horror V (#6.6)} did a parody of The Shining .

When writing Doctor Sleep, King had to be reminded of things from The Shining hed forgotten.

King novels are criticized for having a lot of swearing. This is commented on ironically by King himself in Misery and The Tommyknockers.

King has never understood why people find The Shining so scary.

King wrote the dedication to Doctor Sleep in Bangor, Maine where he lives.

King has written very few sequels in his career.

When King wrote The Shining, the lead character was struggling with alcoholism just as King was at the time. But King didnt know about AA so Jack Torrance didnt go, but when King wrote the book as a miniseries, he did go.

Claimed that he realized he was an alcoholic when he began to save bottles for recycling. The piles of empty bottles made clear how much he drank regularly.

His ancestry includes English, German, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), Scottish and Welsh.

One of the only times he has scared himself with his own writing is when Patrick Hockstetter of "It" gets trapped in a refrigerator with leeches.

He has has said that Liseys Story is his favorite of his own novels.


Each life makes its own imitation of immortality.

When asked, "How do you write?", I invariably answer, "One word at a,time".

I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.

People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like,to tell them I have the heart of a small boy. . . and I keep it in a jar,on my desk.

Reiner formed following the success of "Stand By Me" is Castle Rock,Productions . . . a name with which many of my longtime readers will be,familiar.

Like anything else that happens on its own, the act of writing is beyond,currency. Money is great stuff to have, but when it comes to the act of,creation, the best thing is not to think of money too much. It,constipates the whole process.

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented,individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

Books and movies are like apples and oranges. They both are fruit but,taste completely different.

Because, man oh man, that guy could dance.

Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and,doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is how important,it is to have a boyfriend.

I was addicted for most of the 80s. Its not a terribly long time to be,an addict, but it lasted longer than WW2.

There was no moral struggle at all.

Having kids allows you to finish off your own childhood, but from a more,mature perspective.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Never write a book whose manuscript is bigger than your own head.

[his novel, The Stand] My "Lord of the Rings" of the American landscape.

[on cocaine] One snort, and it owned me body and soul.

Book tours are like a pillow fight with all the pillows treated with,low-grade poison gas.

One of the reasons that I live in Bangor is because if somebody wants to,get to me, they have to be really dedicated.

[on his past career as a teacher] Teaching school is like having jumper,cables hooked to your ears, draining all the juice out of you.

You should do sex, never write about it.

So I choose to believe.

All those addictive substances are part of the bad side of what we do.

My brains used to work better. I wrote something last week and I looked,at it the other day and thought it familiar, so I went back 100 pages,and found I had duplicated myself. Paging Dr Alzheimer.

Charity begins at home.

[why he likes having peripheral vision] The part I want to keep, as a,man and as a writer, is what I see out of the corners.

[about On Writing] Its like the town whore trying to teach women how to,behave.

Any one who thought high school was the best time of their life is,totally fucked up.

[Doctor Sleep, his sequel to The Shining] The true history of the,Torrance family.

[alcoholics trying to get by without AA] White-knuckle sobriety.

[Tennessee in the Civil War] The right side.

A lot of people did serve in the Civil War.

[not wanting to be a slave] Its good. Something to be proud of.

I have a short leash when people ask where I come from.

I grew up interested in nightmares, scary stories and things that go,bump in the night.

[when discovering his roots] Thankyou.

[after learning new things about his heritage] Wow.

[the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918] It could almost be out of a horror,novel that I wrote.

[syrup] Soothing.

Frontispiece to "On Writing": Honesty is the Best Policy - Benjamin,Franklin. Liars Prosper - Anonymous.

You can take my gun, but you will have to prise my book from my cold,dead hands.

Art is meant to be a support system for life, and not the other way,around.

Sometimes human places create inhuman monsters.

[observation, 2017] The news is real. The President is fake.

Calling it a simple schoolgirl crush was like saying a Rolls-Royce was a vehicle with four wheels, something like a hay-wagon. She did not giggle wildly and blush when she saw him, nor did she chalk his name on trees or write it on the walls of the Kissing Bridge. She simply lived with his face in her heart all the time, a kind of sweet, hurtful ache. She would have died for him. .

We fool ourselves so much we could do it for a living.

He who speaks without an attentive ear is mute.

For men, I think, love is a thing formed of equal parts lust and astonishment. The astonishment part women understand. The lust part they only think they understand.

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.

Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not.

No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves.

We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.

What we like to think of ourselves and what we really are rarely have much in common. . . .

You are the grim, goal-oriented ones who will not believe that the joy is in the journey rather than the destination no matter how many times it has been proven to you.

Life is fair. We all get the same nine-month shake in the box, and then the dice roll. Some people get a run of sevens. Some people, unfortunately, get snake-eyes. Its just how the world is.

I wanted to say goodbye to someone, and have someone say goodbye to me. The goodbyes we speak and the goodbyes we hear are the goodbyes that tell us we´re still alive.

The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there. . . and still on your feet.

Fault always lies in the same place: with him weak enough to lay blame.

To write is human, to edit is divine.

And people who don’t dream, who don’t have any kind of imaginative life, they must… they must go nuts. I can’t imagine that.

If you don’t have the time to do something right, where are you going to find the time to fix it?,Quiet people have the loudest minds.

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want for nothing. He makes me lie down in the green pastures. He greases up my head with oil. He gives me kung-fu in the face of my enemies. Amen,Until we see each other again, keep your head together, read some good books, be useful, be happy.

Humor is almost always anger with its make-up on.

FEAR stands for fuck everything and run.

I think part of being a parent is trying to kill your kids.

This inhuman place makes human monsters.

The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but Size.

But this wealth of information produced little or no insight.

I felt lonely and content at the same time. I believe that is a rare kind of happiness.

A person can go along quite awhile if they get a good day every once and again.

Words have weight.

You always know the truth, because when you cut yourself or someone else with it, there’s always a bloody show.

The world was full of monsters, and they were all allowed to bite the innocent and the unwary,Some part of me knew from the first that what I wanted was not reality but myth.

If God rewards us on earth for good deeds—the Old Testament suggests it’s so, and the Puritans certainly believed it—then maybe Satan rewards us for evil ones.

Christ. No, not Christ. These leavings were made in propitiation of a much older God than the Christian one. People have called Him different things at different times, but Rachel’s sister gave Him a perfectly good name, I think: Oz the Gweat and Tewwible, God of dead things left in the ground, God of rotting flowers in drainage ditches, God of the Mystery.

She was satisfied with the answer God had given Moses from the burning bush when Moses had seen fit to question. Who are you? Mose asks, and God comes back from that bush just as pert as you like: I Am, Who I AM. In other words, Mose, stop beatin around this here bush and get your old ass in gear.

And because Eddie knew that was only the truth, he said nothing.

Several times we had been very close to "it," but "it" just never quite happened. She always drew back, and I never pressed her. God help me, I was being gallant. I have wondered often since what would have changed (for good or for ill) had I not been. What I know now is that gallant young men rarely get pussy. Put it on a sampler and hang it in your kitchen.

Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

Eddie saw great things and near misses. Albert Einstein as a child, not quite struck by a run-away milk-wagon as he crossed a street. A teenage boy named Albert Schweitzer getting out of a bathtub and not quite stepping on the cake of soap lying beside the pulled plug. A Nazi Oberleutnant burning a piece of paper with the date and place of the D-Day Invasion written on it. He saw a man who intended to poison the entire water supply of Denver die of a heart attack in a roadside rest-stop on I-80 in Iowa with a bag of McDonald’s French fries on his lap. He saw a terrorist wired up with explosives suddenly turn away from a crowded restaurant in a city that might have been Jerusalem. The terrorist had been transfixed by nothing more than the sky, and the thought that it arced above the just and unjust alike. He saw four men rescue a little boy from a monster whose entire head seemed to consist of a single eye. But more important than any of these was the vast, accretive weight of small things, from planes which hadn’t crashed to men and women who had come to the correct place at the perfect time and thus founded generations. He saw kisses exchanged in doorways and wallets returned and men who had come to a splitting of the way and chosen the right fork. He saw a thousand random meetings that weren’t random, ten thousand right decisions, a hundred thousand right answers, a million acts of unacknowledged kindness. He saw the old people of River Crossing and Roland kneeling in the dust for Aunt Talitha’s blessing; again heard her giving it freely and gladly. Heard her telling him to lay the cross she had given him at the foot of the Dark Tower and speak the name of Talitha Unwin at the far end of the earth. He saw the Tower itself in the burning folds of the rose and for a moment understood its purpose: how it distributed its lines of force to all the worlds that were and held them steady in time’s great helix. For every brick that landed on the ground instead of some little kid’s head, for every tornado that missed the trailer park, for every missile that didn’t fly, for every hand stayed from violence, there was the Tower. And the quiet, singing voice of the rose. The song that promised all might be well, all might be well, that all manner of things might be well.

At the end of her life she was aware of heat but not pain. She had time to consider his eyes, eyes of that blue which is the color of the sky at first light of the morning. She had time to think of him on the Drop, riding Rusher flat out with his black hair flying back from his temples and his neckerchief rippling; to see him laughing with an ease and freedom he would never find again in the long life which stretched out for him beyond hers, and it was his laughter she took with her as she went out, fleeing the light and heat in to the silkly, consoling dark, calling to him over and over as she went, calling bird and bear and hare and fish.

The family exists for many reasons, but its most basic function may be to draw together after a member dies.

We fall from womb to tomb, from one blackness and toward another, remembering little of the one and knowing nothing of the other . . . except through faith.

There was a lot they didn’t tell you about death, she had discovered, and one of the biggies was how long it took the ones you loved most to die in your heart.

Last reason for reading horror: it’s a rehearsal for death. It’s a way to get ready. People say there’s nothing sure but death and taxes. But that’s not really true. There’s really only death, you know. Death is the biggie. Two hundred years from now, none of us are going to be here. We’re all going to be someplace else. Maybe a better place, maybe a worse place; it may be sort of like New Jersey, but someplace else. The same thing can be said of rabbits and mice and dogs, but we’re in a very uncomfortable position: we’re the only creatures—at least as far as we know, though it may be true of dolphins and whales and a few other mammals that have very big brains—who are able to contemplate our own end. We know it’s going to happen. The electric train goes around and around and it goes under and around the tunnels and over the scenic mountains, but in the end it always goes off the end of the table. Crash.

We have once again succeeded in destroying what we could not create.

The monster nevers dies.

We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long.

Death in the horror movies is when the monsters get you.

To his way of thinking, the only thing more natural than death was sex.

He held her and rocked her, believing, rightly or wrongly, that Ellie wept for the very intractability of death, its imperviousness to argument or to a little girl’s tears; that she wept over its cruel unpredictability; and that she wept because of the human being’s wonderful, deadly ability to translate symbols into conclusions that were either fine and noble or blackly terrifying. If all those animals had died and been buried, then Church could die (any time!) and be buried; and if that could happen to Church, it could happen to her mother, her father, her baby brother. To herself. Death was a vague idea; the Pet Sematary was real. In the texture of those rude markers were truths which even a child’s hands could feel.

He could not say goodbye to these three rooms as he could to a house he had loved: hotel rooms accepted departures emotionlessly.

A life without books is a thirsty life, and one without poetry is. . . like a life without pictures.

Help us to be true, Lord. Help us to stand.

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Fiction is the truth inside the lie.

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.

you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.

A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.

A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.

Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.

Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.

If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.

You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.

Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.

Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.

It is the tale, not he who tells it.

Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do― to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.

The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as long swallows.

When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.

If you write books, you go on one page at a time. We turn from all we know and all we fear. We study catalogues, watch football games, choose Sprint over AT&T. We count the birds in the sky and will not turn from the window when we hear the footsteps behind as something comes up the hall; we say yes, I agree that clouds often look like other things - fish and unicorns and men on horseback - but they are really only clouds. Even when the lightning flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.

The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.

I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words. That’s 180,000 words over a three-month span, a goodish length for a book — something in which the reader can get happily lost, if the tale is done well and stays fresh.

you must not come lightly to the blank page.

You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair . . . Come to it any way but lightly.

As with all other aspects of the narrative art, you will improve with practice, but practice will never make you perfect. Why should it? What fun would that be?,Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects.

No, it’s not a very good story - its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside.

There are lots of guys out there who write a better prose line than I do and who have a better understanding of what people are really like and what humanity is supposed to mean – hell, I know that.

‎If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.

Sometimes stories cry out to be told in such loud voices that you write them just to shut them up.

He felt as he always did when he finished a book — queerly empty, let down, aware that for each little success he had paid a toll of absurdity.

I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months…Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel, like a dispatch from the Romanian Department of Public Affairs, or something broadcast on high-band shortwave duiring a period of severe sunspot activity.

As a young man just beginning to publish some short fiction in the t&a magazines, I was fairly optimistic about my chances of getting published; I knew that I had some game, as the basketball players say these days, and I also felt that time was on my side; sooner or later the best-selling writers of the sixties and seventies would either die or go senile, making room for newcomers like me.

Reading takes time, and the glass teat takes too much of it.

As always, the blessed relief of starting, a feeling that was like falling into a hole filled with bright light. As always, the glum knowledge that he would not write as well as he wanted to write. As always the terror of not being able to finish, of accelerating into a brick wall. As always, the marvelous joyful nervy feeling of journey begun.

For me, that emotional payoff is what it’s all about. I want you to laugh or cry when you read a story. . . or do both at the same time. I want your heart, in other words. If you want to learn something, go to school.

Fantasy fiction is essentially about the concept of power great fantasy fiction is about people who find it at great cost or lose it tragically mediocre fantasy fiction is about people who have it and never lose it but simply wield it.

Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty, and best kept under house arrest.

The idea that creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time.

Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity.

. . . writers are often the worst judges of what they have written.

I never think of stories as made things; I think of them as found things. As if you pull them out of the ground, and you just pick them up. Someone once told me that that was me low-balling my own creativity. That might or might not be the case. But still, on the story I am working on now, I do have some unresolved problem. It doesn’t keep me awake at nights. I feel like when it comes down, it will be there. . .

Strong delusions travel like cold germs on a sneeze.

Oh no, praying is great, without it the thumbscrews and the Iron Maiden probably never would have been invented.

The woman who preaches has poison religion. Let the respectable ones go,Your first impulse is to share good news, your second is to club someone with it.

Shall there be truth between us, as two men? Not as friends, but as enemies and equals?,He was one of those quite rare adults who communicate with small children fairly well and who love them all impartially--not in a sugary way but in a businesslike fashion that may sometimes entail a hug, in the same way that closing a big business deal may call for a handshake.

Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of regard,There came a time when you realized that moving on was pointless. That you took yourself with you wherever you went.

Time and tide wait for no man.

Time, Eddie had decided during this period, was in large part created by external events. When a lot of interesting shit was happening, time seemed to go by fast. If you got stuck with nothing but the usual boring shit, it slowed down. And when everything stopped happening, time apparently quit altogether. Just packed up and went to Coney Island. Weird but true.

she might have been pretty when she started out, but the world had moved on since then.

He had never been a social man. He had shunned causes with contempt and disgust. They were for pig-simple suckers and people with too much time and money on their hands,Time takes it all in the end. . .

I am, he thought dimly, watching a vampire take a piss.

You ought to sue that son of a whore,What we’ve got here is a lunatic genius ghost-in-the-computer monorail that likes riddles and goes faster than the speed of sound. Welcome to the fantasy version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Four young men in motorcycle jackets. . . set upon the man in khaki shorts and beat him unconscious with his own sandwich board.

Without story books is like a person with no soul.

Jake went in, aware that he had, for the first time in three weeks, opened a door without hoping madly to find another world on the other side. A bell jingled overhead. The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.

A book is like a pump. It gives nothing unless first you give to it. You prime a pump with your own water, you work the handle with your own strength. You do this because you expect to get back more than you give.

Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries,hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent.

Good books are for consideration after, too.

Henry did not want to be fixed, was somehow convinced that the fix would be a lie, something that would lessen him.

If I show up at your house ten years from now and find nothing in your living room but The Readers Digest, nothing on your bedroom night table but the newest Dan Brown novel, and nothing in your bathroom but Jokes for the John, I’ll chase you down to the end of your driveway and back, screaming ‘Where are your books? You graduated college ten years ago, so how come there are no damn books in your house? Why are you living on the intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?,If someone had asked him, “Ben, are you lonely? , ” he would have looked at that someone with real surprise. The question had never even occurred to him. He had no friends, but he had his books and his dreams;,If someone had asked him, “Ben, are you lonely? , ” he would have looked at that someone with real surprise. The question had never even occurred to him. He had no friends, but he had his books and his dreams. . .

The things of the world fell by the wayside but literature was eternal.

I tend to scare myself.

It was all right to feel fear, but sometimes a very bad idea to show it.

Friends don’t spy; true friendship is about privacy, too.

I think that real friendship always makes us feel such sweet gratitude, because the world almost always seems like a very hard desert, and the flowers that grow there seem to grow against such high odds.

Pride was the belt you used to hold your pants up when you had no pants.

Friendships founded on laughter are always fortuitous.

Maybe, he thought, there aren’t any such things as good friends or bad friends—maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you’re hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they’re always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for, too, if that’s what has to be.

The most important things are the hardest things to say, because words diminish them. . .

People are only rational on the surface.

Do you think. . . do you think people ever learn anything?,Was there even such a thing as normall? People had terrible things behing their faces sometimes. He knew that now.

. . . it would matter . . . to the tens of thousands of young Americans . . . who would . . . be invited to put on uniforms, fly to the other side of the world, spread their nether cheeks, and sit down on the big green dildo that was Vietnam.

The eyes were damned, the staring, glaring eyes of one who sees but does not see, eyes ever turned inward to the sterile hell of dreams beyond control, dreams unleashed, risen out of the stinking swamps of the unconscious.

Come on, Doctor. . . we got places to go.

Dreams, after all, are insubstantial things, like mist itself.

He’s my cat! He’s not God’s cat! Let God have his own cat! Let God have all the damn old cats He wants, and kill them all! Church is mine!,Anyway, as the old barrelhouse song says, My God, how the money rolled in. Norton must have subscribed to the old Puritan notion that the best way to figure out which folks God favours is by checking their bank acounts.

He was a poet who sometimes taught Free University classes or travelled in the western states of Utah, Nevada, and Arizona, speaking to high school English classes, stunning middle-class boys and girls (he hoped) with the news that poetry was alive—narcoleptic, to be sure, but still possessed of a certain hideous vitality.

For God’s sake, Larry, grow up. Develop a little self-righteousness. A lot of that is an ugly thing, God knows, but a little applied over all your scruples is an absolute necessity! It is to the soul what a good sunblock is to the skin during the heat of the summer. You can only captain your own soul, and from time to time some smart-ass psychologist will question your ability to even do that.

Men who find themselves late are never sure. They are all the things the civics books tell us the good citizen should be: partisans but never zealots, respectors of the facts which attend each situation but never benders of those facts, uncomfortable in positions of leadership but rarely unable to turn down a responsibility once it has been offered or thrust upon them. They make the best leaders in a democracy because they are unlikely to fall in love with power.

Most politicians lie for the same reason a monkey swings by his tail, which is to say because he can.

A mob always picked its own leaders, and it always picked the right ones.

I changed it. I had to. Do you know why?" She studied him, her eyes grave. "Because that was then and this is now. Because the past is gone, even though it defines the present.

A change is as good as a rest.

You know, small children take it as a matter of course that things will change every day and grown-ups understand that things change sooner or later and their job is to keep them from changing as long as possible. It’s only kids in high school who are convinced they’re never going to change. There’s always going to be a pep rally and there’s always going to be a spectator bus, somewhere out there in their future.

the late afternoon sunlight, warm as oil, sweet as childhood . . .

The muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited.

Come to the book as you would come to an unexplored land. Come without a map. Explore it and draw your own map.

Obliqueness is the curse of the reading class.

and now, all these years later, it seem to him that the most horrible fact of human existence was that broken hearts mended,Shall I tell you what sociology teaches us about the human race? I’ll give it to you in a nutshell. Show me a man or woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call “society”. Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.

It was how wars really ended, Dieffenbaker supposed -- not at truce tables but in cancer wards and office cafeterias and traffic jams. Wars died one tiny piece at a time, each piece something that fell like a memory, each lost like an echo that fades in winding hills. In the end even war ran up the white flag. Or so he hoped. He hoped that in the end even war surrendered.

The shuddering would not stop. The pain was like the end of the world. He thought: There comes a point when the very discussion of pain becomes redundant. No one knows there is pain the size of this in the world. No one. It is like being possessed by demons.

Pain rises. From the heart to the head pain rises.

A hurt body and mind aren’t just like a dictatorship; they are a dictatorship. There is no tyrant as merciless as pain, no despot so cruel as confusion. That my mind had been as badly hurt as my body was a thing I only came to realize once I was alone and all other voices dropped away.

Bad news should always come after lunch. . first thing in the morning everything left a bruise.

Any good marriage is secret territory, a necessary white space on society’s map. What others don’t know about it is what makes it yours.

when you got right down to the place where the cheese binds, there was no such thing as marriage, no such thing as union, that each soul stood alone and ultimately defied rationality. That was the mystery. And no matter how well you thought you knew your partner, you occasionally ran into blank walls or fell into pits. And sometimes (rarely, thank God) you ran into a full-fledged pocket of alien strangeness, something like the clear-air turbulence that can buffet an airliner for no reason at all. An attitude or belief which you had never suspected, one so peculiar (at least to you) that it seemed nearly psychotic. And then you trod lightly, if you valued your marriage and your peace of mind; you tried to remember that anger at such a discovery was the province of fools who really believed it was possible for one mind to know another.

A bad song for a night such as this, mayhap, but her heart went its own way without much interest in what her head thought or wanted; always had.

But it is. It’s something you need, and that’s a long way from nothing. If you need it, Eddie, we need it. What we don’t need is a man who can’t let go of the useless baggage of his memories.

By definition, though, we are family. And in difficult times-- times like these-- despite our differences, we stand together as family.

A successful marriage was a balancing act-that was a thing everyone knew. A successful marriage was also dependent on a high tolerance for irritation.

Home is where they want you to stay longer,The mind can calculate, but the spirit yearns, and the heart knows what the heart knows,The concept of dreaming is known to the waking mind but to the dreamer there is no waking, no real world, no sanity; there is only the screaming bedlam of sleep.

It was really amazing the number of hard hits from which a mind could recover.

I will scream as the sanity leaves my mind forever. I will scream. . . but there is no one there to hear me.

Paths cross all the time in this world of our, sometimes in the strangest places.

Sooner or later even the fastest runners have to stand and fight.

[L]ife is more than just steering a course around pain.

What you love, you must love all the harder because someday it will be gone.

For a moment he felt a wild hope: perhaps this really was a nightmare. Perhaps he would awake in his own bed, bathed in sweat, shaking, maybe even crying but alive. Safe. Then he pushed the thought away. Its charm was deadly, its comfort fatal.

If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through that shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?,The memories: they are the reality.

When an imaginative person gets into mental trouble, the line between seeming and being has a way of disappearing-,. . . there were those who might have suggested that reality is a highly untrustworthy concept, something perhaps no more solid than a piece of canvas stretched over an interlacing of cables like the strands of a spiderweb.

Cat can have kittens in the oven, girl, but that won’t ever make em muffins.

What I know now is that gallant young men rarely get pussy. Put it on a sampler and hang it in your kitchen.

When it comes to sex, no pairing is beyond belief.

Then, for no reason I could tell you, I tossed the spool again, even though Elaine had asked me not to. Maybe only because, in a way, him chasing a spool was like old people having their slow and careful version of sex - you might not want to watch it , you who are young and convinced that, when it comes to old age, an exception will be made in your case, but they still want to do it.

If there are ten thousand medieval peasants who create vampires by believing them real, there may be one–probably a child–who will imagine the stake necessary to kill it. But a stake is only stupid wood; the mind is the mallet which drives it home.

It always comes down to just two choices. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

A few of the gunslingers dance, but only a few. And they were the young ones. The other ones only sat, and it seemed to me they were half embarrassed in all that light, that civilized light.

Fiction is the truth inside a lie.

The heart also knows things, and so does the imagination. Thank God. If not for heart and imagination, the world of fiction would be a pretty seedy place. It might not even exist at all.

There was nothing … and nothing … and then the car bumped up again. There was a muffled pop, the sound of a small pumpkin exploding in a microwave oven. Morris cut the wheel to the left and there was another bump as the Biscayne went back into the parking area. He looked in the mirror and saw that Curtis’s head was gone.

The Man in Black fled across the desert, and the Gunslinger followed,. . . and still the hands did their trick, like over-eager dogs that want to do their rolling—over trick for you not once or twice but all night.

It is completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut—it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts.

He felt like a compass needle. The needle knows nothing about magnetic north; it only knows it must point in a certain direction, like it or not.

This was it, he knew it, was sure of it, this was the door which would take him back—,Discipline and constant work are the whetstones upon which the dull knife of talent is honed until it becomes sharp enough, hopefully, to cut through even the toughest meat and gristle.

Monsters are real and ghosts are real too they live inside us and sometimes they win.

When certain seeds are planted, they nearly always grow.

Remember that "seeing is believing" puts the cart before the horse. Art is the concrete artifact of faith and expectation, the realization of a world that would otherwise be little more than a veil of pointless consciousness stretched over a gulf of mystery.

He had been (Thinking? Praying?) It was all the same thing.

Time takes it all, whether you want it or not. Time takes it all, time bears it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again.

A kid of your age—any kid—could get hold of matches if she wanted to, burn up the house or whatever. But not many do. Why would they want to?,Like some dogs: kick them once and they never trust you again, no matter how nice you are to them.

Love, the simplest, strongest, and most unforgiving of all emotions.

. . . she did remember on time when she got her period, sliding open the cupboard under the bathroom sink to get a sanitary napkin; she remembered looking at the box of Stayfree pads and thinking that the box looked almost smug, seemed almost to be saying: Hello, Patty! We are your children. We are the only children you will ever have, and we are hungry. Nurse us. Nurse us on blood.

Bill Hodges is her touchstone, the way she measures her ability to interact with the world. Which is only another way of saying that he is the way she measures her sanity. Trying to imagine her life with him gone is like standing on top of a skyscraper and looking at the sidewalk sixty stories below.

Even when the lightening flashes inside them we say they are only clouds and turn our attention to the next meal, the next pain, the next breath, the next page. This is how we go on.

You lost your innocence when you grew up, all right, everyone knew that, but did you have to lose your hope, as well?,Dead people put on weight, it seems to me; both in their flesh and in our minds, they put on weight.

Grief is like a drunken house guest, always coming back for one more goodbye hug.

Frightened people live in their own special hell.

Same shit, different day, he thinks, but now the joy is gone and the sadness is back, the sadness that feels like something deserved, the price of some not-quite-forgotten betrayal.

But now the joy is gone and the sadness is back, the sadness feels like something deserved, the price of some not-quite-forgotten betrayal.

His so-fucking-vivid imagination rarely gave him the horrors, but when it did, God help him. God help him once it was warmed up. It was not only warmed up now, it was hot and running on full choke. That there was no sense at all in what he was thinking made not a whit of difference in the dark. In the dark, rationality seemed stupid and logic a dream. In the dark he thought with his skin.

I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12 - Jesus, did you?,Friends come in and out of our lives, like busboys in a restaurant.

He will be with his friends, and that always feels like coming home.

George, I’m sorry!” he cried through his tears. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please, I’m suh-suh-SORRY—” And then they were around him, his friends, and no one lit a match, and someone held him, he didn’t know who, Beverly maybe, or maybe Ben, or Richie. They were with him, and for that little while the darkness was kind.

No good friends, no bad friends; only people you want,need to be with. People who build their houses in your heart .

The fundamental difference between the sexes is this: men make assumptions, but women rarely do.

Memory is the basis of every journey.

At such times one sees everything and remembers it all. I know from personal experience. I wish I did not.

It was as if the body disdained memory. . . or refused the responsibility of it.

Some things you never forgot. She had come to believe that the very things the practical world dismissed as ephemera—things like songs and moonlight and kisses—were sometimes the things that lasted the longest. They might be foolish, but they defied forgetting. And that was good. That was good.

As Wendy watched them they burst into a chord of tinkling, girlish laughter. She felt a smile touch her own lips; not one of them could be under sixty.

The narrator, a time traveler from 2011, scoffs at the despondency caused by the Cuban Missile Crisis -- especially the drug and alcohol use of a resident of 1962 he supposedly cares about. Then he finds his compassion because he remembers he is the exception in being able to see beyond the immediate -- and foreboding -- horizon.

Jake guessed Henry had been pulling shit like this on him so long that Eddie only noticed it when Henry pulled it on someone else – someone like the blonde ticket-seller.

And as I thought about the body of Ray Brower in this light- or lack of it- what I felt was not queasiness or fear that he would suddenly appear before us, a green and gibbering banshee whose purpose was to drive us back the way we had come before we could disturb his- its- peace,but a sudden and unexpected wash of pity that he should be so alone and so defenceless in the dark that was now coming over our side of the world.

They were with him, and for that little while the darkness was kind.

His head . . it exploded. As if someone had scooped out his brains and put a hand grenade in his skull.

Even the company of the mad was better than the company of the dead.

Lying in the bed that had once held two, Lisey thought alone never felt more lonely than when you woke up and discovered you still had the house to yourself. That you and the mice in the walls were the only ones still breathing.

He thought that fat boys were probably only allowed to love pretty girls inside. If he told anyone how he felt (not that he had anyone to tell), that person would probably laugh until he had a heart-attack.

No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just. . . come out the other side.

When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.

Because that was then and this is now. Because the past is gone, even though it defines the present.

It’s about how some people carelessly squander what others would sell their souls to have: a healthy, pain-free body. And why? Because they’re too blind, too emotionally scarred, or too self-involved to see past the earth’s dark curve to the next sunrise. Which always comes, if one continues to draw breath.

What he knows now is that guilt isn’t the only reason people commit suicide. Sometimes you can just get bored with afternoon TV.

When you’re still too young to shave, optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.

By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.

When you’retwenty-one, life is a roadmap. It’s only when you get to betwenty-five or so that youbegin to suspect you’ve beenlooking at the map upsidedown, and not until you’reforty are you entirely sure.

But sooner or later the last good time would come around. It does for all of us.

. . . good advice was sometimes easier to give than receive.

You have come from the shadow of the heroin and the shadow of your brother, my friend. Come from the shadow of yourself, if you dare.

She ran out of her marriage the way a woman can run out of a pair of sandals when she decides to let go and really dash.

People who leave their drugs in a bathroom the guests use are just asking for trouble.

Time takes it all whether you want it to or not, time takes it all. Time bares it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again.

She could smell damprot, high, sweet, and cloying. She could smell madness like dead vegetables in a dark cellar.

He didn’t like the way things were going. There were bad omens in the wind, evil portents like bats fluttering in the dark loft of a deserted barn.

So in that sense, I and my fellow horror writers are absorbing and defusing all your fears and anxieties and insecurities and taking them upon ourselves. We’re sitting in the darkness beyond the flickering warmth of your fire, cackling into our caldrons and spitting out spider webs of words, all the time sucking the sickness from your minds and spewing it out into the night.

He sometimes believed that the compulsion to make fiction was no more than a bulwark against confusion, maybe even insanity. It was a desperate imposition of order by people able to find that precious stuff only in their minds never in their hearts.

The truth is that most writers are needy.

But in high school the business of irrevocable choices began. Doors slipped shut with a faint locking click that was only heared clearly in the dreams of later years.

Sometimes a cigar is just a smoke and a coincidence is just a coincidence.

I started after him. . . and the clown looked back. I saw Its eyes, and all at once I understood who It was. ""Who was it, Don?" Harold Gardner asked softly. "It was Derry," Don Hagarty said. "It was this town.

There were fourteen steps exactly fourteen. But the top one was smaller, out of proportion, as if it had been added to avoid the evil number.

They were still all beautiful and there was still enchantment and wonder, but she had crossed a line and now the fairy tale was green with corruption and evil.

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.

Give me just enough information so that I can lie convincingly.

At bottom, you see, we are not Homo sapiens as all. Our core is madness. The prime directive is murder. What Darwin was too polite to say, my friends, is that we came to rule the earth not because we were the smartest, or even the meanest, but because we have always been the craziest, most murderous motherfuckers in the jungle. And that is what the Pulse exposed five days ago.

I am your number one fan.

He supposed that even in Hell, people got an occasional sip of water, if only so they could appreciate the full horror of unrequited thirst when it set in again.

Oh Christ, he groaned to himself, if this is the stuff adults have to think about I never want to grow up,Lover," she whispers, and closes her eyes. It falls upon her. Love is like dying.

stop now before i kill youa word to the wise from your friendPENNYWISE,Good luck is just bad luck with its hair combed.

I discovered news of old horrors in old books; read intelligence of old atrocities in old periodicals; always in the back of my mind, every day a bit louder, I heard the seashell drone of some growing, coalescing force; I seemed to smell the bitter ozone aroma of lightings-to-come.

He put the car in gear and went, feeling again how easy it had been to slip through an unexpected fissure in what he had considered a solid life- how easy it was to get over onto the dark side, to sail out of the blue and into the black.

He felt more crypts cracking open inside of him; the stench he smelled was not decayed bodies but decayed memories, and that was somehow worse.

It all floats down here!,Horror spawns horror,What none of them knew, of course, was that Carrie White was telekinetic.

There was an ocean above us, held in by a thin sac that might rupture and let down a flood at any second.

The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years–if it ever did end–began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.

There is no life here but the slow death of days, and so when the evil falls on the town, its coming seems almost preordained, sweet and morphic. It is almost as though the town knows the evil was coming and the shape it would take.

The town knew about darkness. It knew about the darkness that comes on the land when rotation hides the land from the sun, and about the darkness of the human soul. The town is an accumulation of three parts which, in sum, are greater than the sections. The town is the people who live there, the buildings which they have erected to den or do business in, and it is the land.

Moonlight flooded in the windows and silvered the room, turning it into a lagoon of dreams,Flakes of snow swirled and danced across the porch. The Overlook faced it as it had for nearly three-quarters of a century, its darkened windows now bearded with snow, indifferent to the fact it was now cut off from the world… Inside its shell the three of them went about their early evening routine, like microbes trapped in the intestine of a monster.

There’s an idea that hell is other people. My idea is that it might be repetition.

Pack up all my care and woe, blackbird, bye-bye,I can see your dirtypillows.

Oh Christ, he understood more than he wanted to right now. Give me a chance, Louis thought, and I’llunderstand myself right into the nearest mental asylum.

I had been hobbled, perhaps even crippled by a pervasive internet society I had come to depend on and take for granted. . . hit enter and let Google, that twenty-first century Big Brother, take care of the rest. In the Derry of 1958, the most up-to-date computers were the size of small housing developments, and the local paper was no help. What did that leave? I remembered a sociology prof I’d had in college - a sarcastic old bastard - who used to say, When all else fails, give up and go to the library.

That— we seemed to have decided without saying a word— might go a long way toward spoiling something that was special, and beautiful, by virtue of its strangeness and delicacy.

Black as night and as beautiful as forever.

What you don’t know, you can’t tell. Or made to tell.

Working with him was sort of like trying to defuse a bomb with somebody standing behind you and every now and then clashing a pair of cymbals together. In a word, upsetting.

Some werewolves are hairy on the inside.

Feelings are invulnerable to rational thought.

the man in black travels with your soul in his pocket.

They had discovered one could grow as hungry for light as for food.

They were close to the end of the beginning . . .

Once again there was the desert, and that only.

Take the dead from the dead, the old proverb said; only a corpse may speak true prophecy.

There was murder, there was rape, there were unspeakable practices, and all of them were for the good, the bloody good, the bloody myth, for the grail, for the Tower.

He understood well enough how a man with a choice between pride and responsibility will almost always choose pride--if responsibility robs him of his manhood.

The trap had a ghastly perfection,The woman had looked into the abyss and then walked out across it.

He removed his unvaluable valuables and dumped his shirt, pants, and skivvies into a letter slot.

The thought process can never be complete without articulation.

He didn’t know if that was really true or not, but he discovered something which was tremendously liberating: he didn’t care. He was very tired of thinking and thinking and still not knowing. He was also tired of being frightened, like a man who has entered a cave on a lark and now begins to suspect he is lost. Stop thinking about it, then. That’s the solution.

People who try hard to do the right thing always seem mad.

Such grave matters as sin and forgiveness should remain between man and God,No, honey. Maybe you can put the things from the Overlook away in lockboxes, but not memories. Never those. They’re the real ghosts.

Some memories were all right, but others were dangerous.

Our memories have voices, too. Often sad ones that clamor like raised arms in the dark.

You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for. . . and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you.

You must be human how weirdly exotic and excitingly perverse.

Might as well try to drink the ocean with a spoon as argue with a lover.

. . . there are worse things than losing the girl.

The multiple choices and possibilities of daily life are the music we dance to. They are like strings on a guitar. Strum them and you make a pleasing sound. A harmonic.

It took me twenty years of living with my father to accept the idea that being good could be good enough.

A woman who would steal your love when your love was really all you had to give was not much of a woman.

Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful,Be sure your sin will find you out. . . Be sure.

When it was done and I went to sleep, I lay awake and listened to the clock on your nightstand and the wind outside and understood that I was really home, that in bed with you was home, and something that had been getting close in the dark was suddenly gone. It could not stay. It had been banished. It knew how to come back, I was sure of that, but it could not stay and I could really go to sleep. My heart cracked with gratitude. I think it was the first gratitude I’ve ever really known. I lay there beside you and the tears rolled down the sides of my face and onto the pillow. I loved you then and I love you now and I have loved you every second in between. I don’t care if you understand me. Understanding is vastly overrated, but nobody ever gets enough safety. I’ve never forgotten how safe I felt with that thing gone out of the darkness.

And perhaps the greatest blessing was that we never knew how short the time was.

I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.

Most people are optimists, although they may claim they are not. People who call themselves realists are often the biggest optimists of all.

Life could sometimes be grand.

The choice, as Eddie saw it, was as simple as it was brutal: get moving and keep moving or stand in one place long enough to start thinking about what all of this meant and simply die of fright.

Kill if you will, but command me nothing!’ the gunslinger roared. ‘You have forgotten the faces of those who made you!,Relief loosens tongues beyond measure.

His story is simple, because simple is always best.

A gunslinger knows pride, that invisible bone that keeps the neck stiff.

You learned to accept, or you ended up in a small room writing letters home with Crayolas.

Do you drink?""Of course,I just said I was a writer.

When asked, How do you write? I invariably answer, One word at a time.

Paths cross all the time in this world of ours, sometimes in the strangest places- Charles Jacobs,His mind is like that. On the inside, where he never smiles.

I was tired of just letting things happen to me and then feeling bad about them.

The perception of a child who has not yet learned to protect itself by developing the tunnel vision that keeps out ninety percent of the universe.

It had been in their hands then; he was quite sure of it. But kids lose everything, kids have slippery fingers and holes in their pockets and they lose everything.

No one ever forgets a toy that made him or her supremely happy as a child, even if that toy is replaced by one like it that is much nicer.

I am what you might call a rambling man, and America is my beat.

On either side of them the essence of honky tonk beach resort had now enclosed them: gas stations, fried clam stands, Dairy Treets, motels painted in feverish pastel colors, mini golf. “Larry was drawn two painful ways by these things. Part of him clamored at their sad and blatant ugliness and at the ugliness of the minds that had turned this section of a magnificent, savage coastline into one long highway amusement park for families in station wagons. But there was a more subtle, deeper part of him that whispered of the people who had filled these places and this road during other summers. Ladies in sunhats and shorts too tight for their large behinds. College boys in red and black striped rugby shirts. Girls in beach shifts and thong sandals. Small screaming children with ice cream spread over their faces. They were American people, and there was a kind of dirty, compelling romance about them whenever they were in groups never mind if the group was in an Aspen ski lodge or performing their prosaic/ arcane rites of summer along Route 1 in Maine. And now all these Americans were gone. Stephen King, from The Stand p. 303 304,I looked at what he built, and to me it explained the stars.

He felt gladness roar through his soul.

It was sweet and lovely, that smile, perhaps the more so because it wasn’t complicated by much in the way of thought.

Looking up at that starry sky gave him the creeps: it was too big, too black. It was all too possible to imagine it turning blood-red, all too possible to imagine a Face forming in lines of fire.

Such an ego simply forbade certain lines of thought.

Each year the world Rich lived in felt more and more like a huge electronic haunted house in which digital ghosts and frightened human beings lived in uneasy coexistence.

Horace, like all dogs, heard dead-voices quite often, and sometimes saw their owners. The dead were all around, but living people saw them no more than they could smell most of the ten thousand aromas that surrounded them every minute of every day.

The most classic horror tale of this latter type is the Old Testament story of Job, who becomes human Astro-Turf in a kind of spiritual Superbowl between God and Satan.

Being needed is a great thing. Maybe the great thing.

Go then, there are other worlds than these.

It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.

Do you believe in an afterlife?" the gunslinger asked him as Brown dropped three ears of hot corn onto his plate. Brown nodded. "I think this is it.

I want to make sure I remember what real ugly is. I might want to tell my grandchildren someday.

Shadows were too black, and when a breeze stirred the trees, the shadows changed in a disquieting way.

Resolution demands a sacrifice.

Teaching school is like having jumper cables hooked to your brain, draining all the juice out of you.

Of all the things which make up our Short-Time lives, sleep is surely the best.

The old sleep poorly. Perhaps they stand watch.

The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.

Mrs. Cole was a perfect democrat. She hated all kids equally.

May your first day in hell last ten thousand years, and may it be the shortest.

Any thoughts of guilt, any feelings of regret, had faded. The desert had baked them out.

Tim Stoutheart was afraid, too,” I said. “But he went on. I expect you to do the same.

Adulthood is accretive by nature, a thing which arrives in ragged stages and uneven overlaps.

She saw clearly a boy and a man fighting for control of the same face.

I never grew up all at once. I did it one place and another along the way.

True sorrow is as rare as true love.

Sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. It’s what you say when you spill a cup of coffee or throw a gutter ball when you’re bowling with the girls in the league. True sorrow is as rare as true love.

Read a lot, write a lot is the great commandment.

The sun had burned through and the day had gone from dull to dazzling, yet in the west blask-satin thunderheads continued to stack up. It was as if night has burst a blood-vessel in the sky over there.

Some things were better lost than found.

Sleep is often denied to those with secrets.

It was easier to be brave when you were someone else.

If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered.

What Writing Is: Telepathy, of course.

Her support was a constant, one of the few good things I could take as a given. And whenever I see a first novel dedicated to a wife (or a husband), I smile and think, There’s someone who knows. ” Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.

For years I dreamed of having the sort of massive oak slab that would dominate a room. . .

I hope he died of intestinal cancer in a part of the world where morphine is as of yet undiscovered.

She felt like Captain Ahab, for the first time sighting his great white whale.

Kindle, isn’t it?” the waitress asked. “I got one for Christmas, and I love it. I’m reading my way through all of Jodi Picoult’s books. ” “Oh, probably not all of them,” Wesley said. “Huh? Why not?” “She’s probably got another one done already. That’s all I meant. ” “And James Patterson’s probably written one since he got up this morning!” she said, and went off chortling.

His name is Legion. He is the king of nowhere.

Call me Richard. That’s my real name. Call me that.

He died with his tie on. Do you think that could be our generation’s equivalent of that old saying about dying with your boots on? Harry Blakemoor died with his tie on. I like it, Larry.

that this is Russian-A flu, not the more dangerous Swine flu.

A man’s life was five dogs long, Cortland believed. The first was the one that taught you. The second was the one you taught. The third and fourth were the ones you worked. The last was the one that outlived you. That was the winter dog. Cortland’s winter dog had no name. He thought of it only as the scarecrow dog…,Writing is the act of finding out what I think.

I think you will find that, if you continue to write fiction, every character you create is partly you.

The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.

The gotta, as in: “I think I’ll stay up another fifteen-twenty minutes, honey, I gotta see how this chapter comes out. ” Even though the guy who says it spent the day at work thinking about getting laid and knows the odds are good his wife is going to be asleep when he finally gets up to the bedroom. The gotta, as in: “I know I should be starting supper now — he’ll be mad if it’s TV dinners again — but I gotta see how this ends. ” I gotta know will she live. I gotta know will he catch the shitheel who killed his father. I gotta know if she finds out her best friend’s screwing her husband. The gotta. Nasty as a hand-job in a sleazy bar, fine as a fuck from the world’s most talented call-girl. Oh boy it was bad and oh boy it was good and oh boy in the end it didn’t matter how rude it was or how crude it was because in the end it was just like the Jacksons said on that record — don’t stop til you get enough.

There was a madness in my story, but it was a madness I understood.

And what would they find on sale? His sanity? Could be. Half-Price. Smoke and Water Damage. Everything Must Go.

It’s better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a tremendous cost.

. . . staring into thin air at thosethings only cats can see (Doctro Sleep),Rings and magazines; keychains and umbrellas; hats and glasses; rattles and radios. They looked like different things, but Ralph thought they were really all the same thing: the faint, sorrowing voices of people who had found themselves written out of the script in the middle of the second act while they were still learning their lines for the third, people who had been unceremoniously hauled off before their work was done or their obligations fulfilled, people whose only crime had been to be born in the Random. . . and to have caught the eye of the madman with the rusty scalpel.

But if you needed to HAVE AN IDEA, boredom could be to a roadblocked novel what chemotherapy was to a cancer patient.

Once, during the drinking phase, Wendy had accused him of desiring his own destruction but not possessing the necessary moral fiber to support a full-blown deathwish. So he manufactured ways in which other people could do it, lopping a piece at a time off himself and their family.

Hi,’ Jake said. ‘I met you earlier today, but you were a lot younger then. ’ ‘I was a lot younger ten minutes ago.

And, instead of pelting these babbling idiots with their own freshly toasted marshmallows, everyone else sitting around the fire is often nodding and smiling and looking solemny thoughtful.

All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. These are the rooms of ruin where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one. . .

Not everyone believes in ghost’s, but I do. Do you know what they are, Trisha?“ She had shaken her head slowly. "Men and women who can’t get over the past,” Aunt Evie said. “That’s what ghost’s are. Not them. ” She flapped her arm toward the coffin which stood on its bands beside the coincidentally fresh grave. “The dead are dead. We bury them, and buried they stay.

It didn´t occur to me until later that there´s another truth, very simple: greed in a good cause is still greed.

You need to take out the stuff that’s just sitting there and doing nothing. No slackers allowed! All meat, no filler!,. . . when editors were flattered, they would sometimes give in on some of their mad ideas.

There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while the muse sits and smokes cigars and admires his bowling trophies and pretends to ignore you.

…but I guess you can never wash anything completely away, not from this dark glass of a world, and now I saw them again, a tangle of names overlying one another, and looking at them was like listening to the dead speak and sing and cry out for mercy.

You discarded most of the lies along the way but held on to the one that said life mattered.

There’s no tonic like an old friend.

Horace, like all dogs, heard dead-voices quite often, and sometimes saw their owners.

You know what talent is? The curse of expectation. As a kid you have to deal with that, beat it somehow. If you can write, you think God put you on earth to blow Shakespeare away. Or if you can paint, maybe you think--I did--that God put you on earth to blow your father away.

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.

I think that writers are made, not born or created out of dreams of childhood trauma—that becoming a writer (or a painter, actor, director, dancer, and so on) is a direct result of conscious will. Of course there has to be some talent involved, but talent is a dreadfully cheap commodity, cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work and study; a constant process of honing. Talent is a dull knife that will cut nothing unless it is wielded with great force—a force so great the knife is not really cutting at all but bludgeoning and breaking (and after two or three of these gargantuan swipes it may succeed in breaking itself…which may be what happened to such disparate writers as Ross Lockridge and Robert E. Howard). Discipline and constant work are the whetstones upon which the dull knife of talent is honed until it becomes sharp enough, hopefully, to cut through even the toughest meat and gristle. No writer, painter, or actor—no artist—is ever handed a sharp knife (although a few are handed almighty big ones; the name we give to the artist with the big knife is “genius”), and we hone with varying degrees of zeal and aptitude.

He kept seeing the brains dribbling down the wallpaper. It wasn’t the killing that stayed on his mind, it was the spilled talent. A lifetime of honing and shaping torn apart in less than a second. All those stories, all those images, and what came out looked like so much oatmeal. What was the point?,Allie sighed. It was an old yellow sound, like turning pages.

. . . he was after all, a novelist. . . and a novelist was simply a fellow who got paid to tell lies. The bigger the lies, the better the pay.

He sat there studiously bent over his work (Bill saw him), which lay in a slant of crisp white winterlight, his face sober and absorbed, knowing that to be a librarian was to come as close as any human being can to sitting in the peak-seat of eternity’s engine.

When rationality begins to break down, the circuits of the human brain can overload. Axons grow bright and feverish. Hallucinations turn real: the quicksilver puddle at the point where perspective makes parallel lines seem to intersect is really there; the dead walk and talk; a rose begins to sing.

He had discovered that there was not just one God but many, and some were more than cruel — they were insane, and that changed all. Cruelty, after all, was understandable. With insanity, however, there was no arguing.

Anything with the power to make you laugh over thirty years later isn’t a waste of time. I think something like that is very close to immortality.

Those are the only to verbalizations usually that we make in movies—either to scream or to laugh—because those two reactions are rather close. Most things we laugh at are things that are really horrible, when you think about them. It’s funny and you don’t scream, as long as it’s not you. If it’s somebody else you can laugh.

The sun had bled away every smell and left nothing.

The Dark Powers have to give before they can take.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.

He knew a great deal of the Bible already, and he knew the Bible believed in all sorts of weird stuff. According to the Bible, God Himself was at least one-third Ghost, and that was just the beginning. You could tell the Bible believed in demons, because Jesus threw a bunch of them out of this guy. Real chuckalicious ones, too. When Jesus asked the guy who had them what his name was, the demons answered and told Him to go join the Foreign Legion. Or something like that.

The sky was the yellow color of old cheese and the clouds flew across it, as if they had seen something horrifying in the desert wastes where they had so lately been.

The sky of the color of ashes in the east and embers in the west.

I’m going crazy, Louis thought wonderingly. Wheeeeee!,She was crazy but he needed her. Oh I am in so much trouble he thought, and stared blindly up at the ceiling as the droplets of sweat began to gather on his forehead again.

The hardest for man is lie to himself between 3:00 and 6:00 in the morning.

What sad, short lives humans live! Each life a short pamphlet written by an idiot! Tut-tut, and all that.

There came a time when you realised that moving on was pointless. That you took yourself with you wherever you went.

Disappointment was never a thing you looked for, but it had a wonderful way of clearing the mind.

Thinking, Garraty thought. That’s the day’s business. Thinking. Thinking and isolation, because it doesn’t matter if you pass the time of day with someone or not; in the end, you’re alone.

She was smart and terribly determined, this girl-her will was pure steel, through and through-but she was as human as anyone else. She was lonely, too. Lonely in a way that perhaps only single girls fresh from small Midwestern towns know. Homesickness is not always a vague, nostalgic, almost beautiful emotion, although that is somehow the way we always seem to picture it in our mind. It can be a terribly keen blade, not just a sickness in metaphor but in fact as well. It can change the way one looks at the world; the faces one sees in the street look not just indifferent but ugly. . . . perhaps even malignant. Homesickness is a real sickness- the ache of the uprooted plant.

Here is one of the great truths of the human condition: when you need Stayfree Maxi Pads to absorb the expectorants produced by your insulted body, you are in serious fucking trouble.

But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.

Wanting more is just a recipe for heartache.

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.

It was never for you, Annie, or all the other people out there who sign their letters “Your number-one fan. ” The minute you start to write all those people are at the other end of the galaxy, or something. It was never for my ex-wives, or my mother, or for my father. The reason authors almost always put a dedication on a book, Annie, is because their selfishness even horrifies themselves in the end.

Misery suffered did not justify misery to come.

We see her go through dangerous mood-swings, but I tried never to come right out and say "Annie was depressed and possibly suicidal that day" or "Annie seemed particularly happy that day. "If I have to tell you, I lose. If, on the other hand, I can show you a silent, dirty-haired woman who compulsively gobbles cake and candy, then have you draw the conclusion that Annie is in the depressive part of a manic-depressive cycle, I win.

She gave him a strange maternal grin. For the first time, clearly, the thought surfaced in Paul Sheldon’s mind: I am introuble here. This woman is not right.

The reason authors almost always put a dedication on a book is, because their selfishness even horrifies themselves in the end.

Not today. Instead of Wendy, I found myself thinking of Annie Ross and realizing I’d developed a small but powerful crush on her. The fact that nothing could come of it—she had to be ten years older than me, maybe twelve—only seemed to make things worse. Or maybe I mean better, because unrequited love does have its attractions for young men.

Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?"He stared at me, baffled. "Why the fuck would you do that?,Party lights hang over the street, yellow and red and green. Sadie stumbles over someone’s chair, but I’m ready for this and I catch her easily by the arm. “Sorry, clumsy,” she says. “You always were, Sadie. One of your more endearing traits. ”Before she can ask about that I slip my arm around her waist. She slips hers around mine, still looking up at me. The lights skate across her cheeks and shine in her eyes. We clasp hands, fingers folding together naturally, and for me the years fall away like a coat that’s too heavy and too tight. In that moment, I hope on thing above all others: that she was not too busy to find at least one good man …She speaks in a voice almost too low to be heard over the music. But I hear her – I always did. “Who are you, George?”“Someone you knew in another life, honey.

The past is obdurate.

A man who lies about beer makes enemies,College was for people who didn’t know they were smart.

Outside, daylight was bleeding slowly toward dusk.

Faith is, by its very definition, belief without proof.

There were people who lied for gain, people who lied from pain, people who lied simply because the concept of telling the truth was utterly alien to them and then there were people who lied because they were waiting for it to be time to tell the truth.

And this wasn’t lying, not really. It was leaving out.

[Prison Break is] one of the craziest, most unpredictable roller-coaster rides on TV today.

The wide corridor up the centre of E Block was floored with linoleum the colour of tired old limes, and so what was the Last Mile at other prisons was called the Green Mile at Cold Mountain.

A left turn meant life - if you called what went on in the sunbaked exercise yard life, and many did; many lived it for years, with no apparent ill effects.

I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you.

When teenagers aren’t turning like weathervanes in a high wind, they’re as stiff as Puritans.

Nobody likes to see a stupid guy wise up.

If a man dethrones God in his heart, Satan must ascend to His position.

In the end, we wear out our worries.

Sometimes human places, create inhuman monsters.

Readers have a loyalty that cannot be matched anywhere else in the creative arts, which explains why so many writers who have run out of gas can keep coasting anyway, propelled on to the bestseller lists by the magic words AUTHOR OF on the covers of their books.

What you need to remember is that there’s a difference between lecturing about what you know and using it to enrich the story. The latter is good. The former is not.

Every book you pick up has its own lesson or lessons, and quite often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.

God is cruel. Sometimes he makes you live.

Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.

I guess when you turn off the main road, you have to be prepared to see some funny houses.

Like anything else that happens on its own, the act of writing is beyond currency. Money is great stuff to have, but when it comes to the act of creation, the best thing is not to think of money too much. It constipates the whole process.

Life is like a wheel. Sooner or later, it always come around to where you started again.

French is the language that turns dirt into romance.

I watched Titanic when I got back home from the hospital, and cried. I knew that my IQ had been damaged.