If a police officer arrests a mime, does he need to tell him he has the right to remain silent.

— Jess Walter

The most killer Jess Walter quotes that will activate your inner potential

I come from a newspaper background, so maybe Im attuned to current events.

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There are only two good outcomes for a quest like this, the hope of the serendipitous savant — sail for Asia and stumble on America — and the hope of scarecrows and tin men: that you find out you had the thing you sought all along.

7

I wrote short stories for seven years and used to mail them out.

You couldn't send them by e-mail. I called them manila boomerangs. I'd seal the self-addressed stamped envelope inside an envelope and I'd mail it off, and it would come back six weeks later with a rejection letter in it.

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I think suspense should be like any other color on a writers palette.

I suppose Im in the minority but I think its crazy for literary fiction to divorce itself from stories that are suspenseful, and assign anything with cops or spies or criminals to some genre ghetto.

2

I wake at 5 or 5:30 most mornings, make myself a latte and grab a cookie, write until 10 or 11, go have my favorite meal, 'second breakfast,' or grab coffee with friends, or play basketball. Then, around noon, I begin apologizing via email for the manuscripts I can't get to.

2

His life was two lives now: the life he would have and the life he would forever wonder about.

2

And even if they don't find what they're looking for, isn't it enough to be out walking together in the sunlight?

1

Maybe it's ALWAYS the end of the world.

Maybe you're alive for a while, and then you realize you're going to die, and that's such an insane thing to comprehend, you look around for answers and the only answer is that the world must die with you.

1

What kind of wife would I be if I left your father simply because he was dead?

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Some memories remain close; you can shut your eyes and find yourself back in them. But there are second-person memories, too, distant you memories, and these are trickier: you watch yourself in disbelief.

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A writer needs four things to achieve greatness, Pasquale: desire, disappointment, and the sea.” “That’s only three.” Alvis finished his wine. “You have to do disappointment twice.

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I quickly decided my zombies weren't really zombies.

It was instead something you called people who were on this club drug, who then exhibited aggressive behaviors. And then like everyone who writes about zombies, I found it was so much fun.

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About Jess Walter

Quotes 56 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday July 20, 1965

And if a moment exists only in one's perception anyway, then perhaps the rush of feeling he has now is THE MOMENT, and not merely its shadow.

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The first seven years that I wrote fiction, I sent out stories and a novel and made a total of $25.

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I love humor in writing, so I've written to the thing that's funny, there's the joke, but then I just kept going. I started thinking about all the bikes I've had stolen, and that got me thinking about crime, and that got me thinking about the city I'm in.

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The form is so malleable and can do so many things.

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No one gets to tell you what your life means!

0

Maybe every couple lived in the gaps between conversations, unable to say the important things for fear they had already been said, or couldn't be said; maybe every relationship started over every time two people came together.

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Life, he thought, is a blatant act of imagination.

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He found himself in habiting the vast, empty plateau where most people live, between boredom and contentment.

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Sometimes what we want to do and what we must do are not the same.

Pasquo, the smaller the space between your desire and what is right, the happier you will be.

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All we have is the story we tell. Everything we do, every decision we make, our strength, weakness, motivation, history, and character-what we believe-none of it is real; it's all part of the story we tell. But here's the thing: it's our goddamned story!

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I don't know a family that isn't touched by some sort of addiction.

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The stories tend to be what I work on when I'm stuck.

Something will just pop into my head and I'll think that's more of a story.

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The neighborhoods I grew up in were poor and full of drug users.

I don't think you have to look that hard to find those kinds of lives. But I also don't think you have to have experienced it really close to be able to empathize.

0

Who isn't crazy sometimes? Who hasn't driven around a block hoping a certain person will come out; who hasn't haunted a certain coffee shop, or stared obsessively at an old picture; who hasn't toiled over every word in a letter, taken four hours to write a two-sentence email, watched the phone praying it will ring; who doesn't lay awake at night sick with the image of her sleeping with someone else?

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I've been a dad since I was nineteen, so I think a lot about fatherhood and the power of that sacrifice in your life.

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You take something from your past that you're somewhat ashamed about and you write about it from another character's point of view.

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This is what happens when you live in dreams, he thought: you dream this and you dream that and you sleep right through your life.

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At peace? Who but the insane would ever be at peace? What person who has enjoyed life could possibly think one is enough? Who could live even a day and not feel the sweet ache of regret?

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He considered it a shame when people couldn't grasp the infinite-a failure not just of imagination but of simple vision.

0

I think most Hollywood meetings are silly and I truly despise pitching.

It's insane to expect someone to come in and tell you the story before they've written it, and buying an idea from someone who can explain it rather than write it is like choosing a mechanic based on his ability to draw a picture of your car's problem.

0

He thought it might be the most intimate thing possible, to fall asleep next to someone in the afternoon.

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Then she smiled, and in that instant, if such a thing were possible, Pasquale fell in love, and he would remain in love for the rest of his life--not so much with the woman, whom he didn't even know, but with the moment.

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Yes, what is it like? Certainly not like she dreamed.

But maybe that's okay. We want what we want. At home, she works herself into a frenzy worrying about what she isn't--and perhaps loses track of just where she is.

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You probably have to trust that your work is following certain themes and certain movements, but then the rest is a kind of piecing together so that the whole becomes larger than the parts.

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Because I'm a novelist, I think in terms of structure.

The way I keep going is through structure. It's what inspires me and pushes me through.

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For many people it's Facebook, or sports on TV, whatever it is.

I have my own demons that I battle. But whatever they are, you wish you could not do them. For most of us it's "I cannot get off Facebook." But imagine that your demon has you living on the street. I don't think those compulsions and obsessions are that different.

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I pretty much drink a cup of coffee, write in my journal for a while, and then sit at a computer in my office and torture the keys. My one saving grace as a writer is that, if I'm having trouble with the novel I'm writing, I write something else, a poem or a short story. I try to avoid writer's block by always writing something.

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What business does memory have with time?

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If you come from money and you become an addict, you go to the Betty Ford Clinic, you get treatment. If you're living on the street and you're an addict, it's much harder to find your way out.

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I'm certainly eclectic in my writing.

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I think so, too. I know I felt that way. For years. It was as if I was a character in a movie and the real action was about to start at any minute. But I think some people wait forever, and only at the end of their lives do they realize that their life has happened while they were waiting for it to start.

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I doubt the terrorists saw 9/11 as a teaching opportunity.

And we're not really a culture geared to anything as humble as 'learning.' But I was disappointed in how quickly everyone wanted to get back to normal. It was as if we watched terrorism on TV for a while, then got bored and turned back to 'American Idol.'

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I think the path to becoming a writer has become more through the novel.

It's easier to get a novel published than a book of stories, obviously, especially through big publishers.

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Stories are people. I'm a story, you're a story ... your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we're lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we're less alone.

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I realized the structure in a collection is how they're put together.

Structuring the collection became the art of it for me. Because the stories had all been written.

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It's once I discover the people inside that the story really gets going, and then the formal invention becomes less important. It's just the way in; it's the door; and then what's behind it is always some kind of people, which I think probably makes me more in the tradition of realistic fiction because that's usually what I'm interested in, the people.

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The first fiction I ever wrote was short stories.

I was writing short stories in my late teens and early twenties, and I think it's how you teach yourself to write.

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