When they finished laughing they were on their way to being not just friends, but the dearest of friends, the sort of friends whose lives are shaped by the friendship.— Robin McKinley
The most pleasurable Robin McKinley quotes to get the best of your day
The story is always better than your ability to write it.
My capacity for invention is flash hot stark, I thought.
Sucker sunshade. Disembodied radar-reconnaissance. Not to mention Bitter Chocolate Death and Killer Zebras. Pity about the rest of me.
The great thing about fantasy is that you can drag dreams and longings and hopes and fears and strivings out of your subconscious and call them 'magic' or 'dragons' or 'faeries' and get to know them better. But then I write the stuff. Obviously I'm prejudiced.
And if my choice is to sit graciously in my best robes and accept the inevitable or to bail a sea with a bucket, give me the bucket.
I get a little cranky with the whole business about kids not having attention spans. This reminds me of the usual business of thinking that the next generation is hopeless. Every generation has said that about every younger generation.
The train is roaring toward you and the villain is twirling his moustache and you're fussing that he's tied you to the tracks with the wrong kind of rope.
I almost wish I'd had the forethought to eat a tree myself.
What was new was the fact that, despite my heart doing its fight-or-flight, help-we're-prey-and-HEY-STUPID-THAT'S-A-VAMPIRE number, I was glad to see him. Ridiculous but true. Scary but true.
He didn't look insane or inhuman. He did look uncooperative.
Never assume. Never make plans. Keep doing the press-ups and deep knee bends: you'll need all your strength and flexibility when your life suddenly implodes. Maybe it won't — some people do lead enchanted lives — but odds are that it will. Some time.
I don't believe in fate," she said at last.
"But I do believe in...loopholes. I think a lot of what keeps the world going is the result of accidents — happy or otherwise — and taking advantage of these.
One doesn't generally look into mirrors when one is especially angry;
one has better things to do, like pace the floor or throw things.
...like a grain of sand that gets into an oyster's shell. What if the grain doesn't want to become a pearl? Is it ever asked to climb out quietly and take up its old position as a bit of ocean floor?
Mice are terribly chatty. They will chat about anything, and if there is nothing to chat about, they will chat about having nothing to chat about. Compared to mice, robins are reserved.
I didn’t want to know that the monster that lived under your bed when you were a kid not only really is there but used to have a few beers with your dad.
Mathin said: "It is best to take your opponent's sash.
The kysin mark each blow dealt, but to cut off the other rider's sash is best. This you will do." "Oh," said Harry. "You may, if you wish, unhorse him first," Mathin added as an afterthought. "Thanks," said Harry.
It's hard to look too grand when you're led by someone who looks like a pudding with legs.
He grunted; she recognized it as relief that she wasn't going to nag him further about Tor the Just, who probably wasn't that boring if he could hold off the Notherners for nine days and melt a hole in the hills.
Everything was an adventure, at night, when you were where you shouldn't be, even if it was somwhere you could go perfectly well in daylight, and it was then only ordinary.
Cats were often familiars to workers of magic because to anyone used to wrestling with self-willed, wayward, devious magic--which was what all magic was--it was rather soothing to have all the same qualities wrapped up in a small, furry, generally attractive bundle that...might, if it were in a good mood, sit on your knee and purr. Magic never sat on anybody's knee and purred.
Sungold blew impatiently and began to dig a hole with one foot.
She booted his elbow with her toe and he stopped, but after a moment he lowered his head and blew again, harder, and she could feel him shifting his weight, considering if she might let him dig just a small hole.
He will apologize, or I'll give him a lesson in swordplay he will not like at all.
I love you. I will love you till the stars crumble, which is a less idle threat than is usual to lovers on parting.
Can you trust me, he said. Not will you. Can you. Can I trust him? What do I have to lose?
There had been certain romantic interludes in the past that had included galloping across the desert at night; but he had never abducted any woman whose enthusiastic support for such a plan had not been secured well in advance.
It wasn't so long ago when all the so-called scientists said that humans were intelligent and that animals weren't, humans were the solitary unchallenged masters of the globe and probably the universe and the only question was whether we were handling our mastery well. (No. Next question.)
One keeps searching for ease, she did not say, and not finding it, till the memories of no-pain seem only like daydreams.
The story is always better than your ability to write it.
My belief about this is that if you ever get to the point that you think you've done a story justice, you're in the wrong business.
Your attitude is perhaps a little unnecessarily rigorous," suggested Jack.
Friends you will have need of, for in you two worlds meet.
There is no one on both sides with you, so you must learn to take your own counsel; and not to fear what is strange, if you know it also to be true. —Luthe
Cigars should be like onions," she said, unfastening the catch and pushing back the pane. "Either the whole company does, or the whole company does not.
She fell asleep, leaning on his chest, and he edged her a little off a particularly painful bruise, leaned his head back against the tree he had propped them up against, and closed his own eyes.
The Lone Ranger of vampires. Did that make me Tonto?
My kind [vampires] does not surprise easily," he said.
"You surprised me, this morning. I have thus used up my full quota of shock and consternation for some interval." I stared at him. "You made a *joke*." "I have heard this kind of thing may happen.
But the world turns, and even legends change;
and somewhere there is a border, and sometime, perhaps, someone will decide to cross it, however well guarded its thorns may be.
He laughed, tried to make it into a cough, inhaled at exactly the wrong moment, and then really did cough.
Then marry me. For I love you, and I do not believe there is anything so wrong with you. You are fair in my eyes and you lie fair on my heart.
People forgot; it was in the nature of people to forget, to blur boundaries, to retell stories to come out the way they wanted them to come out, to remember things as how they ought to be instead of how they were.
I wondered what you'd have on the side with a plate of Deep Fried Anxiety.
Pickles? Coleslaw? Potato-strychnine mash?
Beauty: "You called me beautiful last night.
" Beast: "You do not believe me then?" Beauty: "Well - no. Any number of mirrors have told me otherwise." Beast: "You will find no mirrors here, for I cannot bear them: nor any quiet water in ponds. And since I am the only one who sees you, why are you not then beautiful?
One of the biggest, and possibly the biggest, obstacle to becoming a writer.
.. is learning to live with the fact that the wonderful story in your head is infinitely better, truer, more moving, more fascinating, more perceptive, than anything you're going to manage to get down on paper.
Write what you want to read. The person you know best in this world is you. Listen to yourself. If you are excited by what you are writing, you have a much better chance of putting that excitement over to a reader.
What was she to say? "The prodigal has returned? The mutineer wishes to be reinstated? The subordinate, having gone to a great deal of trouble to prove her commander wrong, has come back and promises to be a good little subordinate hereafter, or at least until next time?
...but with the hours I sometimes kept at the coffeehouse I had to have learned to take naps during the day or die, and I had learned to take naps. Up until five months ago "something or other or die" had always seemed like a plain choice in favor of the something or other.
We kings do develop a certain ability to recognize objects under our noses.
The weak grey light that serves as harbinger of red and golden dawn faintly lit my window. I fumbled for a candle, found and lit it, and by its little light saw that the rose floating in the bowl was dying. It had already lost most of its petals, which floated on the water like tiny, un-seaworthy boats, deserted for safer craft. "Dear God," I said. "I must go back at once.
What you describe is how it happens to everyone: magic does slide through you, and disappear, and come back later looking like something else. And I'm sorry to tell you this, but where your magic lives will always be a great dark space with scraps you fumble for. You must learn to sniff them out in the dark.
I advise those who want to become writers to study veterinary medicine, which is easier. You don't want to be a writer unless you have no choice - and if you have no choice, good luck to you.
Vampire. Dangerous. Unknowable. Seriously creepy. This one's name was Constantine. We'd met before.