Lines to Be Inspired By (because they’re better than anything I’ll ever write)

I’m one of those writers that rarely blogs but writes in her journal DAILY. My most recent moleskin is packed with things like interesting tidbits about psychology, family trees of infamous English rulers from the 12th to 18th centuries, fun facts (example: the dot above a lowercase “i” is called a tittle – I know, mind BLOWN), and lines from books I read that grab my eyeballs from their sockets with a frightening voracity.

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo – an event I recently decided to put off until December because life and because reasons and because you can’t tell me what to do – I want to share a few of these favorite lines with you in the hope that they inspire you the way they inspired me.

From THE KINGS AND QUEENS OF ROAM by Daniel Wallace 

So Helen remained and discovered in her sister’s absense what love and the loss of it is; she discovered both at the exact same time. It’s not just a feeling; it’s a real think inside of you made of paper-thin glass, and when it breaks the shards move through your blood and cut you to pieces.


From CASE HISTORIES by Kate Atkinson

Women seemed to him to be in possession of all kinds of undesirable properties, chiefly madness, but also a multiplicity of physical drawbacks – blood, sex, children – which were unsettling and other.


Sometimes she wanted to eat Olivia, to bite into a tender forearm or a soft calf muscle, even to devour her whole like a snake and take her back inside her where she would be safe. 


From I WEAR THE BLACK HAT by Chuck Klosterman

It’s not intelligence that people dislike; it’s the dispassionate application of that intelligence. It’s the calculation. It’s someone who views life as a game where the rules are poorly written and designed for abuse.


From BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent (Note: This is a phenomenal debut novel by a young author with extraordinary skill.)

After the trial, the priest from Tjorn told me that I would burn if I did not cast my mind back over the sin of my life and pray for forgiveness. As though a prayer could simply pluck sin out. But any woman knows that a thread once woven is fixed in place. The only way to smooth a mistake is to let it all unravel. 


From DORA: A HEADCASE by Lidia Yuknavitch (Thoroughly fantastic novel.)

Then it’s her lunging at me inside the jeans donut, knocking me down to the Nord floor, it’s her lying on top of me and kissing me and I hope I die right that second. Her hair down on my face, her skin rain and trees her hips pushing against mine her dagger of black stone hanging down and touching the hollow of my neck. Let her neck-rock stab me and kill me. Please let me die like this. I shiver and pant and almost cry. 


From HUMAN CROQUET by Kate Atkinson

I wished to go by Carterhaugh, to kilt up my skirts, forfeit the fee of my maidenhead and walk on the wild shores of sexual passion.


From DOUGHNUT by Tom Holt (This guy is great. If you like humor in your fiction, you’ll fall in love).

The world is an unfair place. Blow up just one multibillion-dollar research facility, and suddenly no one wants to be your friend. Except me, and I’m dead. You, on the other hand, are going to have a really amazingly good life, thanks to the bottle.


From HOPE: A TRAGEDY by Shalom Auslander

Such is life, he thought as he unfolded the wooden attic stairs: you get to a point one day, where you are hoping to find crap; where the best possible outcome of all possible outcomes would be the discovery, Praise Jesus, of a pile of shit.


From THE END OF ALICE by A.M. Homes (If you haven’t read any of her novels, it is your DUTY to pick one up and devour it.)

Again, I try and imagine the graciousness of a girl, her spacious slit, the womanly wound that can swallow me whole. How odd it must be to have at your center a great gap, a poisonous pit.


The audience looks directly at me and recognizing my visage from its halftone reproductions is entirely atitter. I am the first pervert, the first lover of youth they’ve had on the show. I am honored. I am touched. When I think no one is looking, I touch myself. 


Now, go forth and create, word nerds. 

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