Octavia E. Butler · 214 pages
Rating: (8.4K votes)
“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice.”
“Positive obsession is about not being able to stop just because you’re afraid and full of doubts. Positive obsession is dangerous. It’s about not being able to stop at all.”
“Shyness is shit. It isn’t cute or feminine or appealing. It’s torment, and it’s shit.”
“I'm Valerie Rye,' she said, savoring the words. 'It's all right for you to talk to me.”
“What are you?" I whispered."What are we to you?"
She lay still, rested her head on her topmost coil. "You know me as no other does," she said softly. "You must decide.”
“If you work hard enough at something that doesn't matter, you can forget for a while about the things that do.”
“Read every day and learn from what you read.”
“Bloodchild" is my pregnant man story.”
“She just couldn't face caring for a child all alone.'
'People do it all the time.'
'She wasn't "people", she was herself. She knew what she could handle and what she couldn't.”
“Shyness is shit. It isn’t cute or feminine or appealing. It’s torment, and it’s shit. I”
“It’s too easy to follow bad but attractive leaders, embrace pleasurable but destructive habits, ignore looming disaster because maybe it won’t happen after all—or maybe it will only happen to other people. That kind of thinking is part of what it means to be adolescent.”
“Ethical principles stand above the existence of the nation and that by adhering to these principles an individual belongs to the community of all those who share, who have shared, and who will share this belief.”
“But the way he looks at me—as if I am his next draw of breath—halts any further protests from my lips.”
“The most perfect life develops as a circle, and terminates in its beginning, making it impossible to say, This is the commencement, that the end.”
“I pray for meaning. I pray for the limits of reality to become clear. For a world – and a type of being – that makes sense. I pray for a life after death that is not like this life. I pray for the end of mystery. What would a life be like with all the mysteries solved? If there were no questions, there’d be no stories. If there were no stories, there’d be no language. If there was no language there’d be no . . . What?”
“And isn't the whole world yours? For how often you set it on fire with your love and saw it blaze and burn up and secretly replaced it with another world while everyone slept. You felt in such complete harmony with God, when every morning you asked him for a new earth, so that all the ones he had made could have their turn. You thought it would be shabby to save them and repair them; you used them up and held out your hands, again and again, for more world. For your love was equal to everything.”
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