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30+ quotes from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Quotes from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Catherynne M. Valente ·  247 pages

Rating: (30.5K votes)


“She sounds like someone who spends a lot of time in libraries, which are the best sorts of people.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Stories have a way of changing faces. They are unruly things, undisciplined, given to delinquency and the throwing of erasers. This is why we must close them up into thick, solid books, so they cannot get out and cause trouble.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“One ought not to judge her: all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk, and crusty things, and dirt, and fear, and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in awhile, you have to scrub it up and get the works going, or else you’ll never be brave again.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“When one is traveling, everything looks brighter and lovelier. That does not mean it IS brighter and lovelier; it just means that sweet, kindly home suffers in comparison to tarted-up foreign places with all their jewels on.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Readers will always insist on adventures, and though you can have grief without adventures, you cannot have adventures without grief.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“I'm not lost, because I haven't any idea where to go that I might get lost on the way to. I'd like to get lost, because then I'd know where I was going, you see.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“... but as has been said, September read often, and liked it best when words did not pretend to be simple, but put on their full armor and rode out with colors flying.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Wishes of one's old life wither and shrivel like old leaves if they are not replaced with new wishes when the world changes. And the world always changes. Wishes get slimy, and their colors fade, and soon they are just mud, like all the rest of the mud, and not wishes at all, but regrets. The trouble is, not everyone can tell when they ought to launder their wishes. Even when one finds oneself in Fairyland and not at home at all, it is not always so easy to remember to catch the world in it's changing and change with it.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Even if you’ve taken off every stitch of clothing, you still have your secrets, your history, your true name. It’s hard to be really naked. You have to work hard at it. Just getting into a bath isn’t being naked, not really. It’s just showing skin.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Of course not. No one is chosen. Not ever. Not in the real world. You chose to climb out of your window and ride on a leopard. You chose to get a witch’s Spoon back, and to make friends with a wyvern. You chose to trade your shadow for a child’s life. You chose not to let the Marquess hurt your friend--you chose to smash her cages! You chose to face your own Death, not to balk at a great sea to cross and no ship to cross it in. And twice now you have chosen not to go home when you might have, if only you abandoned your friends. You are not the chosen one, September. Fairyland did not choose you--you chose yourself. You could have had a lovely holiday in Fairyland and never met the Marquess, never worried yourself with local politics, had a romp with a few brownies and gone home with enough memories for a lifetime’s worth of novels. But you didn’t. You chose. You chose it all. Just like you chose your path on the beach: to lose your heart is not a path for the faint and fainting.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“We all live inside the terrible engine of authority, and it grinds and shrieks and burns so that no one will say: lines on maps are silly.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Such lonely, lost things you find on your way. It would be easier, if you were the only one lost. But lost children always find each other, in the dark, in the cold. It is as though they are magnetized and can only attract their like. How I would like to lead you to brave, stalwart friends who would protect you and play games with dice and teach you delightful songs that have no sad endings. If you would only leave cages locked and turn away from unloved Wyverns, you could stay Heartless.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“That’s what happens to friends, eventually. They leave you. It’s practically what they’re for.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“She liked anything orange: leaves; some moons; marigolds; chrysanthemums; cheese; pumpkin, both in pie and out; orange juice; marmalade. Orange is bright and demanding. You can't ignore orange things. She once saw an orange parrot in the pet store and had never wanted anything so much in her life. She would have named it Halloween and fed it butterscotch. Her mother said butterscotch would make a bird sick and, besides, the dog would certainly eat it up. September never spoke to the dog again — on principle.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“I wouldn't even consider it if I were you. But then if I were you, I would not be me, and if I were not me, I would not be able to advise you, and if I were unable to advise you, you'd do as you like, so you might as well do as you like and have done with it.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Hats have power. Hats can change you into someone else.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“There must be blood, the girl thought. There must always be blood. The Green Wind said that, so it must be true. It will be all hard and bloody, but there will be wonders, too, or else why bring me here at all? And it's the wonders I'm after, even if I have to bleed for them.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Who are you?"

"I am Death," said the creature. "I thought that was obvious."

"But you're so small!"

"Only because you are small. You are young and far from your Death, September, so I seem as anything would seem if you saw it from a long way off-very small, very harmless. But I am always closer than I appear. As you grow, I shall grow with you, until at the end, I shall loom huge and dark over your bed, and you will shut your eyes so as not to see me.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“I wish you the best that can be hoped for, and no worse than can be expected.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Well, very splendid and very frightening. But splendid things are often frightening. Sometimes, it's the fright that makes them splendid at all.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“And it's the wonders I'm after, even if I have to bleed for them.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“Shoes are funny beasts. You think they’re just clothes, but really, they’re alive. They want things. Fancy ones with gems want to go to balls, big boots want to go to work, slippers want to dance. Or sleep. Shoes make the path you’re on. Change your shoes, change your path.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“When little ones say they want to go home, they almost never mean it. They mean they are tired of this particular game and would like to start another.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“All stories must end so, with the next tale winking out of the corners of the last pages, promising more, promising moonlight and dancing and revels, if only you will come back when spring comes again.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“If one did not have at least a little luck, one would never survive childhood. But luck can be spent, like money; and lost, like a memory; and wasted, like a life.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“It is true that novelists are shameless and obey no decent law, and they are not to be trusted on any account, but some Mysteries even they must honor.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


“I believe we have an utterly unique specimen on our hands: a child who listens.”
― Catherynne M. Valente, quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


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About the author

Catherynne M. Valente
Born place: in Seattle, WA, The United States
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