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I began reading science fiction before I was 12 and
by Octavia Butler

I began reading science fiction before I was 12 and
started writing science fiction around the same time.
- Octavia Butler

The thing about science fiction is that it's totally wide open.
But it's wide open in a conditional way.
- Octavia Butler

No...
a novel is a long business.
I'm a slow writer, even when I'm doing very well I write slowly.
- Octavia Butler

Once you grow past Mommy and Daddy coming running when you're hurt,
you're really on your own.
You're alone, and there's no one to help you.
- Octavia Butler

 

And by the way, I wanted to point out that Kindred is not science fiction.
You'll note there's no science in it.
It's a kind of grim fantasy.
- Octavia Butler

I was raised Baptist, and I like the fact that I got
my conscience installed early.
- Octavia Butler

On the other hand, I was very much interested in the way people behaved,
the human dance, how they seemed to move around each other.
I wanted to play around with that.
- Octavia Butler

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Writing is one of the few professions in which you
can psychoanalyse yourself,
get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public,
and get paid for it.
- Octavia Butler

People have the right to call themselves whatever they like.
That doesn't bother me.
It's other people doing the calling that bothers me.
- Octavia Butler

So fantasy was fine early on, and when I discovered science fiction,
I was very happy with it, because my first interest
in science fiction came with an interest in astronomy.
- Octavia Butler

Here I was into astronomy, and here into anthropology,
and there I go into geology.
It was much more fun to be able to research and write
about whatever I wanted to.
- Octavia Butler

I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.
- Octavia Butler

I recognize we will pay more attention when we have different leadership.
- Octavia Butler

No one was going to stop me from writing and no one
had to really guide me towards science fiction.
It was natural, really, that I would take that interest.
- Octavia Butler

Fantasy is totally wide open; all you really have to
do is follow the rules you've set.
But if you're writing about science,
you have to first learn what you're writing about.
- Octavia Butler

Well, writing was what I wanted to do,
it was always what I wanted to do.
I had novels to write so I wrote them.
- Octavia Butler

I have a huge and savage conscience that won't let me get away with things.
- Octavia Butler

I would never have been a good scientist -
my attention span was too short for that.
- Octavia Butler

Science fiction let me do both.
It let me look into science and stick my nose in everywhere.
- Octavia Butler

But my problem with fantasy, and horror,
and related genres, is that sometimes the problems are illogical.
- Octavia Butler

I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open.
I was able to do anything and there were no walls to
hem you in and there was no human condition that you
were stopped from examining.
- Octavia Butler

You don't start out writing good stuff.
You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff,
and then gradually you get better at it.
That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
- Octavia Butler

I talked to members of my family, and did some personal
research that didn't really have anything to do with
the time and place I was writing about,
but that gave me a feeling of the experience of being
black in a time and place where it was very difficult to be black.
- Octavia Butler

A workshop is a way of renting an audience,
and making sure you're communicating what you think you're communicating.
It's so easy as a young writer to think you're been
very clear when in fact you haven't.
- Octavia Butler

While Fledging is a different type of book,
The Parable series serve as cautionary tales.
I wrote the Parable books because of the direction of the country.
You can call it save the world fiction,
but it clearly doesn't save anything.
- Octavia Butler

Most of us don't have to worry about being shot of
we poke our noses outside.
So we are comfortable, but the people I'm writing about
are definitely not comfortable,
and being shot while they're still inside is a good possibility.
- Octavia Butler

I wasn't trying to work out my own ancestry.
I was trying to get people to feel slavery.
I was trying to get across the kind of emotional and
psychological stones that slavery threw at people.
- Octavia Butler

What I'm working on now - I'm back to fantasy,
although considering that it's me, I'm turning it into
a kind of science fantasy.
It's a vampire story - but my vampires are biological vampires.
They didn't become vampires because someone bit them;
they were born that way.
- Octavia Butler

Religion kept some of my relatives alive,
because it was all they had.
If they hadn't had some hope of heaven,
some companionship in Jesus, they probably would have committed suicide,
their lives were so hellish.
- Octavia Butler

Third, for people who aren't doing it already,
take classes - they're worthwhile.
Workshops or classes - a workshop is where you do actually
get feedback on your work,
not just something where you go and sit for a day.
- Octavia Butler

No, I think the future of humanity will be like the past,
we'll do what we've always done and there will still be human beings.
Granted, there will always be people doing something
different and there are a lot of possibilities.
- Octavia Butler

And I have this little litany of things they can do.
And the first one, of course, is to write -
every day,
no excuses.
It's so easy to make excuses.
Even professional writers have days when they'd rather
clean the toilet than do the writing.
- Octavia Butler

Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing.
There is a time for silence.
A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny.
And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
- Octavia Butler

And when our baby stirs and struggles to be born
it compels humility: what we began is now its own.
- Margaret Mead

A friendship that can end never really began.
- Publilius Syrus

There is a secret wisdom-of-the-ages
that holds the key to breaking our
cycle of self-imposed suffering.
The secret wisdom is, "Life is not supposed to be fair."
This is not sad news. This is GLORIOUS news!
Life is not broken. Nothing is wrong.
God has not failed, died, or gone on vacation.
The world is working perfectly. We just misunderstood.
Somewhere along the way, someone got the idea that
life was "supposed" to be "fair,"
and all the trouble started -
expectation, disappointment, resentment, anger -
a whole cycle of suffering that began
with the belief that life is "supposed" to be "fair."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit.
"No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't.
But there was going to be when I began it.
It's just that something happened to it along the way."
- A. A. Milne (Winnie-The-Pooh)

The modern assault on the environment began about 50 years ago,
during and immediately after World War II.
- Barry Commoner

Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk.
It is walking toward me, without hurrying.
- Jean Cocteau

We have been travelling through a cloud.
The sky has been dark ever since the war began.
- Black Kettle

Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.
- George Eliot

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it.
I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint.
What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
- Henry David Thoreau

The real 1960s began on the afternoon of November 22,
1963.
It came to seem that Kennedy's murder opened some malign
trap door in American culture,
and the wild bats flapped out.
- Lance Morrow

It all started when my dog began getting free roll over minutes.
- Jay London

When I began writing, I didn't read any other children's poets...
I didn't want to be influenced until I'd found my own voice.
Now I read them all.
- Jack Prelutsky

Delaware State began as a school bent on service -
teaching education,
social services and nursing.
- Michael N. Castle

I loved the gentlemanly way they treated each other.
It was unlike anything I was used to.
I started helping them strike the set and,
at 11, began taking acting classes privately.
- Jeffrey Tambor

That's where I began to ask questions that maybe don't
have one specific answer.
And the more people you get answers from,
the richer the environment becomes.
- John Zorn

It was at Bell Labs that I first made direct contact
with real semiconductor experts and thus began to fully
understand what amazing materials they were and what they could do.
- Robert B. Laughlin

Things really began to move for us.
In 1953 I could afford to marry Doreen.
- Ernie Wise

We began as restless and radical.
Remember the spirit of 1997, but by the end of our
time in office we had lost our way.
- Ed Miliband

The whole wood seemed running now, running hard,
hunting, chasing, closing in round something or -
somebody? In panic,
he began to run too, aimlessly, he knew not whither.
- Kenneth Grahame

Fiction came quite a while later.
I began with short stories and fiction for children.
- Helen Dunmore

As time goes on, I realize more and more that,
beginning in the early 30's, David Smith began setting
the precedent for what was to come later for many of us.
- Kenneth Noland

Private property began the instant somebody had a mind of his own.
- e. e. cummings

You have indeed done much since the new century began
to give shape and substance to the growing,
the insistent desire that war may be banished from the earth.
- Henry Campbell-Bannerman

The notion of the single man began in the 1950's.
The idea of the bachelor as a separate life was new and obscure.
- Hugh Hefner

In this time the enemy began to undermine our fort,
which was situated sixty yards from Kentucky River.
- Daniel Boone

Since the intervention in Afghanistan,
we suddenly began to notice when, in political discussions,
we found ourselves only among Europeans or Israelis.
- Jurgen Habermas

The Howard Hughes I knew began to change after his plane crash in 1941.
- Gene Tierney

The practice of putting women on pedestals began to
die out when it was discovered that they could give
orders better from there.
- Betty Grable

When I began, the guitar was en-closed in a vicious circle.
There were no composers writing for the guitar,
be-cause there were no virtuoso guitarists.
- Andres Segovia

Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot be true,
I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind
trained from infancy to believe in error.
- Robert Owen

Well, opera began with an intent to resuscitate Greek drama,
that is, modern opera as we know it.
- John Eaton

I began drinking alcohol at the age of thirteen and
gave it up in my fifty sixth year;
it was like going straight from puberty to a mid-life crisis.
- George Montgomery

In my second year, after moving to the Medical School,
I began the courses of Anatomy and Physiology.
I had begun to see that I was interested in cells and their functions.
- Sydney Brenner

The next summer, 1794, corn grew dear,
and distress began in our land.
- Joanna Southcott

It really wasn't until I was in college when I began to write more and more,
and I realized I was scheduling my entire life around my writing.
- Rita Dove

In the post war period I began again to have my doubts about Russian policy.
- Klaus Fuchs

However, I began meditating at about that time and
have continued on and off over the years.
- Daniel Goleman

Only after awhile.
After it came out and people began to engage in discussions
about the social reflections of the film that I realized
it had an importance I hadn't thought of.
- Rod Steiger


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