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And I have this little litany of things they can do.
by 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

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

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

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

 

But my problem with fantasy, and horror,
and related genres, is that sometimes the problems are illogical.
- 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 would never have been a good scientist -
my attention span was too short for that.
- Octavia Butler

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly,
"one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Andersen

Our "Rainbows and Butterflies" are the small miracles of our life -
the little things that are so easy to overlook,
yet so awe inspiring when we take a moment
to notice and to pay attention.
Give thanks for the rainbows, for the butterflies,
for all God's creatures - large and small,
for the bright blue sky and the soft fog and the gentle rain,
for the tree veiled in the season's first frost,
for the baby's laugh,
for the touch of a hand and the whispered "I love you."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mother is the name for God
in the lips and hearts of little children.
- William Makepeace Thackeray

If i had known... i would have lingered
over my coffee a little longer.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

It is not the man who has too little,
but the man who craves more, that is poor.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

And just dance a little.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

You should never be content with so little,
when you can reach out for something big.
- Charles L. Allen
(This quote is about making a big difference
in the world - not about greed)

A great man is always willing to be little.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have always held firmly to the thought
that each one of us can do a little
to bring some portion of misery to an end.
- Albert Schweitzer

They who can give up essential liberty
to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

I have a dream that my four little children will one day
live in a nation where they will
not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

We shall see but a little way if
we require to understand what we see.
- Henry David Thoreau

It is of the small joys and little pleasures
that the greatest of our days are built.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

I will dance a little.
I will move with the wind.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

A little neglect may breed great mischief.
- Benjamin Franklin

He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

The greatest wealth is to live content with little.
- Plato

He who knows best knows how little he knows.
- Thomas Jefferson

Alone we can do so little;
together we can do so much.
- Helen Keller

Practice yourself, for heaven's sake in little things,
and then proceed to greater.
- Epictetus

Any man who reads too much
and uses his own brain too little
falls into lazy habits of thinking.
- Albert Einstein

Patience, persistence, and perseverance.
A little more each day, a little better each day.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I never accepted the idea
that I had to be guided by
some pattern or blueprint.
- Little Richard

A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.
- A. A. Milne (Winnie-The-Pooh)

Little minds have little worries,
big minds have no time for worries.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
- Winston Churchill

'Tis the business of little minds to shrink,
but they whose heart is firm,
and whose conscience approves their conduct,
will pursue their principles unto death.
- Thomas Paine

If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true
were really true, there would be little hope of advance.
- Orville Wright

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God
who is sending a love letter to the world.
- Mother Teresa

Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The wise man looks into space,
and does not regard the small as too little,
nor the great as too much;
for he knows that there is no limit to dimensions.
- Lao Tzu

Little strokes,
Fell great oaks.
- Benjamin Franklin

Two little words that can make the difference: START NOW.
- Mary C. Crowley

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.
- Epicurus

Love is an act of faith,
and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.
- Erich Fromm

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
- Jimmy Johnson

A little simplification would be
the first step toward rational living.
- Eleanor Roosevelt


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