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I wasn't trying to work out my own ancestry.
by 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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you begin to understand what you are
without trying to change it,
then what you are undergoes a transformation.
- J. Krishnamurti

Real love is accepting other people the way they are
without trying to change them.
- don Miguel Ruiz

Most of the important things in the world
have been accomplished by people
who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no hope at all.
- Dale Carnegie

To be yourself in a world that
is constantly trying to make you something else
is the greatest accomplishment.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you.
- Saint Bartholomew

Instead of worrying about what people say of you,
why not spend time trying to accomplish
something they will admire.
- Dale Carnegie

You can make more friends in two months
by becoming interested in other people
than you can in two years by trying
to get other people interested in you.
- Dale Carnegie

How could youths better learn to live
than by at once trying the experiment of living?
- Henry David Thoreau

Meddling:
Everything that happens in the world, or doesn't happen,
is NOT my responsibility.
There are more than enough things that are my responsibility.
I am responsible for my thoughts, my beliefs, and my actions -
and that is enough.
It does not serve me to mind anyone else's business.
I can only make myself unhappy by trying to second guess
what anyone else thinks or does.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The trouble with having an open mind, of course,
is that people will insist on coming along
and trying to put things in it.
- Terry Pratchett

You can close more business in two months
by becoming interested in other people
than you can in two years by trying
to get people interested in you.
- Dale Carnegie

The greatest roadblock to a great relationship
is trying to force a partner to change through bribes or threats.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The fastest way to destroy love
is to make a goal out of it,
because people who are trying to be loved
come from a place that they're not loved.
- Werner Erhard

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed,
but nature does not depend on us.
We are not the only experiment.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs
and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
- Abraham Lincoln

Spirit is always waiting to rush into us,
but we are too full of worldly things.
It is like trying to pour fine wine into a cup filled with mud -
the wine is waiting, but the mud must be removed first.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

How far you can go without destroying from within
what you are trying to defend from without?
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the
poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.
- Jean Cocteau

Mama and Daddy King represent the best in manhood and womanhood,
the best in a marriage, the kind of people we are trying to become.
- Coretta Scott King

I'm exhausted trying to stay healthy.
- Steve Yzerman

The mistakes made by Congress wouldn't be so bad if
the next Congress didn't keep trying to correct them.
- Cullen Hightower

Trying to force creativity is never good.
- Sarah McLachlan

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan
trying to play the violin.
- Honore de Balzac

Adolescents are not monsters.
They are just people trying to learn how to make it
among the adults in the world,
who are probably not so sure themselves.
- Virginia Satir

You don't help people in your poems.
I've been trying to help people all my life -
that's my trouble.
- Charles Olson

There is a fine line between perseverance and insanity.
At what point have you tried your best,
and it's time to do something different?
It's a balance - a paradox.
If you get in the habit of giving up
as soon as something gets difficult,
your life won't work,
but if you keep tilting at windmills -
madly trying the same thing again and again,
your life also won't work.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Doing linear scans over an associative array is like
trying to club someone to death with a loaded Uzi.
- Larry Wall

What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man
looking through a keyhole,
the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on.
- Jacques Yves Cousteau

It's a never ending battle of making your cars better
and also trying to be better yourself.
- Dale Earnhardt

The trouble with always trying to preserve the health
of the body is that it is so difficult to do without
destroying the health of the mind.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that
must be followed to become an expert in anything.
- W. Clement Stone

Trying to sneak a fastball past Hank Aaron is like
trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster.
- Joe Adcock

All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying
to get back to where it was.
- Toni Morrison

I intend to live forever, or die trying.
- Groucho Marx

There is no use whatsoever trying to help
people who do not help themselves.
You cannot push anyone up a ladder
unless he is willing to climb himself.
- Andrew Carnegie

The church is always trying to get other people to reform;
it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little,
by way of example.
- Mark Twain

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.
- Thomas A. Edison

If a composer could say what he had to say in words
he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler


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Thank you for visiting: I wasn't trying to work out my own ancestry. by Octavia Butler.

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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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