My dad and I were in a hotel and he tried the coffee and smiled and said “ahh, it’s like making love in a canoe.” and I said, “it’s that good?” and he stopped smiling and looked me in the eye and said, “no, it’s fucking close to water" before pouring it down the drain really dramatically and walking away.
Oh my GOD.
Extreme dad jokes.
Dad joke Olympics.
Or, y’know, dad was a Monty Python fan.
Oh dammit. Now I ship The US/Great Britain
thanks silly graphic.
“Listen, you have to let me be represented. I can’t just…keep giving you my heart and my taxes and not be a bigger part of your government. I want more than that. I deserve more than that.”
“You know I can’t. You knew that from the moment you went so far away. I just…this is what I have to give. I don’t have anymore. For God’s sake, there’s an ocean between us!”
“Fine. You know what, fine. Here, just, see all this goddamn tea you gave me? Well you can take it back. Here, fish it out of the harbor for all I care.”
“Don’t do this.”
“I have no choice. I’ll never be anything more than a colony to you.”
“No, Britain. Don’t.”
“I can’t just let you go, you know that. I’ll fight for you if I have to.”
“And I will fight back.”
And then comes the badly-described angst sex. XD
This made me literally laugh out loud. Oh, Britain/America. You crazy kids…
I’m interpreting the badly-described angst sex as the War of 1812.
Happy Independence Day, America, you heartbreaker.
Throw away the scale. There is no scale, there is only your story. Listen to the story you are trying to tell, that unconscious combination of imagination and memory and feeling, and trust it. Concentrate on expressing that as clearly as you can, concentrate on finding the language for it, but above all don’t second-guess it. It’s your true north. Because here’s the great thing about novels and writing and creating anything: Nobody else can possibly write the book you’re writing. It is yours, singular, and the more clearly it is expressed the more alive its singularity will be. If you want to be ruthless, be ruthless about clarity, be ruthless about trusting yourself, be ruthless about finding generosity for your characters, but most of all be ruthless about ignoring the inner demon that keeps telling you you’ll never be as good as Eudora Welty or Zadie Smith or David Mitchell or James Baldwin or whoever, that your novel will never be better than an 8. That inner demon is full of fear, and fear, if anything, is what reduces a novel and sterilizes its language. Fear, in writing, is a self-fulfilling prophesy. So banish it, banish the whole scale, and trust your own dark bouquet of inspiration. Thank god you’re not those other writers. We already have their books, but we don’t have yours, and I am of the mind that the world is almost always made better by more books.
"I had a child when I was sixteen. I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and community pretty much wrote me off. But right away I got a job at a sporting goods store. Soon I was able to get a job as a receptionist at a tax company, and they gave me enough responsibilities that I learned how to do taxes. Eventually I learned enough to become an associate. Then I got offered a job at a smaller company, and even though it was a pay cut, they offered me responsibility over all the books— accounts payable, accounts receivable, everything. It was less money but I wanted that experience so I took the risk. And I’m so glad I did, because six months later, the controller of that company left and I was given that position. They told me they couldn’t officially call me the controller because I didn’t have a college degree. So I finished my degree 5 months ago— just to make it official! So after having a child at sixteen, I made it all the way to controller of a company, without even having a college degree. Can you believe that? Honestly, I’ve been waiting to tell that story so long that I told it to a customer service representative on the phone last week. She was nice about it and pretended to care."
Ah, my heart. What an inspiration.