I have a stack of those..
I have a stack of those plastic card hotel room keys that I picked up on this latest book tour. It's about a yard tall. Ah yes, a stack of lonely nights.
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I gladly accepted the commission but was uncertain about what the end result would be. On the one hand, Cuban music was conquering the world; being heard everywhere, and our small island was already producing one of the popular musical genres of the 20th century.
I never thought of myself as a wealthy person. I've thought of myself as a person who has had a lot of luck. I don't have the same stress that other people have, but there are too many things I could have done differently if wealth was what I was after. If I was all about money, I would have lived in L.A.
You compose because you want to somehow summarize in some permanent form your most basic feelings about being alive, to set down... some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today.
I am uncomfortable talking about the things that I write. It seems unseemly to me. I have no problem at all when I see anybody else talking about the same project, but I feel my work should speak for itself.
In order to speak about all and to all, one has to speak of what all know and of the reality common to us all. The sea, rains, necessity, desire, the struggle against death... these are things that unite us all.
I'm more comfortable writing traditional protagonists. But 'Steve Jobs' and 'The Social Network' have antiheroes. I like to write antiheroes as if they're making their case to God about why they should be allowed into heaven. I have to find something in that character that is like me and write to that.
There's less critical thinking going on in this country on a Main Street level - forget about the media - than ever before. We've never needed people to think more critically than now, and they've taken a big nap.
I'm very physical. When I'm writing, I'm playing all the parts; I'm saying the lines out loud, and if I get excited about something - which doesn't happen very often when I'm writing, but it's the greatest feeling when it does - I'll be out of the chair and walking around, and if I'm at home, I'll find myself two blocks from my house.
'Storm Warnings' is a poem about powerlessness - about a force so much greater than our human powers that while it can be measured and even predicted, it is beyond human control. All 'we' can do is create an interior space against the storm, an enclave of self-protection, though the winds of change till penetrate keyholes and 'unsealed apertures.'
When we were doing 'The West Wing,' the hardest thing about doing 'The West Wing' was being compared to yourself. You go out there and want every episode to be as good as your best episode. I wrote 88 episodes of 'The West Wing,' and when you do that, one of them is going to be your 88th best, so your 88th best better be pretty good.
When I wrote 'The West Wing,' the juice behind it was that in popular culture, our leaders in government are generally portrayed as Machiavellian, or as idiots. I thought, well, how about writing about a group of hyper-competent people?
I turned popular music on the radio, and I never listened to it again after that, in about 1985. That's when I switched over to classical music, and I pretty much stayed with that since then.
You know, one of the things I like about this world, or at least I like about the way we're presenting this world, is these issues are terribly complicated - not nearly as black and white as we're led to believe.
I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.
We start out a million years ago in a small community on some grassy plain; we hunt animals, have children, and develop a rich social, sexual, and intellectual life, but we know almost nothing about our surroundings.
Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out.
About forty miles away from Paris, I began to see the old trench flares they were sending up at Le Bourget. I knew then I had made it, and as I approached the field with all its lights, it was a simple matter to circle once and then pick a spot sufficiently far away from the crowd to land O.K.
We hunger to understand, so we invent myths about how we imagine the world is constructed - and they're, of course, based upon what we know, which is ourselves and other animals. So we make up stories about how the world was hatched from a cosmic egg or created after the mating of cosmic deities or by some fiat of a powerful being.
I've got plenty of quirks. I go to an office early in the morning. Early in the morning is really good writing time. I take anywhere between six to eight showers a day. I'm not exaggerating. I'm not a germaphobe: it's all about a fresh start.