Jane Smiley Famous Quotes & Sayings

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100 Jane Smiley Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Jane Smiley Sayings: The plays he had liked were the one called Measure for Measure, and another one The plays he had liked were the one called Measure for Measure, and another one called Macbeth. They were easy to follow, and what happened in them was kind of like what happened in junior high school.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: I'm a natural novelist. I'm interested in the person and the group, and how they I'm a natural novelist. I'm interested in the person and the group, and how they mesh. And one of the ways I don't want them to mesh is for the person to be subsumed into the group.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: I always feel a little guilty when I break bad news to someone, because that I always feel a little guilty when I break bad news to someone, because that energy, of knowing something others don't, sort of puffs you up.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: I've experienced having you in the house. It's like living with a loud motor running I've experienced having you in the house. It's like living with a loud motor running all the time. Up, down, into this room and that room, eating supper, jumping from the table, cursing all the time, yelling over the telephone about things, laughing, making deals all the time. You take up a lot of space and make a lot of noise." She
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Progressivism is usually seen as a stepping back from individualism into a progressive community. Progressivism is usually seen as a stepping back from individualism into a progressive community.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Contemplate the difference between a reason and an excuse. A reason is its own reward, Contemplate the difference between a reason and an excuse. A reason is its own reward, but an excuse leads to disappointment every time.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: With horses, familiarity breeds comfort. If you haven't been around horses for a while (or With horses, familiarity breeds comfort. If you haven't been around horses for a while (or ever), the best thing to do is to go to the racetrack, a horse show, a rodeo, or some other horsey activity, and watch the horses. Familiarize yourself with the way they move and behave themselves.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Every novel I've written has been about finding stuff out. I'm motivated much more by Every novel I've written has been about finding stuff out. I'm motivated much more by curiosity than by self-expression.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: It still astounds me, after forty years, that there is no good bread between Chicago It still astounds me, after forty years, that there is no good bread between Chicago and San Francisco.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: There are several methods for introducing your children to driving, and all of them are There are several methods for introducing your children to driving, and all of them are bad. Probably the worst is to put it off.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Every spot on earth is particular, detailed, and incomprehensibly complex. Every spot on earth is particular, detailed, and incomprehensibly complex.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: She knew she had become the strange sort of lady that she remembered noticing as She knew she had become the strange sort of lady that she remembered noticing as a child, the sort of lady who was always neat and kind, whose house was quiet because there were no children, who hosted the knitting circle and kept small treats around in case some child might be in need of a licorice whip or a shortbread cookie.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Writing novels is an essentially amateur activity. Writing novels is an essentially amateur activity.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: My mom was paranoid about my safety. My mom was paranoid about my safety.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: The essence of charity ... was not deciding what others needed and giving it to The essence of charity ... was not deciding what others needed and giving it to them, but giving them what they wanted.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Americans took a great deal too much credit for creating wealth, when most of the Americans took a great deal too much credit for creating wealth, when most of the time they had really just been living off natural bounty unprecedented in the history of the world.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: A novelist is on the cusp between someone who knows everything and someone who knows A novelist is on the cusp between someone who knows everything and someone who knows nothing.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Well, in fact everybody - everybody - in the entire nation has enough stuff in Well, in fact everybody - everybody - in the entire nation has enough stuff in their life to write about that's interesting that they could write their autobiography. And in the end that's why I find people interesting.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: At sixty miles per hour, you could pass our farm in a minute, on County At sixty miles per hour, you could pass our farm in a minute, on County Road 686, which ran due north into the T intersection at Cabot Street Road.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: I had a burden lift off me that I hadn't even felt the heaviness of I had a burden lift off me that I hadn't even felt the heaviness of until then, and it was the burden of having to wait and see what was going to happen.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: We drove in a kind of wholesome silence, carrying our whole long marriage, all the We drove in a kind of wholesome silence, carrying our whole long marriage, all the hope and kindness that it represented, with us. What it felt like was sitting in Sunday school singing "Jesus loves me," sitting in the little chairs, surrounded by sunlight and bright drawings, and having those first inklings of doubt, except that doubt presents itself simply as added knowledge, something new, for the moment, to set beside what is already known.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Upstairs, in the cupboard, he had a box of things he had saved as a Upstairs, in the cupboard, he had a box of things he had saved as a boy and a young man. He hadn't looked into it in twenty years or more. Nothing fancy or valuable, but things that had meant something to him at one time. He found it, and found the key, and carried it downstairs without opening it.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: All equestrians, if they last long enough, learn that riding in whatever form is a All equestrians, if they last long enough, learn that riding in whatever form is a lifelong sport and art, an endeavor that is both familiar and new every time you take the horse out of his stall or pasture.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: I spent part of my college years in a Marxist commune. I was not a I spent part of my college years in a Marxist commune. I was not a Marxist. I wasn't even pretending to be one. I was a Marxist-in-law.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: If novels and stories are bulletins from the progressive states of ignorance a writer passes If novels and stories are bulletins from the progressive states of ignorance a writer passes through over the years, observations and opinions about horses are all the more so, since horses are more mysterious than life and harder to understand.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: She had felt a surge of fear so strong She had felt a surge of fear so strong
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Jane Smiley Sayings: In my experience, there is only one motivation, and that is desire. No reasons or In my experience, there is only one motivation, and that is desire. No reasons or principle contain it or stand against it.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: I gallop and jump and ride young horses with intense pleasure. I gallop and jump and ride young horses with intense pleasure.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Novelists of a conservative or more purely aesthetic bent hold up better on the surface, Novelists of a conservative or more purely aesthetic bent hold up better on the surface, but their novels go in and out of fashion according to relevance or irrelevance.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Still others reflected on how quickly the food could be snatched from a man's table, Still others reflected on how quickly the food could be snatched from a man's table, or the child from a woman's breast, or the wife from a man's bedcloset, that no strength of grasp could hold these goods in place. And others remarked to themselves how sweet these goods were, in spite of that, and saw that pleasure lost in every moment is pleasure lost forever.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: We sort of read two or three big newspapers but we don't get the flavor We sort of read two or three big newspapers but we don't get the flavor of the local events, the local news as much.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: I thought about having sex with Jess Clark and I could feel my flesh turn I thought about having sex with Jess Clark and I could feel my flesh turn electric at these thoughts, cold feel sensation gather at my nipples, could feel my vagina relax and open, could feel my lips and fingertips grow sensitive enough to know their own shapes.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Some people do wait their whole lives for something, and it's only when that thing Some people do wait their whole lives for something, and it's only when that thing arrives that they find out that they've been waiting rather than living.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Respect and fear are two different things. Respect and fear are two different things.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Combined families often get bad reviews, but the family my children got when they traded Combined families often get bad reviews, but the family my children got when they traded away 'the suffocating four-person' nuclear one is one that has benefited all of them.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: Almonds. Apricots. Avocadoes. Some peaches I don't know. Grapefruit. Lemones. Probably oranges. Almonds. Apricots. Avocadoes. Some peaches I don't know. Grapefruit. Lemones. Probably oranges.
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Jane Smiley Sayings: But what truly horsey girls discover in the end is that boyfriends, husbands, children, and But what truly horsey girls discover in the end is that boyfriends, husbands, children, and careers are the substitute-for horses
Jane Smiley Sayings: Laura's gossip was redeemed by its lack of spite. She was warmly objective about every Laura's gossip was redeemed by its lack of spite. She was warmly objective about every event, taking endless delight in action and complexity, as if she had been bed-ridden in a small windowless room for years and was just now discovering the dramatic possibilities of daily life. She sang Alice through the day.
Jane Smiley Sayings: 'Lean on Pete' is the story of a boy and his horse, but it is 'Lean on Pete' is the story of a boy and his horse, but it is never heart-warming - it ranges in tone from desperate to merely painful - and, while fascinating, it is never entertaining or redemptive. But if you want an unadorned portrait of American life (at least in some places) at the beginning of the 21st century, this is the book for you.
Jane Smiley Sayings: What? he would say, practically snapping to attention. What I had thought to be of What? he would say, practically snapping to attention. What I had thought to be of passing interest would now take on profound fascination as I read it aloud, and Pat would inhale it. A few hours or a few days later, he would give it back, in talk or as gifts - books, records, tickets to a performance. I would like to tell Joe what a peculiar and suffocating feeling it got to be, to be attended to so closely, to have every idle remark sucked up and transformed into a theory, to be made relentlessly significant, oneself and an enlarged model of oneself, the Visible Woman, always being told what she was like and what it meant.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Some folk learned the nature of God, that He was merciful, having spared a husband Some folk learned the nature of God, that He was merciful, having spared a husband or some cattle, that He was strict, having meted out hard punishment for small sins, that He was attentive, having sent signs of the hunger beforehand, that He was just, having sent the hunger in the first place, or having sent the whales and the teeming reindeer in the end. Some folk learned that He was to be found in the world-in the richness of the grass and the pearly beauty of the Heavens, and others learned that He could not be found in the world, for the world is always wanting, and God is completion.
Jane Smiley Sayings: The two of them prayed to Jesus that they might learn their lessons sooner rather The two of them prayed to Jesus that they might learn their lessons sooner rather than later, and that they would be gentle lessons rather than hard lessons.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Write every day, just to keep in the habit, and remember that whatever you have Write every day, just to keep in the habit, and remember that whatever you have written is neither as good nor as bad as you think it is. Just keep going, and tell yourself that you will fix it later.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Because your goal is a complete rough draft of a novel, and every rough draft, Because your goal is a complete rough draft of a novel, and every rough draft, by being complete, is perfect.
Jane Smiley Sayings: The brave view is that talking it out helps work it out. Maybe the realistic The brave view is that talking it out helps work it out. Maybe the realistic view is that talking it out inflames the issues further. But that is America, especially these days.
Jane Smiley Sayings: After he got back to his apartment that evening, Arthur remembered how completely he'd thought After he got back to his apartment that evening, Arthur remembered how completely he'd thought he'd solved the problem of his own childhood once he'd claimed Lillian and enveloped her in his dream
no one idle, no one beset by solitude, everyone laughing. The problem he had not solved, or even known existed, was how quickly it passed, every joke, every embrace, every babyhood and childhood, every moment of thinking that he had things figured out for good.
Jane Smiley Sayings: A theory of creativity is actually just a metaphor. A pool of ideas, a well A theory of creativity is actually just a metaphor. A pool of ideas, a well of memories, a voice.
Jane Smiley Sayings: You know when we came out of the clinic, and we saw those flower beds You know when we came out of the clinic, and we saw those flower beds that we hadn't seen when we were walking in? That was so unexpected, I think it made me delirious somehow. And then it seemed like if we just threw off all restraints and talked wildly and ate wildly and shopped wildly, it would just turn up the delirium, and make it even better, or permanent somehow ...
Jane Smiley Sayings: My characters never die screaming in rage. They attempt to pull themselves back together and My characters never die screaming in rage. They attempt to pull themselves back together and go on. And that's basically a conservative view of life.
Jane Smiley Sayings: I'm not strange to myself, but I realize that I contrast with others fairly sharply. I'm not strange to myself, but I realize that I contrast with others fairly sharply.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Walter didn't know what to make of his two boys. If you looked at it Walter didn't know what to make of his two boys. If you looked at it a certain way, then the one who needed the beatings to toughen him up, namely Joey, never did a thing to earn a beating, because he hadn't the gumption, and the one who got the beatings learned nothing from them. Looking back on his own childhood, Walter saw a much more orderly system: His father or mother told them the rules. If they got out of line, even not intending to, they got a whipping to help them remember the next time, and they did remember the next time, and so they got fewer beatings, and so they became boys who could get the work done, and since there was plenty of it, it had to get done. That was life, as far as Walter was concerned - you surveyed the landscape and took note of what was needed, and then you did it, and the completed tasks piled up behind you like a kind of treasure, or at least evidence of virtue. What life was for Frankie he could not imagine.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Trollope wrote so many novels and other works that they tend to crowd each other Trollope wrote so many novels and other works that they tend to crowd each other out.
Jane Smiley Sayings: poking around in this dump, as it would be poking around in this dump, as it would be
Jane Smiley Sayings: He hadn't had her as a teacher, which meant that he could tell her what He hadn't had her as a teacher, which meant that he could tell her what
Jane Smiley Sayings: A horse herd was, in its very essence, the manifestation of the expression 'It's always A horse herd was, in its very essence, the manifestation of the expression 'It's always something.
Jane Smiley Sayings: When 'The Awakening' was published it was considered so scandalous it was banned in the When 'The Awakening' was published it was considered so scandalous it was banned in the author's home-town library, and she herself was barred from the Fine Arts Club in the same city. What the novel has to offer, among other things, is honesty.
Jane Smiley Sayings: The one thing ... maybe no family could tolerate was things coming out into the The one thing ... maybe no family could tolerate was things coming out into the open.
Jane Smiley Sayings: I think that the Cold War was an exceptional and unnecessary piece of cruelty. I think that the Cold War was an exceptional and unnecessary piece of cruelty.
Jane Smiley Sayings: I always think that things have to happen the way they do happen, that there I always think that things have to happen the way they do happen, that there are so many inner and outer forces joining at every event that it becomes a kind of fate. I learned from studying Buddhism that there's beauty, and certainly a lot of peace, in accepting that." I sniffed. A smile twinkled sheepishly across his face. "Okay, okay," he said, "how about this? If you worry about it, you draw it to you.
Jane Smiley Sayings: With preference came point of view; with point of view, personality; with personality, uniqueness; with With preference came point of view; with point of view, personality; with personality, uniqueness; with uniqueness, grief.
Jane Smiley Sayings: I looked at her without replying. For me it had been more like being a I looked at her without replying. For me it had been more like being a passenger in a car that was going out of control. For three months we'd been swerving across the road, missing light poles and oncoming vehicles. Now the car was under control again,
Jane Smiley Sayings: There are five things that societies do: They reproduce; they produce food; they organize themselves There are five things that societies do: They reproduce; they produce food; they organize themselves in terms of law; they organize themselves in terms of belief; and they make art. Four of them are about conformity, and in these, everything would go more smoothly if people just would shut up and do what they're told. But in art it doesn't work that way.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Like most of the educated, I do harbor a fondness for the sins of my Like most of the educated, I do harbor a fondness for the sins of my ignorant past.
Jane Smiley Sayings: She was almost sixty and she had not been to London, or Paris, or Rome, She was almost sixty and she had not been to London, or Paris, or Rome, and there was no going there now. Yes, she was balanced, as she had gotten into the habit of congratulating herself for being. But, she saw, she was balanced on a very narrow perch.
Jane Smiley Sayings: So all I have is the knowledge that I saw! That I saw without being So all I have is the knowledge that I saw! That I saw without being afraid and without turning away, and that I didn't forgive the unforgivable. Forgiveness is a reflex for when you can't stand what you know. I resisted that reflex. That's my sole, solitary, lonely accomplishment.
Jane Smiley Sayings: I was an only child. I've known only children. From this experience, I do believe I was an only child. I've known only children. From this experience, I do believe that the children should outnumber the parents.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Men are competent in groups that mimic the playground, incompetent in groups that mimic the Men are competent in groups that mimic the playground, incompetent in groups that mimic the family
Jane Smiley Sayings: It didn't occur to us. We had swum in the ocean of religion all our It didn't occur to us. We had swum in the ocean of religion all our lives and not gotten wet.
Jane Smiley Sayings: There weren't too many books by women that were taught in school, so I read There weren't too many books by women that were taught in school, so I read those on my own, and the books I read were as accessible as the ones we were reading in school.
Jane Smiley Sayings: You know what getting married is? It's agreeing to taking this person who right now You know what getting married is? It's agreeing to taking this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, looking good, wildly interested in you because you're the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You're his responsibility now and he's yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won't. What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time?
Jane Smiley Sayings: Another thing he told his customers was that one of the great accounting unknowns of Another thing he told his customers was that one of the great accounting unknowns of the modern age was how to value knowledge. It was an exciting field.
Jane Smiley Sayings: There are hundreds of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings around the United States and in other There are hundreds of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings around the United States and in other countries, too. Wright lived into his 90s, and one of his most famous buildings, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, was completed just before his death. Wright buildings look like Wright buildings - that is their paradox.
Jane Smiley Sayings: It once amused me that it took me three tries to pass my driver's test It once amused me that it took me three tries to pass my driver's test and that my driving instructor told my mother that I was the least talented person behind the wheel that she had ever taught.
Jane Smiley Sayings: who was wearing a very handsome who was wearing a very handsome
Jane Smiley Sayings: Art doesn't exist if you just do what you're told. It only exists as an Art doesn't exist if you just do what you're told. It only exists as an exercise of individual taste and freedom.
Jane Smiley Sayings: With any novel that you begin, you can't foresee how difficult or easy it's going With any novel that you begin, you can't foresee how difficult or easy it's going to be, and you can't really prepare yourself. You just have a take it one step at a time and know that it's all right to keep going - you can always fix it.
Jane Smiley Sayings: We knew right off how to think of them but not precisely how to feel We knew right off how to think of them but not precisely how to feel about them.
Jane Smiley Sayings: This is true, at the least, that no veil of beauty hides the evils from This is true, at the least, that no veil of beauty hides the evils from our sight.
Jane Smiley Sayings: When your parents don't like you, then you are free. When your parents don't like you, then you are free.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Arthur said, You must know that you don't love children for being good or bad. Arthur said, You must know that you don't love children for being good or bad. I know you know that.
Why do you love them?
Because you do, said Arthur. Because they don't know what's coming and maybe you do.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Many said that now there was no hope of salvation, for a man might do Many said that now there was no hope of salvation, for a man might do anything and be in the wrong. There was no way to tell. It was better to stay on the steading and mind the cows and be content with such days as are left to one and cease to wonder about life everlasting.
Jane Smiley Sayings: She had a cloth in her hands. She said, Frankie hungry? She had a cloth in her hands. She said, Frankie hungry?
Jane Smiley Sayings: An urban novelist never minds a little decay. An urban novelist never minds a little decay.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Evil people must spread their evil everywhere. Evil people must spread their evil everywhere.
Jane Smiley Sayings: The fact is that the same sequence of days can arrange themselves into a number The fact is that the same sequence of days can arrange themselves into a number of different stories.
Jane Smiley Sayings: I was depressed, but that was a side issue. This was more like closing up I was depressed, but that was a side issue. This was more like closing up shop, or, say, having a big garage sale, where you look at everything you've bought in your life, and you remember how much it meant to you, and now you just tag it for a quarter and watch 'em carry it off, and you don't care. That's more like how it was.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Candy is my fuel. Ice cream, too. Candy is my fuel. Ice cream, too.
Jane Smiley Sayings: War is inevitable when the world is fallen. If you stop one, another will start. War is inevitable when the world is fallen. If you stop one, another will start. Redemption is the only path away from war.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Some novelists are luckier than others in the eras of their formative intellectual years, but Some novelists are luckier than others in the eras of their formative intellectual years, but all Weltanschauungs return, which means that most novelists have at least a chance of a revival.
Jane Smiley Sayings: But he was sixty-two when I was, born, and the novelty of daughters had worn But he was sixty-two when I was, born, and the novelty of daughters had worn away long before.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Not every novel that wants to be a tragedy gets to be one. Not every novel that wants to be a tragedy gets to be one.
Jane Smiley Sayings: There were no toys under the bedthat wasn't why he liked it. Why he liked There were no toys under the bed
that wasn't why he liked it. Why he liked it was that there wasn't anything under the bed
no chickens, no Joey, no Eloise, no sheep, no "no"s. He could lie under the bed and not be told anything at all
Jane Smiley Sayings: I suspected that there were things he knew that I had been waiting all my I suspected that there were things he knew that I had been waiting all my life to learn.
Jane Smiley Sayings: I loved the house the way you would any new house, because it is populated I loved the house the way you would any new house, because it is populated by your future, the family of children who will fill it with noise or chaos and satisfying busy pleasures.
Jane Smiley Sayings: She said, Some are born bossy, some achieve bossiness, and some have bossiness thrust upon She said, Some are born bossy, some achieve bossiness, and some have bossiness thrust upon them.
Jane Smiley Sayings: What Is Really Going On in Spain? was another. Who's the Boss? was about whether What Is Really Going On in Spain? was another. Who's the Boss? was about whether members of the
Jane Smiley Sayings: dark, wet sides of the well dropped maybe dark, wet sides of the well dropped maybe
Jane Smiley Sayings: Once again, the curious thing was how strange and forceful the world was, how it Once again, the curious thing was how strange and forceful the world was, how it battered and clanged and could not be withstood, and yet some individuals withstood it while others did not.
Jane Smiley Sayings: When I went to first grade and the other children said that their fathers were When I went to first grade and the other children said that their fathers were farmers, I simply didn't believe them. I agreed in order to be polite, but in my heart I knew that those men were impostors, as farmers and as fathers, too. In my youthful estimation, Laurence Cook defined both categories. To really believe that others even existed in either category was to break the First Commandment.
Jane Smiley Sayings: Northerners, even abolitionists, knew more about how and why to chop down the slavery tree Northerners, even abolitionists, knew more about how and why to chop down the slavery tree than they ever knew what to do with its sour fruit.