Deb Caletti quotes:

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  • If you think about becoming a writer, that's just really one of the big dreams I had. It's really important to have those dreams and pursue your passions.

  • Marriage is like a well-built porch. If one of the two posts leans too much, the porch collapses. So each must be strong enough to stand on its own.

  • We don't want you convicted for condiment theft. You go to that prison, you'll meet big-time operators. Maple syrup stealers.

  • All of us create our own versions of an event, of our lives, even, not because we're liars, necessarily, but because we can only see and understand the truth from our own viewpoint, and a shifting viewpoint at that.

  • The Nature of Jade' is about a girl who works with the elephants at the zoo near her home, and who, through her involvement with them, becomes involved with a boy and his baby.

  • I wrote one book, signed with a good agent, and sat back and waited for the phone to ring. I was sure that the great news would come at any moment. Four books later, I finally got that call.

  • To be a writer is to connect and to play and to attempt to see clearly and understand. It astounds me regularly that feeling things deeply and writing them down is basically my job description.

  • Writers are troubled about finding time to write and writer's block and publicizing books that aren't books yet. They agonize over how to write and what to write and what not to write.

  • I always say that, for me, writing a book is like a wacky Greyhound bus trip - I know where I'm starting and where I'll end up, but I have no idea what will happen along the way.

  • I was a book lover from the beginning. I loved, love, words and images and ideas, the ways a book can make you feel things deeply or help you understand something you never even knew there were words for.

  • One of the most constant and sustaining truths of my life has been this: I love the library.

  • Love." She looked at me with those blue eyes. "Isn't it astonishing how confused and complicated such a small,simple word is? It attracts so many other things, doesn't it, that stick to it like barnacles on rock...fear, guilt. Need. You can't even see the rock anymore. I imagine love in its purest form is a rare thing.

  • You've got to have someone who loves your body. Who doesn't define you, but sees you. Who loves what he sees. Who you don't have to struggle to be good enough for.

  • When I was a young mother at home with a two year old and a five year old, living on the Eastside in one of those neighborhoods where all the houses look the same, where all the cars look the same and the lawns look the same, I was writing in secret.

  • That's what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you're not so lovable.

  • And pity--people who inspire it in you are actually very powerful people. To get someone else to take care of you, to feel sorry for you--that takes a lot of strength, smarts, manipulation. Very powerful people.

  • Sometimes good choices are really bad ones, wrapped up in so much fear you can't even see straight.

  • I became a writer because I love books, and I believe in their power.

  • It was possible, maybe, to have facts in your mind that weren't facts at all. You could build a whole life's story on false assumptions. You could make truths out of untruths and untruths out of truths. Until you spoke them, really said them out loud or checked for sure, you may not have known which were which.

  • The most basic and somehow forgettable thing is this: Love is not pain. Love is goodness. And real love--it's less shiny than solid and simple.

  • Dad was a writer down to his cells, and he loved metaphors. Everything was a metaphor. Your dirty laundry could be one. Unexpected encounters with dog shit, definitely.

  • I've heard that people stand in bad situations because a relationship like that gets turned up by degrees. It is said that a frog will jump out of a pot of boiling water. Place him in a pot and turn it up a little at a time, and he will stay until he is boiled to death. Us frogs understand this.

  • To an untrained eye, need and love were as easily mistaken for each other as the real master's painting and a forgery.

  • I could forget that part, but it had to have been true.

  • I may be nervous," I say. "Okay, I'm really glad you said that, because I just went to the back room to put on more deodorant." Sebastian says.

  • Like all kids with divorced parents, I have an abundance of holidays.

  • Sometimes you think you've found love, when it's really just one of those objects that are shiny in a certain light--a trophy, say, or a ring, or a diamond, even. Glass shards, maybe. You've got to be careful, you do. The shine can blind you. The edges can cut you in way you never imagined. It is up to you to allow that or not.

  • Love was such a delicate thing, requiring tissue-paper touch and the safest place, yet there it was out in the real world, where it got battered by storms of ill will and bad circumstances and demons of your own or of other people. Love didn't stand a chance.

  • This is just one of those annoying and unjust differences between you and your younger sibling...I was probably fifteen before I could go to a friend's house without giving mom an FBI dossier on the people; Bex can practically hitchhike on the freeway with a mere "Have fun, honey."

  • A person is never as quiet or unrestrained as they seem, or as bad or good, as vulnerable or as strong, as sweet or as feisty; we are thickly layered, page lying upon page, behind simple covers. And love - it is not the book itself, but the binding. It can rip us apart or hold us together...Layers, by their nature, are fragile things."

  • Love with someone else, an actual person, was another matter. People got hurt doing that. People cried and wrapped their arms around themselves and rocked with loss. Loving words got turned to fierce, sharp, whip-cracks of anger that lefft permanent marks. At the least, it disappointed you. At most, it damaged you.

  • This is what I know. Don't settle for 40, 50, or even 80 percent. A relationship-it shouldn't be too small or too tight or even a little scratchy. It shouldn't take up space in your closet out of guilty conscience or convenience or a moment of desire. Do you hear me? It shold be perfect for you. It should be lasting. Wait. wait for 100 percent.

  • If your life truths have to be protected like some people keep their couches in plastic then ciao. have a nice life. if we bump into eachoter at Target, i'm the one buying the sour gummy worms and thats all you need to know about me.

  • Because words were hills and valleys you traveled, so lovely sometimes that they hurt your eyes.

  • I shouldn't have to be a liar to make someone love me. I shouldn't be so afraid of losing someone that I'll do anything to make them stay.

  • It can be exhausting eating a meal cooked by a man. With a woman, it's, Ho hum, pass the beans. A guy, you have to act like he just built the Taj Mahal.

  • ...wanting things for the wrong reasons can turn anyone's life into a marshmallow on a stick over a hot fire: impossibly messy and eventually consumed, one way or another.

  • This is what happens when nice people are pushed too far. We give too many chances, and so when we've finally had enough, we are well and truly done. When a nice person shuts a door on you, it's shut for good.

  • Those questions you have? Whether he's the one, whether you feel about him the way you should, or whether the relationship is going okay? When you're not sure whether you're in love with someone or not, the answer is not.

  • You have ordinary moments and ordinary moments and more ordinary moments, and then, suddenly, there is something monumental right there. You have past and future colliding in the present, your own personal Big Bang, and nothing will ever be the same.

  • Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people.

  • Yeah. When you want what's real and you try to find that in high school, you might as well be looking for a mossy rock beside a babbling brook on the corner of Sixth and Pine in downtown Seattle.

  • It makes you realize how basically everything we do comes down to a) mating or b) competing for resources. It's just like Animal Planet, only we've got Cover Girl and Victoria's Secret instead of colored feathers and fancy markings, and the violence occurs at the Nordstrom's Half-Yearly Sale.

  • Too often in my life, love has been defined as humiliation with occasional roses.

  • Knowledge was a personal life preserver you could always count on when you were swimming in the deep end

  • We should not give away a moment to anyone who does not deserve it.

  • It was about the way a moment, a single moment, could change things and make you decide to try to be someone different.

  • It was practically un-American to not set goals and then do everything you could, everything, to reach them. Quitting-it was a dirty word...

  • Too often in my life, love has been defined as "humiliation with occasional roses".

  • So I put up with bad behavior in the name of loving the way I thought you were supposed to love.

  • A relationship could be a place to hide too.

  • Life and our love for others is a balancing act, I understand then; a dance between our instinct to be safe and hold fast, and our drive to flee, to run - from danger, toward new places to feed ourselves.

  • The loneliness you feel with another person, the wrong person, is the loneliest of all.

  • Rejection, though--it could make the loss of someone you weren't even that crazy about feel gut wrenching and world ending.

  • I was like a chocolate in a box, looking well behaved and perfect in place, all the while harboring a secret center.

  • I thought about him everyday until then. I started having these conversations with him in my head that you have when you meet someone you sense is going to be important in your life.

  • It took me years to figure out that upset was upset, and tumultuousness was not the same thing as passion. Love isn't drama.

  • It's good to let God pick a man for you. We don't do so well when we pick them ourselves. They end up lipsticks in a drawer, all those wrong colors you thought looked so good in the package.

  • Maybe it was wrong, or maybe impossible, but I wanted the truth to be one thing. One solid thing.

  • Flawed Human Parents + Shit Life Throws At You = Childhood That 'Builds Character.

  • When what you want is a relationship, and not a person, get a dog.

  • Love doesn't seem to follow a plan; it's not a series of steps. It can hit with the force of nature - an earthquake, a tidal wave, a storm of wild, relentless energy that is beyond your simple attempts at control.

  • I am beginning to think there are two kinds of people," she said. I waited. "Those who forgive themselves too easily but will not forgive others." "And?" I asked. "Those that forgive others too easily but will not forgive themselves.

  • It was one of those times you feel a sense of loss, even though you didn't have something in the first place. I guess that's what disappointment is- a sense of loss for something you never had.

  • It's shocking the things we call love.

  • We can get so wrapped up in our own misconceptions that we miss the simple beauty of the truth.

  • Here, kitty, kitty, Chico says. The cover of his cage is still on, making his tiny clown voice slightly muffled. I feel bad for him under there, just waiting to start his evil little day...Freud walks toward Chico in his slinky fashion, sits under his cage and just stares. We have satanic pets...our pets seem to have made a pact with the devil.

  • I tended to give a book a chance and another chance and another, sometimes seeing it all the way to the end, still hoping for for it turn out different. Maybe I was confused about what you owed a book. What you owed people, for that matter, real or fictional.

  • I've wished for things and never really had the chance...It's time to stop dreaming and do something about it. You've got to know what you want, then...go.

  • The magic of purpose and of love in its purest form. Not televison love, with its glare and hollow and sequined glint; not sex and allure, all high shoes and high drama, everything both too small and in too much excess, but just love. Love like rain, like the smell of a tangerine, like a surprise found in your pocket.

  • Anyway, madness and genius. They're the disturbed pals of the human condition. The Bonnie and Clyde, the Thelma and Louise, the baking soda and vinegar. Insanity just walks alongside the brilliant like some creepy, insistent shadow.

  • If time heals all wounds, and a book can hold a person's entire life, then you can speed up the process with a pulp time warp.

  • Bliss is the ocean, a towel on the sand, the sun out, the chance to swim in waves or walk dragging a stick behind you, a good book, a cold drink.

  • I didn't walk over and talk to him, though, not then. If I needed the time for a tree branch to become just a tree branch again and the wind to become just the wind, then a boy, most of all, needed some time to be only a boy.

  • An untold story has a weight that can submerge you, sure as a sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean.

  • Maybe we all just wanted someone to believe in. That's all each of us wanted, and it should be so simple, but it never was simple.

  • This is just one of those annoying and unjust differences between you and your younger sibling...I was probably fifteen before I could go to a friend's house without giving mom an FBI dossier on the people; Bex can practically hitchhike on the freeway with a mere "Have fun, honey.

  • I would eat fruitcake if there'd been a nuclear war and I'd run out of canned goods.

  • Although I love snow, it messes things up terribly around Seattle, with all of our hills. I worry about my loved ones driving.

  • I understood right from the start that every set of library doors were the sort of magic portals that lead to other lands. My God, right within reach there were dinosaurs and planets and presidents and girl detectives!

  • I've never met a popcorn ball I didn't like.

  • My most memorable teacher was Rich Campe, my third-grade teacher at Fairlands Elementary in Pleasanton, California.

  • Family was even a bigger word than I imagined, wide and without limitations, if you allowed it, defying easy definition. You had family that was supposed to be family and wasn't, family that wasn't family but was, halves becoming whole, wholes splitting into two; it was possible to lack whole, honest love and connection from family in lead roles, yet to be filled to abundance by the unexpected supporting players.

  • You've got to say what you mean and mean what you say...Doubt in your voice is an open door people will shove right through.

  • It's strange, isn't it, how the idea of belonging to someone can sound so great? It can be comforting, the way it makes things decided. We like the thought of being held, until it's too tight. We like that certainty, until it means there's no way out. And we like being his, until we realize we're not ours anymore.

  • It made me wonder how many times we forgive just because we don't want to lose someone, even if they don't deserve our forgiveness.

  • A new person in your life gives the rest of you a chance to be new, too. Your life can be whatever you want it to, from there on out. I leaned in and kissed and that is who I was to him, not shy, but bold. Not inhibited, but brave. I was that to him and so I kept being that. It was what I thought he wanted and what he was attracted to, and yet it was this, this exact thing I wasn't even really, that made him the most insecure.

  • Let me tell you, you either have chemistry or you don't, and you better have it, or it's like kissing some relative. But chemistry, listen to me, you got to be careful. Chemistry is like those perfume ads, the ones that look so interesting and mysterious but you dont even know at first what they're even selling. Or those menues without the prices. Mystery and intrigue are gonna cost you. Great looking might mean something ve-ry expensive, and I don't mean money. What I'm saying is, chemistry is a place to start, not an end point.

  • No one is ever quite as strong or as weak as you'd think.

  • You can want one thing and have a secret wish for its opposite.

  • When you're not sure whether you're in love with someone or not, the answer is not.

  • Love can come when you're already who you are, when you're filled with you. Not when you look to someone else to fill the empty space.

  • ...we are all a volume on the shelf of the... library, a story unto ourselves, never possibly described with one word or even very accurately with thousands.

  • Hundreds,' Joe says. 'Hundreds and hundreds. But then again, I'm old.' So old, Jesus was in your math class,' I say. I crack myself up.

  • A person shows signs of clutching on too fast, of being needy, of not hearing the word "no," of jealousy, of guarding you and your freedom. But the signs can be so small they skitter right past you. Sometimes they dance past, looking satiny, something you should applaud. Someone's jealousy can make you feel good. Special. But it's not even about you. It's about a hand that is already gripping. It's about their need, circling around your throat

  • Sometimes you're sure dogs have some secret, superior intelligence, and other times you know they're only their simple, goofy selves.

  • If fate is a shape-shifter, then loves is too. It can be, anyway, in its most dangerous form. It´s your best day and then your worst. It´s your most hope and then you most despair. Lightness, darkness, it can swing between extremes at lightning speed- a boat upon the water on the most dangerous day, and then the clouds crawl in and the sky turns black and the sea rages and the boat is lost.

  • You can hold a secret, hold it so far in that it drives nearly every thought and every move you make- your very heartbeat, almost.

  • I had let want in, opened the door ever so slightly. But want without the belief you can get what you want is pointless. You have to hope, so I let that in too. You have to. To want things and go for them and believe, even in impossible situations...Hope was what you had when you had nothing else. Hope was the perfect shiny top on the Christmas tree, the glowing halo of every wish, the endless beacon of a lighthouse bringing tormented ships home at last.

  • You could try and understand people, you could read books and understand words and concepts and ideas, but you could never understand enough or have enough knowledge to keep away the surprises that both fate and human beings had in store.

  • Blessed books??they??re a place to be alone, and no one else can come in.

  • Sometimes love is a surprise, an instant of recognition, a sudden gift at a sudden moment that makes everything different from then on. Some people will say that's not love, that you can't really love someone you don't know. But, I'm not so sure. Love doesn't seem to follow a plan; it's not a series of steps. It can hit with the force of nature--an earthquake, a tidal wave, a storm of wild relentless energy that is beyond your simple attempts at control.

  • If you look up "charming" in the dictionary, you'll see that it not only has references to strong attraction, but to spells and magic. Then again, what are liars if not great magicians?

  • Supposedly there's an actual, researched link between extreme creativity and mental illness, and I believe it because I've seen it with my own eyes.

  • If letting go, if letting people and things work themselves out in the way that they needed to without your help was the most important thing, then it was also the hardest.

  • Unconditional love is like a contry of two with no laws and no government. Which is all fine if everyone is peaceful and law abiding. In the wrong hands, though, you got looting and crime sprees, and let me tell you, the people who demand unconditional love are usually the ones who will rob and pillage and then blame you because you left your door unlocked.

  • But, dear God, don't listen to me. I'm an old lady in the middle of nowhere without a real toilet.

  • Love is ease, love is comfort, love is support and respect. Love is not punishing or controlling. Love lets you grow and breathe. Love's passion is only good passion -- swirling-leaves-on-a-fall-day passion, a-sky-full-of-magnificent-stars passion -- not angst and anxiety. Love is not hurt and harm. Love is never unsafe. Love is sleeping like puzzle pieces. It's your own garden you protect; it's a field of wildflowers you move about in both freely and together.

  • Look right at it. Know you can." Dad said. "Look right at that fear. Fear is the biggest bullshitter.

  • Cars are all jammed up all along the road and a light turns red and someone honks. In every one of those cars there is a story or a hundred stories. For every light on in al of those huge city buildings there is a story. No one knows what I am about to face and no one knows my story and neither do I right then.

  • Hurt is a weapon. Better weapon than most because it doesn't look like one.

  • Onyx is angry," Damian says. "Onyx has a right to be angry. You've got to remember, for many elephants, their life is that of a human in a war-torn country. Ravaged homes, killed relatives, separation," Damian says. Here's another thing I've learned over two months--every elephants here has a sad story. Every captive elephant's story is one of loss and separation. Something to remember every time you see happy people getting elephant rides.

  • It's hard to see clearly when your eyes are squinched tight out of fear.

  • Stereotypes are fast and easy, but they are lies, and the truth takes its time.

  • No, Mom. I said fine." "It's just your tone." Ah, yes- the tone. The nasty traitor.

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