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This semester I’ve been learning not only how to write, but how to live. Sure, there have been a lot of great metaphors, similes, and stories that exemplify what I wish I could write. Millhauser has a way with endings, which are the most infuriating portion of any story I’ve ever attempted to write. Johnson has a way with playing with my heartstrings. I only wish I could move my readers to make them feel as much as she does to me. Chateaureynaud created magic so seamlessly I can only hope one day I create something that believable. Gracia Marquez gave such a perfect example of creating characters and magic that was ordinary, that reading his work over and over again could only do me good. Not only did these authors teach me important aspects of the craft of writing a story, but they also taught me about life.

Nice and not nice have nothing to do with love. (Johnson, “The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change”)

I love and hate this bridge of yours. I will pine for the mist, for the need to cross it. But I do not want to be part of a family that all die young without even a corpse for the burning. If I have a child she will not need to make the decision I did: to cross the mist and die, or to stay safe on one side of the world and never see the other. She will lose something. She will gain something else. (Johnson, “The Man Who Bridged the Mist”)

Here’s the trick to the bathtub trick. There is no trick. The monkeys pour across the stage and up the ladder and into the bathtub and they settle in and then they vanish. The world is full of strange things, things that make no sense, and maybe this is one of them. Maybe the monkeys choose not to share, that’s cool, who can blame them. (Johnson, “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”)

“You’re always asking why they go.” … “See, I don’t think we’re ever going to find out what happens. But I don’t think that’s the real question anyway. Maybe the question is, why do they come back?” (Johnson, “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”)

Nothing is certain. You can lose everything. Eventually, even at your luckiest, you will die and then you will lose it all.(Johnson, “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”)

“Because there’s always a reason for everything, isn’t there? Because if there isn’t a reason for even one thing, like how you can get sick, or your husband stop loving you, or people you love die – then there’s no reason for anything. So there must be reasons. (Johnson, “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”)

“Love makes a world without the one we love a wasteland!”… “It is not love, but I,” she said gravely, “who will make the world a wasteland for you.” (Chateaureynaud, “The Beautiful Coalwoman”)

Dora was dead. He wondered if he was dead, too. Were you ever sure? You lived step by step. What makes us think we’re alive and nothing’s happened is continuity. But as soon as that was shattered, you knew nothing, you could very well be dead and keep right on going same as ever for a while, like a ball dropped down a flight of stairs. It might bounce from step to step, but finally it was bound to stop.” (Chateaureynaud, “Sweet Street”)

And you’re still waiting, Elena – even now. Even now you’re waiting for the explanation, the apology, the words that will justify you and set you free. But underneath that waiting is another waiting: you are waiting for me to return to the old way. Isn’t it true? Listen, Elena. It’s much too late for that. In my silent world, my world of exhausting wonders, there’s no place for the old words with which I deceived myself, in my artificial garden. I had thought that words were instruments of precision. Now I know that they devour the world, leaving nothing in its place. (Millhauser, “History of a Disturbance”)

By trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. (Gracia Marquez, OHYOS)
 
“What did you expect?” he murmured. “Time Passes.”
“That’s how it goes,” Ursula said, “but not so much.” (Gracia Marquez, OHYOS)
 
She did not have to see him to know he was there, because the butterflies were always there. (Gracia Marquez, OHYOS)
 
It was as if God had decided to put to the test every capacity for surprise and was keeping the inhabitants of Macondo in a permanent alternation between excitement and disappointment, doubt and revelation, to such an extreme that no one knew for certain where the limits of reality lay. (Gracia Marquez, OHYOS)
 

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