...but this line put me over the edge: "Katy had walked into danger the same way Cassie had: on the unmissable off-chance of magic." (from Tana French's In the Woods)*
The unmissable off-chance of magic. Is there is any more perfect way to sum up what has motivated any interesting thing — good or bad — anyone has ever done?
Unmissable. Off-chance. Of Magic. Fucking perfect.
Speaking of which, I went to see Marcus Sakey read last night. I interviewed him over the summer — the only interview to date I've conducted over beers — and like him both as a person and as an author, not to mention that I feel strongly about showing support to writers, especially when I can do it just by showing up. I've been to a lot of this kind of reading and can say, with experience and the word of the friend who went with me to back me up, that it was a singular, one might even say magical, experience. First off, he didn't read. He talked about the book and how he got into crime fiction (because it combines the meatiness of moral quandries with the fun of pistol-whipping) and then took questions. I learned a lot about gang activity in Chicago, including that Chicago gang tags have been spotted around Baghdad because of back-door deals that get gang members to enlist instead of being arrested, that cops actually refer to bad guys as "bad guys," and that not believing in writers' block (lack of evidence of carpenters' block or plumbers' block was cited) may be enough to avoid suffering from it.
Not to mention that his corporate sponsorship meant there were some super-sweet gift bags. Sadly, when I got home I realized that mine didn't have the promised thumb drive, but did contain what very well might be the largest sweatshirt on the planet. So: score!
Another benefit (to me) is that going to readings and dealing with published authors spurs me on to work on my own book. Envy may fall into the mortal sin camp, but it also functions as an excellent barometer, allowing you to recognize that you're seeking change and clarify how you want to be different. Me, I want to finish and publish my book. I want to go places and tell people about it — even more people than I already have! And if some random company wants to give presents to people who show up to listen to me, that would be nice too.
*Michelle posted her favorite line too, which though also excellent, didn't have quite the sucker-punch-to-the-gut effect mine did on me.