Tanith Lee quotes

  • The bitterness of joy lies in the knowledge that is cannot last. Nor should joy last beyond a certain season, for, after that season, even joy would become merely habit.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Lying #Joy #Lasts

  • Im writing what comes into my head, or through me, or from somewhere else, and it is the most extraordinary, exciting thing. I love it, and Im very greedy, and I really enjoy it!
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Writing #Greedy #Enjoy

  • It was not apathy. It was an intelligent disinterest in those things that could have no bearing on one's existence.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Intelligent #Apathy #Disinterest

  • He sat by her, watching every gesture she made, as if he would paint her portrait afterward.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Gestures #Portraits #Paint

  • I hate the way, once you start to know someone, care about them, their behavior can distress you, even when it's unreasonable and not your fault, even if you were really trying to be careful, tactful.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Hate #Trying #Care

  • Madness. I did not get myself born to die. I have better things to do.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Madness #Born

  • It's lovely. I hate it.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Hate #Lovely #I Hate

  • We all have our dreams. May we find them, and God have mercy on us when we do.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Dream #May #Mercy

  • I just love writing. It's magical, it's somewhere else to go, it's somewhere much more dreadful, somewhere much more exciting. Somewhere I feel I belong, possibly more than in the so-called real world.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Real #Writing #Magic

  • What is any of this to us? Time is endless and ours. Love and Death are only the games we play in it.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Time #Play #Games

  • Maidens who stay maidens turn into saints. Old women become sorceresses. Tough jobs, both of these.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Jobs #Saint #Tough

  • If you run away from trouble, it always follows.' Rather my impression, too. Though that never stopped me trying.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Running #Trying #Trouble

  • Go nowhere on a horse that fades, for your dreams will betray you.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Dream #Horse #Betray

  • For me, everyone I write of is real. I have little true say in what they want, what they do or end up as (or in). Their acts appall, enchant, disgust or astound me. Their ends fill me with retributive glee, or break my heart. I can only take credit (if I can even take credit for that) in reporting the scenario. This is not a disclaimer. Just a fact.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Real #Writing #Heart

  • Never be afraid of a cliché, if it expresses what you wish to say.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Wish

  • World's flying like birds; my car's in flight. The city lights are spattered on my windshield like the fragments of the night. And I'm in flight. The sky's a wheel, a merry-go-round of wings and snow and steel, and fire. We'll tread the sky, we'll ride the scarlet horses.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Horse #Night #Sky

  • If you run away from trouble, it always follows.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Running #Running Away #Trouble

  • I hardly ever work from a synopsis -- I find they act like chains.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Synopsis #Chains

  • I am interested in most mythology. Celtic or Christian no more than anything else. I will admit to a pleasure and sense of hope in what I see as the basic teachings of Christ, stripped of the nonsense that has sometimes been accumulated about them and the embarrassing misunderstanding.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Christian #Teaching #Sometimes

  • When I am fascinated by something, I like to play with it.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Play

  • Ecstasy and vulnerability belonged in the same dish. The fear the cup would be snatched away was what gave the wine its savor.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Wine #Cups #Would Be

  • It was so useful to lie with the truth.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Lying

  • I came up with a parallel Venice called Venus. set in a parallel Venice about 1701.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Venice #Venus

  • I was born in North London in 1947. I didn't learn to read until I was almost 8-partly bad schooling, and partly I suspect slight dyslexic problems. My father, driven mad by this, taught me to read. At 9 I began writing.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Father #Writing #Mad

  • Archetypes are universal, and, in subtle or extravagant ways, interchangeable.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Way #Extravagance #Subtle

  • Writers tell stories better, because they've had more practice, but everyone has a book in them. Yes, that old cliche.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Book #Practice #Stories

  • At an early school, when I was about 5, they asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. Everyone said silly things, and I said I wanted to be an actress. So that was what I wanted to be, but what I was, of course, was a writer.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Silly #School #Actresses

  • I began to feel lighthearted. Don't ever do that; it tempts some dark and evil force abroad in the universe.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Dark #Evil #Force

  • The humble were the elect of God. Did not the priests teach so, in their gemmed, kingly robes, from their towering pulpits?
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Humble #Pulpit #Priests

  • I simply write what I want, wish, long to write.... The state of human life and the god or demon within. The constant internal war that being alive can conjure.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #War #Writing #Long

  • The worst vulgarity is to avoid vulgarity solely on the grounds that it is vulgar.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Worst #Vulgar #Vulgarity

  • In the usual way I submitted manuscripts to publishers. This was not so much a feeling that I should be published as a wish to escape the feared and hated drudgery of "normal" work. In my twenties some of my work for children was published by Macmillan. However, I was twenty-seven before my adult novel, The Birthgrave, was taken by DAW Books in the USA. This enabled me finally to stop doing stupid and soul-killing jobs, and start working day and night as a professional writer. It felt like a rescue from damnation, and still does.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Jobs #Children #Stupid

  • You should visit before you pass judgment on a place.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Judgment #Should

  • Tales of heroes end in bliss.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Hero #Bliss #Tales

  • Now, writing every day, and being paid for it and encouraged to do it, it was as if, in the midst of the clich?d dark and stormy night, I found the magical inn, its windows golden lit, and Summer was due to start tomorrow. I can only work at one thing well. Deprive me of that, and my "back-up plan," even now, will be the empty, stormy, darkened heath -- where, incidentally, even unpublished, somehow I'll still be writing.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Summer #Writing #Dark

  • I tend not to analyse my work, though I'm frequently intrigued when other people take time to do so.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #People #Take Time #Intrigued

  • Oh, love. Love is best of all. There is no such total element, not even pain. Who has ever loved, knows this. I need not say more.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Pain #Love Is #Needs

  • Dawn rose from the desert and turned the river to wine.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Wine #Rivers #Rose

  • In the greater part of humankind there resides an instinct for survival. It is this which can clutch at straws and effect a rescue from them. It is this which can, now and then, outwit fate.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Fate #Survival #Now And Then

  • Men are not the causers of history. History itself, by a pressure of events, causes men to resort to particular actions.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Men #Pressure #Causes

  • If I ever get to 100, I'd want to be filled with wonder and wild, adolescent, wide-eyed interest in newness. So let's keep the flame burning. Let's stop thinking everyone over 29, or 49, has to be reinforced by concrete.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Thinking #Flames #Burning

  • The so-called Real World. Human misery and sadness. Blind politics and general cruelty.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Real #Sadness #World

  • Some writers, of course, simply write, as they feel they are driven to do, by outer/inner inspirations. If, after the work is written and, hopefully, published, others respond -- that is the Champagne. But we, or some of us, don't write for the Champagne. We write because we write.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Inspiration #Writing #Driven

  • Danger and anger are everywhere. Love is the rarity, the gem buried in the core of the mine, the outpost of God.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Love Is #Danger #Buried

  • We need the expressive arts, the ancient scribes, the storytellers, the priests. And that's where I put myself: as a storyteller. Not necessarily a high priestess, but certainly the storyteller. And I would love to be the storyteller of the tribe.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Art #Needs #Tribes

  • Flat or round, there has always been hate in the world.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Hate #World #Flats

  • If anyone ever wonders why there's nothing coming from me, it's not my fault. I'm doing the work. No, I haven't deteriorated or gone insane. Suddenly, I just can't get anything into print. And apparently I'm not alone in this. There are people of very high standing, authors who are having problems. So I have been told. In my own case, the more disturbing element is the editor-in-chief who said to me, "I think this book is terrific. It ought to be in print. I can't publish it -- I've been told I mustn't." The indication is that I'm not writing what people want to read, but I never did.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Book #Writing #Thinking

  • I must suppose that reading wonderful writers may, inadvertently, teach an avid reader a great deal -- not only about life and other matters, but about how to write. Therefore doubtless I have benefited from frequent immersions in the glowing genius of others. It would be nice to think so. (I do actually think so). But to improve my skills will never be the prompting force of my reading -- that's just literary lust.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Nice #Reading #Writing

  • No one is ever ordinary.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Ordinary

  • I've been criticised for writing in too complex a manner for younger people.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Writing #People

  • Im a devotee of Dracula, which was a pathfinder in horror and vampire fiction.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Vampire #Fiction #Horror

  • I was reading some complex books in my own youth-and no, I didnt always understand every word, let alone every concept-but I got the main thrust, which was like a lifeline in a fluctuating world.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Book #Reading #World

  • Pirates have always fascinated me.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Pirate

  • We need the expressive arts, the ancient scribes, the storytellers, the priests.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Art #Needs #Ancient

  • I haven't changed. Something's happened to me, that's all.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Changed

  • Whatever the hell I am, I am Me.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Hell

  • Writing is writing, and stories are stories. Perhaps the only true genres are fiction and nonfiction. And even there, who can be sure?
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Writing #Scary #Stories

  • I'm not very good at being alive. Sometimes I despair of ever mastering it, getting it right. When I'm old, perhaps.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Despair #Alive #Sometimes

  • The soul is a magician. Only living flesh hampers it.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Soul #Flesh #Hamper

  • I will draw you back to me. You shall see. By a chain of stars.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Stars #Chains #Draws

  • She could not mourn. She could no longer weep grasping the essence of annihilation, she wished only to cease, to be no more, as if sunk in some profound sleep devoid of wakening.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Sleep #Essence #Profound

  • She looked, and a scarlet butterfly flew away from her, away down the length of the tower, and then another, another, an unraveling scarf of butterflies like winged blood.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Butterfly #Blood #Towers

  • A rose by any other name Would get the blame For being what it is-- The colour of a kiss, The shadow of a flame. A rose may earn another name, So call it love; So call it love I will, And love is like the sea, Which changes constantly, And yet is still The same.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Kissing #Love Is #Flames

  • I held out my book. It was precious to me, as were all the things I'd written; even where I despised their inadequacy there was not one I would disown. Each tore its way from my entrails. Each had shortened my life, killed me with its own special little death.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Book #Special #Littles

  • Are not all loves secretly the same? A hundred flowers sprung from a single root.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Flower #Roots #Hundred

  • When I started as a writer, I knew nothing about publishing-nothing about anything!
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Publishing

  • People are always the start for meanimals. When I can get into their heads, gods, supernatural beings,immortals, the deadthese are all people to me.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #People

  • The other writer who had a very important early influence on me when I was about 17 was C.S. Lewis.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Important #Influence

  • I think of myself as a storyteller, and that is it.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Thinking #Storyteller

  • I never know where I am going, though. That is part of what makes it so wonderful. And after all, who does?
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Doe #Wonderful

  • I love writers all across the board, but one who influenced me very directly at the beginning was Mary Renault.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Boards #Mary

  • I like films, or some films, and would be intrigued to see my work on screen.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Would Be #Film #Intrigued

  • I also love Disney, and will defend doing so, because there's so much in those films and I don't care if it's stereotyped.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Care #Film

  • Genre categories are irrelevant. I dislike them, but I do not have the casting vote.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Casting #Vote #Genre

  • As a child, my mother told me lots of fairy stories, many her own invention. She, too, tended to reverse the norm.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Mother #Children #Stories

  • I submitted manuscripts to publishers. This was not so much a feeling that I should be published as a wish to escape the feared and hated drudgery of normal work.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Writing #Feelings #Wish

  • The dictate of the light says: Know yourself and what you are. The dark replies, By all means, but then become afraid.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Mean #Dark #Light

  • Condemned and executioner are not coupled in a primitive rite.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Executioners #Primitive #Rite

  • If they had said my writing wasn't good enough, fair enough, that's an opinion. But to say it's too complex is to insult the intelligence of the so-called young.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Writing #Opinion #Comeback

  • It gets cold in the desert at night, particularly up in the mountains; the stars hammer on the rock and strike frost.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Stars #Night #Rocks

  • It's very selfish when I write. I'm not aware, ever, of writing for another person; I'm not even really aware of writing for myself.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Selfish #Writing #Selfishness

  • There was no violence, no speed. It moved to the rhythm of an elder dance, putting all the rituals of the world to shame. Black, silver, gold and moon-opal, night and sea, fire, earth, air and water.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Moon #Night #Air

  • I like writing about women, weak and strong, pathetic and heroic. I like writing about men, ditto. And all the variants of men and women, beasts and demons.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Strong #Writing #Men

  • How massively the mountains stand, while low to the ground the sand blows. The sand blows on and on. And then there are no mountains, none at all, the sand has kissed and whispered them away. And still, the sand blows on.
    -- Tanith Lee

    #Blow #Mountain #Sand