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Robin McKinley quotes (showing 1-30 of 257)

“I don't put up with being messed around, and I don't suffer fools gladly. The short version of that is that I'm a bitch. Trust me, I can provide character references.”
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
“The story is always better than your ability to write it.”
Robin McKinley
“The train is roaring toward you and the villain is twirling his moustache and you're fussing that he's tied you to the tracks with the wrong kind of rope.”
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
“[Harry] had always suffered from a vague restlessness, a longing for adventure that she told herself severely was the result of reading too many novels when she was a small child.”
Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword
“The great thing about fantasy is that you can drag dreams and longings and hopes and fears and strivings out of your subconscious and call them 'magic' or 'dragons' or 'faeries' and get to know them better. But then I write the stuff. Obviously I'm prejudiced.”
Robin McKinley
“Feeling at peace, however fragilely, made it easy to slip into the visionary end of the dark-sight. The rose shadows said that they loved the sun, but that they also loved the dark, where their roots grew through the lightless mystery of the earth. The roses said: You do not have to choose.
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
“The big difference between my mom and me-- besides the fact that she is dead normal and I'm a magic-handling freak-- is that she's the real thing. She may have a slight problem seeing other people's points of view, but she's honest about it. She's a brass-bound bitch because she believes she knows best. I'm a brass-bound bitch because I don't want anyone getting close enough to find out what a whiny little knot of naked nerve endings I really am. ”
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
“One of the biggest, and possibly the biggest, obstacle to becoming a writer... is learning to live with the fact that the wonderful story in your head is infinitely better, truer, more moving, more fascinating, more perceptive, than anything you're going to manage to get down on paper. (And if you ever think otherwise, then you've turned into an arrogant self-satisfied prat, and should look for another job or another avocation or another weekend activity.) So you have to learn to live with the fact that you're never going to write well enough. Of course that's what keeps you trying -- trying as hard as you can -- which is a good thing.”
Robin McKinley
“...My friend, there are some things that I cannot tell you. Some I will tell you in time; some, others will tell you; some you may never know, or you may be the first to find the answers.”
Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword
“When they finished laughing they were on their way to being not just friends, but the dearest of friends, the sort of friends whose lives are shaped by the friendship.”
Robin McKinley, Spindle's End
“Roses are for love. Not silly sweet-hearts' love but the love that makes you and keeps you whole, love that gets you through the worst your life'll give you and that pours out of you when you're given the best instead.”
Robin McKinley, Rose Daughter
“As I have said, you have no reason to trust me, and an excellent reason not to.”
Robin McKinley, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
“But I'm going to try to tell the truth. Except for the parts I'm leav­ing out, because there's still stuff I'm just not going to tell you. Get used to it.”
Robin McKinley, Dragonhaven
“You are attempting to be logical, I suspect, and logic has little to do with government, and nothing at all to do with military administration. ”
Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword
“Everything was an adventure, at night, when you were where you shouldn't be, even if it was somwhere you could go perfectly well in daylight, and it was then only ordinary.”
Robin McKinley, Pegasus
“He laughed, tried to make it into a cough, inhaled at exactly the wrong moment, and then really did cough.”
Robin McKinley, The Hero and The Crown
“One doesn't generally look into mirrors when one is especially angry; one has better things to do, like pace the floor or throw things.”
Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword
“At least I was true. My intellectual abilities gave me a release, and an excuse. I shunned company because I preferred books; and the dreams I confided to my father were of becoming a scholar in good earnest, and going to University. It was unheard-of several shocked governesses were only too quick to tell me, when I spoke a little too boldly -- but my father nodded and smiled and said, 'We'll see.' Since I believed my father could do anything -- except of course make me pretty -- I worked and studied with passionate dedication, lived in hope, and avoided society and mirrors.”
Robin McKinley, Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
“And if my choice is to sit graciously in my best robes and accept the inevitable or to bail a sea with a bucket, give me the bucket.”
Robin McKinley, Chalice
“What we can do, we must do: we must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can, however much or little help we have for the task. What you have been given is a hard thing--a very hard thing... But my darling, what if there were no one who could do the difficult things?”
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
“It is a much more straightforward thing to be a dog, and a dog's love, once given, is not reconsidered.”
Robin McKinley, Deerskin
“...there remained a strange formality between them, and her pleasure in his presence felt too much like missing him had felt during the last week.”
Robin McKinley, Pegasus
“I wondered what you'd have on the side with a plate of Deep Fried Anxiety. Pickles? Coleslaw? Potato-strychnine mash?”
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
“My books happen. They tend to blast in from nowhere, seize me by the throat, and howl 'Write me! Write me now!' But they rarely stand still long enough for me to see what and who they are, before they hurtle away again. And so I spend a lot of time running after them, like a thrown rider after an escaped horse, saying 'Wait for me! Wait for me!' and waving my notebook in the air.”
Robin McKinley
“So, what do you do when you know you have two days to live? Eat an entire Bitter Chocolate Death cake all by myself. Reread my favorite novel. Buy eight dozen roses from the best florist in town--the super expensive ones, the ones that smell like roses rather than merely looking like them--and put them all over my apartment. Take a good long look at everyone I love.”
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
tags: death
“He will apologize, or I'll give him a lesson in swordplay he will not like at all.”
Robin McKinley, The Hero and the Crown
“There are things you don't want to know you can do”
Robin McKinley, Sunshine
“Cats were often familiars to workers of magic because to anyone used to wrestling with self-willed, wayward, devious magic--which was what all magic was--it was rather soothing to have all the same qualities wrapped up in a small, furry, generally attractive bundle that...might, if it were in a good mood, sit on your knee and purr. Magic never sat on anybody's knee and purred.”
Robin McKinley, Spindle's End
“It seems to me further, that it is very odd that fate should leave so careful a trail, and spend so little time preparing the one that must follow it.”
Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword
tags: fate
“There had been certain romantic interludes in the past that had included galloping across the desert at night; but he had never abducted any woman whose enthusiastic support for such a plan had not been secured well in advance.”
Robin McKinley, The Blue Sword

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