Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors - it's how you combine them that sets you apart.
I love Charlie, Billy Burke's character. Writing for him is so spectacular, he's so funny and wry and every scene he's in he just takes. There's a scene in 'Eclipse' where Bella tells him she's a virgin, and it's the funniest, most awkward scene I've ever seen on film.
You can't build a plot out of jokes. You need tragic relief. And you need to let people know that when a lot of frightened people are running around with edged weaponry, there are deaths. Stupid deaths, usually. I'm not writing 'The A-Team' - if there's a fight going on, people will get hurt. Not letting this happen would be a betrayal.
Humans aren't as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were 'reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.'
It was very lucky for me as a writer that I studied the physical sciences rather than English. I wrote for my own amusement. There was no kindly English professor to tell me for my own good how awful my writing really was. And there was no professor with the power to order me what to read, either.
I've always associated the moment of writing with a moment of lift, of joy, of unexpected reward.
On a very personal level, I have fond memories of spending a lot of time in the Library of Congress working on my collection of poems 'Native Guard.' I was there over a summer doing research in the archives and then writing in the reading room at the Jefferson building.
Writing is my obsession, my passion. My relationship with it is one of the most complex and agonizing and richly vexing that I have in my life.
Transforming a brand into a socially responsible leader doesn't happen overnight by simply writing new marketing and advertising strategies. It takes effort to identify a vision that your customers will find credible and aligned with their values.
As human beings, we are the only organisms that create for the sheer stupid pleasure of doing so. Whether it's laying out a garden, composing a new tune on the piano, writing a bit of poetry, manipulating a digital photo, redecorating a room, or inventing a new chili recipe - we are happiest when we are creating.