I only started reading you, Terry, when I have learned enough English to be able to crack up at your jokes. Which was, oh, I don't know, about 5 years ago. So why on earth would I sob and mop and smear snot all over my face while typing this? Why would it hit me so hard that you, silly scoundrel, have finally left us all, strolling off with Death, chatting about having a drink, no doubt?
I guess it's your heart. You gave it to me, and I took it, and it tickled my funny bone, every time. Sometimes you made me think I must've been born British. Rightly so, I seem to get your humor to the point of rolling on the floor in fits of hysterical giggling, smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. And yet...there was so much hidden pain in your words, that I got it.
You felt like this too, didn't you? There was a book you read and wanted the author to be your best friend, wasn't there? The one to confide in, about everything? Isn't that why we write? To reach so many while sitting alone in our rooms, having the time of our lives? What a bizarre job.
You left so many wise and silly words behind you, I'm having a hard time choosing which ones to share. Would that be all right with you? What? You can't hear me? That's understandable. You're having drinks with Death, talking wizardry and whatnot. I get it. I'll share them anyway.
“Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.”
"I certainly don't sit down and plan a book out before I write it. There's a phrase I use called "The Valley Full of Clouds." Writing a novel is as if you are going off on a journey across a valley. The valley is full of mist, but you can see the top of a tree here and the top of another tree over there. And with any luck you can see the other side of the valley. But you cannot see down into the mist. Nevertheless, you head for the first tree.”
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
“First draft: let it run. Turn all the knobs up to 11. Second draft: hell. Cut it down and cut it into shape. Third draft: comb its nose and blow its hair. I usually find that most of the book will have handed itself to me on that first draft.”
ON WRITER'S BLOCK.
“There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write.”
“I read anything that’s going to be interesting. But you don’t know what it is until you’ve read it. Somewhere in a book on the history of false teeth there’ll be the making of a novel.”
“Books must be treated with respect, we feel that in our bones, because words have power. Bring enough words together they can bend space and time.”
“Sometimes words need music too. Sometimes the descriptions are not enough. Books should be written with soundtracks, like films."
“No more words. We know them all, all the words that should not be said. But you have made my world more perfect.”
"The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues."
“DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”
Thank you, Terry. Rest in peace.