Charles de Lint Quotes

Charles de Lint hails from Canadian origins, with a diverse lineage encompassing Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese heritage. He shares his life and musical talents with MaryAnn Harris, his spouse. While primarily renowned for his contributions to the realm of fantasy literature, de Lint’s creative spectrum spans urban fantasy, modern magical realism, and narratives infused with mythical elements. Wikipedia

“It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It’s easy to believe in magic when you’re young. Anything you couldn’t explain was magic then. It didn’t matter if it was science or a fairy tale. Electricity and elves were both infinitely mysterious and equally possible – elves probably more so.” ~ Charles de Lint

“If everybody really and truly treated each other the way they’d want to be treated, all the problems of the world would be solved. Nobody would starve, because nobody’d want to go hungry themselves. Nobody would steal, or kill, or hurt each other, because they wouldn’t want that to happen to themselves.” ~ Charles de Lint

“We call them faerie. We don’t believe in them. Our loss.” ~ Charles de Lint

“You’d be okay with somebody eating you?” She shrugs. “If I’m stupid enough to get caught, sure. Everybody’s got to eat.” “I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that idea.” “Nobody goes looking for it. But life isn’t ours to keep. We only get to hold it for a little bit and then we’ve got to pass it on.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I never even considered writing a career option. I just liked the play of words. I was certainly interested in story, but the stories I was telling then were in narrative verse and prose poems, short and succinct, except for one novel-length poem written in narrative couplets.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Everything is the way it is because we’ve all agreed that’s the way it is.” ~ Charles de Lint

“You don’t have to be Michelangelo to teach basic art, just as you don’t have to be Shakespeare to be able to teach the correct use of language.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The stronger a woman gets, the more insecure the men in her life feel. It doesn’t work that way for a woman. We celebrate strength – in our partners as well as in ourselves.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It is important to know what a person was. But it’s more important to know what they are now.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The best artists know what to leave out.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Without mysteries, life would be very dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known?” ~ Charles de Lint

“The beginning of a friendship, the fact that two people out of the thousands around them can meet and connect and become friends, seems like a kind of magic to me. But maintaining a friendship requires work. I don’t mean that as a bad thing. Good art requires work as well.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Remember the quiet wonders. The world has more need of them than it has for warriors.” ~ Charles de Lint

“There are as many stories to be told as there are people to tell them about; only the mean-spirited would consider there to be a competition at all.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Life is like art. You have to work hard to keep it simple and still have meaning.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Everybody’s got the potential for great good and great wrong in them, but it’s the choices we make that define who we really are.” ~ Charles de Lint

“We end up stumbling our way through the forest, never seeing all the unexpected and wonderful possibilities and potentials because we’re looking for the idea of a tree, instead of appreciating the actual trees in front of us.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Thing is, while I know better, I like sounding ignorant. Talk like this and people figure you’re about as dumb as a fencepost, which suits me fine. Makes it all that much easier to take advantage of ’em.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Witchery is merely a word for what we are all capable of – heightened nightsight, an empathy shared with the beasts, a utilization of the more obscure abilities of our minds. Nothing that science can’t explain away. Wizardry is spells and enchantments. Fairy tales.” ~ Charles de Lint

“There is no plan, no future laid out for any of us beyond what we make for ourselves.” ~ Charles de Lint

“We’re all made of stories. When they finally put us underground, the stories are what will go on.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It may sound trite, but using the weapons of the enemy, no matter how good one’s intentions, makes one the enemy.” ~ Charles de Lint

“You walk around with a negative attitude and you’re just naturally going to bring trouble and hard times down on yourself.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It’s the questions we ask, the journey we take to get to where we are going that is more important than the actual answer.” ~ Charles de Lint

“There’s bad apples in whatever way you want to group people – doesn’t matter if it’s religious, political or social. The big mistake is generalizing.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Kindness is important, my little wren,” he would tell her. “Doesn’t matter how poor you are, you can still be kind.” ~ Charles de Lint

“A name can’t begin to encompass the sum of all her parts. But that’s the magic of names, isn’t it? That the complex, contradictory individuals we are can be called up complete and whole in another mind through the simple sorcery of a name.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Magic’s never what you expect it to be, but it’s often what you need.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I always feel that there is a curtain, you know, that if I could just peek behind the curtain I’d see how the world really works. And since I haven’t had it I have to write about it instead.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The past scampers like an alley cat through the present, leaving the paw prints of memories scattered helter-skelter.” ~ Charles de Lint

“We’re all made of stories. When they finally put us underground, the stories are what will go on. Not forever, perhaps, but for a time. It’s a kind of immortality, I suppose, bounded by limits, it’s true, but then so’s everything.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Like legend and myth, magic fades when it is unused.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It’s all those stories and how they braid together that tells us who and what and where we are.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Children are the brightest treasures we bring forth into this world, but too large a percentage of the population continues to treat them as inconveniences and nuisances, when they’re not treating them as possessions or toys.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The fey wonders of the world only exist while there are those with the sight to see them.” ~ Charles de Lint

“When all’s said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Nothing strikes me as truly weird,” Jilly told him. “There’s only stuff I haven’t figured out yet.” ~ Charles de Lint

“You can take the woman outta the trash, but you can’t take the trash out a the woman.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I want to be magic. I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile. I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill. I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing. I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore. I want to be magic.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I don’t actually talk about my books much, because I find if I talk about them I don’t want to write them anymore. I write to find out what happens. You know how you read a book? That’s what I’m doing except I’m just doing it a lot slower because it takes a lot longer to do.” ~ Charles de Lint

“There’s stories and then there’s stories. The ones with any worth change your life forever, perhaps only in a small way, but once you’ve heard them, they are forever a part of you. You nurture them and pass them on, and the giving only makes you feel better. The others are just words on a page.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It was all cheese and applause.” ~ Charles de Lint

“To me there’s no difference between writing YA and adult except that in YA I make the book a little shorter and the protagonists are teens. The difference is in the readers.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The thing with pretending you’re in a good mood is that sometimes you can.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The puppet thinks: It’s not so much what they make me do as their hands inside me.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The trouble with advice is that it’s usually something you don’t want to hear.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It’s not the work or the personality of the founder of a religion that’s important, but what its followers do with what they learn.” ~ Charles de Lint

“You wouldn’t want any creative process to lose its sense of fun and adventure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take it seriously as well.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I don’t know what’s waiting for us when we die – something better, something worse. I only know I’m not ready to find out yet.” ~ Charles de Lint

“If you’re not ready to die, then how can you live?” ~ Charles de Lint

“Magic’s all around if you take the time to pay attention.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I was going through the motions of life, instead of really living, and there’s no excuse for that. It’s not something I’ll let happen to me again.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Fortune-telling doesn’t reveal the future; it mirrors the present. It resonates against what your subconscious already knows and hauls it up out of the darkness so you can get a good look at it.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Books and music saved me as a teenager because it was through them that I realized that I wasn’t alone in my obsessive love for words and music.” ~ Charles de Lint

“If you don’t believe that the world has a heart, then you won’t hear it beating, you won’t think it’s alive and you won’t consider what you’re doing to it.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I was a misfit, but I think most teenagers feel that way. I don’t care if you were a popular jock or the kid who spent his lunch hours in a stairwell reading a book, we all seem to have dealt with insecurities of one kind or another throughout our high school years.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Like legend and myth, magic fades when it is unused – hence all the old tales of elfin kingdoms moving further and further away from our world, or that magical beings require our faith, our belief in their existence, to survive. That is a lie. All they require is our recognition.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” ~ Charles de Lint

“We’re all beings of power. Some of us are strong, some weak. Every mistake that we learn something from, makes us stronger. As does every sacrifice, every good deed. That’s how we learn. Our power is the sum of all we have been and all we are. When you take responsibility for somebody else’s decisions, or actions, you take away their power. And when you take away somebody’s power, you leave them spinning wheels when they could be moving forward.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Only fools think they’re wise; the rest of us just muddle through as we can.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.” ~ Charles de Lint

“What I want to do is travel deep and deeper into the dreamlands, to find that place that I know is waiting for me here. My home.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Every time we fix something that broken, whether it’s a car engine or a broken heart, that an act of magic. And what makes it magic is that we choose to create or help, just as we can choose to harm.” ~ Charles de Lint

“One expected growth, change; without it, the world was less, the well of inspiration dried up, the muses fled.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Our lives are stories, and the stories we have to give to each other are the most important. No one has a story too small and all are of equal stature. We each tell them in different ways, through different mediums – and if we care about each other, we’ll take the time to listen.” ~ Charles de Lint

“You’ve got to find yourself first. Everything else’ll follow.” ~ Charles de Lint

“You can’t stand up to the night until you understand what’s hiding in its shadows.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Let it go on record that any confusion arose simply because we lacked certain commonalities of reference.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Most times we only see things for the way we are. But we’re good at lying to ourselves. Sometimes we need somebody who’s not living in our skin to point out how things really are.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I like living in the city where I have all my books and music and can go out to buy that night’s dinner or easily see a band. But I also like the wild places, especially hiking in the desert and the Eastern woodlands. Do I have to choose?” ~ Charles de Lint

“I can’t imagine it now, but I must’ve been innocent at some time in my life. A baby don’t just get itself born bad, do it?” ~ Charles de Lint

“My characters seem real because they are drawn from the realities of my life. I didn’t have to research their pain; I just tapped into my own.” ~ Charles de Lint

“But that’s what we all are-just stories. We only exist by how people remember us, by the stories we make of our lives. Without the stories, we’d just fade away.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Why is it so easy to spread sadness and so hard to spread happiness?” ~ Charles de Lint

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic – the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you’re gone that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Once upon a time there was what there was, and if nothing had happened there would be nothing to tell.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Because the bottom line is, I believe I can make a difference. Not a big one. What I do is just a small ripple, but I know it helps. And if enough little people like me make our small differences, one day we’re going to wake up to find that we really did manage to change the world.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Often the magical elements in my books are standing in for elements of the real world, the small and magical-in-their-own-right sorts of things that we take for granted and no longer pay attention to, like the bonds of friendship that entwine our own lives with those of other people and places.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Not everything has to mean something. Some things just are.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Everything’s hard, if it means anything.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The real problem is, people think life is a ladder, and it’s really a wheel.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Magic lies in between things, between the day and the night, between yellow and blue, between any two things.” ~ Charles de Lint

“There’s never an easy route to the things that matter.” ~ Charles de Lint

“In the dark attics of our minds, all times mingle.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Look inside yourself for the answers – you’re the only one who knows what’s best for you. Everybody else is only guessing.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I wouldn’t like to live in a world where everything’s as cut-and-dried as most people think it is.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The family we choose for ourselves is more important than the one we were born into; that people have to earn our respect and trust, not have it handed to them simply because of genetics.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I believe in a different kind of magic. The kind we make between each other.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Inside us lies every possibility that is available to a sentient being. Every darkness, every light. It is the choices we make that decide who or what we will be.” ~ Charles de Lint

“There are few joys to compare with the telling of a well-told tale.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Ghosts were just a way that some stupid people dealt with their dull lives.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Wisdom never comes to those who believe they have nothing left to learn.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile.” ~ Charles de Lint

“We’re so quick to cut away pieces of ourselves to suit a particular relationship, a job, a circle of friends, incessantly editing who we are until we fit in.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Stone walls confine a tinker; cold iron binds a witch; but a musician’s music can never be fettered, for it lives first in her heart and mind.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I hate the thought of her being forced into a box that doesn’t fit her. Of having her wings cut off, her sight blinded, her hearing muted, her voice stilled.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Well, while I didn’t have the more extreme experiences of some of my characters, I didn’t exactly come from the most normal of households. Or rather, it was normal, in that dysfunctional families appear to be the norm.” ~ Charles de Lint

“The best artists know what to leave out. They know how much of the support should show through as the pigment is applied, what details aren’t necessary.” ~ Charles de Lint

“I’m really bad at describing my books. Journalists like to have things like “It’s The Terminator Meets the Seven Dwarfs.” And I can’t do that with my books. If I could, I probably wouldn’t write them.” ~ Charles de Lint

“Let me give you some advice: Try to approach things without preconceived ideas, without supposing you already know everything there is to know about them. Get that trick down and you’ll be surprised at what’s really all around you.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It’s not all about getting your own way. Sometimes there’s a bigger picture.” ~ Charles de Lint

“It is so easy for your people to forget that everything has a spirit, that all are equal. That magic and mystery are a part of your lives, not something to store away in a child’s bedroom, or to use as an escape from your lives.” ~ Charles de Lint

“That’s the thing about magic; you’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.” ~ Charles de Lint

“We got to stop asking for things, stop waiting for people to give us the things we think we need. All we really need is the stories. We have the stories and they’ll give us the one thing nobody else can, the thing we can only take for ourselves, because there’s nobody can give you back your pride. You’ve got to take it back yourself.” ~ Charles de Lint

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