The cold hard truth will fall on stony ground, whereas your all-around trashy rumor will flourish like a weed.

Now and then when some dog set up a howl in the back, one or the other of the cats would appear to smile faintly.

Smile. It gives your face something to do.

I write letters to my right brain all the time. They're just little notes. And right brain, who likes to get little notes from me, will often come through within a day or two.

Life was reduced to its four basic elements: air, food, drink, and a good friend.

Ideas are easy. It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.

I love being single. It's almost like being rich.

I attended the University of Louisville my freshman year, transferred to what was then Western Kentucky State Teachers College for my sophomore and junior years, and then graduated from the University of Louisville in the summer of 1961.

There were pieces missing yet but they would fall into place and then maybe the whole of it would make sense.

Maturity would have been a big help, but that didn't come until later.

You can't save others from themselves because those who make a perpetual muddle of their lives don't appreciate your interfering with the drama they've created. They want your poor-sweet-baby sympathy, but they don't want to change.

I left him where he was and went down the hall to the kitchenette, where I picked up the coffeepot and filled it with water. I poured the water into the reservoir and then opened a packet of coffee, the grounds neatly sealed in a filter that I tucked into the basket. I flipped the switch and stood there until I could hear the gurgling begin.

I'm a born liar myself and I know how it's done. You stick as close to the truth as you can. You pretend to volunteer a few bits of information, but the facts are all carefully selected for effect.

You can't make someone else do anything, even if you know you're right.

As it is, we could not call mine a beautiful puss, but it does the job well enough, distinguishing the front of my head from the back.

Another one of life's little jokes. I thought it was a tumor 'til it started to kick.

Built into bad news is that sense of profound disbelief. The mind struggles to absorb the bare facts, defending itself against the larger implications.

I've never written about my husband, Steve, or any of my children because I know them all too well. I see them in all their complexities which makes them impossible to render on the printed page.

I like lines, I earn mine.

To many women mistake a man's hostility for wit and his silence for depth.

Missing someone is a vague, unpleasant sensation, like gnawing anxiety. It isn't as concrete as grief, but it's just as pervasive and there's no escaping it.

A lot of people were mistaken about a lot of things.

Vegas tends to affect me that way, some combination of tension and dread to which my body responds with all the symptoms of incipient flu.

The critical lessons in life hold sway whether you like it or not.

All the little birdies had flown out of this man's tree.

I don't. I take it he was homeless. Aaron shrugged. That's my guess. A group of them have been congregating in that grassy patch across the street from the Santa Teresa Inn. Before that, they camped in the park adjacent to the municipal swimming pool. Who called it in? He took off his glasses and polished.

Grief is as contagious as a yawn.

My problem with country music is that I try to avoid the very situations the lyrics lament.

She was right about one thing: the harm in the world is done by those who feel disenfranchised and abused. Contented people (as a rule) don't kite checks, rob banks, or kill their fellow citizens.

There's always something else. That's what makes life so much fun.

My own mystery, unplumed, undetected, was sorted into files that were neatly labeled but really didn't say much.

You never know which people will affect your life.

As long as you have sufficient toilet paper, how far wrong can life go?

Life is hard. Life hurts. So what? You tough it out. You get through and then you'll feel good again.

I'm smart 1 day out of 30, but I never know which day it will be so I have to sit patiently, feeling like an ignoramus most of the time.

You kill people you hate or you kill in rage or you kill to get even, but you don't kill someone you're indifferent to.

Too much virtue has a corrupting effect.

This was because his badge was attached to his belt in close proximity to his fly, and I didn't want to seem too interested. Sorry to barge in unannounced, he went on.

I started writing seriously when I was 18, wrote my first novel when I was 22, and I've never stopped writing since.

I've given this a great deal of thought and what I've realized is that revenge doesn't have to be an eye for an eye. Retaliation can take any number of forms. It doesn't need to be crude or obvious. The point is, the pain should be equivalent; not tit for tat but something comparable.

When it comes to work, it isn’t so much what we do or how much we’re paid; it’s the satisfaction we take in doing it.

Except for cases that clearly involve a homicidal maniac, the police like to believe murders are committed by those we know and love, and most of the time they're right—a chilling thought when you sit down to dinner with a family of five.

To distract myself, I thought about all the cusswords I knew and arranged them in alphabetical order.

He stared at me. His breathing made that wheezing sound that fat people sometimes make.

I hate nature. I really do. Nature is composed entirely of sticks, dirt, fall-down places, biting and stinging things, and savageries too numerous to list. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Man has been building cities since the year oughty-ought, just to get away from this stuff.

If love is what injures us, how can we heal?

Being rule governed, I operate in a world filled with imaginary restraints.

I may have people lying to me, but since I don't really know the truth, I can't be sure.

Books are like movies of the mind and it's better to leave Kinsey where she is.