“What inspires me? Running. Because there’s nothing like having nothing except your own two feet, the sight of some far off point, and a hard breath to keep you going.
“Place is important to my writing, and one of my best practices is to get in the car and drive.
“When I’m stumped, I often go to the library stacks and look at old science treatises.
“When I push weights around, I push words around. I usually hit the gym in the afternoon, and when I do, I think about the story or chapter I was working on that morning.
“On a narrow strip of cork board, among news clippings and postcards, is a small vellum-colored paper square, printed by the artist Tom Ashcraft, that has inspired me for many years.
“As a rule of comedy combining something cute with something sinister is good for a laugh, and the logic is the same as the real-life behavior
“Rules. I'm a big believer in structure, and the idea that creativity loosens up when constrained a bit.
“Never start writing in a bad mood—makes it too easy to quit before you get going.
“I’ve been reading the journals of Albert Camus since I was thirteen years old and his words have become my most faithful and intimate companions.
“I take inspiration from the subtle daily forecasting of death. This should be impetus for anyone to get off his ass. Work is why we're here, and to waste an hour of any day, fretting or worrying or procrastinating, is to release into the air the odor of death. Emerson said, ‘To fill the hour—that is happiness.’ I try to fill the hour. And by filling the hour, the ones that follow come easier. Inspiration, then, is its own inspiration. But I must beware of why I work.