I received a grant from The Ford Foundation to write a book for kids about urban perception, or how people experience cities, but I kept putting off writing it. Instead I started to write what became The Phantom Tollbooth.
More Quotes from Norton Juster:It was really written as most, I think, books are by writers - for themselves. There was something that just had to be written, in a way that it had to be written. If you know what I mean.
People always ask about my influences, and they cite a bunch of people I've never heard of.
Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.
The only other thing which I think is important is: Don't write a book or start a book with the expectation of communicating a message in a very important way.
One of the problems you have when you read with kids is that once they like something they want you to read it a hundred times.
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I respect my limitations, but I don't use them as an excuse.
Stephen R. Donaldson
Fortunately art is a community effort - a small but select community living in a spiritualized world endeavoring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh.
And, uh, I did that, and there was nothing more ridiculous to me than finding the weight of the earth because I didn't care how much the earth weighed.