Things have been going so smoothly lately, it would be way too easy for you to put yourself on mental auto-pilot — and that might not be such a good idea. You know the day’s tasks and obligations like the back of your hand, but you still need to pay attention to what you are doing. Letting your mind wander here and there is totally acceptable — turning your mind off is not. You can’t always rely on challenges to keep you on your toes. Focus on what you’re up to.
We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that once our eyes watered.
I can’t stand moral absolutism. You know, there’s always that guy who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife— as if he obviously couldn’t have been a great person if he did something like that. Or someone will bring out an inspirational quote, and get you to agree, and then inform you that Hitler said it. As if a good thought couldn’t come from Hitler. Moral absolutism keeps us from learning from the past. It’s easy to say: ‘Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad seeds.’ That’s simple. It’s much harder to say: ‘Is that humanity? Is that me?’
My novels are epic fantasy, but they are inspired by and grounded in history. Rape and sexual violence have been a part of every war ever fought. To omit them from a narrative centered on war and power would have been fundamentally false and dishonest, and would have undermined one of the themes of the books: that the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves. We are the monsters. (And the heroes too). Each of us has within himself the capacity for great good, and great evil.