Favorite Quotes from My Own Novels & Anthologies by Susan Buffum
(material quoted is copyrighted and remains the property of the author and cannot be used without my permission)
From the as yet unpublished novel Rookdale: “You can’t make yourself a witch unless you were born a witch. That’s a simple truth. You can give it a good go in the theater of your own imagination, treading the boards in a black dress with filmy tendrils of gauzy material trailing behind in an artificial breeze, casting spells that burst brightly thanks to special effects, but, in the end, you’re still merely a mortal being and it all comes to naught.”
From the published novel Black King Takes White Queen (2016): Ivy speaking to Romney as the day of his possible death by the hand of his evil sister draws near- “No, don’t make any promises. Promises are too fragile. They can be broken too easily. If anything, make me a vow, an oath.”
“If you keep agitating the water it never becomes calm.”
Ivy’s mother speaking to Ivy about pottery and Romney, the warlock potter- “Pottery doesn’t last. It can get broken,” she says.
Ivy’s reply- “That’s true. You have to be careful with it. Just like hearts can be broken. You have to be careful with them, too.”
From an Unfinished story: Her heart seldom spoke to her, but when it did, it asked for the impossible.
From Black Knight, White Rook (2017) (the sequel to Black King Takes white Queen): An evil warlock has been working to destroy Romney and Ivy’s relationship, to divide and conquer the Black King and his White Queen. They have separated, each has their own tasks to perform, yet they are struggling to repair the damage Trowbridge has wreaked upon them as a couple- This is Ivy’s thoughts as they walk along a beach on a raw afternoon, having been separated for several months- I can sense the pain within him. It makes me squeeze my eyes shut tightly to try to lock down my own pain deep inside of me, but it just radiates all throughout my entire being like a map of agony leading straight to my heart. And in that aching, broken heart, I still love him. He’s a part of me. I’m a part of him. And Trowbridge is shredding the fibers of that bind, tearing us apart, yet he cannot break that iron bond that connects us by means of these ancient rituals that we performed. He can only break us individually.
From the published novel Out (2017): Irina narrating- Mikhail had had to nudge me as I’d been gazing at the castle windows imagining all the opulent finery contained within those dark stone walls, the pictures from Palatial Homes magazine still vivid in my memory as if I had walked through those rooms in person instead of a thousand times in my imagination.
“Shh,” he says. “Close your eyes and go to sleep.” My eyes meet his for a brief moment before I obey. The thought that this is only the beginning spins like a hurled dagger through the empty space where my brain resided up until I drank that tea. And then I’m torn away from him, tumbling through fleecy clouds and splashing down into the gentle waves that lapthe shores of sweet oblivion.”
Adrik speaking to Irina as she prepares him for an appearance on Dimitra After Dark- “Men are fools. The real beauty of a woman lies within the body and mind. External appearances are merely pretty packaging that can fool a man into believing he has captured a prize when in fact his so=called prize is nothing more than a hollow confection who will never satisfy his deepest cravings and desires.”
From the published novel The Subtlety of Light and Shadow (2015): From an exchange between artist Rex Royce and his young gallery manager Lucie Palmer- “You will either be my salvation or the source of my utter damnation.”
She put her hands back on his. “You already know which one I’ll be.”
Rex to Lucie- “I want to take you upstairs and make love to you like the dark, desperate man I am who hungers to consume the light while trying to lighten his own soul.But, I am terrified that I’ll simply snuff out your light and tomorrow you’ll be gone, and I shall be plunged into eternal darkness.”
Lucie’s response to the above- “Rex, have you ever seen those trick candles you just ca’t blow out?” He nodded. “That’s me. How many times have you pinched my flame only to find that I’ve flared back to life?”
Lucie’s thoughts during lovemaking with Rex- She felt him still working at her and thought that this must be what the canvas felt like when he applied his brush with such powerful strokes. She wanted to be his canvas, the picture that he painted every day for the rest of their lives.
From the published novel Talon:An Intimate Familiarity (2012): Bryce Briscoe’s thoughts after a fight with Dr. Talon in which they have both gone too far- We’d both crossed a line and had found ourselves alone on a battlefield. I had no hope of winning this war. Doom was the word on my already tattered battle flag. Victory was written on his.
Dr. Talon to Bryce- “I must confess that while I am possessed of an intimate familiarity with the female anatomy, I am at a complete and utter loss in comprehending te complexities of the female psyche.”
In comparison to the final quote above, this is from the original unpublished novelette version of Talon:An Intimate Familiarity which was the first in a series of four Halloween stories written in (2011)- Dr. Talon to Bryce- “I must confess that while I am possessed of an intimate familiarity with human anatomy, I am at a complete loss when it comes to comprehending the infinite subtleties of human emotions. You perceive me as cold and unfeeling. I perceive myself as protective of yo and deeply caring.”
From the published anthology Miss Peculiar’s Haunting Tales, Volume 1 (2015), story titled Drakes Fall Manor- Without Nanny’s rhythmic snoring from the other room, I found I was an insomniac. As such, I was often wide awake in the dead of night when the rest of the household was sound asleep, dreaming of magnificent adventures that can never be, for the majority of us live only grandiosely in our dreams while managing to live merely mediocre lives in our waking states.
From the published novel Life Skills (2016): What they say is true, you know. When you have an accident or an experience that makes you look death in the face, it changes you. It makes you see that the little, petty shit in life is just that- trivial and meaningless in the whole big scheme of things. Life is about living outside the mental boxes that we lock ourselves into. It really should be about finding our own happiness, not relying on others to hand it to us; embracing it and living well to the best of our ability.”
Quotes from various stories published in Cupid’s Darts (2016):
From Dragon & Butterfly- “My mind never shuts off. I’m like this receiver that just keeps picking up signals constantly.”
From Tangerine Twist- I didn’t stick my finger in the pot just to hold it still. I liked to stir things up.
From jack Cameron Takes a Bride- “Why keep count?” he answered. “What do years matter? It’s moments that count. Every moment I’m with you is a blessing, an honor, a privilege- but most importantly, a pleasure.”
“Crisp as an autumn apple and just as tart.”