For me, life becomes real when I write it. What I don’t write is erased by the winds of oblivion. I forget a lot, my mind betrays me. I can’t recall places, names, dates, or faces, but I never forget a good story or a significant dream. Writing is a silent introspection, a journey to the dark caverns of memory and the soul. Fiction, like memory, moves from revelation to revelation.

Isabel Allende
Why I Write

It’s hell

February 2, 2020

I start all my books on January 8th. Can you imagine January 7th? It’s hell.

Every year on January 7th, I prepare my physical space. I clean up everything from my other books. I just leave my dictionaries, and my first editions, and my research materials for the new one. And then on January 8th I walk seventeen steps from the kitchen to the little pool house that is my office. It’s like a journey to another world. It’s winter, it’s raining usually. I go with my umbrella and the dog following me. From those seventeen steps on, I am in another world and I am another person.

I go there scared. And excited. And disappointed – because I have a sort of idea that isn’t really an idea. The first two, three, four weeks are wasted. I just show up in front of the computer. Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up too. If she doesn’t show up invited, eventually she just shows up.

Isabel Allende
Why We Write
edited by Meredith Maran

they have no fear

January 21, 2020

Witches, like saints, are solitary stars that shine with a light of their own; they depend on nothing and no one, which is why they have no fear and plunge blindly into the abyss with the assurance that instead of crashing to earth, they will fly back out. They can change into birds and see the world from above, or worms to see it from within, they can inhabit other dimensions and travel to other galaxies, they are navigators on an infinite ocean of consciousness and cognition.

Isabel Allende
Paula

Pain

June 3, 2018

The deeper the wound, the more private the pain.

Isabel Allende
Paula

I have the idea that we grandmothers are meant to play the part of protective witches; we must watch over younger women, children, community, and also, why not?, this mistreated planet, the victim of such unrelenting desecration. I would like to fly on a broomstick and dance in the moonlight with other pagan witches in the forest, invoking earth forces and howling demons; I want to become a wise old crone, to learn ancient spells and healers’ secrets. It is no small thing, this design of mine. Witches, like saints, are solitary stars that shine with a light of their own; they depend on nothing and no one, which is why they have no fear and can plunge blindly into the abyss with the assurance that instead of crashing to earth, they will fly back out. They can change into birds and see the world from above, or worms to see it from within, they can inhabit other dimensions and travel to other galaxies, they are navigators on an infinite ocean of consciousness and cognition.

Isabel Allende
Paula

plunge blindly into the abyss

December 16, 2015

vision_of_faust-large

Witches, like saints, are solitary stars that shine with a light of their own; they depend on nothing and no one, which is why they have no fear and plunge blindly into the abyss with the assurance that instead of crashing to earth, they will fly back out. They can change into birds and see the world from above, or worms to see it from within, they can inhabit other dimensions and travel to other galaxies, they are navigators on an infinite ocean of consciousness and cognition.

Isabel Allende
Paula

solitary stars…

September 30, 2015

witch

Witches, like saints, are solitary stars that shine with a light of their own; they depend on nothing and no one, which is why they have no fear and plunge blindly into the abyss with the assurance that instead of crashing to earth, they will fly back out. They can change into birds and see the world from above, or worms to see it from within, they can inhabit other dimensions and travel to other galaxies, they are navigators on an infinite ocean of consciousness and cognition.

Isabel Allende
Paula

Witches…

March 30, 2015

birdcage

Witches, like saints, are solitary stars that shine with a light of their own; they depend on nothing and no one, which is why they have no fear and plunge blindly into the abyss with the assurance that instead of crashing to earth, they will fly back out. They can change into birds and see the world from above, or worms to see it from within, they can inhabit other dimensions and travel to other galaxies, they are navigators on an infinite ocean of consciousness and cognition.

Isabel Allende
Paula

Witches…

June 4, 2014

womanandcat

Witches, like saints, are solitary stars that shine with a light of their own; they depend on nothing and no one, which is why they have no fear and plunge blindly into the abyss with the assurance that instead of crashing to earth, they will fly back out. They can change into birds and see the world from above, or worms to see it from within, they can inhabit other dimensions and travel to other galaxies, they are navigators on an infinite ocean of consciousness and cognition.

(Isabel Allende)

Paula