Or hiking boots, or combat boots

The muse in charge of fantasy wears good, sensible shoes. No foam-born Aphrodite, she vaguely resembles my old piano teacher, who was keen on metronomes. She does not carry a soothing lyre for inspiration, but is more likely to shake you roughly awake at four in the morning and rattle a sheaf of subtle, sneaky questions under your nose. And you had better answer them. The Muse will stand for no nonsense (that is, non-sense). Her geometries are no more Euclidean than Einstein’s, but they are equally rigorous.

—Lloyd Alexander, “The Flat-Heeled Muse,” Horn Book, April 1, 1965


The Sound of Smart People Talking to Each Other

I am often mistaken for somebody who knows something and I’m not. I create characters who know things. And I’m not just being self-deprecating. I think this is important. … I think that the critics in the audience who are reacting as hostilely to the show as they are, part of the reason is they think that I’m showing off an intellect and an erudition that I don’t have. And just to be very clear, I’m not pretending to have it. I know that I don’t have it. I phonetically create the sound of smart people talking to each other. I’m not one of them. The characters I create would have no use for me. …

I haven’t met anyone who can [talk the way his characters do]. When I write these things, I’m alone in a room for a very long time, and I get to rewrite them, and I get to think for a long time about what’s going to be said. If I get on a roll, then I can write a conversation like that without stopping, but I can’t do it when talking to a real person, like you. That’s not who I am in real life.

—Aaron Sorkin, interview with Terry Gross on “Fresh Air,” July 16, 2012