Top 50 Quotes & Sayings by Christina Baker Kline

Explore popular quotes and sayings by an American novelist Christina Baker Kline.
Christina Baker Kline

Christina Baker Kline is an American novelist. She is the author of seven novels, including Orphan Train, and has co-authored or edited five non-fiction books. Kline is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowship recipient.

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Abandoned Ability Absorb Abused Children Activities Adding Altogether Anecdotal Anger Anticipate Hide All Arcane Army Art Teacher Artist Assumption Audience Autograph Back Baskets Be Careful Be Kind Bear Bedrock Begin Begins Beneath Blue Book Book Club Books Bookstores Bricks Brilliant Broken Broken Inside Burden Busy Cabinets Call Campaign Careful Carefully Certainty Chain Chances Changing Chat Children Choices Circumstances Cliched Closing Club Clubs Coast Coffee Coffee Shop Coffee Shops Collectors College Companies Complex Complicated Conclusion Connected Connecting Constantly Constrained Continue Control Conversations Copies Corner Counting Cover Crafted Create Days Death Decisions Deep Define Defined Delightful Depth Desperate Details Difficult Directed Disappear Disappeared Display Domestic Drawer Dreams Dredging Dwell Dynamic Earnest East East Coast Eavesdropping Eccentric Editing Editors Efficient Embrace Emotion Empathy Engine English Enjoy Enthusiasm Entwined Equanimity Events Evidence Examples Expand Expect Experience Experiences Expression Fake Fears Feel Feeling Few Words Fiction Fierce Find Finished Fondly Force Forgotten Fortitude Fragments Friend Funny Funny Sister Furniture Garden General Genuinely Gestures Ghosts Gift Give Giving Good Good Thing Grace Great Great Loss Grocery Grocery Store Guitar Guitar Hero Half Happen Happened Hard Hardcover Hats Haunt Haunting Heart Heaven Heavy Heavy Burden Hero High High School History Hold Holes Honestly Hope Hounds House Human Human Nature Humans Hung I Love You I Miss You Idea Ideal Ideal World Idioms Illusion Imagined Impact Independents Inevitable Inside Inspire Interest Interested Interesting Interesting Conversation Interests Irony Karma Kind Kiss Kiss Of Death Knit Knowledge Lack Laid Laid Off Land Landscapes Large Learn Learned Learning Leaving Left Legacy Less Time Lesson Lessons Letting Libraries Life Lifetime Lines Linger Listen Live Lives Long Long Ago Lose Loss Lost Love Love You Lucky Lunch Make Make Sense Makes Marketing Married Material Matter Meaning Means Meeting Memory Merging Middle Midwest Midwestern Mind Mine Minutes Miss Miss You Moments More Time Mortar Mother My Heart My Soulmate Narrative Natural Naturally Nature Needing Needles Neglected Newspaper No Question Novelist Numb Observing Online Opportunities Orbit Order Ordinary Ordinary Moments Orphan Orphans Our Lives Page Painted Panic Paperback Papers Parents Part Pass Passionate Passions Pavement People Percentage Person Place Play Poems Popular Popular Song Portraits Pragmatism Prepared Pretend Print Printing Private Probable Protocol Public Publisher Publishing Puzzle Question Quickly Rabbit Rabbit Holes Radiation Rarely Reach Readers Reading Reading Books Real Real Life Realized Realizing Rearrange Reason Reasons Redemption Relentless Remarkably Reservoirs Resilience Resilient Retailers Reviewers Reviews Ribbons Riders Rise Safe Salieri Scan Scarves School Search Search Engine Selfish Selling Selling Books Sense Serve Sets Shakespeare Shakespeare Play Shape Shared Shops Shred Simply Simultaneously Sisters Skin Small Small Events Smile Songs Sons Soulmate Specific Spill Spirits Squeezing Stark Start Started Stay Stays Steps Store Strange Strength Strong Stunned Substance Substantial Suddenly Surprised Surprising Sustain Sweaters Symbols Talent Talk Taught Teacher Teaching Technology Teens Terms Terrible Thesis Thing Things Things Happen Things That Matter Thinking Thought Thoughts Three Sons Throws Time Topic Trains Trait Trauma Turn Turns Twists Twists And Turns Type Ultimately Understood Unexpected Unexplored Unresolved Very Good Vocation Wanted Wary Watercolor Ways Wear Week Weeks Weight Whatsoever Woman Women Wonderful Wonderful Thing Wonderful Things Word Words Work World Worst Write Writer Writes Writing Yarn Year Years Less More Hide All See All
I think fondly of the rabbit holes I disappeared down when I researched papers for history and English because I couldn't find quite what I was looking for, or because I had to go through so much material to find examples for my thesis.
Part of the reason I wanted to write a novel was that in fiction I could do something that's difficult to do in real life, which is to dwell on the stark details of the experience without really needing to create that narrative of redemption.
Words are both my vocation and my avocation - reading, writing, editing, teaching. — © Christina Baker Kline
Words are both my vocation and my avocation - reading, writing, editing, teaching.
Without even thinking about it, my son uses technology in almost everything he does, large and small.
Having the book-club army embrace you is a gift that keeps giving for years.
I don't believe in karma.
I think a lot of readers are looking for a book they can talk about.
Many people, for many reasons, feel rootless - but orphans and abandoned or abused children have particular cause.
Book clubs, both online and in person, have become a large percentage of the reading public, and many of them won't consider reading books in hardcover.
It's hard selling books in general: companies are merging, editors being laid off, bricks-and-mortar bookstores closing, large chain bookstores squeezing out independents, and online retailers squeezing out chain bookstores.
With a hardcover, you get two chances, a year apart, for the book to make an impact - often with a new cover featuring artfully crafted snippets of reviews, a new marketing campaign and maybe even a new publisher.
I often work and write in coffee shops, observing the baristas and eavesdropping on interesting conversations.
I was stunned to learn that more than 200,000 abandoned, neglected, or orphaned children had been sent from the East Coast to the Midwest on trains between 1854 and 1929. — © Christina Baker Kline
I was stunned to learn that more than 200,000 abandoned, neglected, or orphaned children had been sent from the East Coast to the Midwest on trains between 1854 and 1929.
I have three sons, as different from each other as any three humans could be but connected by their shared love of Guitar Hero. I'm lucky to be married to a man I can call my soulmate without any irony whatsoever.
I don't think that trauma is an illusion; there is no question in my mind that circumstances beyond our control can shape and define us. But ultimately, we make choices about letting ourselves be defined by our pasts.
In my ideal world, my next novel would have a first printing of, say, 2,500 hardcovers for reviewers, libraries, collectors, and autograph hounds. The publisher could print more copies if they get low. And simultaneously, or six weeks later, the book would be available in paperback.
My mother was one of the most dynamic and brilliant women I have ever known. She was also mercurial and unfocused.
For a few years, skeins of yarn piled up in baskets around the house. There weren't enough humans in my mother's orbit to wear all the scarves and sweaters and hats she knitted. And then, as suddenly as she started, she lost interest, leaving needles still entwined in half-finished fragments.
You have to try to take what life throws at you with grace and equanimity.
As a novelist, I have always been interested in how people come to terms with difficult, life-altering events.
When I start a new novel and find myself diverted by domestic activities, many of which I genuinely enjoy, I panic that I will never write another word.
Most people are remarkably resilient. Even those who have been through war or great loss often find reservoirs of strength. But the legacy of trauma is a heavy burden to bear.
The twists and turns of your life can be so unexpected, and that's a good thing to learn.
There's no question that my son is better prepared for college than I was. He manages his time better, is more efficient and more directed, and spends less time in lines and more time doing exactly what he sets out to do.
The most surprising thing, honestly, is that so few Americans know about the orphan trains. I was also surprised at the resilience and fortitude of the riders I met, their pragmatism and grace. I don't know whether this is a Midwestern trait or simply a human one.
I will not serve lunch to anyone in the middle of a workday. I rarely rearrange my furniture or cabinets; once I find a drawer for something, it stays there. I don't garden. And I don't knit.
I like meeting and connecting with readers.
When you can type a few words into a search engine and land on your topic - or when you can scan a Shakespeare play for specific words or symbols - what opportunities might you miss to expand your thinking in unexpected ways?
My mother was a passionate, complicated, sometimes fierce woman.
Hardcovers will never completely disappear. They are delightful to hold; they feel weighty and substantial. But my anecdotal evidence suggests that the world is changing.
Radiation is relentless: my protocol is five days a week, 33 sessions altogether.
For years I'd understood that publishing in paperback was the kiss of death.
My parents are a bedrock. And I have three complex, strong, and funny sisters who inspire and sustain me. — © Christina Baker Kline
My parents are a bedrock. And I have three complex, strong, and funny sisters who inspire and sustain me.
So is it just human nature to believe that things happen for a reason - to find some shred of meaning even in the worst experiences?
When something terrible happens, a lifetime of small events and unremarkable decisions, of unresolved anger, and unexplored fears begins to play itself out in ways you least expect. You've been going along from one day to the next, not realizing that all those disparate words and gestures were adding up to something, a conclusion, you didn't anticipate. And later, when you begin to retrace your steps you see that you will need to reach back further than you could have imagined, beyond words and thoughts and even dreams, perhaps to make sense of what happened.
One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that you're constantly dredging up some arcane knowledge or long-forgotten experience, rediscovering old passions and interests.
I learned long ago that loss is not only probable but inevitable. I know what it means to lose everything, to let go of one life and find another. And now I feel, with a strange, deep certainty, that it must be my lot in life to be taught that lesson over and over again.
In my teens I fancied myself an artist; I hung out with the eccentric art teacher at my high school, painted still lifes and portraits and landscapes in watercolor and acrylics, took private lessons, won some blue ribbons for my earnest renderings. My lack of talent did little to dampen my enthusiasm. In college I thought I'd continue, but, like Salieri, I quickly realized that while I had the ability to appreciate art, I wasn't actually very good.
I have a lot of empathy for women who fit their writing into the crevices of their too-busy lives, as I once did.
And so it is that you learn how to pass, if you're lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you're broken inside.
It's human nature to want to think the best of others, but if you listen carefully, people will always tell you who they are.
I never want to feel constrained by writing a novel for a specific audience.
I know too much; I've seen people at their worst, at their most desperate and selfish, and this knowledge makes me wary. So I am learning to pretend, to smile, to nod, to display empathy I do not feel. I am learning to pass, to look like everyone else, even though I feel broken inside.
I've come to think that's what heaven is- a place in the memory of others where our best selves live on. — © Christina Baker Kline
I've come to think that's what heaven is- a place in the memory of others where our best selves live on.
Do you believe in spirits? Or ghosts?...Yes, I do. I believe in ghosts....They're the ones who haunt us. The ones who have left us behind." "Vivian has come back to the idea that the people who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our ordinary moments. They're with us in the grocery store, as we turn the corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our soles." "The things that matter stay with you, seep into your skin.
Time constricts and flattens, you know. It's not evenly weighted. Certain moments linger in the mind and others disappear.
She knows too well what it's like to tamp down your natural inclinations, to force a smile when you feel numb....The expression of emotion does not come naturally, so yo learn to fake it. To pretend. To display an empathy you don't really feel. And so it is that you learn to pass, if you're lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you're broken inside.
You got to learn to take what people are willing to give.
I like the assumption that everyone is trying his best, and we should all just be kind to each other.
I love you," he writes again and again. "I can't bear to live without you. I'm counting the minutes until I see you." The words he uses are the idioms of popular songs and poems in the newspaper. And mine to him are no less cliched. I puzzle over the onionskin, trying to spill my heart onto the page. But I can only come up with the same words, in the same order, and hope the depth of feeling beneath them gives them weight and substance. I love you. I miss you. Be careful. Be safe.
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