An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

Arsonist's Guide - burning lady memoirizer, letters, practical advice, authors' homes

Practical Advice for Arsonists

red flame

1. Practice. For God's sake, practice.

2. For an arsonist just starting out, it's perhaps easier to burn down a nearby home of an obscure writer rather than burn down a more famous writer's house in a more distant city.

3. Sometimes when you're sad, you have to sit around and wait for your sadness to turn into something else, which it surely will, sadness in this way being like coal or most sorts of larvae.

4. If you make a mistake, don't dwell on it for too long, because you'll make more of them.

5. You can only wait so long for a blackened window to be illuminated.

6. Don't trust a man who says, "I have no idea," but also don't underestimate his capacity not to have one.

7. If you lead, they will follow, especially if it's painfully cold outside and your followers don't want to be left in the unheated van. If you lead, under exactly these kinds of circumstances, then they will follow.

8. Sometimes you have to be your own expert, and then after you acquire this expertise, you sometimes wish you hadn't.

9. Unlike other guides—those guides that tell you not to give up on this or that, never to give up, good things will happen if you just don't give up—I'll tell you to just give up, immediately and without a struggle, surrender being our most underrated reaction to difficulty.

10. Capable women don't answer questions from people who have no right to ask them.

11. Evidence is just a more concrete form of wishful thinking.

12. Once you get everything out in the open, you wonder why, oh, why would you ever want that.

13. If you want to appear menacing, then don't wear a
matching set.

14. Detail exists not only to make us remember the things we don't want to but to remind us that there are some things we don't deserve to forget.

15. The mouth moves fast because the mind will not.

(If you want more advice, you can always buy the book.)