Famous Quotes & Sayings

Michael Morpurgo Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Michael Morpurgo.

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Michael Morpurgo Quotes 1454770

Live an interesting life. Meet people. Read a lot and widely, learn from the great writers. — Michael Morpurgo

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Stories make you think and dream; books make you want to ask questions — Michael Morpurgo

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War continues to divide people, to change them forever, and I write about it both because I want people to understand the absolute futility of war, the 'pity of war' as Wilfred Owen called it. — Michael Morpurgo

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We're much alike, bee, you and me," I said. "You may carry your pack underneath you and your rifle may stick out of your bottom. But you and me, bee, are much alike. — Michael Morpurgo

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There were several recently dug graves in the churchyard, but I found only one that was freshly dug and covered with fresh flowers. I had known Anna only from a few laughing words, from the light in her eyes, a touch of hands and a fleeting kiss, but I felt an ache inside me such as I had not felt since I was a child, since my father's death. I looked up at the church steeple, a dark arrow pointing at the moon and beyond, and tried with all my heart and mind to believe she was up there somewhere in that vast expanse of infinity, up there in Sunday-school Heaven, in Big Joe's happy Heaven. I couldn't bring myself to think it. I knew she was lying in the cold earth at my feet. I knelt down and kissed the earth, then left her there. The moon sailed above me, following behind me, through the trees, lighting my way back to camp. By the time I got there I had no more tears left to cry. The — Michael Morpurgo

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Don't worry about writing a book or getting famous or making money. Just lead an interesting life. — Michael Morpurgo

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Remember to write for yourself, not for a market and give yourself time to develop your own style, your own voice. It takes a lifetime. Enjoy it! — Michael Morpurgo

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It is the child's understanding that teaches the adults the way of the future. They're still doing it today with modern technology. — Michael Morpurgo

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When I was very little my mother would read to me in bed. She gave me a fascination for stories, and for the music in words. — Michael Morpurgo

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When children are very young, you read them books that are positive to help them go to sleep. But there comes a moment when they begin to understand the difficulties of the world. They know there are problems and the books they read should reflect that, not gloss over them. — Michael Morpurgo

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Admitting failure is quite cleansing, but never - pleasurable. — Michael Morpurgo

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He never reckoned much to schooling and that. He said you could learn most what was worth knowing from keeping your eyes and ears peeled. Best way of learning, he always said, was doing. — Michael Morpurgo

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But just as soon as this war's over and finished with,I'll get back home and marry her.I've grown up with her, Joey, known her all my life. S'pose I know her almost as well as I know myself, and I like her a lot better. — Michael Morpurgo

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Paying more heed to the lessons of the past might teach us to be a little more cautious about some of the political decisions taken today. — Michael Morpurgo

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cause when there's life there's still hope — Michael Morpurgo

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I should begin at the beginning. I know that. But the trouble is that I don't know the beginning. I wish I did. I do know my name, Arthur Hobhouse. Arthur Hobhouse had a beginning, that's for certain. I had a father and a mother too, but God only knows who they were, and maybe even he doesn't know for sure. I mean, God can't be looking everywhere all at once, can he? So where the name Arthur Hobhouse comes from and who gave it to me I have no idea. I don't even know if it's my real name. I don't know the date and place of my birth either, only that it was probably in Bermondsey, London, sometime in about 1940. — Michael Morpurgo

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You know, I really wish now I'd had the nerve to become an actor. Because I'd have been Robert Redford, no question. — Michael Morpurgo

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We all know that the great memories of our childhood are the little triumphs - it doesn't really matter whether that was in writing, art, on the hockey field or on the football field. It's something that makes you feel - 'I can do this stuff.' — Michael Morpurgo

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Why does this war have to destroy anything and everything that's fine and beautiful? — Michael Morpurgo

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You have to understand the sea, he said, to listen to her, to look out for her moods, to get to know her and respect her and love her. Only then can you build boats that feel at home on the sea. — Michael Morpurgo

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Only the best books are special. Why? Because they open our eyes, touch us, excite us, extend us. — Michael Morpurgo

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And they took the strain and off they went up the field the plough cutting clean. I can mind how I stood there and watched him my heart full of pride for him and I breathed in the smell of the earth. Nothing like the smell of new turned earth. A cold metal smell it is, but clean and good like the first breath of life. — Michael Morpurgo

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It's what I'll be singing in the morning. It won't be God Save the Ruddy King or All Things bleeding Bright and Beautiful. It'll be Orange and Lemons for Big Joe, for all of us. — Michael Morpurgo

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If there's one thing I can't abide it's fanatics of any kind, and religious ones are the worst of all. — Michael Morpurgo

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Characters are the key to a good book. It took me several novels to comprehend that. — Michael Morpurgo

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Always write your ideas down however silly or trivial they might seem. Keep a notebook with you at all times. — Michael Morpurgo

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Good experiences give us happiness but bad experiences teach us good lessons — Michael Morpurgo

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Anything that gets children reading is fine. — Michael Morpurgo

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Encouraging young people to believe in themselves and find their own voice whether it's through writing, drama or art is so important in giving young people a sense of self-worth. — Michael Morpurgo

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I tell you, my friends,' he said one day. 'I tell you that I am the only sane man in the regiment. It's the others that are mad, but they don't know it. They fight a war and they don't know what for. Isn't that crazy? How can one man kill another and not really know the reason why he does it, except that the other man wears a different colour uniform and speaks a different language? And it's me they call mad! — Michael Morpurgo

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I'm still not sure I want to be a writer. I think of myself as a storyteller more. — Michael Morpurgo

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That's what this war is all about, my friend. It's about which of us is the crazier.And clearly you British have an advantage.You were crazy beforehand. — Michael Morpurgo

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Our great problem, is that children now know whatever they want to know - at the press of a button they can discover all horrors of the adult world. They know very early on that the world is sometimes a very dark, difficult and complex place, and the literature they read must reflect that. Otherwise we're just entertaining them to pass the time. — Michael Morpurgo

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Always waiting, waiting to go up to the front line, waiting in the trenches with the whizzbags and shells bursting all around you, waiting for the whistle to send you out over the top and across No-Man's-Land, waiting for the bullet that had name on it. — Michael Morpurgo

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The most important thing is to live an interesting life. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open. Talk to people and visit interesting places, and don't forget to ask questions. To be a writer you need to drink in the world around you so it's always there in your head. — Michael Morpurgo

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There's a mouse in here with me. He's sitting there in the light of the lamp, looking up at me. He seems as surprised to see me as I am to see him. There he goes. I can hear him still, scurrying about somewhere under the hayrick. I think he's gone now. I hope he comes back. I miss him already. — Michael Morpurgo

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He laughed to himself he said because if he did not laugh he would cry. — Michael Morpurgo

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If it is possible to be happy in the middle of a nightmare, then Topthorn and I were happy that summer. — Michael Morpurgo

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That's what sailing is, a dance, and your partner is the sea. And with the sea you never take liberties. You ask her, you don't tell her. You have to remember always that she's the leader, not you. You and your boat are dancing to her tune. — Michael Morpurgo

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Wherever my story takes me, however dark and difficult the theme, there is always some hope and redemption, not because readers like happy endings, but because I am an optimist at heart. I know the sun will rise in the morning, that there is a light at the end of every tunnel. — Michael Morpurgo

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Everyone is interested in war, in that people don't want it to happen. I'm much more interested in peace than in war but it's important to understand why we fight. — Michael Morpurgo

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You get to about 65 or 70 and you lose friends and the world does seem to be an endlessly difficult place and tragic place, so it's more and more difficult for me to find the bright lights. — Michael Morpurgo

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But I didn't dare. That has always been my trouble. I've never dared enough. — Michael Morpurgo

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It is really important that focusing on things such as spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting doesn't inhibit the creative flow. When I was at school there was a huge focus on copying and testing and it put me off words and stories for years. — Michael Morpurgo

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Animals are sentient, intelligent, perceptive, funny and entertaining. We owe them a duty of care as we do to children. — Michael Morpurgo

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Marry someone who flatters you. Because I've written 80 books since 'War Horse' but when my wife reads one, all she says is, 'It's quite good, but it's not as good as 'War Horse,' is it?' — Michael Morpurgo

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Strange questions are the more interesting ones. Children by and large don't try to trip you up ... they want to find out how you do this funny thing that you do ... if they've loved a story they love to know how it started. — Michael Morpurgo

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It's good to focus on the universal suffering that goes on in any war. Whatever the right and wrongs of the war, there is always universal suffering. — Michael Morpurgo

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When I write I try as far as possible to forget I'm writing it at all. I tell it down onto the page, as if I'm telling it to one person only, my best friend. — Michael Morpurgo

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Any problem can be solved between people if only they can trust each other — Michael Morpurgo

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Father was always getting into scrapes when he was a lad. But the worst scrape he ever hot hisself into was the war, First World War. And just like with the swallow's eggs, he didn't want to fight anyone. It just happened. This time it was all on account of the horse. See, he didn't go off to the war because he wanted to fight for King and Country like lots of others did. It wasn't like that. He went because his horse went, because Joey went. — Michael Morpurgo

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I must survive. I have promises to keep. — Michael Morpurgo

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Death, I discovered that day, is not frightening, because it is utterly still. And it is still because death, when it comes, is always over. There's only terror in it if you fear it and ever since my first death, Wes' death, I have never feared it. It is simply the end of a story, and if you've loved the story then it is sad. And sometimes, as it was with Wes, it is an agony of sadness. — Michael Morpurgo

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If I'm serious, yes, I'd like to have done what Shakespeare did ... to act and write. You learn so much from acting. One of our great writers, Alan Bennett, does both supremely well. When I write a story, I tend to speak it aloud as I'm writing it. — Michael Morpurgo

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Wars become history all too soon and are forgotten all too soon as well, before the lessons can be learned. — Michael Morpurgo

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Books that kids read should be about what is going on in the world. — Michael Morpurgo

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This one isn't just any old horse. There's a nobility in his eye, a regal serenity about him. Does he not personify all that men try to be and never can be? I tell you, my friend, there's divinity in a horse, and specially in a horse like this. God got it right the day he created them. And to find a horse like this in the middle of this filthy abomination of a war, is for me like finding a butterfly on a dung heap. We don't belong in the same universe as a creature like this. — Michael Morpurgo

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There is the myth that writing books for children is easier than writing books for grownups, whereas we know that truly great books for children are works of genius, whether it's 'Alice in Wonderland' or the 'Gruffalo' or 'Northern Lights.' When it's a great book, it's a great book, whether it's for children or not. — Michael Morpurgo

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A notion for a story is for me a confluence of real events, historical perhaps, or from my own memory to create an exciting fusion. — Michael Morpurgo

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With all editing, no matter how sensitive - and I've been very lucky here - I react sulkily at first, but then I settle down and get on with it, and a year later I have my book in my hand. — Michael Morpurgo

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that was the only way of keeping our hopes alive, by looking beyond all we were seeing around us, and the shadow of disaster that hung over us. — Michael Morpurgo

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Write because you love it and not because it is something that you think you should do. Always write about something or somebody you know about - something that you feel deeply and passionately about. Never try and force it. — Michael Morpurgo

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I was an overly young father, is the most polite way of putting it. I think I was rather immature and all I can say is that I think I've made a much better grandfather ... I don't think I was ready to be a father to be honest. — Michael Morpurgo

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I fill up the well of stories in my head - without ever knowing I'm doing it. — Michael Morpurgo

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I was rather a poor student, too easily distracted - did a lot of gazing out of windows, fine for training to be a writer, but not a great way to achieve in the classroom. The truth is that I was happy to bumble along and do enough to avoid detention, but not much more. — Michael Morpurgo

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When people make wars, they make refugees. — Michael Morpurgo

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She was looking out of the window — Michael Morpurgo

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I could believe only in the hell I was living in, a hell on earth, and it was man-made, not God-made. — Michael Morpurgo

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I am a story as well as a happening, and I want my story to be known, — Michael Morpurgo

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I was brought up, as a lot of kids are, on 'Aesop's Fables,' 'Brothers Grimm,' 'La Fontaine,' all those sorts of things. Hans Christian Andersen is a hero of mine. — Michael Morpurgo

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I become my characters, and then try to allow events in the story to take their own course. I try not to play God, but to let them work out their own destiny. — Michael Morpurgo

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My Albert married his Maisie Brown as he said he would. But I think she never took to me, nor I to her for that matter. Perhaps it was a feeling of mutual jealousy. — Michael Morpurgo

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Secrets are lies by another name. — Michael Morpurgo

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One of the great failings of our education system is that we tend to focus on those who are succeeding in exams, and there are plenty of them. But what we should also be looking at, and a lot more urgently, is those who fail. — Michael Morpurgo

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And then quite suddenly I found that I had no rider, that I had no weight on my back, and that I was alone out in front of the squadron. — Michael Morpurgo

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As he did so, he held out his other hand in a gesture of friendship and reconciliation, a smile lighting he worn face. 'In an hour, maybe, or two,' he said, 'we will be trying our best again each other to kill. God only knows why we do it, and I think he has maybe forgotten why. Goodbye Welshman. We have shown them, haven't we? We have shown them that any problem can be solved between people if only they can trust each other. That is all it needs, no? — Michael Morpurgo

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When I sit down I write very fast ... if I haven't finished a book in two or three months then I think it's not going well. — Michael Morpurgo

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After this night is over, then you can drift away, they you can sleep for ever, for nothing will ever matter again. — Michael Morpurgo

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As a young child my attention span was, as I remember it, rather short. — Michael Morpurgo

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One evening, after he'd read a piece about yet another savagery in Bosnia, I saw there were tears in his eyes. 'Don't it ever stop?' he said. 'I can mind Father telling that there'd be no more wars, not after his one. It shames me. It shames all of us. What's the good in reading, if that's all there is to read about? — Michael Morpurgo

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I think there's something about studying a book which will kill it if you're not careful. — Michael Morpurgo

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For me,the greater part of writing is daydreaming, dreaming the dream of my story until it hatches out-the writing down of it I always find hard.But I love finishing it,then holding the book in my hand and sharing my dream with my readers. — Michael Morpurgo

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The crowd were on Fathers side most of them anyways. Everyone loves a loser I thought and there was tears coming in my eyes and I couldn't stop them neither. — Michael Morpurgo

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Being his real brother I could feel I live in his shadows, but I never have and I do not now. I live in his glow. — Michael Morpurgo

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Children have to be motivated to want to learn to read. Reading must not be taught simply as a school exercise. — Michael Morpurgo

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When I was growing up in the Forties and Fifties, you could hide your children from the difficulties of life, but today you can't separate children's contact with the adult world today. — Michael Morpurgo

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Even then, as I stood there, that first morning, filled with apprehension at the terrifying implications of my dreadful situation, — Michael Morpurgo

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They fight a war and they don't know what for. Isn't that crazy? How can one man kill another and not really know the reason why he does it, except that the other man wears a different color uniform and speaks a different language? — Michael Morpurgo

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It's no good wishing for the impossible. Don't wish. Remember. Remembrances are real. — Michael Morpurgo

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I think I have always had a strong sense of justice, of fair play, of what is right and what is wrong. — Michael Morpurgo

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It gives me confidence to know that what I'm writing has a veracity of its own without me having to invent it. When I'm writing fiction, I must believe it to be true, or I can see no point in it. — Michael Morpurgo

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Genuinely good people are like that. The sun shines out of them. They warm you right through. — Michael Morpurgo

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The big relationships you make in your life are with those that you love and if things do go wrong then it's a source of great pain and that lasts. — Michael Morpurgo

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Perhaps it is partly that we need to love books ourselves as parents, grandparents and teachers in order to pass on that passion for stories to our children. It's not about testing and reading schemes, but about loving stories and passing on that passion to our children. — Michael Morpurgo

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he's a fine, fine horse, — Michael Morpurgo

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our home should be an oasis of peace and harmony for us in a troubled world, — Michael Morpurgo

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By the time I sit down and face the blank page I am raring to go. I tell it as if I'm talking to my best friend or one of my grandchildren. — Michael Morpurgo

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I tried to smile back, but no smile came, only tears. — Michael Morpurgo

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Some writers - most, I suspect - write in isolation. I think I'd always found that quite difficult. — Michael Morpurgo

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I really can't write fantasy. I cannot invent a world which does not exist. And I can't read fantasy either. As soon as I realise I'm reading a book that hasn't got its roots in a reality I can comprehend, I switch off. — Michael Morpurgo