I'm a magpie in my fiction, taking whatever looks shiny and curious to line the nest of my story.
In fourth grade, I learned that reading was serious business, not just a pleasant way to pass the time, and that like medicine or engineering, it had a definite, valuable purpose: to foster 'comprehension.'
Uncertainty doesn't make life worth living, quite, but it does make striving and gambling worth attempting.
A sociopath doesn't warm up their environment, doesn't make it cozy. They don't have to; when they're not performing, when they're not manipulating, when they're all alone, there's nothing.
E-mails, phone calls, Web sites, videos. They're still all letters, basically, and they've come to outnumber old-fashioned conversations. They are the conversation now.
When we have a favorite writer, it's always the places where they grew up, lived, worked, and that they recreated on the page that we most want to visit and commune with. Faulkner's Mississippi, Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles, etc. The mind of the reader longs to be somewhere, not just anywhere, and certainly not nowhere.
The reason that last-ditch political maneuvering has become business as usual in Washington is that the actors involved are drunk on blame and are convinced that the voting public is, too. They count on outrage, thereby spreading numbness. They cherish the prospect of partisan fury, thereby inspiring nonpartisan disgust.