Anyone Can Dance Quotes

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Anyone who is in love is making love the whole time, even when they're not. When two bodies meet, it is just the cup overflowing. They can stay together for hours, even days. They begin the dance one day and finish it the next, or--such is the pleasure they experience--they may never finish it. No eleven minutes for them.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
Never, ever, let anyone tell you what you can and can't do. Prove the cynics wrong. Pity them for they have no imagination. The sky's the limit. Your sky. Your limit. Now. Let's dance.
Tom Hiddleston
Even the constellations can see us now: we are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know.
Emery Lord (When We Collided)
anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winter he sang his didn't he danced his did Women and men(both little and small) cared for anyone not at all they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain children guessed(but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew autumn winter spring summer) that noone loved him more by more when by now and tree by leaf she laughed his joy she cried his grief bird by snow and stir by still anyone's any was all to her someones married their everyones laughed their cryings and did their dance (sleep wake hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dream stars rain sun moon (and only the snow can begin to explain how children are apt to forget to remember with up so floating many bells down) one day anyone died i guess (and noone stooped to kiss his face) busy folk buried them side by side little by little and was by was all by all and deep by deep and more by more they dream their sleep noone and anyone earth by april wish by spirit and if by yes. Women and men (both dong and ding) summer autumn winter spring reaped their sowing and went their came sun moon stars rain
E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
We mistake sex for romance. Guys are taught that pushing a girl up against a wall is romance. Sex is easy; you can do it with anyone, yourself, with batteries. Romance is when someone you like walks into a room and they take your breath away. Romance is when two people are dancing and they fit together perfectly. Romance is when two people are walking next to each other and all of a sudden they find themselves holding hands, and they don’t know how that happened
John C. Moffi
If anyone asks you if you’re taken,” I said, “the answer is yes.” “I think I can live with that,” he promised. “Good,” I said. “Because you don’t want to see me be cross.” “Too late.” “Shut up and dance, Walt.” “Shut up and dance, Walt.” We did—with the music of a psychotic griffin screaming behind us, and the sirens and horns of Brooklyn wailing below. It was quite romantic.
Rick Riordan (The Serpent's Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, #3))
Catcher shrugged, refolded the paper, and stuffed it back into his pocket. "Anyone wanna dance?" "Oh, Jesus," Mallory muttered. "Dance?" I asked. "I could dance. I need to change, but I can dance." I could always dance. My hips didn't lie. Mallory tucked her tongue into her cheek, then gave Catcher a look of mock irritation. "Nice going, Gandalf. You'll rile her up, and I'll never get her tucked in. You wanna give her candy and caffeine while you're at it?
Chloe Neill
Anyone wanna dance?" "I could dance I need to change, but I can dance." "Nice going, Gandalf. You'll rile her up, and I'll never get her tucked in. You wanna give her candy and caffeine while you're at it?
Chloe Neill (Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1))
when I was four years old they tried to test my I.Q. they showed me a picture of 3 oranges and a pear they said, which one is different? it does not belong they taught me different is wrong but when I was 13 years old I woke up one morning thighs covered in blood like a war like a warning that I live in a breakable takeable body an ever-increasingly valuable body that a woman had come in the night to replace me deface me see, my body is borrowed yeah, I got it on loan for the time in between my mom and some maggots I don't need anyone to hold me I can hold my own I got highways for stretchmarks see where I've grown I sing sometimes like my life is at stake 'cause you're only as loud as the noises you make I'm learning to laugh as hard as I can listen 'cause silence is violence in women and poor people if more people were screaming then I could relax but a good brain ain't diddley if you don't have the facts we live in a breakable takeable world an ever available possible world and we can make music like we can make do genius is in a back beat backseat to nothing if you're dancing especially something stupid like I.Q. for every lie I unlearn I learn something new I sing sometimes for the war that I fight 'cause every tool is a weapon - if you hold it right.
Ani DiFranco
Tonight I want to forget all your insecurities. Tonight I want you to reject anyone or anything that has made you feel like you don't belong, or don't fit in, or has made you feel like you're not good enough or pretty enough or thin enough, or like you can't sing well enough or dance well enough, or write a song well enough, or like YOU'LL NEVER WIN A GRAMMY, or like YOU'LL NEVER SELL OUT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN! You just remember that you are a god damn superstar and you were born this way!
Lady Gaga
I don't know if I can let you dance with anyone else. Not without kissing you first.
Mimi Matthews (A Holiday by Gaslight)
I would like to barbecue those Olympian gods. They are very tasty. One day, I’m going to eat that redheaded goddess, too. (Simi) She doesn’t like Artemis. (Astrid) The Simi hates her, but akri says, ‘No, Simi, you can’t kill Artemis. Behave, Simi, don’t shoot fire at her, don’t make her bald, Simi.’ No, no, no. It’s all I hear. I don’t like that word. ‘No.’ It even sounds evil. The Simi tends to barbecue anyone dumb enough to say it to her. But not akri. He’s allowed to say no to me; I just don’t like it when he does. (Simi)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dance with the Devil (Dark-Hunter, #3))
Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities. "You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus)
I told you that you deserved better." My heart lifted at the sound of that deep, michivious voice. "Noah?" "Echo, you look..." He let his eyes wander down my body and then slowly back up. A wicked grin spread across his face. "Appetizing." "Like a chicken wing appetizing or succulent hamburger appetizing?" "Appetizing as in your boyfriend's a moron to leave you alone." "He's not my boyfriend." "Good. Because i was going to ask you to dance." He wrapped both of his hands around my waist and pulled me close. God, he felt good-warm, solid. I slid my arms to his neck, letting my gloved fingers skim his skin. "I thought you didn't do dances." "I don't. And, this afternoon, i had no intention of coming here." He swallowed. "This dance seemed so damned important to you. And 're important to me." “Echo, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen because I don’t know. I don’t hold hands in the halway or sit at anyone else’s lunch table. But I swear...on my brothers that you’ll never be a joke to me and you’ll be much more than a girl in the backseat of my car.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
-You know how to call me although such a noise now would only confuse the air Neither of us can forget the steps we danced the words you stretched to call me out of dust Yes I long for you not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up.- -I WILL NEVER FIND THE FACES FOR ALL GOODBYES I'VE MADE.- For Anyone Dressed in Marble The miracle we all are waiting for is waiting till the Parthenon falls down and House of Birthdays is a house no more and fathers are unpoisoned by renown. The medals and the records of abuse can't help us on our pilgrimage to lust, but like whips certain perverts never use, compel our flesh in paralysing trust. I see an orphan, lawless and serene, standing in a corner of the sky, body something like bodies that have been, but not the scar of naming in his eye. Bred close to the ovens, he's burnt inside. Light, wind, cold, dark -- they use him like a bride. I Had It for a Moment I had it for a moment I knew why I must thank you I saw powerful governing men in black suits I saw them undressed in the arms of young mistresses the men more naked than the naked women the men crying quietly No that is not it I'm losing why I must thank you which means I'm left with pure longing How old are you Do you like your thighs I had it for a moment I had a reason for letting the picture of your mouth destroy my conversation Something on the radio the end of a Mexican song I saw the musicians getting paid they are not even surprised they knew it was only a job Now I've lost it completely A lot of people think you are beautiful How do I feel about that I have no feeling about that I had a wonderful reason for not merely courting you It was tied up with the newspapers I saw secret arrangements in high offices I saw men who loved their worldliness even though they had looked through big electric telescopes they still thought their worldliness was serious not just a hobby a taste a harmless affectation they thought the cosmos listened I was suddenly fearful one of their obscure regulations could separate us I was ready to beg for mercy Now I'm getting into humiliation I've lost why I began this I wanted to talk about your eyes I know nothing about your eyes and you've noticed how little I know I want you somewhere safe far from high offices I'll study you later So many people want to cry quietly beside you
Leonard Cohen (Flowers for Hitler)
You know this girl. Her hair is neither long nor short nor light nor dark. She parts it precisely in the middle. She sits precisely in the middle of the classroom, and when she used to ride the school bus, she sat precisely in the middle of that, too. She joins clubs, but is never the president of them. Sometimes she is the secretary; usually, just a member. When asked, she has been known to paints sets for the school play. She always has a date to the dance, but is never anyone’s first choice. In point of fact, she’s nobody’s first choice for anything. Her best friend became her best friend when another girl moved away. She has a group of girls she eats lunch with every day, but God, how they bore her. Sometimes, when she can’t stand it anymore, she eats in the library instead. Truth be told, she prefers books to people, and the librarian always seems happy to see her. She knows there are other people who have it worse—she isn’t poor or ugly or friendless or teased. Of course, she’s also aware that the reason no one teases is because no one ever notices her. This isn’t to say she doesn’t have qualities. She is pretty, maybe, if anyone would bother to look. And she gets good enough grades. And she doesn’t drink and drive. And she says NO to drugs. And she is always where she says she will be. And she calls when she’s going to be late. And she feels a little, just a little, dead inside. She thinks, You think you know me, but you don’t. She thinks, None of you has any idea about all the things in my heart. She thinks, None of you has any idea how really and truly beautiful I am. She thinks, See me. See me. See me. Sometimes she thinks she will scream. Sometimes she imagines sticking her head in an oven. But she doesn’t. She just writes it all down in her journal and waits. She is waiting for someone to see.
Gabrielle Zevin (Love Is Hell)
No one was expecting me but everyone is relieved I am here. I am dressed perfectly for this weather. I am so glad I chose this outfit. I know exactly how to dance to this music.[...] I can make anyone fall in love with me, as long as they aren’t close by.
Olivia Gatwood (Life of the Party)
Then you do not belong here. Death holds no sweetness in this house. We are not warriors, nor soldiers, nor swaggering bravos puffed up with pride. We do not kill to serve some lord, to fatten our purses, to stroke our vanity. We never give the gift to please ourselves. Nor do we choose the ones we kill. We are but servants of the God of Many Faces." "Valar dohaeris." All men must serve. "You know the words, but you are too proud to serve. A servant must be humble and obedient." "I obey. I can be humbler than anyone." That made him chuckle. "You will be the very goddess of humility, I am sure. But can you pay the price?" "What price?" "The price is you. The price is all you have and all you ever hope to have. We took your eyes and gave them back. Next we will take your ears, and you will walk in silence. You will give us your legs and crawl. You will be no one's daughter, no one's wife, no one's mother. Your name will be a lie, and the very face you wear will not be your own.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
So, can I eat the redheaded goddess now? (Simi) No, Simi. (Acheron) I want to eat her, akri, She a mean person. (Simi) Most gods are. (Acheron) No they’re not. Some, true, but I rather like the Atlanteans. They were very nice. Most of them. You never met Archon, did you? (Simi) No. (Acheron) Now, he could be mean. He was blond, like you, tall like you, well, taller than you, and good-looking like you, but not quite as good-looking as you. I don’t think anyone is as good-looking as you are. Not even them gods. You are definitely one of a kind when it comes to looks…Oh. Well, you’re not really one of a kind, are you? But you cuter than that other one. He a bad copy of you. He only wishes he was as cute as you are. Now where was I going with that? Oh, I remember now. Archon didn’t like a lot of people, unlike you. You know that thing you do whenever you get really, really mad? The one where you can blow stuff up and make it all fiery and chunky and messy and all? He could do that too only not with as much finesse as you. You got a lot of finesse, akri. More than most. But I digress, Archon liked me. He said, ‘Simi, you a quality demon.’ Have you ever seen a non-quality demon, though? That’s what I wanna know. (Simi)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dance with the Devil (Dark-Hunter, #3))
So what do you like about New York so much? That you would venture all the way here and not tell anyone?” “Two boys were dancing together in a club,” I want to say, “and nobody stopped them.” But instead I say, “I want to be on Broadway, and you can't do that forty-five minutes outside of Pittsburgh.
Tim Federle (Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever, #1))
Members of the Coyote Clan are not easily identified, but there are clues. You can see it in their eyes. They are joyful and they are fierce. They can cry louder and laugh harder than anyone on the planet. And they have an enormous range. The Coyote Clan is a raucous bunch: they have drunk from desert potholes and belched forth toads. They tell stories with such virtuosity that you'll swear you've been in the presence of preachers. The Coyote Clan is also serene. They can float on their backs down the length of any river or lose entire afternoons to the contemplation of stone. Members of the Clan court risk and will dance on slickrock as flash floods erode the ground beneath their feet. It doesn't matter. They understand the earth re-creates itself day after day.
Terry Tempest Williams (An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field)
Never be in thrall to anyone but your own wants and desires, because only you can make yourself happy. Fly your own flag, and be true to it. Your soul is the true captain.
Billy Idol (Dancing With Myself)
Not that I'm an expert myself, but there is one rule that I insist on." "Yes?" "If anyone asks if you're taken," I said, "the answer is yes." "I think I can live with that," he promised. "Good," I said. "Because you don't want to see me cross." "Too late." "Shut up and dance, Walt.
Rick Riordan (The Serpent's Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, #3))
Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people. They are born with a bit of angel-shine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart—even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother’s best clothes. A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman. A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noisemakers, the girl next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, make-up, cans of water, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn’t care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale. She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity—spend your money, your time, and your patience—and just when your temper is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-wracking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess—when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all—she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all!
Alan Beck
Power rules the world, not opinion, but it is opinion that exploits power. It is power that makes opinion. To be easygoing can be a fine thing according to our opinion. Why? Because anyone who wants to dance the tightrope will be alone, and I can get together a stronger body of people to say there is nothing fine about it.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
Miracles are like stones: they are everywhere, offering up their beauty, but hardly anyone concedes value to them. We live in a reality where prodigies abound but are seen only by those who have developed their perception of them. Without this perception everything is banal, marvelous events are seen as chance, and one progresses through life without possessing the key that is gratitude. When something extraordinary happens it is seen as a natural phenomenon that we can exploit like parasites, without giving anything in return. But miracles require an exchange; I must make that which is given to me bear fruit for others. If one is not united with oneself, the wonder cannot be captured. Miracles are never performed or provoked: they are discovered. If someone who believes himself to be blind takes off his dark glasses, he will see the light. That darkness is the prison of the rational.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)
My blood, sweat and tears My last dance Take it away My blood, sweat and tears My cold breath Take it away My blood, sweat and tears Even my blood, sweat and tears Even my body, heart and soul I know that it’s all yours This is a spell that’ll punish me Peaches and cream Sweeter than sweet Chocolate cheeks And chocolate wings But your wings are wings of the devil In front of your sweet is bitter bitter Kiss me, I don’t care if it hurts, Hurry and choke me So I can’t hurt any more Baby, I don’t care if I get drunk, I’ll drink you in now Your whiskey, deep into my throat My blood, sweat and tears My last dance Take it away My blood, sweat and tears My cold breath Take it away I want you a lot, a lot, a lot I want you a lot, a lot, a lot I want you a lot, a lot, a lot I want you a lot, a lot, a lot I don’t care if it hurts, tie me up So I can’t run away Grab me tightly and shake me So I can’t snap out of it Kiss me on the lips lips, Our own little secret I wanna be addicted to your prison So I can’t serve anyone that’s not you Even though I know, I drink the poisonous Holy Grail My blood, sweat and tears My last dance Take it away My blood, sweat and tears My cold breath Take it away I want you a lot, a lot, a lot I want you a lot, a lot, a lot I want you a lot, a lot, a lot I want you a lot, a lot, a lot Kill me softly Close my eyes with your touch I can’t even reject you anyway I can’t run away anymore You’re too sweet, too sweet Because you’re too sweet My blood, sweat and tears My blood, sweat and tears
The master in us all lives behind the masks and roles and wounds and beliefs. It calls us to live deep, full, radical lives. It asks us not to wait until we are told by anyone that we have arrived. It invites us forward, across the line of fear and unworthiness, to experience mastery in this moment--as much as we can right now. To learn from stumbling. To rise again and keep walking until we no longer notice our feet in their effortless dance. But mostly not to wait until some distant, perfect someday. Mastery is now.
Jacob Nordby
Can you really rescue anyone, or anything, without rescuing a piece of yourself at the same time?
Laurell K. Hamilton (Dancing (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #21.5))
My grandmother believed that one of the most difficult tasks that the Almighty can assign anyone is being a girl in Afghanistan. As a child, I didn't want to be a girl. I didn't want my dolls to be women.
Homeira Qaderi (Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son)
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that food doesn’t work. Anyone who tells you that food doesn’t work is either stupid or a liar or has never had food before. You can tell them I said so. It works. Putting food on top of it works. If food did not work, if it didn’t work its slutty, gluttonous, more-is-more magic, everyone in America would be Angelina Jolie thin. No one would drive-thru. No one would sprinkles or pinkberry or any of it.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)
It's a laughable lock—one that you would use only to guard a graveyard. Not that anyone would trouble themselves invading a timber hut in a mangrove forest farther away from the Bay of Bengal. Still, how can someone live with a lock like that? Made of ancient iron, reeking of rust. It would need a primordial key to be twisted and turned, going through several moments of mechanical trouble until the old lock opens. Good luck if you can do that without breaking the key. Oh! The key … Well, the owner of the hut has left the key right beside the lock, including instructions. The Monk, Yuan Yagmur—revealing his muscled arms from under his wide, dark shawl—takes the note (the one with instructions): Please, scan your CRAB first before touching the key. For your own safety. From what, you ask? It’s a surprise. Enter without scanning if you want to find out. —Mee-Hae Ra
Misba (The Oldest Dance (Wisdom Revolution, #2))
Taking a statement from anyone can be a long process on account of the fact that your average member of the public wouldn’t know the truth if it donned a pink tutu and danced in front of them singing the Chicken Song. This
Ben Aaronovitch (Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5))
It's not pretty and perfect I am feeling today. Not in the mood for soft and contained. Not light or well-behaved or sugary sweet. No. I'm not willing to round off my sharp edges or make safe the danger zones. Not for you. Not for anyone, really. There's no room in me for gentle today. It's explore at your own risk, full on howl time. Oh, I can make nice. And I do. You'll only get past the surface if I deem you worthy. But my inner landscape? It's pure wilderness, darling, and the wolves are running. The moon went dark last night, loves, and something crashed and spiraled so something else could rise. It's time for music that courts the shadows and for dancing that sheds skin. Creation is calling and my muse, she likes it rough. Are you with me? Good. Now we can begin...
Jeanette LeBlanc
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib
Sometimes I think Faerie goes to war as much because we can’t find anyone who’d rather talk things out as for any other reason. Diplomacy is not a valued skill among the Courts. Most of our nobles would prefer to do the dance of manners and then slide a knife between someone’s ribs. It’s more fun than actually discussing trade sanctions and why it’s rude to kill your neighbors.
Seanan McGuire (A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye, #9))
I know I get crazy when it comes to you, but God knows I’m tryin’, Pidge. I don’t wanna screw this up.” “Then don’t.” “This is hard for me, ya know. I feel like any second you’re going to figure out what a piece of shit I am and leave me. When you were dancing last night, I saw a dozen different guys watching you. You go to the bar, and I see you thank that guy for your drink. Then that douchebag on the dance floor grabs you.” “You don’t see me throwing punches every time a girl talks to you. I can’t stay locked up in the apartment all the time. You’re going to have to get a handle on your temper.” “I will. I’ve never wanted a girlfriend before, Pigeon. I’m not used to feeling this way about someone…about anyone. If you’ll be patient with me, I swear I’ll get it figured out.” “Let’s get something straight; you’re not a piece of shit, you’re amazing. It doesn’t matter who buys me drinks, or who asks me to dance, or who flirts with me. I’m going home with you. You’ve asked me to trust you, and you don’t seem to trust me.” He frowned. “That’s not true.” “If you think I’m going to leave you for the next guy that comes along, then you don’t have much faith in me.” He tightened his grip. “I’m not good enough for you, Pidge. That doesn’t mean I don’t trust you, I’m just bracing for the inevitable.” “Don’t say that. When we’re alone, you’re perfect. We’re perfect. But then you let everyone else ruin it. I don’t expect a one-eighty, but you have to pick your battles. You can’t come out swinging every time someone looks at me.” He nodded. “I’ll do anything you want. Just…tell me you love me.” “You know I do.” “I need to hear you say it,” he said, his brows pulling together. “I love you,” I said, touching my lips to his. “Now quit being such a baby.” He laughed, crawling into the bed with me. We spent the next hour in the same spot under the covers, giggling and kissing, barely noticing when Kara returned from the shower.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Most kids who don't feel enough love and nurturance carry around this kind of inner rage- a rage that often lasts throughout adulthood. The people who should have cared for them didn't. The lesson to take away: All people are shit. This is why troubled youth walk around with chips on their shoulders and why they are so hard to help. Early on they learn that people can't be trusted. They often spend the rest of their lives embracing this damaging belief. Seeing the world through shit-coloured glasses, they are hypersensitive to every possible slight or judgement, and they believe anyone friendly or kind must have an ulterior motive. Despite all this, wounded people desperately want and need love. But, terrified to trust, they constantly do thing to test and sabotage their relationships. This push-pull dance is well-known to anyone who's ever been close to a victim of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Those who suffer from BPD are hypersensitive to perceived slights from others and can grow notoriously hostile when they feel dissed.... For survivors of abuse, who you trust is a matter of survival. Its black and white. There can be no apologies. There can be no gray. There are no exceptions.-Scared Selfless
Michelle Stevens
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing The world is full of women who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself if they had the chance. Quit dancing. Get some self-respect and a day job. Right. And minimum wage, and varicose veins, just standing in one place for eight hours behind a glass counter bundled up to the neck, instead of naked as a meat sandwich. Selling gloves, or something. Instead of what I do sell. You have to have talent to peddle a thing so nebulous and without material form. Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way you cut it, but I've a choice of how, and I'll take the money. I do give value. Like preachers, I sell vision, like perfume ads, desire or its facsimile. Like jokes or war, it's all in the timing. I sell men back their worst suspicions: that everything's for sale, and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see a chain-saw murder just before it happens, when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple are still connected. Such hatred leaps in them, my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads and upturned eyes, imploring but ready to snap at my ankles, I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge to step on ants. I keep the beat, and dance for them because they can't. The music smells like foxes, crisp as heated metal searing the nostrils or humid as August, hazy and languorous as a looted city the day after, when all the rape's been done already, and the killing, and the survivors wander around looking for garbage to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion. Speaking of which, it's the smiling tires me out the most. This, and the pretense that I can't hear them. And I can't, because I'm after all a foreigner to them. The speech here is all warty gutturals, obvious as a slam of ham, but I come from the province of the gods where meaning are lilting and oblique. I don't let on to everyone, but lean close, and I'll whisper: My mothers was raped by a holy swan. You believe that? You can take me out to dinner. That's what we tell all the husbands. There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around. Not that anyone here but you would understand. The rest of them would like to watch me and feel nothing. Reduce me to components as in a clock factory or abattoir. Crush out the mystery. Wall me up alive in my own body. They'd like to see through me, but nothing is more opaque than absolute transparency. Look - my feet don't hit the marble! Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising, I hover six inches in the air in my blazing swan-egg of light. You think I'm not a goddess? Try me. This is a torch song. Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
Her partner now drew near, and said, "That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours." But they are such very different things!" -- That you think they cannot be compared together." To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour." And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?" Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them." In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison." No, indeed, I never thought of that." Then I am quite at a loss. One thing, however, I must observe. This disposition on your side is rather alarming. You totally disallow any similarity in the obligations; and may I not thence infer that your notions of the duties of the dancing state are not so strict as your partner might wish? Have I not reason to fear that if the gentleman who spoke to you just now were to return, or if any other gentleman were to address you, there would be nothing to restrain you from conversing with him as long as you chose?" Mr. Thorpe is such a very particular friend of my brother's, that if he talks to me, I must talk to him again; but there are hardly three young men in the room besides him that I have any acquaintance with." And is that to be my only security? Alas, alas!" Nay, I am sure you cannot have a better; for if I do not know anybody, it is impossible for me to talk to them; and, besides, I do not want to talk to anybody." Now you have given me a security worth having; and I shall proceed with courage.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
Lots of people come just to dance and have a good time. Here you can do anything you want to do, be anyone you want to be. It's called freedom. Be careful, it can be contagious.
Witi Ihimaera (The Uncle's Story)
TJ frowns; she can’t write about willing wind and water in the official report. Voicing elements is a rumor. However, she remembers what her grandmother said five decades ago when she was a child; (it was shortly after the war): “Anyone who trains hard can be a Grade A by the time they’re forty or fifty. But it takes decades more to become strong enough to voice one element.” “One element?” TJ asked. “Do you want to voice the entire universe then?” “Can’t I?” Grandmother didn’t answer, not directly anyway, as most great masters do. They never say you can’t do this or no one can do that or that thing is impossible just because they couldn’t do it, or because they hadn’t found it yet. True masters answer differently. Wisely. Like her grandmother answered that day. “Do you know why we evolve, Tirity?” “Because we’re supposed to?” TJ replied. “Yes. It’s in the grand design. We’re ‘supposed to’ evolve. Not just in body, but also in mind,” she said. “In time. You see, time is the key. If given infinite time, you can evolve your mind infinitely. But we live only for a hundred years or so.” “A hundred years is ‘only’?” “You’re so young, Tirity! But yes, it is little for a complete cognitive evolution. Most hard trainers can prolong it to a couple of hundred years. They even get to call the wind or grow a giant plant that could touch the clouds. But voicing everything in the universe? I think only God can do it, the God who created everything with only words. And if God created the world so that he could see how far the humans can evolve, then I’d say, yes, even a human could get godly power. Godlier than voicing one or two elements. If. Given. The. Time.” “How much time?” “More than thousands of years, maybe. Could even need millions, who knows? …” TJ smiles drily; she remembers how her eyes sparkled at the thought of becoming a goddess who could voice everything. She dreamed of flying in the air or walking in space. She thought of making her own garden full of giant flowers where only enormous butterflies would dance. Some days, when she played video games in VR, she even dreamed of voicing the thunder and lightning to join her wooden sword. She thought time could help her do it. But she didn’t know then, time only makes you grow up. Time steals your dreams. Time only turns you into an adult.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
An apple could make you laugh: You are so charming. On our lunch, we find our way along the crowded boulevard. You stop abruptly and pluck two green apples from someone selling them on the street. You look at them and decide they are in love, these two apples. You make them whisper to one another. You make them dance: The kinds of dances they do are dainty. spontaneous. At the end of the dancing, the apples get marries in a little ceremony. After the two apples kiss, you and I laugh. It’ll be okay going for the two apples, they will get on fine, anyone can tell. Together, we walk back to the office and hate each other for how easily we can laugh about this.
Joe Meno (Demons in the Spring)
‎"The shaking of my butt can never compare to the shaking of my heart. I have no idea what I'm doing or why I'm doing it... ever. I'm scared as hell of being alone but even more frightened of having anyone know it. So with the spotlight shining above my head, I force myself to dance, waiting for the day when a boy won't edit me out for fear of public approval. I can't settle for less. I won't settle for less. And someday, I'll find him, my true love.
Anthony Paull (Outtakes of A Walking Mistake)
Will and Lake, Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. Unfortunately, it's also one of the hardest things in the world to hold on to, and one of the easiest to throw away. Neither of you has a mother or a father to go to for relationship advice anymore. Neither of you has anyone to go to for a shoulder to cry on when things get touch, and they will get touch. Neither of you has someone to go to when you just want to share the funny, or the happy, or the heartache. You are both at a disadvantage when it comes to this aspect of love. You both only have each other, and because of this, you will have to work harder at building a strong foundation for your future together. You are not only each other's love; you are also one another's sole confidant. I hand wrote some things onto strips of paper and folded them into stars. It might be an inspirational quote, an inspiring lyric, or just some downright good parental advice. I don't want you to open one and read it until you truly feel you need it. If you have a bad day, if the two of you fight, or if you just need something to lift your spirits...that's what these are for. You can open one together; you can open one alone. I just want there to be something both of you can go to, if and when you ever need it. Will...thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives. So much of the pain and worry I've been feeling has been alleviated by the mere fact that I know my daughter is loved by you....You are a wonderful man, and you've been a wonderful friend to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving my daughter like you do. You respect her, you don't need to change for her, and you inspire her. You can never know how grateful I have been for you, and how much peace you have brought my soul. And Lake; this is me-nudging your shoulder, giving you my approval. You couldn't have picked anyone better to love if I would have hand-picked him myself. Also, thank you for being so determined to keep our family together. You were right about Kel needing to be with you. Thank you for helping me see that. And remember when things get touch for him, please teach him how to stop caring pumpkins... I love you both and with you a lifetime of happiness together. -Julia "And all around my memories, you dance..." ~The Avett Brothers
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
the world could end in any number of ways, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The only choice any of us has is what to do if we’re still here after it happens. Do we die a little death every day ourselves or do we reach for someone’s hand and dance again?
Heather Lende (If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska)
Our marks of piety can actually be evidences of impiety. When we major in minors and blow insignificant trifles out of proportion, we imitate the Pharisees. When we make dancing and movies the test of spirituality, we are guilty of substituting a cheap morality for a genuine one. We do these things to obscure the deeper issues of righteousness. Anyone can avoid dancing or going to movies. These requ ire no great effort of moral courage. What is difficult is to control the tongue, to act with integrity, to reveal the fruit of the Spirit.
R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
Why is it that it is so much easier for me to process being treated like a thing than a person? How is it that the latter hurts more?” I blurt. Giles blinks several times over. His brows arch upward, knitting together in the middle. I can’t stand his pity already. “Because now you know this is how you should have been treated all along. Because you know that if one person sees you, respects you as they should, then there’s no excuse for anyone else not to. The fault does not lie—has never lain—with you, but rather the shortcomings of those you have been surrounded by. You were always worthy.
Elise Kova (A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic, #2))
OK! Let's get started," Mariela announced brightly. "Now, can anyone tell me the meaning of 'tango'--the actual word?" Helen, of course, knew. "In Latin, it means 'I touch." Mariela nodded emphatically. "'I touch.' Or 'I play.' As in playing an instrument only here our instrument is ourselves," Mariela paused, allowing this insight to sink in. "And it means, 'I touch. I touch my partner in embrace," Dan and Mariela faced each other in an opening stance, "also called an abrazo--" and danced a simple eight step. "And I touch my inner life. I touch the core of my essence. Tango is not just learning or following steps." "It's improvisation," Barry said in a deep baritone. "That's right. There's a saying that tango is a 'sad thought danced.' But that's only part of it. It's touching the sadness in you, the pain, yes--but also the joy, the humor, the everything life has. It's touching everything.
Jennifer Vandever (American Tango)
I don't think Gregori really knows what to do with you." Gary's heart jumped. He cleared his throat. "I hope you mean that positively." Savannah's eyes laughed at him. "Do you really think he'll harm you? He can read your mind. If you were an enemy, he would've killed you back in that warehouse." Wickedly she leaned across the table. "Of course, ie really is afully unpredictable, so you never know what he might do or where he is-" She broke off, laughing, as her arm wasflung into the air as if something had shackled her wrist and jerked her backward. Savannah was dragged by something unseen from the kitchen. She was laughing, her blue eyes dancing with mischief. Gregori tugged at her wrist, taking her out into the sanctuary of the courtyard with its dense, overgrown plants. Flowers tumbled from the overhead arbors and trailingalong his shoulders as he emerged fully into the night. "You are deliberately scaring that young man to death," he accused. She lifted her face to his, stars from the night sky in the centers of her eyes."Well,really, how could anyone doubt you?" As her palm caressed the hard line of his jaw,one fingertip touched his perfect mouth. "Stop thinking you have to protect me, Savannah. It is enough that I have you. I do not need anyone else.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
We cannot feel badly for those who intentionally harm us. If we do, we will not be free from their heavy chains. Pity gives way to excuses and excuses will soften the heart of anyone. It’s a part of the human condition. It is the double-edged sword of compassion. Those who have been targeted are often very empathetic people. They may identify with being sensitive spirited. In the recovery community, it is called being an Empath. The dance between an empath and an abuser is one of control, mind games, and mockery. This is why education is such a critical step in the healing process. Tenderness from empaths will be used against them time and time again by psychological abusers. In Healing from Hidden Abuse, we have a lot of material to cover. My desire is that you will not feel rushed to quickly get through it from cover to cover. I enjoy reading books slowly, and reflecting on the words I have read. I will often sit down with a pen in hand and underline key phrases or sentences that jump out at me. That way, I can later go back and quickly remind myself of the nuggets that originally were meaningful. I would encourage you to do the same here. If you do push through this material, maybe consider coming back around for a second read and taking time to reflect a little
Shannon Thomas (Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse)
I think the oddest thing about the advanced people is that while they are always talking of things as problems, they have hardly any notion of what a real problem is. A real problem only occurs when there are admittedly disadvantages in all courses that can be pursued. If it is discovered just before a fashionable wedding that the Bishop is locked up in the coal-cellar, that is not a problem. It is obvious to anyone but an extreme anti-clerical or practical joker that the Bishop must be let out of the coal-cellar. But suppose the Bishop has been locked up in the wine-cellar, and from the obscure noises, sounds as of song and dance, etc., it is guessed that he has indiscreetly tested the vintages round him; then indeed we may properly say that there has arisen a problem; for upon the one hand, it is awkward to keep the wedding waiting, while, upon the other, any hasty opening of the door might mean an episcopal rush and scenes of the most unforeseen description.
G.K. Chesterton
We chose the Impala because if we have to sleep in a car on Saturday night, this car has the biggest seats. We’re eating Chinese because we can’t go home. It was either sleep here, or stay up all night at an after-hours dance club. We don’t go to dance clubs. Tyler says the music is so loud, especially the bass tracks, that it screws with his biorhythm. The last time we went out, Tyler said the loud music made him constipated. This, and the club is too loud to talk, so after a couple of drinks, everyone feels like the center of attention but completely cut off from participating with anyone else. You’re the corpse in an English murder mystery.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
A real problem only occurs when there are admittedly disadvantages in all courses that can be pursued. If it is discovered just before a fashionable wedding that the Bishop is locked up in the coal-cellar, that is not a problem. It is obvious to anyone but an extreme anti-clerical or practical joker that the Bishop must be let out of the coal-cellar. But suppose the Bishop has been locked up in the wine-cellar, and from the obscure noises, sounds as of song and dance, etc., it is guessed that he has indiscreetly tested the vintages round him; then indeed we may properly say that there has arisen a problem; for upon the one hand, it is awkward to keep the wedding waiting, while, upon the other, any hasty opening of the door might mean an episcopal rush and scenes of the most unforeseen description.
G.K. Chesterton (The Uses of Diversity)
Most kids who don't feel enough love and nurturance carry around this kind of inner rage- a rage that often lasts throughout adulthood. The people who should have cared for them didn't. The lesson to take away: All people are shit. This is why troubled youth walk around with chips on their shoulders and why they are so hard to help. Early on they learn that people can't be trusted. They often spend the rest of their lives embracing this damaging belief. Seeing the world through shit-coloured glasses, they are hypersensitive to every possible slight or judgement, and they believe anyone friendly or kind must have an ulterior motive. Despite all this, wounded people desperately want and need love. But, terrified to trust, they constantly do things to test and sabotage their relationships. This push-pull dance is well-known to anyone who's ever been close to a victim of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Those who suffer from BPD are hypersensitive to perceived slights from others and can grow notoriously hostile when they feel dissed.... For survivors of abuse, who you trust is a matter of survival. Its black and white. There can be no apologies. There can be no gray. There are no exceptions.-Scared Selfless
Michelle Stevens
I can barely make out my own handwriting in the semidarkness, but no matter. I don't know if anyone will ever read this. Maybe someone will. If so, that someone can only be you. I try to imagine who you might be and where you might be reading this. Are you comfortable? Do you feel secure? Let me write these words to you, then, personally. I greet you, my friend. Thanks for your time and attention, even your curiosity. Welcome to my world. Welcome to my iron lodge. Welcome to Leavenworth.
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
Don't misunderstand, but how dare you risk your life? What the devil did you think, to leap over like that? You could have stayed safe on this side and just helped me over." Even to her ears, her tone bordered on the hysterical. Beneath her fingers, the white lawn started to redden. She sucked in a shaky breath. "How could you risk your life-your life, you idiot!" She leaned harder on the pad, dragged in another breath. He coughed weakly, shifted his head. "Don't you dare die on me!" His lips twisted, but his eyes remained closed. "But if I die"-his words were a whisper-"you won't have to marry, me or anyone else. Even the most censorious in the ton will consider my death to be the end of the matter. You'll be free." "Free?" Then his earlier words registered. "If you die? I told you-don't you dare! I won't let you-I forbid you to. How can I marry you if you die? And how the hell will I live if you aren't alive, too?" As the words left her mouth, half hysterical, all emotion, she realized they were the literal truth. Her life wouldn't be worth living if he wasn't there to share it. "What will I do with my life if you die?" He softly snorted, apparently unimpressed by-or was it not registering?-her panic. "Marry some other poor sod, like you were planning to." The words cut. "You are the only poor sod I'm planning to marry." Her waspish response came on a rush of rising fear. She glanced around, but there was no one in sight. Help had yet to come running. She looked back at him, readjusted the pressure on the slowly reddening pad. "I intend not only to marry you but to lead you by the nose for the rest of your days. It's the least I can do to repay you for this-for the shock to my nerves. I'll have you know I'd decided even before this little incident to reverse my decision and become your viscountess, and lead you such a merry dance through the ballrooms and drawing rooms that you'll be gray within two years." He humphed softly, dismissively, but he was listening. Studying his face, she realized her nonsense was distracting him from the pain. She engaged her imagination and let her tongue run free. "I've decided I'll redecorate Baraclough in the French Imperial style-all that white and gilt and spindly legs, with all the chairs so delicate you won't dare sit down. And while we're on the subject of your-our-country home, I've had an idea about my carriage, the one you'll buy me as a wedding gift..." She rambled on, paying scant attention to her words, simply let them and all the images she'd dreamed of come tumbling out, painting a vibrant, fanciful, yet in many ways-all the ways that counted-accurate word pictures of her hopes, her aspirations. Her vision of their life together. When the well started to run dry, when her voice started to thicken with tears at the fear that they might no longer have a chance to enjoy all she'd described, she concluded with, "So you absolutely can't die now." Fear prodded; almost incensed, she blurted, "Not when I was about to back down and agree to return to London with you." He moistened his lips. Whispered, "You were?" "Yes! I was!" His fading voice tipped her toward panic. Her voice rose in reaction. "I can't believe you were so foolish as to risk your life like this! You didn't need to put yourself in danger to save me." "Yes, I did." The words were firmer, bitten off through clenched teeth. She caught his anger. Was anger good. Would temper hold him to the world? A frown drew down his black brows. "You can't be so damned foolish as to think I wouldn't-after protecting you through all this, seeing you safely all this way, watching over you all this time, what else was I going to do?
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
you think, really, that there is something unnatural, something positively abnormal about a young man dancing around with tears in his eyes for such a reason? Don’t you see that in this condition you scarcely present that bulwark of strength and self-assurance which a woman has a right to look for in a man? Don’t you see that you really don’t want a woman at all, as a woman? That you only want a mother to hold your head on her shoulder and dry your dancing-tears and flatter your delicate little egotism and tend to your little physical necessities for you. This, my hypothetical young man, is very very bad, and you had best take immediate steps to correct it. You had better stop dancing with this poor unappreciated girl if you can’t amuse her any better than by spoiling her make-up with your messy tears, and you had better go out into the open air and realize that mother is far away and that no one is ever going to understand you and that it is not very important whether anyone ever does; you might even try to understand someone else for a change.)
George F. Kennan (The Kennan Diaries)
A drumbeat joins Sami's rhythm, the crowd ripples and separates, and soon we are dancing. Here in this place the city carved out and abandoned, there is only movement and heat and darkness. I can't see my body, or Reem's, or Sami's, or anyone's. I can only feel my hips moving the stale air and listen to the rise and fall of the feet of those around me. I have been taught all my life that masculinity means short hair and square-toed shoes, taking up space, raising one's voice. To be soft is to be less of a man. To be gentle, to laugh, to create art, to bleed between the legs -- I have been taught that these things make me a woman. I have been taught all my life that to dance is to be vulnerable, and that the world will crush the vulnerable. I was taught to equate invincibility with being worthy of love. But here in the darkness of his abandoned subway platform, I can almost imagine a world big enough for boys like Sami and me to love each other, to dance and let the pain out of our bodies, to breathe and make love and be enough and be enough and be enough.
Zeyn Joukhadar (The Thirty Names of Night)
Your king is dead. Your prince lives. . . My name is Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, and I am the Queen of Terrasen. . . Your prince is in mourning. Until he is ready, this city is mine. . . If you loot, if you riot, if you cause one lick of trouble, I will find you, and I will burn you to ash." She lifted a hand, and flames danced at her fingertips. "If you revolt against your new king, if you try to take his castle, then this wall"--she gestured with her burning hand--"will turn to molten glass and flood your streets, your homes, your throats. . . I killed your king. His empire is over. Your slaves are now free people. If I catch you holding on to your slaves, if I hear of any household keeping them captive, you are dead. If I hear of you whipping a slave, or trying to sell one, you are dead. So I suggest that you tell your friends, and families, and neighbors. I suggest that you act like reasonable, intelligent people. And I suggest that you stay on your best behavior until your king is ready to greet you, at which time I swear on my crown that I will yield control of this city to him. If anyone has a problem with it, you can take it up with my court." She motioned behind her. Rowan, Aedion, and Lysandra--bloodied, battered, filthy--grinning like hellions. "Or," Aelin said, the flames winking out on her hand, "you can take it up with me." Not a word. She wondered whether they were breathing. But Aelin didn't care as she strode off the platform, back through the gate she'd made, and all the way up the barren hillside to the stone castle. She was barely inside the oak doors before she collapsed to her knees and wept.
Sarah J. Maas
The last time I’d been unwell, suicidally depressed, whatever you want to call it, the reactions of my friends and family had fallen into several different camps: The Let’s Laugh It Off merchants: Claire was the leading light. They hoped that joking about my state of mind would reduce it to a manageable size. Most likely to say, ‘Feeling any mad urges to fling yourself into the sea?’ The Depression Deniers: they were the ones who took the position that since there was no such thing as depression, nothing could be wrong with me. Once upon a time I’d have belonged in that category myself. A subset of the Deniers was The Tough Love people. Most likely to say, ‘What have you got to be depressed about?’ The It’s All About Me bunch: they were the ones who wailed that I couldn’t kill myself because they’d miss me so much. More often than not, I’d end up comforting them. My sister Anna and her boyfriend, Angelo, flew three thousand miles from New York just so I could dry their tears. Most likely to say, ‘Have you any idea how many people love you?’ The Runaways: lots and lots of people just stopped ringing me. Most of them I didn’t care about, but one or two were important to me. Their absence was down to fear; they were terrified that whatever I had, it was catching. Most likely to say, ‘I feel so helpless … God, is that the time?’ Bronagh – though it hurt me too much at the time to really acknowledge it – was the number one offender. The Woo-Woo crew: i.e. those purveying alternative cures. And actually there were hundreds of them – urging me to do reiki, yoga, homeopathy, bible study, sufi dance, cold showers, meditation, EFT, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy, silent retreats, sweat lodges, felting, fasting, angel channelling or eating only blue food. Everyone had a story about something that had cured their auntie/boss/boyfriend/next-door neighbour. But my sister Rachel was the worst – she had me plagued. Not a day passed that she didn’t send me a link to some swizzer. Followed by a phone call ten minutes later to make sure I’d made an appointment. (And I was so desperate that I even gave plenty of them a go.) Most likely to say, ‘This man’s a miracle worker.’ Followed by: ‘That’s why he’s so expensive. Miracles don’t come cheap.’ There was often cross-pollination between the different groupings. Sometimes the Let’s Laugh It Off merchants teamed up with the Tough Love people to tell me that recovering from depression is ‘simply mind over matter’. You just decide you’re better. (The way you would if you had emphysema.) Or an All About Me would ring a member of the Woo-Woo crew and sob and sob about how selfish I was being and the Woo-Woo crew person would agree because I had refused to cough up two grand for a sweat lodge in Wicklow. Or one of the Runaways would tiptoe back for a sneaky look at me, then commandeer a Denier into launching a two-pronged attack, telling me how well I seemed. And actually that was the worst thing anyone could have done to me, because you can only sound like a self-pitying malingerer if you protest, ‘But I don’t feel well. I feel wretched beyond description.’ Not one person who loved me understood how I’d felt. They hadn’t a clue and I didn’t blame them, because, until it had happened to me, I hadn’t a clue either.
Marian Keyes
The tattoos around his eyes burned as he scanned the surrounding area. No one but him probably noticed, but the plumes of darkness branching in every direction were writhing and groaning, desperate to avoid the light of the moon and street lamps. Come to me, he beseeched them. They didn’t hesitate. As if they’d merely been waiting for the invitation, they danced toward him, flattening against his car, shielding it—and thereby him—from prying eyes. “Freaks me out every damn time you do that,” Rowan said as he crawled into the front passenger seat. For the first time, Sean’s friend had accompanied him to “keep you from doing something you’ll regret.” Not that Gabby had known. Rowan had lain in the backseat the entire drive. “I can’t see a damn thing.” “I can.” Sean’s gaze could cut through shadows as easily as a knife through butter. Gabby was in the process of settling behind the wheel of her car. Though more than two weeks had passed since their kiss, they hadn’t touched again. Not even a brush of fingers. He was becoming desperate for more. That kiss . . . it was the hottest of his life. He’d forgotten where he was, what—and who—was around him. He’d never, never, risked discovery like that. But that night, having Gabby so close, those lush lips of hers parted and ready, those brown eyes watching him as if he were something delicious, he’d been unable to stop himself. He’d beckoned the shadows around them, meshed their lips together, touched her in places a man should only touch a woman in private, and tasted her. Oh, had he tasted her. Sugar and lemon. Which meant she’d been sipping lemonade during her breaks. Lemonade had never been sexy to him before. Now he was addicted to the stuff. Drank it every chance he got. Hell, he sported a hard-on if he even spotted the yellow fruit. At night he thought about pouring lemon juice over her lean body, sprinkling that liquid with sugar, and then feasting. She’d come, he’d come, and then they could do it all over again. Seriously. Lemonade was like his own personal brand of cocaine now—which he’d once been addicted to, had spent years in rehab combating, and had sworn never to let himself become so obsessed with a substance again. Good luck with that. “I’m getting nowhere with her,” Rowan said. “You, she watches. You, she kissed.” “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.” Gabby’s car passed his and he accelerated, staying close enough to her that anyone trying to merge into her lane wouldn’t clip his car because they couldn’t see him. Not that anyone was out and about at this time of night. “She’s mine. I don’t want you touching her.” “Finally. The truth. Which is a good thing, because I already called Bill and told him you were gonna be the one to seduce her.” “Thanks.” This was one of the reasons he and Rowan were such good friends. “But I thought you were here tonight to keep me from her.” “First, you’re welcome. Second, I lied.
Gena Showalter (The Bodyguard (Includes: T-FLAC, #14.5))
Stop! Stop!” Sophie shrieked with laughter as she ran down the stone steps that led to the garden behind Bridgerton House. After three children and seven years of marriage, Benedict could still make her smile, still make her laugh . . . and he still chased her around the house any chance he could get. “Where are the children?” she gasped, once he’d caught her at the base of the steps. “Francesca is watching them.” “And your mother?” He grinned. “I daresay Francesca is watching her, too.” “Anyone could stumble upon us out here,” she said, looking this way and that. His smile turned wicked. “Maybe,” he said, catching hold of her green-velvet skirt and reeling her in, “we should adjourn to the private terrace.” The words were oh-so-familiar, and it was only a second before she was transported back nine years to the masquerade ball. “The private terrace, you say?” she asked, amusement dancing in her eyes. “And how, pray tell, would you know of a private terrace?” His lips brushed against hers. “I have my ways,” he murmured. “And I,” she returned, smiling slyly, “have my secrets.” He drew back. “Oh? And will you share?” “We five,” she said with a nod, “are about to be six.” He looked at her face, then looked at her belly. “Are you sure?” “As sure as I was last time.” He took her hand and raised it to lips. “This one will be a girl.” “That’s what you said last time.” “I know, but—” “And the time before.” “All the more reason for the odds to favor me this time.” She shook her head. “I’m glad you’re not a gambler.” He smiled at that. “Let’s not tell anyone yet.” “I think a few people already suspect,” Sophie admitted. “I want to see how long it takes that Whistledown woman to figure it out,” Benedict said. “Are you serious?” “The blasted woman knew about Charles, and she knew about Alexander, and she knew about William.” Sophie smiled as she let him pull her into the shadows. “Do you realize that I have been mentioned in Whistledown two hundred and thirty-two times?” That stopped him cold. “You’ve been counting?” “Two hundred and thirty-three if you include the time after the masquerade.” “I can’t believe you’ve been counting.” She gave him a nonchalant shrug. “It’s exciting to be mentioned.” Benedict thought it was a bloody nuisance to be mentioned, but he wasn’t about to spoil her delight, so instead he just said, “At least she always writes nice things about you. If she didn’t, I might have to hunt her down and run her out of the country.” Sophie couldn’t help but smile. “Oh, please. I hardly think you could discover her identity when no one else in the ton has managed it.” He raised one arrogant brow. “That doesn’t sound like wifely devotion and confidence to me.” She pretended to examine her glove. “You needn’t expend the energy. She’s obviously very good at what she does.” “Well, she won’t know about Violet,” Benedict vowed. “At least not until it’s obvious to the world.” “Violet?” Sophie asked softly. “It’s time my mother had a grandchild named after her, don’t you think?” Sophie leaned against him, letting her cheek rest against the crisp linen of his shirt. “I think Violet is a lovely name,” she murmured, nestling deeper into the shelter of his arms. “I just hope it’s a girl. Because if it’s a boy, he’s never going to forgive us . . .
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
We're still going to Loggerhead this afternoon, right?” Hi glanced around, then dropped his voice. “For that...home movie thing?” I nodded. “We might as well deal with what we can. Let's take the afternoon shuttle. I'll think of an excuse for Kit, thought I'm open to suggestions.” “Ben?” Shelton asked. “Not today. I think the two of us need a little distance.” The bell rang. We gathered our things and headed for the door. “Tell Kit we're cutting a music video,” Hi suggested as we walked. “Something real gangster, so we need to smash-cut our dance routines. Lay down some visuals. We could offer to let him rap over the second verse.” I gave him a thumbs-up. “Foolproof. Anyone need a locker stop?
Kathy Reichs
In a sky swarming with uncountable stars, clouds endlessly flowing, and planets wandering, always and forever there has been just one moon and one sun. To our ancestors, these two mysterious bodies reflected the female and the male essences. From Iceland to Tierra del Fuego, people attributed the Sun’s constancy and power to his masculinity; the Moon’s changeability, unspeakable beauty, and monthly cycles were signs of her femininity. To human eyes turned toward the sky 100,000 years ago, they appeared identical in size, as they do to our eyes today. In a total solar eclipse, the disc of the moon fits so precisely over that of the sun that the naked eye can see solar flares leaping into space from behind. But while they appear precisely the same size to terrestrial observers, scientists long ago determined that the true diameter of the sun is about four hundred times that of the moon. Yet incredibly, the sun’s distance from Earth is roughly four hundred times that of the moon’s, thus bringing them into unlikely balance when viewed from the only planet with anyone around to notice.22 Some will say, “Interesting coincidence.” Others will wonder whether there isn’t an extraordinary message contained in this celestial convergence of difference and similarity, intimacy and distance, rhythmic constancy and cyclical change. Like our distant ancestors, we watch the eternal dance of our sun and our moon, looking for clues to the nature of man and woman, masculine and feminine here at home.
Christopher Ryan (Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships)
And I'm filled with an aching sorrow, too, for the loss to my own family because, in a very real way, I also died that day. I died to my family, to my children, to my grandchildren, to myself. I've lived out my death for more than two decades now. Those who put me here and keep me here knowing of my innocence can take grim satisfaction in their sure reward — which is being who and what they are. That's as terrible a reward as any I could imagine. I know who and what I am. I am an Indian — an Indian who dared to stand up to defend his people. I am an innocent man who never murdered anyone nor wanted to. And yes, I am a Sun Dancer. That, too, is my identity. If I am to suffer as a symbol of my people, then I suffer proudly. I will never yield.
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
I'll hold the baby," Daniel announced, then narrowed his eyes in case anyone wanted to argue the point. "You can do another next year,lass," he added to Gennie when there was no opposition, "and I'll be holding two." He beamed at Diana before he shifted his look to Shelby. "Or three." "You should have Dad sitting in his throne-chair," Alan amended quickly, giving Gennie one of his rare grins. "That'd make the clearest statement." "Exactly." Her eyes danced as she kept her features sober. "And Anna, you'll sit beside him. Perhaps you'd hold your embroidery because it looks so natural." "The wives should sit at their husband's feet," Caine said smoothly. "That's natural." There was general agreement among the men and definite scorn among the women.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
I’m walking off the dance floor when I see him. Peter, in a suit, standing to the side, beside the dogwood tree. He looks so handsome I can hardly stand it. I cross the backyard, and he watches me the whole time. My heart is pounding so hard. Is he here for me? Or did he just come because he promised my dad? When I’m standing in front of him, I say, “You came.” Peter looks away. “Of course I came.” Softly I say, “I wish I could take back the things I said the other night. I don’t even remember all of them.” Looking down, he says, “But you meant them, right? So it’s a good thing you said them then, because somebody had to and you were right.” “Which part?” I whisper. “About UNC. About me not transferring there.” He lifts his head, his eyes wounded. “But you should have told me my mom talked to you.” I take a shaky breath. “You should have told me you were thinking about transferring! You should’ve told me how you were feeling, period. You shut down after graduation; you wouldn’t let me in. You kept saying everything was going to be fine.” “Because I was fucking scared, okay!” he bursts out. He looks around to see if anyone heard, but the music is loud, and everyone is dancing; no one is looking at us, and it’s like we are alone here in this backyard. “What were you so scared about?” I whisper. His hands tighten into fists at his sides. When he finally speaks, his voice comes out raw, like he hasn’t used it in a while. “I was scared that you were going to go to UNC and you were gonna figure out I wasn’t worth it, and you were going to leave.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
In the film Death and the Maiden, there is a point during which Sigourney Weaver has duct-taped Ben Kingsley to a chair in her living room. The characters are re-enacting a reverse torture scene. To move the plot of a woman tortured toward its desire: to torture the torturer. To extract a confession. The chair is a prop. A prop is a stage object that supports the drama. If the audience suspends their disbelief the chair transforms itself in time and space. If the audience is left unconvinced the chair is silly and imaginable in anyone’s living room. In the film Romeo is Bleeding Lena Olin sits in a chair and spreads her legs so that her cunt can be seen/scene. Her nationality keeps slipping; she is what we want her to be in a million ways. Her severed arm our severed arms. Her mouth opening like a country. In the film Exotica Atom Egoyan has the male lead (primary actor, financial draw) sit in a chair immobile while a child-stripper dances excruciatingly close to his body. His hands on his thighs. His mouth open. His mind seated. Torture. In the film Barbarella Jane Fonda is trapped inside of a science fiction sexual orgasm chair. This is before her politics come. In the film Breaker Morant two men mutated soldiers lost are executed—shot through the chest—while seated in chairs. In my kitchen I jack my father off while he sits in a chair, my hand smally domestic, the back of the chair holding his back, the legs of the chair forgiving his weight, the wood of the chair blonde, the hair of the girl blonde, the room magnified to cinematic proportions.
Lidia Yuknavitch (Liberty's Excess: Fictions)
What we are faced with in our culture is the post-Christian version of the doctrine of original sin: all human endeavor is radically flawed, and the journalists who take delight in pointing this out are simply telling over and over again the story of Genesis 3 as applied to today’s leaders, politicians, royalty and rock stars. And our task, as image-bearing, God-loving, Christshaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to the world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to the world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to the world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion. So the key I propose for translating Jesus’ unique message to the Israel of his day into our message to our contemporaries is to grasp the parallel, which is woven deeply into both Testaments, between the human call to bear God’s image and Israel’s call to be the light of the world. Humans were made to reflect God’s creative stewardship into the world. Israel was made to bring God’s rescuing love to bear upon the world. Jesus came as the true Israel, the world’s true light, and as the true image of the invisible God. He was the true Jew, the true human. He has laid the foundation, and we must build upon it. We are to be the bearers both of his redeeming love and of his creative stewardship: to celebrate it, to model it, to proclaim it, to dance to it. “As the Father sent me, so I send you; receive the Holy Spirit; forgive sins and they are forgiven, retain them and they are retained.” That last double command belongs exactly at this point. We are to go out into the world with the divine authority to forgive and retain sins. When Jesus forgave sins, they said he was blaspheming; how then can we imagine such a thing for ourselves? Answer: because of the gift of the Holy Spirit. God intends to do through us for the wider world that for which the foundation was laid in Jesus. We are to live and tell the story of the prodigal and the older brother; to announce God’s glad, exuberant, richly healing welcome for sinners, and at the same time God’s sorrowful but implacable opposition to those who persist in arrogance, oppression and greed. Following Christ in the power of the Spirit means bringing to our world the shape of the gospel: forgiveness, the best news that anyone can ever hear, for all who yearn for it, and judgment for all who insist on dehumanizing themselves and others by their continuing pride, injustice and greed.
N.T. Wright (The Challenge of Jesus)
WHY DID YOU TELL PEOPLE MY ESSAY WASN’T TRUE?” “I don’t know,” he said, breaking out in a sweat. “Because I don’t believe it. I don’t believe anyone could be so well adjusted.” She typed. “WHY NOT?” “You said you look at your friends’ lives and feel like your own is better, which is fine, except that you don’t have any friends.” “HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?” “I sit behind you. I notice things.” “WHAT KIND OF THINGS?” “It’s not your fault that you don’t have any friends. You always have an aide with you. No one is going to be themselves when there’s a teacher standing right there. Plus, you talked about parties and dances, but I don’t think you’ve even been to any, so how would you know what you’re not sorry to be missing?” He kept going. He started saying too much, telling her all the things he’d noticed—that she never said hi to other kids, that she never answered questions when people asked her things before class. “I’m not pretending I’m Mr. Popularity or anything. I’m just saying you’ve got this whole message that doesn’t seem believable. To me, anyway.” “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE SAYING THIS.” Her facial expressions were impossible to read. He couldn’t tell how mad she was. Probably pretty mad. “I’m sorry. You’re right. I shouldn’t have said anything. It’s none of my business. Like, none at all. I don’t know why I just said all that. I had this theory that you’re trying to be a certain kind of person, and that must be hard. But God, I’m hardly one to talk. So let’s forget the whole thing. Please. I’m sorry.” It startled him when her machine blurted out a single word. “NO!” “No what?” “DON’T BE SORRY. YOU’RE RIGHT. MY GOSH, I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW RIGHT YOU ARE.
Cammie McGovern (Say What You Will)
When Sebastian, cearly delighted to be treated like one of the guys, didn't move, Alex bared his teeth. "Depeche-toi!" Sebastian depeched. Alex turned back, all Cheshire cat smile. "No," I said. "No what?" "No,you are not going to teach me all the cool words so I can go to Chamonix and be conversational." "Good." He leaned in so I could see the faint dusting of freckles on his nose and smell spearmint gum. "Chamonix is so 1990s. Everyone who is anyone goes to Courchevel these days." I turned on my heel and started to walk off. "Jeez. Ella." He loped after me. "What if your problem? Conversational, my ass. Talking to you is like dancing around a fire in paper shoes." I stopped. "What is that supposed to mean?" "It's an expression my Ukranian babushka likes. I'll explain it at our first turtoring session." I scowled at his shirt. This one had what looked like a guy riding a dolphin instead of the ubiquitos alligator or polo player. "There isn't going to be a tutoring session." "Winslow seems to think otherwise." "Wouldn't be the first thing she's wrong about," I muttered. He gave an impressive sigh. The dolphin lurched, but the little guy on it held tight. "You don't want to fail French, do you? That would be a serious admission of weakness from an Italian girl." I almost smiled. Instead, I announced. "Fuhgeddaboudit. I'll buy a 'Teach Your Poodle French in Ten Easy Lessons' online. Problem solved, and Winslow will never be the wiser." "Yeah. Good luck with that. So how's this Friday? I don't have practice." When I shook my head, he demanded, " What is it? I'm a good tutor. Ask Sebastian. I was just teaching him how to tell the obnoxious French dudes on the slopes that they suck.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
How To Make A Human Take the cat out of the sphinx and what is left? Riddle Me That. Take the horse from the centaur and you take away the sleek grace, the strength of harnessed power. What is left can still run across fields, after a fashion, but is easily winded; what is left will therefore erect buildings to divide the open plains so he no longer must face the wide expanse where once his equine legs raced the winds and, sometimes, won. Take the bull from the Minotaur but what is left will still assemble a herd for the sake of ruling over it. What is left will kill for sport, in an arena thronged with spectators shouting "Ole" at each deadly thrust. Take the fish from the Merman: What is left can still swim, if only with lots of splashing; gone is the sleek sliding through the waves, alert to the subtle changes in the current. What is left will build ships so he can cross the oceans without getting his feet wet, what is left won't care if his boats pollute the seas he can no longer breathe so long as their passage can keep him from sinking. Take the goat from the satyr but what is left will dance out of reach before you have the chance to get that Dionysian streak of myschief, the love of music and wine, the rutting parts that like to party all the day through. What is left will still be stubborn and refuse to give way; what is left will lock horns and butt heads with anyone who challenges him. Take the bird from the harpy, but the memory of flying, a constant yearning ache for skies so tantalizingly distant, will still remain, as will the established pecking orders, the bitter squabbling over food and territory, and the magpie eye that lusts for shining objects. What is left will cut down the whole forest to feather his sprawling urban nest. At the end of these operations, tell me: what is left? The answer: Man, a creature divorced from nature, who's forgotten where he came from.
Lawrence Schimel
The ethic of ecstasy is the opposite of the trial's ethic; under its protection everybody does whatever he wants: now anyone can suck his thumb as he likes, from infancy to graduation, and it is a freedom no one will be willing to give up; look around you on the Metro; seated or standing, every single person has a finger in some orifice of his face-in the ear, in the mouth, in the nose; no one feels he's being observed, and everyone dreams of writing a book to tell about his unique and inimitable self, which is picking its nose; no one listens to anyone else, everyone writes, and each of them writes the way rock is danced to: alone, for himself, focused on himself yet making the same motions as all the others. In this situation of uniform egocentricity, the sense of guilt does not play the role it once did; the tribunals still operate, but they are fascinated exclusively by the past; they see only the core of the century; they see only the generations that are old or dead.
Milan Kundera (Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts)
An author who composes while walking, on the other hand, is free from such bonds; his thought is not the slave of other volumes, not swollen with verifications, nor weighted with the thought of others. It contains no explanation owed to anyone: just thought, judgement, decision. It is thought born of a movement, an impulse. In it we can feel the body’s elasticity, the rhythm of a dance. It retains and expresses the energy, the springiness of the body. Here is thought about the thing itself, without the scrambling, the fogginess, the barriers, the customs clearances of culture and tradition. The result will not be long and meticulous exegesis, but thoughts that are light and profound. That is really the challenge: the lighter a thought, the more it rises, and becomes profound by rising – vertiginously – above the thick marshes of conviction, opinion, established thought. While books conceived in the library are on the contrary superficial and heavy. They remain on the level of recopying.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
I threw my binder of materials down on our apartment’s floral couch. “Seriously, pink is a neutral color! And what’s elegant about navy blue? No one ever says, ‘Hey, you know what’s elegant? The Navy!’” Arianna rolled her dead guys. “There is nothing neutral about pink. They need a color that looks good as a background to any shade of dress.” “What color clashes with pink?” “Orange?” “Well, if anyone shows up in an orange dress, she deserves to clash. Yuck.” “Chill out. You can do a lot with navy.” I sank down into the couch next to her. “I guess. I could do navy with silver accents. Stars?” “Yawn.” “Snowflakes?” “Gee, now you’re getting creative for a winter formal.” I ignored her tone, as usual. I was just glad she was here. She’d been gone a lot lately. “Hmm . . . maybe something softer. Like a water and mist theme?” I asked. “I . . . actually kind of like that.” “Wanna help me with the sketches?” She leaned forward and turned on Easton Heights. “Decorating a stupid dance is all yours. You’re the one who decided to be more involved in your ‘normal life.’ I’d prefer to be sleeping six feet under.” “This is probably a bad time to mention I also might have signed up to help with costumes for the spring play. And since I know nothing about sewing, I kind of maybe signed you up as a volunteer aide.” She sighed, running one glamoured corpse hand through her spiky red and black hair. “I am going to kill you in your sleep.” “As long as it doesn’t hurt.” We hummed along to the opening theme, which ended when the door banged open and my boyfriend walked through, shrugging out of his coat and beaming as he dropped a duffel bag. “Free! What did I miss?” Lend asked, his cheeks rosy from the cold and his smile lighting up his watery eyes beneath his dark glamour ones. “I lost the vote on color schemes for the dance, the last episode of Easton Heights before they go into reruns is back on in three minutes, and Arianna is going to murder me in my sleep.” “As long as it doesn’t hurt.” “That’s what I said!
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
She was still standing there several moments later when Ian walked in to invite her to ride with him. “Still trying to find your answer, sweetheart?” he asked with a sympathetic grin, mistaking the cause of her wary stare. “No, I found mine,” she said, her voice unintentionally accusing as she thrust both pieces of paper toward him. “What I would like to know,” she continued, unable to tear her gaze from him, “is how it happens to be the same answer you arrived at in a matter of moments.” His grin faded, and he shoved his hands into his pockets, ignoring the papers in her outthrust hand. His expression carefully impassive, he said, “That answer is a little more difficult than the one I wrote down for you-“ “You can do this-calculate all those figures in your mind? In moments?” He nodded curtly, and when Elizabeth continued to stare at him warily, as if he was a being of unknown origin, his face hardened. In a clipped, cool voice he said, “I would appreciate it if you would stop staring at me as if I’m a freak.” Elizabeth’s mouth dropped open at his tone and his words. “I’m not.” “Yes,” he said implacably. “You are. Which is why I haven’t told you before this.” Embarrassed regret surged through her at the understandable conclusion he’d drawn from her reaction. Recovering her composure, she started around the desk toward him. “What you saw on my face was wonder and awe, no matter how it must have seemed.” “The last thing I want from you is ‘awe,’” he said tightly, and Elizabeth belatedly realized that, while he didn’t care what anyone else thought of him, her reaction to all this was obviously terribly important to him. Rapidly concluding that he’d evidently had some experience with other people’s reaction to what must surely be a form of genius-and which struck them as “freakish”-she bit her lip, trying to decide what to say. When nothing came to mind, she simply let love guide her and reacted without artifice. Leaning back against the desk, she sent him an amused, sidelong smile and said, “I gather you can calculate almost as rapidly as you can read?” His response was short and chilly. “Not quite.” “I see,” she continued lightly. “I would guess there are close to ten thousand books in your library here. Have you read them all?” “No.” She nodded thoughtfully, but her eyes danced with admiring laughter as she continued, “Well, you’ve been quite busy the past few weeks-dancing attendance on me. No doubt that’s kept you from finishing the last thousand or two.” His face softened as she asked merrily, “Are you planning to read them all?” With relief, she saw the answering smile tugging at his lips. “I thought I’d attend to that next week,” he replied with sham gravity. “A worthy endeavor,” she agreed. “I hope you won’t start without me. I’d like to watch.” Ian’s shout of laughter was cut short as he snatched her into his arms and buried his face in her fragrant hair, his hands clenching her to him as if he could absorb her sweetness into himself. “Do you have any other extraordinary skills I ought to know about, my lord?” she whispered, holding him as tightly as he was holding her. The laugher in his voice was replaced by tender solemnity. “I’m rather good,” he whispered, “at loving you.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I hope you'll make mistakes. If you make mistakes, it means you're out there doing something. I escaped from school as soon as I could, when the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I could become the writer I wanted to be, seemed stifling. I got out into the world, I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it all up as I went along. They just read what I wrote and they paid me for it or they didn't. The nearest thing I had, was a list I made when I was about 15, of everything I wanted to do. I wanted to write an adult novel, a children's book, a comic, a movie, record an audio-book, write an episode of Doctor Who, and so on. I didn't have a career, I just did the next thing on the list. When you start out in the arts, you have no idea what you're doing. This is great. People who know what they're doing, know the rules, and they know what is possible and what is impossible. You do not, and you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts, were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible, by going beyond them, and you can. If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do, and because nobody's done it before, they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again. That's much harder than it sounds, and sometimes, in the end, so much easier than you might imagine, because normally, there are things you have to do before you can get to the place you want to be. When you start out, you have to deal with the problems of failure. You need to be thick-skinned. The things I did because I was excited and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I've never regretted the time I spent on any of them. If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that, whether you're a musician or a photographer, a fine artist, or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, singer, a designer, whatever you do, you have one thing that's unique, you have the ability to make art. For me, for so many of the people I've known, that's been a lifesaver the ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times, and it gets you through the other ones. The one thing that you have, that nobody else has, is you! Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw, and build, and play, and dance and live, as only you can. Do what only you can do best, make good art.
Neil Gaiman
I have again been asked to explain how one can "become a Daoists..." with all of the sad things happening in our world today, Laozi and Zhuangzi give words of advice, tho not necessarily to become a Daoist priest or priestess... " So many foreigners who want to become “Religious Daoists” 道教的道师 (道士) do not realize that they must not only receive a transmission of a Lu 籙 register which identifies their Daoist school, and learn as well how to sing the ritual melodies, play the flute, stringed instruments, drums, and sacred dance steps, required to be an ordained and functioning Daoist priest or priestess. This process usually takes 10 years or more of daily discipleship and practice, to accomplish. There are 86 schools and genre of Daoist rituals listed in the Baiyun Guan Gazeteer, 白雲觀志, which was edited by Oyanagi Sensei, in Tokyo, 1928, and again in 1934, and re-published by Baiyun Guan in Beijing, available in their book shop to purchase. Some of the schools, such as the Quanzhen Longmen 全真龙门orders, allow their rituals and Lu registers to be learned by a number of worthy disciples or monks; others, such as the Zhengyi, Qingwei, Pole Star, and Shangqing 正一,清微,北极,上请 registers may only be taught in their fullness to one son and/or one disciple, each generation. Each of the schools also have an identifying poem, from 20 or 40 character in length, or in the case of monastic orders (who pass on the registers to many disciples), longer poems up to 100 characters, which identify the generation of transmission from master to disciple. The Daoist who receives a Lu register (給籙元科, pronounced "Ji Lu Yuanke"), must use the character from the poem given to him by his or her master, when composing biao 表 memorials, shuwen 梳文 rescripts, and other documents, sent to the spirits of the 3 realms (heaven, earth, water /underworld). The rituals and documents are ineffective unless the correct characters and talismanic signature are used. The registers are not given to those who simply practice martial artists, Chinese medicine, and especially never shown to scholars. The punishment for revealing them to the unworthy is quite severe, for those who take payment for Lu transmission, or teaching how to perform the Jinlu Jiao and Huanglu Zhai 金籙醮,黃籙齋 科儀 keyi rituals, music, drum, sacred dance steps. Tang dynasty Tangwen 唐文 pronunciation must also be used when addressing the highest Daoist spirits, i.e., the 3 Pure Ones and 5 Emperors 三请五帝. In order to learn the rituals and receive a Lu transmission, it requires at least 10 years of daily practice with a master, by taking part in the Jiao and Zhai rituals, as an acolyte, cantor, or procession leader. Note that a proper use of Daoist ritual also includes learning Inner Alchemy, ie inner contemplative Daoist meditation, the visualization of spirits, where to implant them in the body, and how to summon them forth during ritual. The woman Daoist master Wei Huacun’s Huangting Neijing, 黃庭內經 to learn the esoteric names of the internalized Daoist spirits. Readers must be warned never to go to Longhu Shan, where a huge sum is charged to foreigners ($5000 to $9000) to receive a falsified document, called a "license" to be a Daoist! The first steps to true Daoist practice, Daoist Master Zhuang insisted to his disciples, is to read and follow the Laozi Daode Jing and the Zhuangzi Neipian, on a daily basis. Laozi Ch 66, "the ocean is the greatest of all creatures because it is the lowest", and Ch 67, "my 3 most precious things: compassion for all, frugal living for myself, respect all others and never put anyone down" are the basis for all Daoist practice. The words of Zhuangzi, Ch 7, are also deeply meaningful: "Yin and Yang were 2 little children who loved to play inside Hundun (ie Taiji, gestating Dao). They felt sorry because Hundun did not have eyes, or eats, or other senses. So everyday they drilled one hole, ie 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, one mouth; and on the 7th day, Hundun died.
Michael Saso
LEADING LESSONS Rejection is an illusion. It’s all in your head. It was never about Rachael; it was always about me. So maybe I didn’t fit her picture of the perfect dance partner. We were no longer a match--so what? At the time, the rejection hurt like hell and I threw myself a big ol’ pity party. But here’s the thing: No one can reject you. No one can dump you. It’s just a decision, and maybe you don’t like it. I was the one believing I was a victim instead of realizing how blessed my life was. If you’re feeling rejected, you’re looking at things all wrong. Just because someone says no, just because someone chooses another person over you, doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. There isn’t one successful person out there who hasn’t racked up his or her share of rejection. That said, no one likes hearing no. But what are you going to do with that no? Are you going to let it destroy your self-esteem? Or are you going to keep pushing forward, following your passion? Dancers deal with a lot of rejection--I know this now, and I see the rejections as part of my journey. Keep doing what you’re doing and do it well--don’t worry about pleasing anyone but yourself. Sometimes that no can be a wake-up call, a chance for you to reassess, refocus, reboot. I’m grateful Rachael and her family gave me my walking papers. That rejection opened me up to so much more.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
the luxuries my privileged life brings me in solidarity with everyone out there who is having a hard time? I used to think so. I used to feel so bad about all the wrongs in this world that I couldn’t enjoy the rights. The beauty. The loveliness. The shallow superficialities that make my life pleasant. It made me miserable, it made me feel guilty about how lucky I was. The misery and guilt I experienced though—did it make life better for anyone else? I now think that not enjoying the good things that come my way would be inexcusable ungratefulness. This makes sense to me because whenever I, myself, have been through a rough patch, I get so confused by people who have succeeded in reaching their goals, but are unable to enjoy it for fear of seeming stuck up, spoiled, or full of themselves. What’s the point of working your ass off to make something out of yourself, if you’re then not allowing yourself to enjoy it? I want to be grateful, and I want to be humble. I want to do my bit to make this world a better place. But I also want to experience it all—devour as much of this life as I possibly can. I want to dress in beautiful things and taste all the gorgeous flavors the world has to offer. I want to dance with the most beautiful man alive, whom I have the luxury to call my own. I want to carefully put on makeup and make my bed neatly every morning, put flowers in my windows and toast the beauty I see. I want to walk down the street feeling like a stunning creature. And I want to nod my head in recognition to all of you other stunning creatures out there. To you who make an effort, who give a damn. To all of you who are grateful and appreciate. And who want to experience it all. This might be shallow—it probably is. I might be shallow—I probably am. But you know what? I’m ok with it.
Jenny Mustard (Simple Matters: A Scandinavian's Approach to Work, Home, and Style)
Dear Peter K, First of all I refuse to call you Kavinsky. You think you’re so cool, going by your last name all of a sudden. Just so you know, Kavinsky sounds like the name of an old man with a long white beard. Did you know that when you kissed me, I would come to love you? Sometimes I think yes. Definitely yes. You know why? Because you think EVERYONE loves you, Peter. That’s what I hate about you. Because everyone does love you. Including me. I did. Not anymore. Here are all your worst qualities: You burp and you don’t say excuse me. You just assume everyone else will find it charming. And if they don’t, who cares, right? Wrong! You do care. You care a lot about what people think of you. You always take the last piece of pizza. You never ask if anyone else wants it. That’s rude. You’re so good at everything. Too good. You could’ve given other guys a chance to be good, but you never did. You kissed me for no reason. Even though I knew you liked Gen, and you knew you liked Gen, and Gen knew you liked Gen. But you still did it. Just because you could. I really want to know: Why would you do that to me? My first kiss was supposed to be something special. I’ve read about it, what it’s supposed to feel like00fireworks and lightning bolts and the sound of waves crashing in your ears. I didn’t have any of that. Thanks to you it was as unspecial as a kiss could be. The worst part of it is, that stupid nothing kiss is what made me start liking you. I never did before. I never even thought about you before. Gen has always said that you are the best-looking boy in our grade, and I agreed, because sure, you are. But I still didn’t see the allure of you. Plenty of people are good-looking. That doesn’t make them interesting or intriguing or cool. Maybe that’s why you kissed me. To do mind control on me, to make me see you that way. It worked. Your little trick worked. From then on, I saw you. Up close, your face wasn’t so much handsome as beautiful. How many beautiful boys have you ever seen? For me it was just one. You. I think it’s a lot to do with your lashes. You have really long lashes. Unfairly long. Even though you don’t deserve it, fine, I’ll go into all the things I like(d) about you: One time in science, nobody wanted to be partners with Jeffrey Suttleman because he has BO, and you volunteered like it was no big deal. Suddenly everybody thought Jeffrey wasn’t so bad. You’re still in chorus, even though all the other boys take band and orchestra now. You even sing solos. And you dance, and you’re not embarrassed. You were the last boy to get tall. And now you’re the tallest, but it’s like you earned it. Also, when you were short, no one even cared that you were short--the girls still liked you and the boys still picked you first for basketball in gym. After you kissed me, I liked you for the rest of seventh grade and most of eighth. It hasn’t been easy, watching you with Gen, holding hands and making out at the bus stop. You probably make her feel very special. Because that’s your talent, right? You’re good at making people feel special. Do you know what it’s like to like someone so much you can’t stand it and know that they’ll never feel the same way? Probably not. People like you don’t have to suffer through those kinds of things. It was easier after Gen moved and we stopped being friends. At least then I didn’t have to hear about it. And now that the year is almost over, I know for sure that I am also over you. I’m immune to you now, Peter. I’m really proud to say that I’m the only girl in this school who has been immunized to the charms of Peter Kavinsky. All because I had a really bad dose of you in seventh grade and most of eighth. Now I never ever have to worry about catching you again. What a relief! I bet if I did ever kiss you again, I would definitely catch something, and it wouldn’t be love. It would be an STD! Lara Jean Song
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
Celia froze. She couldn't believe it-Proper Pinter was kissing her. Hard, boldly, with more feeling than the duke. Good heavens. Stung by the challenge he'd laid down, she fumbled for the pistol in her reticule, but she'd just got it in her hand when he whispered hoarsely against her lips, "Sweet God, Celia..." He'd never called her by only her Christian name. He'd certainly never said it so...desperately. It made her hesitate with the pistol in her hand. He took her mouth once more, and her world shifted on its axis as his kiss became wilder, more consuming. This wasn't about a challenge anymore-not when he kissed her is if her mouth held the secret to eternity. Such lovely, drugging kisses made her blood dance through her veins. His mouth slanted over hers, and his tongue swept the seam of her lips with an urgency that made her throat ache. Remembering how Ned had kissed her, she parted her lips for him. He went still for the briefest instant. Then with a groan, he slipped his tongue into her mouth. Ohhh, that was amazing. When Ned had done it she'd found it messy and disgusting, but Mr. Pinter's kiss was as opposite to Ned's as sun was to rain. Slow and sensual, he dove inside with hot strokes that had her eager for more. How could this be happening to her? With him? Who could ever have guessed that the passionless Mr. Pinter could kiss so very passionately? Scarcely aware of what she did, she slipper her free hand up to clutch his neck. He pressed into her, flattening her against the wall as he ravished her mouth with no remorse. His whiskers abraded her chin, his mouth tasted of champagne, and the smell of orange trees sweetened the air around them. It was was intoxicating. Paradise. She forgot the pistol in her other hand, forgot that they were in full view of anyone who might be outside the orangery windows, forgot that he'd just been lecturing her as if she were some ninnyhammer. Because he was kissing her now as if she were an angel. His angel. And Lord help her, but she wanted him to keep kissing her like that forever. But a noise from the nearby stove-the crackle of a log as it settled-seemed to jerk him to his senses. He tore his lips from hers and stared down at her a moment, his eyes wild, his breathing heavy. A change came over his face, turning his expression to cold stone. "You see, Lady Celia?" he said in his harsh rasp. "A man can do anything he wants if he has a woman alone.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
1. You most want your friends and family to see you as someone who …     a. Is willing to make sacrifices and help anyone in need.     b. Is liked by everyone.     c. Is trustworthy.     d. Will protect them no matter what happens.     e. Offers wise advice. 2. When you are faced with a difficult problem, you react by …     a. Doing whatever will be the best thing for the greatest number of people.     b. Creating a work of art that expresses your feelings about the situation.     c. Debating the issue with your friends.     d. Facing it head-on. What else would you do?     e. Making a list of pros and cons, and then choosing the option that the evidence best supports. 3. What activity would you most likely find yourself doing on the weekend or on an unexpected day off?     a. Volunteering     b. Painting, dancing, or writing poetry     c. Sharing opinions with your friends     d. Rock-climbing or skydiving!     e. Catching up on your homework or reading for pleasure 4. If you had to select one of the following options as a profession, which would you choose?     a. Humanitarian     b. Farmer     c. Judge     d. Firefighter     e. Scientist 5. When choosing your outfit for the day, you select …     a. Whatever will attract the least amount of attention.     b. Something comfortable, but interesting to look at.     c. Something that’s simple, but still expresses your personality.     d. Whatever will attract the most attention.     e. Something that will not distract or inhibit you from what you have to do that day. 6. If you discovered that a friend’s significant other was being unfaithful, you would …     a. Tell your friend because you feel that it would be unhealthy for him or her to continue in a relationship where such selfish behavior is present.     b. Sit them both down so that you can act as a mediator when they talk it over.     c. Tell your friend as soon as possible. You can’t imagine keeping that knowledge a secret.     d. Confront the cheater! You might also take action by slashing the cheater’s tires or egging his or her house—all in the name of protecting your friend, of course.     e. Keep it to yourself. Statistics prove that your friend will find out eventually. 7. What would you say is your highest priority in life right now?     a. Serving those around you     b. Finding peace and happiness for yourself     c. Seeking truth in all things     d. Developing your strength of character     e. Success in work or school
Veronica Roth (The Divergent Series: Complete Collection)
I agree with Miss Erstwhile, you are acting like a scarecrow. I do not know why you put on this act, Nobley, when around the port table or out in the field you’re rather a pleasant fellow.” “Really? That is curious,” Jane said. “Why, Mr. Nobley, are you generous in your attentions with gentlemen and yet taciturn and withdrawn around the fairer sex?” Mr. Nobley’s eyes were back on the printed page, though they didn’t scan the lines. “Perhaps I do not possess the type of conversation that would interest a lady.” “You say ‘perhaps’ as though you do not believe it yourself. What else might be the reason, sir?” Jane smiled. Needling Mr. Nobley was feeling like a very productive use of the evening. “Perhaps another reason might be that I myself do not find the conversation of ladies to be very stimulating.” His eyes were dark. “Hm, I just can’t imagine why you’re still unmarried.” “I might say the same for you.” “Mr. Nobley!” cried Aunt Saffronia. “No, it’s all right, Aunt,” Jane said. “I asked for it. And I don’t even mind answering.” She put a hand on her hip and faced him. “One reason why I am unmarried is because there aren’t enough men with guts to put away their little boy fears and commit their love and stick it out.” “And perhaps the men do not stick it out for a reason.” “And what reason might that be?” “The reason is women.” He slammed his book shut. “Women make life impossible until the man has to be the one to end it. There is no working it out past a certain point. How can anyone work out the lunacy?” Mr. Nobley took a ragged breath, then his face went red as he seemed to realize what he’d said, where he was. He put the book down gently, pursed his lips, cleared his throat. No one in the room made eye contact. “Someone has issues,” said Miss Charming in a quiet, singsongy voice. “I beg you, Lady Templeton,” Colonel Andrews said, standing, his smile almost convincingly nonchalant, “play something rousing on the pianoforte. I promised to engage Miss Erstwhile in a dance. I cannot break a promise to such a lovely young thing, not and break her heart and further blacken her view of the world, so you see my urgency.” “An excellent suggestion, Colonel Andrews,” Aunt Saffronia said. “It seems all our spirits could use a lift. I think we feel the lack of Sir Templeton’s presence, indeed I do.” Mr. Nobley, of course, declined to dance, so Jane and the colonel stood up with Captain East and Miss Charming, whose spirits were speedily improving. Twice she turned the wrong way, ramming herself into the captain’s shoulder, saying “pip, pip” and “jolly good.” Jane spied Mr. Nobley on the sofa, staring at the window and a reflection of the dancers.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Dear Mom and Dad How are you? If you are reading this it means your back from the wonderful cruise my brothers and I sent you on for your anniversary. We’re sure you both had a wonderful time. We want you to know that, while you were away, we did almost everything you asked. All but one thing, that is. We killed the lawn. We killed it dead. You asked us not to and we killed it. We killed it with extreme prejudice and no regard for its planty life. We killed the lawn. Now we know what you’re thinking: “But sons, whom we love ever so much, how can this be so? We expressly asked you to care for the lawn? The exactly opposite of what you are now conveying to us in an open digital forum.” True enough. We cannot dispute this. However, we have killed the lawn. We have killed it good. We threw a party and it was quite a good time. We had a moon bounce and beer and games and pirate costumes, oh it was a good time. Were it anyone else’s party that probably would have been enough but, hey, you know us. So we got a foam machine. A frothy, wet, quite fun yet evidently deadly, foam machine. Now this dastardly devise didn’t kill the lawn per se. We hypothesize it was more that it made the lawn very wet and that dancing in said area for a great many hours over the course of several days did the deed. Our jubilant frolicking simply beat the poor grass into submission. We collected every beer cap, bottle, and can. There is not a single cigarette butt or cigar to be found. The house is still standing, the dog is still barking, Grandma is still grandmaing but the lawn is no longer lawning. Now we’re sure, as you return from your wonderful vacation, that you’re quite upset but lets put this in perspective. For one thing whose idea was it for you to leave us alone in the first place? Not your best parenting decision right there. We’re little better than baboons. The mere fact that we haven’t killed each other in years past is, at best, luck. Secondly, let us not forget, you raised us to be this way. Always pushing out limits, making sure we thought creatively. This is really as much your fault as it is ours, if not more so. If anything we should be very disappointed in you. Finally lets not forget your cruise was our present to you. We paid for it. If you look at how much that cost and subtract the cost of reseeding the lawn you still came out ahead so, really, what position are you in to complain? So let’s review; we love you, you enjoyed a week on a cruise because of us, the lawn is dead, and it’s partially your fault. Glad that’s all out in the open. Can you have dinner ready for us by 6 tonight? We’d like macaroni and cheese. Love always Peter, James & Carmine
Peter F. DiSilvio
Now, before you invade a foreign city. Here’s the law: Offer the fools a peace treaty. They can remain in their city as your slaves doing forced labor for you. And if they refuse your generosity? Kill every goddamned one of their men. And take their women, children, livestock, and wealth as plunder.” The same guy raised his hand and yelled, “Can we fuck these women, too?” It was a stupid question, but Moses replied patiently, “Of course. Fuck them—use them as footstools, punching bags, scarecrows—who cares? They’re slaves! Do whatever you want with them. “Just remember, all you have to do is obey Yahweh. Then you will have no worries and nothing to fear. He will take care of you. But be careful, because Yahweh will test you. He will send false prophets and phony dream interpreters. “If you encounter one? And his predictions come true? And he wants you to worship another god? Don’t be impressed! Beware! Yahweh sent him to tempt you. “So kill anyone who prophesies in the name of another god. “And kill anyone who pretends to be a prophet and is not! “And if you find a town worshipping another god—kill everyone in it! And kill their livestock! Plunder their homes! Burn that despicable town to the ground and never rebuild it! Make it a perpetual burnt offering to Yahweh. “And whatever you do, for god’s sake, do not imitate the detestable Canaanite religions! Do not incinerate your children, or practice sorcery, or witchcraft. And don’t interpret omens. These practices are detestable to Yahweh. “Above all, DO NOT worship their gods! Don’t worship the sun! Or the moon! Or the stars in the sky! Yahweh gave those to the suckers in other nations as their gods. If you worship just one of them—just one time…” Moses shuddered at the thought. “Well, let’s just say, Yahweh is jealous—real jealous! If he catches you worshipping another god, I have to tell you that the gigs up. He’ll kick your asses out of the Promised Land. And scatter you among the other nations like snake shit scattered about the desert.”   Obey Yahweh and you will live in paradise   “Just obey Yahweh. You hear me? Obey him, and you will live in paradise. He will protect you from your enemies. Send rain for your crops. Nurture your herds. You will have abundant food and wine. Maybe free dance lessons—who knows? There is no limit to Yahweh’s love! Obey him, and your lives will be perfect. Disobey him, and you are fucked! It’s just that simple.” Moses waited for the impact of this essential truth to resister in their brains. Regretfully, it did not. But he concluded, “Anyhow, I’m one-hundred and twenty years old. I cannot lead you into the Promised Land. Joshua will lead you.” He again found Joshua in the crowd. “Joshua, come on up here!” Joshua, startled awake, elbowed his way through the crowd and
Steve Ebling (Holy Bible - Best God Damned Version - The Books of Moses: For atheists, agnostics, and fans of religious stupidity)
Mazel Amsel- I have the obsession of destroying Nevaeh, she is so perfect, I cannot stand it! My girls have to be on top, and I am never going to let her be anything, I will make sure of it! That is what I have been doing for years. Nevaeh that no good little pussy licker; even if she knows it is me, she will not be able to ‘Prove it.’ I am just that well-liked by everyone, I am so powerful that no one will ever defeat me. I am the master manipulator, Nevaeh- yes, she is the tower! She is about for a hundred pounds, unnatural blond hair, lime green glowing eyes, and a voice that bellows! To me, she looks like a bulldog in the face, yet evil wicked witch-like also, yet to everyone else she blends in, to the others she looks as they do, just a normal mom, with normal kids. Yet I think she is crumbling, I think some people are seeing through her veil, because of what happened recently. Mazel- I have everyone wrapped around my little finger. Likewise, if they do not bow down to me, I will make their life a living hell. That is the way; I have to have it, all the time for Nevaeh! I have to know what she is doing at all times. I have to hack into her social networking and get her pears to think she is a ‘Creep’ and ‘Stocker’ to young girls. So, she has no friends at all. So, my girls can be the supreme of this area, so that they can do as they please, without anyone stopping them from being the best, no matter what, and from getting what they want, and what I want for them. Besides, foremost I wanted to make sure that she would never date anyone. So, I came up with the story of telling everyone that she was into girls and that she is just plain crazy. I should know my eyes are on her always. I did not want to see her go to proms; I did not want to see her succeed. I did not want her to be loved. I would like to see her die, and not walk away from it. I have dreamed of ways to kill her repeatedly. Like this one, I would like to see her be impaled on a sharp wooden stick, starting through her butt hole, and then slowly have gravity have it go up into her delicious miniature body until it hits her brain, and she screams out my girl’s names, as we get what we need. I would love to see a Nevaeh- kabob! I would love to see her stoned out in the open with rocks! I would love to see my girls bite their nipples off with their teeth! I want to see my girl claw her up to head to toe. I hunger to see them scratch her sweet blue eyes that are so heavenly right out of her face! I want to see her gush that cobalt blood like a waterfall from her naked sliced-up body. Yes, I want us to torture her any way we can until she says yes to us. We are going to get at anything of hers we can until she comes with us! As we would, all dance around her, as we would light her up, cheerfully for the last time. How I would love to bleach and fry that perfect hair with chemicals. I and we all in our family want to fuck her up and down anyways we can! Mwah Ha, ha! Yes, Beforehand, we all would kiss, touch, lick, and stick her, and do what we want to get the life from her by sucking away. We would eat her soul away as it would come down from the heavens then through her body, and into ours, as we would drink it out, the way we do. Yes, yes, hell- yes, I can see it now! Yes, I want her soul! Besides, anything or everything I can get out of her to add to my shrine. We even have a voodoo doll of her with pins in it. I have a few things of hers like her hymen-damaged red blood tarnished pink polka-dotted gym underwear, and her indigo pantiliner she had on. That my girl ripped off of her in school, the more things we have the more we can control her mind, but I want more!
Marcel Ray Duriez
Jane, the captain, and the colonel begged out of cards, sat by the window, and made fun of Mr. Nobley. She glanced once at the garden, imagined Martin seeing her now, and felt popular and pretty--Emma Woodhouse from curls to slippers. It certainly helped that all the men were so magnificent. Unreal, actually. Austenland was feeling cozier. “Do you think he hears us?” Jane asked. “See how he doesn’t lift his eyes from that book? In all, his manners and expression are a bit too determined, don’t you think?” “Right you are, Miss Erstwhile,” Colonel Andrews said. “His eyebrow is twitching,” Captain East said gravely. “Why, so it is, Captain!” the colonel said. “Well observed.” “Then again, the eyebrow twitch could be caused by some buried guilt,” Jane said. “I believe you’re right again, Miss Erstwhile. Perhaps he does not hear us at all.” “Of course I hear you, Colonel Andrews,” said Mr. Nobley, his eyes still on the page. “I would have to be deaf not to, the way you carry on.” “I say, do not be gruff with us, Nobley, we are only having a bit of fun, and you are being rather tedious. I cannot abide it when my friends insist on being scholarly. The only member of our company who can coax you away from those books is our Miss Heartwright, but she seems altogether too pensive tonight as well, and so our cause is lost.” Mr. Nobley did look up now, just in time to catch Miss Heartwright’s face turn away shyly. “You might show a little more delicacy around the ladies, Colonel Andrews,” he said. “Stuff and nonsense. I agree with Miss Erstwhile, you are acting like a scarecrow. I do not know why you put on this act, Nobley, when around the port table or out in the field you’re rather a pleasant fellow.” “Really? That is curious,” Jane said. “Why, Mr. Nobley, are you generous in your attentions with gentlemen and yet taciturn and withdrawn around the fairer sex?” Mr. Nobley’s eyes were back on the printed page, though they didn’t scan the lines. “Perhaps I do not possess the type of conversation that would interest a lady.” “You say ‘perhaps’ as though you do not believe it yourself. What else might be the reason, sir?” Jane smiled. Needling Mr. Nobley was feeling like a very productive use of the evening. “Perhaps another reason might be that I myself do not find the conversation of ladies to be very stimulating.” His eyes were dark. “Hm, I just can’t imagine why you’re still unmarried.” “I might say the same for you.” “Mr. Nobley!” cried Aunt Saffronia. “No, it’s all right, Aunt,” Jane said. “I asked for it. And I don’t even mind answering.” She put a hand on her hip and faced him. “One reason why I am unmarried is because there aren’t enough men with guts to put away their little boy fears and commit their love and stick it out.” “And perhaps the men do not stick it out for a reason.” “And what reason might that be?” “The reason is women.” He slammed his book shut. “Women make life impossible until the man has to be the one to end it. There is no working it out past a certain point. How can anyone work out the lunacy?” Mr. Nobley took a ragged breath, then his face went red as he seemed to realize what he’d said, where he was. He put the book down gently, pursed his lips, cleared his throat. No one in the room made eye contact. “Someone has issues,” said Miss Charming in a quiet, singsongy voice. “I beg you, Lady Templeton,” Colonel Andrews said, standing, his smile almost convincingly nonchalant, “play something rousing on the pianoforte. I promised to engage Miss Erstwhile in a dance. I cannot break a promise to such a lovely young thing, not and break her heart and further blacken her view of the world, so you see my urgency.” “An excellent suggestion, Colonel Andrews,” Aunt Saffronia said. “It seems all our spirits could use a lift.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '99: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4:00 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead; sometimes you’re behind; the race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive; forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you wanna do with your life; the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees; you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry -- maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children -- maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40 -- maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either -- your choices are half chance; so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body; use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. Dance. even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do not read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography, in lifestyle, because the older you get the more you need the people you knew when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise; politicians will philander; you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund; maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia: dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen. Baz Luhrmannk, William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (1996)
Baz Luhrmann (Romeo & Juliet: The Contemporary Film, the Classic Play)
The homeland of a writer, he said, is his language. It sounds a little demagogic but I completely agree with him, and I know that sometimes we have no choice but to be demagogic, just as sometimes we have no choice but to dance a bolero under a streetlight or a red moon. Though it's also true that a writer's homeland isn't his language or isn't only his language but the people he loves. And sometimes a writer's homeland isn't the people he loves but his memory. And other times a writer's only homeland is his steadfastness and courage. In fact, a writer can have many homelands, and sometimes the identity of that homeland depends greatly on what he's writing at the moment. It's possible to have many homelands, it occurs to me now, but only one passport, and that passport is obviously the quality of one's writing. Which doesn't mean writing well, because anyone can do that, but writing incredibly well, and not even that, because anyone can write incredibly well. So what is top-notch writing? The same thing it's always been: the ability to peer into the darkness, to leap into the void, to know that literature is basically a dangerous undertaking.
Roberto Bolaño (Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles, and Speeches, 1998-2003)
Most people who get caught in a lie, mistake, or hypocritical dance feel sharp dissonance and are motivated to squirm out of it with a flurry of self-justifications. But Trump has always been unfazed precisely because he feels no dissonance when caught. Feeling dissonance requires the ability to feel shame, guilt, empathy, and remorse, and he lacks that capacity. The only justifications he feels the need to make are claims that he can do anything he wants because he is “a very stable genius” and knows more than anyone about everything. He can never learn from his mistakes because he convinces himself that he never makes any—he cuts dissonance off at the pass, never allowing it into his brain.
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
CHALLENGES TO YOUNG POETS Invent a new language anyone can understand. Climb the Statue of Liberty. Reach for the unattainable. Kiss the mirror and write what you see and hear. Dance with wolves and count the stars, including the unseen. Be naïve, innocent, non-cynical, as if you had just landed on earth (as indeed you have, as indeed we all have), astonished by what you have fallen upon. Write living newspaper. Be a reporter from outer space, filing dispatches to some supreme managing editor who believes in full disclosure and has a low tolerance level for hot air. Write and endless poem about your life on earth or elsewhere. Read between the lines of human discourse. Avoid the provincial, go for the universal. Think subjectively, write objectively. Think long thoughts in short sentences. Don't attend poetry workshops, but if you do, don't go the learn "how to" but to learn "what" (What's important to write about). Don't bow down to critics who have not themselves written great masterpieces. Resist much, obey less. Secretly liberate any being you see in a cage. Write short poems in the voice of birds. Make your lyrics truly lyrical. Birdsong is not made by machines. Give your poem wings to fly to the treetops. The much-quoted dictum from William Carlos Williams, "No ideas but in things," is OK for prose, but it lays a dead hand on lyricism, since "things" are dead. Don't contemplate your navel in poetry and think the rest of the world is going to think it's important. Remember everything, forget nothing. Work on a frontier, if you can find one. Go to sea, or work near water, and paddle your own boat. Associate with thinking poets. They're hard to find. Cultivate dissidence and critical thinking. "First thought, best thought" may not make for the greatest poetry. First thought may be worst thought. What's on your mind? What do you have in mind? Open your mouth and stop mumbling. Don't be so open minded that your brains fall out. Questions everything and everyone. Be subversive, constantly questioning reality and status quo. Be a poet, not a huckster. Don't cater, don't pander, especially not to possible audiences, readers, editors, or publishers. Come out of your closet. It's dark there. Raise the blinds, throw open your shuttered windows, raise the roof, unscrew the locks from the doors, but don't throw away the screws. Be committed to something outside yourself. Be militant about it. Or ecstatic. To be a poet at sixteen is to be sixteen, to be a poet at 40 is to be a poet. Be both. Wake up and pee, the world's on fire. Have a nice day.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (San Francisco Poems)
The lesson isn't that we should dance in spite of the suffering. It's that we should dance ourselves right through the suffering. We have to court that shit, get up close to it, extend a hand and make a dance partner out of it, twirling it around in the front lawn until we are both so dizzy that we can't tell anymore where the suffering ends and where the joy begins. Because what naturally follows, to anyone paying attention to the fact that each breath is a miracle, is the realization that the next one isn't guaranteed. And we can be grateful for the one we're in or we can panic about the one that we hope is next to come, but we can't do both, not really, not well.
Liz Petrone (The Price of Admission: Embracing a Life of Grief and Joy)
He kissed her legs until neither of them wore anything. And the hawk now perched in a tree in the woodlot could see an imprecise circle of flattened green wheat and two bodies entwined until late in the afternoon when it began to rain again. The man tried to cover the girl with the coat but she stood up, did a dance and drank more wine. Such simple events last lovers a long time. Scarcely anyone can turn their backs on the best thing that has happened to them. So she went to California for the summer and he retrieved her for the last year of school in the fall after a hundred letters both ways.
Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall)
You either have it, or want it Nothing else will fly. Do you know any songs? What can you play? Can you sing? Do you have a piano, tuba, or strings? . . . The musicians began vamping, What can this Rabbit cat do? Is he going to blow hot air Or fart in the rain? Rabbit turned his back to the band Like that genius Miles Davis Pulled out his stick He made a horn with his hands. This stick is so special, bragged Rabbit. As he turned back to the jam No one else has one like this. You’ve never heard it before. It’s called a sax-oh-oh-phone. Rabbit’s newborn horn made a rip in the sky It made old women dance, and girls fall to their knees It made singers of tricksters, it made tricksters of players It made trouble wherever it sang after that— The last time we heard Rabbit was for my cousin’s run for chief. There was a huge feed. Everyone showed up to eat. Rabbit’s band got down after the speeches. We danced through the night, and nobody fought. Nor did anyone show up the next day to vote. They were sleeping.
Joy Harjo (An American Sunrise)
I have dreamed of ways to kill her repeatedly. Like this one, I would like to see her be impaled on a sharp wooden stick, starting through her butt hole, and then slowly have gravity have it go up into her delicious miniature body until it hits her brain, and she screams out my girl’s names, as we get what we need. I would love to see a Nevaeh- kabob! I would love to see her stoned out in the open with rocks! I would love to see my girls bite their nipples off with their teeth! I want to see my girl claw her up to head to toe. I hunger to see them scratch her sweet blue eyes that are so heavenly right out of her face! I want to see her gush that cobalt blood like a waterfall from her naked sliced-up body. Yes, I want us to torture her any way we can until she says yes to us. We are going to get at anything of hers we can until she comes with us! As we would, all dance around her, as we would light her up, cheerfully for the last time. How I would love to bleach and fry that perfect hair with chemicals. I and we all in our family want to fuck her up and down anyways we can! Mwah Ha, ha! Yes, Beforehand, we all would kiss, touch, lick, and stick her, and do what we want to get the life from her by sucking away. We would eat her soul away as it would come down from the heavens then through her body, and into ours, as we would drink it out, the way we do. Yes, yes, hell- yes, I can see it now! Yes, I want her soul! Besides, anything or everything I can get out of her to add to my shrine. We even have a voodoo doll of her with pins in it. I have a few things of hers like her hymen-damaged red blood tarnished pink polka-dotted gym underwear, and her indigo pantiliner she had on. That my girl ripped off of her in school, the more things we have the more we can control her mind, but I want more! We want more! We want and need it all! Just like the one girl Lily; I have her one hair ribbon; from Nevaeh, I have something far more personal than her underwear, and it is on display too, and that was her virginity! Who knows that she was a little cock sucker too? How do I have it, you ask? Tee- hee- Will I tell you- how! Now come to think of it, back then my idea was to drive her insane so that she will do it to herself… like she did; by not having anyone to confide in, I wanted that to kill her slowly, that was the plan. Just like I was the arranger of her first sexual partner. I told him to pound the shit out of her, and pop her cherry so hard and fast, that the next day she could not even walk; plus, bleed for many days; which is how I got what is on display… I did this so that it would take everything away from her. If my girls do not have it, then neither does she. I made the schooling system think that she has major problems, from kindergarten up through high school. I will do whatever it takes to have her fall! For the reason that I have to be triumphant! It was a promise that I made to her mother. If I cannot have her mind, body, and soul, no one can. Yeah, now I did not mind putting a bullet in her father's head, so I would have loved to put one on hers also. Yes, I should have gotten to her way back then, when she was just sitting in her playpens so defenseless. Then again, I thought what the hell… it would be better to torture her, and make everything in her life a living hell for her! Why should I play god, when I can send the devil to her bed every night! Let’s not forget to mention everybody showed up at her father's house right after the murder that took place. So, I did not have enough time to complete the job. Oh yes, her mother is a very good friend of mine, and I wanted to make sure that Nevaeh would have nothing. Nothing but pain, misery, and torture from me and my girls. Yes, without her ever knowing, that I was the one causing all the trouble in her life.
I have dreamed of ways to kill her repeatedly. Like this one, I would like to see her be impaled on a sharp wooden stick, starting through her butt hole, and then slowly have gravity have it go up into her delicious miniature body until it hits her brain, and she screams out my girl’s names, as we get what we need. I would love to see a Nevaeh- kabob! I would love to see her stoned out in the open with rocks! I would love to see my girls bite their nipples off with their teeth! I want to see my girl claw her up to head to toe. I hunger to see them scratch her sweet blue eyes that are so heavenly right out of her face! I want to see her gush that cobalt blood like a waterfall from her naked sliced-up body. Yes, I want us to torture her any way we can until she says yes to us. We are going to get at anything of hers we can until she comes with us! As we would, all dance around her, as we would light her up, cheerfully for the last time. How I would love to bleach and fry that perfect hair with chemicals. I and we all in our family want to fuck her up and down anyways we can! Mwah Ha, ha! Yes, Beforehand, we all would kiss, touch, lick, and stick her, and do what we want to get the life from her by sucking away. We would eat her soul away as it would come down from the heavens then through her body, and into ours, as we would drink it out, the way we do. Yes, yes, hell- yes, I can see it now! Yes, I want her soul! Besides, anything or everything I can get out of her to add to my shrine. We even have a voodoo doll of her with pins in it. I have a few things of hers like her hymen-damaged red blood tarnished pink polka-dotted gym underwear, and her indigo pantiliner she had on. That my girl ripped off of her in school, the more things we have the more we can control her mind, but I want more! We want more! We want and need it all! Just like the one girl Lily; I have her one hair ribbon; from Nevaeh, I have something far more personal than her underwear, and it is on display too, and that was her virginity! Who knows that she was a little cock sucker too? How do I have it, you ask? Tee- hee- Will I tell you- how! Now come to think of it, back then my idea was to drive her insane so that she will do it to herself… like she did; by not having anyone to confide in, I wanted that to kill her slowly, that was the plan. Just like I was the arranger of her first sexual partner. I told him to pound the shit out of her, and pop her cherry so hard and fast, that the next day she could not even walk; plus, bleed for many days; which is how I got what is on display… I did this so that it would take everything away from her. If my girls do not have it, then neither does she. I made the schooling system think that she has major problems, from kindergarten up through high school. I will do whatever it takes to have her fall! For the reason that I have to be triumphant! It was a promise that I made to her mother. If I cannot have her mind, body, and soul, no one can. Yeah, now I did not mind putting a bullet in her father's head, so I would have loved to put one on hers also. Yes, I should have gotten to her way back then, when she was just sitting in her playpens so defenseless. Then again, I thought what the hell… it would be better to torture her, and make everything in her life a living hell for her! Why should I play god, when I can send the devil to her bed every night! Let’s not forget to mention everybody showed up at her father's house right after the murder that took place. So, I did not have enough time to complete the job. Oh yes, her mother is a very good friend of mine, and I wanted to make sure that Nevaeh would have nothing. Nothing but pain, misery, and torture from me and my girls. Yes, without her ever knowing, that I was the one causing all the trouble in her life.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh The Miracle)
Of course, I’d known before then. But that night, clutching yet another beer bottle, watching Christian move on the dance floor, I verbalized the subtle knowledge in my mind. I loved him. Shamefully and hopelessly. I tried to talk myself out of it. It’s not like there is a definition. They can’t take your blood sample, run a test and give you the results. It’s all vague, subjective, prone to manipulation, hypochondria. You wake up one day thinking you’re in love with someone and the following week, you’re not. All that drama, the cultural pressure. The epitome of so-called happiness sold to us by the media. They say it can last a year, the honeymoon phase. Two at best. In love… It was just a chemical process, imagination, internalization of recycled clichés, and a hefty dose of delusion. But it didn’t hurt any less. I wanted him, craved him, couldn’t bear anyone else to touch him just as I needed him to be content and sheltered—yes, even if it meant he’d be with someone else. Happy and safe. He was the single, most important being in the whole universe. If Christian was hopeful and joyous as ever, my life had a purpose, the world had a meaning.
Roe Horvat (Dirty Mind)
DIDN’T COME GET me until two in the morning, and she was still singing—in French.” Lydia yawned hugely, then sang, “Ne me quitte pas, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. What am I going to do? Ben won’t let me into his room every night, no matter what Jeffrey says.” “Sleep in my room from now on,” said Alice. “You can have either the top or bottom bunk.” “Really?” What a relief to never again sleep in the mansion. “Actually, I do prefer the top bunk, so if you wouldn’t mind the bottom—” “No, I mean, do you really think I can stay with you? Wouldn’t your parents mind?” “They’ll like it. They’ve decided you’re a good influence on me.” Lydia thought that being a good influence made her sound as boring as being a person who liked everyone (except she didn’t). But if that was what she had to suffer to get out of the mansion, she’d accept it. Both girls were in their new ballet skirts, swishing along on their way to see Blossom. Alice was carrying the oats in a bag—the skirts were without pockets—and Lydia was carrying Natalie’s phone, plus two books, in another bag. Alice knew about only one of the books, Practical Magic, written by an Alice for grown-ups. The other, sneaked in by Lydia, was a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. She was hoping to convince both Alice and Blossom to love it. Unless—she stopped walking—that could be considered being a good influence. No, she decided, and started walking again, quickly, to catch up with Alice as she entered the field. They’d decided to begin the visit with a dance, the best way to show Blossom their new skirts. This was the first time the two of them had danced together seriously, and anyone other than sheep would have appreciated the vision—the beautiful skirts, the fusion of ballet and tae kwon do, the paean to freedom and friendship. But to Blossom, the oat carriers seemed to have gone crazy, spinning around like bugs trying to escape a water trough. She stopped halfway across the field, apparently planning to chomp on grass until they became less buglike. The dancing a failure, the girls moved on to the second part of the entertainment. Alice took out oats, Lydia took out Practical Magic, and Blossom came the rest of the way over, accepting the oats and ignoring the book.
Jeanne Birdsall (The Penderwicks at Last (The Penderwicks, #5))
For while asceticism is certainly an important strand in the frugal tradition, so, too, is the celebration of simple pleasures. Indeed, one argument that is made repeatedly in favor of simple living is that it helps one to appreciate more fully elementary and easily obtained pleasures such as the enjoyment of companionship and natural beauty. This is another example of something we have already noted: the advocates of simple living do not share a unified and consistent notion of what it involves. Different thinkers emphasize different aspects of the idea, and some of these conflict. Truth, unlike pleasure, has rarely been viewed as morally suspect. Its value is taken for granted by virtually all philosophers. Before Nietzsche, hardly anyone seriously considered as a general proposition the idea that truth may not necessarily be beneficial.26 There is a difference, though, between the sort of truth the older philosophers had in mind and the way truth is typically conceived of today. Socrates, the Epicureans, the Cynics, the Stoics, and most of the other sages assume that truth is readily available to anyone with a good mind who is willing to think hard. This is because their paradigm of truth—certainly the truth that matters most—is the sort of philosophical truth and enlightenment that can be attained through a conversation with like-minded friends in the agora or the garden. Searching for and finding such truth is entirely compatible with simple living. But today things are different. We still enjoy refined conversation about philosophy, science, religion, the arts, politics, human nature, and many other areas of theoretical interest. And these conversations do aim at truth, in a sense. As Jürgen Habermas argues, building on Paul Grice’s analysis of conversational conventions, regardless of how we actually behave and our actual motivations, our discussions usually proceed on the shared assumption that we are all committed to establishing the truth about the topic under discussion.27 But a different paradigm of truth now dominates: the paradigm of truth established by science. For the most part this is not something that ordinary people can pursue by themselves through reflection, conversation, or even backyard observation and experiment. Does dark matter exist? Does eating blueberries decrease one’s chances of developing cancer? Is global warming producing more hurricanes? Does early involvement with music and dance make one smarter or morally better? Are generous people happier than misers? People may discuss such questions around the table. But in most cases when we talk about such things, we are ultimately prepared to defer to the authority of the experts whose views and findings are continually reported in the media.
Emrys Westacott (The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less)
One night, Abby, who knows I understand life best through metaphors, said this: “Glennon, I want us to think of our love as an island. On our island is you, me, the kids—and real love. The kind of love novels are written about and people spend lifetimes trying to find. The holy grail. The most precious thing. The thing. We have it. It’s still young and new, so we’re going to protect it. Imagine that we’ve surrounded our island with a moat filled with alligators. We will not lower the drawbridge to let anyone’s fear onto our island. On our island is only us and love. Leave anything else on the other side of the moat. Over there, it can’t hurt us. We’re here, happy on our island. Let them scream fear or hate, whatever. We can’t even hear it. Too much music. Only love in, babe.” Every time an internet troll, journalist, or fundamentalist minister shared self-righteous judgment, I’d smile and imagine his tomato-red face screaming on the other side of the moat, while Abby, the kids, and I kept dancing on our island. None of it could touch us.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
Humans achieve their peak in different ways. But whoever you are, once you're over the summit, it's downhill all the way. Nothing anyone can do about it. And the worst of it is, you never know where that peak is. You think you're still going strong, when suddenly you've crossed the great divide. No one can tell. Some peak at twelve, then lead rather uneventful lives from then on. Some carry on until they die; some die at their peak.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #4))
Near You" Man I miss the way you laugh Setting my head straight again Our walks haven't changed, the barn's still there The gate still sticks Guess I just didn't know what to expect I'm glad you finally got your car out of the mud Now we can make plans for the bar Man I missed getting you to dance Getting you drunk enough to dance I'm not asking for the moon, or even the whole truth I don't need to know everything about you I don't need the purest spring, You can have eyes for anyone in the room I just want, just want to be near you Your cigarette was lit inside You were ready to go, ready for anything Ready for all those lonely nights I was ready to rip the ticket up Throw it in the street, so I didn't have to leave Drive your damn car back in the mud I'm not asking for the moon, or even the whole truth I don't need to know everything about you I don't need the purest spring, You can have eyes for anyone in the room I just want, just want to be near you Courtney Marie Andrews, Leuven Letters (2014)
Courtney Marie Andrews
To human eyes turned toward the sky 100,000 years ago, they appeared identical in size, as they do to our eyes today. In a total solar eclipse, the disc of the moon fits so precisely over that of the sun that the naked eye can see solar flares leaping into space from behind. But while they appear precisely the same size to terrestrial observers, scientists long ago determined that the true diameter of the sun is about four hundred times that of the moon. Yet incredibly, the sun’s distance from Earth is roughly four hundred times that of the moon’s, thus bringing them into unlikely balance when viewed from the only planet with anyone around to notice.22 Some will say, “Interesting coincidence.” Others will wonder whether there isn’t an extraordinary message contained in this celestial convergence of difference and similarity, intimacy and distance, rhythmic constancy and cyclical change. Like our distant ancestors, we watch the eternal dance of our sun and our moon, looking for clues to the nature of man and woman, masculine and feminine here at home.
Christopher Ryan (Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships)
All I want is Papi back. I want his booming laugh to shake the walls. I want his heavy knock to the outside door. I want his stupid sayings, & his angry bellow, & his mixed-up English he would pepper in conversation & his eyes that misted over when he prayed or when he danced. There are pieces of him all over this barrio, all over República Dominicana, & beyond that to New York City, but I can't bundle those pieces. Can't tie them tight with twine; can't blow life into them, or shed light onto them or assemble those pieces to make anything, anyone, resembling him.
Elizabeth Acevedo (Clap When You Land)
Who are we taking?” Ed straightens, catching the cork in his palm. “Why can’t we all go together?” “Because it’s not junior prom,” Chris says. “We can’t just go solo?” “I mean, you could,” Chris says, “but this is gonna be a big deal with dancing and coupley stuff. Go solo and be the loner, go in a group and we’re the table of dudes—and Mills—sitting there awkwardly. We should get dates.” Reid rolls his dice and begins counting out his turn. “I call Millie.” “You call me?” “Whoa, whoa.” Derailed from his initial argument, Chris turns to Reid with a frown. “If we’re just going to pair up, why’d you pick her?” Reid shrugs and gives a vague nod in my direction. “She looks better in a ball gown.” Ed seems genuinely insulted. “You have obviously never seen me in one.” “I took you to the Deans’ Banquet last year,” Chris reminds Reid. “We had an awesome time.” His turn completed, Reid drops the dice onto the center of the board and picks up his drink. “We did. I’m just being fair and going with someone else this time.” Ed smacks Chris’s shoulder. “I’m more Reid’s type. Remember that cute bartender he liked? The one with the curly hair?” He makes a show of pointing to his head and the mass of auburn curls there. “Tell me we wouldn’t look great together.” “I can beat that.” Alex brings up a foot to rest on the table and rolls up the hem of his jeans, flexing his calf muscle. “Reid is a leg man. Just look at these stems. I could spin you all around that dance floor.” Reid watches each of them, bemused. “I mean, technically speaking, Millie is my type. Being female and whatnot.” “Is it weird to anyone that this roomful of straight men is fighting over Reid and not me?” I ask. Chris, Alex, and Ed seem to give this fair consideration before answering “No” in unison. I lift my glass of wine and take a deep swallow. “Okay, then.” Finally, Reid stands, carrying his empty glass into the kitchen. “Millie, you need anything?” “Other than tips on how to develop an alluring female presence?” I ask. “I’m good. Thanks.
Christina Lauren (My Favorite Half-Night Stand)
Naturally, we even made snow angels in the backyard as we stumbled around, and passed out. No one cared what we did really, thus far that was the fun of it all. Oh, and Kenneth was just the boy that only wanted one thing from Jenny. He had no personality to speak of… he would hit on me all the time, and sometimes he would get it from me too, or I would be out of the group by her if he said I was the one that wanted it from him. We could break widows out of old buildings and homes, and who would stop us. Sure, we got chased by the cops, yet that was the fun of it too. There is nothing else for us to do. I remember Maddie leaving her handprints in the wet mud, Jenny her butt, and some of her lady-ness, when the town thought it was time for new sidewalks. Yet we all did, something that would last forever, we thought. Maddie drew a few other things too. You can get the picture! All inappropriate… all there for life. She was just crazy like that, like squatting down pissing, and doing number two in the old man Jackups yard. She has more balls than most guys… I knew. Old man Jackups called us, ‘Mindless slutty hooligans’ So that was payback. At the time- I thought like what is wrong with that, we're just having some fun here… your old windbag, like go and sit on your cane! You know what I mean… I think? I remember being so smashed at my sweet sixteen too, that I don’t even remember it. Yet that is what having a good time was all about, so they say. Bumping and grinding on all the boys with loud music. And as the twinkling lights shine on your skin, that lights the way up to your bedroom. You know that your puffy dress is going to be pushed up a couple of times on that night. I just don’t remember how many times it was, and I didn’t remember who it was with, I am not even sure if I know them at all… all of them or not. All I know is I did it all and was happy to do whatever they asked me to do. But- but I thought I was having the time of my life. I was the birthday girl that had the rosiest pink lipstick on most boys at the party. I thought it was such a horror. In my mind at the time, I thought that I high-jacked the rainbow, and crashed into a pot of gold! All the girls my age did it, yet I was the best at it! I recall the time Liv and I went trick or treating. I was dressed as Hermione from the Harry Potter movies. Liv was a sexy witch! With the pointed hat. So, original…! That is what I told her. That was the night we scared the pants off of Ray in the not-so-scary haunted house. And before you ask, he was dressed as Harry. So, I wanted to play with his wand, that's why I dressed the way I did at the time. Liv was one of those good friends… I thought, which would tell everyone what you all did the day after, to all the girls at the lunch table. She can text faster than anyone I know. Anyways… we jumped out at him, and he nearly craps his nicely pressed pants. I am sure there was a skid mark on his tighty- whities or something. Yet he did yack on Liv’s chest, and that was hilarious to me. She was dancing around, and flapping her hands doing the funky chicken while yelling, ‘Ou- ou- ou- wah!’ As I dibble over in lather, I guess it was funnier when it doesn’t happen to you too many times.
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Falling too You)
The fire covered the field, the flames worked fast. I glanced over at Preston who was watching the destruction with a dark grin. The fire reflected in his eyes; shadows moved across his face illuminating the deep creases as he gazed ahead with great conviction. He looked evil. Was he evil? Lord knows he’s done evil. Or was he a man who thought he was doing the right thing, just reacting to situations and conditions that were thrust upon him? Each man is the protagonist of his own life. Always right in their own mind, altruistic and correct no matter what society deems acceptable. Nobody thinks they're evil. Nobody thinks they’re a bad person. All deeds, no matter how harmful or offensive to others can be rationalized in the perpetrators mind; perhaps that is the definition of evil? I looked away, who am I to judge? I thought. I don’t have the theological qualifications or the clean track record to deem anyone evil, he’s just a man. I focused back on the inferno. Watching the fire spark and dance forming grinning malevolent shapes, I thought of the ancient Celtics when they’d set their world on fire with their Samhain bonfires; their unholy pagan ritual for summer’s end. That sacred night when the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. The night of the great sacrifice. Blue-red flames licked the sky crackling and hissing their macabre cleansing cacophony that drew our unblinking stares and didn’t let go, it had us, it made us watch. Corynne clutched me close, her breathing was soft and warm; the air was beginning to cool. October was coming.
Chris Fraser (The Bookmaker)
Avalon is full of desperate people.’ She bites at her lower lip this time, fumbling her hands, knitting her fingers into the bundle of plastic coin bags in her grasp. ‘Are you implying that I’m desperate?’ I say, one eyebrow tilting. ‘You don’t need to be desperate… you can have anyone... I…’ she trails off. Looking up and trying to search the line of shops for the bank. I repulse her, I make her want to run. Why is this so hard? I need to get inside of her, I need to know what she is thinking, what she is wanting. It surely isn’t me she wants. Not to the extent that I… want her. ‘You?’ I entice her to finish her sentence but she doesn’t, she stares off into the bustling crowds, memory flashing her eyes with a darkness. ‘Madi wouldn’t fumble like this.’ Oh, she would fumble, but not in the way you are, Elli. ‘You’re not her, Elli.’ I entice her again, trying to force the dark memory, the sadness from her. ‘No, if I was, you wouldn’t have wanted anyone else.’ A breath hitches in her throat, she puts a hand over her mouth and says something else, her cheeks dance a shade of red that brightens and brightens until she apologises and quickens her pace. I chuckle, pulling at her arm and encircling one around her waist, pulling her back to me. Beneath my touch, her body trembles. When I raise my hand, my palm touching her cheek, I am sure she isn’t breathing. ‘I don’t want anyone, Elli.’ My eyes burn, consuming her with my gaze. She is like a frightful deer, struggling beneath me with a gaze that cannot quite meet mine. When she does, it is only for a brief second before falling down and all I see is the gentle flutter of her raven flashes. ‘I told you. I want someone I cannot have.’ ‘That is a really harsh way of telling someone you’re not interested.
Charlotte Munro (Grey October (East Hollow Chronicles))
She breaks into some remixed version of the funky chicken on crack before trying to twerk. And while that dance should not be performed by anyone – man, woman, or child—Ally most definitely should never, ever try it. At first I think she’s got butt cramps. Or her ass fell asleep and she’s trying to wake it up. I can’t even begin to ask, too overcome with hilarity to form coherent words. Shit, even I’m snorting a little.
S.L. Jennings (Taint (Sexual Education, #1))
The ‘magic’ of Lothlórien has many roots (some of them to be discussed later on), but there is one thing about it which is again highly traditional, but also in a way a strong re-interpretation and rationalization of tradition. There are many references to elves in Old English and Old Norse and Middle English, and indeed in modern English – belief in them seems to have lasted longer than is the case with any of the other non-human races of early native mythology – but one story which remains strongly consistent is the story about the mortal going into Elfland, best known, perhaps, from the ballads of ‘Thomas the Rhymer’. The mortal enters, spends what seems to be a night, or three nights, in music and dancing. But when he comes out and returns home he is a stranger, everyone he once knew is dead, there is only a dim memory of the man once lost in Elf-hill. Elvish time, it seems, flows far slower than human time. Or is it far quicker? For there is another motif connected with elves, which is that when their music plays, everything outside stands still. In the Danish ballad of ‘Elf-hill’ (Elverhøj), when the elf-maiden sings: ‘The swift stream then stood still, that before had been running; the little fish that swam in it played their fins in time’. Tolkien did not at all mind deciding that ancient scribes had got a word wrong, and correcting it for them, but he was at the same time reluctant ever to think that they had got the whole story wrong, just because it did not seem to make sense: it was his job to make it make sense. Lothlórien in a way reconciles the two motifs of the ‘The Night that Lasts a Century’ and ‘The Stream that Stood Still’. The Fellowship ‘remained some days in Lothlórien, as far as they could tell or remember’. But when they come out Sam looks up at the moon, and is puzzled: ‘The Moon’s the same in the Shire and in Wilderland, or it ought to be. But either it’s out of its running, or I’m all wrong in my reckoning.’ He concludes, it is ‘as if we had never stayed no time in the Elvish country…Anyone would think that time did not count in there!’ Frodo agrees with him, and suggests that in Lothlórien they had entered a world beyond time. But Legolas the elf offers a deeper explanation, not from the human point of view but from the elvish (which no ancient text had ever tried to penetrate). For the elves, he says: ‘the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow. Swift, because they themselves change little, and all else fleets by: it is a grief to them. Slow, because they do not count the running years, not for themselves. The passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream.’ What Legolas says makes perfect sense, from the viewpoint of an immortal. It also explains how mortals are deceived when they enter into elvish time, and can interpret it as either fast or slow. All the stories about elves were correct. Their contradictions can be put together to create a deeper and more unpredictable image of Elfland, at once completely original and solidly traditional.
Tom Shippey (J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century)
Your wife?” “Right.” “What does she do?” Tracy asked. “She works for a janitorial company; they clean the buildings downtown.” “She works nights?” Kins said. “Yeah.” “Do you have kids?” Tracy asked. “A daughter.” “Who watches your daughter when you and your wife are working nights?” “My mother-in-law.” “Does she stay at your house?” Tracy said. “No, my wife drops her off on her way to work.” “So nobody was at home when you got there Sunday night?” Bankston shook his head. “No.” He sat up again. “Can I ask a question?” “Sure.” “Why are you asking me these questions?” “That’s fair,” Kins said, looking to Tracy before answering. “One of our labs found your DNA on a piece of rope left at a crime scene.” “My DNA?” “It came up in the computer database because of your military service. The computer generated it, so we have to follow up and try to get to the bottom of it.” “Any thoughts on that?” Tracy said. Bankston squinted. “I guess I could have touched it when I wasn’t wearing my gloves.” Tracy looked to Kins, and they both nodded as if to say, “That’s plausible,” which was for Bankston’s benefit. Her instincts were telling her otherwise. She said, “We were hoping there’s a way we could determine where that rope was delivered, to which Home Depot.” “I wouldn’t know that,” Bankston said. “Do they keep records of where things are shipped? I mean, is there a way we could match a piece of rope to a particular shipment from this warehouse?” “I don’t know. I wouldn’t know how to do that. That’s computer stuff, and I’m strictly the labor, you know?” “What did you do in the Army?” Kins asked. “Advance detail.” “What does advance detail do?” “We set up the bases.” “What did that entail?” “Pouring concrete and putting up the tilt-up buildings and tents.” “So no combat?” Kins asked. “No.” “Are those tents like those big circus tents?” Tracy asked. “Sort of like that.” “They still hold them up with stakes and rope?” “Still do.” “That part of your job?” “Yeah, sure.” “Okay, listen, David,” Tracy said. “I know you were in the police academy.” “You do?” “It came up on our computer system. So I’m guessing you know that our job is to eliminate suspects just as much as it is to find them.” “Sure.” “And we got your DNA on a piece of rope found at a crime scene.” “Right.” “So I have to ask if you would you be willing to come in and help us clear you.” “Now?” “No. When you get off work; when it’s convenient.” Bankston gave it some thought. “I suppose I could come in after work. I get off around four. I’d have to call my wife.” “Four o’clock works,” Tracy said. She was still trying to figure Bankston out. He seemed nervous, which wasn’t unexpected when two homicide detectives came to your place of work to ask you questions, but he also seemed to almost be enjoying the interaction, an indication that he might still be a cop wannabe, someone who listened to police and fire scanners and got off on cop shows. But it was more than his demeanor giving her pause. There was the fact that Bankston had handled the rope, that his time card showed he’d had the opportunity to have killed at least Schreiber and Watson, and that he had no alibi for those nights, not with his wife working and his daughter with his mother-in-law. Tracy would have Faz and Del take Bankston’s photo to the Dancing Bare and the Pink Palace, to see if anyone recognized him. She’d also run his name through the Department of Licensing to determine what type of car he drove. “What would I have to do . . . to clear me?” “We’d like you to take a lie detector test. They’d ask you questions like the ones we just asked you—where you work, details about your job, those sorts of things.” “Would you be the one administering the test?” “No,” Tracy said. “We’d have someone trained to do that give you the test, but both Detective Rowe and I would be there to help get you set up.” “Okay,” Bankston said. “But like I said, I have
Robert Dugoni (Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite, #2))
She hesitated a moment then slipped her arm through his. "Just remember, I lead, you follow." "Okay, but when we're dancing at the wedding, I lead, you follow." She sighed dramatically. "I guess I can agree to that." He chuckled. "See? I have a feeling this the beginning of a beautiful fake relationship." She worried her bottom lip as they walked toward the kitchen together. "I'm sure glad one of us feels that way.
Jennifer Shirk (Wedding Date for Hire (Anyone But You, #2))
he first time I ever laid eyes on you, you were jogging with your friend, Hilary,” he murmured. I lowered my gaze back to the tiny shoe and smiled. “The first time I ever had the pleasure of hearing your voice,” he titled his head in thought, “you ended up tripping and needed bandaged.” His finger brushed over the tiny silver Band-Aid. Tears began pooling in my eyes. His gift was unlike anything I ever expected. I wasn’t sure what to think or even feel in that moment. “The first time I knew you were more than a pretty face,” he smiled, his thumb caressing my cheek for the briefest moment, “you brought Oliver and me muffins.” His voice cracked and I bit my bottom lip as he touched upon the tiny muffin. The burn of a stray tear as it slipped down my cheek pulled my gaze to my lap. Quickly, I wiped it away. Next, he held up the miniature swimming pool in his hand and I laughed, looking up at him. “This one speaks for itself, sweetheart.” His smile widened into a broad grin. “It was a night I’ll never forget…and one I wouldn’t mind experiencing again next summer.” My head shot down, heat creeping up my cheeks. I shook my head, chuckling. “This,” he held up a music note, “is for the first time we danced.” He lowered the bracelet and looked me in the eyes. “I wanted you that night, Cassandra. More than I’ve ever wanted any woman. But I’m thankful every day that you wouldn’t let me have my way.” He sighed. “We wouldn’t be here today if I had slept with you then.” He looked back down, frowning. “I can’t image you not being here today.” My heart swelled helping me find my voice. “The pumpkin patch,” I said, running my fingers over the shiny jack-o-lantern. “Yes, the first day I realized I wanted nothing more than to protect you. From your ex, from anyone that could hurt you.” I smiled, his words soothing every part of my soul. “The carnival.” I smiled, remembering our day together. The charm was of a Ferris wheel and the only one that was gold. Logan took my hand and clasped the bracelet around my wrist. He looked up at me, my hand still in his. “The first day I knew Oliver was falling in love with you.
Angela Graham (Inevitable (Harmony, #1))
She’s wearing a T-shirt that says I’m So Goth I Shit Tiny Vampires. “Hey,” Jeremy says. Talis nods. Talis isn’t so Goth, at least not as far as Jeremy or anyone else knows. Talis just has a lot of T-shirts. She’s an enigma wrapped in a mysterious T-shirt. A woman once said to Calvin Coolidge, “Mr. President, I bet my husband that I could get you to say more than two words.” Coolidge said, “You lose.” Jeremy can imagine Talis as Calvin Coolidge in a former life. Or maybe she was one of those dogs that don’t bark. A basenji. Or a rock. A dolmen. There was an episode of The Library, once, with some sinister dancing dolmens in it.
John Joseph Adams (Other Worlds Than These)
Brittany’s tongue snakes out to wet her perfect heart-shaped lips, which are now shiny and oh, so inviting. “Don’t tease me like that,” I groan, my lips inches from hers. Her books hit the carpet. Her eyes follow, but if I lose her attention, I may never get this moment back. My fingers move to her chin, gently urging her to look at me. She looks up at me with those vulnerable eyes. “What if it means something?” she asks. “What if it does?” “Promise me it won’t mean anything.” I lean my head back on the couch. “It won’t mean anythin’.” Aren’t I supposed to be the guy in this scenario, laying down the no-commitment rules? “And no tongue,” she adds. “Mi vida, if I kiss you, I guarantee there’s gonna be tongue.” She hesitates. “I promise it won’t mean anythin’,” I assure her again. I really don’t expect her to do it. I think she’s teasing me, testing to see how much I can take before I crack. But as her eyelids close and she leans closer, I realize it’s going to happen. This girl of my dreams, this girl who is more like me than anyone I’ve ever met, wants to kiss me. I take over control as soon as she tilts her head. Our lips touch for the briefest moment before I lace my fingers in her hair and keep kissing her soft and gentle. I cup her cheek in my palm, feeling her baby-soft skin against my rough fingers. My body urges me to take advantage of the situation, but my brain (the one inside my head) keeps me in check. A satisfied sigh escapes Brittany’s mouth, as if she’s content to stay in my arms forever. I brush the tip of my tongue against her lips, enticing her to open her mouth. She tentatively meets my tongue with her own. Our mouths and tongues mingle in a slow, erotic dance until the sound of the front door opening makes her jerk away.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
They’d never had anyone on the show who was missing an arm before. They’d had amputees on the show, but with different injuries. Mine posed a bit more of a challenge for dance. They mentioned Amy Purdy, the double amputee, who had been on the show, so I said, “Yeah, Amy Purdy is amazing, a very athletic, very impressive woman, but she has both of her knees. I don’t have a knee on my left side.” The phone went silent for a little while. But it didn’t turn them off. They just resumed talking. “Do you have any dance experience?” “No.” “Anytime in your life, if you were at a bar or a club, what did you do?” “I stood at the bar and ran my mouth. That’s what I do. I have never danced in any capacity. I don’t dance.” I was not trying to sell myself to them at all. I was being straight with them. Then they said, “If you decide to do it, we’ll put you in a house in L.A.” I knew then I had to say no to this show. “Well, I’m sorry, I’ve got three kids here and I can’t be away that long.” And without hesitation Deena Katz, one of the executive producers, said, “That’s fine. Your dancer will come to where you are and that’s where you’ll rehearse and come back and forth. Where do you live?” “Alabama.” She just answered, “Okay.” I don’t think they thought about that, either. Alabama is a long way from Los Angeles. We talked a little while longer and that was it. I never said yes. They never said I was doing it.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
I’d be mortified at getting stuck down in a sexy squat. Absolutely mortified. I give Paige huge points for coming up laughing even louder, and exclaiming to Kendra, who’s come over too: “Ken! Didja see? I dropped it but I couldn’t pop it! Ha! I couldn’t pop it!” She’s howling with laughter, her head thrown back, her blond curls tumbling everywhere. “I dropped it!” she yells. “But I couldn’t pop it!” “Ma cosa dice?” Sebastiano says to me. “What does she say?” I look at him helplessly. “I can’t explain,” I say finally. So I throw my hands wide in apology for not being able to translate, and start dancing again, only to stop a moment later as Paige yells: “Oh! Em! Gee! I am sooo out of it!” She’s pointing at Golia, the donkey. “I’m, like, seeing things! I thought you were supposed to see pink elephants--I’m, like, seeing a horse! No, it’s a pony! My Little Pony! Cool! Is anyone else seeing a--” “I think it’s time we took her home,” Kendra says dryly to Leonardo.
Lauren Henderson (Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1))
Most of our children’s stories end with the perpetrators of evil deeds getting what’s coming to them, but this old gentleman did nothing wrong. He tried to perform a dance that, owing to a case of nerves, turned out rather disturbingly weird, but that’s the extent of his crime. Nor was anyone in his family particularly evil. And the same can be said for the sake-loving Ojii-san and his family, and for the Oni of Mount Tsurugi as well. None of them did anything wrong. And yet, although not a single instance of wrongdoing occurs in the story, people end up unhappy. It’s difficult, therefore, to extract from this tale of the stolen wen a moral lesson for daily life. But were an indignant reader to demand to know why, in that case, I even bothered to write the damn thing, I would have no choice but to reply as follows: It’s a tragicomedy of character. At issue here is an undercurrent that winds through the very heart of human existence.
Osamu Dazai (Otogizōshi: The Fairy Tale Book of Dazai Osamu)
Why are you here?” I asked and my heart was suddenly in my throat. “Does it… does it have to do with the stake?” “You’re damn right, it’s the stake,” the witch snapped. She fumbled in the giant, oversized purse she was wearing and pulled out something that looked like an old, dried up tree branch. “What’s that?” I asked, staring at it blankly. “That’s the stake! The soul eater.” She thrust it at me and I pulled back instinctively. “What the hell—keep it out of my face!” “It can’t hurt you now—it can’t hurt anyone. Someone neutralized it—someone reversed my spell.” She glared at me as if I was personally responsible. Which actually, I probably was. “That was my best magic and I come from a long line of powerful witches. Even I couldn’t have reversed that spell. How the hell did you do it?” Taylor turned to me, her eyes wide. “You reversed a witch’s magic? But how, Addison? You’re not a witch—are you?” “No, of course not.” I tried to laugh. “I think you’d know by now if I was. You would have caught me out casting spells at midnight or dancing with the devil or something.” An uncomfortable look crossed Gwendolyn’s face. “That’s a fucking stereotype and I don’t appreciate it. Witches are neutral agents of power—they have nothing to do with demons or any other creatures of the Shadow Lands.” She glared at me. “So how did you reverse my magic?” “She paid the Crimson Debt.
Evangeline Anderson (Crimson Debt (Born to Darkness, #1))
Toys were at the bottom of my parents’ priority list, and “Money doesn’t grow on trees” was the mantra most frequently heard around the house. Most of the toys Bill and I had were hand-me-downs or gifts we received for Christmas, or on our birthday. I can pretty much remember every toy I ever got, but that’s just the way it was. I do not believe that the lack of toys indicated a lack of love, but rather indicated where my parents were financially. However, having said that, North Germans such as my parents tended to be cold by nature, which was in sharp contrast to the South Germans, who loved to sing, make love and dance. The North Germans tended to look down on the South Germans, considering them frivolous and lazy. It seemed to me that most of the people from North Germany were very clandestine and anyone outside of our circle was suspect, and considered to be Schmeir Hammel, a slimy, castrated ram. My brother and I were frequently reminded to keep to ourselves and not make friends. Above all, we were told that ein Vogel beschmutzt sein eigenes nest nicht, meaning that a bird does not dirty its own nest. What it really meant was that you don’t talk to others about what happens within the family!” !
Hank Bracker
They have a piano in town," Cade said. He'd stood outside Clark's barn any number of times, listening to the intertwining of notes, contemplating making such a joyful noise. The player hadn't been expert, but he'd never heard anything like it before. Apparently this was news to Lily. She looked up at Cade with something akin to excitement burning in the pale blue of her eyes. "Really? Why didn't anyone tell me?" Then she shut up and her gaze drifted to the pasture beyond the trees. Her husband had known. He could see that suspicion forming on her face. "I suppose that's what they do in town on Saturday nights," she murmured. "Jim told me it was too rowdy to stay after dark." "The other women stay," Cade said without inflection. Lily had never been close to her sisters, but she had grown up in a household of females and missed the feminine discussions and laughter and shared secrets. Juanita couldn't fill that need entirely; she had been too damaged by her past. Lily didn't know much about the town ladies, but there was no reason she couldn't meet them somehow, if she put her mind to it. "I wish I could hear the piano," Lily said. Actually, she wished she had a right to play the piano, but that was beyond her ability to speak. "I'll take you in if you wish to go." Lily surprised herself by saying, "I would like that, thank you. I don't think Juanita would mind watching Serena, and my father can look after Roy. Do they have other instruments besides the piano?" Cade stroked the flute as he gazed on the woman sitting boldly in the grass before him. He had never met anyone quite like her before. She was white and female, which should put her completely out of bounds for any conversation at all. But she was his boss, and as such, there had to be a certain amount of communication. She wore trousers like a man, and to a certain extent she spoke like a man, but he couldn't treat her with the same deference as Ralph Langton or with the scorn he felt for the ignorant farmhands he worked with. If she had been a whore, he could have had certain expectations, but she was a lady. How the hell should he treat a lady who wore pants? "Fiddles, sometimes," he responded while he struggled with the problem. "Is there dancing?" she asked anxiously. It was then that Cade realized that this woman didn't see categories as other people did. She saw people through the eyes of a child, as they related to her. It was rather amusing to realize that he had been avoiding her to keep from offending her ladylike sensibilities, when she was more likely offended by his avoidance than his presence. That's what he got for assuming all white women were alike. "They dance," he agreed. Cade
Patricia Rice (Texas Lily (Too Hard to Handle, #1))
Savona didn’t dance with anyone else,” Nee said. We were curled up in my sitting room. Outside the window, the garden was a silhouette in the faint blue light of dawn. “We only danced that once. But then he asked me that question about my favorite color,” I said. “Ought I to wear it tonight?” She pursed her lips. “I’ll wager my best necklace all the decorations in that ballroom tonight will be lavender, even if he has to empty the entire city today to find them. Did he say anything else?” “He asked me to call him Russav.” Her eyes widened. “I don’t think anyone calls him that--except for Vidanric, and sometimes Tamara. I think I told you that he inherited when his parents died under mysterious circumstances, when he was very small. We all grew up calling him Savona.” “Well, I can’t think of him as anything but Savona.” Again that sense of rushing down a rock-strewn river engulfed me. “What does it all mean?” “It means you are going to be very, very popular,” Nee predicted. “Is that it?” I said, frowning. “You mean, what does it signify in personal terms?” she asked, her brows rising. “That question, my dear, you are the one to answer, not I.” “But I can’t answer it,” I wailed. “I feel like I’m in a whirlwind, and the wrong move will dash me on the rocks.” “You’ll learn how to maneuver as you steer your own course,” she said. “Everyone began with no experience.” I shook my head. “I think that Savona was born with experience.” She set her cup down. “He was always popular with the wilder children, the ones who liked dares and risks. He and Vidanric both. Only, Vidanric was so small and lightboned he had to work hard at it, while everything came easy to Savona, who was always bigger and faster and more coordinated than anyone else. I think it was the same when they discovered flirting--” She hesitated, then shrugged and closed her lips. And since the subject had come to include Shevraeth, I didn’t want to pursue it. Ever since our conversation on our arrival at Athanarel, Nee had stopped talking about him. I told myself I didn’t want to hear any more anyway.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Would you grant me the honor of your first dance, Lady Rose?” Can you manage it? he seemed to be asking. She looked around the ballroom once more, trying to decide what was best. She supposed she could either dance with Lord Ashton and show everyone that she was no longer an invalid . . . or she could remain in a chair beside the wall. “Only if you dance with Miss Sinclair next,” she countered with a smile of her own. It was a reasonable enough request. “If Miss Sinclair is willing, I should be very glad of her company.” He sent her a charming smile, which made Evangeline’s fan flutter faster. “Of course, I would be happy to dance with you, Lord Ashton,” the young woman agreed. Her expression turned worried, and she continued, “But as for Lady Rose, I fear that—” She stopped abruptly, and looked perplexed, as if to remind them both, She cannot walk. But the moment Iain extended his hand, Rose took it and stood slowly. He gave her a moment to steady her balance, and then she leaned against him when she took her first step. Her eyes fixed upon his with a silent plea, Keep it slow. At least then she could hide her heavy limp. She heard Evangeline give a soft gasp, and there were murmurs all around them. It took all her concentration to walk, but Rose leaned against Iain, determined to keep her balance. “There’s a lass.” He smiled at her, allowing her to set the pace. Her heart hammered faster, and she felt the eyes of every guest staring at her. Never in her life had she felt so self-conscious. Though she had longed to take her first steps with Lord Burkham at her side, now she was beginning to reconsider. Iain was the man who had helped her to walk again, and of anyone here, she trusted him not to let her stumble. He knew the limits of her endurance, and she could confess when she needed to stop and rest. “You look grand this night.” He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as they moved closer to the dancing. “Thank you.” She had worn a sky-blue gown with a full skirt and a lace shawl to cover her bare shoulders. It wasn’t the most fashionable gown, but her grandmother had deemed it quite appropriate for the evening. Because she expected me to remain in a chair, Rose thought. No one expected me to dance. “Do you think you can manage this?” Iain asked. His expression revealed the sincerity of a man who didn’t want her to be embarrassed. “Only if it’s a waltz.” A quick-paced dance would be quite beyond her balance. But right now, this was about proving herself to others. She wanted everyone to see that she had overcome her illness and could walk again. She took one step that was too heavy, and stumbled forward. Iain caught her immediately and halted, waiting for her to regain her balance. Her cheeks burned, and she blurted out, “I am sorry.” “Don’t be.” He brought her to the edge of the dancers, nearest to the wall. They would be away from the others, and yet, she could join in. The music shifted into a lilting waltz, and he rested his hand against her waist. “If you begin to tire, step on my feet. Your skirts will hide it, and no one will notice,” he advised. He’d
Michelle Willingham (Good Earls Don't Lie)
Westcott gets a ginger ale and a Heineken. He doesn’t want the latter. He has to make the pretense. Sitting beside Regn ("Wren") the front of her black dress opens enough. It is respectable and nothing more. He does not like a woman who flaunts her cleavage. Regn is not one of those women. Westcott cautiously looks to see the elusive hummingbird etched above her right breast. He finds himself inhaling deeply, with complete imperceptibility to anyone who might be watching—though no one is—to catch the scent of her perfume. Sharon drags him onto the dance floor. Her husband doesn’t mind. After all it is innocent. They meander across the floor to Regn who is shaking out a rhythm by herself like so many of the dancers. None of the men ask Regn to dance. Everyone more or less has a date or spouse. Regn and Sharon each take one of Westcott’s hands. The three move together. Or rather they move his limbs. He wants to step lightly, freely, to sweep across the floor. He knows he could if it was just he and Regn and no one was watching. But no, that won’t do either. He wants to dance as a gentleman—to lead and direct this woman with precision, the precision and deliberateness with which he’s pursued her, unwittingly. He wants the world to look upon them and see what he hides. He wants to be applauded and yes, even envied a bit, for his grace and certainty of step. More than anything he wants Regn to move with him. Had he the confidence, the experience, were he a true man, it could never have happened. It is the slow advance that makes her love him. In many ways he is just a boy. She wants to protect him, but sometimes that look, that expression, is so old, determined. He knows what she wants. She can’t deny the way the feeling of being loved makes her feel. It’s been so long.
Wheston Chancellor Grove (Who Has Known Heights)
You’re Ned Stark’s bastard, aren’t you?” Jon felt a coldness pass right through him. He pressed his lips together and said nothing. “Did I offend you?” Lannister said. “Sorry. Dwarfs don’t have to be tactful. Generations of capering fools in motley have won me the right to dress badly and say any damn thing that comes into my head.” He grinned. “You are the bastard, though.” “Lord Eddard Stark is my father,” Jon admitted stiffly. Lannister studied his face. “Yes,” he said. “I can see it. You have more of the north in you than your brothers.” “Half brothers,” Jon corrected. He was pleased by the dwarf’s comment, but he tried not to let it show. “Let me give you some counsel, bastard,” Lannister said. “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” Jon was in no mood for anyone’s counsel. “What do you know about being a bastard?” “All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes.
George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire, 5-Book Boxed Set: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons (Song of Ice & Fire 1-5))
The Heart Surgeon God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 Grace is God as heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart—poisoned as it is with pride and pain—and replacing it with his own. Rather than tell you to change, he creates the change. Do you clean up so he can accept you? No, he accepts you and begins cleaning you up. His dream isn’t just to get you into heaven but to get heaven into you. What a difference this makes! Can’t forgive your enemy? Can’t face tomorrow? Can’t forgive your past? Christ can, and he is on the move, aggressively budging you from graceless to grace-shaped living. The gift-given giving gifts. Forgiven people forgiving people. Deep sighs of relief. Stumbles aplenty but despair seldom. Grace is everything Jesus. Grace lives because he does, works because he works, and matters because he matters. He placed a term limit on sin and danced a victory jig in a graveyard. To be saved by grace is to be saved by him—not by an idea, doctrine, creed, or church membership, but by Jesus himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives him the nod.
Max Lucado (God Is With You Every Day)
Every savage can dance,' declared Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. His antagonist's riposte now seems odd—'I doubt not that you are an adept in the science yourself, Mr Darcy.' 'Science' is among the most slippery words in the English language, because although it has been in use for hundreds of years, its meanings constantly shift and are impossible to pin down. That plural (meanings) was deliberate. In the early nineteenth century, when Austen casually mentioned the science of dancing, other writers were still using 'science' for the mediaeval subjects of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Long afterwards, 'science' could still mean any scholarly discipline, because the modern distinction between the Arts and Sciences had not yet solidified. The Victorian art critic John Ruskin listed five subjects he thought worthwhile studying at university—the Sciences of Morals, History, Grammar, Music, and Painting—none of which feature on modern scientific syllabuses. All of them, Ruskin declared, were more intellectually demanding than chemistry, electricity, or geology. However skilfully Mr Darcy performed his science of dancing, Austen could never have called him a scientist. That word, now so common, was not even invented until twenty years later, in 1833, when the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) was holding its third annual meeting. As the conference delegates joked about needing an umbrella term to cover their diverse interests, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge rejected 'philosopher', and William Whewell—one of Babbage's allies, a Cambridge mathematical astronomer—suggested 'scientist' instead. The new word was very slow to catch on. Many Victorians insisted on keeping older expressions, such as 'man of science', or 'naturalist', or 'experimental philosopher'. Even men now seen as the nineteenth century's most eminent scientists—Darwin, Faraday, Lord Kelvin—refused to use the new term for describing themselves. Why, they demanded, should anyone bother to invent such an ugly word when perfectly adequate expressions already existed? Mistakenly, critics accused 'scientist' of being an American import, a trans-Atlantic neologism—one eminent geologist declared it was better to die 'than bestialize our tongue by such barbarisms'. The debate was still raging sixty years after Whewell first introduced the idea, and it was only in the early twentieth century that 'scientist' was fully accepted.
Patricia Fara
You know, you just kind of do the best you can and hold on to moments that feel a little better than others. You fall asleep and try not to think about the pressing time of past and future, compressing you from both ways, but you can’t let yourself get worried about it. You just have to try to fall asleep. And you put both feet on the ground when you wake up, seeing the sun that rose once again, despite it all, knowing that this is one of very few limited mornings that you will get to experience and you just have to stop carrying life like a burden. Life is not a burden. It’s not heavy to be alive. It’s weightless. It’s light as air. You’re just floating, a leaf through space, for a little while. You just have to learn to close your eyes more, or open them, when you can. You just have to learn to float with the current more, not fight against things. Change, movement, transitions ... you have to become one with the current. So what if you find yourself homeless and aimless, broke to the bones with no one to hold or call or care for? Go climb a mountain and sit above the world for an hour or two. Breathe in cleaner air and drink water falling through the cracks of the stones. Don’t take the photo and don’t share it with anyone. It’s still beautiful even if only you know about it. You hold this moment in your heart and you go forward for here, one step at a time, and you try to get moments like this, even with other people, down on the ground, and maybe sometimes you will find yourself crying at 4am by yourself but that’s all good. It’s all okay. Just soak up whatever life offers and don’t think too much about it. It’s all beautiful. Stop seeing life as a burden. Something heavy to carry. Life is not heavy. Life is weightless and you can dance through it like a thin fog a summer’s morning. It’s all beautiful.
Charlotte Eriksson
The strategy consists in extracting from the order achieved by past generations patterns that will help avoid disorder in one’s own mind. There is much knowledge—or well-ordered information—accumulated in culture, ready for this use. Great music, architecture, art, poetry, drama, dance, philosophy, and religion are there for anyone to see as examples of how harmony can be imposed on chaos. Yet so many people ignore them, expecting to create meaning in their lives by their own devices.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
I bite my lip, but there’s no one here but me and the seabirds. The sun makes me savor it. I’m slow and deliberate and not thinking of anyone much at all, which is strange of me. I think about art. I look out on the bay and imagine the four siblings gauded in their luminous finery. I imagine how it will seem from up here on Tier Eight, because I know I’ll never get to see it. The shimmering array growing more and more frantic as the voices compound and coalesce. In the dark, it will look as though the four islands are dancing. Like Gil and Enki, that night it all began. At that bare thought of him, I gasp and shudder and fall back against the grass and packed dirt. A worm slides past my ear while I pant. “Should I come back?” I sit up so fast I feel dizzy. It’s Enki, leaning against the guardrail. I can hardly see his face, the sun is so bright behind him.
Alaya Dawn Johnson (The Summer Prince)
Zev nodded. He smiled up at Tatijana as she came to his side. “It’s good to see you,” he greeted her. “Thanks for saving us out there.” She smiled back at him and sank down into the grass, taking his arm to inspect the damage. “It’s getting to be a habit. We can’t have anyone killing you, Zev. My sister wouldn’t be too pleased. She’s hoping to get another dance with you sometime.” “She probably doesn’t remember my name,” Zev said. “But it’s kind of you to say so.” Tatijana laughed. “Silly man. Your name is probably the only one she does remember. She’s not very social.” Fen gave a small derisive snort. “The lengths you go to, getting yourself hurt just for a little female sympathy. You know, Tatijana, he really is far faster than he lets on and he could have prevented the knife from slicing him open. He was just hoping your sister would show up and kiss it all better.” Zev sent him a warning glare. “I’m still armed to the teeth, you bastard.
Christine Feehan (Dark Wolf (Dark, #22))
In a booth, Bailey sat next to Vaughn while frowning at her drink. “I need a man!” she declared when she saw me. Vaughn glanced at her and sighed. “I’ll do you, but no names.” Bailey didn’t get it, but I laughed while Cooper acted irritated. Aaron kissed the top of my head then walked over to get us drinks. “Why can’t I trap a man into a relationship like you bitches?” she asked with complete seriousness. “Your subtly turns men off,” Vaughn answered when I just smiled. “Bailey, maybe you could try being more obvious in your need to trap a man. Like wear a shirt with lots of exclamation marks.” “Shut up, fuckhead. You don’t have anyone either.” “I have plenty of anyones.” “Whores aren’t attractive.” Vaughn grinned. “You make it too easy sometimes, B.” Cooper frowned. “Don’t even think of saying what you’re thinking.” “What we’re all thinking.” Bailey frowned at me. “What the fuck are they talking about?” “It’s one of those things that only makes sense when you have ball toxins.” Bailey smiled and nodded. “That happens a lot around me. Want to dance?” “Not really.” “Because you might puke?” “Why would she puke?” Vaughn asked, shoving a pretzel in Bailey’s mouth. Cooper rolled his eyes. “Aaron can’t use a condom properly.” Returning just in time for his friend’s comment, Aaron sighed dramatically. “I just have powerful sperm.” “I was on the pill too,” I said, sticking my tongue at Cooper who grinned. “His mighty sperm didn’t care though.” “You idiots don’t get how the pill works,” Vaughn said before realizing he sounded like a chick about to discuss her period. “Well, congrats, Aaron. You are now officially whipped like a bitch. How does it feel?” Aaron answered by kissing me like we might fuck right there.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Cobra (Damaged, #3))
Jesus (to the disciples): Let the children come to Me, and don’t ever stand in their way, for this is what the kingdom of God is all about. 15Truly anyone who doesn’t accept the kingdom of God as a little child does can never enter it. 16Jesus gathered the children in His arms, and He laid His hands on them to bless them. 17When He had traveled on, a young man came and knelt in the dust of the road in front of Jesus. Young Man: Good Teacher! What must I do to gain life in the world to come? Jesus: 18You are calling Me good? Don’t you know that God and God alone is good? 19Anyway, why ask Me that question? You know the Commandments of Moses: “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not slander, do not defraud, and honor your father and mother.”* Young Man: 20Yes, Teacher, I have done all these since I was a child. 21Then Jesus, looking at the young man, saw that he was sincere and responded out of His love for him. Jesus: Son, there is still one thing you have not done. Go now. Sell everything you have and give the proceeds to the poor so that you will have treasure in heaven. After that, come, follow Me. 22The young man went away sick at heart at these words because he was very wealthy, 23and Jesus looked around to see if His disciples were understanding His teaching. Jesus (to His disciples): Oh, it is hard for people with wealth to find their way into God’s kingdom! Disciples (amazed): 24What? Jesus: You heard Me. How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God [for those who trust in their wealth]!* 25I think you’ll see camels squeezing through the eye of a needle before you’ll see the rich celebrating and dancing as they enter into the joy of God’s kingdom! 26The disciples looked around at each other, whispering. Disciples (aloud to Jesus): Then who can be liberated? Jesus (smiling and shaking His head): 27For human beings it is impossible, but not for God: God makes everything possible. Peter: 28Master, we have left behind everything we had to follow You. Jesus: 29That is true. And those who have left their houses, their lands, their parents, or their families for My sake, and for the sake of this good news 30will receive all of this 100 times greater than they have in this time—houses and farms and brothers, sisters, mothers, and children, along with persecutions—and in the world to come, they will receive eternal life. 31But many of those who are first in this world shall be last in the world to come, and the last, first.
Anonymous (The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture)
Oh. My. God. I’m a walking disaster,” I say to Emily. She’s sitting on a stool, wearing a gorgeous yellow robe, and spins around to look at me. A robe. Now why couldn’t I have had one of those? “What is the matter?” She’s wearing little rag-curlers, like me, but on her they look cute and perky. The white cloth contrasts with her dark locks, like some kind of fashion statement. Somehow I doubt I look quite as charming. I walk over to her bed and throw myself on it with a heavy sigh. “I just walked around wrapped up like this and ran into Alex. God, I’m lucky I didn’t see anyone else. I bet Victoria would have just loved seeing me like this.” Emily giggles. “You do look quite silly.” “Thanks,” I say, rolling over on the bed. “I can’t believe he saw me.” Emily sips at a small glass on her vanity and then turns and stares right into my eyes. “I had believed you had no interest in my cousin.” I snarl my lip at her in disgust. “Oh, I am so not interested in him. He is only interested in himself. I mean, really. Could he show some interest and compassion for the people around him? He’s totally self-centered. And on top of that, he thinks I should censor everything I say and be a docile little girl or something. I mean, really.” Her grin widens. “There is no need to sway me. I believe you.” “Oh.” So then why is she grinning at me like that? And more importantly, why doesn’t she hate him like I do? I mean, she might not know about the secret kid, but she knows he’s all for her marrying that Denworth guy because he’s done nothing to help her get out of it. Shouldn’t she resent him, even if he is her cousin? “Now, let us talk of more important topics: our attire for tonight’s dance.” And now I grin back at her and all thoughts of Alex disappear. This is going to be so fun.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
Let me ask you something.” Davis took a sip of his coffee. “Is the thought of marrying me so horrible that you’d rather suffer through all this?” She inhaled deeply, fighting the tears rising in her eyes. “I have nothing against you personally. Truly I don’t. You seem like a nice enough man, but I really don’t know you. However, that aside, it is my intention to return to Indiana when we reach Oregon. So you see I can’t get married. Not to you, not to anyone.” Davis put his cup down and reached toward Emma. He put his fingers gently under her chin, turning her head until he looked directly into her eyes. “What makes you think you’ll be able to get back to Indiana once you reach Oregon?” “I’ll hire someone, sell my wagon, and do whatever I need to. I will go back to Indiana.” Her words were not as forceful as she intended. Looking directly into Davis’s eyes with the firelight dancing in front of them made it difficult to catch her breath. Her heart pounded, but she attributed it to her annoyance at having to explain herself. “Ah, darlin’, you won’t be able to do that. Once you’ve finished this trip, believe me, there is no way you’ll want to set out again.” He began to slowly rub his thumb over her chin. “I hear Oregon is a fine place to settle.” “I want to go back to Indiana.” Emma jerked away from his touch. “I was happy there.
Callie Hutton (Emma's Journey)
One of the methods that he and Bowie used on Low was the “Oblique Strategies” he’d created with artist Peter Schmidt the year before. It was a deck of cards, and each card was inscribed with a command or an observation. When you got into a creative impasse, you were to turn up one of the cards and act upon it. The commands went from the sweetly banal (“Do the washing up”) to the more technical (“Feedback recordings into an acoustic situation”; “The tape is now the music”). Some cards contradict each other (“Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities”; “Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics”). Some use Wildean substitution (“Don’t be afraid of things because they’re easy to do”). And several veer towards the Freudian (“Your mistake was a hidden intention”; “Emphasise the flaws”). The stress is on capitalising on error as a way of drawing in randomness, tricking yourself into an interesting situation, and crucially leaving room for the thing that can’t be explained—an element that every work of art needs. Did the Oblique Strategy cards actually work? They were probably more important symbolically than practically. A cerebral theoretician like Eno had more need of a mental circuit-breaker than someone like Bowie, who was a natural improviser, collagiste, artistic gadfly. Anyone involved in the creative arts knows that chance events in the process play an important role, but to my mind there’s something slightly self-defeating about the idea of “planned accidents.” Oblique Strategies certainly created tensions, as Carlos Alomar explained to Bowie biographer David Buckley: “Brian Eno had come in with all these cards that he had made and they were supposed to eliminate a block. Now, you’ve got to understand something. I’m a musician. I’ve studied music theory, I’ve studied counterpoint and I’m used to working with musicians who can read music. Here comes Brian Eno and he goes to a blackboard. He says: ‘Here’s the beat, and when I point to a chord, you play the chord.’ So we get a random picking of chords. I finally had to say, ‘This is bullshit, this sucks, this sounds stupid.’ I totally, totally resisted it. David and Brian were two intellectual guys and they had a very different camaraderie, a heavier conversation, a Europeanness. It was too heavy for me. He and Brian would get off on talking about music in terms of history and I’d think, ‘Well that’s stupid—history isn’t going to give you a hook for the song!’ I’m interested in what’s commercial, what’s funky and what’s going to make people dance!” It may well have been the creative tension between that kind of traditionalist approach and Eno’s experimentalism that was more productive than the “planned accidents” themselves. As Eno himself has said: “The interesting place is not chaos, and it’s not total coherence. It’s somewhere on the cusp of those two.
Hugo Wilcken (David Bowie's Low (33 1/3))
I think you must ask yourself what will make you happy. Not anyone else. You.’ I stared at her. ‘I suppose you think that sounds selfish, but it’s how I’ve lived my own life. Each morning I wake up and the first thing I think is what can I do today to make myself happy. You’d be surprised how hardly anyone else does that.’ ‘Actually I wouldn’t.’ ‘Most people think only about what they have to do. They don’t stop to ask if they really want to. Me, I dance the tango to be happy, I make love to be happy, look at art, listen to music, wear beautiful clothes, enjoy all my passions as often as I can. I make happiness the thing that matters most.
Before the white man became universally disliked for his mental outlook, it was there. The white man found only too many people who looked different. That was all that outraged the receivers of his discrimination, that he applied the technique of the wild jiggling dance and the rattling tin cans to anyone who was not a white man.
Bessie Head (Maru)
Feeling like we were not lovable to our own parents makes it very difficult to believe that anyone can Love us.
Robert Burney (Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)
Let me tell you. Depression is no joke. It can happen to anyone, even you, yes, confident you. Beautiful you. Successful you. And, I hope it doesn't. But, if it ever does, you're not alone. Talk to someone you trust, please. And be patient with yourself. Write. Pray. Cry. Dance. And one day, maybe, it will go away. Now I am dancing shaku-shaku.
Sahndra Fon Dufe
Few Carpathian women carry to full term. The child rarely survives the first year of life. Do not be so certain we are out of the woods. You must rest and be cared for. The child comes first. Byron would say so also. Mikhail must take you far from this place, away from the vampire and the assassins. I will hunt and rid our people of the danger while your mate looks after you.” Gregori’s voice was low and pitched in silver tones, tones of light that beckoned and danced. Nearly impossible to resist. So calm and soothing and reasonable. Raven actually had to shake off the compulsion to do as he wished. She glared at him. “Don’t even try that with me, Gregori.” She included Mikhail in her stare. “And you, you big lunk, you would have gone along with him like the tree-swinging macho man you are. Watch these guys, Shea, they’re impossible. They’ll do anything to get their way.” Shea found herself smiling. “So I’ve noticed.” It was reassuring to see that Raven had learned to hold her own with the men. Shea was every bit as strong. “I can’t leave Byron out there to suffer the same fate as Jacques,” Raven insisted stubbornly. She looked beyond Gregori to Shea for support. “We can’t.” Shea had seen firsthand what the human butchers were capable of, and she could no more leave Byron to such a fate than she could walk away from Jacques. She nodded in agreement. “Once we have Byron’s location, you men can go after him. I’ll stay with raven, and we’ll wait for you here. The vampire can’t come out with the sun up, and we have guns if the humans show up.” “In any case, Mikhail, you know you could protect us from humans, even from a distance,” Raven reminded him. “Shea is right, healer.” Jacques suddenly threw his support to the women. He owed Byron. He could not allow anyone to suffer as he had. He glanced at Gregori. “You knew Raven and Mikhail were in trouble when their minds were connected to Byron’s. What is it? How does the vampire trap us?” “He ensnared Raven and me through Byron, a monumental feat,” Mikhail admitted. Then he rubbed his jaw ruefully. “Is it possible, little brother, you enjoyed hitting me just a bit too much?” Jacques’ teeth gleamed white in the semblance of a smile. He could not help but admire Mikhail’s coolness in the midst of a threat as lethal as the healer’s and the vampire’s combined. To be able to joke, to put aside the ego of the Carpathian male, was nothing short of a miracle.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
You’ll always get the kind of person who watches himself acting, who sees himself as if in some continuous performance. Who believes there’ll be witnesses to report his generous or contemptible death and that this is what matters most. Or who, if there are no witnesses, invents them — the eye of God, the world stage, or whatever. Who believes that the world only exists to the extent that it’s reported and events only to the extent that they’re recounted, even though it’s highly unlikely that anyone will bother to recount them, or to recount those particular facts, I mean, the facts relating to each individual. The vast majority of things simply happen and there neither is nor ever was any record of them, those we hear about are an infinitesimal fraction of what goes on. Most lives and, needless to say, most deaths, are forgotten as soon as they’ve occurred and leave not the slightest trace, or become unknown soon afterwards, after a few years, a few decades, a century, which, as you know, is, in reality, a very short time. Take battles, for example, think how important they were for those who took part in them and, sometimes, for their compatriots, think how many of those battles now mean nothing to us, not even their names, we don’t even know which war they belonged to, more than that, we don’t care. What do the names Ulundi and Beersheba, or Gravelotte and Rezonville, or Namur, or Maiwand, Paardeberg and Mafeking, or Mohacs, or Nájera, mean to anyone nowadays?’ — He mispronounced that last name, Nájera. — ‘But there are many others who resist, incapable of accepting their own insignificance or invisibility, I mean once they’re dead and converted into past matter, once they’re no longer present to defend their existence and to declare: “Hey, I’m here. I can intervene, I have influence, I can do good or cause harm, save or destroy, and even change the course of the world, because I haven’t yet disappeared.” — ‘I’m still here, therefore I must have been here before,
Javier Marías (Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear / Dance and Dream / Poison, Shadow, and Farewell (Your face tomorrow, #1-3))
Donato, Donato,” Hannah calls, waving. He comes over to us, kisses his mother and her friend on their cheeks. They laugh and smile, slapping him playfully when he flatters them in Italian. I can tell Hannah is waiting for her turn. She blushes when he spins her. “Bellissima.” He whistles. When he looks at me it’s with the same calculated charm. Only he’s quick about it, he does not mention the silk crepe dress I’m wearing, the one from the shop on Via Condotti. He does offer me a cigarette. “Cilla doesn’t smoke,” Hannah reminds him. He smirks. “Ah, sì. I forget. Ready to go in?” He gives us wristbands that will get us free drinks, and then ushers us from the line, past the bouncers and into the club. It is an instant assault of grinding bodies, of a thick, not unpleasant heat. Flashing lights—blue, white, pink, purple. I can’t make anything out. And then Hannah and her girlfriends are gone. Donato too. I look around, but I’ve been left with Marie and her friend. “Donato reserved us a booth,” Marie shouts to me, and signals that I should follow her. I push my way through the crowd. Everywhere are women, most not older than thirty, all of them red-lipped and kohl-eyed, with delicate sloping noses, bare shoulders and legs. They are dancing almost on top of one another, their teeth bright white and perfect. A bartender comes by with shots for anyone who will kiss him. Marie’s friend leaves a fat lip print on either cheek. Bacio, bacio, she mouths to me. I shake my head. No, thank you. A waitress takes us past a velvet rope, to a big round booth where a bottle of champagne sits in a bucket of ice. Marie and her friend are beaming. Marie leans over to me. “Is this like Los Angeles clubs?
Liska Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want)
*Wife's Letter* Pt1 ... It was not the mask that died among the boots, but you. The girl with the yoyo was not the only one to know about your masked play. From the very first instant, when, elated with pride, you talked about the distortion of the magnetic field, I too saw through you completely. Please don’t insult me any more by asking how I did it. Of course, I was flustered, confused, and frightened to death. Under any circumstances, it was an unimaginably drastic way of acting, so different from your ordinary self. It was hallucinatory, seeing you so full of self-confidence. Even you knew very well that I had seen through you. You knew and yet demanded that we go on with the play in silence. I considered it a dreadful thing at first, but I soon changed my mind, thinking that perhaps you were acting out of sympathy for me. Then, though the things you did seemed a little embarrassing, they began to present the appearance of a delicate and suave invitation to a dance. And as I watched you become amazingly serious and go on pretending to be deceived, my heart began to fill with a feeling of gratitude, and so I followed after you meekly. But you went from one misunderstanding to the next, didn’t you? You write that I rejected you, but that’s not true. Didn’t you reject yourself all by yourself? I felt that I could understand your wanting to. In view of the accident and all, I had more than half resigned myself to sharing your suffering. For that very reason, your mask seemed quite good to me. In a happy frame of mind, I reflected that love strips the mask from each of us, and we must endeavor for those we love to put the mask on so that it can be taken off again. For if there is no mask to start with, there is no pleasure in removing it, is there? Do you understand what I mean? I think you do. After all, don’t even you have your doubts? Is what you think to be the mask in reality your real face, or is what you think to be your real face really a mask? Yes, you do understand. Anyone who is seduced is seduced realizing this. But the mask did not return. At first you were apparently trying to get your own self back by means of the mask, but before you knew it you had come to think of it only as your magician’s cloak for escaping from yourself. So it was not a mask, but somewhat the same as another real face, wasn’t it? You finally revealed your true colors. It was not the mask, but you yourself. It is meaningful to put a mask on, precisely because one makes others realize it is a mask. Even with cosmetics, which you abominate so, we never try to conceal the fact that it is make-up. After all, it was not that the mask was bad, but that you were too unaware of how to treat it. Even though you put the mask on, you could not do a thing while you were wearing it. Good or bad, you could not do a thing. All you could manage was to wander through the streets and write long, never-ending confessions, like a snake with its tail in its mouth. It was all the same to you whether you burned your face or didn’t, whether you put on a mask or didn’t. You were incapable of calling the mask back. Since the mask will not come back, there is no reason for me to return either.
Kōbō Abe (The Face of Another)
Sweet Jane" Standing on the corner, suitcase in my hand Jack is in his corset, and Jane is in her vest, and, me I'm in a rock'n'roll band. Huh Ridin' in a Stutz-Bearcat, Jim Y'know, those were different times Oh, all the poet, they studied rules of verse And the ladies, they rolled their eyes Sweet Jane! Whoa! Sweet Jane, oh-oh-a! Sweet Jane I'll tell you something Jack, he is a banker And Jane, she is a clerk Both of them save their monies, ha And when, when they come home from work Ooh! Sittin' down by the fire, oh The radio does play The classical music there, Jim "The March of the Wooden Soldiers" All you protest kids You can hear Jack say, get ready, ah Sweet Jane! Come on baby! Sweet Jane! Oh-oh-a! Sweet Jane Some people, they like to go out dancing And other peoples, they have to work. Just watch me now And there's even some evil mothers Well they're gonna tell you that everything is just dirt Y'know that, women, never really faint And that villains always blink their eyes, woo And that, y'know, children are the only ones who blush And that, life is, just to die And, everyone who ever had a heart, oh That wouldn't turn around and break it And anyone who ever played a part, whoa And wouldn't turn around and hate it Sweet Jane! Whoa-oh-oh! Sweet Jane! Sweet Jane. Sweet Jane Sweet Jane. Sweet Jane
Velvet Underground
Look at you.” I gestured toward him, for he could not disguise his pain, nor hide the fever that brought beads of sweat to his forehead. “You did this to yourself, Steldor. You punished yourself with your actions, but nothing else was accomplished. You just wanted to be a martyr.” “What’s wrong with that?” he shot back. “You want to be a saint! You want to be the one who brings peace to these people. You’re the one who brought war, Alera. You’re the reason Narian didn’t leave for good when he fled Hytanica. He loves you, and that’s why--” He stopped talking, unable to make himself complete that sentence. “You’re right about one thing,” I whispered in the dead silence. “Narian loves me, but what you won’t acknowledge is that he’s the reason any of us still have our lives. He’s the reason you weren’t killed for that show you put on.” “Extend my thanks,” he said, tone laden with sarcasm. I threw up my hands. “This is pointless, us dancing around in circles. You still won’t listen to anyone, let alone me. I may as well go.” “But you won’t--you aren’t yet ready to leave.” I didn’t move, hating that he knew my threat had been empty, and he stood. He drew closer to me until I could feel the heat radiating from his body. “Hytanica and Cokyri will always be different worlds, Alera. Before this is over, one of those worlds will be destroyed. We can’t coexist like this.” “Not when people like you refuse to believe any different.” “At least I’m not hiding from the truth. You’re so wrapped up in Narian that you can’t see the situation for what it really is. Cokyri is a godless, brutal, warrior empire that despises the very way we live. Now that they are in power, they have no need to honor our traditions or tolerate our beliefs. Don’t you see, it’s not just the Kingdom of Hytanica that will no longer exist. It is our entire way of life.” I stared at him, shocked and confused. Narian and I had always been able to work through our differences, so I had assumed our countries could, as well. But he and I wanted to be together, we wanted to be joined. Our countries did not. “Cokyri is interested only in obtaining certain things from us,” I argued, although a bit of doubt now nagged at me. “As long as we follow their regulations, we can live in the manner we always have.” “Then I’d keep an eye on their regulations, Alera. They’re already changing our educational system, what we are permitted to teach our sons. Religion will come next.” “Change isn’t necessarily all bad.” “It is when it’s forced down your throat. And in case you haven’t notice, the Cokyrians overseeing the work crews have not allowed us to rebuild our churches. They have been reconstructed, but for different, more practical purposes. The Cokyrians are quite enamored with practicality.” Not knowing what else to say, I turned to depart, only to feel his hand on my arm. “It doesn’t have to be like this, Alera. Between us, I mean.” He was looking at me with those dark, intense, fiery eyes--eyes that held love I had never reciprocated. “Things are what they are, Steldor,” I replied, decisive but desolate. “We’re separated by too much. We always have been. Just please, give yourself time to get well.” Before he could stop me a second time, I stepped out the door, feeling the weight of frustration lifting from my shoulders with each step I took away from him. I had been foolish to think he and I could communicate in spite of our differing beliefs. Neither of us wanted to cause the other pain, but that was all we had ever been good at doing.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
No one is interested with your past, non-professional relationship with Agent Harris, Detective Garner.” I cut them off. Seriously, nobody wants to hear it (I know I do not), since it is probably a perfect fairy tale of a prodigy guy and prodigy girl, and together they catch bad guys while looking excessively beautiful at doing it. They look so majestic side by side, like prom king and queen from some cheesy coming-of-age movie where they dance flawlessly and sing like pro despite that it’s their first gig. Also, their eyes sparkle. It takes a long, sort-of out-of-sense explanation why eyes can figuratively sparkle, but it just does. You know in romantic comedy movie where the guy stares far away and then he is smiling when he finally makes a decision involving the only girl he wants to spend eternity with? And girl when she meets a boy band member? Yeah, that’s how they look at each other. Jemma looks at this guy like how girl looks at boy (ah, it even sounds sexist in my head), but not at me. She looks like me like I am a special case that she wants to solve. She looks at me like she's trying to find my eyes (which is, always there, I don't know why it is so hard for her to see a pair of black dots above my nose), and maybe I am a little bit irritated because this Harris guy breathes and just like that, you can see the grace in Garner--how big, mushy twinkie, of a person she really is. Also, I am definitely irritated because Jemma's ex is terrifyingly perfect, it's alarming, but then there's me. She's settling down with me. I feel insecure and I do not like that feeling. So, like a literal five years old child, I stroll between them, ruining their unexpected reunion (hey, doesn't anyone want to talk about how Harris tracked down all cases at JCPD so he can jump into whatever his ex is currently working on? This is not reunion, it's stalking) and offer him a handshake. At the time like this, I wish I had electricity running through my palm. I probably couldn’t end this Harris guy’s life, but at least I could give his perfect blond hair a ‘struck by lightning’ makeover. “Hi, Detective Irving. Homicide Unit. Strategic Expert. By the way, I’m good at combining them, you know.” I introduce myself. Which is true, I can be writing a mental note on how to eliminate this threat in my head for all he knows. “Strategy, and murder. I can mix them up.
Rea Lidde (Haven (Clockwork #0.5))
Death. The eternal blink. The capricious dance of Now You Stop Moving Forever. Well, contrary to popular belief, death isn't just for dead people. It can happen to anyone." —The Tick
Leslie Langtry ('Scuse Me While I Kill This Guy (Greatest Hits, #1))
C’mon, I won’t tell anyone your secrets . . . even if they’re really, really bad,” she promised, raising an eyebrow. “Mocking me will get you nowhere.” But he leaned down, his breath tickling the side of her neck, and a rush of warmth flooded Violet’s stomach. “There are other ways to break me, though.” Violet reached for his hand, drawing him out of the flow of traffic, away from the pushing and shoving of students, until they were tucked into a private pocket of space, just the two of them. “What do I have to do to make you talk?” She pressed against him, standing on her toes so her lips could reach his. She didn’t have to reach far; he was already meeting her halfway, his arm snaking around her waist. They didn’t speak for several long seconds as Violet savored the feel of his lips against hers, soft and familiar and achingly tender. She shivered inwardly, both loving and hating the way her body reacted—almost instantaneously—to his. She had very little control over herself when he touched her. She felt like a puppet, at his command. But they couldn’t stand there for long, pretending that no one could see them, when everyone could. She kissed him one last time . . . lightly, softly, sweetly. “So, now are you gonna tell me?” she teased, slipping her hand beneath his T-shirt so she could feel the warmth of his bare stomach. One side of his lip twitched upward. “There’s really nothing to tell, Vi. I don’t have any deep dark secrets or anything. What you see is what you get.” “How can you be so sure? What did she say exactly?” Violet’s fingers danced along his waistline, tracing a path to his back. Jay grinned down at her, reaching for her hand and leading her toward the lunchroom. “Nothing, really. She just kept saying ‘interesting,’ over and over again. If you ask me, she just noticed what everyone else already knows, that I’m incredibly interesting.
Kimberly Derting (The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3))
Why would you think I take your chauvinism personally? I thought we were having an abstract discussion about dance?” “But it’s you who are refusing to keep it abstract,” Allie Sherr said. “You’ve been accusing us of chauvinism, accusing us of ascribing ugliness to all Frogmorians.” “I give up,” Solstice said. “As far as I can make out, you do consider the Frogmore physique ugly. All of you claim that anyone with the average Frogmore body — a body suited to this planet as well as any human body can be — you claim that the average Frogmore body more or less defiles dance, that the Frogmore body is not expressive enough to be appropriate for dance.
L. Timmel Duchamp (The Waterdancer's World)
Repeat after me: I deserve to be here.' 'I deserve to be here!' Harry and Dave declared, and I mumbled along with them. 'No one can take my dance space away from me,' Vicky intoned, and the three of us repeated her words. 'And finally: I don't care if anyone thinks I look stupid.' 'But I do look stupid,' I pointed out, as Harry yelled out his affirmations. 'So do I,' Vicky said. 'But I don't care.
Leila Sales (This Song Will Save Your Life)
Margaret O'Bannon, what in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. are you doing?" Shad invoked the name of Martin Luther King only when he was truly bowled over. Thankfully, his mouth also went in to hyper drive. "Wait….you saw him, didn't you? You saw the ghost? Can you see him now? Is he nearby?" Shad went into Ninja stance, his basketball forgotten, bouncing forlornly down the hall. "What did he look like, Mags? Can you see through him? Did he float?" Shad did a couple lunges and karate chops to the left and then the right. Then he glanced in terror up at the ceiling, as if the ghost of Johnny Kinross were waiting to drop over him like a net. "Shad...calm down!" Maggie tried to interrupt Shad's blithering tirade, but he was moving down the hallway in Ninja squat, arms still high and poised for an attack by a ghost… or anyone with a black belt. Retrieving his basketball, Maggie followed behind him, trying to convince him that Johnny Kinross wasn't going to drag him off.
Amy Harmon (Slow Dance in Purgatory (Purgatory, #1))
It’s probably a good idea to warn you about Grandma Melvyn in case you’re expecting her to be a sweet little grandma who brings me cookies and milk and knits me cozy blankies. She’s not. But if you have an extra grandma like that, I’m interested. Grandma Melvyn is not even my real grandma. She’s not anyone’s grandma. She’s my great-great-aunt, but trust me, it doesn’t matter how many “greats” you put in front of her title—there is nothing great about her. Dad started calling her Grandma Melvyn after our real grandma died. I guess he felt sorry for her because she didn’t have anyone to call her Grandma. This might be a good time to point out that feeling sorry for Grandma Melvyn is like kissing a scorpion. You get over the idea real fast. I know that sounds mean, but it’s not. All it takes is one look at Grandma Melvyn to understand. She’s about as tall as a mailbox and she wears glasses that are two inches thick and make her eyes look as big as baseballs. You can see every vein and every floater and sometimes, when she gets mad, her eyeballs wobble. That is not something you want to see. Trust me. I once saw her make a nine-year-old cry at his own birthday party. Okay, it was me. But you’d cry, too, if she gave you the Wicked Wobble Eye. Grandma Melvyn never smiles and she never ever, ever laughs. Did I mention never? One last thing about Grandma Melvyn. She calls everybody “Trixie.” And I mean everybody! Keep reading. You’ll see what I mean. When Ape Boy yelled, I ran out of the kitchen and looked out the dining room window. Uncle Pete was trying to help Grandma Melvyn up the sidewalk. Every couple of steps, she pushed him away and waved her cane at him like a fencer with a foil. Then she tottered forward a bit and tilted to the right, then the left and backward, until she looked like she would fall over. Even through the window glass, I could hear her yell, “Get over here, Trixie! Are you going to let an old lady fall down and die out here in this zoysia wasteland you call a yard? Zoysia? Who plants zoysia?” Uncle Pete grabbed Grandma Melvyn’s arm and helped her for a couple of steps, until she pushed him away and the whole thing started all over again, like some weird modern dance. Aunt
Andrea Beaty (Dorko the Magnificent)
Sometimes I have thought I heard a Dwarf-drum in the mountains. Sometimes at night, in the woods, I thought I had caught a glimpse of Fauns and Satyrs dancing a long way off; but when I came to the place, there was never anything there. I have often despaired; but something always happens to start me hoping again. I don’t know. But at least you can try to be a King like the High King Peter of old, and not like your uncle.” “Then it’s true about the Kings and Queens too, and about the White Witch?” said Caspian. “Certainly it is true,” said Cornelius. “Their reign was the Golden Age in Narnia and the land has never forgotten them.” “Did they live in this castle, Doctor?” “Nay, my dear,” said the old man. “This castle is a thing of yesterday. Your great-great-grandfather built it. But when the two sons of Adam and the two daughters of Eve were made Kings and Queens of Narnia by Aslan himself, they lived in the castle of Cair Paravel. No man alive has seen that blessed place and perhaps even the ruins of it have now vanished. But we believe it was far from here, down at the mouth of the Great River, on the very shore of the sea.” “Ugh!” said Caspian with a shudder. “Do you mean in the Black Woods? Where all the--the--you know, the ghosts live?” “Your Highness speaks as you have been taught,” said the Doctor. “But it is all lies. There are no ghosts there. That is a story invented by the Telmarines. Your Kings are in deadly fear of the sea because they can never quite forget that in all stories Aslan comes from over the sea. They don’t want to go near it and they don’t want anyone else to go near it. So they have let great woods grow up to cut their people off from the coast. But because they have quarreled with the trees they are afraid of the woods. And because they are afraid of the woods they imagine that they are full of ghosts. And the Kings and great men, hating both the sea and the wood, partly believe these stories, and partly encourage them. They feel safer if no one in Narnia dares to go down to the coast and look out to sea--toward Aslan’s land and the morning and the eastern end of the world.
C.S. Lewis (Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2))
Messages that tell us we aren’t pretty enough, young enough, thin enough, or desirable enough are garbage. Anyone who implies we are unable to care for our own families is lying. If you believe the persona that marketing culture has crafted --helpless, too stressed, overwhelmed, incompetent (without their products)-- I am here to say otherwise. You are not a moron or a damsel in distress. You are smart and able, and getting older is not a tragedy. Don’t believe them. Even if some observations are descriptive, they need not be prescriptive. You are not a total hot disaster! Well, no more than any of us. You can do hard things. (Some “hard things” are actually “easy things” rebranded as impossible.) You are more than some company’s profitability, and you don’t need their tricks to live a beautiful, meaningful life. We can reclaim our merit without dancing like monkeys.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
Easy.” She heard him laugh softly. “My fault. I shouldn’t have kissed you like that.” “You’re right,” she said, her sense of humor tentatively reasserting itself. “I should give you a set-down . . . slap you or something . . . what is the usual response from ladies you’ve taken liberties with?” “They encourage me to do it again?” Harry suggested in such a helpful manner that Poppy couldn’t help smiling. “No,” she said. “I’m not going to encourage you.” They faced each other in darkness relieved only by the slivers of light shed by upper-floor windows. How capricious life was, Poppy thought. She should have been dancing with Michael tonight. But now she was Michael’s castoff, and she was standing outside the ballroom, in the shadows with a stranger. Interesting, that she could be so in love with one man and yet find another so compelling. But Harry Rutledge was one of the most fascinating people she had ever met, with so many layers of charm and drive and ruthlessness that she couldn’t fathom what kind of man he really was. She wondered what he was like in his private moments. She was almost sorry she would never find out. “Give me a penance,” Harry urged. “I’ll do whatever you ask.” As their gazes caught and held in the shadows, Poppy realized that he actually meant it. “How large a penance?” she asked. Harry tilted his head a little, studying her intently. “Ask for anything.” “What if I wanted a castle?” “Done,” he said promptly. “Actually, I don’t want a castle. Too drafty. What about a diamond tiara?” “Certainly. A modest one suitable for daytime wear, or something more elaborate?” Poppy began to smile, when a few minutes earlier she had thought she would never smile again. She felt a surge of liking and gratitude. She couldn’t think of anyone else who would have been able to console her in these circumstances. But the smile turned bittersweet as she looked up at him once more. “Thank you,” she said. “But I’m afraid no one can give me the one thing I truly want.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
I’m trying to make a profit. I’m using batteries, toilet paper, and paper towels as currency. Each is something that will eventually be in short supply.” “You’re trying to get all the toilet paper in town?” Astrid shrilled. “Are you kidding?” “No, Astrid, I’m not kidding,” Albert said. “Look, right now, kids are playing with the stuff. I saw little kids throwing rolls of it around on their lawns like it was a toy. So—” “So your solution is to try and take it all away from people?” “You’d rather see it wasted?” “Yeah, actually,” Astrid huffed. “Rather than you getting it all for yourself. You’re acting like a jerk.” Albert’s eyes flared. “Look, Astrid, now kids know they can buy their way into the club with it. So they’re not going to waste it anymore.” “No, they’re going to give it all to you,” she shot back. “And what happens when they need some?” “Then there will still be some left because I made it valuable.” “Valuable to you.” “Valuable to everyone, Astrid.” “It’s you taking advantage of kids dumb enough not to know any better. Sam, you have to put a stop to this.” Sam had drifted away from the conversation, his head full of the music. He snapped back. “She’s right, Albert, this isn’t okay. You didn’t get permission—” “I didn’t think I needed permission to give kids what they want. I mean, I’m not threatening anyone, saying, ‘Give me your toilet paper, give me your batteries.’ I’m just playing some music and saying, ‘If you want to come in and dance, then it’ll cost you.’” “Dude, I respect you being ambitious and all,” Sam said. “But I have to shut this down. You never got permission, even, let alone asked us if it was okay to charge people.” Albert said, “Sam, I respect you more than I can even say. And Astrid, you are way smarter than me. But I don’t see how you have the right to shut me down.” That was it for Sam. “Okay, I tried to be nice. But I am the mayor. I was elected, as you probably remember, since I think you voted for me.” “I did. I’d do it again, man. But Sam, Astrid, you guys are wrong here. This club is about all these kids have that can get them together for a good time. They’re sitting in their homes starving and feeling sad and scared. When they’re dancing, they forget how hungry and sad they are. This is a good thing I’m doing.” Sam stared hard at Albert, a stare that kids in Perdido Beach took seriously. But Albert did not back down. “Sam, how many cantaloupes did Edilio manage to bring back with kids who were rounded up and forced to work?” Albert asked. “Not many,” Sam admitted. “Orc picked a whole truckload of cabbage. Before the zekes figured out how to get at him. Because we paid Orc to work.” “He did it because he’s the world’s youngest alcoholic and you paid him with beer,” Astrid snapped. “I know what you want, Albert. You want to get everything for yourself and be this big, important guy. But you know what? This is a whole new world. We have a chance to make it a better world. It doesn’t have to be about some people getting over on everyone else. It can be fair to everyone.” Albert laughed. “Everyone can be equally hungry. In a week or so, everyone can starve.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Might you introduce me to these two lovely ladies?” I smirk. The guy just called me a lady. I guess he was giving me the benefit of the doubt. “Certainly. Might I introduce you to Lady Everson and Miss Rebecca Vaughn.” It’s hard not to scowl at his continued snub. “So lovely to meet you, Lady Everson, Miss Vaughn. Do you suppose you might like to dance?” When I come up from my curtsy, I realize he’s looking at me. I think I stop breathing for a second, because every muscle in my body freezes. I don’t even blink. This guy wants to dance with me instead of this “lady.” It’s exactly what I wanted, and yet I’m paralyzed with terror. I don’t know how. I’ve never even been asked to dance. Ever. Equal parts of anxiety and elation race through me. “Wouldn’t you prefer to dance with Lady Everson?” Alex says. And then before I know what he’s doing, he’s gently pushing Lady Everson forward and stepping in front of me, blocking my view of Brimmon. “She is a peer, after all.” I’m so stunned; the two disappear before I can even more. When Alex turns to me, I come unleashed. “You are the rudest, most ridiculously arrogant person I have ever met in my life!” I say, and then spin on my heel and stomp away. I’ve gone less than two yards before he stops me, a hand on my shoulder. “Miss Vaughn. As you are my guest, it is expected that the two of us shall dance.” I snort. “Oh, no, that’s not necessary. I won’t be your charity case. Wouldn’t you rather--“ But he grabs my hand, places it on his elbow, and starts pulling me toward the floor just as the music transitions. Half the guests are looking at us. I can hardly rip my arm away and stomp on his foot without looking like a total freak. Not if I want a nice guy to ask me to dance later. Besides, if Emily’s right, I can’t decline the first guy to ask me, or it will signal that I don’t want to dance all night. I hadn’t imagined the first guy would be Alex. Argh. We take our places in the middle of the line up. He bows, and so I curtsy, and then follow his lead as we walk forward and back a few times, standing on our toes when we’re close, and bowing down a bit as we step away. Everything I do is a half step behind him, but we’re managing. My anger still simmers below the surface. This is preposterous. He’ll dance with me because he has to, but he thinks I’m not actually good enough for him--or for anyone with a title. I knew my first impression of him would prove correct. I knew he wasn’t worth the ground I spit on! Talk about insulting! He holds his hand up, palms facing me, so I push my hand against his and we sort of walk in a circle, our gloved hands palm to palm. Thank God we’re wearing gloves; I don’t want to touch this jerk.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
Estes Park was set in a valley surrounded by the Rocky Mountain National Park.... When I visited a few years ago, there were actually elk grazing on the golf course." "Are you serious?" "Hey, every year in October they have an Elk Festival. That's why I came here. I wanted to see it 'cause it was on my bucket list." "An Elk Festival?" Amelia laughed. "You have the most awesome things on your bucket list. Mine seem boring compared to yours." Amelia raised her brow curiously. "What was the festival like?" "It was awesome. They had an elk bugling contest, elk seminars, Native American music, dancing and storytelling. They even had bus tours that took you to see the elk grazing in the fields. It was great. I loved it." "Wait a minute," said Amelia as she tilted her head to one side. "What's an elk bugling contest?" Rick grinned. "It's the call of the elk. Anyone can compete. Whoever sounds the most like an elk wins. You can use a horn or just your own voice. When I was there, the man who won used his voice. It was really something." Amelia's eyes widened with curiosity. "How did he do it? What does it sounds like?" Rick chuckled. "Well... the call starts out with deep rich tones. Then it quickly rises to a high-pitched squealing sound and immediately drops down to a bunch of grunts.
Linda Weaver Clarke (The Mysterious Doll (Amelia Moore Detective Series #4))
Anyone who can fog up a mirror can dance.
Sean Dietrich (The Incredible Winston Browne)
We’re sitting here because we’re already barely tolerated, and because as long as we don’t move too quickly or speak too loudly, we can blend into the background or at least pretend to be serving staff. That’s how this works, Letty. A brown man at an Oxford ball is a fun curiosity as long as he keeps to himself and manages not to offend anyone, but if I dance with you, then someone’s going to hit me, or worse.
R.F. Kuang (Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution)