Details About You Quotes

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If you want to understand any woman you must first ask about her mother and then listen carefully. Stories about food show a strong connection. Wistful silences demonstrate unfinished business. The more a daughter knows about the details of her mother's life - without flinching or whining - the stronger the daughter.
Anita Diamant (The Red Tent)
Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember, all I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me. Finally you somehow caught fire.
Franz Kafka
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
Abe held my gaze a bit longer and then broke into an easy smile. ʺOf course, of course. This is a family gathering. A celebration. And look: hereʹs our newest member.ʺ Dimitri had joined us and wore black and white like my mother and me. He stood beside me, conspicuously not touching. ʺMr. Mazur,ʺ he said formally, nodding a greeting to both of them. ʺGuardian Hathaway.ʺ Dimitri was seven years older than me, but right then, facing my parents, he looked like he was sixteen and about to pick me up for a date. ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved. ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. ʺOf course,ʺ said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. ʺIʹm glad youʹre back.ʺ Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri: ʺLooking forward to our chat.ʺ ʺRun,ʺ I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they wonʹt notice. Go back to Siberia." "Actually," said Dimitri, "I'm pretty sure Abe would notice. Don't worry, Roza. I'm not afraid. I'll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It's worth it.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
The thing about fate, Magnus: even if we can't change the big picture, our choices can alter the details.That's how we rebel against destiny, how we make our mark. What will you choose to do?
Rick Riordan (The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1))
If you think about someone you've loved and lost, you are already with them. The rest is just details.
Jodi Picoult (Leaving Time)
Just three words? Nothing about his physical health? His equipment? His supplies?' 'You got me,' she said. 'He left a detailed status report. I just decided to lie for no reason.' 'Funny,' Venkat said. 'Be a smart-ass to a guy seven levels above you at your company. See how that works out.' 'Oh no,' Mindy said. 'I might lose my job as an interplanetary voyeur? I guess I'd have to use my master's degree for something else.' 'I remember when you were shy.' 'I'm space paparazzi now. The attitude comes with the job.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated. … To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.
Edward Abbey
When you start thinking about what your life was like 10 years ago--and not in general terms, but in highly specific detail--it's disturbing to realize how certain elements of your being are completely dead. They die long before you do. It's astonishing to consider all the things from your past that used to happen all the time but (a) never happen anymore, and (b) never even cross your mind. It's almost like those things didn't happen. Or maybe it seems like they just happened to someone else. To someone you don't really know. To someone you just hung out with for one night, and now you can't even remember her name.
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
Sorry. My friends didn't mention certain....details about you and you just wouldn't believe how nutty some people are. Just last week, I had a woman convinced her trailer was haunted by Tupac, as if he'd want to spend eternity in a double wide that smelled like cat piss.
Jeaniene Frost (One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, #6))
Log Entry: SOL 118 My conversation with NASA about the Water Reclaimer was boring and riddled with technical details. So I'll paraphrase for you: Me: "This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?" NASA: (After about 5 hours of deliberation) "No. You'll fuck it up and die." So I took it apart.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Unhappy memories are persistent. They're specific, and it's the details that refuse to leave us alone. Though a happy memory may stay with you just as long as one that makes you miserable, what you remember softens over time. What you recall is simply that you were happy, not necessarily the individual moments that brought about your joy. But the memory of something painful does just the opposite. It retains its original shape, all bony fingers and pointy elbows. Every time it returns, you get a quick poke in the eye or jab in the stomach. The memory of being unhappy has the power to hurt us long after the fact. We feel the injury anew each and every time we think of it.
Cameron Dokey (Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast)
One of the most effective ways to learn about oneself is by taking seriously the cultures of others. It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them from you.
Edward T. Hall (The Silent Language)
I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, “Wow, Mindy, you really have it especially bad. I have heard some stories of stress, but this just takes the cake.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
When you keep to yourself, people will fill in the details about your life themselves.
Karen Lynch (Relentless (Relentless, #1))
I hope I redeemed myself with the whole dancing-sex comparison.” “I suppose there were a couple of notable similarities,” I observed, holding a straight face. “A couple? What about attention to detail, heavy exertion, lots of sweat, and single-minded determinedness to get the job done and done well?” “Mostly I was thinking you just don’t talk during sex.” Mean perhaps, but I couldn’t resist. “Well, my mouth has better things to do.” I swallowed, my own mouth dry. “Are we still talking about dancing?
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
Peeta,” I say lightly. “You said at the interview you’d had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?” “Oh, let’s see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your hair... it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up,” Peeta says. “Your father? Why?” I ask. “He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner,’” Peeta says. “What? You’re making that up!” I exclaim. “No, true story,” Peeta says. “And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings... even the birds stop to listen.’” “That’s true. They do. I mean, they did,” I say. I’m stunned and surprisingly moved, thinking of the baker telling this to Peeta. It strikes me that my own reluctance to sing, my own dismissal of music might not really be that I think it’s a waste of time. It might be because it reminds me too much of my father. “So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent,” Peeta says. “Oh, please,” I say, laughing. “No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew—just like your mother—I was a goner,” Peeta says. “Then for the next eleven years, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.” “Without success,” I add. “Without success. So, in a way, my name being drawn in the reaping was a real piece of luck,” says Peeta. For a moment, I’m almost foolishly happy and then confusion sweeps over me. Because we’re supposed to be making up this stuff, playing at being in love not actually being in love. But Peeta’s story has a ring of truth to it. That part about my father and the birds. And I did sing the first day of school, although I don’t remember the song. And that red plaid dress... there was one, a hand-me-down to Prim that got washed to rags after my father’s death. It would explain another thing, too. Why Peeta took a beating to give me the bread on that awful hollow day. So, if those details are true... could it all be true? “You have a... remarkable memory,” I say haltingly. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.” “I am now,” I say. “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!” I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Sometimes you can remember everything about an old friend, down to minor details about his behaviour, but for the life of you you can't picture his face.
Ryū Murakami
Alec turned around in Magnus’s embrace so that they faced each other, taking in all the details that he never got tired of: the sharp bones of Magnus’s face, the gold-green of his eyes, the mouth that always seemed about to smile, though he looked worried now. “Even if it were just days, I want to spend them all with you. Does that mean anything?” “Yes,” Magnus said. “It means that from now on we make every day matter.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
If you need to talk about your childhood, you’re safe with me. If you need to break into a million pieces, I’m right here, Lev. I’ll find them all, I’m good at details, and I’ll put you back together. You’re safe here.
Christine Feehan (Water Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #1))
Simply put, I love humans. Think about it humans are the most interesting creatures you could hope to find. And when I said humans I meant all humans, not just you specifically, important detail
Orihara Izaya
Not long ago I learned from a certain person in considerable detail about the worthlessness of your character. All the same, it is you who have given me strength, you who have put the rainbow of revolution in my breast. It is you who have given an object to my life.
Osamu Dazai
-"Then what," Lededje asked, trying to keep her voice cold and not get caught up in the avatar´s obvious enthusiasm, "is making you smile about a disaster?" -"Well, first, I didn´t cause it! Nothing to do with me, hands clean. Always a bonus.
Iain Banks (Surface Detail (Culture #9))
Imagination is cheap as long as you don't have to worry about the details.
Daniel C. Dennett (Freedom Evolves)
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it. I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason. It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and becoming that which you are intent on being.
Scott Edmund Miller
The more details people know about you, the weaker you become.
Lilly Singh (How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life)
Just as a man is fulfilled through working out the intricate details of solving a problem, a woman is fulfilled through talking about the details of her problems.
John N. Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships)
Ruby, what does the future look like?” Nico asked. “I can’t picture it. I try all the time, but I can’t imagine it. Jude said it looked like an open road just after a rainstorm.” I turned back toward the board, eyes tracing those eight letters, trying to take their power away; change them from a place, a name, to just another word. Certain memories trap you; you relive their thousand tiny details. The damp, cool spring air, swinging between snow flurries and light rain. The hum of the electric fence. The way Sam used to let out a small sigh each morning we left the cabin. I remembered the path to the Factory the way you never forgot the story behind a scar. The black mud would splatter over my shoes, momentarily hiding the numbers written there. 3285. Not a name. You learned to look up, craning your neck back to gaze over the razor wire curled around the top of the fence. Otherwise, it was too easy to forget that there was a world beyond the rusting metal pen they’d thrown all of us animals into. “I see it in colors,” I said. “A deep blue, fading into golds and reds—like fire on a horizon. Afterlight. It’s a sky that wants you to guess if the sun is about to rise or set.” Nico shook his head. “I think I like Jude’s better.” “Me too,” I said softly. “Me too.
Alexandra Bracken (In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
Dear Nintendo, We need a new Mario game, where you rescue the princess in the first ten minutes, and for the rest of the game you try and push down that sick feeling in your stomach that she’s ‘damaged goods’, a concept detailed again and again in the profoundly sex negative instruction booklet, and when Luigi makes a crack about her and Bowser, you break his nose and immediately regret it. When Peach asks you, in the quiet of her mushroom castle bedroom ‘do you still love me?’ you pretend to be asleep. You press the A button rhythmically, to control your breath, keep it even.
Joey Comeau (Overqualified)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Returning my voice to a conversational level, I called back, “Nora, I’m not attempting to embarrass you or single you out. I know you’re capable. But stay behind Chas, okay? You die, you d i e permanently, and for various reasons that we’ve already gotten angsty about together, I don’t want that to happen.” “Okay, okay,” she sighed. “Angsty?” Chas asked. “Ooh! Later, details!” “Yes, later.” With that, I waved the team forward.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
I don't know if I've ever really touched him. Maybe once or twice when passing papers back. You know, even shorter, his hair looks so soft. Maybe it's time I rub it a little. So I can give more concrete details. I stretch my hand across my desk, but stop when I realize the horror of what I was about to do. Pet Sean. Have I lost my mind?
Lindsey Leavitt (Sean Griswold's Head)
With love like that, you can't get pick about how it finds you or the details. All that matters is that it's there. Better late than never.
Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More)
You are the architect and building contractor of your future. Use your thoughts as an architect uses a blueprint. Think about every detail. An architect not only thinks about the rooms in a house but also the types of windows, the size of closets, the location of outlets, and so on. Nothing is too insignificant. Think big and think detailed!
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Wait,” said Ragnor, and he started to snigger. “Is this about your Nephilim boyfriend?” “Our relationship is as yet undefined,” said Magnus with dignity. Then he clutched the phone and hissed, “And how do you know private details about my personal life with Alexander?” “Ooooh, Alexander,” Ragnor said in a singsong voice. “I know all about it. Raphael called and told me.” “Raphael Santiago,” said Magnus, thinking darkly of the current leader of the New York vampire clan, “has a black ungrateful heart, and one day he will be punished for this treachery.
Cassandra Clare (What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (The Bane Chronicles, #8))
When you assume you make a you-know-what out of U and me. Yep, so let's stop assuming so much. We are often quick to explain details to strangers, who we understand might not be reading our minds, but we often assume that those people closest to us, those who share our household such as spouses, children parents and siblings, can read our minds. And we get upset with them when they don't go figure. I wonder how many angry words are directed not at an action or inaction as would at first appear, but simply at the fact that somebody did not read our minds. So let's give those people we care most about the benefit of the doubt and do a little less assuming and a little more explaining.
David Leonhardt
Wordlessly, she slipped off her shoes. Gently, she placed a palm on the floor, shifted to stand, but that was when Macey felt another hand pressing down on hers.Hard. Too Hard. "Just what do you think you're doing ?" Hale hissed in her ear. His fingers burned into her skin. And Macey knew if she was going to take out the gunman, she was first going to have to neutralize the boy beside her. "Why don't you let me go and I'll show you," she said with only a modicum of flirt in her voice. "Why don't you put your fancy shoes back on and sit there like a good little girl?" "First of all, I'm good at a lot of things. Taking orders from bored billionaires isn't one of them. Second of all, he's alone, and I can take him," Macey said. "No!" Hale said. "You don't know anything about this guy." "I know he's left handed and has an old injury to his right knee---probably a torn ACL at some point but the details don't matter. And the way he keeps his finger purposefully away from the safety of that gun means he's never fired it. And he doesn't want to." "You're kinda scary.
Ally Carter (Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5))
You know, I tried not to think of this place. I tried to let it go. To leave it behind. But it always came back to me, in my dreams. I'd dream about these details, these objects and people and places I'd left behind, and I'd wake up crying.
Danzy Senna
(difficult to make a real confession and show what happened when you're such an egomaniac all you can do is take off on big paragraphs about minor details about yourself and the big sole details about others go sitting and waiting around)
Jack Kerouac (The Subterraneans)
When I think about the things that cause me pain or the things that cause me trouble or frustration, it's not people asking for my autograph; it's people breaking my heart. That happens to you whether you've sold millions of records or whether you're taking classes at college. You're going to believe people when they say that they love you. I don't leave out details when I write songs about that. I try to make my songs as personal as possible because, ultimately, my music started out as just trying to turn my diary entries into something that was a piece of music. And that has never changed.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Go out with me tomorow night," Perry went on. "Let me prove to you that I'm the guy you want." "I...I guess I coul go out tomorrow night," Miranda sounded shocked and a little swept off her feet. Then, from the corner of her eyes. Kylie saw something move at the office window. When she looked back, she spotted Burnett and Holiday standing there high-fiving each other. No doubt Burnett was listening to the coversation and sharing the details with Holiday. Perry nodded, stepped closer, and then pressed a quick kiss on Miranda's cheek. It had to be the most romantic thing Kylie had ever seen. ..."What?" Miranda asked. "You're happy my date [with Todd] wasn't exciting?" "No," Kylie said. "Let's just say we're more excited about tomorrow night's date." A bright smile lit up Miranda's face. "Me too. Can you believ Perry did that? I mean, he was so..." "Romantic," Kylie said. "Hot," Della added. "Sweet," Miranda whispered. "I couldn't stop thinkibng about him all night." And that was the best news Kylie had gotten all day.
C.C. Hunter (Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, #3))
and now sometimes I'm interviewed, they want to hear about life and literature and I get drunk and hold up my cross-eyed, shot, runover de-tailed cat and I say,"look, look at this!" but they don't understand, they say something like,"you say you've been influenced by Celine?" no," I hold the cat up,"by what happens, by things like this, by this, by this!
Charles Bukowski
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Julien Smith (The Flinch)
This is precisely why I loathed being a teacher! Young people are so infernally convinced that they are absolutely right about everything. Has it not occurred to you, my poor puffed-up poppinjay, that there might be an excellent reason why the Headmaster of Hogwarts is not confiding every tiny detail of his plans to you? Have you never paused, while feeling hard-done-by, to note that following Dumbledore's orders has never yet led you into harm? No. No, like all young people, you are quite sure that you alone feel and think, you alone recognise danger, you alone are the only one clever enough to realise what the Dark Lord may be planning.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
When you wake up from a dream you have only a few precious moments before the details of the dream begin to dissipate and the memory fades. Not all dreams are significant or worth remembering. But the ones that are . . . happen again. So, wait for the dream to return. And never be afraid. Instead, consider it an opportunity to learn something profound and possibly wondrous about yourself.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Josh had told me a long time ago that he had this theory that an entire relationship was based on what occurred over the course of the first five minutes you know each other. That everything that came after those first minutes was just details being filled in. Meaning: you already knew how deep the love was, how instinctually you felt about someone. What happened in their first five minutes? Time stopped.
Laura Dave (London is the Best City in America)
I didn't think there was anything shocking in there, but I could have been wrong. I was imagining May reading it over and over again, finding hidden details about my life in the words. I wondered if she'd read this before she ate the pastries. P.S. May, don't these strawberry tarts just make you want to cry? There. That was the best I could do. Apparently, it wasn't good enough. A butler knocked on my door that evening with an envelope from my family and an update. "She didn't cry, miss. She said they were so good she could have-as you suggested-but she did not actually cry. His Majesty will come and get you from your room around five tomorrow. Please be ready.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Amanda: This weekend was wonderful, but it isn't real life. It was more like a honeymoon, and after a while the excitement will wear off. We can tell ourselves it won't happen, we can make all the promises we want, but it's inevitable, and after that you'll never look at me the way you do now. I won't be the woman you dream about, or the girl you used to love. And you won't be my long-lost love, my one true thing anymore, either. You'll be someone my kids despise because you ruined the family, and you'll see me for who I really am. In a few years, I'll simply be a woman pushing fifty with three kids who might or might not hate her, and who might end up hating herself because of all this. And in the end, you'll end up hating her, too. Dawson: That's not true. Amanda: But it is. Honeymoons always come to an end. Dawson: Being together isn't about a honeymoon. It's about the real you and me. I want to wake up with you beside me in the mornings, I want to spend my evenings looking at you across the dinner table. I want to share every mundane detail of my day with you and hear every detail of yours. I want to laugh with you and fall asleep with you in my arms. Because you aren't just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can't imagine giving that up again. You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same. I know you're afraid, and I'm afraid, too. But if we let this go, if we pretend none of this ever happened, then I'm not sure we'll ever get another chance. We're still young. We still have time to make this right. Amanda: We're not that young anymore- Dawson: But we are. We still have the rest of our lives. Amanda: I know. That's why I need you to do something for me. Dawson: Anything. Amanda: Please...don't ask me to go with you, because if you do, I'll go. Please don't ask me to tell Frank about us, because I'll do that, too. Please don't ask me to give up my responsibilities or break up my family. I love you, and if you love me, too, then you just can't ask me to do these things. Because I don't trust myself enough to say no.
Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me)
What's the difference between look and see? When someone looks at you, they only see what's on the surface and often miss a lot of the details. When someone sees you, they see who you are, what you're actually about. They see more than what's there in front of them. They're willing to find out more, at the very least. ~ Evie Snow
Carrie Hope Fletcher (On the Other Side)
As I watched Patti perform I took a mental picture of the moment. I looked around and thought about my life. I felt grateful. I noticed every detail. That is the key to time travel. You can only move if you are actually in the moment. You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I meant what I said. I like you. A lot. I want to get to know you…all of you. Every stupid little detail about your life. You don’t have to run anymore. You can give this a chance
Jus Accardo (Rules of Survival)
Would it make you feel better if I pretended not to be making it up as I go along? [...] In that case, I know exactly what I'm doing, but please don't ask me about it in any great detail.
Eddie Robson (Doctor Who Unbound: Masters of War (Big Finish Audio Drama))
As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. ...This is our life and it's not going to last forever. There isn't time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write.
Natalie Goldberg
For the longest time I couldn't understand the meaning of the cliche "being compatible" - whether about a lover, colleague, team mate or friend. I now get it. There is so much more behind this superficial nauseatingly-pragmatic diplomatic phrase -- it goes deep down to the true essence of someone, how they see the world, how they see and position themselves, how prepared/capable they are to back you, whether they can understand who you are and if they are prepared to break walls for you. Anything else is details.
Iveta Cherneva
It's not what we eat or don't eat that makes us good people; it's how we treat one another. As you grow older, you'll find that people of every religion think they're the best, but that's not true. There are good and bad people in every religion. Just because someone is Muslim, Jewish, or Christian doesn't mean a thing. You have to look and see what's in their hearts. That's the only thing that matters, and that's the only detail God cares about.
Firoozeh Dumas (Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America)
There's only really two things about a man that matter: what he wants, and what he'll do to get it. Everythin' else we pretend is important--whether you're tough, or good-lookin', smart, stupid, honorable, whatever--that's just details.
Matthew Woodring Stover
Ah, Belikov," said Abe, shaking Dimitri's hand. "I'd been hoping we'd run into each other. I'd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. That's what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. I've certainly got a lot of question to ask you. A lot of things I'd like to tell you." I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved. "Actually," said my mum casually."I'd like to come along. I also have a number of questions-especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimir's." "Don't you guys have somewhere to be?" I asked hastily. "We're about to start." That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. "of course," said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. "I'm glad you're back." Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri:"Looking forward to our chat." "Run," I said when they were gone. "If you slip out now, maybe they won't notice. Go back to Siberia.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
The details and symbols of your life have been deliberately constructed to make you believe what white people say about you. Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure, does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity and fear.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
The reason we are so controlled is not that we don't have the power to decide our own destiny, it is that we give that power away every minute of our lives. When something happens that we don't like, we look for someone else to blame. When there is a problem in the world, we say "What are they going to do about it". At which point they, who have secretly created the problem in the first place, respond to this demand by introducing a 'solution' - more centralisation of power and erosion of freedom. If you want to give more powers to the police, security agencies and military, and you want the public to demand you do it, then ensure there is more crime, violence and terrorism, and then it's a cinch to achieve your aims. Once the people are in fear of being burgled, mugged or bombed, they will demand that you take their freedom away to protect them from what they have been manipulated to fear. The Oklahoma bombing is a classic of this kind, as I detail in ..And The Truth Shall Set You Free. I call this technique problem-reaction-solution. Create the problem, encourage the reaction "something must be done", and then offer the solution. It is summed up by the Freemason motto 'Ordo Ab Chao' -order out of chaos. Create the chaos and then offer the way to restore order. Your order. The masses are herded and directed by many and varios forms of emotional and mental control. It is the only way it coud be done.
David Icke
It’s something I never knew about her. How bizarre that you can know your entire life, see their most hidden pains and hopes, and not know the tiniest detail about them.
Kelsey Sutton (Some Quiet Place (The Other Plane, #1))
Sit and quiet yourself. Luxuriate in a certain memory and the details will come. Let the images flow. You'll be amazed at what will come out on paper. I'm still learning what it is about the past that I want to write. I don't worry about it. It will emerge. It will insist on being told.
Frank McCourt
Nell did not imagine that Constable Moore wanted to get into a detailed discussion of recent events, so she changed the subject. "I think I have finally worked out what you were trying to tell me, years ago, about being intelligent," she said. The Constable brightened all at once. "Pleased to hear it." The Vickys have an elaborate code of morals and conduct. It grew out of the moral squalor of an earlier generation, just as the original Victorians were preceded by the Georgians and the Regency. The old guard believe in that code because they came to it the hard way. They raise their children to believe in that code– but their children believe it for entirely different reasons." They believe it," the Constable said, "because they have been indoctrinated to believe it." Yes. Some of them never challenge it– they grow up to be smallminded people, who can tell you what they believe but not why they believe it. Others become disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the society and rebel– as did Elizabeth Finkle-McGraw." Which path do you intend to take, Nell?" said the Constable, sounding very interested. "Conformity or rebellion?" Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded– they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
All children grow up, all but one. His name is Peter and by now, all the civilized world has heard of him. He has captured the public imagination and become a legend, a subject for poets, philosophers and psychologists to write about, and for children to dream of. The children’s tales might be lacking in some details, but on the whole they are more accurate than most other accounts, for children will always understand Peter intuitively, as I did when I first met him. "I shall endeavor to tell you the true story of my friend Peter, because he cannot tell it to you himself. Afterward I hope you will love him and defend him as I have for the remainder of your days. Pass on to others a true account of the wild boy who would not grow up, who danced with kings and won the hearts of princesses. He defied logic and reason, lived and loved with an innocent heart, and found peace in the midst of a turbulent world.
Christopher Daniel Mechling (Peter: The Untold True Story)
Today may be your last chance to be you, someone you forgot to completely immerse yourself in because you were too worried about the details. The details that, no matter how many times you thought them through, brought you no closer to understanding. They just tied up your mind and prevented you from really letting in the things you love. Your demon that is standing before the beautiful floodgate and is keeping you in a dehydrated nothingness. Give him permission to walk away. He is not your keeper. You are his.
Brianna Wiest
In front of me 327 pages of the manuscript [Master and Margarita] (about 22 chapters). The most important remains - editing, and it's going to be hard. I will have to pay close attention to details. Maybe even re-write some things... 'What's its future?' you ask? I don't know. Possibly, you will store the manuscript in one of the drawers, next to my 'killed' plays, and occasionally it will be in your thoughts. Then again, you don't know the future. My own judgement of the book is already made and I think it truly deserves being hidden away in the darkness of some chest. [Bulgakov from Moscow to his wife on June 15 1938]
Mikhail Bulgakov
If someone gave you the rules to the game you have been playing right away, you would miss the most exciting part – the details. Sometimes it’s all about the details, they make the whole more meaningful.
Iva Kenaz (The Merkaba Mystery)
Victims exist in a society that tells us our purpose is to be an inspiring story. But sometimes the best we can do is tell you we're still here, and that should be enough. Denying darkness does not bring anyone closer to the light. When you hear a story about rape, all the graphic and unsettling details, resist the instinct to turn away; instead loo closer, because beneath the gore and the police reports is a whole, beautiful person, looking for ways to be in the world again.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
Time does not heal wounds without acknowledgement of what has happened. You need to clarify your feelings and express them in a way that defines in detail what you have lost and how much you care about what you have lost . . . – Peter Leech & Zeva Singer
Pete Walker (The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness out of Blame)
The Rangers were founded over one hundred and fifty years ago, in King Herbert's reign. Do you know anything about him?" Halt looked sideways at the boy sitting beside him, tossing the question out quickly to see his response. Will hesitated. He vaugely remembered the name from history lessons in the Ward, but he couldn't remember any details. Still, he decided he'd try to bluff his way through it... "Oh ... yes," he said, "King Herbert. We learned about him." "Really?" said the Ranger expansively. "Perhaps you could tell me a little about him?" He leaned back and crossed his legs, getting himself comfortable... "He was ..." he hesitated, pretending to gather his thoughts. "The king." That much he was sure of. Halt merely smiled and made a rolling gesture with his hand that meant go on. "He was the king ... a hundred and fifty years ago," Will said, trying to sound certain of his facts. The Ranger smiled at him, gesturing for him to continue yet again. "Ummm ... well, I seem to recall that he was the one who founded the Ranger Corps," he said hopefully, and Halt raised his eyebrows in mock surprise. "Really? You recall that, do you?
John Flanagan (The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1))
The Times carried detailed descriptions of Sara’s ivory gown and the five-carat blue diamond on her finger, the Cravens’ reported opinions of the play, and speculation on whether Derek was truly a “reformed rake.” “There’s not a word of truth in any of it,” Derek said. “Except the part where they said you were resplendent.” “Thank you, kind sir.” Sara set down the paper and reached over to toy with one of the large soapy feet propped on the porcelain rim of the tub. She wriggled his big toe playfully. “What about the part that says you’re reformed?” “I’m not. I still do everything I used to do…except now only with you.” “And quite impressively,” she replied, her tone demure.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
For whatever reason - time, circumstance, distance- he wasn't able to give it to me himself. But he did give me Benji, and I would be forever grateful. With love like that, you can't get picky about how it finds you or the details. All that matters is that it's there. Better late than never.
Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More)
M: How do you feel about me? R: I think it's pretty obvious. M: Let's just say I need detailed account. R: I can do that for you. M: Okay. R: I never once stopped thinking about you when you were taken away. Four years. All I could hope was that you were in a good place. Never expected you to walk into school. Didn't even allow myself of dream about that. And then you did, and seeing you blew me away. You were just like I remembered, but different. The hints of the girl I saw in you when we were younger were now right in front of me. The moment you said my name - the moment you hugged me I knew. I knew I'd fall in love with you and I did. I love you, Mallory.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
Write in pictures. With your words, let the reader see not letters, but images. Be specific about every detail, but don't describe it--make it happen on the page, if you were writing fiction, or make it happen over again, if you were writing about history or some recent event.
A.A. Patawaran (Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator)
This must be weird for you,” Thorne said, dragging his fingers across a radar screen. “Your cyborg girlfriend being a wanted outlaw and your fiancée’s niece and all that.” Kai grimaced, which made his cheek start smarting again. “Honestly, I try not to think about the details.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
In the mid 1980's I was asked by an american legal institution known as the Christic Legal Institute to compile a comic book that would detail the murky history of the C.I.A., from the end of the second world war, to the present day. Covering such things as the heroin smuggling during the Vietnam war, the cocaine smuggling during the war in Central America, the Kennedy assasination and other highlights. What I learned during the frankly horrifying research that I had to slog through in order to accomplish this, was that yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists, and ham fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the C.I.A., you really have nothing to worry about. If however you have a name similar to someone on a list targeted by the C.I.A., then you are dead? The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory, is that conspiracy theorists believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is actually chaotic. The truth is that it is not The Iluminati, or The Jewish Banking Conspiracy, or the Gray Alien Theory. The truth is far more frightening. Nobody is in control. The world is rudderless...
Alan Moore
We can feel unworthy that the King of kings attends to such seemingly insignificant details in our lives. Read Matthew 6:25–34. As you think about your last week, thank Jesus for all the needs that He has met.
Richard Wurmbrand (The Midnight Bride)
I can no longer hear my voices, so I am a little lost. My suspicion is they would know far better how to tell this story. At least they would have opinions and suggestions and definite ideas as to what should go first and what should go last and what should go in the middle. They would inform me when to add detail, when to omit extraneous information, what was important and what was trivial. After so much time slipping past, I am not particularly good at remembering these things myself and could certainly use their help. A great many events took place, and it is hard for me to know precisely where to put what. And sometimes I'm unsure that incidents I clearly remember actually did happen. A memory that seems one instant to be as solid as stone, the next seems as vaporous as a mist above the river. That's one of the major problems with being crazy: you're just naturally uncertain about things. (9)
John Katzenbach (The Madman's Tale)
Out of absolutely nowhere I felt a sudden, sweet shot of joy, piercing and distilled as the jolt I imagine heroin users get when the fix hits the vein. It was my partner bracing herself on her hands as she slid fluidly off the desk, it was the neat practiced movement of flipping my notebook shut one-handed, it was my superintendent wriggling into his suit jacket and covertly checking his shoulders for dandruff, it was the garishly lit office with a stack of marker-labeled case files sagging in the corner and evening rubbing up against the window. It was the realization, all over again, that this was real and it was my life. Maybe Katy Devlin, if she had made it that far, would have felt this way about blisters on her toes, the pungent smell of sweat and floor wax in the dance studios, the early-morning breakfast bells raced down echoing corridors. Maybe she, like me, would have loved the tiny details and the inconveniences even more dearly than the wonders, because they are the things that prove you belong.
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
It’s amazing how clear your dreams are when you’re a kid and how complicated life gets after that. How a single ambition turns into a hundred desires and details—most of which are about what you want and who you want to be.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Plague (The Origin Mystery, #2))
the greatest thing about having so many laws was that you could pick and choose, and move on to the next when the last lost its magic.
Jennifer Traig (Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood)
If you think about someone you’ve loved and lost, you are already with them. The rest is just details.
Jodi Picoult (Leaving Time)
You. All I need is you,” he says, more as an exhausted sigh. “Tell me about your day. All of it. Every last detail.
J.M. Sevilla (Becoming Noah Baxter (Marked, #2))
Corrupted liars..Higher class Scumbags.. Try to control the world and everything we work so hard to earn in life.. But if you forget about that little detail. Life Is Pretty Swell.
Bryan Matthews QC
But everything changes when you tell about life; it's a change no one notices: the proof is that people talk about true stories. As if there could possibly be true stories; things happen one way and we tell about them in the opposite sense. You seem to start at the beginning: "It was a fine autumn eveningin 1922." And in reality you have started at the end. It was there, invisible and present, it is the one which gives to words the pomp and value of a beginning... And the story goes on in reverse: instants have stopped piling themselves in a lighthearted way one on top of the other, they are snapped up by the end of the story which draws them and each one of them in turn, draws out the preceding instant: "It was night, the street was deserted." The phrase is cast out negligently, it seems superfluous; but we do not let ourselves be caught and we put it aside: this is a piece of information whose value we shall subsequently appreciate. And we feel that the hero has lived all the details of this night like annunciations, promises, or even that he lived only those that were promises, blind and deaf to all that did not herald adventure. We forget that the future was not yet there; the man was walking in a night without forethought, a night which offered him a choice of dull rich prizes, and he did not make his choice. I wanted the moments of my life to follow and order themselves like those of a life remembered. You might as well try and catch time by the tail.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts, the world-changing, massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill someone enough to make them tell all their friends about you.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Being older, I began to understand the lyrics. At the beginning, it sounds like a guy is trying to get his girlfriend to secretly meet up with him at midnight. But it’s an odd place for a tryst, a hanging tree, where a man was hung for murder. The murderer’s lover must have had something to do with the killing, or maybe they were just going to punish her anyway, because his corpse called out for her to flee. That’s weird obviously, the talking-corpse bit, but it’s not until the third verse that “The Hanging Tree” begins to get unnerving. You realize the singer of the song is the dead murderer. He’s still in the hanging tree. And even though he told his lover to flee, he keeps asking if she’s coming to meet him. The phrase Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free is the most troubling because at first you think he’s talking about when he told her to flee, presumably to safety. But then you wonder if he meant for her to run to him. To death. In the final stanza, it’s clear that that’s what he was waiting for. His lover, with her rope necklace, hanging dead next to him in the tree. I used to think the murderer was the creepiest guy imaginable. Now, with a couple of trips to the Hunger Games under my belt, I decide not to judge him without knowing more details. Maybe his lover was already sentenced to death and he was trying to make it easier. To let her know he’d be waiting. Or maybe he thought the place he was leaving her was really worse than death. Didn’t I want to kill Peeta with that syringe to save him from the Capitol? Was that really my only option? Probably not, but I couldn’t think of another at the time.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
... one cannot read a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader. And I shall tell you why. When we read a book for the first time the very process of laboriously moving our eyes from left to right, line after line, page after page, this complicated physical work upon the book, the very process of learning in terms of space and time what the book is about, this stands between us and artistic appreciation. When we look at a painting we do no have to move our eyes in a special way even if, as in a book, the picture contains elements of depth and development. The element of time does not really enter in a first contact with a painting. In reading a book, we must have time to acquaint ourselves with it. We have no physical organ (as we have the eye in regard to a painting) that takes in the whole picture and can enjoy its details. But at a second, or third, or fourth reading we do, in a sense, behave towards a book as we do towards a painting. However, let us not confuse the physical eye, that monstrous achievement of evolution, with the mind, an even more monstrous achievement. A book, no matter what it is - a work of fiction or a work of science (the boundary line between the two is not as clear as is generally believed) - a book of fiction appeals first of all to the mind. The mind, the brain, the top of the tingling spine, is, or should be, the only instrument used upon a book.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Literature)
So you're, like crazy, in love. You open your eyes in the morning and your first thought is her. You wonder how she is. What she's doing. When you can see her again. Those thoughts stay with you all day. You share them with whoever will listen — including your best friends, who of course respect you but, after a while, out of the kind of concern only real friends have, seriously question your sanity. And you make all sorts of plans — big plans, like, post-high school — when the rest of us can barely wrap our heads around the fact that we only two years left to get a clue. You live and breath this girl. You talk about her all the time, you hang out with your friends less and less, you're blind to other girls, no matter how hot or into you they are — and some of them are extremely hot and into you — and eventually, you break and actually say you love her. Not only that, you tell your friends you love her. Which, as you know, is about as major as you can get. Your friends may think you're a little out there, but they know you wouldn't be for any other girl. It's just because it's her. She's different. This girl is it for you. Food, water, oxygen, sleep — all details.
Tricia Rayburn (Siren (Siren, #1))
When you eat a chocolate bar, sure, the wrapper might be pretty, full of bold colours and fancy details ... but ultimately, what do you care about? The wrapper? Or what's inside the wrapper? The chocolate. I care about the chocolate inside the wrapper. Exactly! For me, it's the same with people. I don't care about what's on the outside. I care about what's on the inside. Someone's mind. Their heart and soul. For me, it doesn't matter whether they're a man or a woman. That's only the wrapper they come in. What I really care about is the chocolate. It's called being pan-sexual. ~ Isla
Carrie Hope Fletcher (On the Other Side)
Call me cynical if you like. But it all sounds a bit too convenient. The Authorized Version of events leaves out a number of details, which Creationists seem content to ignore. I personally have my doubts – not least about the giant cow – although even now you have to beware of how you express these sentiments.
Joanne Harris (The Gospel of Loki (Loki, #1))
The best part about being a nerd within a community of nerds is the insularity – it’s cozy, familial, come as you are. In a discussion board on the Web site Slashdot.org about Rushmore, a film with a nerdy teen protagonist, one anonymous participant pinpointed the value of taking part in detail-oriented zealotry: Geeks tend to be focused on very narrow fields of endeavor. The modern geek has been generally dismissed by society because their passions are viewed as trivial by those people who ‘see the big picture.’ Geeks understand that the big picture is pixilated and their high level of contribution in small areas grows the picture. They don’t need to see what everyone else is doing to make their part better. Being a nerd, which is to say going to far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know. For me, the spark that turns an acquaintance into a friend has usually been kindled by some shared enthusiasm like detective novels or Ulysses S. Grant.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
Being together isn’t about a honeymoon. It’s about the real you and me. I want to wake up with you beside me in the mornings, I want to spend my evenings looking at you across the dinner table. I want to share every mundane detail of my day with you and hear every detail of yours. I want to laugh with you and fall asleep with you in my arms. Because you aren’t just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can’t imagine giving that up again.” He hesitated, searching for the right words. “You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.” Dawson could feel the dampness in his palms. “I know you’re afraid, and I’m afraid, too. But if we let this go, if we pretend none of this ever happened, then I’m not sure we’ll ever get another chance.” He reached up, brushing a strand of hair from her eyes. “We’re still young. We still have time to make this right.
Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me)
I believed that if you were really in love and really soul mates, there would be this cosmic resonance, filled with huge chunks of agreement. What a crock! If only I'd known then that there are about three or four issues that are vital to life and about seven billion other details that don't really matter at all, I could have saved myself (and John!) boatloads of stress.
Anita Renfroe
Show up for your own life, he said. Don't pass your days in a stupor, content to swallow whatever watery ideas modern society may bottle-feed you through the media, satisfied to slumber through life in an instant-gratification sugar coma. The most extraordinary gift you've been given is your own humanity, which is about conciousness, so honor that consciousness. Revere your senses; don't degrade them with drugs, with depression, with wilful oblivion. Try to notice something new everyday, Eustace said. Pay attention to even the most modest of daily details. Even if you're not in the woods, be aware at all times. Notice what food tastes like; notice what the detergent aisle in the supermarket smells like and recognize what those hard chemical smells do to your senses; notice what bare feet fell like; pay attention every day to the vital insights that mindfulness can bring. And take care of all things, of every single thing there is - your body, your intellect, your spirit, your neighbours, and this planet. Don't pollute your soul with apathy or spoil your health with junk food any more than you would deliberately contaminate a clean river with industrial sludge.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
I got the idea from our family’s plant book. The place where we recorded things you cannot trust to memory. The page begin’s with the person’s picture. A photo if we can find it. If not, a sketch or a painting by Peeta. Then, in my most careful handwriting, come all the details it would be a crime to forget. Lady licking Prim’s cheek. My father’s laugh. Peeta’s father with the cookies. The colour of Finnick’s eyes. What Cinna would do with a length of silk. Boggs reprogramming the Holo. Rue poised on her toes, arms slightly extended, like bird about to take flight. On and on. We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their deaths count. Haymitch finally joins us, contributing twenty-three years of tributes he was forced to mentor. Additions become smaller. An old memory that surfaces. A late promise preserved between the pages. Strange bits of happiness, like the photo of Finnick and Annie’s newborn son.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
so when people asked me about my family, my features, the fate I’d been dealt, maybe it isn’t surprising how I answered — first in a childish, cheerful chirrup, later in the lecturing tone of one obliged to educate. I arrive to be calm and direct, never giving anything away in my voice, never changing the details. Offering the story I’d learned so early was, I thought, one way to gain acceptance. It was both the excuse for how I looked, and a way of asking pardon for it.
Nicole Chung (All You Can Ever Know)
Sometimes I think my ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the internet; other times I think it's being gulped down in huge, Jaws-shaped chunks. In those quaint days before the internet, once you made it to your desk there wasn't much to distract you. You could sit there working or you could just sit there. Now you sit down and there's a universe of possibilities – many of them obscurely relevant to the work you should be getting on with – to tempt you. To think that I can be sitting here, trying to write something about Ingmar Bergman and, a moment later, on the merest whim, can be watching a clip from a Swedish documentary about Don Cherry – that is a miracle (albeit one with a very potent side-effect, namely that it's unlikely I'll ever have the patience to sit through an entire Bergman film again). Then there's the outsourcing of memory. From the age of 16, I got into the habit of memorising passages of poetry and compiling detailed indexes in the backs of books of prose. So if there was a passage I couldn't remember, I would spend hours going through my books, seeking it out. Now, in what TS Eliot, with great prescience, called "this twittering world", I just google the key phrase of the half-remembered quote. Which is great, but it's drained some of the purpose from my life. Exactly the same thing has happened now that it's possible to get hold of out-of-print books instantly on the web. That's great too. But one of the side incentives to travel was the hope that, in a bookstore in Oregon, I might finally track down a book I'd been wanting for years. All of this searching and tracking down was immensely time-consuming – but only in the way that being alive is time-consuming.
Geoff Dyer
It had seemed so foreign to me - the idea that you could move forward without a painful airing of grievances on both sides. But maybe - maybe it wasn't necessary to pick apart pain. Maybe some things just weren't worth fighting about. Some friends weren't friends anymore, but family - and there were different rules for family. It didn't make sense to sit down with family and detail all the reasons they'd upset you - for many reasons, not least among them the fact that they could whip out a checklist of your transgressions themselves. And after you'd both picked apart the carcasses, why would you want to be friends again? Maybe the important thing was to recognize that everyone felt wronged and slighted - but the point worth concentrating on was that everyone loved each other. If we worked from that premise, we should be fine. Or anyway, I hoped we would.
Megan Crane (Frenemies)
I've always believed that to some extent you get to decide for yourself what your life will be like. You can either look at the world and say "Oh, isn't it all so tragic, so grim, so awful." Or you can look at the world and decide that it's mostly funny. If you step back far enough from the details, everything gets funny. You say war is tragic. I say, isn't it crazy the way people will fight over nothing? People fight wars to control crappy little patches of empty desert, for crying out loud. It's like fighting over an empty soda can. It's not so much tragic as it is ridiculous. Asinine! Stupid! You say, isn't it terrible about global warming? And I say, no, it's funny. We're going to bring on global warming because we ran too many leaky air conditioners? We used too much spray deodorant, so now we'll be doomed to sweat forever? That's not sad. That's irony.
Katherine Applegate
You’re my mate. I’m naturally going to want to know everything about you.” He shrugged; it was simple. “That includes your address, where you work, and your cell number—just thought you should know so you won’t be surprised if a text message from me arrives.” She gaped, both offended and shocked. “You can’t just pry into people’s lives like that and find out all their personal details. And how did you find them out anyway?” He shrugged again. “I have contacts in the right places.” “So, what, you’re a stalker now?” “I prefer the term ‘intense investigator.
Suzanne Wright (Carnal Secrets (The Phoenix Pack, #3))
Zoe rubbed her forehead and grimaced. “America is one toll booth after another. In Noshahr I could park anything in front of our compound, but not in free America. I tried to buy a goat to roast. I am not going to tell you the trouble that caused.” “You can’t roast goat in America?” “You can roast,” Zoe said, “but there are certain rules about goats. And it made the neighborhood children cry. The details are too tedious for the telephone.
Michael Ben Zehabe
There was nothing worse, Veppers thought, than a loser who’d made it. It was just part of the way things worked – part of the complexity of life, he supposed – that sometimes somebody who absolutely deserved nothing more than to be one of the down-trodden, the oppressed, the dregs of society, lucked out into a position of wealth, power and admiration. At least people who were natural winners knew how to carry themselves in their pomp, whether their ascendancy had come through the luck of being born rich and powerful or the luck of being born ambitious and capable. Losers who’d made it always let the side down. Veppers was all for arrogance – he possessed the quality in full measure himself, as he’d often been informed – but it had to be deserved, you had to have worked for it. Or at the very least, an ancestor had to have worked for it. Arrogance without cause, arrogance without achievement – or that mistook sheer luck for true achievement – was an abomination. Losers made everybody look bad. Worse, they made the whole thing – the great game that was life – appear arbitrary, almost meaningless. Their only use, Veppers had long since decided, was as examples to be held up to those who complained about their lack of status or money or control over their lives: look, if this idiot can achieve something, so can anybody, so can you. So stop whining about being exploited and work harder. Still, at least individual losers were quite obviously statistical freaks. You could allow for that, you could tolerate that, albeit with gritted teeth. What he would not have believed was that you could find an entire society – an entire civilization– of losers who’d made it.
Iain Banks (Surface Detail (Culture #9))
I know I sound a little crazy when I say that, but really, you get a glimpse of these bugs as they go about their lives, almost mechanical in how they follow their instincts, you see them breeding, eating, building nests, and dying, and you see how they just saturate every aspect of our existence, in the air, the dark corners, the insides of the walls, they eat our dead. I can’t sense them, but there’re skin mites all over our bodies and in our eyelashes… I guess it takes me out of myself when I think about it, reminds me that we’re only one part of this vast system, we’re cogs in the universe, in our own way. Seeing the little details makes me feel like the big problems aren’t so personal, they aren’t as overwhelming.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it . . . if you think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even if the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and start making the first ten, and stay making twenty after, it is amazing how quickly you get through those five thousand steps.
Warren Berger (A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas)
There were two ways of forgetting. For many years, he had envisioned (unimaginatively) a vault, and at the end of the day, he would gather the images and sequences and words that he didn’t want to think about again and open the heavy steel door only enough to hurry them inside, closing it quickly and tightly. But this method wasn’t effective: the memories seeped out anyway. The important thing, he came to realize, was to eliminate them, not just to store them. So he had invented some solutions. For small memories—little slights, insults—you relived them again and again until they were neutralized, until they became near meaningless with repetition, or until you could believe that they were something that had happened to someone else and you had just heard about it. For larger memories, you held the scene in your head like a film strip, and then you began to erase it, frame by frame. Neither method was easy: you couldn’t stop in the middle of your erasing and examine what you were looking at, for example; you couldn’t start scrolling through parts of it and hope you wouldn’t get ensnared in the details of what had happened, because you of course would. You had to work at it every night, until it was completely gone. Though they never disappeared completely, of course.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Each person whoever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their own song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their songs instead. Take Daisy, for example. Her song, which had been somewhere in the back of her head for most of her life, had a reassuring, marching sort of beat, and words that were about protecting the weak, and it had a chorus that began “Evildoers beware!” and was thus much too silly ever to be sung out loud. She would hum it to herself sometimes though, in the shower, during the soapy bits. And that is, more or less, everything you need to know about Daisy. The rest is details.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys)
There is a payoff for examining the divine author's literary style. It will tell you something about Him. Whereas, Jonah's actions are extensively described and laboriously detailed, God's reactions (although miraculous) are only described in sparse, minimalist terms. God seems much more amused by Jonah than Jonah is with God. Every miracle is directed at Jonah. Yet, very little copy is used to described God's miracles. Although God's miracles are much more astonishing than Jonah's immature fits of rebellion, more copy is dedicated to Jonah.
Michael Ben Zehabe (A Commentary on Jonah)
Sit and quiet yourself. Luxuriate in a certain memory and the details will come. Let the images flow. You’ll be amazed at what will come out on paper. I’m still learning what it is about the past that I want to write. I don’t worry about it. It will emerge. It will insist on being told.
Frank McCourt
But there is yet time to change our ways. Give up all those old discussions, old fights about things which are meaningless, which are nonsensical in their very nature. Think of the last six hundred or seven hundred years of degradation when grown-up men by hundreds have been discussing for years whether we should drink a glass of water with the right hand or the left, whether the hand should be washed three times or four times, whether we should gargle five or six times. What can you expect from men who pass their lives in discussing such momentous questions as these and writing most learned philosophies on them! There is a danger of our religion getting into the kitchen. We are neither Vedantists, most of us now, nor Pauranics, nor Tantrics. We are just "Don't-touchists". Our religion is in the kitchen. Our God is the cooking-pot, and our religion is, "Don't touch me, I am holy". If this goes on for another century, every one of us will be in a lunatic asylum. It is a sure sign of softening of the brain when the mind cannot grasp the higher problems of life; all originality is lost, the mind has lost all its strength, its activity, and its power of thought, and just tries to go round and round the smallest curve it can find.
Swami Vivekananda (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3)
You can see the same immorality or amorality in the Christian view of guilt and punishment. There are only two texts, both of them extreme and mutually contradictory. The Old Testament injunction is the one to exact an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (it occurs in a passage of perfectly demented detail about the exact rules governing mutual ox-goring; you should look it up in its context (Exodus 21). The second is from the Gospels and says that only those without sin should cast the first stone. The first is a moral basis for capital punishment and other barbarities; the second is so relativistic and "nonjudgmental" that it would not allow the prosecution of Charles Manson. Our few notions of justice have had to evolve despite these absurd codes of ultra vindictiveness and ultracompassion.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
You know someone is special to you when you're literally captivated by them in even the little moments. The slightest thing they say or do, is like watching the universe unfold. And nothing else matters in those moments. Where you go about your day, & the most capricious of things send you into a whirlwind of thoughts connected to them. And a plethora of thoughts flood into your mind, for no apparent reason other than its them. Or perhaps, you randomly see a picture of them in your news feed & you just pause & look, & the world melts away & all time seems to stop, & there's a radiance that illuminates your life. And you focus on the little details, & wish you could just capture every single detail vividly. And you see their eyes, & though they're merely a moment in time, their eyes are so beautiful, that they transcend the medium & are as if they're there looking back. And all you can do it look into them. Knowing those eyes are what you could look into endlessly. And you know that it's all you could ever want, if for just a single moment in time. Or they share their thoughts, & you rack your brain around how they think. An you just want to understand & know more of their thoughts, simply because they're theirs. They, to you, are a more elegant work of art than even the finest painting, songs or poems of the great artists. And you know that even the most renowned artist couldn't conceive of a more perfect image of beauty. Leonardo, Van Gough, Rembrandt, Picasso, the most renowned artist of time would go mad in attempts to capture even a fraction of such a beautiful sight. That even Shakespeare couldn't put such a person into words. Though there's no doubt they're worthy of being the subject of a Shakespearean sonnet. But it could do no justice to their reality, that because there are no words that truly could ever describe them, even such an attempt would be like trying to describe the complex, wondrous & marvelous nature of the universe in but a single word. That no words, paintings, pictures, or thought could describe them & encapsulate the essence of their grace. And that though no one is truly perfect, they as a person through your eyes, reach a state as near perfect as you could imagine. And even dreams couldn't conceive of a greater wonder of life. It's as if the sum of all the beauty in the world can be found within this one person. It's wonderful, inspiring, breathtaking. Or rather, it's a whirlwind of emotions. Where the wonder & awe bleed into & merge with the disheartening longing, utter belief that you could not for a second touch that with you so desperately struggle & grasp for & an inability to even breath in the moments you're interacting with them. But it's all the more maddening because with all the wanting of your heart, you know it's wanting for something it could never have. That for all your wanting, you know such things are simply & purely unobtainable. And all you can do is hold to adoration & hopes. Hopes that you in your heart know fully are hopeless, but which you can't help but maintain. I think few things are more maddening than that feelings. Most people, when face with such a situation, might despair & grow cynical. But so seldom do we ever meet someone who so maddeningly captivates us, so seldom someone who's very existence throws your world upside down. In a time in which genuine emotion is a scarcity. And pseudo-emotions, frivolous & quick to fade, are rampant. The genuine article is something I cherish. When something makes you feel anything, it's something amazing. Regardless if it's a fervent concoction of the greatest good & the saddest sad. The experience of meeting such a person, who can spark such thoughts & feeling, is a genuine rarity. One in which a given person could go a lifetime without experiencing, but which is worth experiencing. And something that, though ultimately heartbreaking, I wouldn't give up experiencing.
Trevor Driggers
How...how do you feel about me?” “I think it’s pretty obvious.” “Let’s just say I need a detailed account.” His lashes lifted and his eyes met mine. “I can do that for you.” “Okay.” I leaned toward him. “I never once stopped thinking about you when you were taken away. Four years. All I could hope was that you were in a good place. Never expected you to walk into school. Didn’t even allow myself to dream about that. And then you did, and seeing you blew me away. You were just like I remembered, but different. The hints of the girl I saw in you when we were younger were now right in front of me. The moment you said my name—the moment you hugged me I knew.” Rider reached between us, folding his hand around mine. “I knew I’d fall in love with you and I did. I love you, Mallory.” My lips parted on an inhale. “What?” “I love you, and not the kind of love we had for each other when we were younger, you know? Paige knows that. So does Hector. So did Jayden. I love you.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
Then comes the process of visualization. You must see the picture more and more complete, see the detail, and, as the details begin to unfold the ways and means for bringing it into manifestation will develop. One thing will lead to another. Thought will lead to action, action will develop methods, methods will develop friends, and friends will bring about circumstances, and, finally, the third step, or Materialization, will have been accomplished.
Charles F. Haanel (The Master Key System)
A few years after I gave some lectures for the freshmen at Caltech (which were published as the Feynman Lectures on Physics), I received a long letter from a feminist group. I was accused of being anti-women because of two stories: the first was a discussion of the subtleties of velocity, and involved a woman driver being stopped by a cop. There's a discussion about how fast she was going, and I had her raise valid objections to the cop's definitions of velocity. The letter said I was making the women look stupid. The other story they objected to was told by the great astronomer Arthur Eddington, who had just figured out that the stars get their power from burning hydrogen in a nuclear reaction producing helium. He recounted how, on the night after his discovery, he was sitting on a bench with his girlfriend. She said, "Look how pretty the stars shine!" To which he replied, "Yes, and right now, I'm the only man in the world who knows how they shine." He was describing a kind of wonderful loneliness you have when you make a discovery. The letter claimed that I was saying a women is incapable of understanding nuclear reactions. I figured there was no point in trying to answer their accusations in detail, so I wrote a short letter back to them: "Don't bug me, Man!
Richard P. Feynman
For me- and for everybody else, probably- this is my first experience growing old, and the emotions I'm having, too, are all first-time feelings. If it were something I'd experienced before, then I'd be able to understand it more clearly, but this is the first time, so I can't. For now all I can do is put off making any detailed judgments and accept things as they are. Just like I accept the sky, the clouds, and the river. And there's also something kind of comical about it all, something you don't want to discard completely.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Magnus threw the monkey a fig. The monkey took the fig. "There," said Magnus. "Let us consider the matter settled." The monkey advanced, chewing in a menacing fashion. "I rather wonder what I am doing here. I enjoy city life, you know," Magnus observed. "The glittering lights, the constant companionship, the liquid entertainment. The lack of sudden monkeys." He ignored Giuliana's advice and took a smart step back, and also threw another piece of fruit. The monkey did not take the bait this time. He coiled and rattled out a growl, and Magnus took several more steps back and into a tree. Magnus flailed on impact, was briefly grateful that nobody was watching him and expecting him to be a sophisticated warlock, and had a monkey assault launched directly to his face. He shouted, spun, and sprinted through the rain forest. He did not even think to drop the fruit. It fell one by one in a bright cascade as he ran for his life from the simian menace. He heard it in hot pursuit and fled faster, until all his fruit was gone and he ran right into Ragnor. "Have a care!" Ragnor snapped. He detailed his terrible monkey adventure twice. "But of course you should have retreated at once from the dominant male," Giuliana said. "Are you an idiot? You are extremely lucky he was distracted from ripping out your throat by the fruit. He thought you were trying to steal his females." "Pardon me, but we did not have the time to exchange that kind of personal information," Magnus said. "I could not have known! Moreover, I wish to assure both of you that I did not make any amorous advances on female monkeys." He paused and winked. "I didn't actually see any, so I never got the chance." Ragnor looked very regretful about all the choices that had led to his being in this place and especially in this company. Later he stooped and hissed, low enough so Giuliana could not hear and in a way that reminded Magnus horribly of his monkey nemesis: "Did you forget that you can do magic?" Magnus spared a moment to toss a disdainful look over his shoulder. "I am not going to ensorcel a monkey! Honestly, Ragnor. What do you take me for?
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
As for 'too much description,' well, opinions differ. We write the books we want to read. And I want to read books that are richly textured and full of sensory detail, books that make me feel as if I am experiencing a story, not just reading it. Plot is only one aspect of telling a tale, and not the most important one. It is the journey that matters, not how fast you arrrive at the destination. That's my view, anyway. Others writers differ, of course. There are hundreds of books where everything is subordinate to advancing the plot, some of them quite fine, but my work has never been about that, and never will be.
George R.R. Martin
If you want to make yourself more sensitive to the small details in your work, cultivate a habit of imagining, as specifically as possible, what you expect to see and do when you get to your desk. Then you’ll be prone to notice the tiny ways in which real life deviates from the narrative inside your head. If you want to become better at listening to your children, tell yourself stories about what they said to you at dinnertime last night. Narrate your life, as you are living it, and you’ll encode those experiences deeper in your brain. If you need to improve your focus and learn to avoid distractions, take a moment to visualize, with as much detail as possible, what you are about to do. It is easier to know what’s ahead when there’s a well-rounded script inside your head.
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business)
There’ll be moments in life, sweet pea, that stand out in your memories like a photograph. Scenes captured perfectly in your mind, frozen in time with each detail as colorful as it was that first time you saw it. ‘Flashbulb memories,’ some people call them,” she’d told me, her eyes crinkling up and nearly disappearing in a face etched with too many laugh lines to count. “Most people don’t recognize those moments as they happen. They look back fifty years later, and realize that those were the most important parts of their entire life. But at the time, they’re so busy looking ahead to what’s coming down the line or worrying about their future, they don’t enjoy their present. Don’t be like them, sweet pea. Don’t get so caught up in chasing your dreams that you forget to live them.
Julie Johnson (Say the Word)
The dead man's face was pale and bloodless. The fierce white lights in the morgue showed up every detail mercilessly and every last pore and pock-mark was revealed, the history of a life, now reduced to a mere handful of scars. 'Always nice to see you Mark, but what brings you in so late on Friday afternoon?' Lambert said nothing, staring at Petrie's corpse, before turning to the coroner. John Humby was older and getting close to retirement and the two had been friends for a very long time. Humby resembled a large blood-hound, the more so the older he got and he was smiling over at Lambert, who was still thinking about the murder.
Stevie O'Connor (Under The Stones)
If you work with or around children, you often hear a lot about how resilient they are. It's true; I've met children who've been through things that would drive most adults to the brink. They look and act, most of the time, like any other children. In this sense – that they don't succumb to despair, that they don't demand a space for their pain – it's very true that children are resilient. But resiliency only means that a thing retains its shape. That it doesn't break, or lose its ability to function. It doesn't mean a child forgets the time she shared in the backyard with her mother gardening, or the fun they had together watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks at the Astro. It just means she learns to bear it. The mechanism that allowed Lisa Sample to keep her head above water in the wak of her mother's departure has not been described or cataloged by scientists. It's efficient, and flexible, and probably transferable from one person to another should they catch the scent on each other. But the rest of the details about it aren't observable from the outside. You have to be closer than you really want to get to see how it works.
John Darnielle (Universal Harvester)
Swearing on the Bible, you understand that shit? They tell you to raise your right hand and put your left hand on the Bible. Does this stuff really matter, which hand? Does God really give a fuck about details like this? Suppose you put your right hand on the Bible and you raise your left hand. Would that count? Or would God say, 'Sorry, wrong hand, try again'? And why does one hand have to be raised? [...] But let's get back to the Bible, America's favorite national theatrical prop. Suppose the Bible they hand you to swear on is upside down, or backward, or both, and you swear to tell the truth on an upside-down backward Bible. Would that count? Suppose the Bible they hand you is an old Bible and half the pages are missing. Suppose all they have is a Chinese Bible. In an American court. Or a Braille Bible, and you're not blind. Suppose they hand you an upside-down, backward, Chinese, Braille Bible with half the pages missing. At what point does all of this stuff just break down and become just a lot of stupid shit that somebody made up? They fuckin' made it up, folks, it's make-believe! It's make-believe [...] Bible or no Bible, God or no God, if it suits their purposes, people are going to lie in court.
George Carlin
The issue isn't whether your reputation is based on accurate information. It's that you can't control how people interpret that information. In general when people tell stories about one another they emphasize the characters and their deeds and downplay the details of the situation that might have shaped or excused those deeds.
John Whitfield (People Will Talk: The Surprising Science of Reputation)
You can't plan for everything: obstacles will still come up that you never talked about-that it never even occurred to you to discuss. Issues that you never anticipated will push your buttons. Behavior that you thought wouldn't make you jealous will. So, consider as many details as you can beforehand, and be ready for new ones to pop up.
Tristan Taormino (Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships)
You may set your mind at rest, Miss Anstruther-Wetherby." He glanced down, the planes of his face granite-hard. "I'm not marrying you because of any social stricture. That, if you consider it, is a nonsensical idea. Cynsters, as you well know, do not give a damn about social strictures. Society, as far as we're concerned, can think what it pleases—it does not rule us." "But… if that's the case—and given your reputation I can readily believe it is—why insist on marrying me?" "Because I want to." The words were delivered as the most patently obvious answer to a simple question. Honoria held on to her temper. "Because you want to?" He nodded. "That's it? Just because you want to?" The look he sent her was calculated to quell. "For a Cynster, that's a perfectly adequate reason. In fact, for a Cynster, there is no better reason." He looked ahead again; Honoria glanced at his profile. "This is ridiculous. You only set eyes on me yesterday, and now you want to marry me?" Again he nodded. "Why?" The glance he shot her was too brief for her to read. "It so happens I need a wife, and you're the perfect candidate." With that, he altered their direction and lengthened his stride even more. "I am not a racehorse." His lips thinned, but he slowed--just enough so she didn't have to run. They'd gained the graveled walk that circled the house. It took her a moment to replay his words, another to see their weakness. "That's still ridiculous. You must have half the female population of the ton waiting to catch your handkerchief every time you blow your nose." He didn't even glance her way. "At least half." "So why me?" Devil considered telling her--in graphic detail. Instead, he gritted his teeth and growled: "Because you're unique." "Unique?" Unique in that she was arguing.
Stephanie Laurens (Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1))
Tell the trafic jams to no open their roads to you. Tell the eyes that meet you on the road, that I’m no longer jealous. Tell the souls that share with you the details of your day, that I no longer wich to be them. Tell to the one I advised to take care of you, to forget my advice, and to neglect you as she wants. Tell your pillow to not be gentle with your head. Tell your tooth brush to not be gentle with your gums. Tell your hair brush to not care about your head skin. Tell your blanket to not give you warmth. Tell your winter clothes to not protect you from the cold. Tell the streets’ dogs to frighten you. Tell your car’s other seat that I no longer dream of sitting on it. Tell your country that I no longer dream of flying to it. Tell your friends, your coworkers, your best friend, your neighbours, the world, the universe, your ground, your sky, I broke your chains, and I no longer care about you. So leave on the story’s seat a dry flower, and leave my memory.
Shahrazad al-Khalij
Why Is It So Important to Remember? When you were abused, those around you acted as if it weren’t happening. Since no one else acknowledged the abuse, you sometimes felt that it wasn’t real. Because of this you felt confused. You couldn’t trust your own experience and perceptions. Moreover, others’ denial led you to suppress your memories, thus further obscuring the issue. You can end your own denial by remembering. Allowing yourself to remember is a way of confirming in your own mind that you didn’t just imagine it. Because the person who abused you did not acknowledge your pain, you may have also thought that perhaps it wasn’t as bad as you felt it was. In order to acknowledge to yourself that it really was that bad, you need to remember as much detail as possible. Because by denying what happened to you, you are doing to yourself exactly what others have done to you in the past: You are negating and denying yourself.
Beverly Engel (The Right to Innocence)
Of course," agreed Basil, "if you read it carelessly, and act on it rashly, with the blind faith of a fanatic; it might very well lead to trouble. But nature is full of devices for eliminating anything that cannot master its environment. The words 'to worship me' are all-important. The only excuse for using a drug of any sort, whether it's quinine or Epsom-salt, is to assist nature to overcome some obstacle to her proper functions. The danger of the so-called habit-forming drugs is that they fool you into trying to dodge the toil essential to spiritual and intellectual development. But they are not simply man-traps. There is nothing in nature which cannot be used for our benefit, and it is up to us to use it wisely. Now, in the work you have been doing in the last week, heroin might have helped you to concentrate your mind, and cocaine to overcome the effects of fatigue. And the reason you did not use them was that a burnt child dreads fire. We had the same trouble with teaching Hermes and Dionysus to swim. They found themselves in danger of being drowned and thought the best way was to avoid going near the water. But that didn't help them to use their natural faculties to the best advantage, so I made them confront the sea again and again, until they decided that the best way to avoid drowning was to learn how to deal with oceans in every detail. It sounds pretty obvious when you put it like that, yet while every one agrees with me about the swimming, I am howled down on all sides when I apply the same principles to the use of drugs.
Aleister Crowley (Diary of a Drug Fiend)
You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy. You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. You personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like. If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
Julien Smith (The Flinch)
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in. "Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?" I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.” She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—” "Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?" "Yeah, but that’s not the problem." Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk. "Go on," I said wearily. "Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her." "We?" I exclaimed. "Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.” I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said. As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.” "Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience." Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to. I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me. "Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy." I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.” "Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways. I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake. "Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi." Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.” The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.” That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
His heaven is like himself: strange, interesting, astonishing, grotesque. I give you my word, it has not a single feature in it that he actually values. It consists -- utterly and entirely -- of diversions which he cares next to nothing about, here in the earth, yet is quite sure he will like them in heaven. Isn't it curious? Isn't it interesting? You must not think I am exaggerating, for it is not so. I will give you details.
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
If you have read this far in the chronicle of the Baudelaire orphans - and I certainly hope you have not - then you know we have reached the thirteenth chapter of the thirteenth volume in this sad history, and so you know the end is near, even though this chapter is so lengthy that you might never reach the end of it. But perhaps you do not yet know what the end really means. "The end" is a phrase which refers to the completion of a story, or the final moment of some accomplishment, such as a secret errand, or a great deal of research, and indeed this thirteenth volume marks the completion of my investigation into the Baudelaire case, which required much research, a great many secret errands, and the accomplishments of a number of my comrades, from a trolley driver to a botanical hybridization expert, with many, many typewriter repairpeople in between. But it cannot be said that The End contains the end of the Baudelaires' story, any more than The Bad Beginning contained its beginning. The children's story began long before that terrible day on Briny Beach, but there would have to be another volume to chronicle when the Baudelaires were born, and when their parents married, and who was playing the violin in the candlelit restaurant when the Baudelaire parents first laid eyes on one another, and what was hidden inside that violin, and the childhood of the man who orphaned the girl who put it there, and even then it could not be said that the Baudelaires' story had not begun, because you would still need to know about a certain tea party held in a penthouse suite, and the baker who made the scones served at the tea party, and the baker's assistant who smuggled the secret ingredient into the scone batter through a very narrow drainpipe, and how a crafty volunteer created the illusion of a fire in the kitchen simply by wearing a certain dress and jumping around, and even then the beginning of the story would be as far away as the shipwreck that leftthe Baudelaire parents as castaways on the coastal shelf is far away from the outrigger on which the islanders would depart. One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it. We might even say that the world is always in medias res - a Latin phrase which means "in the midst of things" or "in the middle of a narrative" - and that it is impossible to solve any mystery, or find the root of any trouble, and so The End is really the middle of the story, as many people in this history will live long past the close of Chapter Thirteen, or even the beginning of the story, as a new child arrives in the world at the chapter's close. But one cannot sit in the midst of things forever. Eventually one must face that the end is near, and the end of The End is quite near indeed, so if I were you I would not read the end of The End, as it contains the end of a notorious villain but also the end of a brave and noble sibling, and the end of the colonists' stay on the island, as they sail off the end of the coastal shelf. The end of The End contains all these ends, and that does not depend on how you look at it, so it might be best for you to stop looking at The End before the end of The End arrives, and to stop reading The End before you read the end, as the stories that end in The End that began in The Bad Beginning are beginning to end now.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Every task you are given, no matter how menial, offers opportunities to observe this world at work. No detail about the people within it is too trivial. Everything you see or hear is a sign for you to decode. Over time, you will begin to see and understand more of the reality that eluded you at first. For instance, a person whom you initially thought had great power ended up being someone with more bark than bite. Slowly, you begin to see behind the appearances. As you amass more information about the rules and power dynamics of your new environment, you can begin to analyze why they exist, and how they relate to larger trends in the field. You move from observation to analysis, honing your reasoning skills, but only after months of careful attention.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
I think it’s time to go ahead and start, don’t you? We don’t want them to have enough time to make a trip back to shore with her.” Galen swims to within an inch of my face. His lazy grin sends a thousand butterflies whipping up a tornado in my stomach. “Start what? The rescue, or the rest of our lives together?” Just the words make my heart jump, let alone the look he gives me when he says it. We haven’t had much time to talk about what all this means for us, but at least I know we can be together. On our own terms, in our own time. Finally. “Both,” I breathe. “This is not the time to be all mushy,” Rayna calls from below us. “I swear you two are expert time wasters. So inconsiderate.” Galen winks at me and dives to his sister. “Wait,” I call to him. He stops. “I just wanted to say, I like your big fin. I think it’s sexy.” Which is the truth. Now t’s more than double the size of any other Syrena. I know he’s self-conscious about it; he thinks it makes him stand out more. What Galen doesn’t realize is that he already stood out. He was already special. This new fin doesn’t change anything. Well, except for making me hotter for him than I already was. “Really?” Galen says. I nod and blow him a kiss. By his confused expression, he has no idea what I’m doing. My Syrena human ambassador still has a lot to learn about the intimate details of the human world. And I’ll be happy to assist him with that.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Forget I said that.” Alexandra would try, but she doubted she would succeed. “Tell me about your schooling,” he said. “My schooling?” “Boring lessons, grim schoolrooms. If by chance you had any dour, dried-up, snaggletoothed headmistresses, I’d love to hear about them right now. In detail.” “My least favorite teacher wasn’t dried up or ugly at all. She was quite pretty, as a matter of fact, but she would spank us for misbehaving.” “Really,” he said, groaning weakly. “A smart thwack of the ruler, straight on the backside.” “On second thought, let’s not talk.
Tessa Dare (The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke, #2))
[...] what else motivated him to spend hour after hour with me, telling all the details of his story? I quote at length his answer. "I suffered so much and for so long. Maybe if people read this they will realize that if I can make it,they can make it. Many people suffer only because of what happens in their head; I was also physically being tortured. I had no food. No water. If I can make it so can you. If one depressed person avoids committing suicide then the book is a success. Be strong. Think positive. If you start to think to the contrary, you are headed to failure. Your mind has to be relaxed as you think about survival. Don't think about death. If you think you are going to die, you will die. You have to survive and think about the future of your life, that life is beautiful! How can you imagine taking your own life? There are challenges and punishment in life but you have to fight!
Jonathan Franklin (438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea)
You can't help the truth, the mundane details that frame people's perceptions of who you are, like where you were born, what your father does for a living, how many siblings you have. In our lies we offer the world a presentation of how we would be if we had complete control over our existence. That's why it's so embarrassing to get caught in a lie. It offers a glimpse into how you want to be seen. These are the things I am insecure about. You take things off the table, clean up your stories, edit out the parts that don't make sense, and think, now that's better.
Jade Sharma (Problems)
Ah…” Favonius nodded sympathetically. “I don’t blame you for being nervous, Nico di Angelo. Do you know how I ended up serving Cupid?” “I don’t serve anyone,” Nico muttered. “Especially not Cupid.” Favonius continued as if he hadn’t heard. “I fell in love with a mortal named Hyacinthus. He was quite extraordinary.” “He…?” Jason’s brain was still fuzzy from his wind trip, so it took him a second to process that. “Oh…” “Yes, Jason Grace.” Favonius arched an eyebrow. “I fell in love with a dude. Does that shock you?” Honestly, Jason wasn’t sure. He tried not to think about the details of godly love lives, no matter who they fell in love with. After all, his dad, Jupiter, wasn’t exactly a model of good behavior. Compared to some of the Olympian love scandals he’d heard about, the West Wind falling in love with a mortal guy didn’t seem very shocking. “I guess not. So…Cupid struck you with his arrow, and you fell in love.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
Does it really matter? Don't we have more important things to contend with than the staid details of my previous relationships?" "Normally? Yes. But when the supreme commander of North America is your ex-girlfriend, and she's already feeling really stressed about the fact that you've been lying to her? And then all of a sudden you other ex-girlfriend shows up and Juliette doesn't even know about her? And she realizes there are, like, a thousand other things you've lied to her about and then our very powerful supreme commander gets, like, super, super pissed? I don't know man, I don't see that ending well.
Tahereh Mafi (Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4))
Somehow I feel that an ordinary person–the man in the street if you like–is a more challenging subject for exploration than people in the heroic mold. It is the half shades, the hardly audible notes that I want to capture and explore. […] My films are about human beings, human relationships, and social problems. I think it is possible for everyone to relate to these issues. On a certain level, foreign audiences can appreciate Indian works, but many details are missed. For example, when they see a woman with a red spot on her forehead, they don’t know that this is a sign showing that she is married, or that a woman dressed in a white sari is a widow. Indian audiences understand this at once; it is self-evident for them. So, on certain level, the cultural gap is too wide. But on a psychological level, on the level of social relations, it is possible to relate. I think I have been able to cross the barrier between cultures. My films are made for an Indian audience, but I think they have bridged the gap.
Satyajit Ray
Why do I think these particular books have been popular? Two reasons. First, I think it is because they involve no harsh, garish violence at all. They involve game playing, really. No one is burned or cut or hurt. Certainly no one is killed. Indeed the whole sadomasochistic predicament is presented as a glorified game played out in luxurious rooms and with very attractive people, and involving very attractive slaves. There are endless motifs offered for dominance and submission, for surrender and love. It’s like a theme park of dominance and submission, a place to go to enjoy the fantasy of being overpowered by a beautiful man or woman and delightfully compelled to surrender and feel keening pleasure, without the slightest serious harm. I think it’s authentic to the way many who share this kind of fantasy really feel. I think what makes it work for people is the combination of the very graphic and unsparing sexual details mixed with the elegant fairy-tale world. Unfortunately a lot of hackwork pornography is written by those who don’t share the fantasy, and they slip into hideous violence and ugliness, thinking the market wants all that, when the market never really did. Second, this is shamelessly erotic. It pulls no punches at being what it is. It’s excessive and it is erotica. Before these books, a lot of women read what were called “women’s romances” where they had to mark the few “hot pages” in the book. I said, well, look, try this. Maybe this is what you really want, and you don’t have to mark the hot pages because every page is hot. Every page is about sexual fulfillment. Every page is meant to give you pleasure. There are no boring parts. Yet it’s very “romantic.” And well, I think this worked.
A.N. Roquelaure (The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty)
You know my brother Robbie?” Dakota asks in a hushed voice. I snicker loudly. “No, kid, I don’t know Robbie. I just coach his team.” A sheepish flush blooms on her cheeks. “Oops. Right. That was a stupid question.” “Ya think?” Giggling, she says, “Anyway, you can’t tell anyone, but Robbie has a girlfriend!” I raise my eyebrows. “Yeah? And how do you know that? Are you spying on your big brother?” “No, he told me, dum-dum. Robbie tells me everything. Her name is Lacey and she’s in eighth grade.” Dakota shakes her head in amazement. “That’s a whole grade higher than him.” I stifle the laughter threatening to spill over. “Landed himself an older woman, huh? Good for Robbie.” Dakota lowers her voice to a whisper and proceeds to tell me every single detail about her brother’s eighth-grade girlfriend. I listen obligingly, all the while trying to pinpoint exactly when it was that hanging out with middle-schoolers became the highlight of my days.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
I’m a tattoo artist, I’ll probably always be a tattoo artist and I don’t know how that plays into your future or the future you have planned after school and frankly I don’t care. This is what I have to offer you Shaw and just like you let me be your first, I’m letting you be mine,” I covered her entire palm with a detailed drawing of a sacred heart, it matched the one I had inked on the center of my chest. It had flames dancing up the back, a crown of thorns on top of it, a spray of roses along the bottom and in the center I drew a scrolling banner with my name in the center. “Here’s my heart Shaw. You have it in your hands and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I’m not taking it. I don’t know enough about love to know for sure that’s what this between us is, but I know that for me it’s you and only you from here on out and I can only promise to be careful and not push you away again. Life without you in it is doable, but if I have a choice I want to do it with you by my side and I’m telling you I’m not running away from the work it takes to make that happen. Shaw I’m not scared of us anymore.
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
Tried to convince himself, and failed. But—he had to give her space. He wouldn’t be an overbearing, territorial Fae bastard, as she liked to call them. “And if I pass your assessment,” Aedion said at last, “will we go directly to Terrasen, or are we waiting here for Prince Rowan?” “Prince Rowan,” she said, rolling her eyes. “You keep needling me for details about Prince Rowan—” “You befriended one of the greatest warriors in history—perhaps the greatest warrior alive. Your father, and his men, all told me stories about Prince Rowan.” “What?” Oh, he’d been waiting to drop this particular gem of information. “Warriors in the North still talk about him.” “Rowan’s never been to this continent.” She said it with such casualness—Rowan. She really had no clue who she now considered a member of her court, who she’d freed from his oath to Maeve. Who she frequently referred to as a pain in her ass. Rowan was the most powerful full-blooded Fae male alive. And his scent was all over her. Yet she had no gods-damned idea. “Rowan Whitethorn is a legend. And so is his—what do you call them?” “Cadre,” she said glumly. “The six of them …” Aedion loosed a breath. “We used to tell stories about them around fires. Their battles and exploits and adventures.” She sighed through her nose. “Please, please don’t ever tell him that. I’ll never hear the end of it, and he’ll use it in every argument we have.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
First, relax. ... And my second helpful hint is that you should not try to memorize anything you read in this book. ... My two words of advice are exemplified in what I call the Russian Novel Phenomenon. Every reader must have experienced that depressing moment about fifty pages into a Russian novel when we realize that we have lost track of all the characters, the variety of names by which they are known, their family relationships and relative ranks in the civil service. At this point we can give in to our anxiety, and start again to read more carefully, trying to memorize all the details on the offchance that some may prove to be important. If such a course is followed, the second reading is almost certain to be more incomprehensible than the first. The probable result: one Russian novel lost forever. But there is another alternative: to read faster, to push ahead, to make sense of what we can and to enjoy whatever we make sense of. And suddenly the book becomes readable, the story makes sense, and we find that we can remember all the important characters and events simply because we know what is important. Any re-reading we then have to do is bound to make sense, because at least we comprehend what is going on and what we are looking for.
Frank Smith
Gail loved to talk about how stressed she was. She would do this thing where we'd be walking in the hallway, and suddenly she'd stop in her tracks, rub both of her temples with her index and middle fingers, and theatrically let out a deep guttural moan: "Mooooog." "Mooog. Minz. I am just so stressed out," she'd say. "I just want to go home, open a bottle of red wine, draw up a hot bath, light some candles and listen to David Gray." A note about me: I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn't conversation. It'll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, "Wow, Mindy, you really have it especially bad. I have heard some stories of stress, but this just takes the cake.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
Curiously enough, one cannot read a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader. And I shall tell you why. When we read a book for the first time the very process of laboriously moving our eyes from left to right, line after line, page after page, this complicated physical work upon the book, the very process of learning in terms of space and time what the book is about, this stands between us and artistic appreciation. When we look at a painting we do not have to move our eyes in a special way even if, as in a book, the picture contains elements of depth and development. The element of time does not really enter in a first contact with a painting. In reading a book, we must have time to acquaint ourselves with it. We have no physical organ (as we have the eye in regard to a painting) that takes in the whole picture and then can enjoy its details. But at a second, or third, or fourth reading we do, in a sense, behave towards a book as we do towards a painting. However, let us not confuse the physical eye, that monstrous masterpiece of evolution, with the mind, an even more monstrous achievement. A book, no matter what it is—a work of fiction or a work of science (the boundary line between the two is not as clear as is generally believed)—a book of fiction appeals first of all to the mind. The mind, the brain, the top of the tingling spine, is, or should be, the only instrument used upon a book.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Literature)
Most people seem to think being a wizard is all about casting spells and being cryptic, but, really, most of it is really boring. A big chunk of it is research. Reading old books, cross-referencing them against other books, and then double-checking all of that against other sources. Then, for the big finish, writing down your own conclusions in your own journal, detailing what you did and how you did it so that someone else can repeat the process with your notes in a hundred years. Yeah, I was in for a glamorous life. That's why mages get invited to all of the good parties. The thing is, it worked.
Ben Reeder (Page of Swords (The Demon's Apprentice, #2))
We will never have any memory of dying. We were so patient about our being, noting down numbers, days, years and months, hair, and the mouths we kiss, and that moment of dying we let pass without a note - we leave it to others as memory, or we leave it simply to water, to water, to air, to time. Nor do we even keep the memory of being born, although to come into being was tumultuous and new; and now you don’t remember a single detail and haven’t kept even a trace of your first light. It’s well known that we are born. It’s well known that in the room or in the wood or in the shelter in the fishermen’s quarter or in the rustling canefields there is a quite unusual silence, a grave and wooden moment as a woman prepares to give birth. It’s well known that we were all born. But if that abrupt translation from not being to existing, to having hands, to seeing, to having eyes, to eating and weeping and overflowing and loving and loving and suffering and suffering, of that transition, that quivering of an electric presence, raising up one body more, like a living cup, and of that woman left empty, the mother who is left there in her blood and her lacerated fullness, and its end and its beginning, and disorder tumbling the pulse, the floor, the covers till everything comes together and adds one knot more to the thread of life, nothing, nothing remains in your memory of the savage sea which summoned up a wave and plucked a shrouded apple from the tree. The only thing you remember is your life." -"Births
Pablo Neruda (Fully Empowered)
The word God can mean whatever you believe it to mean, for me it is the conscious stream of life from which we all come, and to which we can stay connected throughout our lives as a source of peace, wisdom, love, support, knowing, inspiration, vitality, security, balance, and inner strength. I think that awareness is paramount, because in awareness we gain understanding, which then enables us to regain our feeling of empowerment. We need to feel empowered to make our choices conciously, about how to deal with changes in life, rather than reacting in fear (which tends to make us blind and weak). If we are aware, we can be realistic yet postive, and we can properly focus our intentions. Awareness can be quite sensual (which can add to your sense of feeling empowered). Think about how your body moves as you live your life, how amazing it is; think about nature, observe the intricate beautiful details of natural thngs, and of things we create, and breathe deeply to soak it all in.. Focus on the taste of food, the feel of textures in cloth, the feel of you partner's hand in yours; smell the sea breeze, listen to the wind in the trees, witness the colours of the leaves, the children playing; and be thankful for this life we are experiencing - this life we can all help to keep wonderful. Feel the wonder of being alive flood into you anytime you want, by taking a deep breath and letting the experience of these things fill you, even just by remembering. We all have that same stream of life within us, so you are a part of everything. Each one of us has the power to make a difference to everything. Breathe in that vital connection to the life source and sensual beauty everywhere, Feel loved and strong.
Jay Woodman
Once she called to invite me to a concert of Liszt piano concertos. The soloist was a famous South American pianist. I cleared my schedule and went with her to the concert hall at Ueno Park. The performance was brilliant. The soloist's technique was outstanding, the music both delicate and deep, and the pianist's heated emotions were there for all to feel. Still, even with my eyes closed, the music didn't sweep me away. A thin curtain stood between myself and pianist, and no matter how much I might try, I couldn't get to the other side. When I told Shimamoto this after the concert, she agreed. "But what was wrong with the performance?" she asked. "I thought it was wonderful." "Don't you remember?" I said. "The record we used to listen to, at the end of the second movement there was this tiny scratch you could hear. Putchi! Putchi! Somehow, without that scratch, I can't get into the music!" Shimamoto laughed. "I wouldn't exactly call that art appreciation." "This has nothing to do with art. Let a bald vulture eat that up, for all I care. I don't care what anybody says; I like that scratch!" "Maybe you're right," she admitted. "But what's this about a bald vulture? Regular vultures I know about--they eat corpses. But bald vultures?" In the train on the way home, I explained the difference in great detail.The difference in where they are born, their call, their mating periods. "The bald vulture lives by devouring art. The regular vulture lives by devouring the corpses of unknown people. They're completely different." "You're a strange one!" She laughed. And there in the train seat, ever so slightly, she moved her shoulder to touch mine. The one and only time in the past two months our bodies touched.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
If I could read only great books for the rest of my days, I would be happy. But finding those books—for myself or any other reader—isn't so easy. A "great" book means different things to different people. When we talk about reading, we often focus on the books themselves, but so much of the reading life is about the reader as an active participant. To put a great book in your hands, here's what I need to know: When you turn to the written word, what are you looking for? What themes speak to you? What sorts of places do you want to vicariously visit? What types of characters do you enjoy meeting on the page? What was the last story you wished would never end? Which was the last volume you hurled across the room? Without the details of what "great" means to you, and without knowing what kind of reader you are, the question might be simple, but it's impossible to answer. To hand you a great book, I don't just need to know about books; I need to know you.
Anne Bogel (I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life)
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I had a pupil who turned in a couple of well-crafted essays on Descartes, subjecting "cogito ergo sum" to effective and damaging criticism...This was the sort of thing the best students did, and it was thought to be Oxford intellectual training at its most sophistocated. But I said to him, "If all the criticisms you've made of Descartes are valid-- and on the whole I think they are-- why are we spending our time here now discussing him? Why have you just devoted a fortnight of your life to reading his main works and writing two essays about them? ...More to the point: if all these things are wrong with his ideas--and I think they are-- why is his name known to every educated person in the Western world today, three and a half centuries after his death? ...[text].. The pupil saw my point straight away but was at a loss to answer...[text].. Along such lines as these I made it a conscious principle of my teaching, whatever the subject, to get the pupil first of all to do the necessary learning, and the detailed work of analysis and criticism, and then to raise "Yes, but what is the point of all this-- why are we doing it?" questions. And students almost invariably found that it was only when that stage was reached that the really exciting interest and importantance of what it was they were doing opened up before their eyes.
Bryan Magee
This time, something different happens, though. It’s the daydreaming that does it. I’m doing the usual thing—imagining in tiny detail the entire course of the relationship, from first kiss, to bed, to moving in together, to getting married (in the past I have even organized the track listing of the party tapes), to how pretty she’ll look when she’s pregnant, to names of children—until suddenly I realize that there’s nothing left to actually, like, happen. I’ve done it all, lived through the whole relationship in my head. I’ve watched the film on fast-forward; I know the whole plot, the ending, all the good bit. Now I’ve got to rewind and watch it all over again in real time, and where’s the fun in that? And fucking … when’s it all going to fucking stop? I’m going to jump from rock to rock for the rest of my life until there aren’t any rocks left? I’m going to run each time I get itchy feet? Because I get them about once a quarter, along with the utilities bills. More than that, even, during British Summer Time. I’ve been thinking with my guts since I was fourteen years old, and frankly speaking, between you and me, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
These are among the people I've tried to know twice, the second time in memory and language. Through them, myself. They are what I've become, in ways I don't understand but which I believe will accrue to a rounded truth, a second life for me as well as them. Cracking jokes in the mandatory American manner of people self-concious about death. This is the humor of violent surprise. How do you connect things? Learn their names. It was a strange conversation, full of hedged remarks and obscure undercurrents, perfect in its way. I was not a happy runner. I did it to stay interested in my body, to stay informed, and to set up clear lines of endeavor, a standard to meet, a limit to stay within. I was just enough of a puritan to think there must be some virtue in rigorous things, although I was careful not to overdo it. I never wore the clothes. the shorts, tank top, high socks. Just running shoes and a lightweight shirt and jeans. I ran disguised as an ordinary person. -When are you two going to have children? -We're our own children. In novels lately the only real love, the unconditional love I ever come across is what people feel for animals. Dolphins, bears, wolves, canaries. I would avoid people, stop drinking. There was a beggar with a Panasonic. This is what love comes down to, things that happen and what we say about them. But nothing mattered so much on this second reading as a number of spirited misspellings. I found these mangled words exhilarating. He'd made them new again, made me see how they worked, what they really were. They were ancient things, secret, reshapable.The only safety is in details. Hardship makes the world obscure. How else could men love themselves but in memory, knowing what they know? The world has become self-referring. You know this. This thing has seeped into the texture of the world. The world for thousands of years was our escape, was our refuge. Men hid from themselves in the world. We hid from God or death. The world was where we lived, the self was where we went mad and died. But now the world has made a self of its own.
Don DeLillo (The Names)
Everett and his mom broke up with me,thank you very much." "You shouldn't have made out with him in his mother's scrapbooking room," Liz said sagely. "We're seventeen,"I snapped, "and Everett and I had been dating for two months when that happened.What were we supposed to do,eat dinner with his family and keep our hands on the table where everyone could see them?I mean, you and Davis are Mr. and Mrs. Polite Reserve, and even you were macking in the hot tub an hour ago." I picked up a pink fuzzy pillow that had fallen from he bed and threw it at Liz. "You were?" Chloe gushed. "You what? Hello,I need the details of Liz and Davis." "Hayden!" Liz squealed, ducking behind Chloe. "I'm not saying you shouldn't have made out with Everett.I'm saying you shouldn't have done it in his mother's scrapbooking room.Location, location,location.You might have disorganized her supplies.Some people are very particular about their chipboard getting mixed up with their cardstock." I closed my eyes,inhaled through my nose,and felt my lungs fill with air. My blood spread the life-giving oxygen throughout my body. "Watch out,"Chloe whispered to Liz. "She's doing yoga." My eyes snapped open.So much for controlling my temper. "Why the hell didn't you tell me Nick's mother left before I went into the sauna with him?" I hollered at Chloe. "We didn't know he was here!" Liz came to Chloe's defense. "And if we'd warned you about him before he got here," Chloe explained, "You would have known he was coming.We didn't want you to leave.The two of you are surprisingly hard to throw together,let me tell you." "I'm not buying it," I informed Chloe. "You were distracted.You had your mind on taking inventory." Liz giggled,turned red, and fell back to the pillows. "Taking inventory requires enormous concentration!" Chloe said with a straight face,but she was blushing,too.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
This is where we come," he said. Albie and I look at each other. “We?” “Me and, you know.” Albie’s eyes got wide. “I really don’t think I want to know about this.” I surprised myself. “I do,” I said. I guess I was tired of having to withhold the truth from Toby. Other than Ben, he and Albie we’re easily my best friends at Natick. Toby looked a little surprised, like he’d just assumed we wouldn’t want to hear the details. “You do?” “Yeah.” He looked around to make sure we were alone. We definitely were. No one came back here to my knowledge. Also it was cold. Like twenty degrees. Only three idiots would be in the woods in the winter, it seemed to me. “Robinson” he said. “Gorilla Butt,” I said, nodding. “I know.” “You know?” “Yup.” Toby crossed his arms an then deflated into a fake pout. “You’re stealing my scene, bitch. Scene stealer.” “Sorry,” I said. “So you and Gorilla Butt. Wow.” He flipped me off. “He hates that,” Toby said. “But, yeah. It’s hairy.” “Oh, look, almost anything else in the universe,” Albie said, heading back to campus and leaving us in the clearing. “He’s such a prude,” Toby said rolling his eyes.
Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight (Openly Straight, #1))
Classifieds" WHOEVER’S found out what location compassion (heart’s imagination) can be contacted at these days, is herewith urged to name the place; and sing about it in full voice, and dance like crazy and rejoice beneath the frail birch that appears to be upon the verge of tears. I TEACH silence in all languages through intensive examination of: the starry sky, the Sinanthropus’ jaws, a grasshopper’s hop, an infant’s fingernails, plankton, a snowflake. I RESTORE lost love. Act now! Special offer! You lie on last year’s grass bathed in sunlight to the chin while winds of summers past caress your hair and seem to lead you in a dance. For further details, write: “Dream.” WANTED: someone to mourn the elderly who die alone in old folks’ homes. Applicants, don’t send forms or birth certificates. All papers will be torn, no receipts will be issued at this or later dates. FOR PROMISES made by my spouse, who’s tricked so many with his sweet colors and fragrances and sounds– dogs barking, guitars in the street– into believing that they still might conquer loneliness and fright, I cannot be responsible. Mr. Day’s widow, Mrs. Night.
Wisława Szymborska (Poems New and Collected)
Time dims memory. But not that kind. Somewhere in a corner of the brain, one little cell never forgets. It keeps the song that, heard again, recreates the room, the person, the moment. It preserves the phrase or the laugh or the gesture that resurrects a friend long gone. It knows precisely where you were and what you were doing when you heard about Pearl Harbor if you're old enough, or Kennedy's assassination, or Martin Luther King's, or the Challenger explosion. Every detail is frozen in memory, despite all the years. It keeps the innocuous question, too. The question that sometime later, when all the synapses are working, produces the epiphany, the moment when you're driving along and you realize that finally you understand. And why did it take you so long?
Kay Mills (A Place in the News: From the Women's Pages to the Front Page)
There was a girl, and her uncle sold her, wrote Mr. Ibis in his perfect copperplate handwriting. That is the tale; the rest is detail. There are stories that are true, in which each individual’s tale is unique and tragic, and the worst of the tragedy is that we have heard it before, and we cannot allow ourselves to feel it too deeply. We build a shell around it like an oyster dealing with a painful particle of grit, coating it with smooth pearl layers in order to cope. This is how we walk and talk and function, day in, day out, immune to others’ pain and loss. If it were to touch us it would cripple us or make saints of us; but, for the most part, it does not touch us. We cannot allow it to. Tonight, as you eat, reflect if you can: there are children starving in the world, starving in numbers larger than the mind can easily hold, up in the big numbers where an error of a million here, a million there, can be forgiven. It may be uncomfortable for you to reflect upon this or it may not, but still, you will eat. There are accounts which, if we open our hearts to them, will cut us too deeply. Look—here is a good man, good by his own lights and the lights of his friends: he is faithful and true to his wife, he adores and lavishes attention on his little children, he cares about his country, he does his job punctiliously, as best he can. So, efficiently and good-naturedly, he exterminates Jews: he appreciates the music that plays in the background to pacify them; he advises the Jews not to forget their identification numbers as they go into the showers—many people, he tells them, forget their numbers, and take the wrong clothes, when they come out of the showers. This calms the Jews: there will be life, they assure themselves, after the showers. And they are wrong. Our man supervises the detail taking the bodies to the ovens; and if there is anything he feels bad about, it is that he still allows the gassing of vermin to affect him. Were he a truly good man, he knows, he would feel nothing but joy, as the earth is cleansed of its pests. Leave him; he cuts too deep. He is too close to us and it hurts.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Back out of all this now too much for us, Back in a time made simple by the loss Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather, There is a house that is no more a house Upon a farm that is no more a farm And in a town that is no more a town. The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you Who only has at heart your getting lost, May seem as if it should have been a quarry— Great monolithic knees the former town Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered. And there’s a story in a book about it: Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest, The chisel work of an enormous Glacier That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole. You must not mind a certain coolness from him Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain. Nor need you mind the serial ordeal Of being watched from forty cellar holes As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins. As for the woods’ excitement over you That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves, Charge that to upstart inexperience. Where were they all not twenty years ago? They think too much of having shaded out A few old pecker-fretted apple trees. Make yourself up a cheering song of how Someone’s road home from work this once was, Who may be just ahead of you on foot Or creaking with a buggy load of grain. The height of the adventure is the height Of country where two village cultures faded Into each other. Both of them are lost. And if you’re lost enough to find yourself By now, pull in your ladder road behind you And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me. Then make yourself at home. The only field Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall. First there’s the children’s house of make-believe, Some shattered dishes underneath a pine, The playthings in the playhouse of the children. Weep for what little things could make them glad. Then for the house that is no more a house, But only a belilaced cellar hole, Now slowly closing like a dent in dough. This was no playhouse but a house in earnest. Your destination and your destiny’s A brook that was the water of the house, Cold as a spring as yet so near its source, Too lofty and original to rage. (We know the valley streams that when aroused Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.) I have kept hidden in the instep arch Of an old cedar at the waterside A broken drinking goblet like the Grail Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it, So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t. (I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.) Here are your waters and your watering place. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.
Robert Frost
we as authors have been writing about people we aren't for forever. We find a way to empathise, we find a way in. Female characters are no different. All they are are characters. They are people too. Instead of asking yourself, "How do I write this female soldier?" ask yourself, "How do I write this soldier? Where is she from, how was she raised, does she have a sense of humour? Is she big and tall, is she short and petite? How does her size affect her ability to fight? What is her favourite weapon, her least favourite? Why? Is she more logical than emotional? The other way around? Was she an only child and spoiled, was she the eldest of six siblings and a surrogate mother? How does that upbringing affect how she interacts with her team? etc etc and so forth." Notice how the first question gets you some kind of broad, generalised answer, likely resulting in a stereotype, and how the second version asks lots and lots of smaller questions with the goal of creating someone well rounded. One would hope, really, that we as authors ask such detailed questions of all our characters, regardless of gender. So let me, at long last, actually answer the original question: "How do I write a female character?" Write her the way you would write any other character. Give her dimension, give her strength but please also don't forget to give her weaknesses (for a totally strong nothing can beat her kind of girl is not a person, she's again a type - the polar opposite yet exactly the same as the damsel in distress). Create a person.
Adrienne Kress
Even their contemporaries felt that the relationship of Elizabeth and Robert transcended the details on practicality. There had to be some explanation for their lifelong fidelity, and those contemporaries put it down to 'synaptia', a hidden conspiracy of the stars, whose power to rule human lives no-one doubted: 'a sympathy of spirits between them, occasioned perhaps by some secret constellation', in the words of the historian William Camden, writing at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Theirs was a relationship already rooted in history and mythology. And that moment when Elizabeth heard she had come to the throne encapsulated much about their story. If our well-loved picture of Elizabeth's accession is something of a fantasy - if the reality is on the whole more interesting - you might say the same about our traditional picture of her relationship with Robert Dudley.
Sarah Gristwood (Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics)
Each morning, write down three things you’re grateful for. Not the same three every day; find three new things to write about. That trains your brain to search your circumstances and hunt for the positive. Journal for two minutes a day about one positive experience you’ve had over the past twenty-four hours. Write down every detail you can remember; this causes your brain to literally reexperience the experience, which doubles its positive impact. Meditate daily. Nothing fancy; just stop all activity, relax, and watch your breath go in and out for two minutes. This trains your brain to focus where you want it to, and not get distracted by negativity in your environment. Do a random act of kindness over the course of each day. To make this simple, Shawn often recommends a specific act of kindness: at the start of each day, take two minutes to write an email to someone you know praising them or thanking them for something they did. Exercise for fifteen minutes daily. Simple cardio, even a brisk walk, has a powerful antidepressant impact, in many cases stronger (and more long-lasting) than an actual antidepressant!
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
Dear good guy I can hear your cries I can feel your pain I can smell your frustration I can see the confusion in your eyes Confused about how women see you In a land of women tired of being played They still take you as a joke and think you’re all games They play you like they were played They can’t see the seriousness in your eyes When you call her “Queen” and ask for her heart And you cry for commitment, they back out and shut down Treat you like the bad guys treated them It’s so ironic You hate seeing these ladies get their hearts stomped on Their minds toyed with It’s killing you because you’ve done it to women yourself you’ve seen other guys do it You want to save them from the destruction But like a child who refuses to obey their mother’s wisdom, until they are wise enough to understand through experience They won’t value you until they get burned playing with the fire of curiosity Some of them crave destruction They crave the fun that these fellas who will degrade them have to offer They are being guided by curiosity and their wisdom is foolishness Fight the urge to become like the men these ladies who lack understanding chase after Don’t let rejection consume your heart and cause you to crumble Being a promiscuous man who lacks self-respect and morals is overrated Find peace with being the underdog Your type is needed in this world, my good friend Hold on There are women out there who are in search for someone like you One of them will be the one who appreciates the detailed things about you the previous women called corny There are women out there who will value your honesty, your character, your loyalty Hold on, my friend Narrow is the right path You are on the right path, my friend Your time will come in due time You will not just be getting a girl, you will be getting a woman who will be willing to finish off this life’s journey with you You are not alone I am with you and I understand the hardships you face, the doubt, the anger I want you to know you are doing a great job at being you Do not give up Stand firm and continue to be different You will be an example to many although you are in the minority Corruption
Pierre Alex Jeanty (Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman)
I had a chance to read Monte Christo in prison once, too, but not to the end. I observed that while Dumas tries to create a feeling of horror, he portrays the Château d'If as a rather benevolent prison. Not to mention his missing such nice details as the carrying of the latrine bucket from the cell daily, about which Dumas with the ignorance of a free person says nothing. You can figure out why Dantès could escape. For years no one searched the cell, whereas cells are supposed to be searched every week. So the tunnel was not discovered. And then they never changed the guard detail, whereas experience tells us that guards should be changed every two hours so one can check on the other. At the Château d'If they didn't enter the cells and look around for days at a time. They didn't even have any peepholes, so d'If wasn't a prison at all, it was a seaside resort. They even left a metal bowl in the cell, with which Dantès could dig through the floor. Then, finally, they trustingly sewed a dead man up in a bag without burning his flesh with a red-hot iron in the morgue and without running him through with a bayonet at the guardhouse. Dumas ought to have tightened up his premises instead of darkening the atmosphere.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
A’ight, so what do you think it means?” “You don’t know?” I ask. “I know. I wanna hear what YOU think.” Here he goes. Picking my brain. “Khalil said it’s about what society feeds us as youth and how it comes back and bites them later,” I say. “I think it’s about more than youth though. I think it’s about us, period.” “Us who?” he asks. “Black people, minorities, poor people. Everybody at the bottom in society.” “The oppressed,” says Daddy. “Yeah. We’re the ones who get the short end of the stick, but we’re the ones they fear the most. That’s why the government targeted the Black Panthers, right? Because they were scared of the Panthers?” “Uh-huh,” Daddy says. “The Panthers educated and empowered the people. That tactic of empowering the oppressed goes even further back than the Panthers though. Name one.” Is he serious? He always makes me think. This one takes me a second. “The slave rebellion of 1831,” I say. “Nat Turner empowered and educated other slaves, and it led to one of the biggest slave revolts in history.” “A’ight, a’ight. You on it.” He gives me dap. “So, what’s the hate they’re giving the ‘little infants’ in today’s society?” “Racism?” “You gotta get a li’l more detailed than that. Think ’bout Khalil and his whole situation. Before he died.” “He was a drug dealer.” It hurts to say that. “And possibly a gang member.” “Why was he a drug dealer? Why are so many people in our neighborhood drug dealers?” I remember what Khalil said—he got tired of choosing between lights and food. “They need money,” I say. “And they don’t have a lot of other ways to get it.” “Right. Lack of opportunities,” Daddy says. “Corporate America don’t bring jobs to our communities, and they damn sure ain’t quick to hire us. Then, shit, even if you do have a high school diploma, so many of the schools in our neighborhoods don’t prepare us well enough. That’s why when your momma talked about sending you and your brothers to Williamson, I agreed. Our schools don’t get the resources to equip you like Williamson does. It’s easier to find some crack than it is to find a good school around here. “Now, think ’bout this,” he says. “How did the drugs even get in our neighborhood? This is a multibillion-dollar industry we talking ’bout, baby. That shit is flown into our communities, but I don’t know anybody with a private jet. Do you?” “No.” “Exactly. Drugs come from somewhere, and they’re destroying our community,” he says. “You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them to survive, and then you got the Khalils, who think they need to sell them to survive. The Brendas can’t get jobs unless they’re clean, and they can’t pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
[The Devil] "This legend is about paradise. There was, they say, a certain thinker and philospher here on your earth, who 'rejected all--laws, conscience faith, and, above all, the future life. He died and thought he'd go straight into darkness and death, but no--there was the future life before him. He was amazed and indignant. 'This,' he said, 'goes against my convictions.' So for that he was sentenced...I mean, you see, I beg your pardon, I'm repeating what I heard, it's just a legend...you see, he was sentenced to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometers (we also use kilometers now), and once he finished that quadrillion, the doors of paradise would be open to him and he would be forgiven everything...Well, so this man sentenced to the quadrillion stood a while, looked, and then lay down across the road: 'I dont want to go, I refuse to go on principle!' Take the soul of an enlightened Russian atheist and mix it with the soul of the prophet Jonah, who sulked in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights--you'll get the character of this thinker lying in the road...He lay there for nearly a thousand years, and then got up and started walking." "What an ass!" Ivan exclaimed, bursting into nervous laughter, still apparently trying hard to figure something out. "isn't it all the same whether he lies there forever or walks a quadrillion kilometers? It must be about a billion years' walk!" "Much more, even. If we had a pencil and paper, we could work it out. But he arrived long ago, and this is where the anecdote begins." "Arrived! But where did he get a billion years?" "You keep thinking about our present earth! But our present earth may have repeated itself a billion times; it died out, lets say, got covered with ice, cracked, fell to pieces, broke down into its original components, again there were the waters above the firmament, then again a comet, again the sun, again the earth from the sun--all this development may already have been repeated an infinite number of times, and always in the same way, to the last detail. A most unspeakable bore... "Go on, what happened when he arrived?" "The moment the doors of paradise were opened and he went in, before he had even been there two seconds--and that by the watch--before he had been there two seconds, he exclaimed that for those two seconds it would be worth walking not just a quadrillion kilometers, but a quadrillion quadrillion, even raised to the quadrillionth power! In short, he sang 'Hosannah' and oversweetened it so much that some persons there, of a nobler cast of mind, did not even want to shake hands with him at first: he jumped over to the conservatives a bit too precipitously. The Russian character. I repeat: it's a legend.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
This was before the importance of set and setting was understood. I was brought to a basement room, given an injection, and left alone.” A recipe for a bad trip, surely, but Richards had precisely the opposite experience. “I felt immersed in this incredibly detailed imagery that looked like Islamic architecture, with Arabic script, about which I knew nothing. And then I somehow became these exquisitely intricate patterns, losing my usual identity. And all I can say is that the eternal brilliance of mystical consciousness manifested itself. My awareness was flooded with love, beauty, and peace beyond anything I ever had known or imagined to be possible. ‘Awe,’ ‘glory,’ and ‘gratitude’ were the only words that remained relevant.” Descriptions of such experiences always sound a little thin, at least when compared with the emotional impact people are trying to convey; for a life-transforming event, the words can seem paltry. When I mentioned this to Richards, he smiled. “You have to imagine a caveman transported into the middle of Manhattan. He sees buses, cell phones, skyscrapers, airplanes. Then zap him back to his cave. What does he say about the experience? ‘It was big, it was impressive, it was loud.’ He doesn’t have the vocabulary for ‘skyscraper,’ ‘elevator,’ ‘cell phone.’ Maybe he has an intuitive sense there was some sort of significance or order to the scene. But there are words we need that don’t yet exist. We’ve got five crayons when we need fifty thousand different shades.” In
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
Yet I have reflected on the fact that for most of use, there is a hard, impassable barrier between the most imaginatively detailed depravity and its real-life execution. It's the same solid steel wall that inserts itself between a kinife and my wrist even when I'm at my most disconsolate. So how was Kevin able to raise that crossbow, point it at Laura's breastbone, and then really, actually, in time and space, squeeze the release? I can only assume that he discovered what I never wish to. That there is no barrier. That like my trips abroad or this ludicrous scheme of bike locks and invitations on school stationaery, the very squeezing of that release can be broken down into a series of simple constituent parts. It may be no more miraculous to pull the trigger of a bow or a gun than it is to reach for a glass of water. I fear that crossing into the "unthinkable" turns out to be no more athletic than stepping across the threshold of an ordinary room; and that, if you will, is the trick. The secret. As ever, the secret is that there is no secret. He must almost have wanted to giggle, though that is not his style; those Columbine kids did giggle. And once you have found out that there is nothing to stop you—that the barrier, so seemingly uncrossable, is all in your head—it must be possible to step back and forth across that threshold again and again, shot after shot, as if an unintimidating pipsqueak has drawn a line across the carpet that you must not pass and you launch tauntingly over it, back and over it, in a mocking little dance.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
It was getting late, but sleep was the furthest thing from my racing mind. Apparently that was not the case for Mr. Sugar Buns. He lay back, closed his eyes, and threw an arm over his forehead, his favorite sleeping position. I could hardly have that. So, I crawled on top of him and started chest compressions. It seemed like the right thing to do. "What are you doing?" he asked without removing his arm. "Giving you CPR." I pressed into his chest, trying not to lose count. Wearing a red-and-black football jersey and boxers that read, DRIVERS WANTED. SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS, I'd straddled him and now worked furiously to save his life, my focus like that of a seasoned trauma nurse. Or a seasoned pot roast. It was hard to say. "I'm not sure I'm in the market," he said, his voice smooth and filled with a humor I found appalling. He clearly didn't appreciate my dedication. "Damn it, man! I'm trying to save your life! Don't interrupt." A sensuous grin slid across his face. He tucked his arms behind his head while I worked. I finished my count, leaned down, put my lips on his, and blew. He laughed softly, the sound rumbling from his chest, deep and sexy, as he took my breath into his lungs. That part down, I went back to counting chest compressions. "Don't you die on me!" And praying. After another round, he asked, "Am I going to make it?" "It's touch-and-go. I'm going to have to bring out the defibrillator." "We have a defibrillator?" he asked, quirking a brow, clearly impressed. I reached for my phone. "I have an app. Hold on." As I punched buttons, I realized a major flaw in my plan. I needed a second phone. I could hardly shock him with only one paddle. I reached over and grabbed his phone as well. Started punching buttons. Rolled my eyes. "You don't have the app," I said from between clenched teeth. "I had no idea smartphones were so versatile." "I'll just have to download it. It'll just take a sec." "Do I have that long?" Humor sparkled in his eyes as he waited for me to find the app. I'd forgotten the name of it, so I had to go back to my phone, then back to his, then do a search, then download, then install it, all while my patient lay dying. Did no one understand that seconds counted? "Got it!" I said at last. I pressed one phone to his chest and one to the side of his rib cage like they did in the movies, and yelled, "Clear!" Granted, I didn't get off him or anything as the electrical charge riddled his body, slammed his heart into action, and probably scorched his skin. Or that was my hope, anyway. He handled it well. One corner of his mouth twitched, but that was about it. He was such a trouper. After two more jolts of electricity--it had to be done--I leaned forward and pressed my fingertips to his throat. "Well?" he asked after a tense moment. I released a ragged sigh of relief,and my shoulders fell forward in exhaustion. "You're going to be okay, Mr. Farrow." Without warning, my patient pulled me into his arms and rolled me over, pinning me to the bed with his considerable weight and burying his face in my hair. It was a miracle!
Darynda Jones (The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10))
What would be my, how should I call it, spontaneous attitude towards the universe? It's a very dark one. The first thesis would have been a kind of total vanity: there is nothing, basically. I mean it quite literally, like… ultimately there are just some fragments, some vanishing things. If you look at the universe, it's one big void. But then how do things emerge? Here, I feel a kind of spontaneous affinity with quantum physics, where, you know, the idea there is that universe is a void, but a kind of a positively charged void. And then particular things appear when the balance of the void is disturbed. And I like this idea of spontaneous very much that the fact that it's just not nothing… Things are out there. It means something went terribly wrong… that what we call creation is a kind of a cosmic imbalance, cosmic catastrophe, that things exist by mistake. And I'm even ready to go to the end and to claim that the only way to counteract it is to assume the mistake and go to the end. And we have a name for this. It's called love. Isn't love precisely this kind of a cosmic imbalance? I was always disgusted with this notion of "I love the world" universal love. I don't like the world. I don't know how… Basically, I'm somewhere in between “I hate the world” or “I'm indifferent towards it.” But the whole of reality, it's just it. It's stupid. It is out there. I don't care about it. Love, for me, is an extremely violent act. Love is not “I love you all.” Love means I pick out something, and it's, again, this structure of imbalance. Even if this something is just a small detail… a fragile individual person… I say “I love you more than anything else.” In this quite formal sense, love is evil.
Slavoj Žižek
Gregori brought Savannah's hand to the warmth of his mouth,his breath heating the pulse beating in her wrist. The night is especially beautiful, mon petit amour.Your hero saved the girl, walks among humans, and converses with a fool.That alone should bring a smile to your face.Do not weep for what we cannot change.We will make certain that this human with us comes to no harm. Are you my hero,then? There were tears in her voice, in her mind, like an iridescent prism. She needed him, his comfort,his support under her terrible weight of guilt and love and loss. Always,for all eternity, he answered instantly,without hesitation, his eyes hot mercury. He tipped her chin up so that she met the brilliance of his silver gaze.Always, mon amour.His molten gaze trapped her blue one and held her enthralled. Your heart grows lighter.The burden of your sorrow becomes my own. He held her gaze captive for a few moments to ensure that she was free of the heaviness crushing her. Savannah blinked and moved a little away from him, wondering what she had been thinking of.What had they been talking about? "Gary." Gregori drawled the name slowly and sat back in his chair,totally relaxed. He looked like a sprawling tiger,dangerous and untamed. "Tell us about yourself." "I work a lot.I'm not married. I'm really not much of a people person. I'm basically a nerd." Gregori shifted, a subtle movement of muscles suggesting great power. "I am not familiar with this term." "Yeah,well,you wouldn't be," Gary said. "It means I have lots of brains and no brawn.I don't do the athlete thing. I'm into computers and chess and things requiring intellect. Women find me skinny,wimpy,and boring. Not something they would you." There was no bitterness in his voice,just a quiet acceptance of himself,his life. Gregori's white teeth flashed. "There is only one woman who matters to me, Gary, and she finds me difficult to live with.I cannot imagine why,can you?" "Maybe because you're jealous, possessive, concerned with every single detail of her life?" Gary plainly took the question literally, offering up his observations without judgement. "You're probably domineering,too. I can see that. Yeah.It might be tough." Savannah burst out laughing, the sound musical, rivaling the street musicians. People within hearing turned their heads and held their breath, hoping for more. "Very astute, Gary.Very, very astute. I bet you have an anormous IQ." Gregori stirred again, the movement a ripple of power,of danger. He was suddenly leaning into Gary. "You think you are intelligent? Baiting the wild animal is not too smart.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
I’ve never quite mastered the art of holding my liquor,” she replied. He watched her root around in her purse a moment, before pulling out a tube of lip balm. As Jonas watched her apply it, he nearly got distracted from her answer. Leaning forward, Jonas murmured, “Can’t hold your liquor, huh?” She replaced the cap and dropped it back into her purse. “Not so much. I tend to get a bit too happy.” His eyebrows shot up and his cock came to full-alert status. Happy--he liked the sound of that. “And that’s a bad thing?” To his utter shock, Deanna blushed. “In my case it is.” Curiosity got the better of him. “Care to explain?” The waiter returned with the check, forcing Jonas to drop the conversation while he fished out his credit card. Once they were alone again, Jonas waited, hoping Deanna would go into more detail. She didn’t disappoint him. “All my inhibitions disappear. It’s not a comfortable feeling for me.” She was killing him. An immediate picture of a carefree Deanna sprang to mind. He liked it a hell of a lot. “Most people enjoy letting it all hang out every once in a while. Taking life too seriously leads to an early grave.” “Maybe, but if I suddenly develop the urge, I’d rather be coherent.” “You don’t like to give up control,” he surmised. She cocked her head to the side, as if unsure how to respond at first. “It’s not that,” she said. “I guess if I’m in the mood to go romping naked through a forest, for example, then I don’t want alcohol to blur the memorable event for me.” She laughed. “I mean, I’d want to remember a crazy moment like that. Wouldn’t you?” No doubt about it, Jonas liked the way the lady’s mind worked. “You had me at ‘running naked’.” Deanna snorted. “You need serious help.
Anne Rainey (Pleasure Bound (Hard to Get, #2))
Oh, I had all sorts of ego-polishing notions about my unhappy self. And I had theories, too. What, after all, is a depressed intellectual without his theories? I can’t reconstruct the details of them now. It would be too boring to try. But there was a lot of Nietzsche involved and Freud, too—oh, and Marx. That was it, my trinity: Nietzsche, Freud, and Marx. Which is to say I believed that power, sex, and money explained all human interactions, all history, and all the world. To pretend anything else, I thought, was rank hypocrisy, the worst of intellectual sins. Faith was a scam, Hope was a lie, Love was an illusion. Power, sex, and money—these three—were the real, the only stuff of life. And the greatest of these, of course, was sex. I don’t remember how I worked all this out philosophically. But for some reason, the other two persons of my trinity—power and money—were things to be disdained. They were motive forces for them, you know, for society’s evil masters, the greedy, the corrupt, the makers of orthodoxy. Sex, though—sex was for us. It was the expressive medium of the liberated, the unconventional, the unbowed, the Natural Man. When it came to sex, there was nothing—nothing consensual—that could repel or alienate such enlightened folks as we. Anyone who questioned that doctrine or looked askance at some sexual practice, anyone who even wondered aloud if perhaps, like any other appetite—for food, say, or alcohol or material goods—our sexual desire might occasionally require discipline or restraint, was painfully irrelevant, grossly out of the loop, unhip in the extreme. No, no. A free man, a natural man, a new man—so my theories went—threw off hypocrisy and explored his sexuality to its depths.
Andrew Klavan (Empire of Lies)
You were born on a moving train. And even though it feels like you're standing still, time is sweeping past you, right where you sit. But once in a while you look up, and actually feel the inertia, and watch as the present turns into a memory —as if some future you is already looking back on it. Dès Vu. One day you’ll remember this moment, and it’ll mean something very different. Maybe you’ll cringe and laugh, or brim with pride, aching to return. or notice some detail hidden in the scene, a future landmark making its first appearance or discreetly taking its final bow. So you try to sense it ahead of time, looking for clues, as if you’re walking through the memory while it’s still happening, feeling for all the world like a time traveler. The world around you is secretly strange: some details are charming and dated, others precious and irretrievable, but all fade into the quaint texture of the day. You try to read the faces around you, each fretting about the day’s concerns, not yet realizing that this world is already out of their hands. That it doesn’t have to be this way, it just sort of happened, and everything will soon be completely different. Because you really are a time traveler, leaping into the future in little tentative steps. Just a kid stuck in a strange land without a map, With nothing to do but soak in the moment and take one last look before moving on. But another part of you is already an old man, looking back on things. Waiting at the door for his granddaughter, who’s trying to make her way home for a visit. You are two people still separated by an ocean of time, Part of you bursting to talk about what you saw, Part of you longing to tell you what it means.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
When he wrote back, he pretended to be his old self, he lied his way into sanity. For fear of his psychiatrist who was also their censor, they could never be sensual, or even emotional. His was considered a modern, enlightened prison, despite its Victorian chill. He had been diagnosed, with clinical precision, as morbidly oversexed, and in need of help as well as correction. He was not to be stimulated. Some letters—both his and hers—were confiscated for some timid expression of affection. So they wrote about literature, and used characters as codes. All those books, those happy or tragic couples they had never met to discuss! Tristan and Isolde the Duke Orsino and Olivia (and Malvolio too), Troilus and Criseyde, Once, in despair, he referred to Prometheus, chained to a rock, his liver devoured daily by a vulture. Sometimes she was patient Griselde. Mention of “a quiet corner in a library” was a code for sexual ecstasy. They charted the daily round too, in boring, loving detail. He described the prison routine in every aspect, but he never told her of its stupidity. That was plain enough. He never told her that he feared he might go under. That too was clear. She never wrote that she loved him, though she would have if she thought it would get through. But he knew it. She told him she had cut herself off from her family. She would never speak to her parents, brother or sister again. He followed closely all her steps along the way toward her nurse’s qualification. When she wrote, “I went to the library today to get the anatomy book I told you about. I found a quiet corner and pretended to read,” he knew she was feeding on the same memories that consumed him “They sat down, looked at each other, smiled and looked away. Robbie and Cecilia had been making love for years—by post. In their coded exchanges they had drawn close, but how artificial that closeness seemed now as they embarked on their small talk, their helpless catechism of polite query and response. As the distance opened up between them, they understood how far they had run ahead of themselves in their letters. This moment had been imagined and desired for too long, and could not measure up. He had been out of the world, and lacked the confidence to step back and reach for the larger thought. I love you, and you saved my life. He asked about her lodgings. She told him. “And do you get along all right with your landlady?” He could think of nothing better, and feared the silence that might come down, and the awkwardness that would be a prelude to her telling him that it had been nice to meet up again. Now she must be getting back to work. Everything they had, rested on a few minutes in a library years ago. Was it too frail? She could easily slip back into being a kind of sister. Was she disappointed? He had lost weight. He had shrunk in every sense. Prison made him despise himself, while she looked as adorable as he remembered her, especially in a nurse’s uniform. But she was miserably nervous too, incapable of stepping around the inanities. Instead, she was trying to be lighthearted about her landlady’s temper. After a few more such exchanges, she really was looking at the little watch that hung above her left breast, and telling him that her lunch break would soon be over.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
Sit down," she ordered Peabody. "I prefer to stand." "And I prefer to give you a good boot in the ass, but I'm restraining myself." Eve reached up, fisted her hands in her own hair and yanked until the pain cleared most of the rage. "Okay, stand. You couldn't sit with that stick up your butt, anyway. One you shove up it every time Subject Monroe, Charles, is mentioned. You want to be filled in, you want to be briefed? Fine. Here it is." She had to take another deep breath to insure her tone was professional. "On the evening of March twenty-six, at or about nineteen-thirty, I, accompanied by Roarke, had occasion to visit Areena Mansfield's penthouse suite at The Palace Hotel, this city. Upon entering said premises, investigation officer found subject Mansfield in the company of one Charles Monroe, licensed companion. It was ascertained and confirmed that LC Monroe was there in a professional capacity and had no links to the deceased or the current investigation. His presence, and the salient details pertaining to it, were noted in the report of the interview and marked Level Five in a stupid, ill-conceived attempt by the investigating officer to spare her fat-headed aide any unnecessary embarrassment." Eve stomped back to her desk, snatched up her coffee, gulped some down. "Record that," she snapped. Peabody's lip trembled. She sat. She sniffled. "Oh, no." In genuine panic, Eve stabbed out a finger. "No, you don't. No crying. We're on duty. There is no crying on duty.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
THE COUNCIL WAS NOTHING LIKE Jason imagined. For one thing, it was in the Big House rec room, around a Ping-Pong table, and one of the satyrs was serving nachos and sodas. Somebody had brought Seymour the leopard head in from the living room and hung him on the wall. Every once in a while, a counselor would toss him a Snausage. Jason looked around the room and tried to remember everyone’s name. Thankfully, Leo and Piper were sitting next to him—it was their first meeting as senior counselors. Clarisse, leader of the Ares cabin, had her boots on the table, but nobody seemed to care. Clovis from Hypnos cabin was snoring in the corner while Butch from Iris cabin was seeing how many pencils he could fit in Clovis’s nostrils. Travis Stoll from Hermes was holding a lighter under a Ping-Pong ball to see if it would burn, and Will Solace from Apollo was absently wrapping and unwrapping an Ace bandage around his wrist. The counselor from Hecate cabin, Lou Ellen something-or-other, was playing “got-your-nose” with Miranda Gardiner from Demeter, except that Lou Ellen really had magically disconnected Miranda’s nose, and Miranda was trying to get it back. Jason had hoped Thalia would show. She’d promised, after all—but she was nowhere to be seen. Chiron had told him not to worry about it. Thalia often got sidetracked fighting monsters or running quests for Artemis, and she would probably arrive soon. But still, Jason worried. Rachel Dare, the oracle, sat next to Chiron at the head of the table. She was wearing her Clarion Academy school uniform dress, which seemed a bit odd, but she smiled at Jason. Annabeth didn’t look so relaxed. She wore armor over her camp clothes, with her knife at her side and her blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. As soon as Jason walked in, she fixed him with an expectant look, as if she were trying to extract information out of him by sheer willpower. “Let’s come to order,” Chiron said. “Lou Ellen, please give Miranda her nose back. Travis, if you’d kindly extinguish the flaming Ping-Pong ball, and Butch, I think twenty pencils is really too many for any human nostril. Thank you. Now, as you can see, Jason, Piper, and Leo have returned successfully…more or less. Some of you have heard parts of their story, but I will let them fill you in.” Everyone looked at Jason. He cleared his throat and began the story. Piper and Leo chimed in from time to time, filling in the details he forgot. It only took a few minutes, but it seemed like longer with everyone watching him. The silence was heavy, and for so many ADHD demigods to sit still listening for that long, Jason knew the story must have sounded pretty wild. He ended with Hera’s visit right before the meeting.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
He slammed his cup down. Coffee splashed over the rim and puddled around the base. “What on earth gave you the idea I want space? I want you here. With me. All the time. I want to come home and hear the shower running and get excited because I know you’re in it. I want to struggle every morning to get up and go to the gym because I hate the idea of leaving your warm body behind in bed. I want to hear a key turn in the lock and feel contented knowing you’re home. I don’t want fucking space, Harper.” Harper laughed. “What’s funny?” “I didn’t mean space. I meant space, like closet space, a drawer in the bedroom, part of the counter in the bathroom.” Trent’s mouth twitched, a slight smile making its way to his lips. “Like a compromise. A commitment that I want more. I seem to recall you telling me in the car about something being a step in the right direction to a goal we both agreed on. Well, I want all those things you just said, with you, eventually. And if we start to leave things at each other’s places, it’s a step, right?” Trent reached up, flexing his delicious tattooed bicep, and scratched the side of his head. Without speaking, he leapt to his feet, grabbing Harper and pulling her into a fireman’s lift. “Trent,” she squealed, kicking her feet to get free. “What are you doing?” He slapped her butt playfully and laughed as he carried her down the hallway. Reaching the bedroom, Trent threw her onto the bed. “We’re doing space. Today, right now.” He started pulling open his drawers, looking inside each one before pulling stuff out of the top drawer and dividing it between the others. “Okay, this is for your underwear. I need to see bras, panties, and whatever other girly shit you have in here before the end of the day.” Like a panther on the prowl, Trent launched himself at the bed, grabbing her ankle and pulling her to the edge of the bed before sweeping her into his arms to walk to the bathroom. He perched her on the corner of the vanity, where his stuff was spread across the two sinks. “Pick one.” “Pick one what?” “Sink. Which do you want?” “You’re giving me a whole sink? Wait … stop…” Trent grabbed her and started tickling her. Harper didn’t recognize the girly giggles that escaped her. Pointing to the sink farthest away from the door, she watched as he pushed his toothbrush, toothpaste, and styling products to the other side of the vanity. He did the same thing with the vanity drawers and created some space under the sink. “I expect to see toothbrush, toothpaste, your shampoo, and whatever it is that makes you smell like vanilla in here.” “You like the vanilla?” It never ceased to surprise her, the details he remembered. Turning, he grabbed her cheeks in both hands and kissed her hard. He trailed kisses behind her ear and inhaled deeply before returning to face her. “Absolutely. I fucking love vanilla,” he murmured against her lips before kissing her again, softly this time. “Oh and I’d better see a box of tampons too.” “Oh my goodness, you are beyond!” Harper blushed furiously. “I want you for so much more than just sex, Harper.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
I have something to show you." He sank down next to me and handed me a sketchbook. I opened it. And saw the mermaid. She was drawn in colored ink, exquisitely detailed; each scale had a little picture in it: a pyramid, a rocket, a peacock, a lamp. Her torso was patterened red, like a tattoo, like coral. She had a thin strand of seaweed around her neck, with a starfish holding on to the center. Her hair was a tumble of loose black curls. She had my face. I turned the page.And another and another. There she was fighting a creature that was half human, half octopus. Exploring a cave. Riding a shark. Laughing and petting a stingray that rested on her lap. "I'm calling her Cora Lia for the moment," Alex told me. "I thought about Corella, but it sounded like cheap dishware." "She's...amazing." "She's fierce. Fighting the Evil Sea-Dragon King and his minions." I traced the red tattoo on her chest. "This is beautiful." Alex reached into my sweater, pulled the loose neck of the T-shirt away from my shoulder. I didn't stop him. "It looks like coral to me." He touched me, then,the pad of his thumb tracing the outline of the scar. It felt strange, partly because of the difference in the tissue, but more because in the last few years, the only hands that had touched me there were mine. I set the book aside carefully. "Guess I don't see what you do." "That's too bad, because I see you perfectly." I curved myself into him. "Maybe you're exactly what I need." "Like there's any doubt?" He buried his face in my neck.I didn't stop him. "So." "So?" "We'll kill a few hours, watch the sunrise, have pancakes, and you'll drive home." "What?" I felt him smile against my skin. "I got you swimming with sharks. Next on the Conquer Your Fears list is driving a stick shift.Right?" "One thing at a time," I said. Then, "Oh. Do that again." In another story, the intrepid heroine would have gone running out and splashed in the surf, hypothermia be damned. She would have driven the Mustang home, booked a haircut, taken up stand-up comedy, and danced on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. But this was me, and I was moving at my own pace. Truth: My story started a hundred years ago. There's time.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
I HAD TO GO to America for a while to give some talks. Going to America always does me good. It’s where I’m from, after all. There’s baseball on the TV, people are friendly and upbeat, they don’t obsess about the weather except when there is weather worth obsessing about, you can have all the ice cubes you want. Above all, visiting America gives me perspective. Consider two small experiences I had upon arriving at a hotel in downtown Austin, Texas. When I checked in, the clerk needed to record my details, naturally enough, and asked for my home address. Our house doesn’t have a street number, just a name, and I have found in the past that that is more deviance than an American computer can sometimes cope with, so I gave our London address. The girl typed in the building number and street name, then said: “City?” I replied: “London.” “Can you spell that please?” I looked at her and saw that she wasn’t joking. “L-O-N-D-O-N,” I said. “Country?” “England.” “Can you spell that?” I spelled England. She typed for a moment and said: “The computer won’t accept England. Is that a real country?” I assured her it was. “Try Britain,” I suggested. I spelled that, too—twice (we got the wrong number of T’s the first time)—and the computer wouldn’t take that either. So I suggested Great Britain, United Kingdom, UK, and GB, but those were all rejected, too. I couldn’t think of anything else to suggest. “It’ll take France,” the girl said after a minute. “I beg your pardon?” “You can have ‘London, France.’ ” “Seriously?” She nodded. “Well, why not?” So she typed “London, France,” and the system was happy. I finished the check-in process and went with my bag and plastic room key to a bank of elevators a few paces away. When the elevator arrived, a young woman was in it already, which I thought a little strange because the elevator had come from one of the upper floors and now we were going back up there again. About five seconds into the ascent, she said to me in a suddenly alert tone: “Excuse me, was that the lobby back there?” “That big room with a check-in desk and revolving doors to the street? Why, yes, it was.” “Shoot,” she said and looked chagrined. Now I am not for a moment suggesting that these incidents typify Austin, Texas, or America generally or anything like that. But it did get me to thinking that our problems are more serious than I had supposed. When functioning adults can’t identify London, England, or a hotel lobby, I think it is time to be concerned. This is clearly a global problem and it’s spreading. I am not at all sure how we should tackle such a crisis, but on the basis of what we know so far, I would suggest, as a start, quarantining Texas.
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island)
Depression goes through stages, but if left unchecked and not treated, this elevator ride will eventually go all the way to the bottom floor. And finally you find yourself bereft of choices, unable to figure out a way up or out, and pretty soon one overarching impulse begins winning the battle for your mind: “Kill yourself.” And once you get over the shock of those words in your head, the horror of it, it begins to start sounding appealing, even possessing a strange resolve, logic. In fact, it’s the only thing you have left that is logical. It becomes the only road to relief. As if just the planning of it provides the first solace you’ve felt that you can remember. And you become comfortable with it. You begin to plan it and contemplate the details of how best to do it, as if you were planning travel arrangements for a vacation. You just have to get out. O-U-T. You see the white space behind the letter O? You just want to crawl through that O and be out of this inescapable hurt that is this thing they call clinical depression. “How am I going to do this?” becomes the only tape playing. And if you are really, really, really depressed and you’re really there, you’re gonna find a way. I found a way. I had a way. And I did it. I made sure Opal was out of the house and on a business trip. My planning took a few weeks. I knew exactly how I was going to do it: I didn’t want to make too much of a mess. There was gonna be no blood, no drama. There was just going to be, “Now you see me, now you don’t.” That’s what it was going to be. So I did it. And it was over. Or so I thought. About twenty-four hours later I woke up. I was groggy; zoned out to the point at which I couldn’t put a sentence together for the next couple of days. But I was semifunctional, and as these drugs and shit that I took began to wear off slowly but surely, I realized, “Okay, I fucked up. I didn’t make it.” I thought I did all the right stuff, left no room for error, but something happened. And this perfect, flawless plan was thwarted. As if some force rebuked me and said, “Not yet. You’re not going anywhere.” The only reason I could have made it, after the amount of pills and alcohol and shit I took, was that somebody or something decided it wasn’t my time. It certainly wasn’t me making that call. It was something external. And when you’re infused with the presence of this positive external force, which is so much greater than all of your efforts to the contrary, that’s about as empowering a moment as you can have in your life. These days we have a plethora of drugs one can take to ameliorate the intensity of this lack of hope, lack of direction, lack of choice. So fuck it and don’t be embarrassed or feel like you can handle it yourself, because lemme tell ya something: you can’t. Get fuckin’ help. The negative demon is strong, and you may not be as fortunate as I was. My brother wasn’t. For me, despair eventually gave way to resolve, and resolve gave way to hope, and hope gave way to “Holy shit. I feel better than I’ve ever felt right now.” Having actually gone right up to the white light, looked right at it, and some force in the universe turned me around, I found, with apologies to Mr. Dylan, my direction home. I felt more alive than I’ve ever felt. I’m not exaggerating when I say for the next six months I felt like Superman. Like I’m gonna fucking go through walls. That’s how strong I felt. I had this positive force in me. I was saved. I was protected. I was like the only guy who survived and walked away from a major plane crash. I was here to do something big. What started as the darkest moment in my life became this surge of focus, direction, energy, and empowerment.
Ron Perlman (Easy Street: The Hard Way)
Experiential versus the God eye! Possessing ‘ego vision’, a person’s view through her/his physical eyes is quite versatile; able to discern wide and varied vistas over huge distances or scrutinizing the minutest of details. Ego’s very nature: capable of relatively expansive, detailed, and yet individualistic perspective is crucial. Separating itself out from the God Force, ego extracts infinite unique experiences, integral to humanity’s process of spiritualizing matter. Incarnating on the earth, achieving individualism is therefore critical for attainment of divinity. Individualism may cause momentary estrangement from the God Self. However, this person has forgotten that they are everything in the mirror, the ‘sliver’ and the ‘ball of light’,” continues Kuan Yin. During this complex passage Lena was inundated by infinite rapid-fire visuals: emanations from the God Mind. “Further and unfortunately, wrong assumptions are made about suffering. Some individuals even believe that it is required, that suffering brings one closer to salvation. Quite the contrary,” disputes Kuan Yin, “the God Force likes to play. Therefore, if all individuals could unite creating a real sense of community many problems could be healed. The God Force is separate and not separate, whole and not whole at the same time. Really, it is not ‘sliceable’, not reducible. Even when it is sliced into individual energies, it does not diminish the total God Force or the power of the individual. Each of you has the potential for the God Force potency. However, no individual can overcome the God Force. There is a misinterpretation, (by some) that Satan is as powerful as God. Limited energy cannot live on its own. Every experience must exist and yet they (the limiting forces) can never exist on their own. Limited energy, then, is the experience of the absence of the God Force. Therefore, there is no need to fear it. Those choosing such experiences have a need to understand how it feels to believe evil powers exist. Again, I say those who pursue this route are taking it too personally. They believe the story they’ve made up about themselves. It is similar to a person going into an ice cream store and only choosing one flavor from many. Preoccupied with tasting that flavor for a very long time, they are probably quite sick and tired of it. Still, they don’t want to believe there are any other flavors available. The ‘agreement’, then, is to continue to believe in that particular flavor. Here’s where reincarnation and its opportunity for experiencing a vast array of perspectives, “agreements”, enters in. Another life offers another opportunity, a chance to ‘switch flavors’ so to speak. Taking oneself too personally, however, can cause a soul to get caught up, stuck in redundancy: in a particular (and perhaps unfortunate) flavor. In such instances, the individual is forgetting one has the ability to choose his or her flavors, lives,” contends Kuan Yin.
Hope Bradford (Oracle of Compassion: The Living Word of Kuan Yin)
What we feel and how we feel is far more important than what we think and how we think. Feeling is the stuff of which our consciousness is made, the atmosphere in which all our thinking and all our conduct is bathed. All the motives which govern and drive our lives are emotional. Love and hate, anger and fear, curiosity and joy are the springs of all that is most noble and most detestable in the history of men and nations. The opening sentence of a sermon is an opportunity. A good introduction arrests me. It handcuffs me and drags me before the sermon, where I stand and hear a Word that makes me both tremble and rejoice. The best sermon introductions also engage the listener immediately. It’s a rare sermon, however, that suffers because of a good introduction. Mysteries beg for answers. People’s natural curiosity will entice them to stay tuned until the puzzle is solved. Any sentence that points out incongruity, contradiction, paradox, or irony will do. Talk about what people care about. Begin writing an introduction by asking, “Will my listeners care about this?” (Not, “Why should they care about this?”) Stepping into the pulpit calmly and scanning the congregation to the count of five can have a remarkable effect on preacher and congregation alike. It is as if you are saying, “I’m about to preach the Word of God. I want all of you settled. I’m not going to begin, in fact, until I have your complete attention.” No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. The getting of that sentence is the hardest, most exacting, and most fruitful labor of study. We tend to use generalities for compelling reasons. Specifics often take research and extra thought, precious commodities to a pastor. Generalities are safe. We can’t help but use generalities when we can’t remember details of a story or when we want anonymity for someone. Still, the more specific their language, the better speakers communicate. I used to balk at spending a large amount of time on a story, because I wanted to get to the point. Now I realize the story gets the point across better than my declarative statements. Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Limits—that is, form—challenge the mind, forcing creativity. Needless words weaken our offense. Listening to some speakers, you have to sift hundreds of gallons of water to get one speck of gold. If the sermon is so complicated that it needs a summary, its problems run deeper than the conclusion. The last sentence of a sermon already has authority; when the last sentence is Scripture, this is even more true. No matter what our tone or approach, we are wise to craft the conclusion carefully. In fact, given the crisis and opportunity that the conclusion presents—remember, it will likely be people’s lasting memory of the message—it’s probably a good practice to write out the conclusion, regardless of how much of the rest of the sermon is written. It is you who preaches Christ. And you will preach Christ a little differently than any other preacher. Not to do so is to deny your God-given uniqueness. Aim for clarity first. Beauty and eloquence should be added to make things even more clear, not more impressive. I’ll have not praise nor time for those who suppose that writing comes by some divine gift, some madness, some overflow of feeling. I’m especially grim on Christians who enter the field blithely unprepared and literarily innocent of any hard work—as though the substance of their message forgives the failure of its form.
Mark Galli (Preaching That Connects: Using Techniques of Journalists to Add Impact)
Goggles but no bathing suit?" she asked. Daniel blushed. "I guess that was stupid. But I was in a hurry, only thinking about what you would need to get the halo." He drove the paddle back into the water, propelling them more quickly than a speedboat. "You can swim in your underwear, right?" Now Luce blushed. Under normal circumstances, the question might have seemed thrilling, something they both would have giggled at. Not these nine days. She nodded. Eight days now. Daniel was deadly serious. Luce just swallowed hard and said, "Of course." The pair of green-gray spires grew larger, more detailed, and then they were upon them. They were tall and conical, made of rusted slats of copper. They had once been capped by small teardrop-shaped copper flags sculpted to look like they were rippling in the wind, but one weathered flag was pocked with holes, and the other had broken off completely. In the open water, the spires' protrusion was bizarre, suggesting a cavernous cathedral of the deep. Luce wondered how long ago the church had sunk, how deep it sat below. The thought of diving down there in ridiculous goggles and mom-bought underwear made her shudder. "This church must be huge," she said. She meant I don't think I can do this. I can't breathe underwater. How are we going to find one small halo sunk in the middle of the sea? "I can take you down as far as the chapel itself, but only that far. So long as you hold on to my hand." Daniel extended a warm hand to help Luce stand up in the gondola. "Breathing will not be a problem. But the church will still be sanctified, which means I'll need you to find the halo and bring it out to me." Daniel yanked his T-shirt off over his head, dropping it to the bench of the gondola. He stepped out of his pants quickly, perfectly balanced on the boat, then kicked off his tennis shoes. Luce watched, feeling something stir inside her, until she realized she was supposed to be stripping down, too. She kicked off her boots, tugged off her socks, stepped out of her jeans as modestly as she could. Daniel held her hand to help her balance; he was watching her but not the way she would have expected. He was worried about her, the goose bumps rising on her skin. He rubbed her arms when she slipped off he sweater and stood freezing in her sensible underwear n the gondola in the middle of the Venetian lagoon. Again she shivered, cold and fear an indecipherable mass inside her. But her voice sounded brave when she tugged the goggles, which pinched, down over her eyes and said, "Okay, let's swim." They held hands, just like they had the last time they'd swum together at Sword & Cross. As their feet lifted off the varnished floor of the gondola, Daniel's hand tugged her upward, higher than she ever could have jumped herself-and then they dove. Her body broke the surface of the sea, which wasn't as cold as she'd expected. In fact, the closer she swam beside Daniel, the warmer the wake around them grew. He was glowing.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
A note about me: I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, “Wow, Mindy, you really have it especially bad. I have heard some stories of stress, but this just takes the cake.” This is entirely because my parents are immigrant professionals, and talking about one’s stress level was just totally outlandish to them. When I was three years old my mom was in the middle of her medical residency in Boston. She had been a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist in Nigeria, but in the United States she was required to do her residency all over again. She’d get up at 4:00 a.m. and prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for my brother and me, because she knew she wouldn’t be home in time to have dinner with us. Then she’d leave by 5:30 a.m. to start rounds at the hospital. My dad, an architect, had a contract for a building in New Haven, Connecticut, which was two hours and forty-five minutes away. It would’ve been easier for him to move to New Haven for the time of the construction of the building, but then who would have taken care of us when my mom was at the hospital at night? In my parents’ vivid imaginations, lack of at least one parent’s supervision was a gateway to drugs, kidnapping, or at the very minimum, too much television watching. In order to spend time with us and save money for our family, my dad dropped us off at school, commuted the two hours and forty-five minutes every morning, and then returned in time to pick us up from our after-school program. Then he came home and boiled us hot dogs as an after-school snack, even though he was a vegetarian and had never eaten a hot dog before. In my entire life, I never once heard either of my parents say they were stressed. That was just not a phrase I grew up being allowed to say. That, and the concept of “Me time.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
The eccentric passion of Shankly was underlined for me by my England team-mate Roger Hunt's version of the classic tale of the Liverpool manager's pre-game talk before playing Manchester United. The story has probably been told a thousand times in and out of football, and each time you hear it there are different details, but when Roger told it the occasion was still fresh in his mind and I've always believed it to be the definitive account. It was later on the same day, as Roger and I travelled together to report for England duty, after we had played our bruising match at Anfield. Ian St John had scored the winner, then squared up to Denis Law, with Nobby finally sealing the mood of the afternoon by giving the Kop the 'V' sign. After settling down in our railway carriage, Roger said, 'You may have lost today, but you would have been pleased with yourself before the game. Shanks mentioned you in the team talk. When he says anything positive about the opposition, normally he never singles out players.' According to Roger, Shankly burst into the dressing room in his usual aggressive style and said, 'We're playing Manchester United this afternoon, and really it's an insult that we have to let them on to our field because we are superior to them in every department, but they are in the league so I suppose we have to play them. In goal Dunne is hopeless- he never knows where he is going. At right back Brennan is a straw- any wind will blow him over. Foulkes the centre half kicks the ball anywhere. On the left Tony Dunne is fast but he only has one foot. Crerand couldn't beat a tortoise. It's true David Herd has got a fantastic shot, but if Ronnie Yeats can point him in the right direction he's likely to score for us. So there you are, Manchester United, useless...' Apparently it was at this point the Liverpool winger Ian Callaghan, who was never known to whisper a single word on such occasions, asked, 'What about Best, Law and Charlton, boss?' Shankly paused, narrowed his eyes, and said, 'What are you saying to me, Callaghan? I hope you're not saying we cannot play three men.
Bobby Charlton (Sir Bobby Charlton: The Autobiography: My Manchester United Years)
A woman named Cynthia once told me a story about the time her father had made plans to take her on a night out in San Francisco. Twelve-year-old Cynthia and her father had been planning the “date” for months. They had a whole itinerary planned down to the minute: she would attend the last hour of his presentation, and then meet him at the back of the room at about four-thirty and leave quickly before everyone tried to talk to him. They would catch a tram to Chinatown, eat Chinese food (their favourite), shop for a souvenir, see the sights for a while and then “catch a flick” as her dad liked to say. Then they would grab a taxi back to the hotel, jump in the pool for a quick swim (her dad was famous for sneaking in when the pool was closed), order a hot fudge sundae from room service, and watch the late, late show. They discussed the details over and over again before they left. The anticipation was part of the whole experience. This was all going according to plan until, as her father was leaving the convention centre, he ran into an old college friend and business associate. It had been years since they had seen each other, and Cynthia watched as they embraced enthusiastically. His friend said, in effect: “I am so glad you are doing some work with our company now. When Lois and I heard about it we thought it would be perfect. We want to invite you, and of course Cynthia, to get a spectacular seafood dinner down at the Wharf!” Cynthia’s father responded: “Bob, it’s so great to see you. Dinner at the wharf sounds great!” Cynthia was crestfallen. Her daydreams of tram rides and ice cream sundaes evaporated in an instant. Plus, she hated seafood and she could just imagine how bored she would be listening to the adults talk all night. But then her father continued: “But not tonight. Cynthia and I have a special date planned, don’t we?” He winked at Cynthia and grabbed her hand and they ran out of the door and continued with what was an unforgettable night in San Francisco. As it happens, Cynthia’s father was the management thinker Stephen R. Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) who had passed away only weeks before Cynthia told me this story. So it was with deep emotion she recalled that evening in San Francisco. His simple decision “Bonded him to me forever because I knew what mattered most to him was me!” she said.5 One simple answer is we are unclear about what is essential. When this happens we become defenceless. On the other hand, when we have strong internal clarity it is almost as if we have a force field protecting us from the non-essentials coming at us from all directions. With Rosa it was her deep moral clarity that gave her unusual courage of conviction. With Stephen it was the clarity of his vision for the evening with his loving daughter. In virtually every instance, clarity about what is essential fuels us with the strength to say no to the non-essentials. Stephen R. Covey, one of the most respected and widely read business thinkers of his generation, was an Essentialist. Not only did he routinely teach Essentialist principles – like “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – to important leaders and heads of state around the world, he lived them.6 And in this moment of living them with his daughter he made a memory that literally outlasted his lifetime. Seen with some perspective, his decision seems obvious. But many in his shoes would have accepted the friend’s invitation for fear of seeming rude or ungrateful, or passing up a rare opportunity to dine with an old friend. So why is it so hard in the moment to dare to choose what is essential over what is non-essential?
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
PEACETIME CEO/WARTIME CEO Peacetime CEO knows that proper protocol leads to winning. Wartime CEO violates protocol in order to win. Peacetime CEO focuses on the big picture and empowers her people to make detailed decisions. Wartime CEO cares about a speck of dust on a gnat’s ass if it interferes with the prime directive. Peacetime CEO builds scalable, high-volume recruiting machines. Wartime CEO does that, but also builds HR organizations that can execute layoffs. Peacetime CEO spends time defining the culture. Wartime CEO lets the war define the culture. Peacetime CEO always has a contingency plan. Wartime CEO knows that sometimes you gotta roll a hard six. Peacetime CEO knows what to do with a big advantage. Wartime CEO is paranoid. Peacetime CEO strives not to use profanity. Wartime CEO sometimes uses profanity purposefully. Peacetime CEO thinks of the competition as other ships in a big ocean that may never engage. Wartime CEO thinks the competition is sneaking into her house and trying to kidnap her children. Peacetime CEO aims to expand the market. Wartime CEO aims to win the market. Peacetime CEO strives to tolerate deviations from the plan when coupled with effort and creativity. Wartime CEO is completely intolerant. Peacetime CEO does not raise her voice. Wartime CEO rarely speaks in a normal tone. Peacetime CEO works to minimize conflict. Wartime CEO heightens the contradictions. Peacetime CEO strives for broad-based buy-in. Wartime CEO neither indulges consensus building nor tolerates disagreements. Peacetime CEO sets big, hairy, audacious goals. Wartime CEO is too busy fighting the enemy to read management books written by consultants who have never managed a fruit stand. Peacetime CEO trains her employees to ensure satisfaction and career development. Wartime CEO trains her employees so they don’t get their asses shot off in the battle. Peacetime CEO has rules like “We’re going to exit all businesses where we’re not number one or two.” Wartime CEO often has no businesses that are number one or two and therefore does not have the luxury of following that rule.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
When I’m given a role, the first thing I do is read the play over and over again. I scour the script and write down everything the character says about himself and everything that everyone else says about him. I immerse myself in my character and imagine what it might be like to be that person. When I played Cassio in Othello I imagined what it would be like to be a lieutenant in the Venetian navy in 1604. I sat down with Ewan McGregor and Chiwetel Ejiofor and together we decided that Othello, Iago and Cassio had soldiery in their bones. I took from the script that Cassio was talented and ambitious, with no emotional or physical guard - and that’s how I played the part. For me, acting is about recreating the circumstances that would make me feel how my character is feeling. In the dressing room, I practise recreating those circumstances in my head and I try to not get in the way of myself. For example, in act two of Othello, when Cassio is manipulated to fight Roderigo and loses his rank, some nights I would burst into tears; other nights I wouldn’t but I would still feel the same emotion, night after night. Just as in life, the way we respond to catastrophe or death will be different every time because the process is unconscious. By comparison, in Chekhov’s Ivanov I played the young doctor, Lvov. Lvov was described as “a prig and a bigot … uprightness in boots … tiresome … completely sincere”. His emotions were locked away. I worked around the key phrase: “Forgive me, I’m going to tell you plainly.” I practised speaking gravely and sincerely without emotion and I actually noticed how that carried over into my personal life: when I played the open-hearted Cassio, I felt really free; when I played the pent-up Lvov, I felt a real need to release myself from the shackles of that character. It’s exhilarating to act out the emotions of a character - it’s a bit like being a child again. You flex the same muscles that you did when you pretended to be a cowboy or a policeman: acting is a grown-up version of that with more subtlety and detail. You’re responding with real emotions to imaginary situations. When I’m in a production I never have a day when I haven’t laughed, cried or screamed. There are times when I wake up stiff from emotional exhaustion. Film is a much more intimate and thoughtful medium than theatre because of the proximity of the camera. The camera can read your thoughts. On stage, if you have a moment of vulnerability you can hide it from the other actors; on film, the camera will see you feel that emotion and try to suppress it. Similarly, if you’re pretending to feel something that isn’t there, it won’t be believable.
Tom Hiddleston
But there’s never been anyone? Really?” Sarah shrugs. “Penny and I were tutored at home when we were young . . . but in year ten, there was this one boy.” I rub my hands together. “Here we go—tell me everything. I want all the sick, lurid details. Was he a footballer? Big and strong, captain of the team, the most popular boy in school?” I could see it. Sarah’s delicate, long and lithe, but dainty, beautiful—any young man would’ve been desperate to have her on his arm. In his lap. In his bed, on the hood of his car, riding his face . . . all of the above. “He was captain of the chess team.” I cover my eyes with my hand. “His name was Davey. He wore these adorable tweed jackets and bow ties, he had blond hair, and was a bit pale because of the asthma. He had the same glasses as I and he had a different pair of argyle socks for every day of the year.” “You’re messing with me, right?” She shakes her head. “Argyle socks, Sarah? I am so disappointed in you right now.” “He was nice,” she chides. “You leave my Davey alone.” Then she laughs again—delighted and free. My cock reacts hard and fast, emphasis on hard. It’s like sodding granite. “So what happened to old Davey boy?” “I was alone in the library one day and he came up and started to ask me to the spring social. And I was so excited and nervous I could barely breathe.” I picture how she must’ve looked then. But in my mind’s eyes she’s really not any different than she is right now. Innocent, sweet, and so real she couldn’t deceive someone if her life depended on it. “And then before he could finish the question, I . . .” I don’t realize I’m leaning toward her until she stops talking and I almost fall over. “You . . . what?” Sarah hides behind her hands. “I threw up on him.” And I try not to laugh. I swear I try . . . but I’m only human. So I end up laughing so hard the car shakes and I can’t speak for several minutes. “Christ almighty.” “And I’d had fish and chips for lunch.” Sarah’s laughing too. “It was awful.” “Oh you poor thing.” I shake my head, still chuckling. “And poor Davey.” “Yes.” She wipes under her eyes with her finger. “Poor Davey. He never came near me again after that.” “Coward—he didn’t deserve you. I would’ve swam through a whole lake of puke to take a girl like you to the social.” She smiles so brightly at me, her cheeks maroon and round like two shiny apples. “I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.” I wiggle my eyebrows. “I’m all about the compliments.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
But before I go, I want to tell you a little story. “A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived. “Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention. “The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours. “‘Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,’ said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’ “The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. “‘Well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?’ “The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him. “‘Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,’ said the wise man. ‘You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.’ “Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen. “‘But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?’ asked the wise man. “Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone. “‘Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of wise men. ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
. . . waves of desert heat . . . I must’ve passed out, because when I woke up I was shivering and stars wheeled above a purple horizon. . . . Then the sun came up, casting long shadows. . . . I heard a vehicle coming. Something coming from far away, gradually growing louder. There was the sound of an engine, rocks under tires. . . . Finally it reached me, the door opened, and Dirk Bickle stepped out. . . . But anyway so Bickle said, “Miracles, Luke. Miracles were once the means to convince people to abandon reason for faith. But the miracles stopped during the rise of the neocortex and its industrial revolution. Tell me, if I could show you one miracle, would you come with me and join Mr. Kirkpatrick?” I passed out again, and came to. He was still crouching beside me. He stood up, walked over to the battered refrigerator, and opened the door. Vapor poured out and I saw it was stocked with food. Bickle hunted around a bit, found something wrapped in paper, and took a bottle of beer from the door. Then he closed the fridge, sat down on the old tire, and unwrapped what looked like a turkey sandwich. He said, “You could explain the fridge a few ways. One, there’s some hidden outlet, probably buried in the sand, that leads to a power source far away. I figure there’d have to be at least twenty miles of cable involved before it connected to the grid. That’s a lot of extension cord. Or, this fridge has some kind of secret battery system. If the empirical details didn’t bear this out, if you thoroughly studied the refrigerator and found neither a connection to a distant power source nor a battery, you might still argue that the fridge had some super-insulation capabilities and that the food inside had been able to stay cold since it was dragged out here. But say this explanation didn’t pan out either, and you observed the fridge staying the same temperature week after week while you opened and closed it. Then you’d start to wonder if it was powered by some technology beyond your comprehension. But pretty soon you’d notice something else about this refrigerator. The fact that it never runs out of food. Then you’d start to wonder if somehow it didn’t get restocked while you slept. But you’d realize that it replenished itself all the time, not just while you were sleeping. All this time, you’d keep eating from it. It would keep you alive out here in the middle of nowhere. And because of its mystery you’d begin to hate and fear it, and yet still it would feed you. Even though you couldn’t explain it, you’d still need it. And you’d assume that you simply didn’t understand the technology, rather than ascribe to it some kind of metaphysical power. You wouldn’t place your faith in the hands of some unknowable god. You’d place it in the technology itself. Finally, in frustration, you’d come to realize you’d exhausted your rationality and the only sensible thing to do would be to praise the mystery. You’d worship its bottles of Corona and jars of pickled beets. You’d make up prayers to the meats drawer and sing about its light bulb. And you’d start to accept the mystery as the one undeniable thing about it. That, or you’d grow so frustrated you’d push it off this cliff.” “Is Mr. Kirkpatrick real?” I asked. After a long gulp of beer, Bickle said, “That’s the neocortex talking again.
Ryan Boudinot (Blueprints of the Afterlife)
About sexuality of English mice. A warm perfume is growing little by little in the room. An orchard scent, a caramelized sugar scent. Mrs. MOUSE roasts apples in the chimney. The apple fruits smell grass of England and the pastry oven. On a thread drawn in the flames, the apples, from the buried autumn, turn a golden color and grind in tempting bubbles. But I have the feeling that you already worry. Mrs. MOUSE in a Laura Ashley apron, pink and white stripes, with a big purple satin bow on her belt, Mrs. MOUSE is certainly not a free mouse? Certainly she cooks all day long lemon meringue tarts, puddings and cheese pies, in the kitchen of the burrow. She suffocates a bit in the sweet steams, looks with a sigh the patched socks trickling, hanging from the ceiling, between mint leaves and pomegranates. Surely Mrs. MOUSE just knows the inside, and all the evening flavours are just good for Mrs. MOUSE flabbiness. You are totally wrong - we can forgive you – we don’t know enough that the life in the burrow is totally communal. To pick the blackberries, the purplish red elderberries, the beechnuts and the sloes Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE escape in turn, and glean in the bushes the winter gatherings. After, with frozen paws, intoxicated with cold wind, they come back in the burrow, and it’s a good time when the little door, rond little oak wood door brings a yellow ray in the blue of the evening. Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE are from outside and from inside, in the most complete commonality of wealth and climate. While Mrs. MOUSE prepares the hot wine, Mr. MOUSE takes care of the children. On the top of the bunk bed Thimoty is reading a cartoon, Mr. MOUSE helps Benjamin to put a fleece-lined pyjama, one in a very sweet milky blue for snow dreams. That’s it … children are in bed …. Mrs. MOUSE blazes the hot wine near the chimney, it smells lemon, cinnamon, big dry flames, a blue tempest. Mr. and Mrs. MOUSE can wait and watch. They drink slowly, and then .... they will make love ….You didn’t know? It’s true, we need to guess it. Don’t expect me to tell you in details the mice love in patchwork duvets, the deep cherry wood bed. It’s just good enough not to speak about it. Because, to be able to speak about it, it would need all the perfumes, all the silent, all the talent and all the colors of the day. We already make love preparing the blackberries wine, the lemon meringue pie, we already make love going outside in the coldness to earn the wish of warmness and come back. We make love downstream of the day, as we take care of our patiences. It’s a love very warm, very present and yet invisible, mice’s love in the duvets. Imagine, dream a bit ….. Don’t speak too badly about English mice’s sexuality …..
Philippe Delerm