Initial D Best Quotes

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And then a man of forty or so, with a French accent, asked, "How do you achieve the presence of mind to initiate the writing of a poem?" And something cracked open in me, and I finally stopped hoarding and told them my most useful secret. The only secret that has helped me consistently over all the years that I've written. I said, "Well, I'll tell you how. I ask a simple question. I ask myself: What was the very best moment of your day??" The wonder of it was, I told them that this one question could lift out from my life exactly what I will want to write a poem about. Something I hadn't known was important will leap out and hover there in front of me, saying I am— I am the best moment of the day. I noticed two people were writing down what I was saying. Often, I went on, it's a moment when you're waiting for someone, or you're driving somewhere, or maybe you're just walking across a parking lot and admiring the oil stains and the dribbled tar patterns. One time it was when I was driving past a certain house that was screaming with sunlitness on its white clapboards, and then I plunged through tree shadows that splashed and splayed across the windshield. I thought, Ah, of course— I'd forgotten. You, windshield shadows, you are the best moment of the day. "And that's my secret, such as it is," I said.
Nicholson Baker (The Anthologist (The Paul Chowder Chronicles #1))
Because she knew that something happened to you when your mother didn’t hold you close, or tell you all the time that you were the best thing ever, or even notice when you were home: a little part of you sealed over. You didn’t need her. You didn’t need anyone. And, without even knowing you were doing it, you waited. You waited for anyone who got close to you to see something they didn’t like in you, something they hadn’t seen initially, and to grow cold and disappear, like so much sea mist, too. Because there had to be something wrong, didn’t there, if even your own mother didn’t really love you? It was why she hadn’t been devastated when Marty left. Why would she be? He couldn’t hurt her. The only thing Jess really cared about was those two children, and letting them know they were okay by her. Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you still had your mother or father at your back, you’d be okay. Some deep-rooted part of you would know you were loved. That you deserved to be loved. Jess hadn’t done much to be proud of in her life, but the thing she was most proud of was that Tanzie knew it. Strange little bean that she was, Jess knew she knew it. She was still working on Nicky.
Jojo Moyes (One Plus One)
I remember the embarrassment I felt when Lie With Me came out over ten years ago. There was no good way for me to explain why I shot fiction with pornography, hoping for the best. That initial public embarrassment was likely a kind of useless repression. Because I had no big truth to tell about myself. Now, though, in retrospect, I know why I wrote Lie With Me. It was to sustain this perfect, merciless feeling I first had while spitting art’s extremity into the suckhole of porn. And it’s not embarrassing for me to admit anymore that I was desperate to find meaning in this action. Unfortunately, by the end of two books I didn’t know any more about female sexuality than when I’d started out. My mercilessness had not blossomed into compassion either. Is untapped sexual energy in women even still a problem these days? In 1999, I felt that problem as acutely as my shame. And it was this push-pull of pressures that made me transcribe and complicate the getting-fucked female voice - a voice that I found in porn, a voice that was utterly wasted by porn. Porn needed fiction, I felt. I needed the fight.
Tamara Faith Berger (Little Cat)
During my first few months of Facebooking, I discovered that my page had fostered a collective nostalgia for specific cultural icons. These started, unsurprisingly, within the realm of science fiction and fantasy. They commonly included a pointy-eared Vulcan from a certain groundbreaking 1960s television show. Just as often, though, I found myself sharing images of a diminutive, ancient, green and disarmingly wise Jedi Master who speaks in flip-side down English. Or, if feeling more sinister, I’d post pictures of his black-cloaked, dark-sided, heavy-breathing nemesis. As an aside, I initially received from Star Trek fans considerable “push-back,” or at least many raised Spock brows, when I began sharing images of Yoda and Darth Vader. To the purists, this bordered on sacrilege.. But as I like to remind fans, I was the only actor to work within both franchises, having also voiced the part of Lok Durd from the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was the virality of these early posts, shared by thousands of fans without any prodding from me, that got me thinking. Why do we love Spock, Yoda and Darth Vader so much? And what is it about characters like these that causes fans to click “like” and “share” so readily? One thing was clear: Cultural icons help people define who they are today because they shaped who they were as children. We all “like” Yoda because we all loved The Empire Strikes Back, probably watched it many times, and can recite our favorite lines. Indeed, we all can quote Yoda, and we all have tried out our best impression of him. When someone posts a meme of Yoda, many immediately share it, not just because they think it is funny (though it usually is — it’s hard to go wrong with the Master), but because it says something about the sharer. It’s shorthand for saying, “This little guy made a huge impact on me, not sure what it is, but for certain a huge impact. Did it make one on you, too? I’m clicking ‘share’ to affirm something you may not know about me. I ‘like’ Yoda.” And isn’t that what sharing on Facebook is all about? It’s not simply that the sharer wants you to snortle or “LOL” as it were. That’s part of it, but not the core. At its core is a statement about one’s belief system, one that includes the wisdom of Yoda. Other eminently shareable icons included beloved Tolkien characters, particularly Gandalf (as played by the inimitable Sir Ian McKellan). Gandalf, like Yoda, is somehow always above reproach and unfailingly epic. Like Yoda, Gandalf has his darker counterpart. Gollum is a fan favorite because he is a fallen figure who could reform with the right guidance. It doesn’t hurt that his every meme is invariably read in his distinctive, blood-curdling rasp. Then there’s also Batman, who seems to have survived both Adam West and Christian Bale, but whose questionable relationship to the Boy Wonder left plenty of room for hilarious homoerotic undertones. But seriously, there is something about the brooding, misunderstood and “chaotic-good” nature of this superhero that touches all of our hearts.
George Takei
I once read the most widely understood word in the whole world is ‘OK’, followed by ‘Coke’, as in cola. I think they should do the survey again, this time checking for ‘Game Over’. Game Over is my favorite thing about playing video games. Actually, I should qualify that. It’s the split second before Game Over that’s my favorite thing. Streetfighter II - an oldie but goldie - with Leo controlling Ryu. Ryu’s his best character because he’s a good all-rounder - great defensive moves, pretty quick, and once he’s on an offensive roll, he’s unstoppable. Theo’s controlling Blanka. Blanka’s faster than Ryu, but he’s really only good on attack. The way to win with Blanka is to get in the other player’s face and just never let up. Flying kick, leg-sweep, spin attack, head-bite. Daze them into submission. Both players are down to the end of their energy bars. One more hit and they’re down, so they’re both being cagey. They’re hanging back at opposite ends of the screen, waiting for the other guy to make the first move. Leo takes the initiative. He sends off a fireball to force Theo into blocking, then jumps in with a flying kick to knock Blanka’s green head off. But as he’s moving through the air he hears a soft tapping. Theo’s tapping the punch button on his control pad. He’s charging up an electricity defense so when Ryu’s foot makes contact with Blanka’s head it’s going to be Ryu who gets KO’d with 10,000 volts charging through his system. This is the split second before Game Over. Leo’s heard the noise. He knows he’s fucked. He has time to blurt ‘I’m toast’ before Ryu is lit up and thrown backwards across the screen, flashing like a Christmas tree, a charred skeleton. Toast. The split second is the moment you comprehend you’re just about to die. Different people react to it in different ways. Some swear and rage. Some sigh or gasp. Some scream. I’ve heard a lot of screams over the twelve years I’ve been addicted to video games. I’m sure that this moment provides a rare insight into the way people react just before they really do die. The game taps into something pure and beyond affectations. As Leo hears the tapping he blurts, ‘I’m toast.’ He says it quickly, with resignation and understanding. If he were driving down the M1 and saw a car spinning into his path I think he’d in react the same way. Personally, I’m a rager. I fling my joypad across the floor, eyes clenched shut, head thrown back, a torrent of abuse pouring from my lips. A couple of years ago I had a game called Alien 3. It had a great feature. When you ran out of lives you’d get a photo-realistic picture of the Alien with saliva dripping from its jaws, and a digitized voice would bleat, ‘Game over, man!’ I really used to love that.
Alex Garland
What kind of regrets? For me, very few books cause tears, much less require a handkerchief, but Bronnie Ware’s 2012 book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying did both. Ware spent many years caring for those facing their own mortality. When she questioned the dying about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, Bronnie found that common themes surfaced again and again. The five most common were these: I wish that I’d let myself be happier—too late they realized happiness is a choice; I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends—too often they failed to give them the time and effort they deserved; I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings—too frequently shut mouths and shuttered feelings weighed too heavy to handle; I wish I hadn’t worked so hard—too much time spent making a living over building a life caused too much remorse. As tough as these were, one stood out above them all. The most common regret was this: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself not the life others expected of me. Half-filled dreams and unfulfilled hopes: this was the number-one regret expressed by the dying. As Ware put it, “Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.” Bronnie Ware’s observations aren’t hers alone. At the conclusion of their exhaustive research, Gilovich and Medvec in 1994 wrote, “When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret.... People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret.” Honoring our hopes and pursuing productive lives through faith in our purpose and priorities is the message from our elders. From the wisest position they’ll ever have comes their clearest message. No regrets. So make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense. The best lives aren’t led this way.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
Not everyone was thrilled with Gutenberg’s creation. As today, there were pessimists and scolds who viewed new technology as a blight on civilization. In his recent book, The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future, Robert Darnton quotes from a letter written in 1471 by an Italian scholar named Nic-colò Perotti. Though he’d initially seen the printed book as a good thing, just a decade and a half into the print age, Perotti concluded it was a menace: I see that things turned out quite differently from what I had hoped. Because now that anyone is free to print whatever they wish, they often disregard that which is best and instead write, merely for the sake of entertainment, what would best be forgotten, or, better still be erased from all books. And even when they write something worthwhile they twist it and corrupt it to the point where it would be much better to do without such books, rather than having a thousand copies spreading falsehoods over the whole world.
William Powers (Hamlet's BlackBerry: a practical philosophy for building a good life in the digital age)
A striking example from the history of writing is the origin of the syllabary devised in Arkansas around 1820 by a Cherokee Indian named Sequoyah, for writing the Cherokee language. Sequoyah observed that white people made marks on paper, and that they derived great advantage by using those marks to record and repeat lengthy speeches. However, the detailed operations of those marks remained a mystery to him, since (like most Cherokees before 1820) Sequoyah was illiterate and could neither speak nor read English. Because he was a blacksmith, Sequoyah began by devising an accounting system to help him keep track of his customers’ debts. He drew a picture of each customer; then he drew circles and lines of various sizes to represent the amount of money owed. Around 1810, Sequoyah decided to go on to design a system for writing the Cherokee language. He again began by drawing pictures, but gave them up as too complicated and too artistically demanding. He next started to invent separate signs for each word, and again became dissatisfied when he had coined thousands of signs and still needed more. Finally, Sequoyah realized that words were made up of modest numbers of different sound bites that recurred in many different words—what we would call syllables. He initially devised 200 syllabic signs and gradually reduced them to 85, most of them for combinations of one consonant and one vowel. As one source of the signs themselves, Sequoyah practiced copying the letters from an English spelling book given to him by a schoolteacher. About two dozen of his Cherokee syllabic signs were taken directly from those letters, though of course with completely changed meanings, since Sequoyah did not know the English meanings. For example, he chose the shapes D, R, b, h to represent the Cherokee syllables a, e, si, and ni, respectively, while the shape of the numeral 4 was borrowed for the syllable se. He coined other signs by modifying English letters, such as designing the signs , , and to represent the syllables yu, sa, and na, respectively. Still other signs were entirely of his creation, such as , , and for ho, li, and nu, respectively. Sequoyah’s syllabary is widely admired by professional linguists for its good fit to Cherokee sounds, and for the ease with which it can be learned. Within a short time, the Cherokees achieved almost 100 percent literacy in the syllabary, bought a printing press, had Sequoyah’s signs cast as type, and began printing books and newspapers. Cherokee writing remains one of the best-attested examples of a script that arose through idea diffusion. We know that Sequoyah received paper and other writing materials, the idea of a writing system, the idea of using separate marks, and the forms of several dozen marks. Since, however, he could neither read nor write English, he acquired no details or even principles from the existing scripts around him. Surrounded by alphabets he could not understand, he instead independently reinvented a syllabary, unaware that the Minoans of Crete had already invented another syllabary 3,500 years previously.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel)
In 1979, Christopher Connolly cofounded a psychology consultancy in the United Kingdom to help high achievers (initially athletes, but then others) perform at their best. Over the years, Connolly became curious about why some professionals floundered outside a narrow expertise, while others were remarkably adept at expanding their careers—moving from playing in a world-class orchestra, for example, to running one. Thirty years after he started, Connolly returned to school to do a PhD investigating that very question, under Fernand Gobet, the psychologist and chess international master. Connolly’s primary finding was that early in their careers, those who later made successful transitions had broader training and kept multiple “career streams” open even as they pursued a primary specialty. They “traveled on an eight-lane highway,” he wrote, rather than down a single-lane one-way street. They had range. The successful adapters were excellent at taking knowledge from one pursuit and applying it creatively to another, and at avoiding cognitive entrenchment. They employed what Hogarth called a “circuit breaker.” They drew on outside experiences and analogies to interrupt their inclination toward a previous solution that may no longer work. Their skill was in avoiding the same old patterns. In the wicked world, with ill-defined challenges and few rigid rules, range can be a life hack. Pretending the world is like golf and chess is comforting. It makes for a tidy kind-world message, and some very compelling books. The rest of this one will begin where those end—in a place where the popular sport is Martian tennis, with a view into how the modern world became so wicked in the first place.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
We stepped into the very inn in which we’d had our initial conversation; we passed the little room I had stood outside of, and I shuddered. Now we had a bigger one, but I was too tired to notice much beyond comfortable cushions and warmth. As I sank down, I saw glowing rings around the candles and rubbed my eyes. When I looked up at Shevraeth, it was in time to catch the end of one of those assessing glances. Then he smiled, a real smile of humor and tenderness. “I knew it,” he said. “I knew that by now you would have managed to see everything as your fault, and you’d be drooping under the weight.” “Why did you do it?” I answered, too tired to even try to keep my balance. Someone set down a tray of hot chocolate, and I hiccupped, snorted in a deep breath, and with an attempt at the steadying influence of laughter, added, “Near as I can see I’ve been about as pleasant to be around as an angry bee swarm.” “At times,” he agreed. “But I take our wretched beginning as my own fault. I merely wanted to intimidate you--and through you, your brother--into withdrawing from the field. What a mess you made of my plans! Every single day I had to re-form them. I’d get everyone and everything set on a new course, and you’d manage to hare off and smash it to shards again, all with the best of motives, and actions as gallant as ever I’ve seen, from man or woman.” He smiled, but I just groaned into my chocolate. “By the time I realized I was going to have to figure you into the plans, you were having none of me, or them. At the same time, you managed to win everyone you encountered--save the Merindars--to your side.” “I understand about the war. And I even understand why you had to come to Tlanth.” I sighed. “But that doesn’t explain the letters.” “I think I fell in love with you the day you stood before Galdran in the Throne Room, surrounded by what you thought were enemies, and glared at him without a trace of fear. I knew it when you sat across from me at your table in Tlanth and argued so passionately about the fairest way to disperse an army, with no other motive besides testing your theories. It also became clear to me on that visit that you showed one face to all the rest of the world, and another to me. But after you had been at Athanarel a week, Russav insisted that my cause was not hopeless.” “Savona? How did he know?” The Marquis shook his head. “You’d have to address that question to him.” I rubbed my eyes again. “So his flirtation was false.” “I asked him to make you popular,” Shevraeth admitted. “Though he will assure you that he found the task thoroughly enjoyable. I wanted your experience of Court to be as easy as possible. Your brother just shrugged off the initial barbs and affronts, but I knew they’d slay you. We did our best to protect you from them, though your handling of the situation with Tamara showed us that you were very capable of directing your own affairs.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Oh, what a pleasure that was! Mollie Katzen's handwritten and illustrated recipes that recalled some glorious time in upstate New York when a girl with an appetite could work at a funky vegetarian restaurant and jot down some tasty favorites between shifts. That one had the Pumpkin Tureen soup that Margo had made so many times when she first got the book. She loved the cheesy onion soup served from a pumpkin with a hot dash of horseradish and rye croutons. And the Cardamom Coffee Cake, full of butter, real vanilla, and rich brown sugar, said to be a favorite at the restaurant, where Margo loved to imagine the patrons picking up extras to take back to their green, grassy, shady farmhouses dotted along winding country roads. Linda's Kitchen by Linda McCartney, Paul's first wife, the vegetarian cookbook that had initially spurred her yearlong attempt at vegetarianism (with cheese and eggs, thank you very much) right after college. Margo used to have to drag Calvin into such phases and had finally lured him in by saying that surely anything Paul would eat was good enough for them. Because of Linda's Kitchen, Margo had dived into the world of textured vegetable protein instead of meat, and tons of soups, including a very good watercress, which she never would have tried without Linda's inspiration. It had also inspired her to get a gorgeous, long marble-topped island for prep work. Sometimes she only cooked for the aesthetic pleasure of the gleaming marble topped with rustic pottery containing bright fresh veggies, chopped to perfection. Then Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells caught her eye, and she took it down. Some pages were stuck together from previous cooking nights, but the one she turned to, the most splattered of all, was the one for Onion Soup au Gratin, the recipe that had taught her the importance of cheese quality. No mozzarella or broken string cheeses with- maybe- a little lacy Swiss thrown on. And definitely none of the "fat-free" cheese that she'd tried in order to give Calvin a rich dish without the cholesterol. No, for this to be great, you needed a good, aged, nutty Gruyère from what you couldn't help but imagine as the green grassy Alps of Switzerland, where the cows grazed lazily under a cheerful children's-book blue sky with puffy white clouds. Good Gruyère was blocked into rind-covered rounds and aged in caves before being shipped fresh to the USA with a whisper of fairy-tale clouds still lingering over it. There was a cheese shop downtown that sold the best she'd ever had. She'd tried it one afternoon when she was avoiding returning home. A spunky girl in a visor and an apron had perked up as she walked by the counter, saying, "Cheese can change your life!" The charm of her youthful innocence would have been enough to be cheered by, but the sample she handed out really did it. The taste was beyond delicious. It was good alone, but it cried out for ham or turkey or a rich beefy broth with deep caramelized onions for soup.
Beth Harbison (The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship)
An upbeat song played over the loudspeaker, and everyone's attention focused on the Jumbotron above the basketball court. "It's time for the Bulls' Kiss Cam. So, pucker up for your sweetie and kiss them." The camera found an older couple in their fifties. The man pulled his wife, I assumed, in for a quick peck on the lips. "Aww. That is so sweet," Trina said. She proceeded to yank poor Owen to his seat in case the spotlight landed on them. She'd do just about anything to get on television, even if it meant not kissing Owen tonight to do so. "That is so staged," I said and sneaked a quick peek at my phone, seeing if he messaged me back. He didn’t. "Really?" she countered and slapped my arm. Once I glanced her way, she pointed towards the large screen looming above. On the screen was Sebastian and me as the camera had just so happened to find us. It stayed there zooming closer. And closer. And closer. "Come on," the announcer called out, prodding us. "Just one kiss won't hurt." He had no idea what he was asking. A kiss would initiate feelings I couldn't avoid any longer. I momentarily forgot how to breathe as the song, “Kiss the Girl” from the Little Mermaid hummed at my lips. Not the best choice, but still. Everything became much worse once my giant moved into view, smiling my favorite smile. Sebastian inched closer; eyebrow cocked to dare me."No pressure or anything." I was quiet for a moment before whispering, "Game on, buddy." My eyes closed a few heartbeats shy of Sebastian's lips meeting mine. His hands rose, cupping my cheeks to keep me from pulling away. Like that was going to happen. Sebastian’s mouth moved against mine, and I conceded, kissing him in return. He tasted sweet and minty, like the home I’d been missing. The kiss turned from soft and tame to fierce and wantingas if neither of us could get enough. And already, I considered myself a goner. Everything became a haze. My heart thumped so wildly against my chest, I swore Sebastian could hear. The crowd surrounding us was whistling and cheering us on, and it only kept gaining momentum as the moments passed. The noise quickly faded until it was as if we were the only two people in the room. We could have been the only two people on earth. "Okay, guys." Trina tapped my shoulder, garnering my attention. "Camera has moved on now." That was our cue to separate, and I slowly drew away from Sebastian. He, in turn, slipped his hand to the back of my neck, holding me here. "Don't," he sighed against my lips. I didn't budge another inch. I didn't want to. Sebastian rewarded me by deepening the kiss. Dear God. There were sparks. My stomach flipped. My toes curled. My body warmed. Every single inch of me only wanted one thing and one thing only. If this continued for too much longer, it was easy to guess my new favorite hobby: Kissing Sebastian Freaking Birch. Needing some air, I pressed my palm flat against his chest. This time he released me as we both were breathless. Sebastian's eyes carefully studied me. He kept staring as if he could read my heart, my mind. And for those brief few seconds, I honestly didn't believe there were any secrets between us. His gaze shifted as he gauged what to do next, and I had no freaking idea where we went from here. We'd done it now. We crossed that line, and there was no way of ever going back.
Patty Carothers and Amy Brewer (Texting Prince Charming)
The successes of organizations that take risks and are directed at large goals are often unpredictable. Innovation itself is often characterized by unpredictable spillovers: the search for one thing leads to the discovery of another – unexpected technological benefits from R&D that can also produce wider managerial, social and economic benefits. Viagra, for example, was initially intended to treat heart problems and then was found to have another application. Innovation is fuelled best when serendipity is allowed, so that multiple paths are pursued, bringing advances in unknown areas. Embracing that uncertainty and serendipity is key for any entrepreneurial organization, whether in the public or private sphere. And as the story below illustrates, such serendipity in technological innovation can also bring great societal benefits.
Mariana Mazzucato (Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism)
Identify Your Strengths With Strengths Finder 2.0 One tool that can help you remember your achievements is the ‘Strengths Finder’ "assessment. The father of Strengths Psychology, Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D, along with Tom Rath and a team of scientists at The Gallup Organization, created StrengthsFinder. You can take this assessment by purchasing the Strengths Finder 2.0 book. The value of SF 2.0 is that it helps you understand your unique strengths. Once you have this knowledge, you can review past activities and understand what these strengths enabled you to do. Here’s what I mean, in the paragraphs below, I’ve listed some of the strengths identified by my Strengths Finder assessment and accomplishments where these strengths were used. “You can see repercussions more clearly than others can.” In a prior role, I witnessed products being implemented in the sales system at breakneck speed. While quick implementation seemed good, I knew speed increased the likelihood of revenue impacting errors. I conducted an audit and uncovered a misconfigured product. While the customer had paid for the product, the revenue had never been recognized. As a result of my work, we were able to add another $7.2 million that went straight to the bottom line. “You automatically pinpoint trends, notice problems, or identify opportunities many people overlook.” At my former employer, leadership did not audit certain product manager decisions. On my own initiative, I instituted an auditing process. This led to the discovery that one product manager’s decisions cost the company more than $5M. “Because of your strengths, you can reconfigure factual information or data in ways that reveal trends, raise issues, identify opportunities, or offer solutions.” In a former position, product managers were responsible for driving revenue, yet there was no revenue reporting at the product level. After researching the issue, I found a report used to process monthly journal entries which when reconfigured, provided product managers with monthly product revenue. “You entertain ideas about the best ways to…increase productivity.” A few years back, I was trained by the former Operations Manager when I took on that role. After examining the tasks, I found I could reduce the time to perform the role by 66%. As a result, I was able to tell my Director I could take on some of the responsibilities of the two managers she had to let go. “You entertain ideas about the best ways to…solve a problem.” About twenty years ago I worked for a division where legacy systems were being replaced by a new company-wide ERP system. When I discovered no one had budgeted for training in my department, I took it upon myself to identify how to extract the data my department needed to perform its role, documented those learnings and that became the basis for a two day training class. “Sorting through lots of information rarely intimidates you. You welcome the abundance of information. Like a detective, you sort through it and identify key pieces of evidence. Following these leads, you bring the big picture into view.” I am listing these strengths to help you see the value of taking the Strengths Finder Assessment.
Clark Finnical
She had to get back to her writing. She’d talked things out with Helene and instead of putting her on a fake payroll, the two of them had started working on a new pilot together. Female bounty hunters falling in love and fighting their way through space. Ignacio had loved Amanda’s initial pitch and he’d decided to option the idea, giving her the funds she needed to stay afloat and keep her place for the time being. Anytime she was having any hesitations about accepting their support neither of them would let a second pass without reminding her they hadn’t gotten to where they were without help. It was best to just embrace it and chase her dreams with all her heart.
Rebekah Weatherspoon (If the Boot Fits (Cowboys of California #2))
When we look at love relationships in more detail, it is clear that the simple word love cannot adequately describe the wide variety of feelings two individuals can have for each other. In the first two stages of a love relationship, romantic love and the power struggle, love is reactive; it is an unconscious response to the expectation of need fulfillment. Love is best described as eros, life energy seeking union with a gratifying object. When both partners in an intimate relationship make a decision to create a more satisfying relationship, they enter a stage of transfor- mation, and love becomes infused with consciousness and will; love is best de- fined as agape, the life energy directed toward the partner in an intentional act of healing. Now, in the final stage of a conscious partnership, reality love, love takes on the quality of spontaneous oscillation, words that come from quantum physics and describe the way energy moves back and forth between particles. When part- ners learn to see each other without distortion, to value each other as highly as they value themselves, to give without expecting anything in return, to commit themselves fully to each other’s welfare, love moves freely between them without apparent effort. The word that best describes this mature kind of love is not eros, not agape, but yet another Greek word, philia,² which means “love between friends.” The partner is no longer perceived as a surrogate parent or as an enemy but as a passionate friend. It is where we experience the original connecting, when the initial rupture is repaired, and we feel fully safe, relaxed, loved, joyful, and pro- foundly connected. When couples are able to love in this selfless manner, they experience a release of energy. They cease to be consumed by the details of their relationship or to need to operate within the artificial structure of exercises; they spontaneously treat each other with love and respect. What feels unnatural to them is not their new way of relating but the self-centered, wounding interactions of the past. Love becomes automatic, much as it was in the earliest stage of the relationship, but now it is based on the truth of the partner, not on illusion. One characteristic of couples who have reached this advanced stage of con- sciousness is that they begin to turn their energy away from each other toward the woundedness of the world. They develop a greater concern for the environment, for people in need, for important causes. The capacity to love and heal that they have created within the relationship is now available for others.
Harville Hendrix Ph. D.
But Rysn understood the tone in the Lopen’s voice. She shouldn’t have to do such things, but life was unfair, and so you controlled the situation as best you could. Strange, to find such wisdom in a man she’d initially dismissed as silly.
Brandon Sanderson (Dawnshard (The Stormlight Archive, #3.5))
As a matter of principle, I didn’t believe a president should ever publicly whine about criticism from voters—it’s what you signed up for in taking the job—and I was quick to remind both reporters and friends that my white predecessors had all endured their share of vicious personal attacks and obstructionism. More practically, I saw no way to sort out people’s motives, especially given that racial attitudes were woven into every aspect of our nation’s history. Did that Tea Party member support “states’ rights” because he genuinely thought it was the best way to promote liberty, or because he continued to resent how federal intervention had led to an end to Jim Crow, desegregation, and rising Black political power in the South? Did that conservative activist oppose any expansion of the social welfare state because she believed it sapped individual initiative, or because she was convinced that it would benefit only brown people who’d just crossed the border? Whatever my instincts might tell me, whatever truths the history books might suggest, I knew I wasn’t going to win over any voters by labeling my opponents racist.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
He moved closer to her, and McKenna buried her hands in her lap. “Just what is it that you pursue, Marshal Caradon?” “You know . . . I wish we could get to the place where you’d stop calling me Marshal Caradon.” He reached over and trailed his fingers along the curve of her wrist and over the back of her hand. McKenna tried hard to resist the shiver working through her, and couldn’t. So she stood. She’d wanted Wyatt Caradon to be different from the other men she’d known. But maybe she wanted that so badly that she was blind to what he was. “I think a certain formality between a man and woman is healthy . . . Marshal Caradon.” He stood with her. “I’d agree with you on that. Unless the man and woman have earned the right to move on to . . . something more. For instance . . .” He braced one arm on the post behind her head and leaned in, and the top step suddenly became even narrower. “Say they’ve done some things like . . . sew up a man together in a doc’s clinic, or shared what it feels like to lose someone precious and then find her again. Or maybe they’ve gone to a nice dinner togeth—Oh wait!” He snapped his fingers. “We haven’t done that yet.” She was tempted to smile, and yet couldn’t. He must’ve sensed her initial reaction because he moved closer. She’d instigated this little meeting and yet now she wished she hadn’t. “Miss Ashford . . .” His voice was almost a whisper. “May I please call you McKenna?” Despite not wanting to, her body reacted to his closeness. And she decided the straightforward approach was best. “Yes, Marshal Caradon, you may.” She put a hand against his chest. “If you’ll tell me why you smell like stale cigars, whiskey, and cheap women.
Tamera Alexander (The Inheritance)
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In truth, I've always preferred good-looking, well-groomed mature men and the Count definitely fit the description of the perfect man in my sexual fantasies. He was strong, yet his arms had the gentle touch of a man of distinction. Reaching forward he undid my trousers, easing them to the floor, before removing Andy’s pants. My erection was grinding against my Valet's. I unfastened Mario’s belt and unzipped his pants, feeling his throbbing hardness against my palms. Since he wore no undergarments, I could feel him bouncing in rhythm to my every stroke. Before long, we were merging into passionate three way embraces, changing positions every so often. We were accompanied by classical music which played softly throughout this sensual Venetian chamber. We made love slowly, gently, softly, allowing ourselves time to explore our most erotic parts, in synchronicity. Mario, well versed in the art of lovemaking, was the best lover I'd ever had the privilege of experiencing, apart from my beloved Andy. I had the crème de la crème with these two expert lovers trained in the sexual art of Kama Sutra.
Young (Initiation (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 1))
My grandson, Rizq, is of age, which is celebrated in Muslim tradition by his circumcision. The day of his surgery I will be throwing him a Rite of Passage celebration party. I wish for you to provide him with some male sensual and sexual education. "Would you be willing to take on this task of being his mentors? I have asked Gaston and Jacques to educate him in heterosexual lovemaking." Andy looked at me for a response. I nodded so he replied, "We will assist this young man to the best of our ability. Thank you for trusting in us to take on this mentorship role. We are most grateful and honored." "Well, that is wonderful. I’d like Rizq to have a few sexual experiences before his circumcision, and then again after he has healed from his surgery. That way he will better understand the different sensations, before and after circumcision,” he replied.
Young (Initiation (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 1))
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? Investing in Cobra back in the early ’90s. My $ 1.8 million investment earned me $ 40 million after the company was bought by Acushnet. I rolled that money back into my business. The decision was a no-brainer for three reasons: My investment got me 12 percent of Cobra and the allocation of my investment was put to R& D. During this era, Callaway was the first to go to market with an oversize driver but neglected to follow up on oversize irons. We/ Cobra decided to attack this virgin market immediately by producing oversize irons for men and women, and we catered for the senior player, which had been left neglected. This decision was a solid rocket booster for Cobra’s massive growth in the marketplace. I was to remain an endorsed player representing Cobra for years to come, receiving an annual payment that would quickly recoup my initial investment. So, my ROI was always guaranteed, leaving me with 12 percent of a company that had hyper growth. I was the #1 player in the world during these halcyon times—a global player. So, fortunately for us, I was a needle-mover in regards to exposure in a sport that was booming in the ’80s, hence product promotion and awareness.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
In a section titled “Performance Factors,” Clint had been asked to indicate areas in which I’d exhibited significant strengths, as well as any areas needing development. There were only two areas in which he felt I needed development—organization (probably because he’d ridden in my car) and working more closely with third parties—but he had indicated six major strengths. The first three were creativity, achievement of objectives, and quality of work. No surprises there. The next three strengths—adaptability, communication, and autonomy—seemed a bit ironic. I scrolled down and saw my overall score: Very Good. By definition, this score meant that I had “exceeded objectives in several areas and required only occasional supervision.” I didn’t appreciate the real irony of Clint’s assessment until I looked at my stakeholder map and considered how I might have scored had Kristen conducted a similar evaluation at home. What score would I have received for adaptability? The review form defined this as “being open to change with new circumstances.” Going with the flow. We had just begun to work on my openness to change at home, and I was still learning how to adjust to this new mind-set. Meanwhile, at work, I presented myself as nothing if not adaptable. “Sure, I’ll take a new position on the marketing team.” “Of course I can stay until midnight tonight. Whatever it takes.” “Certainly, Clint, I’ll travel to customers every week. Anything else?” At home, Kristen asked me to help fold laundry and my head almost exploded. I guessed that I would receive Needs Development for that one. How about autonomy and initiative? Clint seemed to think that I was bursting with it, but Kristen would have offered a different opinion. “Initiative? Please. How is me having to remind you to turn off the television and play with the kids initiative? I’ll put you down for a Needs Development,” I imagined her saying. Achievement of objectives would have gotten me a high mark with Kristen, until I scrolled down farther and read the definition, which included the phrase “gets things done efficiently and in a timely manner.” I thought of the Christmas decorations drooping from our eaves. I thought of the countless times Kristen and I had been late for an engagement and she’d found me standing in my boxers in front of the mirror making faces.
David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband)
I wanted your experience of Court to be as easy as possible. Your brother just shrugged off the initial barbs and affronts, but I knew they’d slay you. We did our best to protect you from them, though your handling of the situation with Tamara showed us that you were very capable of directing your own affairs.” “What about Elenet?” I asked, and winced, hating to sound like the kind of jealous person I admired least. But the image of that goldenwood throne had entered my mind and would not be banished. He looked slightly surprised. “What about her?” “People--some people--put your names together. And,” I added firmly, “she’d make a good queen. Better than I.” He lifted his cup, and I saw my ring gleaming on his finger. He’d worn that since he left Bran and Nee’s ball. He’d been wearing it, I thought, when we sat in this very inn and he went through that terrible inner debate on whether or not I was a traitor. I dropped my head and stared into my cup. “Elenet,” he said, “is an old friend. We grew up together and regard one another as brother and sister, a comfortable arrangement since neither of us had siblings.” I thought of that glance she’d given him when I spied on them in the Royal Wing courtyard. She had betrayed feelings that were not sisterly. But he hadn’t seen that look because his heart lay otherwhere. I pressed my lips together. She was worthy, but her love was not returned. Suddenly I understood why she had been so guarded around me. The honorable course for me would be to keep to myself what I had seen. Shevraeth continued, “She spent her time with me as a mute warning to the Merindars, who had to know that she came to report on Grumareth’s activities, and I didn’t want them trying any kind of retaliation. She realized that our social proximity would cause gossip. That was inevitable. But she heeded it not; she just wants to return to Grumareth and resume guiding her lands to prosperity again.” He paused, then said, “As for her quality, it is undeniable. But I think the time has come for a different perspective, one that is innate in you. It is a problem, I have come to realize, with our Court upbringing. No one, including Elenet, has the gift you have of looking every person you encounter in the face and accepting the person behind the status. We all were raised to see servants and merchants as faceless as we pursued the high strategy. I’m half convinced this is part of the reason why the kingdom ended up in the grip of the likes of the Merindars.” I nodded, and for the first time comprehended what a relationship with him really meant for the rest of my life. “The goldenwood throne,” I said. “In the letter. I thought you had it ordered for, well, someone else.” His smile was gone. “It doesn’t yet exist. How could it? Though I intend for there to be one, for the duties of ruling have to begin as a partnership. Until the other night, I had no idea if I would win you or not.” “Win me,” I repeated. “What a contest!
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
From everything she’d told me that evening, it was clear that if we were going to move forward, then I was going to have to become a well-functioning, fully autonomous man. Or, as I discovered during our laundry fiasco a few months earlier, I was going to have to become an adult. She had been right after all; this was not going to be easy. Kristen fell asleep not long after we finished talking. I didn’t want to go to bed without a plan for turning things around once and for all, so while she slept, I analyzed my notes in an attempt to extract some kind of strategy:   —Respect Kristen’s personal time and space. —Be more involved with the kids. —Manage yourself and your emotions—Kristen shouldn’t have to do that. —Have fun while we do things rather than making everything a “drama fest.”   The single unifying concept seemed to be: Kristen and the kids need you to be able to manage yourself by yourself. Sitting on the bed, with Kristen sound asleep, I once again found myself with a worthy goal and no idea how to define the first step toward achieving it. I was ready to call it a night when one of my notes leaped out at me from the page: Help lighten her burden by showing initiative once in a while. There it was. I realized that if I could take initiative when it came to things like stabilizing my moods then Kristen would be able to go about her day without having to worry about what might set me off. With a sense of initiative, I might actually vacuum once in a while or take the kids to the grocery store so that Kristen could enjoy some downtime—downtime that would be sweetened by the fact that she didn’t have to ask for it. Initiative could make me seem more empathic.
David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband)
These are the 57 PIECES FOR THE INITIAL BASIC WARDROBE IN TRANS-SEASONAL FABRIC (best if KNITTED with stretch) See the List below in linear order with Cycles. The 27 for Cycle 2 are starred [*] with details listed for each. Later you can add 2 more seasons to this INITIAL WARDROBE FOR YOUR WORK & FULL LIFESTYLE. 6 - (3 SETS) UNDER SHAPERS of stretch to hold the body tight. (Cycle 1) *2 - JACKET LONG AND LEAN, 2 for each season, plus Holiday and Resort. (Cycle 1 & 2) *2 - TROUSERS (easy fit) flattering on your shape either:fitted, flared or straight. 2 for each season plus Holiday and Resort (Cycles 1 & 2) *1 - PENCIL SKIRT or a fitted, flared, or stitched-down-pleats, flattering Silhouette. (Cycle 1 & 2) *1 - JEAN, dark navy denim or black knit, both with stretch. (Cycle 1 & 2) 7 - TANKS, for the bottom necessary layer (Cycle 1) *3 - TOPS/BLOUSES/SHIRTS (Cycle 1 & 2) *1 - DAY-DRESS (Cycle 1 & 2) 1 – L.B.D. (Cycle 1, then as needed) 1 - EVENING BLACK JERSEY GOWN (Cycle 1, then as needed) 2 - RAINCOAT WITH ZIP OUT LINING AND AN UMBRELLA THAT IS FOLDABLE (Cycle 1 = 2) then, a WINTER COAT (Cycle 2 = 1, other Cycles select a jacket/sweater coat/art piece coat)
Melody Edmondson (Book 15 - Inverted Triangle Body Shape with a Short-Waistplacement (Your Body Shape by Waistplacement))
Dear Rebecca— You may have picked up on my growing disappointment with you this afternoon as our first meeting progressed. I have to say that though you seem quite personable in your electronic communications, in person your behavior is a little lacking in some of the traits that would let you get from a first to a second date with regularity. If Lovability had a rating system, I would award you 2.5 out of 5 stars; however, if it used a scale that only allowed for integral values, I would unfortunately be forced to round down to two. Here are some suggestions for what you could do to improve the initial impression you make. I am speaking here as a veteran of the online dating scene in LA, which is MUCH more intense than New Jersey’s—there, you are competing with aspiring actors and actresses, and a professionally produced headshot and a warm demeanor are the bare minimum necessary to get in the game. By the end of my first year in LA my askback rate (the rate at which my first dates with women led to second dates) was a remarkable 68%. So I know what I’m talking about. I hope you take this constructive criticism in the manner in which it is intended. 1. Vary your responses to inquiries. When our conversation began, you seemed quite cheerful and animated, but as it progressed you became much less so. I asked you a series of questions that were intended to give you opportunities to reveal more about yourself, but you offered only binary answers, and then, troublingly, no answers at all. If you want your date to go well, you need to display more interest. 2. Direct the flow of conversation. Dialogue is collaborative! One consequence of your reticence was that I was forced to propose all of the topics of discussion, both before and after the transition to more personal subjects. If you contribute topics of your own then it will make you appear more engaged: you should aim to bring up one new subject for every one introduced by your date. 3. Take control of the path of the date. If you want the initial meeting to extend beyond the planned drinks, there are many ways you can go about doing this. You can directly say, for instance, “So I wasn’t thinking about this when you showed up, but…do you have any plans for dinner? I’m starving, and I could really go for some pad thai.” Or you can make a vaguer, more general statement such as “After this, I’m up for whatever,” or “Hey, I don’t really want to go home yet, Bradley: I’m having a lot of fun.” Again, this comes down to a general lack of engagement on your part. Without your feedback I was left to offer a game of Scrabble, which was not the best way to end the meeting. 4. Don’t lie about your ability in Scrabble. I won’t go into an analysis of your strategic and tactical errors here, in the interest of brevity, but your amateurish playing style was quite evident. Now, despite my reservations as expressed above, I really do feel that we had some chemistry. So I would like to give things another chance. Would you respond to this message within the next three days, with a suggestion of a place you’d like us to visit together, or an activity that you believe we would both enjoy? I would be forced to construe a delay of more than three days as an unfortunate sign of indifference. I hope to hear from you soon. Best, Bradley
Dexter Palmer (Version Control)
If the best performer is generating ten times as much impact as an average performer, they shouldn’t necessarily get ten times the reward, but I’d wager they should get at least five times the reward.180 If you’re adopting a system like this, the only way to stay within budget is to give smaller rewards to the poorer performers, or even the average ones. That won’t feel good initially, but take comfort in knowing that you’ve now given your best people a reason to stay with you, and everyone else a reason to aim higher.
Laszlo Bock (Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead)
But coming together for meals is about more than what studies show best equip children to be well balanced (although we care about their flourishing). It is about imitating Jesus, who initiates his people into the family by a regular gathering around the Lord’s Table. As parents, we are seeking to show our children that our end goal for them is a Wedding Feast, not Esau’s scarfed, lonely meal.
Russell D. Moore (The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home)
If an adult is married to an abusive spouse, divorce is a sensible solution. Yet, there is normal grief in the decision-making to sever the relationship. Longing for the positive times with the former spouse is balanced against knowing the destructiveness of abuse. Similarly, if a partner callously abandons an adult, grief is normal. Even though the partner may have lacked qualities like loyalty, commitment, or sensitivity, the degree of felt pain is not initially measured by the worthiness of the partner. Only after grieving do people start to realize that their partner’s abandonment might be a bit of luck! The legal and emotional ties of children to their birthparents are similar to marriage. Even though their parents may have abandoned, abused, or neglected them, children will not calibrate their love or longing by the worthiness of their lost parents. Methods that are most successful for grieving children do not emphasize parent replacement, especially in the beginning of placement. Parents who acknowledge that their children are still missing and loving their former parents affirm their children. Parents do not shame their children in any way for their devotion. Instead, parents say that it sounds like the children loved that previous parent the best they could. Sometimes questions give parents a sense of the degree of resolution that a child has about their loss. Examples are, “Did you have a chance to say goodbye? Are you still thinking that you will move back? What might happen so that you could go back?” It helps to ease children into bonding when parents say that they will be giving their children all the love they need, and that children can still care for birthparents or former foster parents. Parents can give matter-of-fact information that all children need someone to love them day-to-day, even if children want to be in another home.
Deborah D. Gray (Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents)
End June 2012 In response to Dr. Arius’ questions for his research, I wrote: Dr. A.S., As always it is a delight to receive your emails. I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions. I’ll respond to them one at a time. Please bear with me if my answers are lengthy at times. If I veer off into a tangent, please feel free to eliminate or edit my response. I’m eager to find out the results your research will yield when you are done with the survey. I’m ready to begin. Question one: * In “Initiation,” you said that as far as you can remember, even as a baby, you disliked your father. What was it that you didn’t like about the man? Did he have a certain smell that repelled you or something conscious or subconscious that blocked your connection towards him? Answers: Although I cannot provide you with definitive answers, I’ll do my best to remember how I felt when I was with my dad. a) Mr. S.S. Foong was a heavy smoker since the day I was born. I presume as a baby, the cigarette smell on his person repelled me. His aggressively loud booming voice did nothing to my gentle ears, either. Although he never shouted at me when I was a child, his stern demeanor deterred me from wanting to be near him. Moreover, his angry reprimands toward his subordinates when they had done nothing wrong challenged my respect for the man I called Father. b) Maybe unconsciously I was imbued with a glamorized portrayal of the “ideal” family from western magazines, movies, and periodicals of the mid-20th century. I wanted a father whom I could look up to: a strong, kind man who understands the needs of his family and children. But this was a Hollywood invention. It doesn’t exist, or it exists empirically in a small sector of the global population. c) Since my dad was seldom at home (he was with his mistress and their children), it was difficult to have a loving relationship with the man, especially when he roared and rebuked me for my effeminate behavior over which I had no control. I was simply being who I was. His negative criticisms damaged my ego badly. d) I could not relate to his air of superiority toward my mother. I resented that aspect of my father. I swore to myself that I would not grow up to be like my old man.
Young (Unbridled (A Harem Boy's Saga, #2))
Emmie had not told her vicar she would marry him, but as October drifted into November, St. Just knew she hadn’t turned the man down, either. It had taken some time to see why the decision was difficult, though he’d initially considered that he held the trump card—Winnie. Except there were low cards in his hand, as well, something he was finding it difficult to come to grips with. In the army, his men had become loyal to him for three reasons. He did not have charm, luck, or diplomacy in sufficient quantity to inspire followers, but he was, first, foremost, and to the marrow of his bones, a horseman. In the cavalry, a man who truly admired and understood the equine, and the cavalry mount in particular, was respected. St. Just’s unit was always a little better mounted, their tack in a little better shape, and their horses in better condition, primarily because St. Just saw to it. He commandeered the best fodder, requisitioned the best gear, and insisted on sound, sane animals, though it might cost him his personal coin to see to it. The second attribute that won him the respect of his subordinates was a gentleman’s quotient of simple common sense. Stupid orders, written for stupid reasons, were commonplace. St. Just would not disobey such an order, but he would time implementation of it to ensure the safety of his men. In rare cases, he might interpret an order at variance with its intended meaning, if necessary, again, to protect the lives of his men and their mounts. But when battle was joined, St. Just’s third strength as a commander of soldiers manifested itself. His men soon found those fighting in St. Just’s vicinity were safer than their comrades elsewhere. Once the order to charge was given, St. Just fought with the strength, size, speed, and skill of the berserkers of old, leaving murder, mayhem, and maiming on all sides until the enemy was routed. His capacity for sheer, cold-blooded brutality appalled, even as it awed, particularly when, once victory was assured, his demeanor became again the calm, organized, slightly detached commanding officer. And Emmie Farnum had no use for that latent capacity for brutality. She’d seen its echoes in his setbacks and his temper, in his drinking and insomnia, and St. Just knew in his bones she was smart enough to sense exactly what she’d be marrying were she to throw in with him. Barbarians might be interesting to bed, but no sane woman let one take her to wife. Nonetheless, having reasoned to this inevitable, uncomfortable conclusion, St. Just was still unable to fathom why, on the strength of one intimate interlude, he could not convince himself to stop wanting her to do just that.
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
Where were you today?” Poppy’s pleasure dissolved as she understood. He was suspicious of her. He thought she had gone to visit Michael. The injustice of that, and the hurt of being mistrusted, caused her face to stiffen. She answered in a brittle voice. “I went out for an errand or two.” “What kind of errand?” “I’d rather not say.” Harry’s face was hard and implacable. “I’m afraid I’m not giving you a choice. You will tell me where you went and whom you saw.” Reddening in outrage, Poppy whirled away from him and clenched her fists. “I don’t have to account for every minute of my day, not even to you.” “Today you do.” His eyes narrowed. “Tell me, Poppy.” She laughed incredulously. “So you can verify my statements, and decide whether I’m lying to you?” His silence was answer enough. Hurt and furious, Poppy went to her reticule, which had been set on a small table, and rummaged in it. “I went to visit Leo,” she snapped without looking at him. “He’ll vouch for me, and so will the driver. And afterward I went to Bond Street to pick up something I had bought for you. I had wanted to wait for an appropriate moment to give it to you, but apparently that’s not possible now.” Extracting an object encased in a small velvet pouch, she resisted the temptation to throw it at him. “Here’s your proof,” she muttered, pushing it into his hands. “I knew you would never get one of these on your own.” Harry opened the pouch slowly, and let the object slide into his hand. It was a pocket watch with a solid gold casing, exquisitely simple except for the engraved initials JHR on the lid. There was a perplexing lack of reaction from Harry. His dark head was bent so that Poppy couldn’t even see his face. His fingers closed around the watch, and he let out a long, deep breath. Wondering if she had done the wrong thing, Poppy turned blindly to the bellpull. “I hope you like it,” she said evenly. “I’ll ring for dinner now. I’m hungry, even if you’re—” All at once Harry seized her from behind, wrapping his arms around her, one hand still gripped around the watch. His entire body was trembling, powerful muscles threatening to crush her. His voice was low and remorseful. “I’m sorry.” Poppy relaxed against him as he continued to hold her. She closed her eyes. “Damn it,” he said into the loose sheaf of her hair, “I’m so sorry. It’s just that the thought of you having any feelings for Bayning . . . it . . . doesn’t bring out the best in me.” “There’s an understatement,” Poppy said darkly. But she turned in his arms and pressed against him, her hand sliding up to the back of his head. “It tortures me,” he admitted gruffly. “I don’t want you to care for any man but me. Even if I don’t deserve it.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
Dr. Adam Grant, professor of organizational psychology at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, says this is because J. J. Abrams is “a giver,” a rarity in an industry full of takers. No good TV show or film is made by one person, but whereas Hollywood bigshots are known for being credit-hogs, J. J. Abrams is a fantastic collaborator. Grant would know. He wrote the book on the subject. In his bestseller, Give and Take, he presents rigorous research showing that a disproportionate number of the most successful people in a given industry are extremely generous. From medical students to engineers to salespeople, his studies find givers at the top of the ladder. “Being a giver doesn’t require extraordinary acts of sacrifice,” Grant writes in Give and Take. “It just involves a focus on acting in the interests of others, such as by giving help, providing mentoring, sharing credit, or making connections for others.” Abrams is known, acquaintances tell me, for his kindness and lack of ego, in addition to his penchant for mystery. That’s how he attracts the best people to his staff. And that’s how he’s managed to climb so far so fast.* Staffers with whom I e-mailed and met at the “typewriter shop” were eager to keep Abrams away from me because, according to his reputation, he’d probably spend way too much time helping this shaggy-haired writer out when he ought to be, you know, filming Star Wars. Initially, Abrams helped out better-connected people than himself, and doing so helped him superconnect. But once he was the superconnector, he still helped people. That’s how to tell if someone is a giver, or a taker in giver’s clothing. “If you do it only to succeed,” Grant says, in the long run, “it probably won’t work.
Shane Snow (Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success)
What’s so funny? Stop chuckling at me.” Her eyes flared. “It’s only two years away! Besides, engaged is as good as being married… it’s like prison. Nobody breaks their engagement—well there was Lady Macela—poor thing, and she never got married. Isn’t she all on her own now? But to that old pig? What are my parents thinking? I truly despise them.” “Just tell them you don’t want to marry him. I’m sure you’ll figure something out.” “I already did. You know they never listen to me. They claim they know what’s best. I’d rather run away than marry him. I simply won’t do it.” She cast a venomous glare at her soup, then sighed and looked up at Talis, raising a finger as if she had an idea. “Let’s win the Blood Dagger competition. If we win, we’re allowed any wish we choose. That’ll keep me away from that ridiculous man.” “But Rikar and Nikulo are undefeated… and they’re brutal—” “I don’t care! We can do it, I know we can. Ever since that old witch made me drink all her potions and tea I feel strangely powerful… like I can do anything.” “We’ve had a string of bad luck, though. We lost two times in a row in the training arena. And then you almost got killed by the boar.” Talis lowered his voice to a whisper. “It’s like the gods are angry with us.” “Don’t say that,” she hissed. “Besides, there are rites of initiation we could try… a blood oath.” “A blood oath? You’ve got to be kidding! First you wanted to go after the boar, and now this?” Talis swallowed, not liking whatever she meant by the suggestion. “Don’t be a child. And look, we’re right here. We can do it now.” She looked at the vines covering the walls surrounding the Temple of Nyx, the God of War. Talis followed her gaze and felt a chill prickling along the back of his neck. “What? You want to make a blood oath at the Temple of Nyx?” The last time he’d been inside was when his brother Xhan had died. A painful memory. “No, don’t you know anything? I’ve got it all figured out. We must pray to Zagros, who favors the weak and fallen.” Zagros? What insanity would cause them to pray to the God of the Underworld? “I don’t think that’s a good idea… actually I think it is a terrible idea.” “Listen, we know the rites of initiation. We’ve been trained, right? What are you afraid of?” At her determined gaze Talis felt a clammy coldness creep
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))