Openly Straight Book Quotes

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Maybe I’m an open book, or maybe love is like a magnifying glass straight into the souls of those who own your heart.
Mia Sheridan (Leo)
The professor taught with the confidence that books change you. They mess up your insides. They make you drool over the prospect of being a better human and a better lover and a better friend. They pull at your stomach and leave you raw and open and naked. Books can straight up mangle you and sometimes it’s just better if you let them do their work.
Hannah Brencher (If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers)
So here we go, you and me. Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready. This is America and I am allowed to have healthy self-esteem. This book comes straight from my feisty and freckled fingers. Know it was a battle. Blood was shed. A war raged between my jokey and protective brain and my squishy and tender heart. I have realized that mystery is what keeps people away, and I’ve grown tired of smoke and mirrors. I yearn for the clean, well-lighted place. So let’s peek behind the curtain and hail the others like us. The open-faced sandwiches who take risks and live big and smile with all of their teeth. These are the people I want to be around. This is the honest way I want to live and love and write.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people. They are born with a bit of angel-shine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart—even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother’s best clothes. A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman. A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noisemakers, the girl next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, make-up, cans of water, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn’t care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale. She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity—spend your money, your time, and your patience—and just when your temper is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you’ve lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-wracking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess—when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all—she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all!
Alan Beck
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
So maybe if I had found all this stuff on my own, I would have really enjoyed learning about it. But instead, I got a pile of books from Mom, and now it was like I had gay homework from my mother. I was like, Thanks for making this exciting new thing a chore, Mom. Awesome.
Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight (Openly Straight, #1))
This story is one for which some people will have to suspend their belief. If it wasn't me and this wasn't happening to me, I would be one of those people. Many won't struggle to believe it, though, for their minds have been opened; unlocked by whatever kind of key causes people to believe. Those people are either born that way or, as babies, when their minds are like little buds, they are nurtured until their petals slowly open and prepare for the very nature of life to feed them. As the rain falls and the sun shines, they grow, grow, grow; minds so open, they go through life aware and accepting, seeing light where there is dark, seeing possibility in dead ends, tasting victory as others spit out failure, questioning when others accept. Just a little less jaded, a little less cynical. A little less likely to throw in the towel. Some peoples' minds open later in life, through tragedy or triumph. Either thing acting as the key to unlatch and lift the lid on that know-it-all box, to accept the unknown, to say goodbye to pragmatism and straight lines. But then there are those whose minds are merely a bouquet of stalks, which bud as they learn new information - a new bud for a new fact - but yet they never open, never flourish. They are the people of capital letters and full stops, but never of question marks and ellipses...
Cecelia Ahern (The Book of Tomorrow)
Aside from wanting to write cracking good books that turn children into lifelong readers, I really want to create stories that enable kids to LOOK at the world around them. To see it for what it is, with wide open, wondering eyes. Our mass media is so horribly skewed. It presents this idea of 'normalcy' which excludes and marginalises so many for an idea of commercial viability which is really nothing but blinkered prejudice. People who are black and Asian and Middle Eastern and Hispanic, people who are gay or transgendered or genderqueer, people who have disabilities, disfigurements or illnesses - all have this vision of a world which does not include them shoved down their throats almost 24-7, and they're told 'No one wants to see stories about people like you. Films and TV shows about people like you won't make money. Stories about straight, white, cisgendered, able-bodied people are universal and everyone likes them. You are small and useless and unattractive and you don't matter.' My worry is that this warped version of 'normal' eventually forms those very same blinkers on children's eyes, depriving them of their ability to see anyone who isn't the same as them, preventing them from developing the ability to empathise with and appreciate and take joy in the lives and experiences of people who are different from them. If Shadows on the Moon - or anything I write - causes a young person to look at their own life, or the life of another, and think, 'Maybe being different is cool' I will die a happy writer. -Guest blog - what diversity means to me
Zoë Marriott
Ivan just sneered, opening his mouth to say something else. But that something else was lost when Thel turned around and straight punched him in the balls.
Theodora Taylor (Her Russian Beast: 50 Loving States, New Mexico (Ruthless Russians Book 3))
The moment he finally succeeded in putting her out of his thoughts was the one when she opened the door. He glanced up, then dropped his book straight to the floor.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Guardian (Dark-Hunter, #20; Dream-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #6; Hellchaser, #3))
Every week seems to bring another luxuriantly creamy envelope, the thickness of a letter-bomb, containing a complex invitation – a triumph of paper engineering – and a comprehensive dossier of phone numbers, email addresses, websites, how to get there, what to wear, where to buy the gifts. Country house hotels are being block-booked, great schools of salmon are being poached, vast marquees are appearing overnight like Bedouin tent cities. Silky grey morning suits and top hats are being hired and worn with an absolutely straight face, and the times are heady and golden for florists and caterers, string quartets and Ceilidh callers, ice sculptors and the makers of disposable cameras. Decent Motown cover-bands are limp with exhaustion. Churches are back in fashion, and these days the happy couple are travelling the short distance from the place of worship to the reception on open-topped London buses, in hot-air balloons, on the backs of matching white stallions, in micro-lite planes. A wedding requires immense reserves of love and commitment and time off work, not least from the guests. Confetti costs eight pounds a box. A bag of rice from the corner shop just won’t cut it anymore.
David Nicholls (One Day)
He's looking at me intensely now like he can read my mind. Which of course, he can. Maybe I'm an open book, or maybe love is like a magnefying glass straight into the souls of those who own your heart.
Mia Sheridan (Leo)
Besides, I wasn't the only one with sleep problems, as Victor had been talking in his sleep since he was a kid. When he was eight he was travelling with his dad and sat up in a darkened hotel room at two a.m., opened his eyes, and raised his arm to point toward the dark hall, saying, "Who's that man standing in the corner?" Then he lay back down and went straight back to sleep while his father quietly shit himself. Metaphorically. Probably.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Until one morning, one of the coldest mornings of the year, when I came in with the book cart and found Jean Hollis Clark, a fellow librarian, standing dead still in the middle of the staff room. "I heard a noise from the drop box," Jean said. "What kind of noise?" "I think it's an animal." "A what?" "An animal," Jean said. "I think there's an animal in the drop box." That was when I heard it, a low rumble from under the metal cover. It didn't sound like an animal. It sounded like an old man clearing his throat. Gurr-gug-gug. Gurr-gug-gug. But the opening at the top of the chute was only a few inches wide, so that would be quite a squeeze for an old man. It had to be an animal. But what kind? I got down on my knees, reached over the lid, and hoped for a chipmunk. What I got instead was a blast of freezing air. The night before, the temperature had reached minus fifteen degrees, and that didn't take into account the wind, which cut under your coat and squeezed your bones. And on that night, of all nights, someone had jammed a book into return slot, wedging it open. It was as cold in the box as it was outside, maybe colder, since the box was lined with metal. It was the kind of cold that made it almost painful to breathe. I was still catching my breath, in fact, when I saw the kitten huddled in the front left corner of the box. It was tucked up in a little space underneath a book, so all I could see at first was its head. It looked grey in the shadows, almost like a little rock, and I could tell its fur was dirty and tangled. Carefully, I lifted the book. The kitten looked up at me, slowly and sadly, and for a second I looked straight into its huge golden eyes. The it lowered its head and sank back down into its hole. At that moment, I lost every bone in my body and just melted.
Vicki Myron (Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story)
I found that I could not contemplate an adult life in which books were not dominant. I wanted to live and work with them...I had to be able to take books from their places, run my finger over their backs, see how they opened, flick their corners straight. I wanted a perspective of bookshelves always in my eye. And books, books, books. This was not a rational way of determining on a career and was much tainted by mushiness. But it was the way in which my decision hardened, before I was fifteen years old, to become a librarian.
Clifford Currie Librarian of the Ashmolean Library Oxford
So what do I do? What do we do? How do we move forward when we are tired and afraid? What do we do when the voice in our head is yelling that WE ARE NEVER GONNA MAKE IT? How do we drag ourselves through the muck when our brain is telling us youaredumbandyouwillneverfinishandnoonecaresanditistimeyoustop? Well, the first thing we do is take our brain out and put it in a drawer. Stick it somewhere and let it tantrum until it wears itself out. You may still hear the brain and all the shitty things it is saying to you, but it will be muffled, and just the fact that it is not in your head anymore will make things seem clearer. And then you just do it. You just dig in and write it. You use your body. you lean over the computer and stretch and pace. You write and then cook something and write some more. you put your hand on your heart and feel it beating and decide if what you wrote feels true. You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing. That is what I know. Writing the book is about writing the book. So here we go, you and me. Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready. This is America and I am allowed to have healthy self-esteem. This book comes straight from my feisty and freckled fingers. Know it was a battle. Blood was shed. A war raged between my jokey and protective brain and my squishy and tender heart. I have realized that mystery is what keeps people away, and I've grown tired of smoke and mirrors. I yearn for the clean, well-lighted place. So let's peek behind the curtain and hail the others like us. The open-faced sandwiches who take risks and live big and smile with all of their teeth. These are the people I want to be around. This is the honest way I want to live and love and write.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I figured I’d come out to my parents, get my first boyfriend, and then just live my life. No. Instead, it was like this thing had happened, and now we all had to mobilize. (I should have known. My mom is a mobilizer.) Suddenly there were six books I had to read about what it’s like to be gay. I said to her, "Mom, can’t I just be gay, and not read about it?" But she explained — and Dad backed her up — that we need to know history.
Bill Konigsberg (Openly Straight (Openly Straight, #1))
We don't even know if what ends with daylight terminates in us as useless grief, or if we are just an illusion among shadows, and reality just this vast silence without wild ducks that falls over the lakes where straight and stiff reeds swoon. We know nothing. Gone is the memory of the stories we heard as children, now so much seaweed; still to come is the tenderness of future skies, a breeze in which imprecision slowly opens into stars.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition)
Why may you not kiss me?” she had demanded. “Am I a corpse?” “Of course not.” “Do you find me less attractive now that weather and wind have scoured the bloom from my cheeks?” “Skaytha, it’s nothing like that. If anything you are more beautiful now than when we lived on Skyrl. Often enough I have no breath when I look at you. You rob me of any other thoughts.” “So you’re afraid my kisses will take what little brain you have left?” “I’m afraid the angels will do something I don’t want them to do if I fly in the face of their commands, commands I can only assume are divine as well as angelic.” “Did you ever think to ask them the reasons behind their demands?” “When it is an angel I just want to get out of the conversation alive or at least without being struck dumb. So I don’t prolong the chat.” “You might have wanted my kisses more than that. If you had any romance in you you’d have told them you were ready to fight ten legions of angels for my love.” Hawk had reached out to hold her. “If I’d told them that they might have taken me up on it. Angels are not just useful for gallant flourishes the moment you declare your intention to battle all comers for the woman you love. Angels burn like fire and blaze like a hundred suns – they strike fear in my heart.” She had pulled away from his embrace and jumped to her feet. “Oh, no, you don’t. If I’m not good enough to kiss I’m not good enough to take in your arms either. It’s angels or me. Make up your mind whom you fear more. Or love more.” “I don’t love the angels.” “Clearly you don’t love me either.” They had been in a tipi. She’d gone to the opening, lifted the flap, bent, and stalked away, passing by warriors of the tribe with her head as high as a goddess and her back as straight as the shaft of the spear. The chief had poked his head in. “All is well, Hawk?’ he had asked. Hawk had learned their tongue. “It couldn’t be better,” Hawk had responded. “Only being slain in battle would be greater than this.” The chief had thought this over and laughed. "That would bring you great honor." "I am in short supply of honor right now and such short supply never pleases a woman like her. Better to die at the end of a spear and have it for a few moments and win her back." The chief had nodded. "Sound wisdom. Would you like to join a raiding party against our enemy tonight?" "I couldn't be happier." (from The Name of the Hawk, Book 2)
Murray Pura (Legion (The Name of the Hawk, #1))
What do you mean it’s not open yet?” Keys whined to our hotel concierge. “Well, there has to be another place around this town with male strippers.” She gave the young, male concierge a knowing look. “We’re desperate!” I joined Tash and Angel Girl in laughing at Keys’ expense. “What she means is we had hoped for entertainment tonight.” I growled at Tash as she put her foot just as far in her mouth as Keys had. The poor concierge was fighting to keep a straight face. “It’s okay to laugh at them. I’d like to say they’re both suffering from recent head trauma, but sadly they really are clueless.” My words tipped the scale and the man laughed. “I
Christine Michelle (JoJo (S.H.E Book 2))
Someone once said to me, 'There are so many religions in the world. They can't all be right.' And my reply was, 'Well, they can't all be wrong either.' All religions in the world today share more commonalities than differences, yet language blinds many from seeing these truths. Some people will tell me that what I write about is straight from their holy book, but the truth is that the main principles found in all holy books were already engraved in all our hearts. If you think common sense, the golden rule and knowing right from wrong are exclusive only to your faith, then you need to open yourself up to the rest of the world's religions.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Where are you going this hot day, Mis’ DeJong?” Selina sat up very straight. “To Bagdad, Mrs. Pool.” “To — Where’s that? What for?” “To sell my jewels, Mrs. Pool. And to see Aladdin, and Harun-al-Rashid and Ali Baba. And the Forty Thieves.” Mrs. Pool had left her rocker and had come down the steps. The wagon creaked on past her gate. She took a step or two down the path, and called after them. “I never heard of it. Bag — How do you get there?” Over her shoulder Selina called out from the wagon seat. “You just go until you come to a closed door. And you say ‘Open Sesame!’ and there you are.” Bewilderment shadowed Mrs. Pool’s placid face. As the wagon lurched on down the road it was Selina who was smiling and Mrs. Pool who was serious. The boy, round eyed, was looking up at his mother. “That’s out of Arabian Nights, what you said. Why did you say that?” Suddenly excitement tinged his voice. “That’s out of the book. Isn’t it? Isn’t it! We’re not really ——” She was a little contrite, but not very. “Well, not really, perhaps. But ’most any place is Bagdad if you don’t know what will happen in it. And this is an adventure, isn’t it, that we’re going on? People in disguise in the Haymarket. Caliphs, and princes, and slaves, and thieves, and good fairies, and witches.” “In the Haymarket! That Pop went to all the time! That is just dumb talk.
Edna Ferber (So Big)
The baby girl who lifted the flaps of Rod Campbell's Dear Zoo becomes the toddler charmed by Ludwig Behmelman's Madeline who turns into the sixth grader listening open-mouthed to Mark Halperin's A Kingdom Far and Clear who grows up to be the young woman swept away by Leo Tolstoy and the beautiful, ill-fated heroine of Anna Karenina. Each book makes straight the path for the next, opening out into sunlit literary meadows where, over time, young people will encounter beautiful writing and characters and scenes that may have been known, loved, and remembered by generations long since past. For the child, or teenager, or anyone else for that matter, getting these tickets to arcadia is a matter of simplicity. All they have to do is listen.
Meghan Cox Gurdon (The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction)
night.” “Sometimes, yes,” Meggie had said. “But it only works for children.” Which made Mo tweak her nose. Mo. Meggie had never called her father anything else. That night—when so much began and so many things changed forever—Meggie had one of her favorite books under her pillow, and since the rain wouldn’t let her sleep she sat up, rubbed the drowsiness from her eyes, and took it out. Its pages rustled promisingly when she opened it. Meggie thought this first whisper sounded a little different from one book to another, depending on whether or not she already knew the story it was going to tell her. But she needed light. She had a box of matches hidden in the drawer of her bedside table. Mo had forbidden her to light candles at night. He didn’t like fire. “Fire devours books,” he always said, but she was twelve years old, she surely could be trusted to keep an eye on a couple of candle flames. Meggie loved to read by candlelight. She had five candlesticks on the windowsill, and she was just holding the lighted match to one of the black wicks when she heard footsteps outside. She blew out the match in alarm—oh, how well she remembered it, even many years later—and knelt to look out of the window, which was wet with rain. Then she saw him. The rain cast a kind of pallor on the darkness, and the stranger was little more than a shadow. Only his face gleamed white as he looked up at Meggie. His hair clung to his wet forehead. The rain was falling on him, but he ignored it. He stood there motionless, arms crossed over his chest as if that might at least warm him a little. And he kept on staring at the house. I must go and wake Mo, thought Meggie. But she stayed put, her heart thudding, and went on gazing out into the night as if the stranger’s stillness had infected her. Suddenly, he turned his head, and Meggie felt as if he were looking straight into her eyes. She shot off the bed so fast the open book fell to the floor, and she ran barefoot out into the dark corridor. This was the end of May, but it was chilly in the old house. There was still a light on in Mo’s room. He often stayed up reading late into the night. Meggie had inherited her love of books from her father. When she took refuge from a bad dream with him, nothing could lull her to sleep better than Mo’s calm breathing beside her and the sound of the pages turning. Nothing chased nightmares away faster than
Cornelia Funke (The Inkheart Trilogy: Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath)
Look back at history,” he said, after a minute or two. “Most great and remarkable men weren't tame or politically correct. They were raving loonies. They acted out. Heroes are badasses, not alter-boys.” “You don't think Jesus was a hero?” I asked. “Jesus was the bad-ass,” he said, chuckling a little. “...talk about somebody knowing how to make some noise.” Nick confused me. Half the time what he said sounded completely hypocritical. The other half of the time, what he said sounded completely insane. He always had an opinion though, no matter how nonsensical it was to me. I admired that about him. “You think Jesus would throw a book at someone?” I asked, before I could stop myself. His eyes popped open. I dropped my pen again. He sat up straight and focused his eyes on me. “I'm not Jesus,” he said simply. No kidding.
Elizabeth Nicole (Chronicles of a Mermaid Out of Water)
I prop my guitar up against the nightstand. Then I turn toward the bed and fall into it face first. The mattress is soft but firm, like a sheet of steel wrapped in a cloud. I roll around, moaning loud and long. “Oh, that’s good. Really, really good. What a grand bed!” Sarah clears her throat. “Well. We should probably get to sleep, then. Big day tomorrow.” The pillow smells sweet, like candy. I can only imagine it’s from her. I wonder if I pressed my nose to the crook of her neck, would her skin smell as delicious? I brush away the thought as I watch her stiffly gather a pillow and blanket from the other side of the bed, dragging them to . . . the nook. “What are you doing?” She looks up, her doe eyes widening. “Getting ready for bed.” “You’re going to sleep there?” “Of course. The sofa’s very uncomfortable.” “Why can’t we share the bed?” She chokes . . . stutters. “I . . . I can’t sleep with you. I don’t even know you.” I throw my arms out wide. “What do you want to know? Ask me anything—I’m an open book.” “That’s not what I mean.” “You’re being ridiculous! It’s a huge bed. You could let one rip and I wouldn’t hear it.” And the blush is back. With a vengeance. “I’m not . . . I don’t . . .” “You don’t fart?” I scoff. “Really? Are you not human?” She curses under her breath, but I’d love to hear it out loud. I bet uninhibited Sarah Von Titebottum would be a stunning sight. And very entertaining. She shakes her head, pinning me with her eyes. “There’s something wrong with you.” “No.” I explain calmly, “I’m just free. Honest with myself and others. You should try it sometime.” She folds her arms, all tight, trembling indignation. It’s adorable. “I’m sleeping in the nook, Your Highness. And that’s that.” I sit up, pinning her gaze right back at her. “Henry.” “What?” “My name is not Highness, it’s fucking Henry, and I’d prefer you use it.” And she snaps. “Fine! Fucking Henry—happy?” I smile. “Yes. Yes, I am.” I flop back on the magnificent bed. “Sleep tight, Titebottum.” I think she growls at me, but it’s muffled by the sound of rustling bed linens and pillows. And then . . . there’s silence. Beautiful, blessed silence. I wiggle around, getting comfy. I turn on my side and fluff the pillow. I squeeze my eyes tight . . . but it’s hopeless. “Fucking hell!” I sit up. And Sarah springs to her feet. “What? What’s wrong?” It’s the guilt. I’ve barged into this poor girl’s room, confiscated her bed, and have forced her to sleep in a cranny in the wall. I may not be the man my father was or the gentleman my brother is, but I’m not that much of a prick. I stand up, rip my shirt over my head. and march toward the window seat. I feel Sarah’s eyes graze my bare chest, arms. and stomach, but she circles around me, keeping her distance. “You take the bloody bed,” I tell her. “I’ll sleep in the bloody nook.” “You don’t have to do that.” I push my hand through my hair. “Yes, I do.” Then I stand up straight and proper, an impersonation of Hugh Grant in one of his classic royal roles. “Please, Lady Sarah.” She blinks, her little mouth pursed. “Okay.” Then she climbs onto the bed, under the covers. And I squeeze onto the window bench, knees bent, my elbow jammed against the icy windowpane, and my neck bent at an odd angle that I’m going to be feeling tomorrow. The light is turned down to a very low dim, and for several moments all I hear is Sarah’s soft breaths. But then, in the near darkness, her delicate voice floats out on a sigh. “All right, we can sleep in the bed together.” Music to my ears. I don’t make her tell me twice—I’ve fulfilled my noble quota for the evening. I stumble from the nook and crash onto the bed. That’s better.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
As a person, [Barbara Stanwyck] was a great deal like the character she played in Ball of Fire, a stripper called Sugarpuss O'Shea. She had a wonderful, free, open quality in that picture, and that's what she was like as a woman. Reclusive by nature, she was happy to just stay home, but she read everything. She got me reading books as a way of life and, if I asked her, would help me out with my acting. We only had one scene together in Titanic—I played her daughter's boyfriend!—so there was a limit to what I could learn by working with her. She taught me what to do with my hands, how to get over my self-consciousness, and how to lower my voice, which I thought was still too high. And she taught me to be decisive with things like entrances. "When you walk in," she told me, "be sure you're standing up straight. Walk in with confidence." She didn't want me to sidle into a scene as if I were ashamed to be in the movie. Make the entrance! Take the scene! But I wasn't going there for acting tutorials.
Robert J. Wagner (Pieces of My Heart: A Life)
Then a thought hit me like a ton of slag. Arlene wouldn’t bother taking time in this hellhole to scribble her mark unless she had a damned good reason. Not just to point out the sphere—if she knew it was there, she’d have used it herself like a good soldier. The only logical conclusion was that the arrow pointed the way out of the nuclear plant—the way Arlene Sanders had already gone. Like Arne Saknussen, she marked her own trail for all who followed. So why hadn’t I found it? Same way Arlene missed the patio door: there had to be another hidden door nearby that I had missed. Third time’s the charm. The damned door couldn’t have been more than five feet from the one I had found. One good push and it was open, leading to a beautiful piece of straight, well-lit corridor that reached its end with a clean, massive metal door that had printed on it the welcome letters EXIT—obviously a holdover from the plant’s mundane days as a hangout for humans. Feeling bold and unstoppable, I walked right up to that door and discovered that it required a computer key card before it would bless the lonely traveler with an open sesame. Great. Now I could be miserable again.
Dafydd ab Hugh (Knee-Deep in the Dead (Doom Book 1))
Many of us who have observed our own behavior don't need science to prove that technology is altering us, but let's bring some in anyway. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that records certain experiences in our brain (typically described as pleasurable) and prompts us to repeat them, plays a part not only in sex and drugs, but also the swiping and tapping we do on our smartphones. Scott Barry Kaufman--- scientific director of the Imagination Institute...gave me the straight dope on dopamine. "It's a misconception that dopamine has to do with our feelings of happiness and pleasure," he said. "It's a molecule that helps influence our expectations." Higher levels of dopamine are linked to being more open to new things and novelty seeking. Something novel could be an amazing idea for dinner or a new book. . . or just getting likes on a Facebook post or the ping of a text coming in. Our digital devices activate and hijack this dopamine system extremely well, when we let them. ...Kaufman calls dopamine "the mother of invention" and explains that because we have a limited amount of it, we must be judicious about choosing to spend it on "increasing our wonder and excitement for creating meaning and new things like art--- or on Twitter.
Manoush Zomorodi (Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self)
The Portal Potion Success! After weeks and weeks of trying, I’ve finally discovered the correct ingredients for the potion I’d hoped to create for my son! With just a few drops, the potion turns any written work into a portal to the world it describes. Even with my ability to create portals to and from the Otherworld, I never thought it would be possible to create a substance that allowed me passage to any world I wished. My son will get to see the places and meet the characters he’s spent his whole childhood dreaming about! And best of all, I’ll get to watch his happiness soar as it happens! The ingredients are much simpler than I imagined, but difficult to obtain. Their purposes are more metaphysical than practical, so it took some imagination to get the concoction right. The first requirement is a branch from the oldest tree in the woods. To bring the pages to life, I figured the potion would need the very thing that brought the paper to life in the first place. And what else has more life than an ancient tree? The second ingredient is a feather from the finest pheasant in the sky. This will guarantee your potion has no limits, like a bird in flight. It will ensure you can travel to lands far and wide, beyond your imagination. The third component is a liquefied lock and key that belonged to a true love. Just as this person unlocked your heart to a life of love, it will open the door of the literary dimensions your heart desires to experience. The fourth ingredient is two weeks of moonlight. Just as the moon causes waves in the ocean, the moonlight will stir your potion to life. Last, but most important, give the potion a spark of magic to activate all the ingredients. Send it a beam of joy straight from your heart. The potion does not work on any biographies or history books, but purely on works that have been imagined. Now, I must warn about the dangers of entering a fictional world: 1. Time only exists as long as the story continues. Be sure to leave the book before the story ends, or you may disappear as the story concludes. 2. Each world is made of only what the author describes. Do not expect the characters to have any knowledge of our world or the Otherworld. 3. Beware of the story’s villains. Unlike people in our world or the Otherworld, most literary villains are created to be heartless and stripped of all morals, so do not expect any mercy should you cross paths with one. 4. The book you choose to enter will act as your entrance and exit. Be certain nothing happens to it; it is your only way out. The
Chris Colfer (Beyond the Kingdoms (The Land of Stories, #4))
The root of all my ills, thought Amalfitano sometimes, is my admiration for Jews, homosexuals, and revolutionaries (true revolutionaries, the romantics and the dangerous madmen, not the apparatchiks of the Communist Party of Chile or its despicable thugs, those hideous gray beings). The root of all my ills, he thought, is my admiration for a certain kind of junkie (not the poet junkie or the artist junkie but the straight-up junkie, the kind you rarely come across, the kind like a black hole or a black eye, with no hands or legs, a black eye that never opens or closes, the Lost Witness of the Tribe, the kind who seems to cling to drugs in the same way that drugs cling to him). The root of all my ills is my admiration for delinquents, whores, the mentally disturbed, said Amalfitano to himself with bitterness. When I was an adolescent I wanted to be a Jew, a Bolshevik, black, homosexual, a junkie, half-crazy, and—the crowning touch—a one-amred amputee, but all I became was a literature professor. At least, thought Amalfitano, I've read thousands of books. At least I've become acquianted with the Poets and read the Novels. (The Poets, in Amalfitano's view, were those beings who flashed like lightning bolts, and the novels were the stories that sprang from Don Quixote). At least I've read. At least I can still read, he said to himself, at once dubious and hopeful.
Roberto Bolaño (Woes of the True Policeman)
And once we get hold of it, how do you destroy a Horcrux?” asked Ron. “Well,” said Hermione, “I’ve been researching that.” “How?” asked Harry. “I didn’t think there were any books on Horcruxes in the library?” “There weren’t,” said Hermione, who had turned pink. “Dumbledore removed them all, but he--he didn’t destroy them.” Ron sat up straight, wide-eyed. “How in the name of Merlin’s pants have you managed to get your hands on those Horcrux books?” “It--it wasn’t stealing!” said Hermione, looking from Harry to Ron with a kind of desperation. “They were still library books, even if Dumbledore had taken them off the shelves. Anyway, if he really didn’t want anyone to get at them, I’m sure he would have made it much harder to--” “Get to the point!” said Ron. “Well…it was easy,” said Hermione in a small voice. “I just did a Summoning Charm. You know--Accio. And--they zoomed out of Dumbledore’s study window right into the girls’ dormitory.” “But when did you do this?” Harry asked, regarding Hermione with a mixture of admiration and incredulity. “Just after his--Dumbledore’s--funeral,” said Hermione in an even smaller voice. “Right after we agreed we’d leave school and go and look for the Horcruxes. When I went back upstairs to get my things it--it just occurred to me that the more we knew about them, the better it would be…and I was alone in there…so I tried…and it worked. They flew straight in through the open window and I--I packed them.” She swallowed and then said imploringly, “I can’t believe Dumbledore would have been angry, it’s not as though we’re going to use the information to make a Horcrux, is it?” “Can you hear us complaining?” said Ron.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I still have no choice but to bring out Minerva instead.” “But Minerva doesn’t care about men,” young Charlotte said helpfully. “She prefers dirt and rocks.” “It’s called geology,” Minerva said. “It’s a science.” “It’s certain spinsterhood, is what it is! Unnatural girl. Do sit straight in your chair, at least.” Mrs. Highwood sighed and fanned harder. To Susanna, she said, “I despair of her, truly. This is why Diana must get well, you see. Can you imagine Minerva in Society?” Susanna bit back a smile, all too easily imagining the scene. It would probably resemble her own debut. Like Minerva, she had been absorbed in unladylike pursuits, and the object of her female relations’ oft-voiced despair. At balls, she’d been that freckled Amazon in the corner, who would have been all too happy to blend into the wallpaper, if only her hair color would have allowed it. As for the gentlemen she’d met…not a one of them had managed to sweep her off her feet. To be fair, none of them had tried very hard. She shrugged off the awkward memories. That time was behind her now. Mrs. Highwood’s gaze fell on a book at the corner of the table. “I am gratified to see you keep Mrs. Worthington close at hand.” “Oh yes,” Susanna replied, reaching for the blue, leatherbound tome. “You’ll find copies of Mrs. Worthington’s Wisdom scattered everywhere throughout the village. We find it a very useful book.” “Hear that, Minerva? You would do well to learn it by heart.” When Minerva rolled her eyes, Mrs. Highwood said, “Charlotte, open it now. Read aloud the beginning of Chapter Twelve.” Charlotte reached for the book and opened it, then cleared her throat and read aloud in a dramatic voice. “’Chapter Twelve. The perils of excessive education. A young lady’s intellect should be in all ways like her undergarments. Present, pristine, and imperceptible to the casual observer.’” Mrs. Highwood harrumphed. “Yes. Just so. Hear and believe it, Minerva. Hear and believe every word. As Miss Finch says, you will find that book very useful.” Susanna took a leisurely sip of tea, swallowing with it a bitter lump of indignation. She wasn’t an angry or resentful person, as a matter of course. But once provoked, her passions required formidable effort to conceal. That book provoked her, no end. Mrs. Worthington’s Wisdom for Young Ladies was the bane of sensible girls the world over, crammed with insipid, damaging advice on every page. Susanna could have gleefully crushed its pages to powder with a mortar and pestle, labeled the vial with a skull and crossbones, and placed it on the highest shelf in her stillroom, right beside the dried foxglove leaves and deadly nightshade berries. Instead, she’d made it her mission to remove as many copies as possible from circulation. A sort of quarantine. Former residents of the Queen’s Ruby sent the books from all corners of England. One couldn’t enter a room in Spindle Cove without finding a copy or three of Mrs. Worthington’s Wisdom. And just as Susanna had told Mrs. Highwood, they found the book very useful indeed. It was the perfect size for propping a window open. It also made an excellent doorstop or paperweight. Susanna used her personal copies for pressing herbs. Or occasionally, for target practice. She motioned to Charlotte. “May I?” Taking the volume from the girl’s grip, she raised the book high. Then, with a brisk thwack, she used it to crush a bothersome gnat. With a calm smile, she placed the book on a side table. “Very useful indeed.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Sitting on the poop deck with my infinitely beloved wife who has acquired an even greater weight of love. I keep on mentally looking around to make sure she's there. For why this new and massive re-affirmation of adoration and worship and a promise to myself that I shall never be nasty to her ever again? I will tell you for why. For because for about three minutes this afternoon I thought that I was about to be killed instantaneously and at once, without time to re-tell her how much I love her, to apologize for breaking my contract to look after her forever, for letting her down with a bang (hysterical pun intended) and for having no time to tell her the million things yet to be told and for not realizing and demonstrating my full potential as a husband, provider, lover, and all. (He goes on to describe how he was in a helicopter with others going to a film location in some mountainous area in Sarajevo in the fog and the came right up to some mountains and barely swerved just in time, this went of for a full three minutes of desperate danger) He goes on to say, "There was one blazing mental image that seemed to last right through the enormity. it was E lying in bed on the yacht with a book open at the page where she'd stopped reading with the title front cover and publisher's blurb on the other face up on the bed near her right hand which was out of the covers. She was wearing one of my favorite nightgowns, a blue thing and shorty which she may have been wearing this morning when I said goodbye to her. (I just asked her and she was) She had one leg bent and the other straight. On another level I was telling her over and over again that I loved her, I loved her...The mind is a remarkable instrument. If I wrote down everything I could remember from those interminable seconds it would be a million words....A shorter catastrophe of this kind happened to me before when I was perhaps 19-20 years old but I hadn't learned to love then and to love obsessively.
Richard Burton (The Richard Burton Diaries)
The riders fanned out, but my immediate escort rode straight to the overhanging rusty roof that formed a rudimentary barn. The Marquis dismounted and stretched out his hand to grip the bridle of my horse. “Inside,” he said to me. I dismounted. Again the ground seemed to heave beneath my feet, but I leaned against the shoulders of my mount until the world steadied, and then I straightened up. The Marquis walked toward the open doorway. In a kind of blank daze, I followed the sweeping black cloak inside and down a tiny hall, to a door made of old, rickety twigs bound together. The Marquis opened this and waved me into a little room. I took two steps inside it, looked-- And there, lying on a narrow bed, with books and papers strewn about him, was my brother, Branaric. “Mel!” he exclaimed. “Burn it, you were right,” he said past me. “Ran her to ground at Vesingrui, eh?” A voice spoke behind me. “They were just about to drop on us.” I turned, saw the Marquis leaning in the doorway, a growing puddle of rainwater at his feet. For a long moment I could do nothing except stand as if rooted. The world seemed about to dissolve for a sickening moment, but I sucked in a ragged breath and it righted again, and I threw myself down on my knees next to the bed, knocking my soggy, shapeless hat off, and hugged Branaric fiercely. “Mel, Mel,” Bran said, laughing, then he groaned and fell back on his pillows. “Softly, girl. Curse it! I’m weak as a newborn kitten.” “And will be for a time,” came the voice from the doorway. “Once your explanations have been made, I exhort you to remember Mistress Kylar’s warning.” “Aye, I’ve it well in mine,” Bran said. And as the door closed, he looked up at me from fever-bright eyes. “He was right! Said you’d go straight after ‘em, sword and knife. What’s with you?” “You said, ‘A trap.’ I thought it was them,” I muttered through suddenly numb lips. “Wasn’t it?” “Didn’t you see the riding of greeners?” Bran retorted. “It was Debegri, right enough. He had paid informants in those inns, for he was on the watch for your return. Why d’you think Vidanric sent the escort?” “Vidanric?” “His name,” Branaric said, still staring at me with that odd gaze. “You could try to use it--only polite. After all, Shevraeth is just a title, and he doesn’t go about calling either of us Tlanth.” I’d rather cut out my tongue, I thought, but I said nothing.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
That’s your ghoul, isn’t it?” asked Harry, who had never actually met the creature that sometimes disrupted the nightly silence. “Yeah, it is,” said Ron, climbing the ladder. “Come and have a look at him.” Harry followed Ron up the few short steps into the tiny attic space. His head and shoulders were in the room before he caught sight of the creature curled up a few feet from him, fast asleep in the gloom with its large mouth wide open. “But it . . . it looks . . . do ghouls normally wear pajamas?” “No,” said Ron. “Nor have they usually got red hair or that number of pustules.” Harry contemplated the thing, slightly revolted. It was human in shape and size, and was wearing what, now that Harry’s eyes became used to the darkness, was clearly an old pair of Ron’s pajamas. He was also sure that ghouls were generally rather slimy and bald, rather than distinctly hairy and covered in angry purple blisters. “He’s me, see?” said Ron. “No,” said Harry. “I don’t.” “I’ll explain it back in my room, the smell’s getting to me,” said Ron. They climbed back down the ladder, which Ron returned to the ceiling, and rejoined Hermione, who was still sorting books. “Once we’ve left, the ghoul’s going to come and live down here in my room,” said Ron. “I think he’s really looking forward to it—well, it’s hard to tell, because all he can do is moan and drool—but he nods a lot when you mention it. Anyway, he’s going to be me with spattergroit. Good, eh?” Harry merely looked his confusion. “It is!” said Ron, clearly frustrated that Harry had not grasped the brilliance of the plan. “Look, when we three don’t turn up at Hogwarts again, everyone’s going to think Hermione and I must be with you, right? Which means the Death Eaters will go straight for our families to see if they’ve got information on where you are.” “But hopefully it’ll look like I’ve gone away with Mum and Dad; a lot of Muggle-borns are talking about going into hiding at the moment,” said Hermione. “We can’t hide my whole family, it’ll look too fishy and they can’t all leave their jobs,” said Ron. “So we’re going to put out the story that I’m seriously ill with spattergroit, which is why I can’t go back to school. If anyone comes calling to investigate, Mum or Dad can show them the ghoul in my bed, covered in pustules. Spattergroit’s really contagious, so they’re not going to want to go near him. It won’t matter that he can’t say anything, either, because apparently you can’t once the fungus has spread to your uvula.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
more than anything.” He turned to Jean Louise. “Seven-thirty tonight and no Landing. We’ll go to the show.” “Okay. Where’re you all going?” “Courthouse. Meeting.” “On Sunday?” “Yep.” “That’s right, I keep forgetting all the politicking’s done on Sunday in these parts.” Atticus called for Henry to come on. “Bye, baby,” he said. Jean Louise followed him into the livingroom. When the front door slammed behind her father and Henry, she went to her father’s chair to tidy up the papers he had left on the floor beside it. She picked them up, arranged them in sectional order, and put them on the sofa in a neat pile. She crossed the room again to straighten the stack of books on his lamp table, and was doing so when a pamphlet the size of a business envelope caught her eye. On its cover was a drawing of an anthropophagous Negro; above the drawing was printed The Black Plague. Its author was somebody with several academic degrees after his name. She opened the pamphlet, sat down in her father’s chair, and began reading. When she had finished, she took the pamphlet by one of its corners, held it like she would hold a dead rat by the tail, and walked into the kitchen. She held the pamphlet in front of her aunt. “What is this thing?” she said. Alexandra looked over her glasses at it. “Something of your father’s.” Jean Louise stepped on the garbage can trigger and threw the pamphlet in. “Don’t do that,” said Alexandra. “They’re hard to come by these days.” Jean Louise opened her mouth, shut it, and opened it again. “Aunty, have you read that thing? Do you know what’s in it?” “Certainly.” If Alexandra had uttered an obscenity in her face, Jean Louise would have been less surprised. “You—Aunty, do you know the stuff in that thing makes Dr. Goebbels look like a naive little country boy?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jean Louise. There are a lot of truths in that book.” “Yes indeedy,” said Jean Louise wryly. “I especially liked the part where the Negroes, bless their hearts, couldn’t help being inferior to the white race because their skulls are thicker and their brain-pans shallower—whatever that means—so we must all be very kind to them and not let them do anything to hurt themselves and keep them in their places. Good God, Aunty—” Alexandra was ramrod straight. “Well?” she said. Jean Louise said, “It’s just that I never knew you went in for salacious reading material, Aunty.” Her aunt was silent, and Jean Louise continued: “I was real impressed with the parable where since the dawn of history the rulers of the world have always been white, except Genghis Khan or somebody—the author was real fair about that—and he made a killin’ point about even the Pharaohs were white and their subjects were either black or Jews—” “That’s true, isn’t it?” “Sure, but what’s that got to do with the case?” When Jean Louise felt apprehensive, expectant, or on edge, especially when confronting her aunt, her brain clicked to the meter of Gilbertian tomfoolery. Three sprightly figures
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
Chapter 1 Death on the Doorstep LIVY HINGE’S AUNT lay dying in the back yard, which Aunt Neala thought was darned inconvenient. “Nebula!” she called, hoping her weakened voice would reach the barn where that lazy cat was no doubt taking a nap. If Neala had the energy to get up and tap her foot she would. If only that wretched elf hadn’t attacked her, she’d have made her delivery by now. Instead she lay dying. She willed her heart to take its time spreading the poison. Her heart, being just as stubborn as its owner, ignored her and raced on. A cat with a swirling orange pattern on its back ran straight to Neala and nuzzled her face. “Nebula!” She was relieved the cat had overcome its tendency to do the exact opposite of whatever was most wanted of it. Reaching into her bag, Neala pulled out a delicate leaf made of silver. She fought to keep one eye cracked open to make sure the cat knew what to do. The cat took the leaf in its teeth and ran back toward the barn. It was important that Neala stay alive long enough for the cat to hide the leaf. The moment Neala gave up the ghost, the cat would vanish from this world and return to her master. Satisfied, Neala turned her aching head toward the farmhouse where her brother’s family was nestled securely inside. Smoke curled carelessly from the old chimney in blissful ignorance of the peril that lay just beyond the yard. The shimmershield Neala had created around the property was the only thing keeping her dear ones safe. A sheet hung limply from a branch of the tree that stood sentinel in the back of the house. It was Halloween and the sheet was meant to be a ghost, but without the wind it only managed to look like old laundry. Neala’s eyes followed the sturdy branch to Livy’s bedroom window. She knew what her failure to deliver the leaf meant. The elves would try again. This time, they would choose someone young enough to be at the peak of their day dreaming powers. A druid of the Hinge bloodline, about Livy’s age. Poor Livy, who had no idea what she was. Well, that would change soon enough. Neala could do nothing about that now. Her willful eyes finally closed. In the wake of her last breath a storm rose up, bringing with it frightful wind and lightning. The sheet tore free from the branch and flew away. The kitchen door banged open. Livy Hinge, who had been told to secure the barn against the storm, found her lifeless aunt at the edge of the yard. ☐☐☐ A year later, Livy still couldn’t think about Aunt Neala without feeling the memories bite at her, as though they only wanted to be left alone. Thankfully, Livy wasn’t concerned about her aunt at the moment. Right now, Rudus Brutemel was going to get what was coming to him. Hugh, Livy’s twin, sat next to her on the bus. His nose was buried in a spelling book. The bus lurched dangerously close to their stop. If they waited any longer, they’d miss their chance. She looked over her shoulder to make sure Rudus was watching. Opening her backpack, she made a show of removing a bologna sandwich with thick slices of soft homemade bread. Hugh studied the book like it was the last thing he might ever see. Livy nudged him. He tore his eyes from his book and delivered his lines as though he were reading them. “Hey, can I have some? I’m starving.” At least he could make his stomach growl on demand.
Jennifer Cano (Hinges of Broams Eld (Broams Eld, #1))
Pessimism is for Lightweights Think of those that marched this road before And those that will march here in years to come The road in shadow and the road in the sun The road before us and the road all done History is watching us and what will we become This road is all flags and milestones Immigrant blood and sweat and tears Built this city, built this country Made this road last all these years This road is made of protest And those not permitted to vote And those that are still fighting to speak With a boot stamping on their throat There is power and strength in optimism To have faith and to stay true to you Because if you can look in the mirror And have belief and promise you Will share wonder in living things Beauty, dreams, books and art Love your neighbour and be kind And have an open heart Then you're already winning at living You speak up, you show up and stand tall It's silence that is complicit It's apathy that hurts us all Pessimism is for lightweights There is no straight white line It's the bumps and curves and obstacles That make this road yours and mine Pessimism is for lightweights This road was never easy and straight And living is all about living alive and lively And love will conquer hate
Salena Godden
Think of those that marched this road before And those that will march here in years to come The road in shadow and the road in the sun The road before us and the road all done History is watching us and what will we become This road is all flags and milestones Immigrant blood and sweat and tears Built this city, built this country Made this road last all these years This road is made of protest And those not permitted to vote And those that are still fighting to speak With a boot stamping on their throat There is power and strength in optimism To have faith and to stay true to you Because if you can look in the mirror And have belief and promise you Will share wonder in living things Beauty, dreams, books and art Love your neighbour and be kind And have an open heart Then you're already winning at living You speak up, you show up and stand tall It's silence that is complicit It's apathy that hurts us all Pessimism is for lightweights There is no straight white line It's the bumps and curves and obstacles That make this road yours and mine Pessimism is for lightweights This road was never easy and straight And living is all about living alive and lively And love will conquer hate
Pessimism is for lightweights by Salena Godden
stairwell and started the climb to the seventh floor. He was knackered by the time they got to the third, but his agitation drove him on. Amisha's smooth and regular breathing, as she bounded up behind, stood in stark contrast to H's heavy panting. H reached the seventh. Ignoring the faces surprised to see him turning up at work, he steered a path through the open plan office and burst his way into the incident room, where an update on the Tara case was in progress. ‘Inspector Hawkins, how nice of you to drop in,’ said Hilary. ‘This is not your case - please leave immediately and make your way to my office. When I’m finished here you can update me on your case and explain where the hell you have been these last few days.’ H believed in the chain of command when he felt it was necessary. At this moment he didn’t. He stared hard at the officer in charge of the Tara case and went straight to the crux of the matter. ‘Marchant, you got anything yet?’ Miller-Marchant remained silent. H knew what that meant. Hilary
Roy Robson (London Large - Blood on the Streets: Detective Hawkins Crime Thriller Series Book 1 (London Large Hard-Boiled Crime Series))
another good neighbour they depended on. Emily felt as though Rita were her confidante, her best friend. More than that even, the older sister she had never had. Only a few years older than Emily, but already with a family of her own. Emily’s mother opened her eyes and smiled at Alfred. Emily felt a twinge of jealousy. Her ma and Alfred loved each other so much that Emily often felt excluded by their private exchanges. She dropped back to her knees by the side of the sofa. ‘Mam, are you all right?’ She was vying for her mother’s attention, dragging her away from Alfred and feeling guilty for it. ‘Oh, there you are, queen,’ her mother whispered, with a hint of surprise. ‘I must have known you were home. I’m glad I woke up. Could you just grab the coupons, love, and go down to the shop for me before the kids come home?’ ‘The kids are already home, love. They’ve gone straight to Rita’s,’ Alfred said, smiling at his wife. Rita’s little sons and their own were inseparable. ‘They’ll be back soon, queen. She took them straight from school.’ ‘It’s like we have four little boys, or none at all,’ Emily said, extracting the ration books from the drawer in the wooden kitchen table. ‘One day we’ll find out which ones are ours,
Nadine Dorries (The Angels of Lovely Lane (Lovely Lane #1))
not required to stay late in the Whitehall area, I used, as a general routine, to come straight back from duty to a nearby pub, dine there, then retire to bed with a book. At that period the seventeenth century particularly occupied me, so that works like Wood's Athenae Oxonienses or Luttrell's Brief Relation opened up vistas of the past, if not necessarily preferable to one's own time, at least appreciably different. These historical readings could be varied with Proust.
Anthony Powell (The Military Philosophers: A Novel)
In her book, Ask Outrageously! my friend Linda Swindling suggests to “Mimic the body language of the most powerful people you know. They stand up straight, make appropriate eye contact, and use gestures to convey their points. Look at their feet. Usually they are placed about shoulder-width apart. They have an open stance. They smile and nod when they agree.” Begin paying attention to the poise, postures, and gestures of the people whom you admire and respect the most. How do they carry themselves to project excellence? Adapting their behaviors may serve you well to enhance and improve your body language.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Body Language: 8 Ways to Optimize Non-Verbal Communication for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #3))
Yorick's Used and Rare Books had a small storefront on Channing but a deep interior shaded by tall bookcases crammed with history, poetry, theology, antiquated anthologies. There was no open wall space to hang the framed prints for sale, so Hogarth's scenes of lust, pride, and debauchery leaned rakishly against piles of novels, folk tales, and literary theory. In the back room these piles were so tall and dusty that they took on a geological air, rising like stalagmites. Jess often felt her workplace was a secret mine or quarry where she could pry crystals from crevices and sweep precious jewels straight off the floor. As she tended crowded shelves, she opened one volume and then another, turning pages on the history of gardens, perusing Edna St. Vincent Millay: "We were very tired, were very merry, / We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry..." dipping into Gibbon: "The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay..." and old translations of Grimm's Fairy Tales: "They walked the whole day over meadows, fields, and stony places. And when it rained, the little sister said, 'Heaven and our hearts are weeping together...
Allegra Goodman (The Cookbook Collector)
Potter!” said Snape suddenly. “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” Powdered root of what to an infusion of what? Harry glanced at Ron, who looked as stumped as he was; Hermione’s hand had shot into the air. “I don’t know, sir,” said Harry. Snape’s lips curled into a sneer. “Tut, tut — fame clearly isn’t everything.” He ignored Hermione’s hand. “Let’s try again. Potter, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?” Hermione stretched her hand as high into the air as it would go without her leaving her seat, but Harry didn’t have the faintest idea what a bezoar was. He tried not to look at Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, who were shaking with laughter. “I don’t know, sir.” “Thought you wouldn’t open a book before coming, eh, Potter?” Harry forced himself to keep looking straight into those cold eyes. He had looked through his books at the Dursleys’, but did Snape expect him to remember everything in One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi? Snape was still ignoring Hermione’s quivering hand. “What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?” At this, Hermione stood up, her hand stretching toward the dungeon ceiling. “I don’t know,” said Harry quietly. “I think Hermione does, though, why don’t you try her?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
but made due west, over softly rolling hills and through well-treed valleys, by green trails sometimes clearly marked, sometimes less defined, but markedly keeping a direct line uphill and down alike, here where the lie of the land was open and the gradients gentle enough for pleasant riding. “An old, old road,” said Cadfael. “It starts from Chester, and makes straight for the head of Conwy’s tidal water, where once, they say, there was a fort the like of Chester. At low tide, if you know the sands, you can ford the river there, but with the tide boats can ply some way beyond.” “And after the river crossing?” asked Mark, attentive and glowing. “Then we climb. To look westward from there, you’d think no track could possibly pass, but pass it does, up and over the mountains, and down at last to the sea.
Ellis Peters (The Summer of the Danes (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 18))
a pamphlet the size of a business envelope caught her eye. On its cover was a drawing of an anthropophagous Negro; above the drawing was printed The Black Plague. Its author was somebody with several academic degrees after his name. She opened the pamphlet, sat down in her father’s chair, and began reading. When she had finished, she took the pamphlet by one of its corners, held it like she would hold a dead rat by the tail, and walked into the kitchen. She held the pamphlet in front of her aunt. “What is this thing?” she said. Alexandra looked over her glasses at it. “Something of your father’s.” Jean Louise stepped on the garbage can trigger and threw the pamphlet in. “Don’t do that,” said Alexandra. “They’re hard to come by these days.” Jean Louise opened her mouth, shut it, and opened it again. “Aunty, have you read that thing? Do you know what’s in it?” “Certainly.” If Alexandra had uttered an obscenity in her face, Jean Louise would have been less surprised. “You—Aunty, do you know the stuff in that thing makes Dr. Goebbels look like a naive little country boy?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jean Louise. There are a lot of truths in that book.” “Yes indeedy,” said Jean Louise wryly. “I especially liked the part where the Negroes, bless their hearts, couldn’t help being inferior to the white race because their skulls are thicker and their brain-pans shallower—whatever that means—so we must all be very kind to them and not let them do anything to hurt themselves and keep them in their places. Good God, Aunty—” Alexandra was ramrod straight. “Well?” she said. Jean Louise said, “It’s just that I never knew you went in for salacious reading material, Aunty.” Her aunt was silent, and Jean Louise continued: “I was real impressed with the parable where since the dawn of history the rulers of the world have always been white, except Genghis Khan or somebody—the author was real fair about that—and he made a killin’ point about even the Pharaohs were white and their subjects were either black or Jews—” “That’s true, isn’t it?” “Sure, but what’s that got to do with the case?” When Jean Louise felt apprehensive, expectant, or on edge, especially when confronting her aunt, her brain clicked to the meter of Gilbertian tomfoolery. Three sprightly figures whirled madly in her head—hours filled with Uncle Jack and Dill dancing to preposterous measures blacked out the coming of tomorrow with tomorrow’s troubles. Alexandra was talking to her: “I told you. It’s something your father brought home from a citizens’ council meeting.” “From a what?” “From the Maycomb County Citizens’ Council. Didn’t you know we have one?” “I did not.” “Well, your father’s on the board of directors and Henry’s one of the staunchest members.” Alexandra sighed. “Not that we really need one. Nothing’s happened here in Maycomb yet, but it’s always wise to be prepared. That’s where they are this minute.” “Citizens’ council? In Maycomb?” Jean Louise heard herself repeating fatuously. “Atticus?” Alexandra said, “Jean Louise, I don’t think you fully realize what’s been going on down here—” Jean Louise turned on her heel, walked to the front door, out of it, across the broad front yard, down the street toward town as fast as she could go, Alexandra’s “you aren’t going to town Like That” echoing behind her. She had forgotten that there was a car in good running condition in the garage, that its keys were on the hall table. She walked swiftly, keeping time to the absurd jingle running through her head. Here’s a how-de-do! If I marry you, When your time has come to perish Then the maiden whom you cherish Must be slaughtered, too! Here’s a how-de-do! What were Hank and Atticus up to? What was going on? She did not know, but before the sun went down she would find out.
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
firmly by the shoulders. Jon says, ‘How the hell did you ever get keys for this place?’ I chuckle, though there is really nothing to laugh about. It is the irony, I suppose. ‘The first summer I was here, I landed one day to find that the Lighthouse Board had sent in decorators to paint the place. Everything was opened up. The guys were okay with me taking a look around and we got chatting. The forecast was good, and they expected to be here for a few days. So I spun them the story about writing a book and said I would probably be back tomorrow. And I was. Only this time with a pack of Blu-tack. When they were having their lunch, I took the keys from the inner and outer doors and made impressions. Dead simple. Had keys cut, and access to the place whenever I wanted thereafter.’ The final panel falls away in my hands, and I reach in to retrieve a black plastic bag. I hand it up to Jon, and he peels back the plastic to look inside. As I stand up, I lift one of the wooden panels. I know that this is the one chance I will get, while he is distracted, and I swing the panel at his head as hard as I can. The force with which it hits him sends a judder back up my arms to my shoulders, and I actually hear it snap. He falls to his knees, dropping the hard drive, and his gun skids away across the floor. Sally is so startled, she barely has time to move before I punch her hard in the face. I feel teeth breaking beneath the force of my knuckles, behind lips I once kissed with tenderness and lust. Blood bubbles at her mouth. I grab Karen by the arm and hustle her fast down the corridor, kicking open the door and dragging her out into the night. The storm hits us with a force that assails all the senses. The wind is deafening, driving stinging rain horizontally into our faces. The cold wraps icy fingers around us, instantly numbing. Beyond the protection of the walls, it is worse, and I find it nearly impossible to keep my feet as I pull my daughter off into the dark. Only the relentless turning of the lamp in the light room above us provides any illumination. We turn right, and I know that almost immediately the island drops away into a chasm that must be two or three hundred feet deep. I can hear the ocean rushing into it. Snarling, snapping at the rocks below and sending an amplified roar almost straight up into the air. I guide Karen away from it, half-dragging her, until we reach a small cluster of rocks and I push her flat into the ground behind them. I tear away the tape that binds her wrists, then roll her on to her back to peel away the strip of it over her mouth. She gasps, almost choking, and I feel her body next to mine, racked by sobs, as she
Peter May (Coffin Road)
What super-sure looks like A multitude of fascinating factors come under the ‘looking confident ‘umbrella. There isn’t space here to explore the thousands of subtle signs that signal confidence. I cover them in my book How to Talk to Anyone. However, here are a few hints to tide you over. Self-assureds do the following things instinctively. You can do them consciously until they become second nature. 1. When you are at a gathering, do not stand close to the wall or by the snacks. Walk directly to the dead-centre of the room. That’s where all the important people instinctively stand. 2. When you are going through a large door or open double doors, don’t walk on one side. Walk straight through the middle. It signifies confidence. 3. At a restaurant, unless there is an established hierarchy, go for the seat at the end of the table facing the door. That is the power position. 4. Sit in the highest chair in a meeting or on the arm of the couch – but not higher than the boss! 5. Make larger, more fluid movements. Confident people’s bodies occupy more space. Shys take as little as possible, as if to say, ‘Excuse me for taking up this much of the earth.’ 6. Keep your hands away from your face and never fidget. 7. When you agree with someone, nod your head up from neutral (jaw parallel to the floor), not down. 8. When walking towards someone and passing, be the last person to break eye-contact. 9. For men: Don’t strut like a bantam rooster. But to look like a leader, swing your arms more significantly when you walk. When you are seated, put one arm up on the back of a chair. Occasionally lean back with your arms up and your hands behind your head. 10. For women: To seem self-assured, square your body towards the person you’re talking to and stand a tad closer. Naturally, give a big smile but let it come ever so slightly so it looks sincere, not nervous.
Leil Lowndes (How to Feel Confident: Simple Tools for Instant Success)
1. Sit comfortably. It’s best to have your spine reasonably straight, which may help prevent an involuntary nap. If you want to sit cross-legged on the floor, go for it. If not, just sit in a chair, as I do. You can close your eyes or, if you prefer, you can leave them open and adjust your gaze to a neutral point on the ground. 2. Bring your full attention to the feeling of your breath coming in and out. Pick a spot where it’s most prominent: your chest, your belly, or your nostrils. You’re not thinking about your breath, you’re just feeling the raw data of the physical sensations. To help maintain focus, you can make a quiet mental note on the in-breath and out-breath, like in and out. 3. The third step is the key. As soon as you try to do this, your mind is almost certainly going to mutiny. You’ll start having all sorts of random thoughts, such as: What’s for lunch? Do I need a haircut? What was Casper the Friendly Ghost before he died? Who was the Susan after whom they named the lazy Susan, and how did she feel about it? No big deal. This is totally normal. The whole game is simply to notice when you are distracted, and begin again. And again. And again.
Jeff Warren (Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book)
When fate stares you straight in the face, you do not cower in fear. Rather, you welcome it with open arms.
Sophia Sharp (The Forsaken Saga Complete Box Set (Books 1-4))
ree-ree-reeeeee!” shouted Tim as he charged Broden, his teeth flashing and his tail wildly whipping along behind him, ready to smash his big toe. “Ahhhhhh!” he screamed, then Broden ran as fast as lightning as he dropped the gigantic bucket of food as he went squishy-squash through chicken caca all the way across the grass and toward the back door. His heart pounded and Broden thought he’d never been so scared in his life. He probably would have made it to the house and he probably would have been able to slam the door shut without Tim the Terrible catching him, but then a really awful thing happened. Broden’s right foot went slippery sliding in a humongous chicken-poopy mountain and he went flying through the air. “Ree-ree-reeeeeee!” screamed Tim as Broden landed on his back, his head landing on a dung hill pillow. Looking over, there was Tim, his mouth open and ready to bite his nose right off as he flew through the air right at him. “Nooo!” Broden cried out, trying to roll over and get out of the way of Tim’s attack. But he was too late. Tim the Terrible swooped down and landed right on his back as Broden was scrambling and crawling in an attempt to escape. Tim’s horsey-ride didn’t last long, though. When Broden looked back at Tim, wondering how he could escape the barbarian, a totally amazing thing happened right before his eyes. His chicken leapt into the air from her stump and spread out her glorious, shimmering black-feathered wings. For one moment, it seemed as if she were hovering in the sky with the sunshine glowing behind her and through her wings. But the next moment, it was as if she had a jetpack on as she came zooming through the air. Straight at Tim. His chicken came zipping down and Broden’s eyes got as big as
Katie Coughran (Broden and the Shark-Toothed Chicken (Broden and Cookie Book 1))
My parents pressured me to decide, and I was afraid to commit and make the wrong choice for my future. I drove myself to a voice lesson with Linda, and on the way over, I started praying, asking God for a sign. Whenever I asked Him for guidance, He came through. Just as I did so, a black bird flew into my windshield. I screamed, and I bet it screamed, too, because it flew straight up. At the next stoplight, I lingered because I was shaken up. “God, what did that mean?” I asked out loud, alone in the car. “There’s no Bird records.” And I looked over to my right, and I saw the sign. COLUMBIA HOSPITAL. How many times over years of going to voice lessons had I rolled through this intersection and never noticed there was a hospital there? “Columbia,” I said. “Okay. Columbia.” As I moved forward, another black bird—or maybe the same determined one—swooped down at my windshield a second time. “Okay, I hear you, God,” I said, loud so He and the bird could hear me. “I get the message. Thanks, God.” I didn’t want any more birds getting hurt.
Jessica Simpson (Open Book)
Love one another…as members of one family…. —Romans 12:10 (AMP) I sometimes brood about my mothering days when my children were young. Observing other mothers with their children now, I realize how simple it would have been to have bent over to their level more, hugged more, and said to each of them more often, “I love you.” Now I was certain it was too late. Recently, my daughter Julie was going through a difficult day. As she left my house, we stood at the back door, saying good-bye. Suddenly, she threw her arms around me, and I grabbed her tight. “I love you, Mother.” “I love you too, Julie.” “It’s so good to hear you say it, Mother.” “I thought you were too old.” I tightened my grip. Julie shed her tears openly. Mine got stuck somewhere down inside of me. “You didn’t say it much when we were little,” she whispered so softly, I could have missed the words. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Julie. Can you forgive me?” She nodded, unable to speak. “Thank you, Julie Babe.” “I want to hear them, Mother. I always did.” Still holding my daughter, I spoke the words again. So did she. The powerful words went straight to my heart and rested there like a contented kitten. Now, each time we end a telephone conversation or say good-bye in person, we add “I love you,” simultaneously. Oh, my Father, I’ve neglected to speak the words to You too. Thank You that it's never too late to change. I love You. I love You. —Marion Bond West Digging Deeper: Lk 6:31; Eph 4:32, 6:4
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
I received this premonition — a spiritual experience, you could even describe it as. A nun quietly opened the door behind me. As soft as air, she walked around and looked straight into my eyes. Then, without saying a word, she placed a bottle of Queen Ann whisky and one glass in front of me, walked out and closed the door behind her.
Bill Marsh (The Complete Book of Australian Flying Doctor Stories)
Although there is general agreement that the 'Goldstein' book and the Appendix both stem from the same satiric impulse, the degree of Orwell's success in combining satire and naturalism remains a subject of debate. Crick may be right to leave the matter open: 'Perhaps [Orwell] had not solved the structural problem of integrating these two things into the narrative, or perhaps their unintegrated documentary appearance was fully deliberate.' But, if the 'documentary appearance' was deliberate, what did Orwell hope to achieve? Although Samuel Hynes, among others, has rightly noted the dependence of Orwell's imagination on 'the sense of recorded fact,' I cannot agree with him that the 'Goldstein' book and the Appendix serve 'as a kind of make-believe documentation' intended to 'make the world more horrible by verifying it.' On the contrary, I would suggest that the real horror of the 'Goldstein' book is not that it verifies the world of the novel but that it fails to verify any world. Does Big Brother exist? Does Goldstein exist? Does the Brotherhood exist? Did the Party write the 'Goldstein' book? Winston cannot get straight answers to his questions, and neither can the reader.
Richard K. Sanderson
[comrades] are ashes, entrails, dung, stove smoke, clay, and they’ll all return to clay. They’re full of dirt, candle oil, droppings, dust. You, O Book, my pure, shining precious, my golden singing promise, my dream, a distant call— O tender specter, happy chance, Again I heed the ancient lore, Again with beauty rare in stance, You beckon from the distant shore!” You, Book! You are the only one who won't deceive, won't attack, won't insult, won't abandon! You're quiet--but you laugh, shout, and sing; you're obedient--but you amaze, tease and entice; you're small but you contain countless peoples. Nothing but a handful of letters, that's all, but if you feel like it, you can turn heads, confuse, spin, cloud, make tears spring to the eye, take away the breath, the entire soul will stir in the wind like a canvas, will rise in the waves and flap its wings! Sometimes a kind of wordless feeling tosses and turns in the chest, pounds its fists on the door, the walls: I'm suffocating! Let me out! How can you let that feeling out, all fuzzy and naked? What words ca you dress it in? We don't have any words, we don't know! Just like wild animals, or a blindlie bird, or a mermaid--no words, just a bellowing. But you open a book--and there they are, fabulous, flying words: O city! O wind! O snowstorms and blizzards! O azure abyss all raveled and tattered! Here am I! I'm blameless! I'm with you forever... ...Or there's bile and sadness and bitterness. The emptiness dries your eyes out and you search for the words, and here they are: But is the world not all alike? From the Cabbala of Chaldaic signs Throughout the ages, now and ever more, To the sky where the even star shines. The same old wisdom--born of ashes, And in that wisdom, like our twin, The face of longing, frailty, fear, and sin, Stares straight across the ages at us.
Tatyana Tolstaya (The Slynx)
No, they were," Avery said, clearly confusing her. As he waited for someone to answer the phone, he gave Janice his most cocky grin, a very clear watch-me-get-what-I-want expression. "La Bella Luna, can I help you?" The deep rich timbre turned him on instantly, and his gaze strayed to the corner of his desk, Janice completely forgotten. "Good Morning, this is Avery Adams. Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?" He already knew the answer, he just wanted to hear Kane's voice again. Avery thought about Kane's hands and how competently he'd handled that bottle of wine. He imagined them using the same care as he picked up the phone from the cradle. The air in the room sizzled, his heartbeat picked up, and his body grew hard with need. He had never in his life been so immediately taken with another. Avery prayed Kane might be at least bi-sexual. Straight men were much harder to work into his bed—not impossible, but harder—and he definitely wanted Kane Dalton in his bed. "Hello, Mr. Adams. This Kane Dalton, would you prefer I transfer this call to someone else?" The soothing voice on the other end of the phone became tense. "No, you're who I was hoping to speak with. It seems you and I may have gotten off on the wrong foot, and I'd like to set things right between us," Avery said, adjusting his gaze to stare out the open window. "I have no issue with you, sir," Kane responded back immediately. "There's a large bouquet of rather expensive lilies sitting in my office that might say otherwise." He cut his eyes back to the flowers on the small conference table. Kane didn't respond this time, there was just silence. Good. Kane got a taste of his own medicine. "Listen, I'd like to book a regular table in your restaurant a couple of days a week. It doesn't have to be the same days each week, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself a few nights ago and got reacquainted with several families from my youth." He was met with more silence, then he heard the rustle of pages being turned. "Sir, I'm sorry, but I just don't have—" "I'll make it worth your while." Avery cut him off, his eyes still on the flowers, but seeing the man who sent them instead of the lovely blooms. "It's not that, sir. We're just incredibly booked." Kane started with the excuses again, but Avery wasn't taking no for an answer. "Please lose the sir. My name's Avery. I'd like you to use it." Avery's voice turned lower and huskier as he spoke from his deepest desires. "Avery," Kane said as if testing the word. "We don't have the space available. We're booked solidly for several months." "No one's that booked," Avery called him on the lie, and left it right there between them. After a long extended pause, Kane finally answered, "You're right, let's get you in Monday and Wednesday evenings. Does that suit you?" "You sure do," Avery said. Now that he'd managed a firm reservation, it was time to draw Kane in. Not surprisingly, he was met with silence. "I'll take whatever days you offer." In fact, I'll take whatever you are willing to give. As the thought faded, Avery realized those were actually terrible days to be seen out and about. "Seven o'clock?" Kane asked, ignoring everything he said. "Whatever works," Avery replied. "All right, would you like to come in tomorrow night?" Kane asked. His tone was back to all business. "Absolutely!
Kindle Alexander (Always (Always & Forever))
Before we can fix the situation, we have to first see the situation, the world can't see straight right now, some are blinded by hatred, rage, fear, scepticism, some are blinded by their pains. We need to pray...pray that God open our eyes to see the problem from the source and not from the surface. You cannot solve a situation that you cannot see correctly.
Patience Johnson (Why Does an Orderly God Allow Disorder)
Let’s have a bet, then. If I’m right, you kiss me,” he says. “And if I’m right?” “Name it.” It’s like taking candy from a baby. Mr. Macho Guy’s ego is about to be taken down a notch, and I’m all too happy to be the one to do it. “If I win you take me and the class project seriously,” I tell him. “No teasing me, no making ridiculous comments.” “Deal. I’d feel terrible if I didn’t tell you I have a photographic memory.” “Alex, I’d feel terrible if I didn’t tell you I copied the info straight from the book.” I look at the research I’d done, then flip open to the corresponding page in my chem book. “Without looking, what does it need to be cooled at?” I ask. Alex is a guy who thrives on challenges. But this time the tough guy is going to lose. He closes his own book and stares at me, his jaw set. “Twenty degrees. And it needs to be dissolved at one hundred degrees, not seventy,” he answers confidently. I scan the page, then my notes. Then back at the page again. I can’t be wrong. Which page did I--“Oh, yeah. One hundred degrees.” I look up at him in complete shock. “You’re right.” “You gonna kiss me now, or later?” “Right now,” I say, which I can tell shocks him because his hands go still. At home, my life is dictated by my mom and dad. At school, it’s different. I need to keep it that way, because if I have no control in every aspect of my life I might as well be a mannequin. “Really?” he asks. “Yeah.” I take one of his hands in mine. I’d never be this bold if we had an audience, and am thankful for the privacy of the nonfiction titles surrounding us. His breathing slows as I sit up on my knees and lean into him. I’m ignoring the fact that his fingers are long and rough and that I’ve never actually touched him before. I’m nervous. I shouldn’t be, though. I’m the one in control this time. I can feel him restraining himself. He’s letting me make the move, which is a good thing. I’m afraid of what this boy would do if he let loose. I place his hand against my cheek so it cups my face and I hear him groan. I want to smile because his reaction proves I have the power. He’s unmoving as our eyes meet. Time stops again. Then I turn my head into his hand and kiss the inside of his palm. “There, I kissed you,” I say, giving him back his hand and ending the game. Mr. Latino with the big ego got bested by a ditzy, blond bimbo.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Let's have a bet, then. If I'm right, you kiss me," he says. "And if I'm right?" "Name it." It's like taking candy from a baby. Mr. Macho Guy's ego is about to be taken down a notch, and I'm all too happy to be the one to do it. "If I win you take me and the class project seriously," I tell him. "No teasing me, no making ridiculous comments." "Deal. I'd feel terrible if I didn't tell you I have a photographic memory." "Alex, I'd feel terrible if I didn't tell you I copied the info straight from the book." I look at the research I'd done, then flip open to the corresponding page in my chem book. "Without looking, what does it need to be cooled at?" I ask. Alex is a guy who thrives on challenges. But this time the tough guy is going to lose. He closes his own book and stares at me, his jaw set. "Twenty degrees. And it needs to be dissolved at one hundred degrees, not seventy," he answers confidently. I scan the page, then my notes. Then back at the page again. I can't be wrong. Which page did I- "Oh, yeah. One hundred degrees." I look up at him in complete shock. "You're right." "You gonna kiss me now, or later?" "Right now," I say, which I can tell shocks him because his hands go still. At home, my life is dictated by my mom and dad. At school, it's different. I need to keep it that way, because if I have no control in every aspect of my life I might as well be a mannequin. "Really?" he asks. "Yeah." I take one of his hands in mine. I'd never be this bold if we had an audience, and am thankful for the privacy of the nonfiction titles surrounding us. His breathing slows as I sit up on my knees and lean into him. I'm ignoring the fact that his fingers are long and rough and that I've never actually touched him before. I'm nervous. I shouldn't be, though. I'm the one in control this time. I can feel him restraining himself. He's letting me make the move, which is a good thing. I'm afraid of what this boy would do if he let loose. I place his hand against my cheek so it cups my face and I hear him groan. I want to smile because his reaction proves I have the power. He's unmoving as our eyes meet. Time stops again. Then I turn my head into his hand and kiss the inside of his palm. "There, I kissed you," I say, giving him back his hand and ending the game. Mr. Latino with the big ego got bested by a ditzy, blond bimbo.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Be open to genres other than straight realistic fiction. Discover how writers use forms other than straight narrative in middle grade and young adult fiction.
Tracey E. Dils (You Can Write Children's Books (You Can Write))
Before I could knock on the open door of his office I heard, “Get your ass in here!!”      I by-passed the knock and went straight to his desk and stopped front and center.      “Christ, what the hell is going on out there this morning.  I come in here drop my cover and car keys on my desk, look at the morning availability report and see we got 13 aircraft up.  I go down to the ready room to get a cup of coffee, see on the schedules board we got an 8 plane launch going out, look at the weather, shoot the shit with the ODO for a couple minutes and by the time I get back to my office, I got 4 aircraft up out of 18 and the entire launch has been scrubbed, what the FUCK?!”      “The thunderstorm got us Sir.  Flight line had the aircraft all ready to go, canopies up waiting on pilots and everything got drenched before we could close up and run for cover.”      “Oh for Christ’s sake, didn’t anyone notice a huge thunderstorm heading our way?
W.R. Spicer (Sea Stories of a U.S. Marine Book 4 Harrier)
The R&B classics were mixed up with our longer workouts, so that ‘Interstellar Overdrive’, which we often used as an opener, might be followed immediately by a very straight cover of Bo Diddley’s ‘Can’t Judge A Book’ or Chuck Berry’s ‘Motivating’, one of Syd’s favourites.
Nick Mason (Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd)
Anyway, I pushed past Dirk the Jerk, and rushed toward the library. I needed to find an ultimate Minecraft guide with tips and tricks, shortcuts and secrets. My plan was simple. I’d buy the game, study the book, and start playing. It couldn’t be that hard, right? I was determined to beat Dirk the Jerk at something, even if it killed me!   I headed to the library’s computer books section.  I quickly scanned for game guides. They had books on popular games such as Candy Crusher, Angry Birdbrains, and Minion Marathon. But none about Minecraft?   Then, I spotted a thin book crammed way at the back of the shelf. It was covered with a thick layer of dust and spiderwebs. (Yuck! I hate spiders!) I yanked it out: Minecraft: Surviving the First Night: An Insider’s Guide.   It was more like a journal. Not exactly what I was looking for but it was better than nothing. I looked closer at the book and noticed that there wasn’t a library sticker on it. The best I could figure was that it must be someone’s personal copy. Maybe he was hiding it from his mom who didn’t approve of computer games. (I knew all about that.)   At that point, I was really desperate. And since there wasn’t any way for me to check it out, I decided to take it. I was sure the owner wouldn’t miss it because it hadn’t been touched in forever. Maybe he’d forgotten all about it. And anyway, I’d return it after I crushed Dirk the Jerk in the survival challenge.   When I got home, I was faced with the hardest part of my whole plan, convincing Mom to buy Minecraft. She thinks computer and video games are a waste of time, except for educational ones. (She grew up back when Pac Man was hi-tech.)   I knew I’d need help coming up with reasons to convince Mom. So I checked with my good friend, Google, and I found a ton of information on why Minecraft was considered educational.     Once I explained to Mom that Minecraft taught everything from spatial relationships to electrical circuitry to complex machines, she caved in, and bought it. Now that the hard part was over, all I needed to do was learn the game.   I sat down in front of the computer in my room, and launched the game. I opened the Minecraft journal, and there was a bright flash of light!   That’s the last thing I remember.   The next thing I knew, I was sitting in the middle of a strange library. It took me a minute to figure out what the heck was going on. I looked around. Everything was made of blocks.   I looked down at my arms... rectangles. I looked down at my legs... Rectangles! I looked down at my body... a RECTANGLE!   Then it hit me... I was literally a blockhead IN Minecraft! *gulp*     That’s when I flipped out a little bit. For about ten minutes straight. I probably would have freaked out for longer, but it’s exhausting screaming, flapping my arms, and running in circles on stumpy little legs.   After I calmed down a bit and caught my breath, I thought of
Minecrafty Family Books (Diary of a Wimpy Steve: Trapped in Minecraft!, Book 1)
Many won’t struggle to believe it though, for their minds have been opened; unlocked by whatever kind of key causes people to believe. They’re either born that way or, as babies, their little budlike minds are nurtured until their petals slowly open and prepare for the very nature of life to feed them. As the rain falls and the sun shines, they grow, grow, grow; minds so open they go through life aware and accepting, seeing light where there’s dark, seeing possibility in dead ends, tasting victory as others spit out failure, questioning when others accept. Just a little less jaded, a little less cynical. A little less likely to throw in the towel. Some people’s minds open later in life, through tragedy or triumph, either thing acting as the key to unlatch and lift the lid on that know-it-all box, to accept the unknown, to say good-bye to pragmatism and straight lines. But then there are those whose minds are merely a bouquet of stalks that bud as they learn new information—a new bud for each new fact—but yet they never open, never flourish. They are the people of capital letters and full stops but never of question marks and ellipses
Cecelia Ahern (The Book of Tomorrow)
He looked over the counter to see Christopher standing at the bottom of the stairs, stark naked, book under one arm, Bear under the other. Preacher lifted one bushy brow. “Forget something there, pardner?” he asked. Chris picked at his left butt cheek while hanging on to the bear. “You read to me now?” “Um... Have you had your bath?” Preacher asked. The boy shook his head. “You look like you’re ready for your bath.” He listened upward to the running water. Chris nodded, then said again, “You read it?” “C’mere,” Preacher said. Chris ran around the counter, happy, raising his arms to be lifted up. “Wait a second,” Preacher said. “I don’t want little boy butt on my clean counter. Just a sec.” He pulled a clean dish towel out of the drawer, spread it on the counter, then lifted him up, sitting him on it. He looked down at the little boy, frowned slightly, then pulled another dish towel out of the drawer. He shook it out and draped it across Chris’s naked lap. “There. Better. Now, what you got here?” “Horton,” he said, presenting the book. “There’s a good chance your mother isn’t going to go for this idea,” he said. But he opened the book and began to read. They hadn’t gotten far when he heard the water stop, heard heavy footfalls racing around the upstairs bedroom, heard Paige yell, “Christopher!” “We better get our story straight,” Preacher said to him. “Our story,” Chris said, pointing at the page in front of him. Momentarily there were feet coming down the stairs, fast. When she got to the bottom, she stopped suddenly. “He got away from me while I was running the tub,” she said. “Yeah. In fact, he’s dressed like he barely escaped.” “I’m sorry, John. Christopher, get over here. We’ll read after your bath.” He started to whine and wiggle. “I want John!” Paige came impatiently around the counter and plucked him, squirming, into her arms. “I want John,” he complained. “John’s busy, Chris. Now, you behave.” “Uh—Paige? I’m not all that busy. If you’ll tell Jack I’m not in the kitchen for a bit, I could do the bath. Tell Jack, so he knows to lock up if everyone leaves.” She turned around at the foot of the stairs. “You know how to give a child a bath?” she asked. “Well, no. But is it hard? Harder than scrubbing up a broiler?” She chuckled in spite of herself. She put Chris down on his feet. “You might want to go a little easier than that. No Brillo pads, no scraping. No soap in the eyes, if you can help it.” “I can do that,” Preacher said, coming around the counter. “How many times you dunk him?” She gasped and Preacher showed her a smile. “Kidding. I know you only dunk him twice.” She smirked.
Robyn Carr (Shelter Mountain (Virgin River, #2))
a man approached me once with a manuscript. He felt it could be the Next Big Thing if it had the right agent. It featured a toddler he’d left after a failed relationship. The book’s opening had him arriving home in happier times, which meant verbatim dialogue between ‘Mommeeeee’ and ‘Daddeeeeee’ and ‘Widdle babieeeeeee’. It was as heartbreaking to read as the man’s relationship must have been to live, but in a bad way. And the man wasn’t crazy. He loved books, was well read – but his writing in this case played thunderous notes on an inner piano that the rest of us just don’t have. It’s not to say the story couldn’t be beautifully told, that it couldn’t give us those feelings – but it would have to build that piano first. It means the energy from our feelings can’t always be spat directly onto a page, except to write a letter we never send. That energy instead has to propel us through the journey of writing as well as we can. It means we have to be able to stand back and see our theme in all its dimensions. It means the book about the psycho lover also shows his good qualities and isn’t a straight assassination. Before starting to write we need to assure ourselves that we’re not out to settle a score (or if we are, to make sure we do it symbolically or indirectly and with craft), and that we’re not stuck in a feeling-land where little Archie’s first birthday party would feel just as amazing to everyone else as it did to us. Nobody is interested in little Archie unless something big happens at the party.
D.B.C. Pierre (Release the Bats: Writing Your Way Out Of It)
In the afterlife you relive all your experiences, but this time with the events reshuffled into a new order: all the moments that share a quality are grouped together. You spend two months driving the street in front of your house, seven months having sex. You sleep for thirty years without opening your eyes. For five months straight you flip through magazines while sitting on a toilet. You take all your pain at once, all twenty-seven intense hours of it. Bones break, cars crash, skin is cut, babies are born. Once you make it through, it’s agony-free for the rest of your afterlife. But that doesn’t mean it’s always pleasant. You spend six days clipping your nails. Fifteen months looking for lost items. Eighteen months waiting in line. Two years of boredom: staring out a bus window, sitting in an airport terminal. One year reading books. Your eyes hurt, and you itch, because you can’t take a shower until it’s your time to take your marathon two-hundred-day shower. Two weeks wondering what happens when you die. One minute realizing your body is falling. Seventy-seven hours of confusion. One hour realizing you’ve forgotten someone’s name. Three weeks realizing you are wrong. Two days lying. Six weeks waiting for a green light. Seven hours vomiting. Fourteen minutes experiencing pure joy. Three months doing laundry. Fifteen hours writing your signature. Two days tying shoelaces. Sixty-seven days of heartbreak. Five weeks driving lost. Three days calculating restaurant tips. Fifty-one days deciding what to wear. Nine days pretending you know what is being talked about. Two weeks counting money. Eighteen days staring into the refrigerator.
David Eagleman (Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives)
Knock upon yourself as on a door, and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For if you walk on that road, you cannot get lost, and what you open for yourself will open. GOSPEL OF THOMAS
Sue Monk Kidd (The Book of Longings)
Knock upon yourself as on a door, and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For if you walk on that road, you cannot get lost, and what you open for yourself will open. -Gospel of Thomas
Sue Monk Kidd (The Book of Longings)
(MARTY and THE GIRL exit into the kitchen. THE MOTHER stands, expressionless, by her chair watching them go. She remains standing rigidly even after the porch door can be heard being opened and shut. The camera moves up to a close-up of THE MOTHER. Her eyes are wide. She is staring straight ahead. There is fear in her eyes.)
Paddy Chayefsky (The Collected Works of Paddy Chayefsky: The Television Plays (Applause Books))
The photo of Quang Duc’s self-immolation triggered something primal and universal in people. It goes beyond politics or religion. It taps into a far more fundamental component of our lived experience: the ability to endure extraordinary amounts of pain. I can’t even sit up straight at dinner for more than a few minutes. Meanwhile, this guy was fucking burning alive and he didn’t even move. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t scream. He didn’t smile or wince or grimace or even open his eyes to take one last look at the world he had chosen to leave behind. There was a purity to his act, not to mention an absolutely stunning display of resolve. It is the ultimate example of mind over matter, of will over instinct. And despite the horror of it all, it somehow remains . . . inspiring.
Mark Manson (Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope)
They may have been the same rank, but he was still technically her senior — in both age and experience — and sometimes he liked to flex. Make himself look like he gave a damn. She leaned forward, hit the keyboard shortcut to minimise the windows, and got up. ‘Nothing,’ she said, pulling her jacket on. ‘That’s helpful.’ She ignored the comment, downed half her now-tepid coffee and bit lightly into her bagel, holding it between straight white teeth as she powered off her monitor and tucked her chair in.  ‘I don’t know why you bother,’ Roper said, flicking a hand at the now-black screen. ‘Not while all this is burning.’ He gestured around the room at the other desks and detectives working away. Dozens of screens were lit, the photocopier was buzzing, the lights were humming, and phones and devices were charging on every surface.  She shrugged. ‘If you leave a monitor on standby overnight it wastes enough energy to—’ ‘Yeah, yeah,’ he said, dismissing her with his hand. ‘And the polar ice caps are melting and penguins are getting sunburn. Come on, we’ve got a murder to solve.’ He walked forward, draining what was left in his coffee cup, and put it down on a random desk — much to the disgust of the guy sitting behind it. Roper swaggered towards the lifts, finally shrugging off the hangover, his caffeine quota for the next hour filled. Once his nicotine level had been topped off, he might actually be capable of some decent police work. Jamie fell in behind him, trying to get her mind off the other missing kids and back on Grace Melver. Whatever the hell was going on, Jamie had a feeling that Grace Melver knew something about it. Whether she realised or not.  Chapter 7 She walked with Roper without thinking about it.  Jamie had dropped him back at the crime scene after the shelter so he could pick his car up. The medical examiner was there and the scene of the crime officers, or SOCOs, were crawling all over in their plastic-covered boots, snapping photos and putting things in evidence bags.  They hadn’t stuck around.  It was best to leave the SOCOs do their jobs, and anyway Jamie and Roper had paperwork that needed to be done.  Her fingers typed on autopilot now. She’d had her prelim licked before she’d finished her first cup of coffee. Roper headed for his Volvo without asking and got into the driver’s seat.  Jamie pulled the door open and got in, closing the door only when he’d cranked the ignition so she could crack the window. The seats were covered
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson Book 1))
[...] Kevin had grown up playing left-handed. Seeing him take on Andrew right-handed was ballsy enough, seeing him actually score was surreal. Kevin kicked them off the court [...], but instead of following [...] he stayed behind with Andrew to keep practicing. Neil watched them over his shoulder. "I saw him first," Nicky said. "I thought you had Erik," Neil said. "I do, but Kevin's on the List," Nicky said. When Neil frowned, Nicky explained. "It's a list of celebrities we're allowed to have affairs with. Kevin is number three." Neil pretended to understand and changed the topic. "How does anyone lose against the Foxes with Andrew in your goal?" "He's good, right? [...] Coach bribed Andrew into saving our collective asses with some really nice booze." "Bribed?" Neil echoed. "Andrew's good," Nicky said again, "but it doesn't really matter to him if we win or lose. You want him to care, you gotta give him incentive." "He can't play like that and not care." "Now you sound like Kevin. You'll find out the hard way, same as Kevin did. Kevin gave Andrew a lot of grief this spring [...]. Up until then they were fighting like cats and dogs. Now look at them. They're practically trading friendship bracelets and I couldn't fit a crowbar between them if it'd save my life." "But why?" Neil asked. "Andrew hates Kevin's obsession with Exy." "The day they start making sense to you, let me know," Nicky said [...]. "I gave up trying to sort it all out weeks ago. [...] But as long as I'm doling out advice? Stop staring at Kevin so much. You're making me fear for your life over here." "What do you mean?" "Andrew is scary territorial of him. He punched me the first time I said I'd like to get Kevin too wasted to be straight." Nicky pointed at his face, presumably where Andrew had decked him. "So yeah, I'm going to crush on safer targets until Andrew gets bored of him. That means you, since Matt's taken and I don't hate myself enough to try Seth. Congrats." "Can you take the creepy down a level?" Aaron asked. "What?" Nikcy asked. "He said he doesn't swing, so obviously he needs a push." "I don't need a push," Neil said. "I'm fine on my own." "Seriously, how are you not bored of your hand by now?" "I'm done with this conversation," Neil said. "This and every future variation of it [...]." The stadium door slammed open as Andrew showed up at last. [...] "Kevin wants to know what's taking you so long. Did you get lost?" "Nicky's scheming to rape Neil," Aaron said. "There are a couple flaws in his plan he needs to work out first, but he'll get there sooner or later." [...] "Wow, Nicky," Andrew said. "You start early." "Can you really blame me?" Nicky glanced back at Neil as he said it. He only took his eyes off Andrew for a second, but that was long enough for Andrew to lunge at him. Andrew caught Nicky's jersey in one hand and threw him hard up against the wall. [...] "Hey, Nicky," Andrew said in stage-whisper German. "Don't touch him, you understand?" "You know I'd never hurt him. If he says yes-" "I said no." "Jesus, you're greedy," Nicky said. "You already have Kevin. Why does it-" He went silent, but it took Neil a moment to realize why. Andrew had a short knife pressed to Nicky's Jersey. [...] Neil was no stranger to violence. He'd heard every threat in the book, but never from a man who smiled as bright as Andrew did. Apathy, anger, madness, boredom: these motivators Neil knew and understood. But Andrew was grinning like he didn't have a knife point where it'd sleep perfectly between Nicky's ribs, and it wasn't because he was joking. Neil knew Andrew meant it. [...] "Hey, are we playing or what?" Neil asked. "Kevin's waiting." [...] Andrew let go of Nicky and spun away. [...] Nicky looked shaken as he stared after the twins, but when he realized Neil was watching him he rallied with a smile Neil didn't believe at all. "On second thought, you're not my type after all [...].
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
[...] Stop staring at Kevin so much. You're making me fear for your life over here." "What do you mean?" "Andrew is scary territorial of him. He punched me the first time I said I'd like to get Kevin too wasted to be straight." Nicky pointed at his face, presumably where Andrew had decked him. "So yeah, I'm going to crush on safer targets until Andrew gets bored of him. That means you, since Matt's taken and I don't hate myself enough to try Seth. Congrats." "Can you take the creepy down a level?" Aaron asked. "What?" Nikcy asked. "He said he doesn't swing, so obviously he needs a push." "I don't need a push," Neil said. "I'm fine on my own." "Seriously, how are you not bored of your hand by now?" "I'm done with this conversation," Neil said. "This and every future variation of it. [...]" The stadium door slammed open as Andrew showed up at last. He swept them with a wide-eyed look as if surprised to see them all there. "Kevin wants to know what's taking you so long. Did you get lost?" "Nicky's scheming to rape Neil," Aaron said. "There are a couple flaws in his plan he needs to work out first, but he'll get there sooner or later." [...] "Wow, Nicky," Andrew said. "You start early." "Can you really blame me?" Nicky glanced back at Neil as he said it. He only took his eyes off Andrew for a second, but that was long enough for Andrew to lunge at him. Andrew caught Nicky's jersey in one hand and threw him hard up against the wall. [...] "Hey, Nicky," Andrew said in stage-whisper German. "Don't touch him, you understand?" "You know I'd never hurt him. If he says yes-" "I said no." "Jesus, you're greedy," Nicky said. "You already have Kevin. Why does it-" He went silent, but it took Neil a moment to realize why. Andrew had a short knife pressed to Nicky's Jersey. [...] Neil was no stranger to violence. He'd heard every threat in the book, but never from a man who smiled as bright as Andrew did. Apathy, anger, madness, boredom: these motivators Neil knew and understood. But Andrew was grinning like he didn't have a knife point where it'd sleep perfectly between Nicky's ribs, and it wasn't because he was joking. Neil knew Andrew meant it. If Nicky so much as breathed wrong right now, Andrew would cut his lungs to ribbons, any and all consequences be damned. Neil wondered if Andrew's medicine would let him grieve, or if he'd laugh at Nicky's funeral too. Then he wondered if a sober Andrew would act any different. Was this Andrew psychosis or his medicine? Was he flying too high to understand what he was doing, or did his medicine only add a smile to Andrew's ingrained violence? [...] Andrew let go of Nicky and spun away. [...] Aaron squized Nicky's shoulder on his way out. Nicky looked shaken as he stared after the twins, but when he realized Neil was watching him he rallied with a smile Neil didn't believe at all. "On second thought, you're not my type after all,” Nicky said [...]. "Don't let him get away with things like that." Nicky considered him for a moment, his smile fading into something small and tired. "Oh, Neil. You're going to make this so hard on yourself. Look, [...] Andrew is a little crazy. Your lines are not his lines, so you can get all huff and puff when he tramps across yours but you'll never make him understand what he did wrong. Moreover, you'll never make him care. So just stay out of his way." "He's like this because you let him get away with it," Neil said. [...] "That was my fault. [...] I said something I shouldn't have, and got what I deserved.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
Jamie nodded back. ‘Ms Cartwright—’ ‘It’s Mrs,’ she said automatically, the colour still drained from her cheeks. Her hand had moved from her mouth to her collarbones now as she processed it. ‘Would you mind if I took a look at those files?’  She shook her head, her eyes vacant. ‘No, no — there’s nothing much to see, but… Of course—’ She cut off, squeezing her face into a frown. ‘He’s… dead? But how? What happened? My God,’ she muttered. ‘He was… My God.’ Jamie stepped around her, leaving Roper to the interview. He was better at that sort of thing anyway. She rarely found interviewees easy to deal with. They always got emotional, blathered.  ‘Do you mind if I record this conversation?’ Roper asked behind her as she walked towards the back room. ‘No,’ Mary said quietly. ‘Great, thanks.’ He exhaled slowly, fiddling with the buttons, adding the audio file to the case. ‘What can you tell me about Ollie?’  The voices faded away as she reached the door and pushed on the handle. Inside looked to be a rehearsal room. On the left there were two steps leading up to a red door that opened onto the side of the stage, and the floor was bare concrete painted red. The paint had been chipped from years of use and the blue paint job underneath was showing through. Mary had a desk set up with two chairs in front of it, but no computer. In fact there was nothing of any value in the room.  On the right there was an old filing cabinet, and laid against it were rusted music stands as well as a mop and bucket and a couple of bottles of bargain cleaning supplies that had the word ‘Value’ written across them.  At the back of the room there was an old bookcase filled with second-hand literature — mostly children’s books and charity shop novels. Next to that an old plastic covered doctor’s examination bed was pushed against the wall. Sponge and felt were showing through the ripped brown covering.  Stood on the floor was a trifold cotton privacy screen that looked new, if not cheap. On the cracked beige walls, there was also a brand new hand-sanitiser dispenser and wide paper roll holder. She approached and checked the screws. They were still shiny. Brass. They had been put up recently. At least more recently than anything else in there.  The dispenser looked like it had come straight out of a doctor’s office, the roll holder too. Paper could be pulled out and laid over the bed so patients didn’t have to sit on the bare covering. Jamie stared at them for a second and then reached out, squirting sanitiser onto her hands.  She massaged it in before moving on.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson Book 1))
So many socks. After the pair the undertaker asks for (I picture them black beneath the fold in your open casket, your toes still cold) what else to do,. Body bags of old suits, shirts still pressed, long johns, the unworn, unwashed wreckage of your closet, too many coats to keep, though I will save so many. How can I give away the last of your scent? And still, father, you have errands, errant dry cleaning to pick up-- yellow tags whose ghostly carbon tells a story where to look. One place closed for good, the tag old. One place with none of your clothes, just stares as if no one ever dies, as if you are naked somewhere, & I suppose you are. Nothing here. The last place knows exactly what I mean, brings me shirts hanging like a head. Starched collars your beard had worn. One man saying sorry, older lady in the back saying how funny you were, how you joked with her weekly. Sorry— & a fellow black man hands your clothes back for free, don’t worry. I’ve learned death has few kindnesses left. Such is charity—so rare & so rarely free— that on the way back to your emptying house I weep. Then drive everything, swaying, straight to Goodwill— open late—to live on another body & day.
Kevin Young (Book of Hours: Poems)