Perfectly Captured Quotes

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When you've only got one little shimmer of sunshine, you capture it best you can.
Ellen Hopkins (Perfect (Impulse, #2))
There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace - these qualities you find always in that the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush of the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and in our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move towards death.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune, #1))
He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: "What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?" He sounded faintly sad. Perhaps he finds beauty saddening — I do myself sometimes. Once when I was quite little I asked father why this was and he explained that it was due to our knowledge of beauty's evanescence, which reminds us that we ourselves shall die. Then he said I was probably too young to understand him; but I understood perfectly.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
I can't think of enough expletives to perfectly capture this moment.
Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You)
Trying, he thought, to express some unutterable truth about themselves. Which was that translation was impossible. That the realm of pure meaning they captured and manifested would and could not ever be known. That the enterprise of this tower had been impossible from inception. For how could there ever be an Adamic language? The thought now made him laugh. There was no innate, perfectly comprehensible language. There was no candidate - not English, not French - that could bully and absorb enough to become one. Language was just difference. A thousand different ways of seeing, of moving through the world. No, a thousand worlds within one. And translation, a necessary endeavor however futile, to move between them.
R.F. Kuang (Babel)
Is that your cheap way of telling me you want to kiss me?” He looks into my eyes, his dark gaze capturing mine. “Querida, I always want to kiss you.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
She closed Dan's door and walked down the hall to her room. He makes a good boyfriend, she repeated to herself. What the hell was that suppose to mean? She didn't just want a good boyfriend. She wanted that thing Gustav Klimt had captured so perfectly in The Kiss. That radiant, electric, hold-me-tight-so-I don't-fall-from-up-here-in-the-sky feeling of being in love. Well, don't we all, sweetie?
Cecily von Ziegesar (All I Want is Everything (Gossip Girl, #3))
This sense of perfection has a built-in contradiction, one that Ram Dass once captured very succinctly by a statement he had heard from his Himalayan guru: "The world is absolutely perfect, including your own dissatisfaction with it, and everything you are trying to do to change it.
Stanislav Grof (The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives)
An introverted woman spends hours contemplating a thought or observing a pattern in her life. She turns it over in her mind until it becomes a companion to her and then decides to share it in the context of a small group. When she musters up the courage to voice it, trembling as she puts words to this precious inner stirring, someone in the group cuts her off when she pauses in the middle, her thought still building steam. This person quickly tells her she shouldn't feel the way she does or else counters with a story of her own, which only tangentially relates to what the introvert was saying. Nouwen's words perfectly capture the sense of personal violation and emptiness: "Often we come home from a sharing session with a feeling that something precious has been taken away from us or that holy ground has been trodden upon.
Adam McHugh
Thoughts of being a pirate and stealing her away to my ship race across my mind. Although I’m not a pirate, and she’s not my captured princess.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
She stood with her perfect profile turned to the glittering night sky, her hood sliding back. Snow was beginning to fall, and it caught in the dark waves of her hair. “I plant something new for every Grisha lost. Heartleaf for Marie. Yew for Sergei. Red Sentinel for Fedyor. Even Ivan has a place.” She touched her fingers to a frozen stalk. “This will blossom bright orange in the summer. I planted it for Harshaw. These dahlias were for Nina when I thought she’d been captured and killed by Fjerdans. They bloom with the most ridiculous red flowers in the summer. They’re the size of dinner plates.” Now she turned and he could see tears on her cheeks. She lifted her hands, the gesture half-pleading, half-lost. “I’m running out of room.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
One of the most important things I’ve learned is how deeply you can keep loving someone after they die. You may not be able to hold them or talk to them, and you may even date or love someone else, but you can still love them every bit as much. Playwright Robert Woodruff Anderson captured it perfectly: “Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship.” Last
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
I have never seen a work of fiction so perfectly capture the out-of-nowhere shock of discovering that you've just bricked something important because you didn't pay enough attention to a loose wire.
Randall Munroe
I felt the beautiful melancholy of being human, captured perfectly in the setting of a sun. Because, as with a sunset, to be human was to be in-between things; a day, bursting with desperate colour as it headed irreversibly towards night.
Matt Haig (The Humans)
Sometimes moments in life are so perfect you want to freeze frame them; capture them within your soul forever so they never fade away—they burn themselves into your being until they’re a part of who you are.
Cassandra Giovanni (Flawed Perfection (Beautifully Flawed, #1))
We can't make new happiness past a certain point, but we can linger in past joy forever, perfectly captured with the rememberer's eye.
Shaun Hamill (A Cosmology of Monsters)
I'm wondering. Shall we say its perfect for the sea and the sunlight - and the other Rose is perfect for candlelight? And perhaps what's most perfect of all is to find there are several Roses?
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
She’d never held much of an interest in art, but looking at him now, her fingers itched for some paint, for some charcoal, for anything that could capture his near-perfect angles.
Lynette Noni (The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1))
The age of recording is necessarily an age of nostalgia--when was the past so hauntingly accessible?--but its bitterest insight is the incapacity of even the most perfectly captured sound to restore the moment of its first inscribing. That world is no longer there.
Geoffrey O'Brien (Sonata for Jukebox: An Autobiography of My Ears)
Amazons – even when one is exceptional – are a team, a tribe, a gang, and it is this which Buffy captured so perfectly: an ensemble of women fighting to save us all.
Natalie Haynes (Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths)
This may sound weird, but there are certain songs, like really great songs---you don't just listen to them, you know? They make you feel like they're listening back. Like the person who wrote the song heard you. Music makes you feel less alone in that way. It's proof that someone out there has felt the exact same way you do and they've managed to capture it in this perfect blend of words and sound.
Jasmine Warga (Here We Are Now)
What I'd really hate would be the settled feeling, with nothing but happiness to look forward to. Of course no life is perfectly happy- Rose's children will probably get ill, the servants may be difficult, perhaps dear Mrs. Cotton will prove to be the teeniest fly in the ointment. (I should like to know what fly was originally in what ointment.) There are hundreds of worries and even sorrows that may come along, but- I think what I really mean is that Rose won't be wanting things to happen. She will want things to stay just as they are. She will never have the fun of hoping something wonderful and exciting may be just round the corner.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Sacrifice is the secret — you have to sacrifice things for art and it’s the same with religion; and then the sacrifice turns out to be a gain.” Then I got confused and I couldn’t hold on to what I meant — until Miss Blossom remarked: “Nonsense, duckie — it’s perfectly simple. You lose yourself in something beyond yourself and it’s a lovely rest.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Sweet girl, maybe close the world off and look at him for an hour or two. This is your fairy. It ain’t perfect and it ain’t honey sweet with roses on the bed. It’s real and raw and ugly at times. But this is your love. Don’t throw it away searching for someone else’s love. Don’t be greedy. Instead, shelter it. Protect it. Capture every second of easy, pull through every storm of hardship. And when you can, look at him, lying next to you, trusting you not to harm him. Trusting you not to go. Be someone’s someone for someone. Be that someone for him.
Charlotte Eriksson
You’re thinking, maybe it would be easier to let it slip let it go say ”I give up” one last time and give him a sad smile. You’re thinking it shouldn’t be this hard, shouldn’t be this dark, thinking love could flow easily with no holding back and you’ve seen others find their match and build something great together, of each other, like two halves fitting perfectly and now they achieve great things one by one, always together, and it seems grand. But you love him. Love him like a black stone in your chest you couldn’t live without because it fits in there. Makes you who you are and the thought of him gone—no more—makes your chest tighten up and maybe this is your fairytale. Maybe this is your castle. You could get it all on a shiny piece of glass with wooden stools and a neverending blooming garden but that’s not yours. This is yours. The cracks and the faults, the ugly words in the winter walking home alone and angry but falling asleep thinking you love him. This is your fairy tale. The quiet in the hallway, wishing for him to turn around, tell you to stay, tell you to please don’t go I need you like you need me and maybe it’s not a Jane Austen novel but this is your novel and your castle and you can run from it your whole life but this is here in front of you. Maybe nurture it? Sweet girl, maybe close the world off and look at him for an hour or two. This is your fairy. It ain’t perfect and it ain’t honey sweet with roses on the bed. It’s real and raw and ugly at times. But this is your love. Don’t throw it away searching for someone else’s love. Don’t be greedy. Instead, shelter it. Protect it. Capture every second of easy, pull through every storm of hardship. And when you can, look at him, lying next to you, trusting you not to harm him. Trusting you not to go. Be someone’s someone for someone. Be that someone for him. That’s your fairy tale. This is your castle. Now move in. Build a home. Build a house. Build a safety around things you love. It’s yours if you make it so. Welcome home, sweet girl, it will be all be fine.
Charlotte Eriksson
What do you know? This is where it all began,” he said. “Began?” “This is exactly where I was when I wanted to kiss you,” he whispered, his lips brushing along my neck causing me to melt under his touch. “So bad.” “Except this time there’s no drunk netballer squawking at us,” I teased. “I wouldn’t care if the seven horseman of the Apocalypse charged through the garden right now, nothing’s gonna stop me from doing this.” He leaned down and captured my lips with tenderness, a completely perfect kiss, like it always was.
C.J. Duggan (The Boys of Summer (Summer, #1))
She needed this, she needed him. It all felt so right, so perfectly, and astonishingly right! Something inside her was healing and becoming whole. There had always been something missing in her life, something that she'd been searching and hoping for, but she'd never known what it was. Until now.
Erica Stevens (Captured (The Captive, #1))
The quotation commonly attributed to Nietzsche, that “there is no immaculate perception,” perfectly captures how cognitive schemas—thought structures—influence what we notice and how the things we notice get interpreted.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Do you know how hard it is to paint kindness?” She leaned her hip against a desk in the corner of the room, still watching me. “It’s the only part of a person I really want to capture. Everything else seems to get lost in layers of deception or defensiveness. But not kindness. You can’t hide it. And people either are or they aren’t.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Perfect Glass)
Étienne came into my life like a thief and stole my heart. It makes perfect sense to me that I find a way back to him so I can capture his soul.
Calia Read (The Surviving Trace (Surviving Time, #1))
There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace—those qualities you find always in that which the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, in the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush or the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move toward death.
Frank Herbert (Dune)
All she captures is a moment and what she calls it is a memory, Sometimes, it is assumptions that we use; all we need is a theory, Because you don’t know what is there in the future, And all you need is a vision to make a perfect picture. I feel that I have known you for a century, And whatever she calls is a memory.
Nishikant (The Papery Onions)
The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture--the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
There’ll be moments in life, sweet pea, that stand out in your memories like a photograph. Scenes captured perfectly in your mind, frozen in time with each detail as colorful as it was that first time you saw it. ‘Flashbulb memories,’ some people call them,” she’d told me, her eyes crinkling up and nearly disappearing in a face etched with too many laugh lines to count. “Most people don’t recognize those moments as they happen. They look back fifty years later, and realize that those were the most important parts of their entire life. But at the time, they’re so busy looking ahead to what’s coming down the line or worrying about their future, they don’t enjoy their present. Don’t be like them, sweet pea. Don’t get so caught up in chasing your dreams that you forget to live them.
Julie Johnson (Say the Word)
We didn't finish that dance." "Here?" "Why not?" Echo's high heel tapped against the sidewalk, the telltale sign of nerves. I took a deliberate step forward and caught her waist before she coud back away from me. My siren had sung to me for way too long, capturing my heart, tempting me with her body, driving me slowly insane. Now, I expected her to pay up. "Do you hear that?" I aked. Echo raised an eyebrow when she heard nothing but the sound of water trickling in the fountain. "Hear what?" I slid my right hand down her arm, cradled her hand against my chest and swayed us from side to side. "The music." Her eyes danced. "Maybe if you could tell me what i'm supposed to be hearing." "Slow drum beat." With one finger i tapped the beat into the small of her back. "Acoustic quitar." I leaned down and hummed my favorite song in her ear. Her sweet cinnamon smell intoxicated me. She relaxed, fitting perfectly into my body. In the crisp, cold February air, we swayed together, moving to our own personal beat. For one moment, we escaped hell. No teachers, no therapist, no well-meaning friends, no nightmares-just the two of us, dancing. My song ended, my finger stopped tapping the beat, and we ceased swaying from side to side. She held perfectly still, keeping her hand in mine, her head resting on my shoulder. I nuzzled into the warmth of her silky curls, tightening my hold on her. Echo was becoming essential, like air. I eased my hand to her chin, lifting her face toward me. My thumb caressed her warm, smooth cheek. My heart beat faster. A ghost of that siren smile graced her lips as she tilted her head closer to mine, creating the undeniable pull of the sailor lost to the sea to the beautiful goddess calling him home. I kissed her lips. Soft, full, warm-everything i'd fantasized it would be and more, so much more. Echo hesitantly pressed back, a curious question for which i had a response. I parted my lips and teased her bottom one, begging, praying, for permission. Her smooth hands inched up my neck and pulled at my hair, bringing me closer. She opened her mouth, her tongue seductively touching mine, almost bringing me to my knees. Flames licked through me as our kiss deepened. Her hands massaged my scalp and neck, only stoking the heat of the fire. Forgetting every rule i'd created for this moment, my hands wandered up her back, twining in her hair, bringing her closer to me. I wanted Echo. I needed Echo. Her eyes met mine again. "So what does this mean for us?" I lowered my forehead to hers. "It means you 're mine.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
And my dream for you..........., is that you'll catch a glimpse of what I love so much about fashion: It's boldness and creativity, the confidence that it takes to stand before a camera and let your image be captured, even though you aren't perfect, the peace to be truly okay with how others see you.
Lauren Scruggs (Still LoLo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family's Journey of Hope)
Every pellet has a story all its own. Every pellet has a story all its own. With its fur and teeth and bones And one or two stones, Every pellet has a story all its own. We shall dissect every pellet with glee. Perhaps we'll find a rodents knee. And never shall we tire In the sacred task that we conspire, No do our work less perfectly And those bright flecks at the core, Which makes our hearts soar, Shall forever remain the deepest mystery. - The owlets in the Pelletorium at St. Aegolius
Kathryn Lasky (The Capture (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #1))
Stephen had been put to sleep in his usual room, far from children and noise, away in that corner of the house which looked down to the orchard and the bowling-green, and in spite of his long absence it was so familiar to him that when he woke at about three he made his way to the window almost as quickly as if dawn had already broken, opened it and walked out onto the balcony. The moon had set: there was barely a star to be seen. The still air was delightfully fresh with falling dew, and a late nightingale, in an indifferent voice, was uttering a routine jug-jug far down in Jack's plantations; closer at hand and more agreeable by far, nightjars churred in the orchard, two of them, or perhaps three, the sound rising and falling, intertwining so that the source could not be made out for sure. There were few birds that he preferred to nightjars, but it was not they that had brought him out of bed: he stood leaning on the balcony rail and presently Jack Aubrey, in a summer-house by the bowling-green, began again, playing very gently in the darkness, improvising wholly for himself, dreaming away on his violin with a mastery that Stephen had never heard equalled, though they had played together for years and years. Like many other sailors Jack Aubrey had long dreamed of lying in his warm bed all night long; yet although he could now do so with a clear conscience he often rose at unChristian hours, particularly if he were moved by strong emotion, and crept from his bedroom in a watch-coat, to walk about the house or into the stables or to pace the bowling-green. Sometimes he took his fiddle with him. He was in fact a better player than Stephen, and now that he was using his precious Guarnieri rather than a robust sea-going fiddle the difference was still more evident: but the Guarnieri did not account for the whole of it, nor anything like. Jack certainly concealed his excellence when they were playing together, keeping to Stephen's mediocre level: this had become perfectly clear when Stephen's hands were at last recovered from the thumb-screws and other implements applied by French counter-intelligence officers in Minorca; but on reflexion Stephen thought it had been the case much earlier, since quite apart from his delicacy at that period, Jack hated showing away. Now, in the warm night, there was no one to be comforted, kept in countenance, no one could scorn him for virtuosity, and he could let himself go entirely; and as the grave and subtle music wound on and on, Stephen once more contemplated on the apparent contradiction between the big, cheerful, florid sea-officer whom most people liked on sight but who would have never been described as subtle or capable of subtlety by any one of them (except perhaps his surviving opponents in battle) and the intricate, reflective music he was now creating. So utterly unlike his limited vocabulary in words, at times verging upon the inarticulate. 'My hands have now regained the moderate ability they possessed before I was captured,' observed Maturin, 'but his have gone on to a point I never thought he could reach: his hands and his mind. I am amazed. In his own way he is the secret man of the world.
Patrick O'Brian (The Commodore (Aubrey/Maturin, #17))
You’re back,” she said. “I’m leaving again.” “To steal more grain from a captured country estate?” His smile was perfectly mischievous. “Rebels must eat.” “And I suppose you use my horse in these battles and thefts of yours.” “He’s happy to support a good cause.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
When you’re young, experiencing new relationships and first loves, nobody really knows what they’re doing. We chase the butterflies and try to capture the perfect moments. But the more you grow, the more you realize that’s not what it’s all about. Love becomes real when the ideal fades away. When that one person becomes more important than yourself. When you make the decision that no matter the cost, you’ll never stop fighting for them. When you can face each other, scarred and unashamed in this dark, lonely world, and feel like you’re finally home. Until we are ready to love with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our souls, we are nothing but lonesome people, just looking to use somebody.
Riley Jean (Use Somebody)
You have to question the originality of your life when it can be captured perfectly in the lyrics of a rock song.
Jonathan Tropper (The Book of Joe)
Amy thought about how many perfectly good ideas were probably floating around in the universe because people didn't take time to capture them by writing them down.
Donna Gephart (In Your Shoes)
The truth was that her photographs were an extension of who she was, what she thought, how she felt. It took perfect concentration to capture the exquisite pain of personal tragedy on film. You had to be there one hundred percent, in the moment - but it had to be their moment.
Kristin Hannah (Winter Garden)
It was that summer, too, that I began the cutting, and was almost as devoted to it as to my newfound loveliness. I adored tending to myself, wiping a shallow red pool of my blood away with a damp washcloth to magically reveal, just above my naval: queasy. Applying alcohol with dabs of a cotton ball, wispy shreds sticking to the bloody lines of: perky. I had a dirty streak my senior year, which I later rectified. A few quick cuts and cunt becomes can't, cock turns into back, clit transforms to a very unlikely cat, the l and i turned into a teetering capital A. The last words I ever carved into myself, sixteen years after I started: vanish. Sometimes I can hear the words squabbling at each other across my body. Up on my shoulder, panty calling down to cherry on the inside of my right ankle. On the underside of a big toe, sew uttering muffled threats to baby, just under my left breast. I can quiet them down by thinking of vanish, always hushed and regal, lording over the other words from the safety of the nape of my neck. Also: At the center of my back, which was too difficult to reach, is a circle of perfect skin the size of a fist. Over the years I've made my own private jokes. You can really read me. Do you want me to spell it out for you? I've certainly given myself a life sentence. Funny, right? I can't stand to look myself without being completely covered. Someday I may visit a surgeon, see what can be done to smooth me, but now I couldn't bear the reaction. Instead I drink so I don't think too much about what I've done to my body and so I don't do any more. Yet most of the time that I'm awake, I want to cut. Not small words either. Equivocate. Inarticulate. Duplicitous. At my hospital back in Illinois they would not approve of this craving. For those who need a name, there's a gift basket of medical terms. All I know is that the cutting made me feel safe. It was proof. Thoughts and words, captured where I could see them and track them. The truth, stinging, on my skin, in a freakish shorthand. Tell me you're going to the doctor, and I'll want to cut worrisome on my arm. Say you've fallen in love and I buzz the outlines of tragic over my breast. I hadn't necessarily wanted to be cured. But I was out of places to write, slicing myself between my toes - bad, cry - like a junkie looking for one last vein. Vanish did it for me. I'd saved the neck, such a nice prime spot, for one final good cutting. Then I turned myself in.
Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects)
Sometimes it seems his whole life revolves around watching and waiting. Waiting for the right moment, waiting for the right memory to capture. Hoping for that perfect minute where everything finally comes together.
Travis Thrasher (The Remaining)
Look at this one.” I picked up a small painting of a man with dark hair and a short, dark beard. He wore a loose shirt, cobalt blue, unbuttoned at the top, showing a prominent, knobby collarbone. He looked…complicated and hungry. She’d captured him focused intensely on a book, his face pressed against a wall like he was resting. Or waiting.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Perfect Glass)
Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter or gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture – the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theater to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes...
Kenneth Grahame
The Allatians believe that they have a writing system superior to all others. Unlike books written in alphabets, syllabaries, or logograms, an Allatian book captures not only words, but also the writer’s tone, voice, inflection, emphasis, intonation, rhythm. It is simultaneously a score and a recording. A speech sounds like a speech, a lament a lament, and a story re-creates perfectly the teller’s breathless excitement. For the Allatians, reading is literally hearing the voice of the past. But there is a cost to the beauty of the Allatian book. Because the act of reading requires physical contact with the soft, malleable surface, each time a text is read, it is also damaged and some aspects of the original irretrievably lost. Copies made of more durable materials inevitably fail to capture all the subtleties of the writer’s voice, and are thus shunned. In order to preserve their literary heritage, the Allatians have to lock away their most precious manuscripts in forbidding libraries where few are granted access. Ironically, the most important and beautiful works of Allatian writers are rarely read, but are known only through interpretations made by scribes who attempt to reconstruct the original in new books after hearing the source read at special ceremonies.
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
I wanted her and I couldn’t have her, so I fed the temptation, I flooded the craving, I would’ve fucking nursed the obsession from my own tits if I could’ve. I made sure I got little doses of her here and there. Except something incredibly enlightening happens when you spend enough time in one woman’s company. You start noticing shit about her, little useless crap that actually begins to mean everything, like how she brushes the hair out her face—even if there isn’t any in her eyes—whenever she’s unsettled, or how she chews on the end of a pen during class whenever she’s listening to something that captures her attention. You learn all her different laughs and know what each one means. You learn what pisses her off the most, or what makes her the happiest. You discover how smart and witty and sarcastic she is, and that her mind is almost as dirty as yours. You see how passionate she becomes when she defends those she loves, and you start to fall. Hard. So, this is my Pathetic Loser’s confession: I am Oren Tenning, and I have fallen. Hard.
Linda Kage (A Perfect Ten (Forbidden Men, #5))
He doesn’t drink too much. He’s employed and works hard. He doesn’t have commitment issues, kids, or crazy ex-girlfriends. He doesn’t attach way too much emotion to the outcome of UGA football. He’s a mythical, perfect man, difficult to find. Impossible to capture. A unicorn.
Molly Harper (Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck (Southern Eclectic, #0.5))
Without you having to do anything, the phone brackets the shot so that you can pretend to time travel, to pick the perfect instant when everyone is smiling. Skin is smoothed out; pores and small imperfections are erased. What used to take my father a day's work is now done in the blink of an eye, and far better. Do the people who take these photos believe them to be reality? Or have the digital paintings taken the place of reality in their memory? When they try to remember the captured moment, do they recall what they saw, or what the camera crafted for them?
Ken Liu (The Hidden Girl and Other Stories)
In a perfect cinematic world we would’ve captured the bad guys in spectacular fashion with explosions, car chases, and a parting kiss. She would’ve been played by Ava Gardner, and I would’ve been played by Robert Taylor. I looked at her. “I was wrong.” She looked back at me, and I could feel her eyes on the side of my face.
Craig Johnson (As The Crow Flies (Walt Longmire, #8))
Then I noticed a small plate of complimentary marshmallows near Chloe's elbow and it suddenly seemed clear that I didn't love Chloe so much as marshmallow her. What it was about a marshmallow that should suddenly have accorded so perfectly with my feelings towards her I will never know, but the word seemed to capture the essence of my amorous state with an accuracy that the word love, weary with overuse, simply could not aspire to. Even more inexplicably, when I took Chloe's hand and told her that I had something very important to tell her, that I marshmallowed her, she seemed to understand perfectly, answering it was the sweetest thing anyone had ever told her.
Alain de Botton (On Love)
Perhaps it’ll give me an idea for the perfect main course. What do you think of roasted goat?” “After witnessing its beheading or before?” she asked, looking like she was moments away from vomiting. “You do know that’s what cookbooks are for, correct? Inspiration without the labor. Or carnage. I swear you miss being surrounded by death.
Kerri Maniscalco (Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4))
If she captured Tamlin’s power once, who’s to say she can’t do it again?” It was the question I hadn’t yet dared voice. “He won’t be tricked again so easily,” he said, staring up at the ceiling. “Her biggest weapon is that she keeps our powers contained. But she can’t access them, not wholly—though she can control us through them. It’s why I’ve never been able to shatter her mind—why she’s not dead already. The moment you break Amarantha’s curse, Tamlin’s wrath will be so great that no force in the world will keep him from splattering her on the walls.” A chill went through me. “Why do you think I’m doing this?” He waved a hand to me. “Because you’re a monster.” He laughed. “True, but I’m also a pragmatist. Working Tamlin into a senseless fury is the best weapon we have against her. Seeing you enter into a fool’s bargain with Amarantha was one thing, but when Tamlin saw my tattoo on your arm … Oh, you should have been born with my abilities, if only to have felt the rage that seeped from him.” I didn’t want to think much about his abilities. “Who’s to say he won’t splatter you as well?” “Perhaps he’ll try—but I have a feeling he’ll kill Amarantha first. That’s what it all boils down to, anyway: even your servitude to me can be blamed on her. So he’ll kill her tomorrow, and I’ll be free before he can start a fight with me that will reduce our once-sacred mountain to rubble.” He picked at his nails. “And I have a few other cards to play.” I lifted my brows in silent question. “Feyre, for Cauldron’s sake. I drug you, but you don’t wonder why I never touch you beyond your waist or arms?” Until tonight—until that damned kiss. I gritted my teeth, but even as my anger rose, a picture cleared. “It’s the only claim I have to innocence,” he said, “the only thing that will make Tamlin think twice before entering into a battle with me that would cause a catastrophic loss of innocent life. It’s the only way I can convince him I was on your side. Believe me, I would have liked nothing more than to enjoy you—but there are bigger things at stake than taking a human woman to my bed.” I knew, but I still asked, “Like what?” “Like my territory,” he said, and his eyes held a far-off look that I hadn’t yet seen. “Like my remaining people, enslaved to a tyrant queen who can end their lives with a single word. Surely Tamlin expressed similar sentiments to you.” He hadn’t—not entirely. He hadn’t been able to, thanks to the curse. “Why did Amarantha target you?” I dared ask. “Why make you her whore?” “Beyond the obvious?” He gestured to his perfect face. When I didn’t smile, he loosed a breath. “My father killed Tamlin’s father—and his brothers.” I started. Tamlin had never said—never told me the Night Court was responsible for that. “It’s a long story, and I don’t feel like getting into it, but let’s just say that when she stole our lands out from under us, Amarantha decided that she especially wanted to punish the son of her friend’s murderer—decided that she hated me enough for my father’s deeds that I was to suffer.” I might have reached a hand toward him, might have offered my apologies—but every thought had dried up in my head. What Amarantha had done to him … “So,” he said wearily, “here we are, with the fate of our immortal world in the hands of an illiterate human.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Forget about that and kiss me," I say. I weave my hands in her hair. She wraps her arms around my neck as I trace the valley between her lips with my tongue. Parting her lips, I deepen the kiss. It's like a tango, first moving slow and rhythmic and then, when we're both panting and our tongues collide, the kiss turns into a hot, fast dance I never want to end. Carmen's kisses may have been hot, but Brittany's are more sensual, sexy, and extremely addictive. We're still in the car, but it's cramped and the front seats don't give us enough room. Before I know it, we've moved to the backseat. Still not ideal, but I hardly notice. I'm so getting into her moans and kisses and hands in my hair. And the smell of vanilla cookies. I'm not going to push her too far tonight. But without thinking, my hand slowly moves up her bare thigh. "It feels so good," she says breathlessly. I lean her back while my hands explore on their own. My lips caress the hollow of her neck as I ease down the strap to her dress and bra. In response, she unbuttons my shirt. When it's open, her fingers roam over my chest and shoulders, searing my skin. "You're . . . perfect," she pants. Right now I'm not gonna argue with her. Moving lower, my tongue follows a path down to her silky skin exposed to the night air. She grabs the back of my hair, urging me on. She tastes so damn good. Too good. !Caramelo! I pull away a few inches and capture her gaze with mine, those shining sapphires glowing with desire. Talk about perfect. "I want you, chula," I say, my voice hoarse.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
I saw exactly one picture of Marx and one of Lenin in my whole stay, but it's been a long time since ideology had anything to do with it. Not without cunning, Fat Man and Little Boy gradually mutated the whole state belief system into a debased form of Confucianism, in which traditional ancestor worship and respect for order become blended with extreme nationalism and xenophobia. Near the southernmost city of Kaesong, captured by the North in 1951, I was taken to see the beautifully preserved tombs of King and Queen Kongmin. Their significance in F.M.-L.B. cosmology is that they reigned over a then unified Korea in the 14th century, and that they were Confucian and dynastic and left many lavish memorials to themselves. The tombs are built on one hillside, and legend has it that the king sent one of his courtiers to pick the site. Second-guessing his underling, he then climbed the opposite hill. He gave instructions that if the chosen site did not please him he would wave his white handkerchief. On this signal, the courtier was to be slain. The king actually found that the site was ideal. But it was a warm day and he forgetfully mopped his brow with the white handkerchief. On coming downhill he was confronted with the courtier's fresh cadaver and exclaimed, 'Oh dear.' And ever since, my escorts told me, the opposite peak has been known as 'Oh Dear Hill.' I thought this was a perfect illustration of the caprice and cruelty of absolute leadership, and began to phrase a little pun about Kim Jong Il being the 'Oh Dear Leader,' but it died on my lips.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
The moment I was old enough to play board games I fell in love with Snakes and Ladders. O perfect balance of rewards and penalties O seemingly random choices made by tumbling dice Clambering up ladders slithering down snakes I spent some of the happiest days of my life. When in my time of trial my father challenged me to master the game of shatranji I infuriated him by preferring to invite him instead to chance his fortune among the ladders and nibbling snakes. All games have morals and the game of Snakes and Ladders captures as no other activity can hope to do the eternal truth that for every ladder you climb a snake is waiting just around the corner and for every snake a ladder will compensate. But it's more than that no mere carrot-and-stick affair because implicit in the game is the unchanging twoness of things the duality of up against down good against evil the solid rationality of ladders balances the occult sinuousities of the serpent in the opposition of staircase and cobra we can see metaphorically all conceivable opposition Alpha against Omega father against mother here is the war of Mary and Musa and the polarities of knees and nose... but I found very early in my life that the game lacked one crucial dimension that of ambiguity - because as events are about to show it is also possible to slither down a ladder and lcimb to truimph on the venom of a snake... Keeping things simple for the moment however I recrod that no sooner had my mother discovered the ladder to victory represented by her racecourse luck than she was reminded that the gutters of the country were still teeming with snakes.
Salman Rushdie
I came across a contemporary version of the twenty-third Psalm entitled “Psalm 23 Revisited.” In it, the author captures perfectly where many of us are today: The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest. It makes me lie down only when exhausted. It leads me into deep depression, it hounds my soul. It leads me in circles of frenzy for activities’ sake. Even though I run frantically from task to task, I will never get it all done, for my “ideal” is with me. Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me. They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule. They anoint my head with migraines, my in-basket overflows. Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.1
Wayne Cordeiro (Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion)
She came up for air, ready to apologize, when strong arms lifted her from the water and firm lips captured hers. She knew, even without looking, that it was Sam. And she put everything she had into the kiss. If she only had one shot, she’d make it her best.
Tori Scott (Perfectly Satisfied (Satisfaction #2))
My prolonged study of these photographs led me to appreciate the importance of preserving certain moments for prosperity, and as time moved forwards I also came to see what a powerful influence these framed scenes exerted over us as we went about our daily lives. To watch my uncle pose my brother a maths problem, and at the same time to see him in a picture taken thirty-two years earlier; to watch my father scanning the newspaper and trying, with a half-smile, to catch the tail of a joke rippling across the crowded room, and at that very same moment to see a picture of him to me that my grandmother had framed and frozen these memories so that we could weave them into the present.When, in the tones ordinarily preserved for discussing the founding of a nation, my grandmother spoke of my grandfather who had died so young, and pointed at the frames on the tables and the walls, it seemed that she, like me, was pulled in two direction , wanting to get on with life but also longing to capture the moment of perfection, savouring the ordinary life but still honouring the ideal. But even as I pondered these dilemmas-if you plucked a special moment from life and framed it, were you defying death, decay and the passage of time, or were you submitting to them? - I grew very bored with them.
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)
I find that most people serve practical needs. They have an understanding of the difference between meaning and relevance. And at some level my mind is more interested in meaning than in relevance. That is similar to the mind of an artist. The arts are not life. They are not serving life. The arts are the cuckoo child of life. Because the meaning of life is to eat. You know, life is evolution and evolution is about eating. It's pretty gross if you think about it. Evolution is about getting eaten by monsters. Don't go into the desert and perish there, because it's going to be a waste. If you're lucky the monsters that eat you are your own children. And eventually the search for evolution will, if evolution reaches its global optimum, it will be the perfect devourer. The thing that is able to digest anything and turn it into structure to sustain and perpetuate itself, for long as the local puddle of negentropy is available. And in a way we are yeast. Everything we do, all the complexity that we create, all the structures we build, is to erect some surfaces on which to out compete other kinds of yeast. And if you realize this you can try to get behind this and I think the solution to this is fascism. Fascism is a mode of organization of society in which the individual is a cell in the superorganism and the value of the individual is exactly the contribution to the superorganism. And when the contribution is negative then the superorganism kills it in order to be fitter in the competition against other superorganisms. And it's totally brutal. I don't like fascism because it's going to kill a lot of minds I like. And the arts is slightly different. It's a mutation that is arguably not completely adaptive. It's one where people fall in love with the loss function. Where you think that your mental representation is the intrinsically important thing. That you try to capture a conscious state for its own sake, because you think that matters. The true artist in my view is somebody who captures conscious states and that's the only reason why they eat. So you eat to make art. And another person makes art to eat. And these are of course the ends of a spectrum and the truth is often somewhere in the middle, but in a way there is this fundamental distinction. And there are in some sense the true scientists which are trying to figure out something about the universe. They are trying to reflect it. And it's an artistic process in a way. It's an attempt to be a reflection to this universe. You see there is this amazing vast darkness which is the universe. There's all these iterations of patterns, but mostly there is nothing interesting happening in these patterns. It's a giant fractal and most of it is just boring. And at a brief moment in the evolution of the universe there are planetary surfaces and negentropy gradients that allow for the creation of structure and then there are some brief flashes of consciousness in all this vast darkness. And these brief flashes of consciousness can reflect the universe and maybe even figure out what it is. It's the only chance that we have. Right? This is amazing. Why not do this? Life is short. This is the thing we can do.
Joscha Bach
Even if a particle could travel backward in time, information could not. Retrocausality will be replaced by something more sophisticated. There are no perfect symmetries, there is no pure randomness everything is an approximation of something else. Information may appear in a digital form but meaning never does. Spacetime is built up from approximations, not discrete ones and zeros, and the only constant may be ratios. Quantum entanglement and geometry; if we think of a particle as being at one pole of an expanding sphere that is not perfectly symmetrical, this surface would be "rippling" like the surface of the ocean (in the audio world this is called dithering), at the other pole is the entangled particle's pair and it is a property of the sphere that gives the illusion of connectivity. This is not a physical geometry, it is a computational geometry. Is spacetime a product of entanglement? Renate Loll believes that time is not perfectly symmetrical. Her computer models require causality. Possibly some form of quantum random walk in state space. If a photon is emitted by an electron inside of a clock on Earth and it travels to a clock four light years away, time stops for the clock on Earth and time jumps forward eight years for the distant clock also, the electron that will capture the photon becomes infinitely large relative to the photon but the electron that emitted it does not become infinitely small therefore, time is not perfectly symmetrical.
Rick Delmonico
He hadn't left any of the stretches that he'd done of me. But he did leave a sketch of my rocking chair. It was perfect. A rocking chair against the bare walls of my room. He'd captured the afternoon light streaming into the room, the way the shadows fell on the chair and gave it depth and made it appear as if it was something more than an inanimate object. There was something sad and solitary about the sketch and I wondered if that's the way he saw the world or if that's the way he saw my world. I starred at the sketch for a long time. It scared me. Because there was something true about it.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
If we think of eroticism not as sex per se, but as a vibrant, creative energy, it’s easy to see that Stephanie’s erotic pulse is alive and well. But her eroticism no longer revolves around her husband. Instead, it’s been channeled to her children. There are regular playdates for Jake but only three dates a year for Stephanie and Warren: two birthdays, hers and his, and one anniversary. There is the latest in kids’ fashion for Sophia, but only college sweats for Stephanie. They rent twenty G-rated movies for every R-rated movie. There are languorous hugs for the kids while the grown-ups must survive on a diet of quick pecks. This brings me to another point. Stephanie gets tremendous physical pleasure from her children. Let me be perfectly clear here: she knows the difference between adult sexuality and the sensuousness of caring for small children. She, like most mothers, would never dream of seeking sexual gratification from her children. But, in a sense, a certain replacement has occurred. The sensuality that women experience with their children is, in some ways, much more in keeping with female sexuality in general. For women, much more than for men, sexuality exists along what the Italian historian Francesco Alberoni calls a “principle of continuity.” Female eroticism is diffuse, not localized in the genitals but distributed throughout the body, mind, and senses. It is tactile and auditory, linked to smell, skin, and contact; arousal is often more subjective than physical, and desire arises on a lattice of emotion. In the physicality between mother and child lie a multitude of sensuous experiences. We caress their silky skin, we kiss, we cradle, we rock. We nibble their toes, they touch our faces, we lick their fingers, let them bite us when they’re teething. We are captivated by them and can stare at them for hours. When they devour us with those big eyes, we are besotted, and so are they. This blissful fusion bears a striking resemblance to the physical connection between lovers. In fact, when Stephanie describes the early rapture of her relationship with Warren—lingering gazes, weekends in bed, baby talk, toe-nibbling—the echoes are unmistakable. When she says, “At the end of the day, I have nothing left to give,” I believe her. But I also have come to believe that at the end of the day, there may be nothing more she needs. All this play activity and intimate involvement with her children’s development, all this fleshy connection, has captured Stephanie’s erotic potency to the detriment of the couple’s intimacy and sexuality. This is eros redirected. Her sublimated energy is displaced onto the children, who become the centerpiece of her emotional gratification.
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence)
Too often we sit back and speak platitudes of the nitty-gritty bits of writing; the editing, the story structure, the verbal sparring vs. banter, the character development, the world-building become more important to us than the tune rhythm of the tale. And when you lose the music of the story, all the footwork in the world is not going to make up for the loss of continuity and heart. We need to take a step back in our souls and conjure the image of what this story is: the notes and beats and things woven into it's fullness. See, that's what is so easy to lose sight of as we write. We forget that, in a way, this story is a full story in itself. We tend to try to build the story piece by piece, line upon line, precept upon precept, but that--as any true writer knows--is not entirely practical. A story does have its own identity. To some extent, the story exists in your mind as a whole. Its own being. To chance sounding sappy: Your story is a full piece of music waiting for you to dance it into existence. Don't make the mistake of leaving out all the music. It is tempting to want to have everything arranged to perfection so that little editing will be done. But if you are keeping in mind the way your story needs to run--feeling it and dwelling in the beauty of its passion and color and vibe--the footwork will take care of itself. Certainly it will require practice and your technicalities will need a little work--everyone's does. But you will have captured the essence and blood of the tale, and really that's the prettiest part of a dance.
Rachel Heffington
In 1855, at the height of the Crimean War, Roger Fenton’s photograph, ‘The Valley of the Shadow of Death’, published in The Times, poignantly captured the aftermath of British retreat in the face of the Russian army with a single image of an empty battlefield. There was only one problem. Fenton had constructed the entire scene, moving cannon balls artfully until he had the perfect image. In 1945, on the beach of Iwo Jima, legendary war photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the most famous image of battle ever taken: the raising of the Stars and Stripes as American soldiers took the summit from the Japanese. It won him the Pulitzer Prize. Both are a lie.
Jacques Peretti (Done: The Secret Deals that are Changing Our World)
For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived it.  There is, however, a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy which are not thoughts, and to which as yet I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt to language.  These fancies arise in the soul, alas how rarely.  Only at epochs of most intense tranquillity, when the bodily and mental health are in perfection.  And at those weird points of time, where the confines of the waking world blend with the world of dreams.  And so I captured this fancy, where all that we see, or seem, is but a dream within a dream.” – Edger Allen Poe
Mervin Miller (Nelf Rings)
You take my breath away From mile away Hair, twice as nice Smile is your make up, angelic face You light up the entire place Captured my attention Can't help but stare at your perfection so charming, You will set the red carpet on fire With that amazing attire Best dress among the rest Pretty girls are envy in your beauty And one of a kind personality
patrick cruz
Which would be nicest — Jane with a touch of Charlotte, or Charlotte with a touch of Jane?” This is the kind of discussion I like very much but I wanted to get on with my journal, so I just said: “Fifty per cent each way would be perfect,” and started to write determinedly. Now it is nearly midnight. I feel rather like a Brontë myself, writing by the light of a guttering candle with my fingers so numb I can hardly hold the pencil. I wish Stephen hadn’t made me think of food, because I have been hungry ever since; which is ridiculous as I had a good egg tea not six hours ago. Oh, dear — I have just thought that if Stephen was worrying about me being hungry, he was probably hungry himself. We are a household!
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Love is not standing in someone’s shadow, it’s basking in their light. The blinding strength of your light combined pushes the darkness away. True love is not two half-lives joining together to form a perfect circle. It’s two people who were whole to begin with. Their individual circles join and overlap like a Venn diagram where their souls sit in-between, sharing the space instead of competing for it. And when you are around them, there’s no such thing as too close. You try to capture their whispered words with your lips so that they don’t escape and reach anyone else’s ears. You press your body up against theirs with a quiet sense of desperation, resenting the layers of skin and muscle which prevent you from sinking into their bones.
A.J. Compton (The Counting-Downers)
I mean, it’s AWESOME, but it’s also a little bit “New York awe­some,” you know? How do I explain how I felt about it? I guess ... well ... in New York City people spend ten years making something amazing happen, something that captures the essence of an idea so perfectly that sud­denly the world becomes ten times clearer. It’s beautiful and it’s powerful and someone devoted a huge piece of their life to it. The local news does a story about it and everyone goes “Neat!” and then tomorrow we forget about it in favor of some other ABSOLUTELY PERFECT AND REMARKABLE THING. That doesn’t make those things un­wonderful or not unique ... It’s just that there are a lot of people doing a lot of amazing things, so eventually you get a little jaded.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Mary Hepburn was meanwhile murdering herself up in her room, lying on her bed with the polyethylene sheath of her "Jackie dress" swapped around her head. The sheath was now all steamed up inside, and she hallucinated that she was a great land tortoise lying on its back in the hot and humid hold of a sailing ship of long ago. She pawed the air in perfect futility, just as a land tortoise on its back would have done. As she had often told her students, sailing ships bound out across the Pacific used to stop off in the Galàpagos Islands to capture defenseless tortoises, who could live on their backs without food or water for months. They were so slow and tame and huge and plentiful. The sailors would capsize them without fear of being bitten or clawed. then they would drag them down to waiting longboats on the shore, using the animals' own useless suits of armor for sleds. They would store them on their backs in the dark paying no further attention to them until it was time for them to be eaten. the beauty of the tortoises to the sailors was that they were fresh meat which did not have to be refrigerated or eaten right away.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Galápagos)
Some religions, such as Catholicism, fully endorsed slavery, as Pope Nicholas V made clear when, in 1452, he issued the radically proslavery document Dum Diversas. This was a papal bull granting Catholic countries such as Spain and Portugal “full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property … and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.”10 These last few words—to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery—sound not just sinister to us, but also psychotic. They make perfect sense, however, in a Christian context, given that the Bible is itself a heedlessly proslavery tome.
Michael Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science Makes Us Better People)
The door to the kitchen yard was open. A few snowflakes swirled into the hallway and vanished. Maybe now. Maybe now was the moment when she would flee. Kestrel took another step. Her heartbeat trembled in her throat. Then the door sang wide on its hinges, light flooded the hallway, and Arin walked in. She bit back a gasp. He, too, was surprised to see her. He straightened suddenly under the weight of the grain sack over his shoulder. Quick as thought, his eyes went to the open door. He set down the sack and locked the door behind him. “You’re back,” she said. “I’m leaving again.” “To steal more grain from a captured country estate?” His smile was perfectly mischievous. “Rebels must eat.” “And I suppose you use my horse in these battles and thefts of yours.” “He’s happy to support a good cause.” Kestrel huffed and would have turned to wend her way back through the workrooms, but he said, “Would you like to see him? Javelin?” She stood still. “He misses you,” said Arin. She said yes. After Arin had stacked his final load of grain in the pantry and given her his coat, they walked out into the kitchen yard and crossed its slate flagstones to reach the grounds and the stables.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Want to be a great communicator? Try writing a screenplay. Even if your story is more hideous than the films Ishtar and Gigli combined, you’ll learn how to capture and hold attention. That’s because a screenplay forces you to make your point through visual description, action, or dialogue. Abstract or theoretical content is not allowed. The activity forces you to discover and develop visual storytelling.
Bill McGowan (Pitch Perfect: How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time (How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time Hardcover))
And you approve of your future sister-in-law?” Cade asked. “Sure. Isabelle seems great.” Her sister, on the other hand . . . Huxley studied him as he slid on his boxer briefs. “What’s the ‘but’?” “No ‘but,’” Vaughn said. “I like Simon’s fiancée.” And, fortunately for him, she inherited all the good-natured genes in the family. Cade furrowed his brow. “There it is again—that look. Like you want to say more.” Vaughn scoffed at that as he pulled on his clothes. “There’s no look.” Cade pointed. “Huxley just put on his underwear. Not once, in the two years that you two have been partners, have you ever missed an opportunity to smirk at the fact that the man irons his boxer briefs.” “Hey. They fold neater that way. It saves space in the drawer,” Huxley said. Cade gave Vaughn a look. I rest my case. “So? What gives?” Vaughn took in the tenacious expression on his friend’s face and knew that any further denials would only bring on more questions. He sighed. “Fine.” He thought about where to begin. “Isabelle has a sister.” Huxley rolled his eyes. “Here we go.” “No, no. Not here we go. She and I are not going anywhere,” Vaughn said emphatically. “The woman’s a . . .” He paused, trying to think of the right word. He caught sight of another agent, Sam Wilkins, passing by their row of lockers. The man was a walking dictionary. “Hey, Wilkins—what’s that word you used the other day, to describe the female witness who kept arguing with you?” “Termagant,” Wilkins called over. “Means ‘quarrelsome woman.’” Vaughn nodded at Cade and Huxley in satisfaction, thinking that definition perfectly captured Sidney Sinclair. “There. She’s a termagant.” “It can also mean ‘vixen,’” Wilkins shouted from the next aisle over. “Thank you, Merriam-Webster,” Vaughn called back, with a half growl. “I think we’ve got it.” Cade raised an eyebrow teasingly. “So. Does the vixen have a name?” Yep, Vaughn had walked right into that one. “Sidney
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
I was standing alone, at bank of a river Singing a song of a dishearten seraph Wind blows throw me, wild and cold Freezing my eyes to capture the knock I was staring at a glimpse straight to my sight Ignoring the glamour and beauty of life I saw someone in the blurred flight Circling over me to focus the light My mind become brighter and so am I Oh! He was there for so long I find I was never as solo as my night I have a perfect one to be on my side I was once weak and disappointed by my journey I was angry and mad on my unfaithful company I tried hard to be stronger and tougher than I mean And now I am determined and full of virtuous deeds I was bored of hectic normal life of mine And couldn’t find anyone to guide on my line I alone discovered what I meant to be My talents, my path and my desired needs I am ready to face the world that I've known To uncover those skills I learned on my own To make a place of acts, not of just words A place of liberty and love to be heard
Iqra Iqbal
People who live with purpose are willing to be sewn back together; they’re willing to admit they’re separated in the first place, and they’re willing to have some safe friends get involved to help put them back together. Come home to yourself. Get reacquainted with your true self, which is the you everyone sees plus the shadow they don’t. Give yourself a pep talk about how it’s okay to be exactly who you are. The people I enjoy the most aren’t looking to me for validation; they have already arrived there for themselves knowing they are not perfect but that God loves them anyway. They recognize that life is trying to put them in a prison cell of head fakes and faulty expectations. It’s refreshing to be around them, and if this is the kind of person you are becoming, lay out the red carpet and invite these people into your life. Decide to ditch insecurity and replace it with God’s brand of acceptance. Try it. Nothing feels quite so good as tossing off toxic expectations and the distractions of unhealthy peers, workmates, family, and the world around you as you settle into the joy of simply being you.
Bob Goff (Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy.)
I would walk round that beautiful, unspoilt little island, with its population of under a hundred and where there isn’t a single tarmac road, thinking about how he would truly sound. Perhaps the quietness of the island helped me do so. ‘Everybody thinks he’s French,’ I said to myself as I walked across the great stones that littered the beach at Rushy Bay, or stomped over the tussocky grass of Heathy Hill, with its famous dwarf pansies. ‘The only reason people think Poirot is French is because of his accent,’ I muttered. ‘But he’s Belgian, and I know that French-speaking Belgians don’t sound French, not a bit of it.’" "I also was well aware of Brian Eastman’s advice to me before I left for Bryher: ‘Don’t forget, he may have an accent, but the audience must be able to understand exactly what he’s saying.’ There was my problem in a nutshell." "To help me, I managed to get hold of a set of Belgian Walloon and French radio recordings from the BBC. Poirot came from Liège in Belgium and would have spoken Belgian French, the language of 30 per cent of the country’s population, rather than Walloon, which is very much closer to the ordinary French language. To these I added recordings of English-language stations broadcasting from Belgium, as well as English-language programmes from Paris. My principal concern was to give my Poirot a voice that would ring true, and which would also be the voice of the man I heard in my head when I read his stories. I listened for hours, and then gradually started mixing Walloon Belgian with French, while at the same time slowly relocating the sound of his voice in my body, moving it from my chest to my head, making it sound a little more high-pitched, and yes, a little more fastidious. After several weeks, I finally began to believe that I’d captured it: this was what Poirot would have sounded like if I’d met him in the flesh. This was how he would have spoken to me – with that characteristic little bow as we shook hands, and that little nod of the head to the left as he removed his perfectly brushed grey Homburg hat. The more I heard his voice in my head, and added to my own list of his personal characteristics, the more determined I became never to compromise in my portrayal of Poirot.
David Suchet (Poirot and Me)
Dahmer was as manipulative and calculating as the other killers we've covered in this book, demonstrating a keen understanding of how to evade capture the vast majority of his victims were Black men, not because Dahmer was exclusively attracted to the them but because he knew that police were much less likely to investigate their disappearances. In this, he was absolutely correct, harkening back to the "less dead" theory we discussed in Gacy's case. When you add gay and poor to that victim profile as many of Dahmer's victims were, you've got the perfect trifecta of investigative apathy.
Marcus Parks (The Last Book On The Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History's Most Notorious Serial Killers)
Keats captures both ecstasy and its link with death in his ‘Ode to a Nightingale’. Darkling I listen; and for many a time I have been half in love with easeful Death, Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die, To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad In such an ecstasy!16 The association of ecstatic states of mind with death is understandable. These rare moments are of such perfection that it is hard to return to the commonplace, and tempting to end life before tensions, anxieties, sorrows, and irritations intrude once more. For Freud, dissolution of the ego is nothing but a backward look at an infantile condition which may indeed have been blissful, but which represents a paradise lost which no adult can, or should wish to, regain. For Jung, the attainment of such states are high achievements; numinous experiences which may be the fruit of long struggles to understand oneself and to make sense out of existence. At a later point in this book, Jung’s concept of individuation, of the union of opposites within the circle of the individual psyche, will be further explored.
Anthony Storr (Solitude: A Return to the Self)
As a recovering perfectionist and an aspiring good-enoughist, I’ve found it extremely helpful to bust some of the myths about perfectionism so that we can develop a definition that accurately captures what it is and what it does to our lives. Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It’s a shield. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight. Perfectionism is not self-improvement. Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval and acceptance. Most perfectionists were raised being praised for achievement and performance (grades, manners, rule-following, people-pleasing, appearance, sports). Somewhere along the way, we adopt this dangerous and debilitating belief system: I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect. Healthy striving is self-focused—How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused—What will they think?
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
The Prime Minister, who was in close contact with the Queen and Prince Charles, captured the feelings of loss and despair when he spoke to the nation earlier in the day from his Sedgefield constituency. Speaking without notes, his voice breaking with emotion, he described Diana as a ‘wonderful and warm human being.’ ‘She touched the lives of so many others in Britain and throughout the world with joy and with comfort. How difficult things were for her from time to time, I’m sure we can only guess at. But people everywhere, not just here in Britain, kept faith with Princess Diana. They liked her, they loved her, they regarded her as one of the people. She was the People’s Princess and that is how she will stay, how she will remain in all our hearts and memories for ever.’ While his was the first of many tributes which poured in from world figures, it perfectly captured the mood of the nation in a historic week which saw the British people, with sober intensity and angry dignity, place on trial the ancient regime, notably an elitist, exploitative and male-dominated mass media and an unresponsive monarchy. For a week Britain succumbed to flower power, the scent and sight of millions of bouquets a mute and telling testimony to the love people felt towards a woman who was scorned by the Establishment during her lifetime. So it was entirely appropriate when Buckingham Palace announced that her funeral would be ‘a unique service for a unique person’. The posies, the poems, the candles and the cards that were placed at Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and elsewhere spoke volumes about the mood of the nation and the state of modern Britain. ‘The royal family never respected you, but the people did,’ said one message, as thousands of people, most of whom had never met her, made their way in quiet homage to Kensington Palace to express their grief, their sorrow, their guilt and their regret. Total strangers hugged and comforted each other, others waited patiently to lay their tributes, some prayed silently. When darkness fell, the gardens were bathed in an ethereal glow from the thousands of candles, becoming a place of dignified pilgrimage that Chaucer would have recognized. All were welcome and all came, a rainbow of coalition of young and old of every colour and nationality, East Enders and West Enders, refugees, the disabled, the lonely, the curious, and inevitably, droves of tourists. She was the one person in the land who could connect with those Britons who had been pushed to the edges of society as well as with those who governed it.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
I should know; perfectionism has always been a weakness of mine. Brene' Bown captures the motive in the mindset of the perfectionist in her book Daring Greatly: "If I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame." This is the game, and I'm the player. Perfectionism for me comes from the feelings that I don't know enough. I'm not smart enough. Not hardworking enough. Perfectionism spikes for me if I'm going into a meeting with people who disagree with me, or if I'm giving a talk to experts to know more about the topic I do … when I start to feel inadequate and my perfectionism hits, one of the things I do is start gathering facts. I'm not talking about basic prep; I'm talking about obsessive fact-gathering driven by the vision that there shouldn't be anything I don't know. If I tell myself I shouldn't overprepare, then another voice tells me I'm being lazy. Boom. Ultimately, for me, perfectionism means hiding who I am. It's dressing myself up so the people I want to impress don't come away thinking I'm not as smart or interesting as I thought. It comes from a desperate need to not disappoint others. So I over-prepare. And one of the curious things I've discovered is that what I'm over-prepared, I don't listen as well; I go ahead and say whatever I prepared, whether it responds to the moment or not. I miss the opportunity to improvise or respond well to a surprise. I'm not really there. I'm not my authentic self… If you know how much I am not perfect. I am messy and sloppy in so many places in my life. But I try to clean myself up and bring my best self to work so I can help others bring their best selves to work. I guess what I need to role model a little more is the ability to be open about the mess. Maybe I should just show that to other people. That's what I said in the moment. When I reflected later I realized that my best self is not my polished self. Maybe my best self is when I'm open enough to say more about my doubts or anxieties, admit my mistakes, confess when I'm feeling down. The people can feel more comfortable with their own mess and that's needs your culture to live in that. That was certainly the employees' point. I want to create a workplace where everyone can bring the most human, most authentic selves where we all expect and respect each other's quirks and flaws and all the energy wasted in the pursuit of perfection is saved and channeled into the creativity we need for the work that is a cultural release impossible burdens and lift everyone up.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
I thought I might get a cinematic love story, and I've gotten some of that. But sitting here in my parents' house, with Ava a couple feet away from me, eating chow fun and watching Melrose Place, I realize that all of the sets and the props and the performances, the scripts that take years to write; the perfect camera angles and painstaking lighting, the directors that call take after take until it turns out right, the projections on the huge theater screens - so much larger and louder than life - it's all done in hopes of portraying what I'm feeling right now. As much as I had wanted a love story out of a movie, I know now that movies can only hope to capture this kind of love.
Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You)
He did not know how much time passed. He got up, ripped the canvas off the frame, threw it into a corner, and put on a new one. He mixed some paints, sat down, and began work. One starts with a hopeless struggle to follow nature, and everything goes wrong; one ends by calmly creating from one’s palette, and nature agrees with it and follows. On croit que j’imagine—ce n’est pas vrai—je me souviens. It was just as Pietersen had told him in Brussels; he had been too close to his models. He had not been able to get a perspective. He had been pouring himself into the mould of nature; now he poured nature into the mould of himself. He painted the whole thing in the colour of a good, dusty, unpeeled potato. There was the dirty, linen table cloth, the smoky wall, the lamp hanging down from the rough rafters, Stien serving her father with steamed potatoes, the mother pouring the black coffee, the brother lifting a cup to his lips, and on all their faces the calm, patient acceptance of the eternal order of things. The sun rose and a bit of light peered into the storeroom window. Vincent got up from his stool. He felt perfectly calm and peaceful. The twelve days’ excitement was gone. He looked at his work. It reeked of bacon, smoke, and potato steam. He smiled. He had painted his Angelus. He had captured that which does not pass in that which passes. The Brabant peasant would never die.
Irving Stone (Lust For Life)
You don't know it, but you captured me quickly, with your faux innocence, the nerdy-glasses, pencil-skirt look that you were trying to pull off. When I saw you later, dressed to the hilt, pure sex from your stilettos to your hair, I didn't believe it. I saw you as playing a part. But - " he breathed, reaching out and trailing a finger over my open lips "- you are pure sex. When you are in your element, which is typically when you are stuffed full of cock, I've never seen a more sexually perfect being in my life." His mouth twitched, and he pulled me to him for a soft, gentle kiss. "I fell for that feisty, smart-ass Julia that calls me on my shit. But I'm owned by the vixen that you become behind closed doors.
Alessandra Torre (Masked Innocence (Innocence, #2))
I have this special license burning a hole in my pocket, so I was thinking we might go find a vicar and use it. Pinter and Freddy can be witnesses.” He looked anxiously at her. “What do you think?” “Don’t you want your family present when we marry? I thought you lordly sorts had to have grand weddings.” “Is that what you want?” In truth, she’d never been one to dream of her wedding day as a brilliant spectacle. Clandestine weddings were always what captured her imagination, complete with a dangerous, brooding fellow and mysterious goings-on. In this instance, she had both. He said, “Let me put it this way: we can spend an untold number of days sneaking around just to steal a kiss, being chaperoned every minute while my sisters and Gran plan the wedding of the century. Or we can marry today and share a bed at the inn tonight like a respectable husband and wife. I’m not keep on waiting, but then, I never am when it comes to you. So what is your opinion in the matter?” She couldn’t resist teasing him a little. “I think you just want to punish your grandmother for her sly tactics by depriving her of the weddings.” He smiled. “Perhaps a little. And God knows my friends are never going to let me live this down. I’m not looking forward to hours of their torment at a wedding breakfast.” He stopped in a little copse where they would be hidden from the street. “But if you want a big wedding, I can endure it.” His expression was solemn as he took her hands in his. “I can endure anything, as long as you marry me. And keep loving me for the rest of your life.” Staring into his earnest face, she felt something flip over in her chest. She stretched up to brush his mouth with hers, and he pulled her in for a long, ardent kiss. “Well?” he said huskily when he was done. “If I had any sense of decency, I would give you a chance to consult with a lawyer about settlements and such, especially since you’ll be coming into some money. But-“ “-you have no sense of decency, I know,” she teased. She tapped her finger against her chin. “Or was that morals you claimed not to have? I can’t remember.” “Watch it, minx,” he warned with a lift of his brow. “If you intend to taunt me for every foolish statement I’ve made in my life, you’ll force me to play Rockton and lock you up in my dark, forbidding manor while I have my wicked way with you.” “That sounds perfectly awful,” she said, gazing at the man she loved. “How soon can we start?
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
With his tongue between his teeth, Officer Wally cocked his weapon and took aim. BANG! Mario felt the bullet enter his left foot, but carried on running undeterred. In place of screams, there was laughter. The golden ecstasy supplied by the drug was at its peak. It wouldn’t be long now; he could feel it. BANG! The second bullet caught him in his right foot, yet he dared not stop. It was near now, so near... BANG! “He missed,” Mario thought initially, but as he brought his hands to his lips, he tasted iron. Both his palms were bleeding profusely, and so were his feet. He laughed once again – head spinning, heart dancing, mind burdened by his search for meaning – his wet eyes on the velvet sky. The clouds were clearing. ‘The spear!’ he shouted to the heavens above. ‘Don’t forget the spear!’ It happened faster than any pair of eyes could capture it: the fourth bullet cut through the air with a tangible screech, and the nearby building exploded into applause. Like a marionette whose strings had been cut, Mario Fantoccio fell theatrically, the wound at his side painting the cobbles in Marsmeyer’s No.4 vermillion red. The ground beneath him split down the middle, and from the depths of asphalt, he heard music. It was the Music of Strings, of Celestial Spheres – an underworld rhapsody with dark aftertones, gushing out of the earth like puss from a wound. It was alluring, resplendent and at the same time, terrifying. Demonic and eternal, devastating and yet hypnotizing, the Sounds of Hell beckoned, and like an obedient child, Mario followed, sinking deeper and deeper into the Underworld. In a perfect moment of synchronicity, the orange sun of dusk broke through the rainclouds and cast a single beam of sunlight upon Mario’s forehead. He closed his eyes, his mind at ease, his head full of Music. The cobbles trembled under the approaching sound of footsteps. ‘Where is he? Where did he go?’ said the pursuing man. ‘H-he just vanished, sarge. In-into thin air!’ ‘Don’t be silly, Wally. People don’t just vanish into thin air. I know I got him. Heaven preserve me, I got him four times!’ ‘Yes, sarge.’ ‘What’s this now?’ ‘Rather looks like our man, sarge. Or at least, his rough outline filled out in blood. Well, except—’ ‘—except this one’s got wings,’ said the sergeant, his knees cracking as he crouched. He cautiously prodded the red shape with his index. ‘This ain’t blood, either.’ ‘Sir?’ The sergeant shoved the finger in his mouth. ‘Theatrical red paint.
Louise Blackwick (The Underworld Rhapsody)
In one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, Amadeus, Salieri looks with wide-eyed astonishment at a manuscript of Mozart's and says, "Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall." In this, Salieri captured the essence of perfection. His two sentences define precisely what we mean by perfection in many contexts, including theoretical physics. You might say it's a perfect definition. A theory begins to be perfect if any change makes it worse. That's Salieri's first sentence, translated from music to physics. And it's right on point. But the real genius comes with Salieri's second sentence. A theory becomes perfectly perfect if it's impossible to change it significantly without ruining it entirely-that is, if changing the theory significantly reduces it to nonsense.
Frank Wilczek (The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces)
Maybe I’m not cut out for monogamy,” G. had said to me early on. “Maybe I should just live in a room by myself and have girlfriends.” Another woman might have said, “Now, where did I put my coat?” Being a madly infatuated rationalist who had read her Simone de Beauvoir, I took a deep breath and carefully and calmly explained that of course he had to make up his own mind about how he wanted to live, and that I understood fidelity wasn’t for everyone, that some people could be perfectly happy without it, but I wanted to give my whole self in love and I couldn’t do that if I was being compared to other women on a daily basis (which I was) or if our relationship was only tentative and provisional (which it was). “Sweetie!” he said when I finished. “I love it that you can say how you feel without getting angry at me.” That other woman would have slammed the door behind her before he’d finished speaking. They say philanderers are attractive to women because of the thrill of the chase—you want to be the one to capture and tame that wild quarry. But what if a deeper truth is that women fall for such men because they want to be those men? Autonomous, in charge, making their own rules. Imagine that room G. spoke of, in which the women would come and go—is there not something attractive about it? Rain tapping softly on the tin ceiling, a desk, a lamp, a bed. A woman dashes up the narrow stairs, her raincoat flaring, her wet face lifted up like a flower. And then, the next day—maybe even the same day—different footsteps, another expectant face. I had to admit, it was an exciting scenario. You wouldn’t want to be one of the women trooping up and down the staircase, but you might want to be the man who lived in the room.
Katha Pollitt (Learning to Drive (Movie Tie-in Edition): And Other Life Stories)
But what might a woman say about church as she? What might a woman say about the church as body and bride? Perhaps she would speak of the way a regular body moves through the world—always changing, never perfect—capable of nurturing life, not simply through the womb, but through hands, feet, eyes, voice, and brain. Every part is sacred. Every part has a function. Perhaps she would speak of impossible expectations and all the time she’s wasted trying to contort herself into the shape of those amorphous silhouettes that flit from magazines and billboards into her mind. Or of this screwed-up notion of purity as a status, as something awarded by men with tests and checklists and the power to give it and take it away. Perhaps she would speak of the surprise of seeing herself—flaws and all—in the mirror on her wedding day. Or of the reality that with new life comes swollen breasts, dry heaves, dirty diapers, snotty noses, late-night arguments, and a whole army of new dangers and fears she never even considered before because life-giving isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds, but it’s a thousand times more beautiful. Perhaps she would talk about being underestimated, about surprising people and surprising herself. Or about how there are moments when her own strength startles her, and moments when her weakness—her forgetfulness, her fear, her exhaustion—unnerve her. Maybe she would tell of the time, in the mountains with bare feet on the ground, she stood tall and wise and felt every cell in her body smile in assent as she inhaled and exhaled and in one loud second realized, I’m alive! I’m enfleshed! only to forget it the next. Or maybe she would explain how none of the categories created for her sum her up or capture her essence.
Rachel Held Evans
We were in Julie’s room one night, my eldest daughter and I, maybe a decade ago now. I wanted to show her how the canvas painting she had carefully labored over for her little sister's Christmas gift was framed and hung on the wall. I said, gazing at her masterpiece with no small amount of motherly pride, “Now it looks like a real work of art”. Bella looked at me quizzically, wondering yet again how her mother could possibly understand so little about the world. “Mama, every time you make something, or draw something, or paint something, it is already real art. There is no such thing as art that is not real” And so I said that she was right, and didn’t it look nice, and once again, daughter became guru and mother became willing student. Which is, I sometimes think, the way it was meant to be. ~~~~~ art is always real. all of it. even the stuff you don’t understand. even the stuff you don’t like. even the stuff that you made that you would be embarrassed to show your best friend that photo that you took when you first got your DSLR, when you captured her spirit perfectly but the focus landed on her shoulder? still art. the painting you did last year the first time you picked up a brush, the one your mentor critiqued to death? it’s art. the story you are holding in your heart and so desperately want to tell the world? definitely art. the scarf you knit for your son with the funky messed up rows? art. art. art. the poem scrawled on your dry cleaning receipt at the red light. the dress you want to sew. the song you want to sing. the clay you’ve not yet molded. everything you have made or will one day make or imagine making in your wildest dreams. it’s all real, every last bit. because there is no such thing as art that is not real.
Jeanette LeBlanc
When she finally reached it, she bent forward and looked through the peephole. Jay was grinning back at her from outside. Her heart leaped for a completely different reason. She set aside her crutches and quickly unbolted the door to open it. "What took you so long?" Her knee was bent and her ankle pulled up off the ground. She balanced against the doorjamb. "What d'you think, dumbass?" she retorted smartly, keeping her voice down so she wouldn't alert her parents. "You scared the crap out of me, by the way. My parents are already in bed, and I was all alone down here." "Good!" he exclaimed as he reached in and grabbed her around the waist, dragging her up against him and wrapping his arms around her. She giggled while he held her there, enjoying everything about the feel of him against her. "What are you doing here? I thought I wouldn't see you till tomorrow." "I wanted to show you something!" He beamed at her, and his enthusiasm reached out to capture her in its grip. She couldn't help smiling back excitedly. "What is it?" she asked breathlessly. He didn't release her; he just turned, still holding her gently in his arms, so that she could see out into the driveway. The first thing she noticed was the officer in his car, alert now as he kept a watchful eye on the two of them. Violet realized that it was late, already past eleven, and from the look on his face, she thought he must have been hoping for a quiet, uneventful evening out there. And then she saw the car. It was beautiful and sleek, painted a glossy black that, even in the dark, reflected the light like a polished mirror. Violet recognized the Acura insignia on the front of the hood, and even though she could tell it wasn't brand-new, it looked like it had been well taken care of. "Whose is it?" she asked admiringly. It was way better than her crappy little Honda. Jay grinned again, his face glowing with enthusiasm. "It's mine. I got it tonight. That's why I had to go. My mom had the night off, and I wanted to get it before..." He smiled down at her. "I didn't want to borrow your car to take you to the dance." "Really?" she breathed. "How...? I didn't even know you were..." She couldn't seem to find the right words; she was envious and excited for him all at the same time. "I know right?" he answered, as if she'd actually asked coherent questions. "I've been saving for...for forever, really. What do you think?" Violet smiled at him, thinking that he was entirely too perfect for her. "I think it's beautiful," she said with more meaning than he understood. And then she glanced back at the car. "I had no idea that you were getting a car. I love it, Jay," she insisted, wrapping her arms around his neck as he hoisted her up, cradling her like a small child." "I'd offer to take you for a test-drive, but I'm afraid that Supercop over there would probably Taser me with his stun gun. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow," he said, and without waiting for an invitation he carried her inside, dead bolting the door behind him. He settled down on the couch, where she'd been sitting by herself just moments before, without letting her go. There was a movie on the television, but neither of them paid any attention to it as Jay reclined, stretching out and drawing her down into the circle of his arms. They spent the rest of the night like that, cradled together, their bodies fitting each other perfectly, as they kissed and whispered and laughed quietly in the darkness. At some point Violet was aware that she was drifting into sleep, as her thoughts turned dreamlike, becoming disjointed and fuzzy and hard to hold on to. She didn't fight it; she enjoyed the lazy, drifting feeling, along with the warmth created by the cocoon of Jay's body wrapped protectively around her. It was the safest she'd felt in days...maybe weeks... And for the first time since she'd been chased by the man in the woods, her dreams were free from monsters.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Spill-what’s the deal with Hottie McDreamMan?” “Sage?” I laughed. “No, I mean Minister Sanders.” She threw a pillow at me. “Of course I mean Sage! He’s the one, right? The guy from your dreams. Oh my God-he’s real and he’s hot! Does he kiss as well in real life as he did in your dreams?” “I wouldn’t know,” I admitted. “We haven’t kissed.” “What are you waiting for?” “So the whole randomly-popping-up-in-pictures thing doesn’t bother you?” “Nope.” “The whole strange-cultists-chasing-after-him? That doesn’t bother you either?” “Nobody’s perfect, Clea.” “How about if I told you he might be a serial killer? Would that bother you?” “Debatable. Elaborate.” I told her about the nightmares and about what I’d seen in his house. As I unrolled the story, her expression went from flip and giddy to openmouthed and riveted. “Oh my God, Clea.” “Crazy, right? And I still have no idea how he got into all those pictures.” “That part’s easy.” “Really?” “Of course,” she said. “You’re soulmates. “Rayna…” “Fine, I know, you don’t like that word. But you can’t possibly deny that you have a deep, powerful soul connection. By definition you have that. You said yourself, he found you in four different countries and four different times. Out of all the people in the world at any given time, he found you. The only possible way he could have done that is if your souls were connected. He’s a soul-seeking missile.” “But he told me he wasn’t there for any of the pictures.” “Yes, he was! Don’t you get it, Clea? Your souls are connected-he’s always with you, whether he’s there physically or not. And you’re the one who told me about cameras capturing people’s souls, right? So that’s what it’s doing-capturing the soul that’s always with you, because you’re always connected. It’s very romantic.” I thought about what she said, ignoring the last sentence because I knew by now that everything was very romantic to Rayna. “Okay,” I ceded, “I’ll give you the connection. But what about the serial killer thing? What fi we’re connected because he tracks these women down, acts like he loves them, and then kills them?” “Kills you. You’re them.” “Yeah, thanks, that’s a much nicer way to put it,” I said, rolling my eyes.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
His fingers unhooked from hers, following that same path up her arm, and then back down it again. The feeling was so distracting, so good, so sweet against her clammy skin. She didn't choose a piece from her repertoire; Etta gave herself over to the notes that started streaming through her mind, rising from somewhere deep inside of her. The melody of her heart had no name; it was quick, and light. It rolled with the waves, falling as the breath left his chest, rising as he inhaled. It was the rain sliding down the glass; the fog spreading its fingers over the water. The creaking of a ship's great body. The secrets whispered by the wind, and the unseen life that moved below. It was the flame against the candle. Nicholas's arm was a map of hard muscles and delicate sinews, heartbreakingly perfect. She wondered if he could hear her humming the piece against his skin over the droning roars overhead. Maybe. His free hand skimmed up her skin, leaving a trail of sparks in its wake. With the world blacked out around them, she could catalog all over her senses, capture this moment in the warm darkness forever. He brushed back the loose hair across her forehead, cheek, the corner of her lips, her jaw, and she knew it had to be the same for him, that they'd never been so aware of another person in their entire lives. She released his arm, and he drew it up around her, guiding both of them down so they were on their sides, their heads cushioned by the bag, his jacket drawn over them. Etta understood that here, in the darkness, they'd found a place beyond rules; a place that hung somewhere between the past and the future. This was a single moment of possibility. The clattering of the attack from above faded as he rested his forehead against hers, his thumb lightly stroking a bruise on her cheek. She traced his face - the straight nose, the high, proud cheekbones, the full curve of his lips. His hand caught her there, taking it in his own; he pressed a hard, almost despairing kiss to it. But when she tilted her face up, half - desperate with longing, her blood racing, Nicholas pulled back; and although Etta could feel him beside her, his heart pounding, his ragged breath, it was as if he had disappeared into the thundering dark.
Alexandra Bracken (Passenger (Passenger, #1))
And, so, what was it that elevated Rubi from dictator's son-in-law to movie star's husband to the sort of man who might capture the hand of the world's wealthiest heiress? Well, there was his native charm. People who knew him, even if only casually, even if they were predisposed to be suspicious or resentful of him, came away liking him. He picked up checks; he had courtly manners; he kept the party gay and lively; he was attentive to women but made men feel at ease; he was smoothly quick to rise from his chair when introduced, to open doors, to light a lady's cigarette ("I have the fastest cigarette lighter in the house," he once boasted): the quintessential chivalrous gent of manners. The encomia, if bland, were universal. "He's a very nice guy," swore gossip columnist Earl Wilson, who stayed with Rubi in Paris. ""I'm fond of him," said John Perona, owner of New York's El Morocco. "Rubi's got a nice personality and is completely masculine," attested a New York clubgoer. "He has a lot of men friends, which, I suppose, is unusual. Aly Khan, for instance, has few male friends. But everyone I know thinks Rubi is a good guy." "He is one of the nicest guys I know," declared that famed chum of famed playboys Peter Lawford. "A really charming man- witty, fun to be with, and a he-man." There were a few tricks to his trade. A society photographer judged him with a professional eye thus: "He can meet you for a minute and a month later remember you very well." An author who played polo with him put it this way: "He had a trick that never failed. When he spoke with someone, whether man or woman, it seemed as if the rest of the world had lost all interest for him. He could hang on the words of a woman or man who spoke only banalities as if the very future of the world- and his future, especially- depended on those words." But there was something deeper to his charm, something irresistible in particular when he turned it on women. It didn't reveal itself in photos, and not every woman was susceptible to it, but it was palpable and, when it worked, unforgettable. Hollywood dirt doyenne Hedda Hoppe declared, "A friend says he has the most perfect manners she has ever encountered. He wraps his charm around your shoulders like a Russian sable coat." Gossip columnist Shelia Graham was chary when invited to bring her eleven-year-old daughter to a lunch with Rubi in London, and her wariness was transmitted to the girl, who wiped her hand off on her dress after Rubi kissed it in a formal greeting; by the end of lunch, he had won the child over with his enthusiastic, spontaneous manner, full of compliments but never cloying. "All done effortlessly," Graham marveled. "He was probably a charming baby, I am sure that women rushed to coo over him in the cradle." Elsa Maxwell, yet another gossip, but also a society gadabout and hostess who claimed a key role in at least one of Rubi's famous liaisons, put it thus: "You expect Rubi to be a very dangerous young man who personifies the wolf. Instead, you meet someone who is so unbelievably charming and thoughtful that you are put off-guard before you know it." But charm would only take a man so far. Rubi was becoming and international legend not because he could fascinate a young girl but because he could intoxicate sophisticated women. p124
Shawn Levy (The Last Playboy : the High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa)
MARCH 31 The cross is evidence that in the hands of the Redeemer, moments of apparent defeat become wonderful moments of grace and victory. At the center of a biblical worldview is this radical recognition—the most horrible thing that ever happened was the most wonderful thing that ever happened. Consider the cross of Jesus Christ. Could it be possible for something to happen that was more terrible than this? Could any injustice be greater? Could any loss be more painful? Could any suffering be worse? The only man who ever lived a life that was perfect in every way possible, who gave his life for the sake of many, and who willingly suffered from birth to death in loyalty to his calling was cruelly and publicly murdered in the most vicious of ways. How could it happen that the Son of Man could die? How could it be that men could capture and torture the Messiah? Was this not the end of everything good, true, and beautiful? If this could happen, is there any hope for the world? Well, the answer is yes. There is hope! The cross was not the end of the story! In God’s righteous and wise plan, this dark and disastrous moment was ordained to be the moment that would fix all the dark and disastrous things that sin had done to the world. This moment of death was at the same time a moment of life. This hopeless moment was the moment when eternal hope was given. This terrible moment of injustice was at the very same time a moment of amazing grace. This moment of extreme suffering guaranteed that suffering would end one day, once and for all. This moment of sadness welcomed us to eternal joy of heart and life. The capture and death of Christ purchased for us life and freedom. The very worst thing that could happen was at the very same time the very best thing that could happen. Only God is able to do such a thing. The same God who planned that the worst thing would be the best thing is your Father. He rules over every moment in your life, and in powerful grace he is able to do for you just what he did in redemptive history. He takes the disasters in your life and makes them tools of redemption. He takes your failure and employs it as a tool of grace. He uses the “death” of the fallen world to motivate you to reach out for life. The hardest things in your life become the sweetest tools of grace in his wise and loving hands. So be careful how you make sense of your life. What looks like a disaster may in fact be grace. What looks like the end may be the beginning. What looks hopeless may be God’s instrument to give you real and lasting hope. Your Father is committed to taking what seems so bad and turning it into something that is very, very good.
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
III. But we must close with a third remark. Christ really underwent yet a third trial. He was not only tried before the ecclesiastical and civil tribunals, but, he was really tried before the great democratical tribunal, that is, the assembly of the people in the street. You will say, "How?" Well, the trial was somewhat singular, but yet it was really a trial. Barabbas—a thief, a felon, a murderer, a traitor, had been captured; he was probably one of a band of murderers who were accustomed to come up to Jerusalem at the time of the feast, carrying daggers under their cloaks to stab persons in the crowd, and rob them, and then he would be gone again; besides that, he had tried to stir up sedition, setting himself up possibly as a leader of banditti. Christ was put into competition with this villain; the two were presented before the popular eye, and to the shame of manhood, to the disgrace of Adam's race, let it be remembered that the perfect, loving, tender, sympathizing, disinterested Savior was met with the word, "Crucify him!" and Barabbas, the thief, was preferred. "Well," says one, "that was atrocious." The same thing is put before you this morning—the very same thing; and every unregenerate man will make the same choice that the Jews did, and only men renewed by grace will act upon the contrary principle. I say, friend, this day I put before you Christ Jesus, or your sins. The reason why many come not to Christ is because they cannot give up their lusts, their pleasures, their profits. Sin is Barabbas; sin is a thief; it will rob your soul of its life; it will rob God of his glory. Sin is a murderer; it stabbed our father Adam; it slew our purity. Sin is a traitor; it rebels against the king of heaven and earth. If you prefer sin to Christ, Christ has stood at your tribunal, and you have given in your verdict that sin is better than Christ. Where is that man? He comes here every Sunday; and yet he is a drunkard? Where is he? You prefer that reeling demon Bacchus to Christ. Where is that man? He comes here. Yes; and where are his midnight haunts? The harlot and the prostitute can tell! You have preferred your own foul, filthy lust to Christ. I know some here that have their consciences open pricked, and yet there is no change in them. You prefer Sunday trading to Christ; you prefer cheating to Christ; you prefer the theater to Christ; you prefer the harlot to Christ; you prefer the devil himself to Christ, for he it is that is the father and author of these things. "No," says one, "I don't, I don't." Then I do again put this question, and I put it very pointedly to you—"If you do not prefer your sins to Christ, how is it that you are not a Christian?" I believe this is the main stumbling-stone, that "Men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil." We come not to Christ because of the viciousness of our nature, and depravity of our heart; and this is the depravity of your heart, that you prefer darkness to light, put bitter for sweet, and choose evil as your good. Well, I think I hear one saying, "Oh! I would be on Jesus Christ's side, but I did not look at it in that light; I thought the question was. "Would he be on my side? I am such a poor guilty sinner that I would fain stand anywhere, if Jesu's blood would wash me." Sinner! sinner! if thou talkest like that, then I will meet thee right joyously. Never was a man one with Christ till Christ was one with him. If you feel that you can now stand with Christ, and say, "Yes, despised and rejected, he is nevertheless my God, my Savior, my king. Will he accept me? Why, soul, he has accepted you; he has renewed you, or else you would not talk so. You speak like a saved man. You may not have the comfort of salvation, but surely there is a work of grace in your heart, God's divine election has fallen upon you, and Christ's precious redemption has been made for you, or else you would not talk so. You cannot be willing to come to Christ, and y
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