Pick Yourself Back Up Quotes

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Butterfly. What a beautiful word What a delicate creature. Delicate like the cruel words that flow right out of your mouths and the food that flies right out of your hands… Does it make you feel better? Does it make you feel good ? Does picking on a girl make you more of a man? Well, I’m standing up for myself Like I should have done before I’m not putting up with your Butterfly anymore." (Kiersten slides the sack off her wrist and opens it, pulling out a handful of hand-made butterflies. She takes the microphone out of the stand and begins walking down the stairs as she continues speaking.) “I’d like to extend to others what others have extended to me.” (She walks up to Mrs. Brill first and holds out a butterfly) “Butterfly you, Mrs. Brill.” (Mrs. Brill smiles at her and takes the butterfly out of her hands. Lake laughs out loud and I have to nudge her to get her to be quiet. Kiersten walks around the room, passing out butterflies to several of the students, including the three from the lunchroom.) “Butterfly you, Mark. Butterfly you, Brendan. Butterfly you, Colby.” (When she finishes passing out the butterflies, she walks back onto the stage and places the microphone back into the stand.) “I have one thing to say to you And I’m not referring to the bullies Or the ones they pursue. I’m referring to those of you that just stand by The ones who don’t take up for those of us that cry Those of you who just…turn a blind eye. After all it’s not you it’s happening to You aren’t the one being bullied And you aren’t the one being rude It isn’t your hand that’s throwing the food But…it is your mouth not speaking up It is your feet not taking a stand It is your arm not lending a hand It is your heart Not giving a damn. So take up for yourself Take up for your friends I challenge you to be someone Who doesn’t give in. Don’t give in. Don’t let them win.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
If there's one thing I've discovered, it's that stifling yourself will only lead to more misery. [...] I polluted all other happiness because I was afraid to let myself create and change. You have to have courage. Real courage to explore, to fail, and to pick yourself back up again.
Siobhan Vivian (Same Difference)
We are all damaged. We have all been hurt. We have all had to learn painful lessons. We are all recovering from some mistake, loss, betrayal, abuse, injustice or misfortune. All of life is a process of recovery that never ends. We each must find ways to accept and move through the pain and to pick ourselves back up. For each pang of grief, depression, doubt or despair there is an inverse toward renewal coming to you in time. Each tragedy is an announcement that some good will indeed come in time. Be patient with yourself.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
You don't ever lose the sadness, but you learn to love it because it becomes a part of you, and bit by bit, it fades. And eventually, you'll pick yourself back up and you'll find that you're okay. That you're going to be okay. And eventually, it will be true.
Ashley Poston (The Dead Romantics)
Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn't matter that you've got people who love you and the sun is shining and there's a movie coming out this weekend that you've been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below - what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you're going to make them see? And the moment's over. You think about how sad it would've been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would've taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over its strange terrain, is exactly the same.... The day was hers to choose, and perhaps in that treetop moment when she looked down and saw the yard, the world, her life, spread out below her, perhaps she chose to plunge toward it headlong. Perhaps she saw before her a lifetime of walking on the ruined earth and chose instead a single moment in the air
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
And then he left, and came back, and our lives fell apart, like a well-loved book that you’d read and read again, until one night you picked it up to read yourself to sleep and the binding collapsed, sending dozens of pages spiraling toward the floor.
Jennifer Weiner (Good in Bed (Cannie Shapiro, #1))
Life can suck. It can hurt. It has teeth and won’t hesitate to bite you. But if you pick yourself back up every time it knocks you down, it’ll start to hurt less, because you’ll be stronger.
T.J. Klune (The Art of Breathing (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #3))
My sweet little whorish Nora I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter. I am delighted to see that you do like being fucked arseways. Yes, now I can remember that night when I fucked you for so long backwards. It was the dirtiest fucking I ever gave you, darling. My prick was stuck in you for hours, fucking in and out under your upturned rump. I felt your fat sweaty buttocks under my belly and saw your flushed face and mad eyes. At every fuck I gave you your shameless tongue came bursting out through your lips and if a gave you a bigger stronger fuck than usual, fat dirty farts came spluttering out of your backside. You had an arse full of farts that night, darling, and I fucked them out of you, big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks and a lot of tiny little naughty farties ending in a long gush from your hole. It is wonderful to fuck a farting woman when every fuck drives one out of her. I think I would know Nora’s fart anywhere. I think I could pick hers out in a roomful of farting women. It is a rather girlish noise not like the wet windy fart which I imagine fat wives have. It is sudden and dry and dirty like what a bold girl would let off in fun in a school dormitory at night. I hope Nora will let off no end of her farts in my face so that I may know their smell also. You say when I go back you will suck me off and you want me to lick your cunt, you little depraved blackguard. I hope you will surprise me some time when I am asleep dressed, steal over to me with a whore’s glow in your slumberous eyes, gently undo button after button in the fly of my trousers and gently take out your lover’s fat mickey, lap it up in your moist mouth and suck away at it till it gets fatter and stiffer and comes off in your mouth. Sometimes too I shall surprise you asleep, lift up your skirts and open your drawers gently, then lie down gently by you and begin to lick lazily round your bush. You will begin to stir uneasily then I will lick the lips of my darling’s cunt. You will begin to groan and grunt and sigh and fart with lust in your sleep. Then I will lick up faster and faster like a ravenous dog until your cunt is a mass of slime and your body wriggling wildly. Goodnight, my little farting Nora, my dirty little fuckbird! There is one lovely word, darling, you have underlined to make me pull myself off better. Write me more about that and yourself, sweetly, dirtier, dirtier.
James Joyce (Selected Letters of James Joyce)
If it weren’t for love, the suffering we experience wouldn’t be worth it. If it weren’t for the suffering, we wouldn’t cherish the good things life gives us. Sometimes it’ll seem as though life only knocks you down, but you have to learn to pick yourself up and fight back.
Claire Contreras (There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness, #1))
They say love is ten percent falling and ninety percent picking yourself back up. What they never tell you is how quick that ten percent passes and how long that ninety percent lasts.
Parker S. Huntington (Darling Venom)
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Excuse me? Are you saying I’m not flirt-worthy? You know, I am almost already down to my pre-pregnancy weight, and my breasts are like twice the size they normally are. Any other heterosexual man on earth would totally hit on this right now.” “Tink, you are the most flirt-worthy girl I know,” Pick spoke up … “Get yourself something to eat. Then come back and sit by me. I’d be happy to hit on you.
Linda Kage (Be My Hero (Forbidden Men, #3))
I called them up, "Ya, I have ten boxes; can you come pick them up?" "We need to know the weight and the girth." "Okay, good-bye." So I called back. "We need the weight and the girth." "Okay, I don't know what the weight is, and um, I don't know what girth means... So now what's the procedure?" So this guy talks to me like I'm four years old. "Well do you have a bathroom scale?" "Uh, ya but if I put the box on the scale it's gonna cover up the NUMBERS!" What, do I take it off really quick? Ah, zero: I'm not fast enough. What's he talking about? So then he gives me his Mister Wizard Formula, "How about if you stand on the scale and weigh yourself and get off the scale. Pick up the box, get back on, weigh you and the box together, and subtract your own weight." I'm going, "Slow down. Hold on professor." I know this guys never tried this, because I tried it and you still can't see the NUMBERS! Then I had to hang up in the middle of his girth formula.
Brian Regan
Find a man that will watch over you. Don’t settle for men who only have one thing in mind. If he doesn’t like to eat, something is wrong with him,” she says, which makes me laugh. “He needs to put you before himself—always,” she would tell me. “He needs to love you more than you love him.” That one confuses me a bit, but I don’t ask... “You mustn’t be afraid of love, Blake. No matter what you go through in life, don’t be afraid to love. Loving is the only thing that keeps us sane. If it weren’t for love, the suffering we experience wouldn’t be worth it. If it weren’t for the suffering, we wouldn’t cherish the good things life gives us. Sometimes it’ll seem as though life only knocks you down, but you have to learn to pick yourself up and fight back. I love you, Blake. I will always love you even when I’m no longer here to tell you,” Aunt Shelley breathes weakly.” Excerpt From: Contreras, Claire. “There Is No Light in Darkness.” Claire Contreras, 2013-01-10T00:00:00+00:00. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.
Claire Contreras (There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness, #1))
Finally, put it aside. Put it out of your head at least a week. You want it to set up like jello. And when you pick it back up, ask yourself, What haven’t I said? How might someone else involved have seen it differently?
Mary Karr (The Art of Memoir)
Question." "Yes," Candace asked expectantly, eyes fixed on the dark street ahead. "Have you ever had to chose sides between a friend and a boyfriend?" Candace nodded. "Which side are you suppose to pick?" "The right one." "What if they're both right?" "They're not." "But they are," Melody insisted. "That's the problem." "No." Candace slowly rolled past a police cruiser. "They both think they're right. But who do you think is right? Which side represents the thing you think is worth fighting for?" Melody glanced out the window as though she was expecting the answer to be revealed on a neighbor's lawn. Every house except hers had the lights turned off. "I dunno." "You do," Candace insisted. "You just don't have the courage to be honest with yourself. Because then you'd have to do the thing you don't want to do, and you hate doing anything that's hard. Which is why you gave up singing and why you have no life and why you've always been a -" "Um okay! Can we get back to the part where you were sounding like Oprah?" "I'm just saying, Melly, what would you do if you weren't afraid? That's your answer. That's your side." She turned into the circular driveway and put the SUV in PARK. "And if you don't choose it, you're lying to yourself and everyone around you." She opened the door and grabbed her purse. "Oprah out!" The door slammed behind her.
Lisi Harrison (Monster High (Monster High, #1))
And number three?” I ask, picking up the A.1. “Love.” She snatches the bottle away. “When the lessons of your weakness with number one and your selfishness with number two sink in, and you find a medium. When you know who you are and you’re ready to welcome everything he is, and you’re not afraid anymore.” She puts the bottle back in its place. “You still might not have a happy ending, but you’ll engage in a healthy relationship and handle yourself in a way you’re proud of.
Penelope Douglas (Credence)
I keep collecting books I know I'll never, never read; My wife and daughter tell me so, And yet I never heed. "Please make me," says some wistful tome, "A wee bit of yourself." And so I take my treasure home, And tuck it in a shelf. And now my very shelves complain; They jam and over-spill. They say: "Why don't you ease our strain?" "Some day," I say, "I will." So book by book they plead and sigh; I pick and dip and scan; Then put them back, distressed that I Am such a busy man. Now, there's my Boswell and my Sterne, my Gibbon and Defoe; To savor Swift I'll never learn, Montaigne I may not know. On Bacon I will never sup, For Shakespeare I've no time; Because I'm busy making up These jingly bits of rhyme. Chekov is caviar to me, While Stendhal makes me snore; Poor Proust is not my cup of tea, And Balzac is a bore. I have their books, I love their names, And yet alas! they head, With Lawrence, Joyce and Henry James, My Roster of Unread. I think it would be very well If I commit a crime, And get put in a prison cell And not allowed to rhyme; Yet given all these worthy books According to my need, I now caress with loving looks, But never, never read." (from, Book Lover)
Robert W. Service
Sometimes you have to fall hard enough for it to hurt to know when to pick yourself up. You can't start to put yourself back together if you don't even know that you're broken.
Alice Feeney (I Know Who You Are)
Oh my God", Marc rhapsodized. "Who is that ?" "An asshole," I mumbled, turning back to him and picking up my tea. I was so rattled I sloshed some of the hot liquid on my hand, but I didn't feel a thing. "He's coming over here !" Marc squealed. "Oh my God, oh my God, ohmyGod!" "Will you get a hold of yourself?" I hissed. "You sound like a girl with a crush. Ah-ha!
MaryJanice Davidson (Undead and Unwed (Undead, #1))
They either come back or they don’t. That’s what you tell yourself. That’s what you learn. As you go through mundane days with so much of pain beating in your chest that you feel it will explode. You strike days off your calendar, waiting, going for a run, picking up a new hobby, while trying to numb that part of your brain that refuses to forget the little details of your skin. Soon, you start sleeping in the middle of the bed, learn how to get through the evenings alone, go to cafes and cities alone, you learn how to cook enough dinner for yourself and just make do without the kisses on your neck. You learn…Adjust..Accept.. The tumor of pain already exploded one lonely night when you played his voice recording by mistake.. by mistake.. But you didn’t die.. Did you? They either come back.. or they don’t.. You survive..
Ayushee Ghoshal (4 AM Conversations (with the ghosts of old lovers))
Isn’t it funny how we make rational excuses for being out of alignment? We say, “Well, this ____ and that ____ happened, so it makes perfect sense for me to be feeling like this ____ and wanting to do this ____.” Yet, to this day, I have never met a happy person who adheres to those excuses. In fact, each time I – or anyone else – decide to give in to “rational excuses” that justify feeling bad – it’s interesting that only further suffering is the result. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Sure, we can go there and make choices that dim our lights… and that is fine; there certainly is purpose for it and the contrast gives us lessons to learn… yet if we’re aware of what we are doing and we’re ready to let go of the suffering – then why go there at all? It’s like beating a dead horse. Been there, done that… so why do we keep repeating it? Pain is going to happen; it’s inevitable in this human experience, yet it is often so brief. When we make those excuses, what happens is: we pick up that pain and begin to carry it with us into the next day… and the next day… into next week… maybe next month… and some of us even carry it for years or to our graves! Forgive, let it go! It is NOT worth it! It is NEVER worth it. There is never a good enough reason for us to pick up that pain and carry it with us. There is never a good enough reason for us to be out of alignment with peace. Unforgiveness hurts you; it hurts others, so why even go there? Why even promote pain? Why say painful things to yourself or others? Why think pain? Just let it go! Whenever I look back on painful things or feel pain today, I know it is my EGO that drives me to “go there.” The EGO likes to have the last word, it likes to feel superior, it likes to make others feel less than in hopes that it will make itself (me) feel better about my insecurities. Maybe if I hurt them enough, they will feel the pain I felt over what they did to me. It’s only fair! It’s never my fault; it’s always someone else’s. There is a twisted sense of pleasure I get from feeling this way, and my EGO eats it right up. YET! With awareness that continues to grow and expand each day, I choose to not feed my pain (EGO) or even go there. I still feel it at times, of course, so I simply acknowledge it and then release it. I HAVE power and choice over my speech and actions. I do not need to ever “go there” again. It’s my choice; it’s your choice. So it’s about damn time we start realizing this. We are not victims of our impulses or emotions; we have the power to control them, and so it’s time to stop acting like we don’t. It’s time to relinquish the excuses.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings For Enriching Life)
Javier glanced back to Elezar. “What you asked earlier, about it being worth all the trouble?” “Yes?” Elezar felt his pulse pick up. “It’s worth it. I can’t even tell you how relieving it is when you realize that you don’t have to lie to yourself or anyone else. You can hold your head high and be exactly who you are.
Ginn Hale (Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, Book Two (Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, #2))
The hard part is that I lost myself. In the midst of life happening all around me, I lost the ability to be okay, I lost the ability to trust. I lost the ability to love myself, and when that happens, you lose everything. And when the one person in the entire world who loves you unconditionally is gone, then you start wondering who will love you? And then when you start wondering, you get scared that you have to even ask that question. But since you have already asked yourself that, you can’t ignore it. Who will love you now? Who could possibly love everything about you, now that the only person in the world who could, is gone? Hell, you don’t even love yourself. Why would someone else? And then when you realize that, the relationship you’re in seems pointless. Because you start believing that they won’t ever be able to withstand your problems and craziness. And then that snowballs to even more insecurities and fear, and you feel trapped in this broken body that can’t ever be healed. And then you feel lost, torn, broken, unfixable, damaged, and like nothing in the entire world could ever possibly be okay again. Because you know from the past, that even when everything seems okay, another devastating blow comes around again and knocks you back down. So you feel even smaller, even weaker. By that point you’re at the bottom, you’re looking up in tears, ready to scream for help. But you’re not sure who’s going to be there, and if the person who does show up, is going to be the person you need, the person who’s going to pick you up, and help you heal. And then you realize again, that you lost yourself. That in the midst of life happening all around you, you lost ability to be okay.
Sabrina K
Every now and then it's nice to pick your head up from your book, reacquaint yourself with the world around you, take a hard pass, and immediately go right back to reading.
Jonathan Edward Durham
Perfect You’re a beautiful kind of madness a misunderstood truth O, the things they could learn from the darkness that is hidden behind your eyes So gifted, yet your talents are wasted you gave up chasing dreams Reality hit and you got a taste of failure Cautious now about bearing your soul For if others saw you fully exposed they may not love you like they claim to Time and experience have taught you to trust no one Friends, lovers, and even family have forsaken you You keep the shattered pieces of your heart in a box Stitching, gluing, and staying up all night trying to put it back together Attempting to fill the void that was left Moving from one man to the next It seems no one can satisfy the appetite for affection that you seek Continually picking at old wounds they never heal properly You have no real home, too restless to stay in one place You are reckless, selfish, stubborn, sometimes rude You’ve bottled up the pain of so much that has been done When you’re hurt You close into yourself, shut down You love attention and yet love being by yourself more May God have mercy on your soul For you are truly lost Daily you fight your demons Yet no one knows of that which you endure You bear it alone, never speaking of it You can blame the broken home from which you came Or the environment that you grew up in The people who tore you down so young You can point the finger at those who have whispered behind your back They all have played a role in your development But looking so deep into the past will keep you from moving forward You must love yourself more than these people claim they do Look at where you stand now No one can know the things you have endured like you You’ve never claimed to be perfect Your flaws tell your story There is no need to hide them
Samantha King (Born to Love, Cursed to Feel)
...you have to just go on. It's sort of like a bird flying into a plate glass window. And then you just sort of pick yourself up, shake yourself off, and check for anything broken, and go back to work.
Sally Mann
It's okay to be happy with yourself for all that you are and aren't. It's okay to accept that life will not always be a "win-win". Its okay to fall and pick yourself back up. It's okay to be different and not be accepted by the crowd. Its okay to be on that journey of little beginnings. Your happiness should never be overburdened or compromised by none of your life choices. It's okay to just be happy
Chinonye J. Chidolue
I’m not sure what to say about struggle except that it feels like a long, dark tunnel with no light at the end. You never notice until it’s over the ways it has changed you, and there is no going back. We struggled a lot this year. For everyone who picked a fight with life and got the shit kicked out of them: I’m proud of you for surviving. This year I learned that cities are beautiful from rooftops even when you’re sad and that swimming in rivers while the sun sets in July will make you feel hopeful, no matter what’s going on at home. I found out my best friend is strong enough to swing me over his shoulder like I’m weightless and run down the street while I’m squealing and kicking against his chest. I found out vegan rice milk whipped cream is delicious, especially when it’s licked off the stomach of a boy you love. This year I kissed too many people with broken hearts and hands like mousetraps. If I could go back and unhurt them I would. If I could go back even farther and never meet them I would do that too. I turned 21. There’s no getting around it. I’m an adult now. Navigating the world has proved harder than I expected. There were times I was reckless. In my struggle to survive I hurt others. Apologies do not make good bandages. I’m not sure what to say about change except that it reminds me of the Bible story with the lions’ den. But you are not named Daniel and you have not been praying, so God lets the beasts get a few deep, painful swipes at you before the morning comes and you’re pulled into the light, exhausted and cut to shit. The good news is you survived. The bad news is you’re hurt and no one can heal you but yourself. You just have to find a stiff drink and a clean needle before you bleed out. And then you get up. And start over.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
When we’re recovering from a spiritual fumble, we must realize everyone does stupid stuff. No one is exempt. An occasional misstep doesn’t brand us as stupid—it makes us real. God loves us regardless of our mishaps. After a fumble, do as any good football player would. Fight to recover what you lost, get back into the game, and let the Creator turn your loss into a gain. With Him, in spite of our fumbles we can rise to great heights.
Jake Byrne (First and Goal: What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up)
That’s one reason I invented the Cookie Jar. We must create a system that constantly reminds us who the fuck we are when we are at our best, because life is not going to pick us up when we fall. There will be forks in the road, knives in your fucking back, mountains to climb, and we are only capable of living up to the image we create for ourselves. Prepare yourself!
David Goggins (Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds)
She told me that you don’t ever lose the sadness, but you learn to love it because it becomes a part of you, and bit by bit, it fades. And, eventually, you’ll pick yourself back up and you’ll find that you’re okay. That you’re going to be okay. And eventually, it’ll be true.
Ashley Poston (The Dead Romantics)
There is one sure way to identify your greatest potential for strength: Step back and watch yourself for a while. Try an activity and see how quickly you pick it up, how quickly you skip steps in the learning and add twists and kinks you haven't been taught yet. See whether you become absorbed in the activity to such an extent that you lose track of time. If none of these has happened after a couple of months, try another activity and watch-and another. Over time your dominant talents will reveal themselves, and you can start to refine them into a powerful strength.
Donald O. Clifton (Now, Discover Your Strengths: The revolutionary Gallup program that shows you how to develop your unique talents and strengths)
Here’s how to get started: 1. Sit still and stay put . Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or sit cross-legged on a cushion. Sit up straight and rest your hands in your lap. It’s important not to fidget when you meditate—that’s the physical foundation of self-control. If you notice the instinct to scratch an itch, adjust your arms, or cross and uncross your legs, see if you can feel the urge but not follow it. This simple act of staying still is part of what makes meditation willpower training effective. You’re learning not to automatically follow every single impulse that your brain and body produce. 2. Turn your attention to the breath. Close your eyes or, if you are worried about falling asleep, focus your gaze at a single spot (like a blank wall, not the Home Shopping Network). Begin to notice your breathing. Silently say in your mind “inhale” as you breathe in and “exhale” as you breathe out. When you notice your mind wandering (and it will), just bring it back to the breath. This practice of coming back to the breath, again and again, kicks the prefrontal cortex into high gear and quiets the stress and craving centers of your brain . 3. Notice how it feels to breathe, and notice how the mind wanders. After a few minutes, drop the labels “inhale/exhale.” Try focusing on just the feeling of breathing. You might notice the sensations of the breath flowing in and out of your nose and mouth. You might sense the belly or chest expanding as you breathe in, and deflating as you breathe out. Your mind might wander a bit more without the labeling. Just as before, when you notice yourself thinking about something else, bring your attention back to the breath. If you need help refocusing, bring yourself back to the breath by saying “inhale” and “exhale” for a few rounds. This part of the practice trains self-awareness along with self-control. Start with five minutes a day. When this becomes a habit, try ten to fifteen minutes a day. If that starts to feel like a burden, bring it back down to five. A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow. It may help you to pick a specific time that you will meditate every day, like right before your morning shower. If this is impossible, staying flexible will help you fit it in when you can.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
Since you haven’t got a name,” he said. “I guess you can pick one for yourself. Would you like to pick one for me to write down?” She stopped rocking and looked at him. “I can do that? It’s legal and everything?” He smiled. “It’s a free country again,” he said. “At least in theory.” She nodded. “And when I pick a name it can be any name I want?” He nodded. “What’s your name?” “Victor,” he said. “Vic, for short.” “Okay,” she said, leaning forward and taking the pad from under his large thing hands. “How do you spell that?” He spelled it and she wrote it down. Her handwriting was perfectly small and legible. “Can I be Victor, too?” she said, looking up from the pad. He smirked. “It’s a boy’s name,” he said. “You’re a girl. You have to add an i and an a to the end if you want to make it a girl’s name.” She looked down at the name she had written and added the letters i and a to the end. “Victoria,” she said, passing the notepad back to the cop. “Hello, Victoria,” he said, smiling, taking the pad and pen back and presenting his hand for a shake. “It’s nice to meet you, officially.
Benjamin R. Smith (Atlas)
You know you've hit rock bottom when the man who's picked you up a thousand times is dropping you off at rehab and telling you he won't come back until you pick up yourself up this time.
Lauren Gallagher (The Princess and the Porn Star)
LOOK, I’M ONLY IN THIS FOR THE PIZZA. The publisher was like, “Oh, you did such a great job writing about the Greek gods last year! We want you to write another book about the Ancient Greek heroes! It’ll be so cool!” And I was like, “Guys, I’m dyslexic. It’s hard enough for me to read books.” Then they promised me a year’s supply of free pepperoni pizza, plus all the blue jelly beans I could eat. I sold out. I guess it’s cool. If you’re looking to fight monsters yourself, these stories might help you avoid some common mistakes—like staring Medusa in the face, or buying a used mattress from any dude named Crusty. But the best reason to read about the old Greek heroes is to make yourself feel better. No matter how much you think your life sucks, these guys and gals had it worse. They totally got the short end of the Celestial stick. By the way, if you don’t know me, my name is Percy Jackson. I’m a modern-day demigod—the son of Poseidon. I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old-school hard-luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. Let’s pick twelve of them. That should be plenty. By the time you finish reading about how miserable their lives were—what with the poisonings, the betrayals, the mutilations, the murders, the psychopathic family members, and the flesh-eating barnyard animals—if that doesn’t make you feel better about your own existence, then I don’t know what will. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion-skin cape. Polish your shield, and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes (A Percy Jackson and the Olympians Guide))
She'd already accepted that she loved him, hadn't she? And it had been easy, a simple process of steps and study. Her mind was amde up, her goals set. Damn it, she'd been pleased by the whole business. So what was this shaky, dizzy, painful sensation, this clutch of panic that made her want to turn her mount sharply around and ride as far away as possible? She'd been wrong, Keeyley realized as she pressed an unsteady hand to her jumpy heart.She'd only been falling in love up to now.How foolish of her to be lulled by the smooth slide of it.This was the moment, she understood that now. This was the moment the bottom dropped away and sent her crashing. Now the wind was knocked out of her, that same shock of sensation that came from losing your seat over a jump and findng yourself flipping through space until the ground reached up and smacked into you. Jolting bones and head and heart. Love was an outrageous shock to the system, she thought. It was a wonder anyone survived it. She was a Grant, Keeley reminded herself and straightened in the saddle. She knew how to take a tumble, jsut as she knew how to pick herself back up and focus mind and energy on the goal. She wouldn't just survive this knock to the heart.She'd thrive on it.And when she was done with Brian Donnelly, he wouldn't know what had hit him.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
The Words exploded. Great slabs of them, mountain-sized, crashed in showers of red sand. The universe poured in. Dorfl felt the universe pick it up and bowl it over and then lift it off its feet and up… …and now the golem was among the universe. It could feel it all around, the purr of it, the busyness, the spinning complexity of it, the roar… There were no Words between you and It. You belonged to It, It belonged to you. You couldn’t turn your back on It because there It was, in front of you. Dorfl was responsible for every tick and swerve of It. You couldn’t say, “I had orders.” You couldn’t say, “It’s not fair.” No one was listening. There were no Words. You owned yourself. Dorfl orbited a pair of glowing suns and hurtled off again. Not Thou Shalt Not. Say I Will Not. Dorfl
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19))
Oh, I’m sorry!” he said. “I just fell out of the sky. I constructed a helicopter in midair, burst into flames halfway down, crash-landed and barely survived. But by all means – let’s talk about your dining table!” He snatched up a half-melted goblet. “Who puts a dining table on the beach where innocent demigods can crash into it? Who does that?” The girl clenched her fists. Leo was pretty sure she was going to march down the crater and punch him in the face. Instead she looked up at the sky. “REALLY?” she screamed at the empty blue. “You want to make my curse even worse? Zeus! Hephaestus! Hermes! Have you no shame?” “Uh …” Leo noticed that she’d just picked three gods to blame, and one of them was his dad. He figured that wasn’t a good sign. “I doubt they’re listening. You know, the whole split-personality thing—” “Show yourself!” the girl yelled at the sky, completely ignoring Leo. “It’s not bad enough I am exiled? It’s not bad enough you take away the few good heroes I’m allowed to meet? You think it’s funny to send me this—this charbroiled runt of a boy to ruin my tranquillity? This is NOT FUNNY! Take him back!” “Hey, Sunshine,” Leo said. “I’m right here, you know.” She growled like a cornered animal. “Do not call me Sunshine! Get out of that hole and come with me now so I can get you off my island!” “Well, since you asked so nicely …” Leo didn’t know what the crazy girl was so worked up about, but he didn’t really care. If she could help him leave this island, that was totally fine by him. He clutched his charred sphere and climbed out of the crater. When he reached the top, the girl was already marching down the shoreline. He jogged to catch up. She gestured in disgust at the burning wreckage. “This was a pristine beach! Look at it now.” “Yeah, my bad,” Leo muttered. “I should’ve crashed on one of the other islands. Oh, wait – there aren’t any!” She snarled and kept walking along the edge of the water.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
I’ve been in your skin,” he taunted. “I know you inside and out. There’s nothing there. Do us all a favor and die so we can start working on another plan and quit thinking maybe you’ll grow the fuck up and be capable of something.” Okay, enough! “You don’t know me inside and out,” I snarled. “You may have gotten in my skin, but you have never gotten inside my heart. Go ahead, Barrons, make me slice and dice myself. Go ahead, play games with me. Push me around. Lie to me. Bully me. Be your usual constant jackass self. Stalk around all broody and pissy and secretive, but you’re wrong about me. There’s something inside me you’d better be afraid of. And you can’t touch my soul. You will never touch my soul!” I raised my hand, drew back the knife, and let it fly. It sliced through the air, straight for his head. He avoided it with preternatural grace, a mere whisper of a movement, precisely and only as much as was required to not get hit. The hilt vibrated in the wood of the ornate mantel next to his head. “So, fuck you, Jericho Barrons, and not the way you like it. Fuck you—as in, you can’t touch me. Nobody can.” I kicked the table at him. It crashed into his shins. I picked up a lamp from the end table. Flung it straight at his head. He ducked again. I grabbed a book. It thumped off his chest. He laughed, dark eyes glittering with exhilaration. I launched myself at him, slammed a fist into his face. I heard a satisfying crunch and felt something in his nose give. He didn’t try to hit me back or push me away. Merely wrapped his arms around me and crushed me tight to his body, trapping my arms against his chest. Then, when I thought he might just squeeze me to death, he dropped his head forward, into the hollow where my shoulder met my neck. “Do you miss fucking me, Ms. Lane?” he purred against my ear. Voice resonated in my skull, pressuring a reply. I was tall and strong and proud inside myself. Nobody owned me. I didn’t have to answer any questions I didn’t want to, ever again. “Wouldn’t you just love to know?” I purred back. “You want more of me, don’t you, Barrons? I got under your skin deep. I hope you got addicted to me. I was a wild one, wasn’t I? I bet you never had sex like that in your entire existence, huh, O Ancient One? I bet I rocked your perfectly disciplined little world. I hope wanting me hurts like hell!” His hands were suddenly cruelly tight on my waist. “There’s only one question that matters, Ms. Lane, and it’s the one you never get around to asking. People are capable of varying degrees of truth. The majority spend their entire lives fabricating an elaborate skein of lies, immersing themselves in the faith of bad faith, doing whatever it takes to feel safe. The person who truly lives has precious few moments of safety, learns to thrive in any kind of storm. It’s the truth you can stare down stone-cold that makes you what you are. Weak or strong. Live or die. Prove yourself. How much truth can you take, Ms. Lane?” Dreamfever
Karen Marie Moning
Never, Madison, look at me.” She held my sobbing face in her hands, “Never regret the choices you make.” She brought me into her frail chest, rubbing circles with her hands on my back. “You made the best choices you could at the time. These same choices might not work at another time, but for the moment, they’re your choices. Own them and take responsibility for them. Never let anyone make you feel shame. Never let anyone make you doubt yourself. Pick yourself up, my dear beautiful girl. You are loved.
A.L. Zaun (It's Not Over (The Do Over, #2))
Learn from mistakes and set-backs (yours and other people’s), pick yourself up, make necessary changes and try again. I once came across a saying that went something like, “The wise learn from the mistakes made by fools!” So at some point we all have been fools, I suppose, since we all make mistakes.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
THE FORTRESS Under the pink quilted covers I hold the pulse that counts your blood. I think the woods outdoors are half asleep, left over from summer like a stack of books after a flood, left over like those promises I never keep. On the right, the scrub pine tree waits like a fruit store holding up bunches of tufted broccoli. We watch the wind from our square bed. I press down my index finger -- half in jest, half in dread -- on the brown mole under your left eye, inherited from my right cheek: a spot of danger where a bewitched worm ate its way through our soul in search of beauty. My child, since July the leaves have been fed secretly from a pool of beet-red dye. And sometimes they are battle green with trunks as wet as hunters' boots, smacked hard by the wind, clean as oilskins. No, the wind's not off the ocean. Yes, it cried in your room like a wolf and your pony tail hurt you. That was a long time ago. The wind rolled the tide like a dying woman. She wouldn't sleep, she rolled there all night, grunting and sighing. Darling, life is not in my hands; life with its terrible changes will take you, bombs or glands, your own child at your breast, your own house on your own land. Outside the bittersweet turns orange. Before she died, my mother and I picked those fat branches, finding orange nipples on the gray wire strands. We weeded the forest, curing trees like cripples. Your feet thump-thump against my back and you whisper to yourself. Child, what are you wishing? What pact are you making? What mouse runs between your eyes? What ark can I fill for you when the world goes wild? The woods are underwater, their weeds are shaking in the tide; birches like zebra fish flash by in a pack. Child, I cannot promise that you will get your wish. I cannot promise very much. I give you the images I know. Lie still with me and watch. A pheasant moves by like a seal, pulled through the mulch by his thick white collar. He's on show like a clown. He drags a beige feather that he removed, one time, from an old lady's hat. We laugh and we touch. I promise you love. Time will not take away that.
Anne Sexton (Selected Poems)
Here, Kells. I brought you something,” he said unassumingly and held out three mangos. “Thanks. Um, dare I ask where you got them?” “Monkeys.” I stopped in mid-brush. “Monkeys? What do you mean monkeys?” “Well, monkeys don’t like tigers because tigers eat monkeys. So, when a tiger comes around, they jump up in the trees and pummel the tiger with fruit or feces. Lucky for me today they threw fruit.” I gulped. “Have you ever…eaten a monkey?” Ren grinned at me. “Well, a tiger does have to eat.” I dug a rubber band out of the backpack so I could braid my hair. “Ugh, that’s disgusting.” He laughed. “I didn’t really eat a monkey, Kells. I’m just teasing you. Monkeys are repellant. They taste like meaty tennis balls and they smell like feet.” He paused. “Now a nice juicy deer, that is delectable.” He smacked his lips together in an exaggerated way. “I don’t think I really need to hear about your hunting.” “Really? I quite enjoy hunting.” Ren froze into place. Then, almost imperceptibly, he lowered his body slowly to a crouch and balanced on the balls of his feet. He placed a hand in the grass in front of him and began to creep closer to me. He was tracking me, hunting me. His eyes locked on mine and pinned me to the spot where I was standing. He was preparing to spring. His lips were pulled back in a wide grin, which showed his brilliant white teeth. He looked…feral. He spoke in a silky, mesmerizing voice. “When you’re stalking your prey, you must freeze in place and hide, remaining that way for a long time. If you fail, your prey eludes you.” He closed the distance between us in a heartbeat. Even though I’d been watching him closely, I was startled at how fast he could move. My pulse started thumping wildly at my throat, which was where his lips now hovered as if he were going for my jugular. He brushed my hair back and moved up to my ear, whispering, “And you will go…hungry.” His words were hushed. His warm breath tickled my ear and made goose bumps fan out over my body. I turned my head slightly to look at him. His eyes had changed. They were a brighter blue than normal and were studying my face. His hand was still in my hair, and his eyes drifted down to my mouth. I suddenly had the distinct impression that this was what it felt like to be a deer. Ren was making my nervous. I blinked and swallowed dryly. His eyes darted back up to mine again. He must have sensed my apprehension because his expression changed. He removed his hand from my hair and relaxed his posture. “I’m sorry if I frightened you, Kelsey. It won’t happen again.” When he took a step back, I started breathing again. I said shakily, “Well, I don’t want to hear any more about hunting. It freaks me out. The least you could do is not tell me about it. Especially when I have to spend time with you outdoors, okay?” He laughed. “kells, we all have some animalistic tendencies. I loved hunting, even when I was young.” I shuddered. “Fine. Just keep your animalistic tendencies to yourself.” He leaned toward me again and pulled on a strand of my hair. “Now, Kells, there are some of my animalistic tendencies that you seem to like.” He started making a rumbling sound in his chest, and I realized that he was purring. “Stop that!” I sputtered. He laughed, walked over to the backpack, and picked up the fruit. “So, do you want any of this mango or not? I’ll wash it for you.” “Well, considering you carried it in your mouth all that way just for me. And taking into account the source of said fruit. Not really.” His shoulders fell, and I hurried to add, “But I guess I could eat some of the inside.” He looked up at me and smiled. “It’s not freeze-dried.” “Okay. I’ll try some.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The disciples finally begin to get a grasp that maybe God can become flesh and dwell among us, maybe God can be a man, and then they come back and not only is God a man, but He's acting like an idiot! He's hanging out with a bunch of kids. He's blessing them, you know. And you think, How do you bless children? Well, the best way I know is that you pick them up and you just throw them as high as you can, and you catch them right before they splatter. You get down on all fours and you run around the room and you let them ride you and you buck them off. … You put your mouth against their bellies and you make funny noises. Here's Jesus probably doing all this business. His disciples were humiliated! And they said, “You should not be making such a fool of Yourself!” And Jesus says, “Here, look, look, fellas. I'll call the shots here. I may be dumb, but I am God. And I'll tell you what else, if you wanna come into My kingdom, you'll come in like one of these or you won't come in at all.
James Bryan Smith (Rich Mullins: A Devotional Biography: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven)
You have to be willing to enter a situation where you know that you probably will not make it - while you absolutely believe that you will. You've got to know somewhere deep inside that you can take it, that you are in it to the end, whenever that may be. You have to know that what you are pursuing is worth it and that it means that much to you. So when you get knocked down, you can pick yourself back up and go at it again. Even though you might lose rounds five and six, a championship bout is 12 rounds. You've got to be willing to lose some of those rounds and still believe that you will win the match. Through all of that, you've got to be willing to bleed.
Patrick Sweeney (What You Aren't Seeing: How Using Your Hidden Potential Can Help You Discover the Leader Within, The Inspiring Story of Herb Greenberg)
I probably should say that this is what makes you a good traveler in my opinion, but deep down I really think this is just universal, incontrovertible truth. There is the right way to travel, and the wrong way. And if there is one philanthropic deed that can come from this book, maybe it will be that I teach a few more people how to do it right. So, in short, my list of what makes a good traveler, which I recommend you use when interviewing your next potential trip partner: 1. You are open. You say yes to whatever comes your way, whether it’s shots of a putrid-smelling yak-butter tea or an offer for an Albanian toe-licking. (How else are you going to get the volcano dust off?) You say yes because it is the only way to really experience another place, and let it change you. Which, in my opinion, is the mark of a great trip. 2. You venture to the places where the tourists aren’t, in addition to hitting the “must-sees.” If you are exclusively visiting places where busloads of Chinese are following a woman with a flag and a bullhorn, you’re not doing it. 3. You are easygoing about sleeping/eating/comfort issues. You don’t change rooms three times, you’ll take an overnight bus if you must, you can go without meat in India and without vegan soy gluten-free tempeh butter in Bolivia, and you can shut the hell up about it. 4. You are aware of your travel companions, and of not being contrary to their desires/​needs/​schedules more often than necessary. If you find that you want to do things differently than your companions, you happily tell them to go on without you in a way that does not sound like you’re saying, “This is a test.” 5. You can figure it out. How to read a map, how to order when you can’t read the menu, how to find a bathroom, or a train, or a castle. 6. You know what the trip is going to cost, and can afford it. If you can’t afford the trip, you don’t go. Conversely, if your travel companions can’t afford what you can afford, you are willing to slum it in the name of camaraderie. P.S.: Attractive single people almost exclusively stay at dumps. If you’re looking for them, don’t go posh. 7. You are aware of cultural differences, and go out of your way to blend. You don’t wear booty shorts to the Western Wall on Shabbat. You do hike your bathing suit up your booty on the beach in Brazil. Basically, just be aware to show the culturally correct amount of booty. 8. You behave yourself when dealing with local hotel clerks/​train operators/​tour guides etc. Whether it’s for selfish gain, helping the reputation of Americans traveling abroad, or simply the spreading of good vibes, you will make nice even when faced with cultural frustrations and repeated smug “not possible”s. This was an especially important trait for an American traveling during the George W. years, when the world collectively thought we were all either mentally disabled or bent on world destruction. (One anecdote from that dark time: in Greece, I came back to my table at a café to find that Emma had let a nearby [handsome] Greek stranger pick my camera up off our table. He had then stuck it down the front of his pants for a photo. After he snapped it, he handed the camera back to me and said, “Show that to George Bush.” Which was obviously extra funny because of the word bush.) 9. This last rule is the most important to me: you are able to go with the flow in a spontaneous, non-uptight way if you stumble into something amazing that will bump some plan off the day’s schedule. So you missed the freakin’ waterfall—you got invited to a Bahamian family’s post-Christening barbecue where you danced with three generations of locals in a backyard under flower-strewn balconies. You won. Shut the hell up about the waterfall. Sally
Kristin Newman (What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding)
I am in my old room once more, for a little, and I am caught in musing - - how life is a swift motion, a continuous flowing, changing, and how one is always saying goodbye and going places, seeing people, doing things. Only in the rain, sometimes, only when the rain comes, closing in your pitifully small radius of activity, only when you sit and listen by the window, as the cold wet air blows thinly by the back of your neck - only then do you think and feel sick. You feel the days slipping by, elusive as slippery pink worms, through your fingers, and you wonder what you have for your eighteen years, and you think about how, with difficulty and concentration, you could bring back a day, a day of sun, blue skies and watercoloring by the sea. You could remember the sensual observations that made that day reality, and you could delude yourself into thinking - almost - that you could return to the past, and relive the days and hours in a quick space of time. But no, the quest of time past is more difficult than you think, and time present is eaten up by such plaintive searchings. The film of your days and nights is wound up tight in you, never to be re-run - and the occasional flashbacks are faint, blurred, unreal, as if seen through falling snow. Now, you begin to get scared. You don't believe in God, or a life-after-death, so you can't hope for sugar plums when your non-existent soul rises. You believe that whatever there is has got to come from man, and man is pretty creative in his good moments - pretty mature, pretty perceptive for his age - how many years is it, now? How many thousands? Yet, yet in this era of specialization, of infinite variety and complexity and myriad choices, what do you pick for yourself out of the grab-bag? Cats have nine lives, the saying goes. You have one; and somewhere along the thin, tenuous thread of your existence there is the black knot, the blood clot, the stopped heartbeat that spells the end of this particular individual which is spelled "I" and "You" and "Sylvia." So you wonder how to act, and how to be - and you wonder about values and attitudes. In the relativism and despair, in the waiting for the bombs to begin, for the blood (now spurting in Korea, in Germany, in Russia) to flow and trickle before your own eyes, you wonder with a quick sick fear how to cling to earth, to the seeds of grass and life. You wonder about your eighteen years, ricocheting between a stubborn determination that you've done well for your own capabilities and opportunities... that you're competing now with girls from all over America, and not just from the hometown: and a fear that you haven't done well enough - You wonder if you've got what it takes to keep building up obstacle courses for your self, and to keep leaping through them, sprained ankle or not. Again the refrain, what have you for your eighteen years? And you know that whatever tangible things you do have, they cannot be held, but, too, will decompose and slip away through your coarse-skinned and death-rigid fingers. So you will rot in the ground, and so you say, what the hell? Who cares? But you care, and somehow you don't want to live just one life, which could be typed, which could be tossed off in a thumbnail sketch = "She was the sort of girl.... And end in 25 words or less.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
The corners of his lips picked up. "You really didn't know I've been following you for the last five weeks?" Yeah, please feel free to make me feel stupid for that, Ken doll. I shook my head. "Well, of course not, because if you knew someone was watching you, you probably wouldn't have given yourself a spanking on the roof." And just like that, the man turned the humour back on. Weird. - Chapter 3: Heather and Brendan
Elizabeth Morgan (Cranberry Blood (Blood, #1))
Not very pretty for a whore.” The soldier behind her tugged on a strand of her hair. She ducked under his arm, grabbing his wrist and twisting it behind his back to pin him. It was a trick she had learned under the harsh tutelage of Mircea and perfected by practicing on Bogdan and Radu. The soldier shouted angrily and tried to pull away, so she twisted harder, pushing up against the joint. He yelped in pain. “You are prettier than I.” She put more pressure on his arm. “Perhaps you could offer yourself as whore instead.” “Help me!” he gasped. Lada looked up, defiance in her set jaw, to find the other Janissaries grinning in delight. The single-browed soldier, who could not have been more than eighteen or nineteen, laughed and walked forward, patting his trapped comrade on the head condescendingly. “Poor Ivan. Is the little girl picking on you?
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
I believe I will sit,but not on this chair. The settee is the most welcoming piece in the room,especially with you sitting on it." "Yes,but-" He sat,his hip brushing hers. She scrambled to move to one side, but he'd deliberately sat on the edge of her skirt. Her gaze narrowed, and she said stiffly, "I beg your pardon,but you are sitting on my skirt." Dougal smiled and leaned back, resting his arms along the back of the settee so that she was closed in by him. He found himself charmed by the thought. "Lord MacLean, I have asked you kindly to remove yourself from my skirt. Please do so, or I will be forced to take more drastic measures." "Such as?" "Calling for Angus," she said flatly. "In case you didn't notice, my butler is larger than the average servant. He could easily pick you up and break you in two." Dougal quirked a brow. "While that behemoth you call a butler could easily pick me up, he'd have to get close to me first." She smiled smugly, setting Dougal's pride on edge. "I wouldn't try him; he's faster than he looks." She cast a glancedown at Dougal's boot. "Plus, you'd have to race through the barnyard, which could prove fatal to your shine." Damn this woman! She taunted with every phrase, teased with every look. He shifted so that his hip was even more firmly pressed to hers.
Karen Hawkins (To Catch a Highlander (MacLean Curse, #3))
I said out loud, "Damn you for saving yourself. How come you left me with nothing but to love you and hate you, and that's gonna kill me, and you know it is." Then I turned round, went back to the cellar room, and picked up the sewing. Don't think she wasn't in every stitch I worked. She was in the wind and the rain and the creaking from the rocker. She sat on the wall with the birds and stared at me. When darkness fell, she fell with it.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings)
Looking into each other's eyes and speaking together in low tones, it becomes apparent that she hopes you will walk her through her troubles and show her that male-female relations can be lovely even in loveless union. She is looking for lust fulfilled but she searches also for respect, and in this she is out of luck because you do not know her or like her very much and you do not respect yourself and so the most you can offer this girl is time out of her life and an unsatisfactory meeting of bodies and, if the fates are generous, a couple of laughs and good feelings. At any rate there will unquestionably be a divot in your hearts before dawn and Peg seems to pick up on this after thirty minutes of groping and pawing (the car interior is damp with dew) she breaks away and with great exasperation says, "What do you think you're doing?" You are smiling, because it is an utterly stupid and boring question, and you say to her, "I am sitting in an American car, trying to make out in America," a piece of poetry that arouses something in her, and you both climb into the back seat for a meeting even less satisfactory than you feared it might be. Now she is crying and you are shivering and it is time to go home and if you had a watch you would snap your wrist to look meaningfully at it but she dabs at her face and says she wants you to come upstairs and share a special-occasion bottle of very old and expensive wine and as there is no way not to do this you follow her through the dusty lobby and into the lurching, diamond-gated elevator and into her cluttered apartment to scrutinize her furnishings and unread or improperly read paperbacks, and you wonder if there is anything more depressing than the habitats of young people, young and rudderless women in particular.
Patrick deWitt (Ablutions)
You were born with your head in the clouds, your future wide open, feeling almost weightless. Almost. Kudoclasm. You had dreams even before you had memories: a cloud of fantasies and ambitions of secret plans and hidden potential, visions of who you are, and what your life will be. They keep your spirits high, floating somewhere above your life, where the world looks faintly hypothetical, almost translucent. But every time you reach for the sky and come away with nothing, you start to wonder what’s holding them up. “Surely it would have happened by now?!” You feel time starting to slip, pulling you back down to earth. even as you tell yourself, don’t look down. You don’t have the luxury of floating through life, because you may not have the time. The future is already rushing toward you, and it’s not as far away as you think. It feels like your life is flashing before your eyes, but it’s actually just the opposite: you’re thinking forward, to everything you still haven’t done, the places you had intended to visit, the life goals you’d eventually get around to, some day in the future. You start dropping your delusions one by one, like tossing ballast overboard. And soon the fog lifts, and everything becomes clear— right until the moment your feet touch the ground. And there it is, “the real world.” As if you’ve finally grown up, steeped in reality, your eyes adjusting to the darkness, seeing the world for what it is. But in truth, you don’t belong there. We dream to survive— no more optional than breathing. Maybe “the real world” is just another fantasy, something heavy to push back against, and launch ourselves still higher. We’re all afraid to let go, of falling into a bottomless future. But maybe we belong in the air, tumbling in the wind. Maybe it’s only when you dive in that you pick up enough speed to shape the flow of reality, and choose your own course, flying not too high, and not too low, but gliding from one to the other in long playful loops. To dream big, and bounce ideas against the world and rise again. Moving so fast, you can’t tell where the dream ends and where the world begins.
Sébastien Japrisot
As explained by Garcia, “Essentially, the Grateful Dead audience is acting out their version of ‘How much freedom is there left in America to go for a wild ride?’ What’s left is you can follow the Grateful Dead on the road. You can’t be locked up for that yet. So it’s an adventure. And an adventure is essential. It’s part of what it means to find yourself in America. It’s kind of like the war-stories America, just like Neal Cassady on the road. It’s hard to join the circus, and you can’t hop the freights anymore, so you chase the Grateful Dead around. You have your adventures, when your car breaks down in Des Moines and you need to hitchhike some place and a guy picks you up and he’s a Deadhead. You can have your tires blown out in some weird town, and you get hell from strangers. These are your ‘war stories.’ You can have something that lasts through your life, the times you took chances. I think that’s essential in anybody’s life, and it’s harder and harder to do in America. If we’re providing some margin of that possibility, then that’s great. We’re one of the last adventures in America.
Scott W. Allen (Aces Back to Back: The History of the Grateful Dead (1965 - 2013))
This is something I've learned. You can't run away to find yourself. Yourself is there no matter where you go. The difference is, if you're running, you'll be too busy to pick up the sword and face your enemies. Sometimes your enemy will be you; sometimes it will be those with the power to hurt you. Take off your shoes and stop running. Live barefoot and fucking fight. I ran from my feelings-the ones I felt for Kit, the guilt of feeling them. I thought that if I put enough distance between us, my feelings would go away. I should have faced myself back then.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
But that's what people think when their loved ones die, isn't it? They keep thinking it's only temporary. That they're gone, in the other room, maybe at work, or on vacation. That they're just away and they'll be back at some point. Maybe that's how you get through death, by telling yourself your father will pick up the phone, and that if he doesn't that he'll call you back soon, and so in the back of your mind, at the back of your heart, you're just waiting. Waiting for them to return and for life to go back to normal again. The idea that they're never coming back is... it's more than unbearable. It goes against everything you've ever known.
Karina Halle (River of Shadows (Underworld Gods, #1))
But that's what people think when their loved one's die, isn't it? They keep thinking it's only temporary. That they're gone, in the other room, maybe at work, or on vacation. That they're just away and they'll be back at some point. Maybe that's how you get through death, by telling yourself your father will pick up the phone, and that if he doesn't that he'll call you back soon, and so in the back of your mind, at the back of your heart, you're just waiting. Waiting for them to return and for life to go back to normal again. The idea that they're never coming back is... it's more than unbearable. It goes against everything you've ever known.
Karina Halle (River of Shadows (Underworld Gods, #1))
As a minister of the Lord in whatever way the Lord decides to use you and with the gifts he gives you for the work, there is the tendency to start idolizing the work itself or the gifts that you forget it is the father who gave it to you. Who picked you up and dusted you from nothing and adorned you. You forget and make the work a god before him. Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me". ----- This can be very subtle especially for social media ministry. You begin to love your social image over the word of God. You begin to dampen and tweak the word of God to appeal to a wider audience. You're suddenly no longer about the raw truth of the gospel. As the followers and likes increase you begin to get more and more addicted to the fruit of the works and the response to YOUR messages and posts. If a post doesn't do too well and get many likes and comments you are not happy. It hurts you deeply. That is how you know It has become about you. ------ If this is you and this message has touched your heart, if this post is like a mirror to your face, go back to God and ask for forgiveness. Ask God to forgive you for elevating yourself and your work as a god before him and return back to when it was just about loving him and preaching the good news. You probably may have noticed you lost the fire of inspiration you used to have at the beginning. This is why.
Daniel Friday Danzor
Fighting for something you believe in isn't easy. If you hit a sore spot, people are going to swipe at you, gripe at you, try to undermine you, infuriate you, try to shut you up and put you back in your box. I was starting to learn that was a sign you were asking the right questions, picking the right scabs. And though it's easy to lose yourself along the way, and start focusing on all the people who don't want things to change--for whatever broken, messed-up reasons of their own--you can easily find your way back. By listening to the people giving you a hand up. To the people who have your back. To the people who don't think you're a raving lunatic. Let them be your mirror--not the haters. Let them give you the strength to get the job done.
Holly Bourne (What's a Girl Gotta Do? (The Spinster Club, #3))
The next thing you do is center yourself, get to that Effortless Action place, and then you present yourself in the middle of the environment you want to Create a Cause in, from a perfectly centered position. And then you place your Intention on the desired Result. As soon as you do that, "accidents" begin to happen. Jung calls them "synchronicities". Be prepared for those accidents to happen. You know they're going to happen. You don't know when or what they're going to be. Every one is a surprise. But every time an accident occurs in a situation, you pick it up and say Thank you to Mother Nature for creating this accident. And place it on the focus of your Intention. The causation thus begins, and your idea begins to become manifested. You're building a bridge, you're building a house, you're building a relationship with your girl friend or boy friend. You're bombarded with chaos and accidents, but every time something happens that aligns with your intention, thank the universe for it, position it, stroke it, mould it, "kiss it", as Blake would say. And go back to the beginning. I'm drawing a closed loop to fulfil your intention. Correct things to be sure that the results you're getting are what you really want. Get centered again. Be alert for more "accidents". And Mother Nature will produce what you desire. And She'll thank you for it. Mother Nature is a living principle that is dedicated to your well being, but you've got to ask before She can do it. So She's sitting there begging for you to try some tricks.
Dean Brown
I never wanted it to end. I wondered if it felt like this the first time. Seeing him. Really seeing him. He wiped his eyes. “You really want to know, don’t you.” “Yeah.” “Why?” I gave in. I couldn’t not. I reached over and put my hand on his knee. He tensed briefly but settled when I curled my fingers over his leg, just letting my hand rest there. I couldn’t look at him. I thought my face was on fire. He said, “That’s….” His voice broke. He cleared his throat. “After the hunters came, something shifted. Between us. I don’t know how or why exactly. You stopped being weird around me.” “Seems like I’ve picked that right up again.” He chuckled. “A little. It’s okay, though. It’s like… a beginning. You came to me one day. You were sweating. I remember thinking something bad had happened because you kept wringing your hands until I thought you were going to break your bones. I asked you what was wrong. And you know what you said? “Probably something stupid.” “You said that you didn’t think you could ever give up on me. That no matter how long it took, you would be there until I told you otherwise. That you weren’t going to push me for anything but you thought I should know that you had… intentions.” “Oh dear god,” I said in horror. “And that worked?” Kelly snorted, and I felt his hand on the back of mine. “Not quite. But what you said next did.” I looked over at him. “What did I say?” He was watching me with human eyes, and I thought I could love him. I saw how easy it could be. I didn’t, not yet, but oh, I wanted to. “You said you thought the world of me. That we’d been through so much and you couldn’t stand another day if I didn’t know that. You told me that you were a good wolf, a strong wolf, and if I’d only give you a chance, you’d make sure I’d never regret it.” I had to know. “Have you?” “No,” he whispered. “Not once. Not ever.” He looked away. “It was good between us. We took it slow. You smiled all the time. You brought me flowers once. Mom was pissed because you ripped them up from her flower bed and there were still roots and dirt hanging from the bottom, but you were so damn proud of yourself. You said it was romantic. And I believed you.” He plucked a blade of grass and held it in the palm of his hand. “There was something… I don’t know. Endless. About you and me.” He took my hand off his knee and turned it over. He set the blade of grass in my palm and closed his hand over mine. He looked toward the sky and the stars through the canopy of leaves. “We came here sometimes. Just the two of us. And you would pretend to know all the stars. You would make up stories that absolutely weren’t true, and I remember looking at you, thinking how wonderful it was to be by your side. And if we were lucky, there’d be—ah. Look. Again.” His voice was wet and soft, and it cracked me right down the middle. Fireflies rose around us, pulsing slowly. At first there were only two or three, but then more began to hang heavy in the air. They were yellow-green, and I wondered how this could be real. Here. Now. This moment. How I ever could have forgotten this. Forgotten him. It had to have been the strongest magic the world had ever known. That was the only way I’d have ever left his side. He reached out with his other hand, quick and light, and snatched a firefly out of the air. He was careful not to crush it. He leaned his head toward mine like he was about to tell me a great secret. Instead he opened his hand between us. The firefly lay near the bottom of his ring finger. Its shell was black with a stripe down the middle. It barely moved. “Just wait,” Kelly whispered. I did. It only took a moment. The firefly pulsed in his hand. “There it is,” he said. He pulled away and lifted his hand. The firefly took to its wings, lifting off and flying away. He stared after it. I only had eyes for him.
T.J. Klune (Heartsong (Green Creek, #3))
You know what’s heartbreaking?” He slipped his hands into his pockets, as if to keep them from touching me. “It’s not when bad things happen to you, or when your life turns out completely different from what you thought it would be, or when people let you down, or when the world knocks you down. What’s heartbreaking is when you don’t get back up, when you don’t care enough to pick up the million broken pieces of you that are screaming to be put back together, and you just lie there, listening to a shattered chorus of yourself. “What’s heartbreaking is letting the love of your life walk away, because you can’t give up your work or your home to go with her, because everything you love gets taken away from you. So I’m saying no to heartbreak. Right here, right now. This is me getting back up, crossing an ocean and coming straight to your door, Rodel. “I can’t unlove you. And I can’t stop thinking about you. So I’m here to say the words because I never said them and that is what’s breaking my heart. I’m not saying them to hear it back. I’m not saying them so we can have a happily ever after. I don’t know where you’re at, or if you still think about us, or if we can even make it work. I’m saying them for me. Because they’ve been growing in my chest with every breath I take, and I have to get them out or I’ll explode. I love you, Rodel Emerson. That’s what I’m here to say. This is me, unbreaking my heart. I know it’s selfish and thoughtless and just plain arrogant to show up like this, but I couldn’t go another day without seeing you.” -Jack Warden
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
Question: How can we consider created matter to be better than us if God has endowed us with a rational mind and has called us His sons? Answer: If you place your hand over your heart and are entirely sincere with yourself, you will realize that you are indeed less than many created things. Look at the bee, how diligently it labors! It gives of itself without reserve, sparingly. The lifespan of a bee is a month and a half at the most. It often dies working, without going back to its home, the hive. And we? How we pity ourselves and spare ourselves! Or, look at the ant who is never tired of dragging a heavy burden. Even when its burden falls down, the ant patiently picks it up and goes on with its work. As for us, we give up immediately if things do not go the way we want them to!
Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Make out a schedule for yourself, on paper if necessary, that requires you to be busy with housework or anything else while your baby is awake. Go at it with a great bustle—to impress your baby and to impress yourself. Say you are the mother of a baby boy who has become accustomed to being carried all the time. When he frets and raises his arms, explain to him in a friendly but very firm tone that this job and that job must get done this afternoon. Though he doesn’t understand the words, he does understand the tone of voice. Stick to your busywork. The first hour of the first day is the hardest. One baby accepts the change better if his mother stays out of sight a good part of the time at first and talks little. This helps him to become absorbed in something else. Another adjusts more quickly if he can at least see his mother and hear her talking to him, even if she won’t pick him up. When you bring him a plaything or show him how to use it, or when you decide it’s time to play with him, sit down beside him on the floor. Let him climb into your arms if he wants, but don’t get back into the habit of walking him around. If you’re on the floor with him, he can crawl away when he eventually realizes you won’t walk. If you pick him up and walk him, he’ll surely object noisily just as soon as you start to put him down again. If he keeps on fretting indefinitely when you sit with him on the floor, remember another job and get busy again. What you are trying to do is to help your baby begin to build frustration tolerance—a little at a time. If she does not begin to learn this gradually between six and twelve months, it is a much harder lesson to learn later on.
Benjamin Spock (Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care)
Little Sleep's-Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight 1 You scream, waking from a nightmare. When I sleepwalk into your room, and pick you up, and hold you up in the moonlight, you cling to me hard, as if clinging could save us. I think you think I will never die, I think I exude to you the permanence of smoke or stars, even as my broken arms heal themselves around you. 2 I have heard you tell the sun, don't go down, I have stood by as you told the flower, don't grow old, don't die. Little Maud, I would blow the flame out of your silver cup, I would suck the rot from your fingernail, I would brush your sprouting hair of the dying light, I would scrape the rust off your ivory bones, I would help death escape through the little ribs of your body, I would alchemize the ashes of your cradle back into wood, I would let nothing of you go, ever, until washerwomen feel the clothes fall asleep in their hands, and hens scratch their spell across hatchet blades, and rats walk away from the culture of the plague, and iron twists weapons toward truth north, and grease refuse to slide in the machinery of progress, and men feel as free on earth as fleas on the bodies of men, and the widow still whispers to the presence no longer beside her in the dark. And yet perhaps this is the reason you cry, this the nightmare you wake screaming from: being forever in the pre-trembling of a house that falls. 3 In a restaurant once, everyone quietly eating, you clambered up on my lap: to all the mouthfuls rising toward all the mouths, at the top of your voice you cried your one word, caca! caca! caca! and each spoonful stopped, a moment, in midair, in its withering steam. Yes, you cling because I, like you, only sooner than you, will go down the path of vanished alphabets, the roadlessness to the other side of the darkness, your arms like the shoes left behind, like the adjectives in the halting speech of old folk, which once could call up the lost nouns. 4 And you yourself, some impossible Tuesday in the year Two Thousand and Nine, will walk out among the black stones of the field, in the rain, and the stones saying over their one word, ci-gît, ci-gît, ci-gît, and the raindrops hitting you on the fontanel over and over, and you standing there unable to let them in. 5 If one day it happens you find yourself with someone you love in a café at one end of the Pont Mirabeau, at the zinc bar where wine takes the shapes of upward opening glasses, and if you commit then, as we did, the error of thinking, one day all this will only be memory, learn to reach deeper into the sorrows to come—to touch the almost imaginary bones under the face, to hear under the laughter the wind crying across the black stones. Kiss the mouth that tells you, here, here is the world. This mouth. This laughter. These temple bones. The still undanced cadence of vanishing. 6 In the light the moon sends back, I can see in your eyes the hand that waved once in my father's eyes, a tiny kite wobbling far up in the twilight of his last look: and the angel of all mortal things lets go the string. 7 Back you go, into your crib. The last blackbird lights up his gold wings: farewell. Your eyes close inside your head, in sleep. Already in your dreams the hours begin to sing. Little sleep's-head sprouting hair in the moonlight, when I come back we will go out together, we will walk out together among the ten thousand things, each scratched in time with such knowledge, the wages of dying is love.
Galway Kinnell
As I stepped off the mat, Aimee ran over and gave me a hug. Lexie rushed up to me, face beaming, and said, “Hey, you caught your Thatchev!” “I did!” I said, high-fiving her. “Thank you!” Everyone else was looking at us, completely puzzled. They were probably wondering, Why on earth is she so excited? She just fell off the bars twice! But I didn’t care right then. I’d caught my Thatchev, and I was on my way to Nationals. One month later, it wouldn’t be the Thatchev that would put me out of contention for the USA women’s junior team by just one spot—it would be that dang Amanar. Maybe if I’d spent more time practicing the vault, I might’ve gotten picked. But the same thing that’s true in gymnastics is also true in life: You can’t go back. The best you can do is forgive yourself, take a deep breath, and get to work on the next challenge. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bawl first—and let me tell you, I did.
Simone Biles (Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance)
The warm of his voice touched a quickness in her that left her fingers trembling as she raised the candle. “Will you light this please? I need it to find my way back.” He ignored her request and reached to take the lantern from the wall. “I’ll take you upstairs.” “It isn’t necessary,” she was quick to insist, afraid for more reasons than one. “I’d never forgive myself if some harm came to you down here,” he responded lightly. He lifted the lantern, casting its glow before them, and waited on her pleasure with amused patience. Erienne saw the challenge in his eyes and groaned inwardly. How could she refuse to pick up the gauntlet when she knew he would taunt her with his chiding humor if she did not? Adjusting the oversize coat about her shoulders, she rose to the bait against her better judgment and moved with him along the stony corridor. They were well past the bend when a sudden scurrying accompanied by strident squeaking came from the darkness. At the sound, Erienne stumbled back with a gasp, having an intense aversion for the rodents. In the next instant, the heel of her slipper caught on a rock lip, twisting her ankle and nearly sending her sprawling. Almost before the cry of pain was wrenched from her lips, Christopher’s arms were about her, and he used the excuse to bring her snugly against his own hard body. Embarrassed by the contact that brought bosom to chest and thigh to thigh and made her excruciatingly aware of his masculinity, Erienne pushed hurriedly away. She tried to walk again, anxious to be away, but when her weight came down on her ankle, a quick grimace touched her features. Christopher caught her reaction and, without so much as a murmured pardon, took the coat from her shoulders, pressed the lantern in her hand, and lifted her up in his arms. “You can’t take me upstairs!” she protested. “What if you’re seen?” The lights danced in his eyes as he met her astonished stare. “I’m beginning to think, madam, that you worry more about propriety than yourself. Most of the servants are in bed asleep.” “But what if Stuart comes?” she argued. “You said he’s on his way.” Christopher chuckled. “Meeting him now would be most interesting. He might even challenge me to a duel over your honor.” He raised a brow at her. “Would you be grieved if he wounded me?” “Don’t you realize a thing like that could happen?” she questioned, angry because he dismissed the possibility with flippant ease. “Don’t fret, my love,” he cajoled with a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. “If I hear him coming, I’ll run, and as clumsy as he is, he’ll never be able to catch me.” He shifted her weight closer against him and smiled into her chiding stare. “I like the way you feel in my arms.” “Remember yourself, sir,” she admonished crisply, ignoring her leaping pulse. “I’m trying, madam. I’m really trying.” -Erienne & Christopher
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
Bless me, readers, for I have published. It's been five years since my last book. Greetings, fellow sinners! If you picked up a copy of this book, it means you are either: 1) wracked with guilt and are looking for penance, or 2) need to spend over $10.00 at the airport newsstand so you can use your credit card. Either way, welcome to Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions. As America's foremost TV Catholic, it was natural for me to do a segment inspired by the church. After all, the Catholic Church and late night TV actually have a lot in common: our shows last about an hour, we're obsessed with reaching younger demographics, and the hosts are almost always men. This religious-adjacent tome contains all my favorite confessions from The Late Show. These are things that aren't necessarily sins, but I do feel guilty about them. For instance, repackaging material from the show and selling it in a book. I've always been a big fan of confession. The confessional is a great place to go to relieve yourself of your sins. Unless you're claustrophobic, in which case it's a suffocating death trap of despair! And while most confession books just give you run-of-the-mill mortal sins, I go one step further and provide you with mortal sins, venial sins, deadly sins, and even sins of omission (Notice that the previous sentence didn't have a period!) This book is a throwback to a simpler life when people would go to a priest to confess their sins. As opposed to how it's done now - getting drunk and weeping to Andy Cohen on Bravo. Confessing your sins is a great way to get things off your chest. Second only to waxing. The only downside is that you get introduced to it as a kid, before you have any juicy sins to confess. Oh, you stole a cookie? That's adorable, Becky. Come back when you total your dad's Chevy. Now you might be asking yourself, "What if I'm not Catholic - can I still enjoy this book?" Of course. After all, no matter what religion you are - be it Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, Pagan, or SoulCycle - we all have things to feel guilty about. For example, not being Catholic.
Stephen Colbert (Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions)
You should be!” “But we’re not,” Sophie insisted. “So please don’t blame yourself. And please don’t leave. You can make any other changes you want to my security. Just . . . not that. I promise, I’ll follow any rules you want me to. I’ll even promise I won’t sneak off without you.” Alden huffed a small laugh. “You should take that deal, Sandor. It’s the bargain of the century.” “Seriously,” Grady agreed. “Can I get in on that?” Sophie shook her head. “It’s just for Sandor—and it doesn’t apply to any replacement bodyguards. In fact, I’ll go out of my way to make their job impossible.” “No, you won’t,” Sandor told her. “You’re much too smart to resort to such reckless behavior.” Sophie’s eyebrows shot up. “You sure about that? You’ve seen how much time I spend with Keefe.” “I’ll give her some pointers, too,” Tam volunteered. “I picked up lots of tricks at Exillium.” “And I have lots of prank elixirs,” Dex added. “How many weeks do you think the new guard would last before they’d run screaming back to Gildingham?” Tam wondered. “I doubt they’d last days,” Sophie told him. “Especially if Keefe and Ro join in the torment.” Sandor’s sigh had a definite snarl. “I’m trying to help—can’t you see that?
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities #7))
My dear, dear ladies,” Sir Francis effused as he hastened forward, “what a long-awaited delight this is!” Courtesy demanded that he acknowledge the older lady first, and so he turned to her. Picking up Berta’s limp hand from her side, he presed his lips to it and said, “Permit me to introduce myself. I am Sir Francis Belhaven.” Lady Berta curtsied, her fear-widened eyes fastened on his face, and continued to press her handkerchief to her lips. To his astonishment, she did not acknowledge him at all; she did not say she was charmed to meet him or inquire after his health. Instead, the woman curtsied again. And once again. “There’s hardly a need for all that,” he said, covering his puzzlement with forced jovially. “I’m only a knight, you know. Not a duke or even an earl.” Lady Berta curtsied again, and Elizabeth nudged her sharply with her elbow. “How do!” burst out the plump lady. “My aunt is a trifle-er-shy with strangers,” Elizabeth managed weakly. The sound of Elizabeth Cameron’s soft, musical voice made Sir Francis’s blood sing. He turned with unhidden eagerness to his future bride and realized that it was a bust of himself that Elizabeth was clutching so protectively, so very affectionately to her bosom. He could scarcely contain his delight. “I knew it would be this way between us-no pretense, no maidenly shyness,” he burst out, beaming at her blank, wary expression as he gently took the bust of himself from Elizabeth’s arms. “But, my lovely, there’s no need for you to caress a hunk of clay when I am here in the flesh.” Momentarily struck dumb, Elizabeth gaped at the bust she’d been holding as he first set it gently upon its stand, then turned expectantly to her, leaving her with the horrifying-and accurate-thought that he now expected her to reach out and draw his balding head to her bosom. She stared at him, her mind in paralyzed chaos. “I-I would ask a favor of you, Sir Francis,” she burst out finally. “Anything, my dear,” he said huskily. “I would like to-to rest before supper.” He stepped back, looking disappointed, but then he recalled his manners and reluctantly nodded. “We don’t keep country hours. Supper is at eight-thirty.” For the first time he took a moment to really look at her. His memories of her exquisite face and delicious body had been so strong, so clear, that until then he’d been seeing the Lady Elizabeth Cameron he’d met long ago. Now he belatedly registered the stark, unattractive gown she wore and the severe way her hair was dressed. His gaze dropped to the ugly iron cross that hung about her neck, and he recoiled in shock. “Oh, and my dear, I’ve invited a few guests,” he added pointedly, his eyes on her unattractive gown. “I thought you would want to know, in order to attire yourself more appropriately.” Elizabeth suffered that insult with the same numb paralysis she’d felt since she set eyes on him. Not until the door closed behind him did she feel able to move. “Berta,” she burst out, flopping disconsolately onto the chair beside her, “how could you curtsy like that-he’ll know you for a lady’s maid before the night is out! We’ll never pull this off.” “Well!” Berta exclaimed, hurt and indignant. “Twasn’t I who was clutching his head to my bosom when he came in.” “We’ll do better after this,” Elizabeth vowed with an apologetic glance over her shoulder, and the trepidation was gone from her voice, replaced by steely determination and urgency. “We have to do better. I want us both out of here tomorrow. The day after at the very latest.” “The butler stared at my bosom,” Berta complained. “I saw him!” Elizabeth sent her a wry, mirthless smile. “The footman stared at mine. No woman is safe in this place. We only had a bit of-of stage fright just now. We’re new to playacting, but tonight I’ll carry it off. You’ll see. No matter what if takes, I’ll do it.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Ballad" Oh dream, why do you do me this way? Again, with the digging, again with the digging up. Once more with the shovels. Once more, the shovels full of dirt. The vault lid. The prying. The damp boards. Mother beside me. Like she’s an old hat at this. Like all she’s got left is curiosity. Like curiosity didn’t kill the red cat. Such a sweet, gentle cat it was. Here we go again, dream. Mother, wearing her take-out-the-garbage coat. I haven’t seen that coat in years. The coat she wore to pick me up from school early. She appeared at the back of the classroom, early. Go with your mother, teacher said. Diane, you are excused. I was a little girl. Already a famous actress. I looked at the other kids. I acted lucky. Though everyone knows what an early pick-up means. An early pick-up, dream. What’s wrong, I asked my mother. It is early spring. Bright sunlight. The usual birds. Air, teetering between bearable and unbearable. Cold, but not cold enough to shiver. Still, dream, I shiver. You know, my mother said. Her long garbage coat flying. There was a wind, that day. A wind like a scurrying grandmother, dusting. Look inside yourself, my mother said. You know why I have come for you. And still I acted lucky. Lucky to be out. Lucky to be out in the cold world with my mother. I’m innocent, I wanted to say. A little white girl, trying out her innocence. A white lamb, born into a cold field. Frozen almost solid. Brought into the house. Warmed all night with hair dryers. Death? I said. Smiling. Lucky. We’re barely to the parking lot. Barely to the car ride home. But the classroom already feels like the distant past. Long ago, my classmates pitying me. Arriving at this car full of uncles. Were they wearing suits? Death such a formal occasion. My sister, angry-crying next to me. Me, encountering a fragment of evil in myself. Evilly wanting my mother to say it. What? I asked, smiling. My lamb on full display at the fair. He’s dead! my sister said. Hit me in the gut with her flute. Her flute case. Her rental flute. He’s dead! Our father. Our father, who we were not supposed to know had been dying. He’s dead! The flute gleaming in its red case. Here, my mother said at home. She’d poured us each a small glass of Pepsi We normally couldn’t afford Pepsi. Lucky, I acted. He’s no longer suffering, my mother said. Here, she said. Drink this. The little bubbles flew. They bit my tongue. My evil persisted. What is death? I asked. And now, dream, once more you bring me my answer. Dig, my mother says. Pry, she says. I don’t want to see, dream. The lid so damp it crumbles under my hands. The casket just a drawerful of bones. A drawerful. Just bones and teeth. That one tooth he had. Crooked like mine.
Diane Seuss
Well,then why don't we go hunting tomorrow?" he offered cheerfully, knowing that a sunny disposition right now would rankle his friend. Bronwyn flashed Tyr a radiant smile. "What a sensible suggestion. After the past few days,it would be refreshing to spend some time with a charming gentleman and give me a chance to get away from certain...frustrations," she said as her gaze leisurely swept over Ranulf. "I can show you the choice spots." Tyr let go a low chuckle. No wonder the women at court never interested Ranulf. None of them had the audaciousness needed to penetrate his thick shell. Tyr returned Bronwyn's smile and picked up a handful of almonds. "That would be great.It will also give you a chance to meet more of the men." Ranulf didn't move, but his knuckles turned white. "The last thing the men need is a woman around who enjoys toying with their emotions." "I do not toy,my lord,but I suspect manners and general kindness may appear that way to someone who has the emotional capacity of a stone." her voice had risen at least an octave, giving away her confusion and hurt pride. Oblivious,Ranulf slowly shifted his gaze to hers and grated back, "If I am a stone,madam,then perhaps it is because I look like one.I'm sorry that I don't have Tyr's smile or Tory's sweet nature.Men like me do not appeal to women like yourself. I would be a half-wit to think otherwise.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight)
Weekly Check-Ins Instead of focusing on your anxiety all the time, try scheduling a weekly check-in session with yourself. Clients who have been coming to sessions weekly often just put that same day and time aside. Instead of meeting with me, they meet with themselves. You can do the same. Pick a time and place that will work for you to do your weekly check-in. Start a notebook (or use the note-taking app on your phone) in which you can record things you might want to address during your weekly check-in. When it comes time for your check-in, use the list as your agenda. If you have lots of issues that come up during the week and end up with a long agenda, just pick the one or two that seem most important to work through. This process will allow you to take some time to focus on any anxiety-driven issues that occurred during the week that you didn’t get a chance to deal with as they happened or where you tried something but it didn’t seem to do the trick. Remember to include behavioral traps, like overworking or avoidance coping, if these have occurred during the week. For each issue, go back to what seems like the most relevant chapter and try a solution from that chapter. For example, if you noticed yourself ruminating about a problem but didn’t take problem-solving action (meaning you didn’t move from thinking about the problem to taking a behavioral action), you might try defining your problem, generating a list of your best three to six options for moving forward with that problem, picking one option, and planning when and where you’re going to implement that solution.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
I hope Lily told you how happy I was by the offer to marry your commander." "She mentioned it," Ranulf grimaced. "Who knows? Maybe Rolande and I will meet and decide to stay together, forgoing the annulment." Ranulf rocked back on his feet, picking up the basin, and stood up, causing water to slosh on to the floor from the abrupt movement. She sounded so damn happy. He plopped the water bowl back on its table. And why shouldn't she be? "You will like my commander. He is as handsome as Lillabet is beautiful." Pain flashed in Bronwyn's eyes, turning them dark, almost black. If Ranulf's aim had been to hurt,he had struck true, resulting in a desire to inflict similar anguish. "As long as he doesn't lie to me and make me out the fool, I will be content." "I suspect he won't if you don't lie to him first." Bronwyn pushed herself out of the chair as a frisson of anger shot up her spine. "Maybe I won't if he doesn't order me away from my home without the courage to look me in the eye when he does so." "I never pretended to be someone else." "In that you are correct, my lord.You made it very clear from the beginning that you were a hateful man," she seethed. "Didn't seem to bother you when you used your female wiles to entice me to your bed," Ranulf hissed back. Bronwyn marched over to the door and swung it wide open. "I wonder just how my sister will deal with your barbarism. She is sweet,beautiful, and innocent,but she also knows nothing about running a castle.So preprare yourself,my lord.In a few months you will have a rundown estate and no commander either,for after I use my feminine wiles on him, I doubt we will be staying here at Hunswick.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight)
Here's my question: What age are you when you're in Heaven? I mean, if it's Heaven, you should be at your beauty-queen best, and I doubt that all the people who die of old age are wandering around toothless and bald. It opens up a whole additional realm of questions, too. If you hang yourself, do you walk around all gross and blue, with your tongue spitting out of your mouth? If you are killed in a war, do you spend eternity minus the leg that got blown up by a mine? I figure that maybe you get a choice. You fill out the application form that asks you if you want a star view or a cloud view, if you like chicken or fish or manna for dinner, what age you'd like to be seen as by everyone else. Like me, for example, I might pick seventeen, in the hopes I grow boobs by then, and even if I'm a pruny centegenarian by the time I die, in Heaven, I'd be young and pretty. Once at a dinner party I heard my father say that even though he was old old old, in his heart he was twenty-one. So maybe there is a place in your life you ear out like a rut, or even better, like the soft spot on the couch. And no matter what else happens to you, you come back to that. The problem, I suppose, is that everyone's different. What happens in Heaven when all these people are trying to find each other after so many years spent apart? Say that you die and start looking around for your husband, who died five years ago. what if you're picturing him at seventy, but he hit his groove at sixteen and is wandering around suave as can be? Or what if you're Kate, and you die at sixteen, but in Heaven you choose to look thirty-five, an age you never got to be here on Earth. How would anyone ever be able to find you?
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
I won’t know where we’re going until we get there.” Skylar was completely unfazed by my snapping. “And once we get there, I probably won’t know why until you guys tell me what’s going on.” “You’re the psychic,” Bethany muttered. “Shouldn’t you be able to figure it out for yourself?” If anything, Skylar seemed enthused by the pointed question. “Reading your minds on command would require being significantly psychic, and I’m not. I never know when I’m going to pick up something, and it comes in pieces and feelings, not in words. So who wants to clue the sophomore in?” Not me. I didn’t want to drag Skylar into this. There was just something about her that screamed protect me! Whoever the men looking for the “anemic cheerleader” were, I was fairly certain I didn’t want them anywhere near the Little Optimist That Could. Unfortunately, Bethany had no such predilection. “Sometime in the past week, I got bitten by a chupacabra. Somehow—no idea how—Kali lured it out of my body and into hers. She’s already far enough gone that medical science can’t do a thing to save her, and she’s got some kind of plan—probably a risky, unreliable one riddled with holes—to get the bloodsucker out.” Bethany blew out a long breath and then glanced back over her shoulder at Skylar. “There. You know what I know about the current situation. So, any time now, feel free to do your whole ‘psychic’ thing and tell me where the bedazzler we’re going, or I might be forced to physically hurt you.” Skylar made a pfft sound with her lips. “Five brothers,” she said, pointing to herself. Then she pointed to Bethany. “Only child. I could totally take you. Turn left.” Bethany slammed on the brakes. “Seriously?” “Please?” Skylar smiled winningly, and after a long moment, Bethany turned left onto an access road that dead-ended into a large parking lot. 
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Every Other Day)
Fully His I have been forgiven and set free from my sins. There was a boy who lived in a town on the seaside. He was a skilled and clever carver, and he carved himself a little wooden boat. When he put sails on it, it really sailed. One day, he took it down to the shore and was sailing it at the edge of the sea, but the tide changed and carried his boat out to sea, and he could not recover it. So, he went home without his boat. With the next change of the wind and tide, the boat came back again. A man walking along the seashore found the boat, picked it up, and saw it was a beautiful piece of work. He took it to a local shop and sold it. The shop owner cleaned it up and put it on display in his shop window with a price of thirty-five dollars. Some while later, the boy walked past the shop, looked in the window, and saw his boat with a price of thirty-five dollars. He knew, however, that he had no way to prove that it was his boat. If he wanted his boat, there was only one thing he could do: buy it back. He set to work, taking any job he could to earn the money to buy his boat. Once he earned the money, he walked into the shop and said, “I want to buy that boat.” He paid the money, and, when he got the boat in his hands, he walked outside and stopped on the sidewalk. He held the boat to his chest and said, “Now you’re mine. I made you and I bought you.” That is redemption. First, the Lord made us, but we were in Satan’s slave market. Then, He bought us. We are doubly His. Can you see how valuable you are to the Lord? Think of yourself as that boat for a moment. You may feel so inadequate, so worthless. You wonder whether God ever really cares. Just try to believe that you are that boat in the Lord’s arms and He is saying to you, “Now you’re Mine. I made you and I bought you. I own you; you’re fully Mine.”     Thank You,
Derek Prince (Declaring God's Word: A 365-Day Devotional)
I know he makes mistakes, but basically he’s a good kid,” she told him. “Trust him, and trust yourself.” She looked so earnest, he thought, as aroused as he was amused. “You’re the one who shouldn’t be trusting me,” he told her, right before he kissed her. As he lowered his mouth to hers, he wrapped his arms around her and drew her close. She leaned into him, her slender body warm and supple in his embrace. Her lips clung, then parted. When he swept inside, she was hot, sweet and more than willing to take him on. The second his tongue touched hers, she moaned. Her fingers dug into his shoulders, and he felt a shudder ripple through her body. He went from hard to ready to explode in two seconds. The way they were next to each other on a log didn’t allow him to explore her the way he wanted, so he broke the kiss and pulled her to her feet. Phoebe went willingly, if a little unsteadily. When they were both standing, he pressed his mouth to her jaw before sliding to her neck. She moaned and leaned back her head. Their lower bodies brushed against each other. When her belly came in contact with his erection, it was his turn to groan. He slid one hand from her waist up to her breast and cupped the feminine curve. Even through the layers of her shirt and bra, he could feel her tight nipple. One sweep of his thumb against it had her gasping. She touched his head and guided his mouth back to hers. This time when he entered her, she closed her lips around his tongue and sucked. He dropped his free hand to the small of her back, holding her in place so he could rub against her. The thick ropes of his control began to unravel. When she curled both arms around his neck, it seemed natural to place his around her waist and pick her up. She wrapped her legs around his hips, bringing herself in direct contact with his hard-on. It was paradise. It was pure torture. He swore. She broke the kiss and smiled at him. “So you find me annoying, but you still want me,” she whispered. “I don’t find you annoying.” He pushed against her crotch. “I don’t find you annoying, either.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
In many cases we can do this and avoid the exponential blowup. Suppose you’re leading a platoon in single file through enemy territory in the dead of night, and you want to make sure that all your soldiers are still with you. You could stop and count them yourself, but that wastes too much time. A cleverer solution is to just ask the first soldier behind you: “How many soldiers are behind you?” Each soldier asks the next the same question, until the last one says “None.” The next-to-last soldier can now say “One,” and so on all the way back to the first soldier, with each soldier adding one to the number of soldiers behind him. Now you know how many soldiers are still with you, and you didn’t even have to stop. Siri uses the same idea to compute the probability that you just said, “Call the police” from the sounds it picked up from the microphone. Think of “Call the police” as a platoon of words marching across the page in single file. Police wants to know its probability, but for that it needs to know the probability of the; and the in turn needs to know the probability of call. So call computes its probability and passes it on to the, which does the same and passes the result to police. Now police knows its probability, duly influenced by every word in the sentence, but we never had to construct the full table of eight possibilities (the first word is call or isn’t, the second is the or isn’t, and the third is police or isn’t). In reality, Siri considers all words that could appear in each position, not just whether the first word is call or not and so on, but the algorithm is the same. Perhaps Siri thinks, based on the sounds, that the first word was either call or tell, the second was the or her, and the third was police or please. Individually, perhaps the most likely words are call, the, and please. But that forms the nonsensical sentence “Call the please,” so taking the other words into account, Siri concludes that the sentence is really “Call the police.” It makes the call, and with luck the police get to your house in time to catch the burglar.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
CONGRUENCE Have you ever felt stuck? Maybe you haven’t recruited anyone in a while, and you just can’t seem to break the streak of no success. This causes you to not feel like picking up the phone and getting any more rejection. You don’t feel like talking about the business that day, so you don’t. Can you relate? This is critical for you to always remember. You cannot avoid rejection. Ninety percent of people are always going to tell you that your business is not for them. You have to go through the no’s to get to the yeses. There is no other way around it. You may not like making calls and accepting no’s, but you will like the results and income you will get by doing it consistently enough. Bank on it. So here’s what happens to everyone, myself included. You have a bad day, where everyone says no. You wake up the next day and you just cannot get yourself to make some calls. The whole day goes by and you did nothing to grow your business. The next day, you have a nagging little feeling of guilt about doing nothing the day before, so you start to internalize it. You question whether you know what you are doing. Does the business work? Is it worth the effort? You know the answer is yes, so you don’t quit — but you also do no activity. The next day, that little guilt feeling has mushroomed even bigger. And as time goes on, the guilt turns into self-loathing. You get down on yourself for not performing like you know you could and should. You begin to beat yourself up and even compare yourself to others. Sadly, this can become a downward spiral that is self-inflicted and hard to break out of. Without being wise enough to seek direct help from an upline expert, some people never recover. Instead of fixing their mindset and bringing their goals and the actions back into alignment — getting congruent — they quit the business. These are the blamers who walk the Earth claiming the business didn’t work. No! They stopped working! Don’t be a blamer. Be congruent. Make your activity match up with your WHY in the business. Pick up the phone and snap back into action. Don’t allow yourself to be depressed, because it is a form of depression. Your upline can help you snap out of it. How
Brian Carruthers (Building an Empire:The Most Complete Blueprint to Building a Massive Network Marketing Business)
can hardly blame ye for not waiting.” I could see Ian in profile, leaning over the log basket. His long, good-natured face wore a slight frown. “Weel, I didna think it right, especially wi’ me being crippled …” There was a louder snort. “Jenny couldna have a better husband, if you’d lost both legs and your arms as well,” Jamie said gruffly. Ian’s pale skin flushed slightly in embarrassment. Jamie coughed and swung his legs down from the hassock, leaning over to pick up a scrap of kindling that had fallen from the basket. “How did ye come to wed anyway, given your scruples?” he asked, one side of his mouth curling up. “Gracious, man,” Ian protested, “ye think I had any choice in the matter? Up against a Fraser?” He shook his head, grinning at his friend. “She came up to me out in the field one day, while I was tryin’ to mend a wagon that sprang its wheel. I crawled out, all covered wi’ muck, and found her standin’ there looking like a bush covered wi’ butterflies. She looks me up and down and she says—” He paused and scratched his head. “Weel, I don’t know exactly what she said, but it ended with her kissing me, muck notwithstanding, and saying, ‘Fine, then, we’ll be married on St. Martin’s Day.’ ” He spread his hands in comic resignation. “I was still explaining why we couldna do any such thing, when I found myself in front of a priest, saying, ‘I take thee, Janet’… and swearing to a lot of verra improbable statements.” Jamie rocked back in his seat, laughing. “Aye, I ken the feeling,” he said. “Makes ye feel a bit hollow, no?” Ian smiled, embarrassment forgotten. “It does and all. I still get that feeling, ye know, when I see Jenny sudden, standing against the sun on the hill, or holding wee Jamie, not lookin’ at me. I see her, and I think, ‘God, man, she can’t be yours, not really.’ ” He shook his head, brown hair flopping over his brow. “And then she turns and smiles at me …” He looked up at his brother-in-law, grinning. “Weel, ye know yourself. I can see it’s the same wi’ you and your Claire. She’s … something special, no?” Jamie nodded. The smile didn’t leave his face, but altered somehow. “Aye,” he said softly. “Aye, she is that.” Over the port and biscuits, Jamie and
Diana Gabaldon (The Outlander Series 7-Book Bundle: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, An Echo in the Bone)
And then, with a shock like high-voltage coursing through me, the phone beside me started pealing thinly. I just stood there and stared at it, blood draining from my face. A call to a tollbooth? It must, it must be a wrong number, somebody wanted the Information Booth or-! It must have been audible outside, with all I had the slide partly closed. One of the redcaps passing by turned, looked over, then started coming across toward where I was. To get rid of him I picked up the receiver, put it to my ear. 'You'd better come out now, time's up,' a flat, deadly voice said. 'They're calling your train, but you're not getting on that one - or any other.' 'Wh-where are talking from?' 'The next booth to yours,' the voice jeered. 'You forgot the glass inserts only reach halfway down.' The connection broke and a man's looming figure was shadowing the glass in front of my eyes, before I could even get the receiver back on the hook. I dropped it full-length, tensed my right arm to pound it through his face as soon as I shoved the glass aside. He had a revolver-bore for a top vest-button, trained on me. Two more had shown up behind him, from which direction I hadn't noticed. It was very dark in the booth now, their collective silhouettes shut out all the daylight. The station and all its friendly bustle was blotted out, had receded into the far background, a thousand miles away for all the help it could give me. I slapped the glass wearily aside, came slowly out. One of them flashed a badge - maybe Crow had loaned him his for the occasion. 'You're being arrested for putting slugs in that phone. It won't do any good to raise your voice and shriek for help, try to tell people different. But suit yourself.' I knew that as well as he; heads turned to stare after us by the dozens as they started with me in their midst through the station's main-level. But not one in all that crowd would have dared interfere with what they mistook for a legitimate arrest in the line of duty. The one with the badge kept it conspicuously tilted in his upturned palm, at sight of which the frozen onlookers slowly parted, made way for us through their midst. I was being led to my doom in full view of scores of people. ("Graves For The Living")
Cornell Woolrich
CHANGING YOUR LIFE TO ACCOMMODATE THE SIXTH SECRET The sixth secret is about the choiceless life. Since we all take our choices very seriously, adopting this new attitude requires a major shift. Today, you can begin with a simple exercise. Sit down for a few minutes and reassess some of the important choices you’ve made over the years. Take a piece of paper and make two columns labeled “Good Choice” and “Bad Choice.” Under each column, list at least five choices relating to those moments you consider the most memorable and decisive in your life so far—you’ll probably start with turning points shared by most people (the serious relationship that collapsed, the job you turned down or didn’t get, the decision to pick one profession or another), but be sure to include private choices that no one knows about except you (the fight you walked away from, the person you were too afraid to confront, the courageous moment when you overcame a deep fear). Once you have your list, think of at least one good thing that came out of the bad choices and one bad thing that came out of the good choices. This is an exercise in breaking down labels, getting more in touch with how flexible reality really is. If you pay attention, you may be able to see that not one but many good things came from your bad decisions while many bad ones are tangled up in your good decisions. For example, you might have a wonderful job but wound up in a terrible relationship at work or crashed your car while commuting. You might love being a mother but know that it has drastically curtailed your personal freedom. You may be single and very happy at how much you’ve grown on your own, yet you have also missed the growth that comes from being married to someone you deeply love. No single decision you ever made has led in a straight line to where you find yourself now. You peeked down some roads and took a few steps before turning back. You followed some roads that came to a dead end and others that got lost at too many intersections. Ultimately, all roads are connected to all other roads. So break out of the mindset that your life consists of good and bad choices that set your destiny on an unswerving course. Your life is the product of your awareness. Every choice follows from that, and so does every step of growth.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Remind yourself where you come from. I spent the majority of my life running away from Utah, from the life I led there, from the memories I associated with those early years. It felt very someone-else-ago to me. London changed me profoundly. When we were dancing on DWTS together, Jennifer Grey called me one night. She was having trouble with her back and wanted to see a physiotherapist. “Can you come with me?” she asked. She drove us through a residential section of Beverly Hills. We pulled into a house with a shed out back. Oddly, it didn’t look like a doctor’s office. There was a couch and incense burning. An Australian guy with a white beard came in : “Hey, mates.” I looked at Jen and she winked at me. This was no physical therapy. She’d signed us up for some bizarre couples therapy! The guy spoke to us for a while, then he asked Jennifer if she wouldn’t mind leaving us to chat. I thought the whole thing was pretty out there, but I didn’t think I could make a run for it. “So, Derek,” he said. “Tell me about your childhood.” I laid it all out for him--I talked for almost two hours--and he nodded. “You can go pick him up now.” I raised an eyebrow. “Pick who up?” The therapist smiled. “That younger boy, that self you left in Utah. You left him there while you’ve been on a mission moving forward so vigorously. Now you can go get him back.” I sat there, utterly stunned and speechless. It was beyond powerful and enlightening. Had I really left that part of me behind? Had I lost that fun-loving, wide-eyed kid and all his creative exuberance? When I came out of my therapy session, Jennifer was waiting for me. “If I’d told you this was where we were going, you wouldn’t have come,” she said. She was right. She had to blindside me to get me to grapple with this. She’s a very spiritual person, and she saw how I was struggling, how I seemed to be in some kind of emotional rut. Just visualizing myself taking the old Derek by the hand was an incredible exercise. I think we often tuck our younger selves away for safekeeping. In my case, I associated my early years with painful memories. I wanted to keep young Derek at a distance. But what I forgot was all the good I experienced with him as well: the joy, the hope, the excitement, the wonder. I forgot what a great kid Derek was. I gave myself permission to reconnect with that little boy, to see the world through his eyes again. It was the kick in the butt I needed. Jennifer would say, “Told ya so.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
He returned to the table with a pile of pastries and two coffees. “Hungry?” she asked. “Let’s figure out what you like.” He waved at the pastries. How thoughtful. She picked up a small biscuit cookie to nibble but shook her head. “Too crunchy.” “Try the scone,” he recommended. One bite. “Nope. No scones. Maybe I’m not a pastry person.” “I’m taking notes over here.” He almost spit out his sip of coffee from laughter when she had to empty her mouth into a small napkin after biting into a cheesy sweet concoction. “Sorry.” Her face went hot. “I’ll stick with croissants. What about you? What do you like?” He shrugged. “I’m not picky.” “Is it bad to be picky? Does it mean I’m high maintenance?” “Maybe you’re not into sweets.” “If I dribbled chocolate all over you, I’d lick it off and like it.” She slapped a hand over her mouth. “Did I just say that out loud? Forget I said that.” “No undoing that. It’s stuck in here.” He tapped his head. “Moon madness.” “It’s mid-morning. There’s no moon in the sky.” He peeked out the window. “Maybe not a full moon, but there’s one in the sky. This insanity is our bodies cranking up for the main event later today.” His eyes traveled down her body and back up; he wet his lips with his tongue. Her mind flashed back to the moment his lips were on hers, the way his fingers had dug into her, the desperation flowing from his fingertips. Things were about to get a lot more interesting as the day wore on. In silence, they ate for a while. She leaned back and stared at him. “You may have to answer to someone, but you like what you do most of the time. Why do you do it? Save humans against things that bump in the night?” “I’m cursed to follow orders.” “Sure, you’re forced into some things, but that only goes so far.” He wiped a few crumbs off the table. “Perhaps so. It’s a good cause. Most of the time. Occasionally, the missions we’re ordered on are based on erroneous information.” She reached out and put her hand over his. “I might be as bad as they made me out. I don’t remember. I appreciate you trying to help me figure it out, but if I start to show an inclination toward evil or world domination, do your job.” He rotated his hand to hold hers and stared at their connection. “The fact you considered it means you’re not someone I should kill.” “We don’t know.” She removed her hand from his. “Tell me something about yourself. What pastry do you like? Are you a scones person?” He shook his head. “I’m not into a lot of sweets, but I’ve realized I like chocolate.
Zoe Forward (Bad Moon Rising (Crown's Wolves, #1))
May I speak with you for a minute, Frank?” He stopped working. “James, Dan. Keep Janie out of trouble.” “Yes, sir.” Both boys gave a salute. Frank’s long legs consumed the expanse, and he met me in the bright sunlight. We rounded the corner of the barn and moved away from its wall, closer to the pigpen. “Is there a problem?” He bent slightly, resting his arms on the top of the rail fence surrounding the sty, one foot propped up on the lower slat. I picked at the jagged edge of a fingernail and cleared my throat. “I’m going home.” “I know.” He looked almost . . . stricken. But it passed. Worried about not having made arrangement yet for the children, I imagined. He cleared his throat, kicked at a clod of dirt. “At the end of the month.” “This morning, actually. I have my train ticket.” Only his jaw moved, the muscle tightening and loosening and tightening again. I paced behind him, reached the other side of the small enclosure, chewed my lip, waited for him to say something. Anything. But the silence closed in around me. I had to get free of it. “I’ve been here long enough. I know that now. You need to be with your family, Frank. You need to sleep in your own bed, be among your own things. The children are comfortable with you again. Besides”—I grabbed the top rail of the pen to hold me steady—“I have my own life to live.” I stared off into the distance, hoping he thought I gazed happily into the life I desired. The quiet boiled between us until his words spat out like a flash of lightning. “Just like that, you’d abandon us?” I whirled to face him. “Just a few days earlier than you promised to send me home, remember?” He shoved his hands into the pockets of his overalls and looked me over as if I were a possum in the bedroom. “They’ve lost their mother. And Adabelle. Now they’ll lose you, too. You don’t think they’ll feel that?” I shook my head, my heart breaking into tiny shards. “They’re young. They’ll take to whoever you bring in as quickly as they took to me.” His face reddened. He stalked toward the barn, then turned and came back, pointing his finger in my face. “Let’s get this straight. I’ve not asked you to leave. You’ve taken this on yourself.” “It’s for the best, Frank. It really is. But . . .” I hesitated. The intensity of his anger made me unsure of my final request. My voice shrank to nearly a whisper. “Will you tell them for me?” His eyebrows arched. He threw back his head and belched a derisive laugh. “You want to leave? Fine. I can’t stop you. But I’m not going to be the one to tell them. You are.
Anne Mateer (Wings of a Dream)
I glanced over and saw Wyatt glaring at me. Journey’s “Lovin’ Touchin’, Squeezin’” was playing on the radio. “What?” I asked. “You secretly hate me, don’t you.” He gestured toward the radio. “You can’t stand the thought of me taking a much needed nap and leaving you to drive without conversation. You’re torturing me with this sappy stuff.” “It’s Journey. I love this song.” Wyatt mumbled something under his breath, picked up the CD case, and started looking through it. He paused with a choked noise, his eyes growing huge. “You’re joking, Sam. Justin Bieber? What are you, a twelve-year old girl?” There’s gonna be one less lonely girl, I sang in my head. That was a great song. How could he not like that song? Still, I squirmed a bit in embarrassment. “A twelve-year old girl gave me that CD,” I lied. “For my birthday.” Wyatt snorted. “It’s a good thing you’re a terrible liar. Otherwise, I’d be horrified at the thought that a demon has been hanging out with a bunch of giggling pre-teens.” He continued to thumb through the CDs. “Air Supply Greatest Hits? No, no, I’m wrong here. It’s an Air Supply cover band in Spanish.” He waved the offending CD in my face. “Sam, what on earth are you thinking? How did you even get this thing?” “Some tenant left it behind,” I told him. “We evicted him, and there were all these CDs. Most were in Spanish, but I’ve got a Barry Manilow in there, too. That one’s in English.” Wyatt looked at me a moment, and with the fastest movement I’ve ever seen, rolled down the window and tossed the case of CDs out onto the highway. It barely hit the road before a semi plowed over it. I was pissed. “You asshole. I liked those CDs. I don’t come over to your house and trash your video games, or drive over your controllers. If you think that will make me listen to that Dubstep crap for the next two hours, then you better fucking think again.” “I’m sorry Sam, but it’s past time for a musical intervention here. You can’t keep listening to this stuff. It wasn’t even remotely good when it was popular, and it certainly hasn’t gained anything over time. You need to pull yourself together and try to expand your musical interests a bit. You’re on a downward spiral, and if you keep this up, you’ll find yourself friendless, living in a box in a back alley, stinking of your own excrement, and covered in track marks.” I looked at him in surprise. I had no idea Air Supply led to lack of bowel control and hard core drug usage. I wondered if it was something subliminal, a kind of compulsion programmed into the lyrics. Was Russell Hitchcock a sorcerer? He didn’t look that menacing to me, but sorcerers were pretty sneaky. Even so, I was sure Justin Bieber was okay. As soon as we hit a rest stop, I was ordering a replacement from my iPhone.
Debra Dunbar (Satan's Sword (Imp, #2))
Alas, great is my sorrow. Your name is Ah Chen, and when you were born I was not truly pleased. I am a farmer, and a farmer needs strong sons to help with his work, but before a year had passed you had stolen my heart. You grew more teeth, and you grew daily in wisdom, and you said 'Mommy' and 'Daddy' and your pronunciation was perfect. When you were three you would knock at the door and then you would run back and ask, 'Who is it?' When you were four your uncle came to visit and you played the host. Lifting your cup, you said, 'Ching!' and we roared with laughter and you blushed and covered your face with your hands, but I know that you thought yourself very clever. Now they tell me that I must try to forget you, but it is hard to forget you. "You carried a toy basket. You sat at a low stool to eat porridge. You repeated the Great Learning and bowed to Buddha. You played at guessing games, and romped around the house. You were very brave, and when you fell and cut your knee you did not cry because you did not think it was right. When you picked up fruit or rice, you always looked at people's faces to see if it was all right before putting it in your mouth, and you were careful not to tear your clothes. "Ah Chen, do you remember how worried we were when the flood broke our dikes and the sickness killed our pigs? Then the Duke of Ch'in raised our taxes and I was sent to plead with him, and I made him believe that we could not pay out taxes. Peasants who cannot pay taxes are useless to dukes, so he sent his soldiers to destroy our village, and thus it was the foolishness of your father that led to your death. Now you have gone to Hell to be judged, and I know that you must be very frightened, but you must try not to cry or make loud noises because it is not like being at home with your own people. "Ah Chen, do you remember Auntie Yang, the midwife? She was also killed, and she was very fond of you. She had no little girls of her own, so it is alright for you to try and find her, and to offer her your hand and ask her to take care of you. When you come before the Yama Kings, you should clasp your hands together and plead to them: 'I am young and I am innocent. I was born in a poor family, and I was content with scanty meals. I was never wilfully careless of my shoes and my clothing, and I never wasted a grain of rice. If evil spirits bully me, may thou protect me.' You should put it just that way, and I am sure that the Yama Kings will protect you. "Ah Chen, I have soup for you and I will burn paper money for you to use, and the priest is writing down this prayer that I will send to you. If you hear my prayer, will you come to see me in your dreams? If fate so wills that you must yet lead an earthly life, I pray that you will come again to your mother's womb. Meanwhile I will cry, 'Ah Chen, your father is here!' I can but weep for you, and call your name.
Barry Hughart (Bridge of Birds (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, #1))
The captain? Sophia stood staring numbly after him. Had he just said he’d introduce her to the captain? Of someone else was the captain, then who on earth was this man? One thing was clear. Whoever he was, he had her trunks. And he was walking away. Cursing under her breath, Sophia picked up her skirts and trotted after him, dodging boatmen and barrels and coils of tarred rope as she pursued him down the quay. A forest of tall masts loomed overhead, striping the dock with shadow. Breathless, she regained his side just as he neared the dock’s edge. “But…aren’t you Captain Grayson?” “I,” he said, pitching her smaller trunk into a waiting rowboat, “am Mr. Grayson, owner of the Aphrodite and principle investor in her cargo.” The owner. Well, that was some relief. The tavern-keeper must have been confused. The porter deposited her larger truck alongside the first, and Mr. Grayson dismissed him with a word and a coin. He plunked one polished Hessian on the rowboat’s seat and shifted his weight to it, straddling the gap between boat and dock. Hand outstretched, he beckoned her with an impatient twitch of his fingers. “Miss Turner?” Sophia inched closer to the dock’s edge and reached one gloved hand toward his, considering how best to board the bobbing craft without losing her dignity overboard. The moment her fingers grazed his palm, his grin tightened over her hand. He pulled swiftly, wrenching her feet from the dock and a gasp from her throat. A moment of weightlessness-and then she was aboard. Somehow his arm had whipped around her waist, binding her to his solid chest. He released her just as quickly, but a lilt of the rowboat pitched Sophia back into his arms. “Steady there,” he murmured through a small smile. “I have you.” A sudden gust of wind absconded with his hat. He took no notice, but Sophia did. She noticed everything. Never in her life had she felt so acutely aware. Her nerves were draw taut as harp strings, and her senses hummed. The man radiated heat. From exertion, most likely. Or perhaps from a sheer surplus of simmering male vigor. The air around them was cold, but he was hot. And as he held her tight against his chest, Sophia felt that delicious, enticing heat burn through every layer of her clothing-cloak, gown, stays, chemise, petticoat, stockings, drawers-igniting desire in her belly. And sparking a flare of alarm. This was a precarious position indeed. The further her torso melted into his, the more certainly he would detect her secret: the cold, hard bundle of notes and coin lashed beneath her stays. She pushed away from him, dropping onto the seat and crossing her arms over her chest. Behind him, the breeze dropped his hat into a foamy eddy. He still hadn’t noticed its loss. What he noticed was her gesture of modesty, and he gave her a patronizing smile. “Don’t concern yourself, Miss Turner. You’ve nothing in there I haven’t seen before.” Just for that, she would not tell him. Farewell, hat.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Robert.” It was a sigh and a call at the same time. She ignored the lump in her throat and called again. In an instant, her view was obscured. “Lydia!” They were eye-to-eye, and neither said anything for a moment or two. Finally, after an audible gulp, Robert spoke in a whisper. “Are you all right?” “I’ve had better days,” she said in seriousness, and then realized the absurdity of her words and chuckled. “I’m covered in dirt, cuts, and bruises and sporting a lovely goose egg above my ear. One of my favorite gowns is nothing but a ruin, but other than that, I am fine. And now that you are here, I am better.” “Thank the Lord. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to hear you say so. I have been imagining all sorts … well, let’s talk about this later.” “Yes, when we don’t have to whisper through a wall.” “Indeed.” “So what is the plan?” “Hmm … well, plans are a little lacking at this moment. I had expected to rush in and simply grab you, but there are three guards by the door. I procured a thick stick, but three to one … well, not good odds. My second idea was to loosen some of these boards and pull you out. I have also acquired a horse. So once out, we can sneak or run, whichever is the most prudent.” “Yes, but the getting-out part seems to be the problem. For, if I am not mistaken, none of the boards on this side of the barn are loose, and the other sides are too close to the villains.” “There does seem to be a decided lack of cooperation on the part of the building. I have, however, noticed something that might offer another possibility. It would require a great deal of trust on your part.” “Oh?” Lydia was almost certain she was not going to like this new possibility. “Yes. There is a hay door above me. Is there a loft inside?” “Are you thinking that I should climb a rickety ladder to the loft and then try to escape through the hay door?” “Just a thought.” “How would I get down?” “That would be the trust part.” “Ahh. I would jump, and you would catch me.” Lydia visualized her descent, skirts every which way, and a very hard landing that might produce a broken body part. “Yes. Not a brilliant plan. Do you have another?” Robert sounded hopeful. “Not really. But might I suggest a variation to yours?” “By all means.” “I will return to my cell and get the rope that the thugs used to tie me up.” “They tied you up?” “Yes. But don’t let it bother you.…” “No?” “No. Because if they hadn’t, then I wouldn’t have a rope to lower myself from the hay door. I can use the one they used on my feet; it’s thick and long.” “I like that so much better than watching you fling yourself from a high perch.” “Me too. It might take a few minutes as I must return to my original cell—I escaped, you know.” “I didn’t. That is quite impressive.” “Thank you. Anyway, I must return to my cell for the rope, climb the ladder, cross the loft to the door … et cetera, et cetera. All in silence, of course.” “Of course.” “It might take as much as twenty minutes.” “I promise to wait. Won’t wander off … pick flowers or party with the thugs.” “Good to know.” “Just warn me before you jump.” “Oh, yes. I will most certainly let you know.” With a deep sigh, Lydia headed back to her cell, slowly and quietly.
Cindy Anstey (Duels & Deception)
I hate like hell to go, especially with things still so up in the air between us.” Liv was watching him from the bed. “Nothing’s up in the air. You’re determined to keep me and I’m determined to go.” His face darkened. “You’re not so damn determined when I have you in the bathing pool.” Liv felt a heated blush creep into her cheeks but she refused to back down. “Be that as it may, what I say or do in the, uh, in the heat of passion doesn’t change how I feel.” A look that was almost despair crossed over his chiseled features. “Damn it, Olivia, can’t you admit to yourself that you feel for me what I feel for you? Can’t you just try to imagine having a life here with me on the ship?” “I could…if I didn’t already have a life waiting for me back on Earth.” She sighed. “Look, let’s not fight about this right now. You have to go, fine. I’ll manage okay on my own here.” To be honest she was looking forward to a reprieve from the constant lust she felt while being cooped up with him in close quarters. He frowned. “I shouldn’t be leavin’ you alone during our claiming period. If I hadn’t had a direct order from my CO—” “It’s okay, really. I’ll find something to keep me occupied. I’ll try the translator and read one of your books. And I can work the wave well enough to make my own lunch without burning a finger off now.” “All right, fine.” He looked slightly mollified. “But whatever you do, stay in the suite. Don’t leave for any reason.” “Yes, sir!” She gave him a mocking salute. “To hear is to obey, oh my lord and master.” “Lilenta…” He sighed. “This is for your safety. I’m not trying to order you around for the hell of it.” “No, you just want to make my decisions for me. Stay here, don’t go there. Live the rest of your life on the ship instead of ever seeing your loved ones on Earth again. Why should this be any different?” Liv knew an edge of bitterness had crept into her voice but she couldn’t seem to help it. Baird scowled. “In time you’ll see that this is best. The only way I can protect you is to keep you close to me.” “Funny how much being protected feels like being owned.” “I thought you didn’t want to fight.” “You started it.” Liv knew it sounded childish but she didn’t care. He ran a hand through his hair. “Damn it, Olivia…” Then he shook his head, as though sensing the futility of any argument. He pointed a finger at her instead. “I’m going but I’ll be back tonight in time for the start of our tasting week.” “You…I’m surprised you want to…to do anything at all.” Liv worked hard to keep the tremble out of her voice but didn’t quite succeed. He raised an eyebrow. “You mean with you trying to pick a fight at every opportunity and generally resisting me every step of the way? I have news for you, Lilenta, none of that affects the way I feel for you—the way I need you—one bit.” He walked over to the bed where she was sitting on the edge and pulled her to her feet. “I still want you more than any other woman I’ve ever seen. Still need to be inside you, bonding you to me, making you mine,” he growled softly, pulling her close. “Baird, stop it!” She wanted to beat against his broad chest in protest but she somehow found herself melting against him instead. “Don’t you want to give me a kiss goodbye?” There was a flicker of bitter amusement in his golden eyes. “No, I guess you don’t. Too bad.” Leaning down, he took her lips in a rough yet tender kiss that took Liv’s breath away.
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
Experiment: To replace negative character labels, try the following steps: 1. Pick a new, positive character label that you would prefer. For example, if your old belief is “I’m incompetent,” you would likely pick “I’m competent.” 2. Rate how much you currently believe the old negative character label on a scale of 0 (= I don’t believe it at all) to 100 (= I believe it completely). Do the same for the new positive belief. For example, you might say you believe “I’m incompetent” at level 95 and believe “I’m competent” at level 10 (the numbers don’t need to add up to 100). 3. Create a Positive Data Log and a Historical Data Log. Strengthening your new, positive character label is often a more helpful approach than attempting to hack away at the old, negative one. I’m going to give you two experiments that will help you do this. Positive Data Log. For two weeks, commit to writing down evidence that supports your new, positive character belief. For example, if you are trying to boost your belief in the thought “I’m competent” and you show up to an appointment on time, you can write that down as evidence. Don’t fall into the cognitive trap of discounting some of the evidence. For example, if you make a mistake and then sort it out, it’s evidence of competence, not incompetence, so you could put that in your Positive Data Log. Historical Data Log. This log looks back at periods of your life and finds evidence from those time periods that supports your positive character belief. This experiment helps people believe that the positive character quality represents part of their enduring nature. To do this experiment, split your life into whatever size chunks you want to split it into, such as four- to six-year periods. If you’re only in your 20s, then you might choose three- or four-year periods. To continue the prior example, if you’re working on the belief “I’m competent,” then evidence from childhood might be things like learning to walk, talk, or make friends. You figured these things out. From your teen years, your evidence of general competency at life might be getting your driver’s license (yes, on the third try still counts). Evidence from your early college years could be things like successfully choosing a major and passing your courses. Evidence for after you finished your formal education might be related to finding work to support yourself and finding housing. You should include evidence in the social domain, like finding someone you wanted to date or figuring out how to break up with someone when you realized that relationship wasn’t the right fit for you. The general idea is to prove to yourself that “I’m competent” is more true than “I’m incompetent.” Other positive character beliefs you might try to strengthen could be things like “I’m strong” (not weak), “I’m worthy of love” (not unlovable), and “I’m worthy of respect” (not worthless). Sometimes the flipside of a negative character belief is obvious, as in the case of strong/weak, but sometimes there are a couple of possible options that could be considered opposites; in this case, you can choose. 4. Rerate how much you believe the negative and positive character labels. There should have been a little bit of change as a result of doing the data logs. For example, you might bow believe “I’m incompetent” at only 50 instead of 95, and believe “I’m competent” at 60 instead of 10. You’ve probably had your negative character belief for a long time, so changing it isn’t like making a pack of instant noodles.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
You know," he said, 'for what it's worth, the justice system is supposed to be this purveyor of right and wrong, good and had. But sometimes, I think it gets it wrong almost as much as it gets it right. I've had to learn that, too, and it's hard to accept. What do you do when the things that are supposed to protect you, fail you like that?? 'I was so naïve,' Pip said. 'I practically handed Max Hastings to them, after everything came out last year. And I truly believed it was some kind of victory, that the bad would be punished. Because it was the truth, and the truth was the most important thing to me. It's all I believed in, all I cared about: finding the truth, no matter the cost. And the truth was that Max was guilty and he would face justice. But justice doesn't exist, and the truth doesn't matter, not in the real world, and now they've just handed him right back. 'Oh, justice exists,' Charlie said, looking up at the rain. 'Maybe not the kind that happens in police stations and courtrooms, but it does exist. And when you really think about it, those words - good and bad, right and wrong- they don't really matter in the real world. Who gets to decide what they mean: those people who just got it wrong and let Max walk free? No,' he shook his head. 'I think we all get to decide what good and bad and right and wrong mean to us, not what we're told to accept. You did nothing wrong. Don't beat yourself up for other people's mistakes.' She turned to him, her stomach clenching. But that doesn't matter now. Max has won.' 'He only wins if you let him.' 'What can I do about it?' she asked. 'From listening to your podcast, sounds to me like there's not much you can't do.' 'I haven't found Jamie.' She picked at her nails. "And now people think he's not really missing, that I made it all up. That I'm a liar and I'm bad and -' 'Do you care?' Charlie asked. 'Do you care what people think, if you know you're right?' She paused, her answer sliding back down her throat. Why did she care? She was about to say she didn't care at all, but hadn't that been the feeling in the pit of her stomach all along? The pit that had been growing these last six months. Guilt about what she did last time, about her dog dying, about not being good, about putting her family in danger, and every day reading the disappointment in her mum's eyes. Feeling bad about the secrets she was keeping to protect Cara and Naomi. She was a liar, that part was true. And worse, to make herself feel better about it all, she'd said it wasn't really her and she'd never be that person again. That she was different now... good. That she'd almost lost herself last time and it wouldn't happen again. But that wasn't it, was it? She hadn't almost lost herself, maybe she'd actually been meeting herself for the very first time. And she was tired of feeling guilty about it. Tired of feeling shame about who she was. She bet Max Hastings had never felt ashamed a day in his life. 'You're right,' she said. And as she straightened up, untwisted, she realized that the pit in her stomach, the one that had been swallowing her from inside out, it was starting to go, Filling in until it was hardly there at all. "Maybe I don't have to be good, or other people's versions of good. And maybe I don't have to be likeable.' She turned to him, her movements quick and light despite her water-heavy clothes. "Fuck likeable You know who's likeable? People like Max Hastings who walk into a courtroom with fake glasses and charm their way out. I don't want to be like that." 'So don't, Charlie said. 'And don't give up because of him. Someone's life might depend on you. And I know you can find him, find Jamie. He turned a smile to her. "Other people might
Holly Jackson (Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #2))
22. Giving up Distraction Week #4 Saturday Scripture Verses •Hebrews 12:1–2 •Mark 1:35 •John 1:14–18 Questions to Consider •What distracts you from being present with other people around you? •What distracts you from living out God’s agenda for your life? •What helps you to focus and be the most productive? •How does Jesus help us focus on what is most important in any given moment? Plan of Action •At your next lunch, have everyone set their phone facing down at the middle of the table. The first person who picks up their phone pays for the meal. •Challenge yourself that the first thing you watch, read, or listen to in the morning when you wake up is God’s Word (not email or Facebook). •Do a digital detox. Turn off everything with a screen for 24 hours. Tomorrow would be a great day to do it, since there is no “40 Things Devotion” on Sunday. Reflection We live in an ever connected world. With smart phones at the tip of our fingers, we can instantly communicate with people on the other side of the world. It is an amazing time to live in. I love the possibilities and the opportunities. With the rise of social media, we not only connect with our current circle of friends and family, but we are also able to connect with circles from the past. We can build new communities in the virtual world to find like-minded people we cannot find in our physical world. Services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram all have tremendous power. They have a way of connecting us with others to shine the light of Jesus. While all of these wonderful things open up incredible possibilities, there are also many dangers that lurk. One of the biggest dangers is distraction. They keep us from living in the moment and they keep us from enjoying the people sitting right across the room from us. We’ve all seen that picture where the family is texting one another from across the table. They are not looking at each other. They are looking at the tablet or the phone in front of them. They are distracted in the moment. Today we are giving up distraction and we are going to live in the moment. Distraction doesn’t just come from modern technology. We are distracted by our work. We are distracted by hobbies. We are distracted by entertainment. We are distracted by busyness. The opposite of distraction is focus. It is setting our hearts and our minds on Jesus. It’s not just putting him first. It’s about him being a part of everything. It is about making our choices to be God’s choices. It is about letting him determine how we use our time and focus our attention. He is the one setting our agenda. I saw a statistic that 80% of smartphone users will check their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Many of those are checking their phones before they even get out of bed. What are they checking? Social media? Email? The news of the day? Think about that for a moment. My personal challenge is the first thing I open up every day is God’s word. I might open up the Bible on my phone, but I want to make sure the first thing I am looking at is God’s agenda. When I open up my email, my mind is quickly set to the tasks those emails generate rather than the tasks God would put before me. Who do I want to set my agenda? For me personally, I know that if God is going to set the agenda, I need to hear from him before I hear from anyone else. There is a myth called multitasking. We talk about doing it, but it is something impossible to do. We are very good at switching back and forth from different tasks very quickly, but we are never truly doing two things at once. So the challenge is to be present where God has planted you. In any given moment, know what is the one most important thing. Be present in that one thing. Be present here and now.
Phil Ressler (40 Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond: A 40 Day Devotion Series for the Season of Lent)
You know," he said, 'for what it's worth, the justice system is supposed to be this purveyor of right and wrong, good and had. But sometimes, I think it gets it wrong almost as much as it gets it right. I've had to learn that, too, and it's hard to accept. What do you do when the things that are supposed to protect you, fail you like that?? 'I was so naïve,' Pip said. 'I practically handed Max Hastings to them, after everything came out last year. And I truly believed it was some kind of victory, that the bad would be punished. Because it was the truth, and the truth was the most important thing to me. It's all I believed in, all I cared about: finding the truth, no matter the cost. And the truth was that Max was guilty and he would face justice. But justice doesn't exist, and the truth doesn't matter, not in the real world, and now they've just handed him right back. 'Oh, justice exists,' Charlie said, looking up at the rain. 'Maybe not the kind that happens in police stations and courtrooms, but it does exist. And when you really think about it, those words - good and bad, right and wrong- they don't really matter in the real world. Who gets to decide what they mean: those people who just got it wrong and let Max walk free? No,' he shook his head. 'I think we all get to decide what good and bad and right and wrong mean to us, not what we're told to accept. You did nothing wrong. Don't beat yourself up for other people's mistakes.' She turned to him, her stomach clenching. But that doesn't matter now. Max has won.' 'He only wins if you let him.' 'What can I do about it?' she asked. 'From listening to your podcast, sounds to me like there's not much you can't do.' 'I haven't found Jamie.' She picked at her nails. "And now people think he's not really missing, that I made it all up. That I'm a liar and I'm bad and -' 'Do you care?' Charlie asked. 'Do you care what people think, if you know you're right?' She paused, her answer sliding back down her throat. Why did she care? She was about to say she didn't care at all, but hadn't that been the feeling in the pit of her stomach all along? The pit that had been growing these last six months. Guilt about what she did last time, about her dog dying, about not being good, about putting her family in danger, and every day reading the disappointment in her mum's eyes. Feeling bad about the secrets she was keeping to protect Cara and Naomi. She was a liar, that part was true. And worse, to make herself feel better about it all, she'd said it wasn't really her and she'd never be that person again. That she was different now... good. That she'd almost lost herself last time and it wouldn't happen again. But that wasn't it, was it? She hadn't almost lost herself, maybe she'd actually been meeting herself for the very first time. And she was tired of feeling guilty about it. Tired of feeling shame about who she was. She bet Max Hastings had never felt ashamed a day in his life. 'You're right,' she said. And as she straightened up, untwisted, she realized that the pit in her stomach, the one that had been swallowing her from inside out, it was starting to go, Filling in until it was hardly there at all. "Maybe I don't have to be good, or other people's versions of good. And maybe I don't have to be likeable.' She turned to him, her movements quick and light despite her water-heavy clothes. "Fuck likeable You know who's likeable? People like Max Hastings who walk into a courtroom with fake glasses and charm their way out. I don't want to be like that." 'So don't, Charlie said. 'And don't give up because of him. Someone's life might depend on you. And I know you can find him, find Jamie. He turned a smile to her. "Other people might not believe in you but, for what it's worth, your neighbour from four doors down does.
Holly Jackson (Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #2))
Mike continued to walk unhurriedly toward the crowd until he loomed up in the stereo tank in life size, as if he were in the room with his water brothers. He stopped on the grass verge in front of the hotel, a few feet from the crowd. "You called me?" He was answered with a growl. The sky held scattered clouds; at that instant the sun came out from behind one and a shaft of golden light hit him. His clothes vanished. He stood before them, a golden youth, clothed only in his own beauty, beauty that made Jubal's heart ache, thinking that Michelangelo in his ancient years would have climbed down from his high scaffolding to record it for generations unborn. Mike said gently, "Look at me. I am a son of man." . . . . "God damn you!" A half brick caught Mike in the ribs. He turned his face slightly toward his assailant. "But you yourself are God. You can damn only yourself and you can never escape yourself." "Blasphemer!" A rock caught him just over his left eye and blood welled forth. Mike said calmly, "In fighting me, you fight yourself... for Thou art God and I am God * . . and all that groks is God-there is no other." More rocks hit him, from various directions; he began to bleed in several places. "Hear the Truth. You need not hate, you need not fight, you need not fear. I offer you the water of life-" Suddenly his hand held a tumbler of water, sparkling in the sunlight. "-and you may share it whenever you so will . . . and walk in peace and love and happiness together." A rock caught the glass and shattered it. Another struck him in the mouth. Through bruised and bleeding lips he smiled at them, looking straight into the camera with an expression of yearning tenderness on his face. Some trick of sunlight and stereo formed a golden halo back of his head. "Oh my brothers, I love you so! Drink deep. Share and grow closer without end. Thou art God." Jubal whispered it back to him. . . . "Lynch him! Give the bastard a nigger necktie!" A heavy-gauge shotgun blasted at close range and Mike's right arm was struck off at the elbow and fell. It floated gently down, then came to rest on the cool grasses, its hand curved open in invitation. "Give him the other barrel, Shortie-and aim closer!" The crowd laughed and applauded. A brick smashed Mike's nose and more rocks gave him a crown of blood. "The Truth is simple but the Way of Man is hard. First you must learn to control yourself. The rest follows. Blessed is he who knows himself and commands himself, for the world is his and love and happiness and peace walk with him wherever he goes." Another shotgun blast was followed by two more shots. One shot, a forty-five slug, hit Mike over the heart, shattering the sixth rib near the sternum and making a large wound; the buckshot and the other slug sheered through his left tibia five inches below the patella and left the fibula sticking out at an angle, broken and white against the yellow and red of the wound. Mike staggered slightly and laughed, went on talking, his words clear and unhurried. "Thou art God. Know that and the Way is opened." "God damn it-let's stop this taking the Name of the Lord in vain!"- "Come on, men! Let's finish him!" The mob surged forward, led by one bold with a club; they were on him with rocks and fists, and then with feet as he went down. He went on talking while they kicked his ribs in and smashed his golden body, broke his bones and tore an ear loose. At last someone called out, "Back away a little so we can get the gasoline on him!" The mob opened up a little at that waning and the camera zoomed to pick up his face and shoulders. The Man from Mars smiled at his brothers, said once more, softly and clearly, "I love you." An incautious grasshopper came whirring to a landing on the grass a few inches from his face; Mike turned his head, looked at it as it stared back at him. "Thou art God," he said happily and discorporated.
Robert A. Heinlein
The sun had reached its noon zenith in the sky in the world that lay outside the dark and grimy warehouse, and coming in slantwise through the small window sent a dusty shaft that fell like a theatrical spotlight about Jennie’s head and shoulders as she lectured. “If you have committed any kind of an error and anyone scolds you – wash,” she was saying. “If you slip and fall off something and somebody laughs at you – wash. If you are getting the worst of an argument and want to break off hostilities until you have composed yourself, start washing. Remember, every cat respects another cat at her toilet. That’s our first rule of social deportment, and you must also observe it. “Whatever the situation, whatever difficulty you may be in you can’t go wrong if you wash. If you come into a room full of people you do not know, and who are confusing to you, sit right down in the midst of them and start washing. They’ll end up by quieting down and watching you. Some noise frightens you into a jump, and somebody you know saw you were frightened – begin washing immediately. “If somebody calls you and you don’t care to come and still you don’t wish to make it a direct insult – wash. If you’ve started off to go somewhere and suddenly can’t remember where it was you wanted to go, sit right down and begin brushing up a little. It will come back to you. Something hurt you? Wash it. Tired of playing with someone who has been kind enough to take time and trouble and you want to break off without hurting his or her feelings? Start washing. “Oh, there are dozens of things! Door closed and you’re burning up because no one will open it for you – have yourself a little wash and forget it. Somebody petting another cat or dog in the same room, and you are annoyed over that – be nonchalant; wash. Feel sad – wash away your blues. Been picked up by somebody you don’t particularly fancy and who didn’t smell good – wash him off immediately and pointedly where he can see you do it. Overcome by emotion – a wash will help you to get a grip on yourself again. Any time, anyhow, in any manner, for whatever purpose, wherever you are, whenever and why ever that you want to clear the air, or get a moment’s respite or think things over – WASH!
Paul Gallico (Jennie (Collins Modern Classics))
You know what’s heartbreaking? … It’s not when bad things happen to you, or when your life turns out completely different from what you thought it would be, or when people let you down, or when the world knocks you down. What’s heartbreaking is when you don’t get back up, when you don’t care enough to pick up the million broken pieces of you that are screaming to be put back together, and you just lie there, listening to a shattered chorus of yourself.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
STEP 4: BEWARE OF LIMINAL MOMENTS Liminal moments are transitions from one thing to another throughout our days. Have you ever picked up your phone while waiting for a traffic light to change, then found yourself still looking at your phone while driving? Or opened a tab in your web browser, got annoyed by how long it’s taking to load, and opened up another page while you waited? Or looked at a social media app while walking from one meeting to the next, only to keep scrolling when you got back to your desk? There’s nothing wrong with any of these actions per se. Rather, what’s dangerous is that by doing them “for just a second,” we’re likely to do things we later regret, like getting off track for half an hour or getting into a car accident. A technique I’ve found particularly helpful for dealing with this distraction trap is the “ten-minute rule.” If I find myself wanting to check my phone as a pacification device when I can’t think of anything better to do, I tell myself it’s fine to give in, but not right now. I have to wait just ten minutes. This technique is effective at helping me deal with all sorts of potential distractions, like googling something rather than writing, eating something unhealthy when I’m bored, or watching another episode on Netflix when I’m “too tired to go to bed.” This rule allows time to do what some behavioral psychologists call “surfing the urge.” When an urge takes hold, noticing the sensations and riding them like a wave—neither pushing them away nor acting on them—helps us cope until the feelings subside.
Nir Eyal (Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life)
If you picked mostly Cs: JOSHUA is your Bad Boyz Best Friend Forever!!! He is incredibly loyal and selfless and will go to the ends of the earth to ensure that he’s the BFF who has your back for LIFE! Joshua is super intelligent and ambitious and can intuitively spot your vulnerabilities to know when you really need his help and when you want a little space to yourself for that needed alone time. Although this BFF tends to be generally quiet and unassuming, you’d be surprised to know how passionate Joshua is about his friendships, social issues, and how he stays true to his beliefs and can bravely stand up for what’s right. He is a natural born leader and can astutely talk about all kinds of unusual topics. (Yeah, we said “astutely.” Your vocabulary will definitely grow with this guy around!) Like you, Joshua enjoys fun adventures and the summer months along with all their cool activities. He can’t wait to spend quality time with you, his new BFF. This dude is charming, crazy handsome, and really talented, and he has a great personality. He can hang out with the rich and famous and still make time for the important things in his life, like being the best Bad Boyz BFF EVER!
Rachel Renée Russell (Spectacular Superstar (Dork Diaries #14))
But that’s what people think when their loved ones die, isn’t it? They keep thinking it’s only temporary. That they’re gone, in the other room, maybe at work, or on vacation. That they’re just away and they’ll be back at some point. Maybe that’s how you get through death, by telling yourself your father will pick up the phone, and that if he doesn’t that he’ll call you back soon, and so in the back of your mind, at the back of your heart, you’re just waiting. Waiting for them to return and for life to go back to normal again. The idea that they’re never coming back is…it’s more than unbearable. It goes against everything you’ve ever known.
Karina Halle (River of Shadows (Underworld Gods, #1))
I'm like a rubber, you can stretch me and pull me, and I'll bounce right back, but if you stretch me too far ill snap. I'll put myself back together, but I'll never be the same.
Mya Waechtler
If, during a prayer meeting, God shows you something to do, don’t say, “I’ll do it”—just do it! Pick yourself up by the back of the neck and shake off your fleshly laziness. Laziness can always be seen in our cravings for a mountaintop experience; all we talk about is our planning for our time on the mountain. We must learn to live in the ordinary “gray” day according to what we saw on the mountain.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
It seems like everyone’s life has been or will be connected to darkness of some kind. Sometimes it’s a deep shade of pure onyx — a complete and total absence of light. Other times it has more grey undertones, with sunshine begging to come out from behind storm clouds. Sometimes there are people who go through the worst of the worst and come out the other side determined to make themselves better because of their traumas. Some come out the other side broken, beaten down, bloody, and can barely manage to pick themselves back up again. Sometimes just pulling yourself off the dirty ground is enough of a win. It’s enough to tell those storm clouds to suck your fucking dick, that they won’t get the best of you. Other times, it’s okay to lie there in a pool of blood and let the icy rain wash it all away, to take the beating that the storm gives you until you can manage to get up and limp through the next thunderstorm. Yet, there are days when your best just isn’t enough to make it through the storm.
Bo Reid (A Reaper Christmas: A Reaper Series Novella (The Reapers Book 6))
It seems like everyone’s life has been or will be connected to darkness of some kind. Sometimes it’s a deep shade of pure onyx — a complete and total absence of light. Other times it has more grey undertones, with sunshine begging to come out from behind storm clouds. Sometimes there are people who go through the worst of the worst and come out the other side determined to make themselves better because of their traumas. Some come out the other side broken, beaten down, bloody, and can barely manage to pick themselves back up again. Sometimes just pulling yourself off the dirty ground is enough of a win. It’s enough to tell those storm clouds to suck your fucking dick, that they won’t get the best of you. Other times, it’s okay to lie there in a pool of blood and let the icy rain wash it all away, to take the beating that the storm gives you until you can manage to get up and limp through the next thunderstorm. Yet, there are days when your best just isn’t enough to make it through the storm. — Bo Reid, A Reaper Christmas
Bo Reid (A Reaper Christmas: A Reaper Series Novella (The Reapers Book 6))
The child will be forced into a therapist role by the parent. It will be forced to take responsibility for the parent and everything the parent feels. Now, see how easy it will be for a narcissist that meets this kind of survivor to start puppeteering them around, using their own guilt, empathy and shame against them? Holding their abuse-target accountable for their adultery? For their anger and rage? For their abuse? This relationship is a one-way street where the abuse-target is held accountable for everything, has a long complex list of rules to follow and every minute is unpredictable. If one doesn’t manage to follow the rules, one gets punished. Love and affection is taken away. Just like in childhood. The narcissist will just pick up where the abusive parent left off, and the survivor will fall right back into the role of the child obediently taking accountability for every aspect of every minute.
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist’s Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
Why do we always have to ‘fall’ in love?” “Because when it hurts, you have to pick yourself back up again.” “And when it doesn’t hurt?” “Then you stop falling, and you just love.
Marc Levy (Hope)
If there’s no right and wrong or judgment over this and that, then there’s no need to beat yourself up because there’s no win or lose. When you notice you didn’t do what you wanted to do, then just give yourself a little pep talk and start again as if the past is, well, past. Every moment is a new moment to pick it back up and start again. Remember that practice doesn’t make us perfect; it makes us better. So stop attaching yourself to the results and just stay committed to the path. And when you stumble, pick yourself up and begin again.
Shannon Lee (Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee)
They say that time heals all wounds. They're lying. Some wounds will never, ever heal. Like when somebody dies. When one of your parents walks out the door and doesn't look back. When someone cheats on you, abandons you, or even violates you. You'll lie in bed for days, you won't pick up the phone, start asking yourself what you could have done different. Now, you can wait for time to heal you, or you can decide that you don't need to be healed. Because Fuck them. If the wounds want to stick around, you tell them here today: Stay Because you're going to find the courage to laugh again with the hurt. And you're going to find the power to love again, with the hurt. And one of these days, you're going to realize they don't hurt so bad anymore. Not because time healed them, or even because you healed them, but because you found the strength to live with them. And just like all those wounds that won't go away, the strength you found to bear those wounds? That won't ever go away either.
the korean vegan (tt)
My friend David Klagsbrun, who grew up around the corner from me in Larchmont, was turning forty that winter, and Matt and I drove up for his party in Katonah, where David lived with his wife and two young sons. It was good to be back in a car with Matt, the way we used to be all the time. The summer after our freshman year of college, I worked at a French restaurant in Larchmont and Matt sold a cleaning powder for septic tanks. In the evenings after dinner he would pick me up in his gray car at my mother’s house, and I’d roll us a joint—“Don’t make it too tight, Ar,” he’d say every time, and every time I’d say, “I got it,” and almost every time I would roll too tightly—and we would smoke it as we drove past David Klagsbrun’s house, past the parochial school on Weaver Street that looked like a fire station, over the bridge near the turnoff for that ersatz Hebrew school where I went when I demanded a bat mitzvah because everybody else was having one (and where once, when I was playing Tzeitel in our production of Fiddler on the Roof, I argued with the teacher about a dramatic point and he said, exasperated, “Do you want to direct this yourself?” And I said, “God, yes”). Then we’d coast into the Manor, the section of town with yards like parks and the kind of houses that make you stare with longing even when you are nineteen years old, as we were, and want nothing more than to get the hell out of the suburbs.
Ariel Levy (The Rules Do Not Apply)
I told you,” he said in the darkness behind my lids. “So stubborn, all the time.” “No. Sometimes I’m asleep. And anyway, you don’t know my life.” He laughed. “Yeah, actually, I do. I know all about you.” I scoffed. “Mm-hmm.” “What? I do. I know you can eat a whole sleeve of Thin Mints by yourself.” I snorted. “Who can’t?” He went on. “I know your favorite thing is having your back scratched after you take off your bra. You’re in a better mood when you go to bed at eleven thirty and wake up at seven than when you go to bed at twelve thirty and wake up at eight. You like purple. You love the smell of carnations but hate it when guys buy you flowers because you think it’s a waste of money…” I opened an eye and looked at him. He was talking to the window, watching the road. “You like to argue when you think you might be wrong. When you know you’re right, you don’t bother. You hate sharing your food, but you pick at my plate every time. That’s why I always order extra fries.” He looked over at me and smiled. “And you’d rather give me shit for my driving than admit you get carsick when you’re on your phone. See?” He arched an eyebrow. “I know you.” My heart felt like it might crack in half. He did know me. He’d been paying attention to me. And I knew him too. I knew him inside and out. I could tell what work had been like by the set of his shoulders when he came over, and I knew it helped him to de-stress to talk to me about a bad call. I always listened, even though sometimes they were hard to hear. When he got quiet, it meant he was tired. He’d choose pistachio ice cream at Baskin-Robbins every time, but at Cold Stone he got sweet cream instead. I knew he liked Stuntman, though he’d never admit it. And he secretly liked it when I gave him shit. I could tell by the sparkle in his eyes. And I also knew he hoped he had more sons than daughters. That he liked the name Oliver for his first boy and Eva for his first girl. He planned on teaching all his kids to hunt and had a collection of camo baby clothes. He wanted to build the cribs himself from wood in the forest around his grandparent’s house in South Dakota. He wanted no fewer than five children, and he planned for nine. And he hoped all his kids got the signature Copeland dimples and cowlick. I hoped for that too. I wanted him to get all the things he dreamed about. Yes. I knew him. I knew him well.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
The house was quiet and the room was dark. It had to be closing in on four in the morning, but Cedric couldn’t sleep. Not only was he wired from the confrontation with the intruder, but his mind raced with what had happened afterward. The image of Gabriel, furious and panting as he stood over his abuser and took control of the situation, was etched into his mind. Cedric didn’t think he’d ever forget it. And now, that same young man was curled beside him beneath the blankets they shared, looking at him through the dark. “Sir?” Gabriel asked. “Yes, Gabriel?” “You’re not angry about what I did, are you? Or the things I said? I’m sorry that I spoke like that. It’s—” “No.” Cedric shifted closer. The sleeper sofa they shared was small enough that it didn’t take much until they were chest to chest. Gabriel adjusted his position so their bodies were flush. “Don’t be sorry about anything. I should be upset that you put yourself in danger like you did, but the truth is, without you, both of us would have been in even more danger. If you hadn’t stepped in, bad things would have happened.” “He would have taken us,” Gabriel murmured. His hand traced down Cedric’s side, and just like that, the air thickened with the chemistry they shared. It hit Cedric right away, filling his lungs and plunging to his groin. He might have wanted to go to sleep, but his cock had other ideas. “I heard him. I heard all the things he said to you. I was hiding in the kitchen while he spoke, waiting for a chance to creep closer without being heard so I could help you. I’m sorry I took so long.” “No. I told you, don’t be sorry about anything.” Cedric traced his fingers over Gabriel’s cheek, aching to kiss him. “What you did was perfect. I’m okay, and you’re okay, and he’s going to jail, and that’s all that matters.” “I should have told you about him.” Gabriel lowered his gaze. “From the very first day I came to your house, I picked up on his scent. You… you don’t forget something like that, after you spend so long living in a nightmare. I don’t think I’ll forget it for as long as I’m alive.” “I won’t forget it, either.” Cedric’s fingers traced down Gabriel’s neck, then under his jaw along his chin. Stubble pricked his skin. “I didn’t want to tell you about what happened to me because…” Gabriel hesitated, but his gaze flicked upward. His eyes were partially lidded, and his face relaxed. Physical contact had always been an excellent way to soothe him, and tonight it did the trick just fine. “Because everyone treats me like I’m broken, and I didn’t want to think it was true. I thought I was in love with Garrison, and that if I could trick you into thinking I was okay, that maybe you’d let your guard down and I could escape and find him. All I wanted to do was get back to him because I didn’t know how to be on my own. I still don’t, but the difference now is that I understand it.” All the times he’d run away, and all the times he’d clung to Cedric seeking comfort. Over the years, Garrison had turned Gabriel from an impressionable teen into a subservient young man who couldn’t function on his own. Subservient, not submissive. Cedric understood the difference better than ever now that he had confronted the truth.
Piper Scott (His Command: The Complete Series)
Dear Miss Know-It-All, I worked really hard to make the eighth-grade cheerleading team this year, but the other cheerleaders treat me like I don’t belong. I never get to do much cheering or dancing like they do. The only time the team captain needs me is when we do the human pyramid, and she always puts me at the bottom! I have to hold the most people on my back, which is totally excruciating, and if I lose my balance, the whole pyramid collapses and everyone bullies me about it! I’m tired of those girls walking all over me. Literally! I don’t know what I did to deserve this kind of treatment, but it’s pretty obvious they all hate my guts. ! I’m majorly frustrated! I don’t know if I should quit the team, confront my teammates, or just keep quiet so I don’t make things worse. I really don’t want to give up my dream of making varsity! What would you do?? —Cheerless Cheerleader * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Dear Cheerless Cheerleader, Hon . . . I think you’re kidding yourself if you think you made the cheerleading team based on your awesome moves. My reliable source on the team told me your tryout routine was HOR-REN-DOUS. She said she couldn’t tell if you were trying to dance or going into convulsions! Your backflips were BACKFLOPS, your cartwheels were FLAT TIRES, and your dismount was totally DISGUSTING! Get the picture? You were chosen for one reason, and one reason alone—you look like a sturdy ogre who can carry a lot of weight! It’s been a long tradition for cheerleading captains to hand-pick strong, ugly girls for the bottom of the pyramid. Didn’t you know that?? Quit taking everything so personally! Just accept that the bottom is where you belong, sweetie! You should hold your green, Shrek-looking head high that someone actually wants you for something. Bet that doesn’t happen often! Yay you! Sincerely, Miss Know-It-All P.S. My source wants you to stop dancing. She says you’re giving the squad NIGHT TERRORS!
Rachel Renée Russell (Dork Diaries: Drama Queen)
Bidding Mehmed a temporary farewell, Radu returned to Lazar, his steps buoyed with anticipation. Lazar’s eyes narrowed, his lips twisted in a back-market imitation of a real smile. “Watch yourself, little brother.” Radu paused in picking up the weapons they had left scattered around the yard. “What do you mean?” “There are some things it is not acceptable to want, but there are ways around it, and those who will look the other way. And then there are some things that it is impossible to want. Even the mere act of wanting, if noticed by the wrong people, can get you killed.” He gave a heavy, meaningful look at the spot where Mehmed had been. “Be more careful.” Radu’s throat constricted, his heart racing so he thought he might die of it. What had Lazar seen? What did he suspect? Could he tell simply by watching Radu that something was very wrong with him, when even Radu did not understand what it was? All he knew was that there was some light, some pull, some fire that Mehmed carried, and Radu only felt truly alive when he was nearby. Was that wrong?
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
But I'm not just talking about politics.  I'm talking about stretching ourselves, challenging ourselves, trying to accomplish things we might feel are a bit beyond us.  It is a journey of becoming and of growing we all must take, and we cannot be afraid of the journey.  it's the journey that steels us.  it is the trying, the praying, the stumbling and picking yourself back up, the seeking, the very act of doing that staves off fear and fills us with hope.  The destination doesn't necessarily hold the reward.  The reward comes from that which has been gleaned from the journey.  The destination is just where you take a deep breath, reflect and relax after the journey has molded you.  it's where we take a respite before beginning again to meet the next challenge or climb the next mountain.
Karen Tate
Choosing to Free Yourself The hardest thing is not doing what you want—it’s knowing what you want. Be aware there are no “adults.” Everyone makes it up as they go along. You have to find your own path, picking, choosing, and discarding as you see fit. Figure it out yourself, and do it. [71] How have your values changed? When I was younger, I really, really valued freedom. Freedom was one of my core values. Ironically, it still is. It’s probably one of my top three values, but it’s now a different definition of freedom. My old definition was “freedom to.” Freedom to do anything I want. Freedom to do whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like. Now, the freedom I’m looking for is internal freedom. It’s “freedom from.” Freedom from reaction. Freedom from feeling angry. Freedom from being sad. Freedom from being forced to do things. I’m looking for “freedom from,” internally and externally, whereas before I was looking for “freedom to.” [4] Advice to my younger self: “Be exactly who you are.” Holding back means staying in bad relationships and bad jobs for years instead of minutes.
Eric Jorgenson (The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)
But then again, the weight of regret and asking yourself what if, down the road, is far more haunting to one’s soul. What if I took that chance? Well, if the worst that happens is that you have to come back home and pick up where you left off, at least you can stop wasting time on dreaming and wondering if it’s still a possibility.
Savi Sharma (This is Not Your Story)
Uggggh …” groaned Alex, clutching her stomach. She had one more cake left in her pile, but her opponent had one more cake in his pile as well, and he’d already started to eat it. Alex’s eyes were rolling into the back of her head, and her skin was even paler than usual. “Alex, you can give up if you want to,” said Dave. “Don’t make yourself sick.” “Yes, we won’t think any less of you, dear girl,” said Porkins. “I’ll think less of you,” said Carl. “Carl!” said Dave. “What?” said Carl, shrugging. “I’m only being honest.” The elderly cowman was halfway through his last cake, and Alex hadn’t even started hers. It’s all over, thought Dave. There’s no way that Alex can catch up. Alex looked like she was going to pass out at any moment, but then, finding strength from somewhere, she picked up her final cake and opened her mouth wide. FLOOOONCH!!!!!! To Dave’s amazement, Alex shoved the entire cake into her mouth. Her cheeks were so stuffed full of cake that her head was about twice as wide as it usually was. Then, with a large gulp, she swallowed the cake down whole. She opened her mouth to show everyone that the cake was gone. “We have a winner!” The cowman hosting the competition shouted. Everyone in the inn let out an enormous cheer. The elderly cowman dropped the remainder of his cake on the table, admitting defeat. “Well done, dear girl!” Porkins said to Alex. “Yeah, well done, Alex,” said Carl. “If ever I need someone to eat a big pile of cakes, you’ll be the first person I ask.” “I still think this whole competition was completely foolish,” said Spidroth. “Nevertheless, Alex, I congratulate you on your victory. Like a true warrior, you bested all your opponents, showing them no mercy.” “Uggghh …” groaned Alex. Then she fainted, her face hitting the table. “Alex!” yelled Dave, rushing over to her. “Is anyone here a healer?” “I am,” said a cowman with grey fur, rushing over. “What’s wrong with her, Doctor?” asked Porkins. “My diagnosis is that she’s eaten too many cakes,” said the cowman healer, lifting Alex’s head. “I could have told you that,” said Carl, rolling his eyes. “What should we do with her?” asked Dave. “I think a good night’s rest should do the trick,” said the healer. “Are you sure you’re a healer?” said Carl. “None of this advice seems very professional.
Dr. Block (Dave the Villager and Surfer Villager: Crossover Crisis, Book One: An Unofficial Minecraft Adventure (Dave Villager and Dr. Block Crossover, #1))
Direct response marketing is designed to evoke an immediate response and compel prospects to take some specific action, such as opting in to your email list, picking up the phone and calling for more information, placing an order or being directed to a web page. So what makes a direct response ad? Here are some of the main characteristics: It’s trackable. That is, when someone responds, you know which ad and which media was responsible for generating the response. This is in direct contrast to mass media or “brand” marketing—no one will ever know what ad compelled you to buy that can of Coke; heck you may not even know yourself. It’s measurable. Since you know which ads are being responded to and how many sales you’ve received from each one, you can measure exactly how effective each ad is. You then drop or change ads that are not giving you a return on investment. It uses compelling headlines and sales copy. Direct response marketing has a compelling message of strong interest to your chosen prospects. It uses attention-grabbing headlines with strong sales copy that is “salesmanship in print.” Often the ad looks more like an editorial than an ad (hence making it at least three times more likely to get read). It targets a specific audience or niche. Prospects within specific verticals, geographic zones or niche markets are targeted. The ad aims to appeal to a narrow target market. It makes a specific offer. Usually, the ad makes a specific value-packed offer. Often the aim is not necessarily to sell anything from the ad but to simply get the prospect to take the next action, such as requesting a free report. The offer focuses on the prospect rather than on the advertiser and talks about the prospect’s interests, desires, fears, and frustrations. By contrast, mass media or “brand” marketing has a broad, one-size-fits-all marketing message and is focused on the advertiser. It demands a response. Direct response advertising has a “call to action,” compelling the prospect to do something specific. It also includes a means of response and “capture” of these responses. Interested, high-probability prospects have easy ways to respond, such as a regular phone number, a free recorded message line, a website, a fax back form, a reply card or coupons. When the prospect responds, as much of the person’s contact information as possible is captured so that they can be contacted beyond the initial response. It includes multi-step, short-term follow-up. In exchange for capturing the prospect’s details, valuable education and information on the prospect’s problem is offered. The information should carry with it a second “irresistible offer”—tied to whatever next step you want the prospect to take, such as calling to schedule an appointment or coming into the showroom or store. Then a series of follow-up “touches” via different media such as mail, email, fax and phone are made. Often there is a time or quantity limit on the offer.
Allan Dib (The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd)
MENTAL PICTURE 1 In your mind’s eye see yourself lying stretched out on the bed. Form a picture of your legs as they would look if made of concrete. See yourself lying there with two very heavy concrete legs. See these very heavy concrete legs sinking far down into the mattress from their sheer weight. Now picture your arms and hands as made of concrete. They also are very heavy and are sinking down into the bed and exerting tremendous pressure against the bed. In your mind’s eye see a friend come into the room and attempt to lift your heavy concrete legs. He takes hold of your feet and attempts to lift them. But they are too heavy for him. He cannot do it. Repeat with arms, neck, etc. MENTAL PICTURE 2 Your body is a big marionette doll. Your hands are tied loosely to your wrists by strings. Your forearm is connected loosely by a string to your upper arm. Your upper arm is connected very loosely by a string to your shoulder. Your feet, calves, thighs are also connected together with a single string. Your neck consists of one very limp string. The strings that control your jaw and hold your lips together have slackened and stretched to such an extent that your chin has dropped down loosely against your chest. All the various strings that connect the various parts of your body are loose and limp and your body is just sprawled loosely across the bed. MENTAL PICTURE 3 Your body consists of a series of inflated rubber balloons. Two valves open in your feet, and the air begins to escape from your legs. Your legs begin to collapse and continue until they consist only of deflated rubber tubes, lying flat against the bed. Next a valve is opened in your chest, and as the air begins to escape your entire trunk begins to collapse limply against the bed. Continue with arms, head, and neck. MENTAL PICTURE 4 Many people will find this the most relaxing of all. Just go back in memory to some relaxing and pleasant scene from your past. There is always some time in everyone’s life when he felt relaxed, at ease, and at peace with the world. Pick out your own relaxing picture from your past and call up detailed memory images. Yours may be a peaceful scene at a mountain lake where you went fishing. If so, pay particular attention to the little incidental things in the environment. Remember the quiet ripples on the water. What sounds were present? Did you hear the quiet rustling of the leaves? Maybe you remember sitting perfectly relaxed, and somewhat drowsy, before an open fireplace long ago. Did the logs crackle and spark? What other sights and sounds were present? Maybe you choose to remember relaxing in the sun on a beach. How did the sand feel against your body? Could you feel the warm, relaxing sun, touching your body, almost as a physical thing? Was there a breeze blowing? Were there gulls on the beach? The more of these incidental details you can remember and picture to yourself, the more successful you will be.
Maxwell Maltz (Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded)
spring and he won't spare himself a mite. I've been real worried about him, but he's some better this while back and we've got a good hired man, so I'm hoping he'll kind of rest and pick up. Maybe he will now you're home. You always cheer him up." Anne leaned across the table and took Marilla's face in her hands. "You are not looking as well yourself as I'd like to see you, Marilla. You look tired. I'm afraid you've been working too hard. You must take a rest, now that I'm home. I'm just going to take this one day off to visit all the dear old spots and hunt up my old dreams, and then it will be your turn to be lazy while I do the work." Marilla smiled affectionately at her girl. "It's not the work—it's my head. I've got a pain so often now—behind my eyes. Doctor Spencer's been fussing with glasses, but they don't do me
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)
The Joy of Self-Care It can be a joy to take care of yourself and you deserve it. You already know that you deserve to take a shower and brush your teeth. In fact, more self-care is deserved than that. You need to pay attention to your body, mind, and spirit. If you take time out every day to take care of yourself, you will be more productive, a brighter light and a support in the world. Gradual Morning Movement Get up early enough to have time to do a routine in the morning. At least, take a moment to rest before getting out of bed. Grab a couple of takes. Allow yourself in bed to wake up. Perform a few simple laps. Make sure you have time to eat a good breakfast when you get out of bed, clean and floss your teeth, and go out for a breath of fresh air before getting on with your busy day. Enjoying yourself before you prepare your day is good for you. It is said you are blocked from enlightened bliss by discontent and too much seriousness and are signals that you are attached to your physical body and the world's cares. Lightening is healthy for body, mind, and spirit all around. You can still participate in the world with more lightness and non-attachment to the results, and care about the state of affairs. In other words, do your world's best job without incentive aspirations. Let the job be where you find happiness. Let self-care be the same. Please take care of yourself. Eating the Rainbow When shopping for food, pick up food in all the rainbow colors. Look for recipes online if there's a food of a certain color and it's new to you. Ask friends and colleagues if they have any season and swap favorite recipes. Please try new things and see how many different colors in one day you can eat. For the Good of All You help yourself and those around you when you take care of yourself. You are a light for others by being healthy, and a model of how good health might look and feel. As you get healthy, others will wonder how you've done that. Taking pleasure in taking care of yourself makes it possible for others to see that it is possible and feel good doing the same thing. And, you have the energy and ability to give back when you're healthy.
Adrian Satyam (Energy Healing: 6 in 1: Medicine for Body, Mind and Spirit. An extraordinary guide to Chakra and Quantum Healing, Kundalini and Third Eye Awakening, Reiki and Meditation and Mindfulness.)
Observe your wandering mind It is likely, sooner or later, that we learn that the mind has a life of its own. A very active, energetic, inquisitive, and sometimes obsessed life. And so even with the best intentions to hold our focus on the breath and keep it breath by breath, after a while it's hard not to notice the purpose may get sidetracked, stolen, distracted, and we get involved in some other mind operation. The many infinite scenarios and storylines played out in the mind: perhaps it's dreaming and thinking about future events, or planning or fantasizing about some possibility. Or perhaps it's about recollecting past events and getting carried away by past memories and emotions. Or perhaps it's talking about this or that with ourselves, or with someone else for that matter, and objecting to this or that. It could be practically anything, and this very air will quickly disappear from our consciousness in the process of the breath that we were paying attention to, even though it is always flowing in and out of the body, of course. Note when your mind has wandered And although we made the commitment to just be with a healthy sense. But in any moment you realize the focus is no longer with the air, or on the breath, not making that into a question, or blaming yourself for this lack in concentration in any way. Clearly, and freely and affectionately remember what is in your mind at this moment. If the breath in the field of consciousness is no longer center stage, what is it? In the note, see, hear, smell what's in your head. Clearly, and freely and affectionately mention what is in your mind at this moment. If the breath in the field of consciousness is no longer center stage, what is it? Allow yourself to be aware of the breath again And then encouraging the air to be part of it right now, because it's here right now and just allowing wherever the consciousness is pushed to be, however it is, and returning the primacy of concentration once more to the heart, to the nostrils, to the flood of breath stimuli in the body, right now. So when you realize that the mind has slipped or diverted, it is already back to understanding purpose. That is consciousness, which is life itself. They just pick up on what the wind is like at this moment. Ride the waves of the breath So focusing, if you will, the concentration on the body, and then as well you can maintain the focus on the breath by floating on the waves of the air sensations, and when you know that the mind has wandered and is no longer breathing again and again, softly, compassionately only realizing what the mind is up to now. Allowing it to be just as it is, and just in reconnecting with the spirit that is also already here, once again presenting it as the center stage in the area of consciousness and thus exercising with the consistency of open and affectionate devotion to the unfolding of your life as it unfolds right here, breath by breath and moment by moment.
Adrian Satyam (Energy Healing: 6 in 1: Medicine for Body, Mind and Spirit. An extraordinary guide to Chakra and Quantum Healing, Kundalini and Third Eye Awakening, Reiki and Meditation and Mindfulness.)
By working every day, you keep your momentum going. You never have time to feel detached from the process. You never forget your place, and you never need to waste time reviewing your work to get back up to speed or reminding yourself what you’ve already done. Because your project is fresh in your mind, it’s easy to pick up where you left off.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
Ember smiled brightly. “Hello! We haven’t met before. My name is Ellen. I’m an antiques dealer around these parts?” Mrs. Bailey looked surprised, but gave a polite smile. “Oh, yes?” “Yes. I’m sorry to burst in on you like this, I know it’s early. But I heard from one of the women in the historical society--Yolanda? You know her, don’t you?--that you collect antique ice picks. Best collection in the county, she said.” Mrs. Bailey smiled, looking a little confused. Ember wasn’t sure if there was a Yolanda in the historical society, but evidently Mrs. Bailey wasn’t sure, either. “Of course,” said Mrs. Bailey. “I have some very special pieces. I didn’t realize the historical society knew about them. Would you like to see them? I keep them just in here.” She pointed back behind her, into the house. “That would be lovely,” Ember said eagerly. So Mrs. Bailey let Ember inside. Ember noticed with a bashful feeling that the large picture she had knocked had been replaced on the wall, but all the glass of the frame was missing. Probably it had taken a long time to clean up all those many pieces. “My name is Anna, by the way,” Mrs. Bailey was saying. “It’s nice to meet you, Ember. I’m always so pleased to know young people such as yourself who are interested in antiques.
Corrine Winters (Momentary Paws (Kitten Witch Mysteries #2))
I was going to bring you breakfast in bed.” “I don’t like crumbs in my bed,” she said. “Or people who don’t pay rent here.” “You want rent?” He smiled as he finished the toast. “How much?” She went to the kitchen, grabbed his big arm, and tried to pull him out. He leaned back and wouldn’t budge. “Get out of here,” she said. “You’re banging into everything with your crutches.” “I’m not going,” he said. “Go sit on the couch. I’ll make you some eggs.” “Nope,” he said. “I might be a jerk, and I might make mistakes, but I don’t make the same one twice.” She was still pulling on his arm when he let go of the counter. He fell against her, wrapping his arms around her. “Oops,” he said. “Clumsy me.” “What are you doing?” Her voice was muffled from having his shoulder against her mouth. She felt the rumble of his voice in his chest as he spoke. “You’re not pulling me or pushing me out of your life again. I shouldn’t have left you that night.” “I want you to go.” “If you really want me to go, I will, but I don’t think you do. Look at yourself. You’re hugging me.” “If I let you go, you’ll fall down and break everything in my kitchen. Again.” She squeezed her eyes shut and tensed her body, rejecting his hug while still being in it. “When did I break everything in your kitchen?” She didn’t answer. “You mean I broke your heart when I left,” he said. “You did.” “What about you? You didn’t come to my grand opening. You sent me those boring funeral flowers and a generic card. You might as well have stuck an ice pick in my chest.” “That was different.” “You broke my heart,” he said. “I barely made it through the night. I’ve been barely making it through a lot of nights.” Tina relaxed into the hug. There was a lump in her throat. She managed to choke out, “I don’t understand what happened with us.” He reached up and stroked her upper back. “We had our first fight,” he said. “That’s what happened. And I didn’t know how to apologize. My bookkeeper quit helping me with my text messages, and I couldn’t go see my favorite florist for advice.” She pulled away and poked him in the stomach with two fingers. “Don’t make jokes, Luca. Don’t make me laugh.” “I shouldn’t have left you here that night,” he said, gazing down into her eyes. “But I was stubborn, and I thought I was right and you were wrong. Or maybe I was scared.” “Why would you be scared?” “My wrist hurts.” He kept looking into her eyes. “I know I only broke my foot last night, but when I fell, I reached out to break my fall. I’ve been thinking about this all morning, and the same thing must have happened with us.” “Are you saying I hurt your wrist?” “I think I realized I was falling, and I freaked out. I tried to stop my fall, but I only made it worse.” He leaned down and gently kissed her. “I tried to stop my fall, but then I broke both of us.” She pulled away, slipped out of his arms, and took three steps back, until she was against the back of the sofa, with nowhere to go. Luca said, “Don’t you dare run. I’ve got crutches, and I’m not afraid to use them.” “Where would I go?” He grinned. “I knew there was a reason I loved this house.
Angie Pepper
Marks … I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to find your spectacles in this wreckage.” “I have another pair at home,” she ventured. “Thank God.” Leo sat up with a quiet grunt of discomfort. “Now, if we stand on the highest pile of debris, it’s only a short distance to the surface. I’m going to hoist you up, get you out of here, and then you’re going to ride back to Ramsay House. Cam trained the horse, so you won’t need to guide him. He’ll find his way back home with no trouble.” “What are you going to do?” she asked, bewildered. He sounded rather sheepish. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to wait here until you send someone for me.” “Why?” “I have a—” He paused, searching for a word. “Splinter.” She felt indignant. “You’re going to make me ride back alone and unescorted and virtually blind, to send someone to rescue you? All because you have a splinter?” “A large one,” he volunteered. “Where is it? Your finger? Your hand? Maybe I can help to … Oh, God. ” This last as he took her hand and brought it to his shoulder. His shirt was wet with blood, and a thick shard of timber protruded from his shoulder. “That’s not a splinter,” she said in horror. “You’ve been impaled. What can I do? Shall I pull it out?” “No, it might be lodged against an artery. And I wouldn’t care to bleed out down here.” She crawled closer to him, bringing her face close to his to examine him anxiously... “Don’t worry,” he murmured. “It looks worse than it is.” But Catherine didn’t agree. If anything, it was worse than it looked... Stripping off her riding coat, she tried to lay it over his chest. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Trying to keep you warm.” Leo plucked the garment off his chest and made a scoffing sound. “Don’t be ridiculous. First, the injury isn’t that bad. Second, this tiny thing is not capable of keeping any part of me warm. Now, about my plan—” “It is obviously a significant injury,” she said, “and I do not agree to your plan. I have a better one.” “Of course you do,” he replied sardonically. “Marks, for once would you do as I ask?” “No, I’m not going to leave you here. I’m going to pile up enough debris for both of us to climb out.” “You can’t even see, damn it. And you can’t move these timbers and stones. You’re too small.” “There is no need to make derogatory remarks about my stature,” she said, lurching upward and squinting at her surroundings. Identifying the highest pile of debris, she made her way to it and hunted for nearby rocks. “I’m not being derogatory.” He sounded exasperated. “Your stature is absolutely perfect for my favorite activity. But you’re not built for hauling rocks. Blast it, Marks, you’re going to hurt yourself—” “Stay there,” Catherine said sharply, hearing him push some heavy object aside. “You’ll worsen your injury, and then it will be even more difficult to get you out. Let me do the work.” Finding a heap of ashlar blocks, she picked one up and lugged it up the pile, trying not to trip over her own skirts. “You’re not strong enough,” Leo said, sounding aggravated and out of breath. “What I lack in physical strength,” she replied, going for another block, “I make up for in determination.” “How inspiring. Could we set aside the heroic fortitude for one bloody moment and dredge up some common sense?” “I’m not going to argue with you, my lord. I need to save my breath for”—she paused to heft another block—“stacking rocks.” Somewhere amid the ordeal, Leo decided hazily that he would never underestimate Catherine Marks again. Ounce for ounce, she was the most insanely obstinate person he had ever known, dragging rocks and debris while half blind and hampered by long skirts, diligently crossing back and forth across his vision like an industrious mole. She had decided to build a mound upon which they could climb out, and nothing would stop her.
Lisa Kleypas (Married by Morning (The Hathaways, #4))
Techniques Phase 1 Night is the time to practice this technique, as you will require deep, undisturbed concentration, and the airways are less likely to be cluttered during the dark of the day. You will be using the visualization function initially, but instead of retaining internalization, you are going to externalize your consciousness (as in shapeshifting). Seat yourself in your usual working position. Go into meditation to center yourself. Visualize yourself standing directly in front of where you are. Observe the back of your head, your height, your stance—everything about yourself that you can see. It is not possible to observe your own face in this context, just as it is not possible to observe your own physical form (except in a mirror), as we are aware only of our internalized externalization of image and not the way we appear to an observer. Next you are to project your consciousness into your body. By this I mean that you are no longer the person observing, but the person being observed. Look around your immediate environment. Go to the doorway and walk around the room, looking at everything: look behind objects, inside cupboards and boxes, look closely at books, pictures, everything. Continue this exercise nightly until you are familiar with your immediate surroundings. Always reenter your prone material body the way you left. Phase 2 Begin with meditation. Go with the process of projecting into the externalized image of yourself. You may now proceed to leave the room with which you have oriented yourself over the preceding nights and travel around the house in which you live, observing at all times and remaining aware of all things your senses perceive. If there are other people in the house, you may pick up on their emotions, moods, dream patterns, etc., but at this stage, do not work at having them become aware of your presence (they may become aware of you anyway, especially if they are asleep and traveling close to their physical habitat). Continue with this exercise until you are familiar with the process. Phase 3 Begin with meditation. Project your consciousness into your self-image. You can now leave the house and move around outside. Be aware of the time. Observe all that is around you. Now you can begin the process of expanding your entity. If you bend your knees and jump, you will discover that you are weightless and can keep rising into the atmosphere as long as you desire. You can also think your astral body from one place to another without necessarily following a familiar route. Practice this often, but don’t forget to follow the return-to-body procedure! I tend to stress this like a mother-hen. I’ve had horrible postastral dysfunction occur due to both interruption and lack of experience, and it has sometimes been days before I stopped feeling dizzy and/or nauseous and disoriented. Sleeping lots tends to fix it, though.
Lore de Angeles (Witchcraft: Theory and Practice)
What doesn't work is when we adopt some TEMPORARY habits, lose some weight and then pick our previous habits back up. Surprise, surprise. The weight always returns. Live one way, lose weight. Live another way, gain weight. Hhhmmm...how curious. What also doesn't work is lying to yourself about what you ate and then falling into a crying heap on the scale, playing the victim. Poor you. Never mind you ate three biscuits with butter before your dinner even hit the table at Billy Bob's Feed trough last night--it was only a salad. Never mind you gobbled down five handfuls of M&Ms off the receptionist's desk between trips to the break room for a soda--it was diet! Never mind you drove through Coffee Planet on the way to work and downed a 32 oz. Italian-named mocha-choca-ya-ya worth a day's calories in some starving nations--you skipped the whipped cream and said "no thanks" to the Chihuahua-sized muffin. I'm telling you, diets work.
Shannon Sorrels (...then just stay fat)
Give it your all. If you fail pick yourself back up and fight for your prize. Never give up on your dreams, give up on your doubt.
Jazmin Bois
All My Friends That's how it starts We go back to your house We check the charts And start to figure it out And if it's crowded, all the better Because we know we're gonna be up late But if you're worried about the weather Then you picked the wrong place to stay That's how it starts And so it starts You switch the engine on We set controls for the heart of the sun One of the ways we show our age And if the sun comes up, if the sun comes up, if the sun comes up And I still don't wanna stagger home Then it's the memory of our betters That are keeping us on our feet You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan And the next five years trying to be with your friends again You're talking 45 turns just as fast as you can Teah, I know it gets tired, but it's better when we pretend It comes apart The way it does in bad films Except in parts When the moral kicks in Though when we're running out of the drugs And the conversation's winding away I wouldn't trade one stupid decision For another five years of life You drop the first ten years just as fast as you can And the next ten people who are trying to be polite When you're blowing eighty-five days in the middle of France Yeah, I know it gets tired only where are your friends tonight? And to tell the truth Oh, this could be the last time So here we go Like a sales force into the night And if I made a fool, if I made a fool, if I made a fool On the road, there's always this And if I'm sewn into submission I can still come home to this And with a face like a dad and a laughable stand You can sleep on the plane or review what you said When you're drunk and the kids leave impossible tasks You think over and over, "hey, I'm finally dead." Oh, if the trip and the plan come apart in your hand Tou look contorted on yourself your ridiculous prop You forgot what you meant when you read what you said And you always knew you were tired, but then Where are your friends tonight? Where are your friends tonight? Where are your friends tonight? If I could see all my friends tonight If I could see all my friends tonight If I could see all my friends tonight If I could see all my friends tonight
LCD Soundsystem
if your children see you mess up every now and then, they learn that you are only human and thus they will be more likely to practice compassion and patience for others. On top of that, when they see you pick yourself back up afterwards, they then learn how to be confident and determined in spite of the hardships facing them. Being real with our kids is one of the best things we can do; and although it will showcase our imperfections as a person and as a parent from time to time, it helps our kids to understand the facts of the real world. When all is said and done, this is what will turn our kids into well-rounded people.
Sean P.I. Stewart (Conscious Parenting: How To Raise A Conscious Child (Conscious Parent, How to Raise a Conscious Child.) (Conscious Parent, how to raise a conscious child. ... parenting, parenting teens, Book 1))
The trembly fellow sighed and said, “I’m all out of whack. I’m going uptown and see my doctor.” Mr. Flood snorted again. “Oh, shut up,” he said. “Damn your doctor! I tell you what you do. You get right out of here and go over to Libby’s oyster house and tell the man you want to eat some of his big oysters. Don’t sit down. Stand up at that fine marble bar they got over there, where you can watch the man knife them open. And tell him you intend to drink the oyster liquor; he’ll knife them on the cup shell, so the liquor won’t spill. And be sure you get the big ones. Get them so big you’ll have to rear back to swallow, the size that most restaurants use for fries and stews; God forgive them, they don’t know any better. Ask for Robbins Islands, Mattitucks, Cape Cods, or Saddle Rocks. And don’t put any of that red sauce on them, that cocktail sauce, that mess, that gurry. Ask the man for half a lemon, poke it a time or two to free the juice, and squeeze it over the oysters. And the first one he knifes, pick it up and smell it, the way you’d smell a rose, or a shot of brandy. That briny, seaweedy fragrance will clear your head; it’ll make your blood run faster. And don’t just eat six; take your time and eat a dozen, eat two dozen, eat three dozen, eat four dozen. And then leave the man a generous tip and go buy yourself a fifty-cent cigar and put your hat on the side of your head and take a walk down to Bowling Green. Look at the sky! Isn’t it blue? And look at the girls a-tap-tap-tapping past on their pretty little feet! Aren’t they just the finest girls you ever saw, the bounciest, the rumpiest, the laughingest? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for even thinking about spending good money on a damned doctor? And along about here, you better be careful. You’re apt to feel so bucked-up you’ll slap strangers on the back, or kick a window in, or fight a cop, or jump on the tailboard of a truck and steal a ride.
Joseph Mitchell (Old Mr Flood)
It took you long enough to come back,” Lexy tells me bitingly. The girl is ruining my meal. Ever since the stable girls showed up, she’s been attached like glue to Vin’s side. I recognize it for what it is—infatuation. No way Vin is leading her on. He barely tolerates her, which isn’t to say he isn’t sleeping with her, but he definitely isn’t putting pretty pictures in her head. She’s doing that all on her own. “That’s what he said,” I grumble around a large bite of bread, gesturing to Vin. “We were sure you’d left us to die.” “Sorry to disappoint.” “Don’t be. We wouldn’t have been sorry to see you go.” I look up from my plate to eye her carefully. I do it for too long. She twitches under my stare, making me grin. “‘We,’ huh? You’re a ‘we’ now?” Vin looks up sharply. “What? No.” “Vin,” Lexy protests. “Are you sure?” I ask him. “Yes,” he tells me angrily. He stares Lexy down. “And, no, we’re not a ‘we.’ We’re nothing.” “I’m sure he doesn’t mean it, Lex,” I tell her consolingly. “Never give up hope.” “Kitten,” Vin growls in warning. Lexy shoots me an icy stare from across the table. It’s cute how hard she tries. “Be sure to watch your back out there, Kitten,” she spits sarcastically. “I’d hate to see you get hurt.” I put up my finger in her face, getting serious. “Watch yourself. You’re toeing a dangerous line with me right now and I don’t want to have to remind you what happened to the last girl who threatened me. Forget Vin, I’ll put you to bed with Caroline. You get me?” Lexy pales. She glances once at Vin, then Ryan and Trent. All of them keep their heads down, carefully pretending they have no idea what’s happening. Finally she stands slowly, turns, and leaves without a word. “Well, that’s handy,” I mumble, picking up my bread. “Kinda harsh,” Ryan comments. I hate that I immediately feel a twinge of guilt just from those two words from him. “I did him a favor,” I say defensively. “That girl was one kiss away from collecting his hair. I don’t have time for that kind of crazy.” “Amen to that,” Vin says heartily, raising his glass to me. “Calm down, Romeo. You’re the idiot who keeps getting us into these situations.” “‘Us’?” he asks with a sly grin. “Are we an ‘us’ now?” “No,” Ryan replies darkly.
Tracey Ward
Can someone else come along? Be there to pick up the pieces. Bring you back home to yourself.
Jill Kelly (Fog of Dead Souls)
That girl faded to nothing.... She disappeared. She changed her hair and her accent, her phone number, her address. She did not look back. Do what you need to do.... Pick yourself up. Start over again.
Megan Miranda (All the Missing Girls)
Yes. In the meantime, arm yourself.” “I’ll pick up a gun when I get back,” Myron said. “No need to wait. There is a thirty-eight under your seat.” Terrific. Myron reached under his seat, felt the bump. “Anything else I need to know?” “I birdied the last hole. Shot two under par for the round.” “Talk about burying the lead.” “I was trying to be modest.” “I
Harlan Coben (Live Wire (Myron Bolitar, #10))
But consider this,” Jesse said, picking the bourbon back up, “maybe you aren’t in this position because you forgot yourself, but because you started getting honest about who you really might be.
Laura Dave (The First Husband)
Exuberance, Cheng makes clear, is an indispensable part of his scientific life. "It keeps me alive. I like to have fun, I don't like boredom. Exuberance is necessary, you have to have enthusiasm. Any kind of work involves a lot of tedium, menial tasks, boring tasks. Exuberance allows you to see beyond, to see the goal. You need that kind of emotional makeup to push through the work, to pursue really difficult things. Exuberance stops you from getting discouraged, or not starting in the first place. Science is working out ideas. The majority of ideas don't work out, there are a lot of dead ends. You need to have an exuberant makeup to prevent getting discouraged. Exuberance reduces stress levels." Exuberance also allows you to handle rejection, Cheng points out. "For example, if you put in a big proposal to NASA and it gets rejected, you need resiliency to pick yourself up after that. I have a natural tendency toward exuberance, I am naturally inclined to plunge into things. But rough times always come." Work, he emphasizes, is inherently stressful. "Stepping back, relaxing, enjoying, not getting all wound up or spinning your wheels, this keeps you from wearing yourself out.
Kay Redfield Jamison (Exuberance: The Passion for Life)
I don’t know what to do with myself all alone with Matt, so I start to load the dishwasher with today’s dishes. Matt picks up plates and cups from the table and helps me. “Careful, or I’ll get used to having you around,” I warn playfully. He looks directly into my eyes. “Good. That’s what I’m going for.” My breath hitches, and I have to turn away so that I’m not facing him. I lay my hands flat on the counter and take a breath. But then I feel Matt’s length behind me. His palms lie flat on the counter beside mine, his arms bracketing my body. I can feel him from the top of my head to the heels of my feet, he’s that close. “You in love with me yet?” he whispers quietly. A grin steals across my face, and I’m so glad he can’t see it. “Nope,” I say past the lump in my throat. He brushes the hair from the back of my neck and presses his lips there. I’m suddenly glad he’s behind me, because my knees might just give out. His lips are soft and warm, but insistent. He kisses the side of my neck, and I tilt my head because it feels so damn good. “Someday, you’re going to want to marry me,” he murmurs. “You’re awfully sure of yourself.” My voice quavers only a little. I’m quite proud of that. “Mmm hmm,” he murmurs, and his lips gently slide up the side of my neck.
Tammy Falkner (Maybe Matt's Miracle (The Reed Brothers, #4))
Perhaps there’s something inside her we haven’t seen yet.” The delicate comb clinked on the stone, and she started to pull Evie’s hair into loose strands. “That’s the way it is with people, you know. When I was a girl, my mother died quite unexpectedly. She meant the world to me. To my father as well. But in his grief, he consented to marry another. She was a dreadful woman, and her dreadful daughters became my stepsisters. They lived to torment me. Each morning I’d wake and wonder what I’d done to make them hate me so. Eventually I came to see that I hadn’t done anything at all. Something somewhere in their lives had hurt them—I could see that even if they couldn’t—and I made up my mind to treat them decently, as others so clearly hadn’t.” Evie studied her in the mirror. She could live to be a thousand years old and she’d never be as kind as Hazelbranch. It seemed to come naturally, as though it was a part of her, like hair or skin. “Each of us is blessed with the ability to control our own decisions,” she continued, “but cursed with the inability to control the decisions of others. I couldn’t do a thing about the way they treated me, but I got to choose the way I treated them. And do you know what happened? As we grew into adulthood, one of those wicked stepsisters became the best friend I’ve ever had.” Evie scowled and looked to the floor. She had no interest in being the bigger person. She despised Malora, and was comfortable in her anger. “It isn’t fair. Of all the people here . . .” “Life isn’t fair, Evie. It never has been and it never will be. You can sit back and moan about its unfairness while the witches roll across the countryside, or you can pick yourself up and get on with it.
M.A. Larson (Pennyroyal Academy (Pennyroyal Academy, #1))
Your mom thinks this is her chance to make things right for you.” His long legs ate up the ground as he circled like a caged lion. “Bullshit. She wants to save him.” “She wants to save you.” He shook his head. “She’s always been a sucker for him. No matter what story she’s selling now.” Maddie shrugged. “I can’t say I blame her.” Mitch whipped around to face her. “Why do you say that?” “She says you’re a lot alike.” “I’m nothing like him.” Hands clenched into fists. “As I said, we’ve been talking a lot. She told me who he was before he got caught up in the power of politics, who he was when she first met him. I think you’re more alike than you think.” “I’d never screw over people like he does.” Anger emanated from Mitch, aggression in the set of his legs and arms. He was ready to attack. She raised one brow. “Are you sure about that?” He reared back as though she’d struck him. “How could you think that?” “You’ve said yourself you weren’t a very nice person. Have you ever thought about what would have happened if you hadn’t lost your career?” She straightened her shoulders and looked him straight in the eye. “You didn’t have the best track record. You walked a shady line. You were sleeping with another man’s wife. Destroying evidence. Who knows what you would have become if the whole house of cards had never fallen around you?” He stopped walking as though snapped by an invisible leash. With his expression transforming into a thundercloud, he crossed his arms over his chest. “So what are you trying to say, Maddie?” He needed some cold, hard truth. Tough love, as her dad used to say. “Have you ever thought that losing your career and reputation was the best thing that ever happened to you? Maybe the tragedy wasn’t that everything went to hell, but that you never picked up the pieces and put them back together again.
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
By afternoon Jack found her down on her hands and knees scouring the bathroom floor around the toilet and tub. “For the love of God,” he said. “What?” “What the hell are you doing? If you want the bathroom cleaned, why don’t you just tell me? I know how to clean a goddamn bathroom.” “It wasn’t all that dirty, but since I’m in the cleaning mood, I thought I’d whip it into shape.” “David is ready for his nap. Why don’t you join him.” “I don’t feel like a nap. I’m going to vacuum the area rugs.” “No, you’re not,” he said. “I’ll do that if it has to be done right now.” “Okay,” Mel said, smiling. “I’ve been tricked.” “Only by yourself, darling,” she said, whirling away to get the Pledge and Windex. After that was done—and there was a lot of wood and glass and stainless steel to occupy her—she was sweeping off the porch and back steps. Not long after that, she was caught dragging the cradle into the master bedroom. “Melinda!” he shouted, startling her and making her jump. “Jack! Don’t do that!” “Let go of that thing!” He brushed her out of the way and grabbed the cradle. “Where do you want it?” “Right there,” she said. He put it beside the bed. “No,” she said. “Over there, kind of out of the way.” He put it there. “No,” she said. “Against that wall—we’ll put it where we need it when she comes.” He moved it again. “Thank you,” she said. The phone rang. “I’ll get it,” he said. He picked up a pencil and put it in her face. “If you lift anything heavier than this, I’m going to beat you.” Then he turned and left the room. He has cabin fever, she thought. Spending too much time at home with me, making sure I don’t pick up anything heavier than a pencil. He should get out more, and out of my hair. When Jack was done with the phone, she was on her knees in front of the hearth, brushing out the barely used fireplace. “Aw, Jesus Christ,” he said in frustration. “Can that not wait until at least frickin’ winter?” She sat back on her heels. “You are really getting on my last nerve. Don’t you have somewhere you can go?” “No, but we do. Go shower and get beautiful. Paul and Vanessa are back and after they view the prom couple, they’re going to the bar for dinner. We’ll all meet there, look at some pictures.” “Great,” she said. “I’m in the mood for a beer.” “Whatever you want, Melinda,” he said tiredly. “Just stop this frickin’ cleaning.” “You know I’m not going to be able to do much of this after the baby comes, so it’s good to have it all done. And the way I like it.” “You’ve always been good at cleaning. Why couldn’t you just cook?” he asked. “You don’t cook anything.” “You cook.” She smiled. “How many cooks does one house need?” “Just go shower. You have fireplace ash on your nose.” “Pain in the ass,” she said to him, getting clumsily to her feet. “Ditto,” he said. An
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
I have something for you, Harper.” “Really? What is it?” He took my hand and started walking me down the hall, “Promise me something, if you don’t like it, you have to tell me.” “I’m sure I’ll love it … you have it in the nursery?” I asked confused when we walked up to the door. “Promise.” “I promise.” I squeezed his hand tight and opened the door. I didn’t have to search around for it, or them should I say. “Oh my God. Brandon. Did you buy these?” Yes, I know that was a stupid question, but I couldn’t believe this. “Is that okay?” “No, I mean yes, it is. But Brandon, that’s a lot of money!” There was a dark cherry wood crib, dresser, changing table and a large leather glider chair. I remembered how much Brandon made from winning those fights, but I knew exactly how much these all cost since I was planning on buying them myself, and they definitely weren’t cheap. He shrugged, “I just need to know if you like them.” “I do, I absolutely love them.” He’d even put the bedding in the crib that I’d bought. “You shouldn’t be spending your money on this.” I walked over to touch everything and picked up one of the baby blankets Bree had bought and draped it back over the edge of the crib. Brandon came up behind me and turned me so I was facing him, “I wanted to do this for you.” “But that is really expensive Brandon.” “Harper,” he smiled softly at me, “please don’t worry about it.” I smiled and took a quick glance around me again, “Did you put them all together by yourself?” He nodded, “Bree texted me as soon as you guys left this morning. I had just finished when she said you guys were down the street.” “And you set up the bedding too?” “No,” he huffed a laugh, “I’m pretty sure I would have messed that up. They must have ran in to do it while we were talking.” That made more sense. “Thank you,” I reached up and kissed his cheek, “so much.” “You’re more than welcome Harper.
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
He’d be glad you were there, standing in for him.” “I was just telling him about it and I thought, shit, I don’t even know how much of him is in there.” “None,” Jack said. “He’s moved on.” Paul hit his chest with a fist. “I still have him here.” “Of course. Everyone who loved him has him there. I think that’s the point.” “I shouldn’t have been the one tonight. It should’ve been him. She misses him so much.” “Look, we all have different paths, Paul. His led him there, yours led you here.” Paul sniffed and wiped at his face. “The house is about done,” he said. “Vanni will be up and around in no time and I can’t hang around here anymore. I have to get back. To Grants Pass.” “Yeah,” Jack said. “But you’ll be back pretty soon. You have strong ties here.” “I don’t know about that….” “Give her time, Paul. It’s still a little raw, but that’s going to change.” “What are you talking about?” he asked, looking at him in the dark. “Oh, Jesus, I wondered. You don’t remember. You got a little drunk and—No, you got a lot drunk and kind of let it slip about how you saw her first.” “No. I couldn’t have.” “Take it easy. Just to me. You had the discretion to pass out before you told anyone else. So listen to me for once, okay? Because this is important. You already know this, but right now you think you’re the only man who’s ever been in this position. I married a widow. Remember? It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t quick—getting over that long, ugly hump of wondering where I fit in. It was goddamn humbling, if you want the truth. But, Paul, it was worth every sleepless night I invested. It’s just that it takes whatever time it takes.” Paul thought a minute. He fixed his lips tight, as if he were struggling. “I have to get back to Grants Pass.” “But you come back here before long,” Jack said. “Come back regular. I’m telling you, if you don’t, you’ll regret it.” “But I can’t stay much longer, Jack. It’s eating me up. I gotta get out of here. He was my best friend, and he’s dead, and I helped his baby into the world, and—” “And you want his woman. I know this is a rough patch, Paul, but if you’re the kind of guy who cuts and runs, oh man, you’re going to hate yourself.” Paul hung his head. “Come on,” Jack said. “People want to say good-night. They want to pat you on the back one more time.” “Can’t you just leave me out here?” “Nah,” he said, turning Paul away from the grave with a hand behind his neck. “The general wants to tell you—Matt picked a name. They’ve made a few adjustments on account of his death—adjustments that were Vanessa’s idea. Matt wanted to name him Paul. But they’ve settled on Matthew Paul. I think you should drink to it. And think to it.
Robyn Carr (Whispering Rock (Virgin River, #3))
Why don’t you run upstairs and get yourself dressed, then you can meet her. She’s chomping at the bit, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get rid of her. Short of me picking her up and throwing her out on her ass, she’s not leaving.” Maddie was so happy, so thankful, that she had an impulse to kiss Mitch full on the lips. Since that would be a terrible idea, she pressed the bag of treasures tighter to her chest. “Thank you.” Mitch grinned and tugged a lock of her hair. “Don’t thank me, Princess. I had nothing to do with it.” He leaned down, his breath warm against the shell of her ear. “If I had my way, I’d have kept you naked for as long as possible.” A hot flush crawled up her neck and she jerked back. “Oh!” He chuckled. “Go get dressed, Maddie.”     Fifteen
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
I’ve been in bed for weeks,” he argued. “Much as I love to do as ye ask where our bed is concerned, I willna go back to it while the sun is up unless you come with me.” He waggled his brows. She harrumphed Scottish-style, a habit she’d picked up from Darcy. “Well then, make yourself useful and go check on Janine.
Jessi Gage (Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes Book 1))
By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50 percent or more. It has been estimated that the tendency to start and stop a task—to pick it up, put it down, and come back to it—can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500 percent. Each time you return to the task, you have to familiarize yourself with where you were when you stopped and what you still have to do. You have to overcome inertia and get yourself going again. You have to develop momentum and get into a productive work rhythm. But when you prepare thoroughly and then begin, refusing to stop or turn aside until the job is done, you develop energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. You get better and better and more productive. You work faster and more effectively.
Brian Tracy (Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time)
Maddie,” Mitch said, putting his palm over her knee and rubbing. She buried her head in her hands. “They never say it, never let on, but every time they look at me they have to think about what I did to them. They have to hate me.” “No.” He’d never met her family, but of this he was sure. Their closeness and unity was clear in the way she talked about them. He knew estranged or strained families, and the Donovans weren’t like them. “They don’t, I promise you.” She looked at him, her eyes watery and her nose red. “I hate me. Why wouldn’t they hate me too?” Not caring if she protested, he picked her up and put her on his lap, wrapping his arms around her. He swayed back and forth, the gentle rocking motion meant to soothe away a pain that he couldn’t even begin to erase. “Maddie, you were a kid. Every teenager has worn their parent down. The only difference is that you had horrific, irreversible consequences. I’m sorry—I wish there was something I could do to change that for you—but since I can’t, I can only promise your dad would hate for you to blame yourself like this. For you to let it eat you up inside.” “I know that here.” She pointed to her head before placing her hand over her heart. “But it’s hard to believe here.” He lifted her chin and brushed a soft kiss against her lips. “What can I do to make you believe?” “I don’t know,” she said. “But I’m working on it.” “I’m sorry, Maddie.” “I miss him.” She rested her cheek on his shoulder. He rubbed slow circles over her back. “I know you do.” She quieted, relaxing into his hold. “You help.” “I’m glad,” he said. “What else can I do?” She raised her watery gaze to meet his, and her eyes were so impossibly green, so full of something he didn’t want to name, that he sucked in a breath. “Fight.
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
You’ll be pleased to learn that these fancy cork jackets really do a remarkable job of keeping a person afloat,” she heard spill out of her mouth after a full minute had passed. Everett, annoyingly enough, kept reading, but then his head snapped up and he narrowed his eyes on her. “I do beg your pardon, Millie, I was completely engrossed in my book, but . . . what did you just say? Something about keeping a person afloat?” “I said these jackets are remarkably effective.” She twirled around to show off the jacket she was wearing. Everett shot out of the chair before she could finish her twirling. “Where are the children?” he demanded as he rushed for the door, scowling down at her when she, seemingly unable to help herself, moved to block his way. “They’re languishing, which means lingering, in the ocean, having a most marvelous time of it, I might add.” Everett actually picked her up and set her aside right before he froze. “Elizabeth was right, Miss Longfellow. You really are a lunatic.” “And you, Mr. Mulberry, are rapidly turning out to be a rather unlikeable sort,” Millie shot back. “Do you honestly believe if the children had gone overboard that I’d waste time seeking out your assistance instead of jumping into the ocean after them?” “You don’t know how to swim.” “Which is why I’m wearing this jacket, and which is also why, because you know I can’t swim, you should have stayed topside with the children instead of burying yourself in here with what appears to be some type of novel.” She peered over at the desk, but couldn’t make out what he was reading. “Did you forget the children’s fascination with walking the plank?” “They were considering walking a plank?” “Don’t be silly,” Millie said with a sniff. “After what happened the last time they tried that game, I do think their interest in that has dimmed simultaneously.” Everett’s brows drew together. “Simultaneously?” Fumbling with the cork jacket, Millie stuck her hand in a pocket and retrieved her dictionary. Flipping through the pages, she glanced over different words. “Ah, here we go. I think significantly might have been what I meant to say.” She lifted her head and refused to sigh when she realized Everett was now scowling her way. “Why would you bring up the whole plank business when you knew the children had abandoned their interest in it?” he asked. “You annoyed me.” “The amount of money I’m currently paying you to nanny the children should hold any and all annoyance you may think you feel for me at bay.” “Even if you paid me twice what you are, I’d still get annoyed with you on a frequent basis.” “I’m
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
So she’s the lucky winner tonight?” he asked after a few minutes of silent driving. “Excuse me?” “Kinda surprised you’re not more upset about it.” “Well, I kinda want to know what I’m supposed to be upset about.” I crossed my arms under my chest and turned so my back was resting against the door so I could look at him more easily. What is his problem? I made the douche bag pancakes two days ago! And I told him all about Blake this morning. That was hard for me; now he’s going to treat me like this? “I got the job, by the way, in case you were wondering.” He shook his head and rested his forearms on the steering wheel while he waited for the light to turn green. “Knew you would, and Rod called me this afternoon so I already knew that you did. You start tomorrow night?” “Mmm-hmm. Are you going to tell me why I’m supposed to be upset?” “Because that guy is taking Candice home tonight instead of you.” My head jerked back and I could only imagine the disgust dripping from my expression. “Ew! What?!” Kash looked quickly between the road and me a couple of times. “That guy. I saw you launch yourself at him earlier. He kept kissing your cheek, and now he’s taking Candice back to his place.” I slammed my fist over my mouth and swallowed. “Oh God, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.” “Shit, do you need me to pull over?” “No, no. Oh, just ew, Kash! You and Mase kiss my head all the time. Mason picks me up almost every time I see him.” “So?” “So? So! So, Eli is Candice’s older brother that I grew up with and I actually view like my own brother. Besides Candice he was the best friend I had. He helped me through—” I cut myself off quickly and blew out a deep breath. “He helped me through a lot when I was younger. But I have never once viewed him as anything other than family and a friend. He even calls me sis, for crying out loud. Candice isn’t going home with him, they’re going to meet up with their cousin for drinks and I didn’t want to go.” Kash’s face relaxed, and though I expected him to look embarrassed, he just turned and raised an eyebrow. “You don’t like him?” “Seriously, this conversation is grossing me out.” He
Molly McAdams (Forgiving Lies (Forgiving Lies, #1))
I mean, he asked for the keys to the truck last night and brought them back earlier this morning.  Truck’s fixed.  I checked myself.  So, I’m wondering what you said to him.” My mouth popped open.  I couldn’t believe he’d actually listened to me.  A silly smile tugged at my mouth.  Did this really mean he’d let me go?  My barely formed smile faded.  Or would I just wake up back in this apartment tomorrow morning if I tried to leave? Sam continued to remake the bed with the clean sheets from the hidden compartment in the matching sofa ottoman. There had to be a catch.  Sam had told me a tied pair didn’t part until completing the Claim.  When Clay had scented me, and I’d recognized him openly, the Elders saw us as a pair.  They, in turn, announced it to everyone over their mental link.  Every werewolf, whether in a pack or Forlorn, recognized our tie.  If my words truly changed Clay’s mind, great—but Sam’s question caused me to begin to doubt that possibility, and I struggled to come up with what I’d overlooked. “The truth,” I said answering Sam’s question.  “Let’s say he is my Mate.  He’s an uneducated man from the backwoods.  How are we going to live?  I can’t turn on the fur like you guys can and live as a wolf like he’s done for most of his life.  Where does that leave us?  I just pointed out that I had to go to school to get the education I needed to land a good job to support myself because he can’t.” Sam had stopped remaking the bed and looked at me in disbelief. “Well, I said it nicer than that.” He gave me a disappointed look. “You don’t know anything about him, Gabby.  He may have lived most of his life in his fur, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t intelligent or that he’s more wolf than man.  You may have caused yourself more trouble than you intended.” I shifted against the door.  “Hold on, I didn’t say either of those things to him.”  Granted, I did tell him he needed to bathe.  “And what do you mean ‘more trouble’?” “He said that you suggested he live with you so you could get to know each other better.” I froze in disbelief.  That is not what I said. “Wait.  Did he actually talk to you?” “Well, I had to put on my fur to understand him since he was in his, but yes.” Sam’s kind communicated in several ways when in their fur—typically, through body language or howls.  Claimed and Mated pairs shared a special bond using an intuitive, mental link.  Once establishing a Claim, the pair could sense strong emotions as well as each other’s location.  Mated pairs had the same ability to communicate with each other as the Elders had with everyone in the pack. I closed my eyes and thought back to my exact wording. “I didn’t say we should live together, but that he should come back with me to get an education.”  Fine, I hadn’t worded it well, but how did he get “hey, we should live together” out of that? “Like I said, you’ve got trouble.”  He gave me another disappointed look, folded the bed back into the sofa, then picked up his bag from the floor.  He strode to the bathroom and closed the door on any further conversation. Crap.  I needed to talk to Clay again and find out what he intended.  I’d been counting on his feral upbringing and his need for freedom to cause him to reject my suggestion—a suggestion that hadn’t included him living with me.  I’d meant he should find a place nearby so we could go through the motions of human dating, which was the extent of my willingness to compromise.  I hadn’t thought he’d take any of it seriously but that, instead, he would just let me go. I
Melissa Haag (Hope(less) (Judgement of the Six #1))
Furthermore, she poured tea on a regular basis. Madeline didn't care to, while Eleanor found comfort in the scent, the warmth, the routine. But right now, with all of Mr. Knight's attention focused on her, the task became an ordeal. The pot seemed to weigh too much. The cup rattled in the saucer as she picked it up. She tilted the pot, aimed the spout toward the cup- And in that same, smiling, deceptively pleasant voice, Mr. Knight said, "I like having a duchess wait on me." Both of Eleanor's hands shook. The hot liquid splashed on her fingers. She dropped the cup. As she reached for it, it shattered against the table. A shard jabbed into her palm. She yanked her hand back and closed her fingers. In a rush, he came and knelt beside her. "Are you hurt? Did you burn yourself?" "No, no, I'm fine." She wasn't fine. She was embarrassed. She cultivated the graceful moves of a lady for a reason. She hated making a spectacle of herself- and now her nerves had betrayed her. "Please, Mr. Knight, stand up." For all the notice he took of her, she might not have spoken. Turning her hand to the light, he at once detected the slight cut beneath her little finger, oozing a sullen drop of scarlet blood. "You've cut yourself." "Only a little." She tried to tug her hand back. "I was clumsy. I broke your beautiful cup." "To hell with the cup." He pressed his finger lightly on the cut. She winced. "You're lucky. There's nothing in there." Lifting her hand to his mouth, he sucked the small wound. Shocked, she stared at him. His head bent over her hand, his chiseled features were intent, serious. His mouth was warm, wet, and the suction he used made her feel... odd. More animal than human, pain and intimacy mixing... never, ever had a man's mouth touched her on any part, in any way.
Christina Dodd (One Kiss From You (Switching Places, #2))
I am spoiled for not wanting that burden on my shoulders. I’ve been trying not to think about it, but now it sinks in. I’m taking over for my dad in a matter of weeks, and I’m not strong enough. I know it, deep in my bones. When I fail, the whole world will be watching. My failure will be documented in books, academic articles, and derivative shareholder suits. God, this is such a fucking mess. “Things are complicated,” Mr. Chen says. “People always jump to conclusions. People think I don’t understand English because I don’t speak loudly. They see my lucky leg and think I have a bad life.” He smiles faintly. “I try not to conclude too much too early.” I turn back to Mr. Chen. “Are you being ironic when you call it your lucky leg?” “No.” But instead of smiling, his face goes blank. His eyes shift inward. “Of course not.” “Then why…?” “When I came to America, there was another man who came with me. Chun Donghai. He also practiced Falun Gong, and was also in the same reeducation camp as me. We both left China at the same time.We both filed paperwork for asylum. We even had the same lawyer. When it was my turn, the man who heard my story believed me when I said I was tortured in China. After all, I had proof it happened.” He points to his leg. “So my family stayed. Donghai went back to China.” I swallow. “I call it my lucky leg as a reminder. Every time I tell myself ‘if only,’ I know the answer. If only I hadn’t been injured, I would have been deported. If only I had a different leg, my wife would have been sent for reeducation and she would have been…” He pauses, picking among words. “Killed,” he finally settles on. “Probably. Without my lucky leg, I wouldn’t have a second daughter, and Xingjuan would have quit school at sixteen and worked in a factory, just like I did.” He looks up at me. “So yes, I think it’s a lucky leg. Do you disagree?” I envy him his certainty. If only my dad didn’t run Cyclone. The last few months have been nothing but a giant if only. And the main thing I’ve learned is that there is no escape. There are no pat realizations to be had, no giant handoffs. “Sounds lucky to me.” “Yes.” He turns back to the television. “You see, it helps me remember that there is one place I most want to be, one time of my life I most yearn for.” There is no end to my father’s ambition. Whatever it is he wants, he lays out a plan and grabs it, and once he has hold of it, the only thing he can think about is the thing that is next on the horizon. If Dad heard Mr. Chen talk, he’d call it a load of crap—“bullshit hippy happiness,” he’d say, something I’ve heard so much it’s like Dad is here, rolling his eyes himself. I’m sure that whatever Mr. Chen wants, whatever place he imagines, it’s somewhere tranquil—somewhere like the restful retreats that my father’s doctor is always suggesting. Dad tried one once. He made it two hours before he left and went rock climbing. “Where do you imagine yourself?” I ask. Mr. Chen simply gestures to the room around him—to the plastic flowers, the wall hangings, to Felix the Cat swinging his tail with every second. “Where else?
Courtney Milan (Trade Me (Cyclone, #1))
You set goals. You work hard. You pray without ceasing. You stumble, fall but always pick yourself back up. You have no choice. Life goes on with or without you. When you reach your objectives, be proud but do not ease up! Become the best you, you can become. Not to prove others wrong, but to prove yourself right.
Liz Faublas
Success is often simply a function of how many times you’re willing to pick yourself up, brush off the dirt and get back in the game.
READ.ME (Business Expert's Guidebook: Small Business Tips, Technology Trends and Online Marketing)
Just want to encourage anyone out there who is suffering right now, to keep moving forward. If you are recovering from a relapse, remember that it will take some time to start feeling better, and be patient with yourself. The important thing is to focus on a work plan to recover and bounce back. Be grateful that you are still here and have another chance to recover! Pray for guidance, hit some meetings, and don't make up excuses or justify why you relapsed, just work hard at your recovery. Pick yourself up, accept your faults, modify, and get away from anyone keeping you down! This too shall pass and before you know it you will be back on track living Gods plan for your life!
Arik Hoover
But I’m still breathing. Not deeply; not enough to satisfy, but breathing. Peter pushes my eyelids over my eyes. Does he know I’m not dead? Does Jeanine? Can she see me breathing? “Take the body to the lab,” Jeanine says. “The autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon.” “All right,” Peter replies. Peter pushes the table forward. I hear mutters all around me as we pass the group of Erudite bystanders. My hand falls off the edge of the table as we turn a corner, and smacks in the wall. I feel a prickle of pain in my fingertips, but I can’t move my hand, as hard as I try. This time, when we go down the hallway of Dauntless traitors, it is silent. Peter walks slowly at first, then turns another corner and picks up the pace. He almost sprints down the next corridor, and stops abruptly. Where am I? I can’t be in the lab already. Why did he stop? Peter’s arms slide under my knees and shoulders, and he lifts me. My head falls against his shoulder. “For someone so small, you’re heavy, Stiff,” he mutters. He knows I’m awake. He knows. I hear a series of beeps, and a slide--a locked door, opening. “What do--” Tobias’s voice. Tobias! “Oh my God. Oh--” “Spare me your blubbering, okay?” Peter says. “She’s not dead; she’s just paralyzed. It’ll only last for about a minute. Now get ready to run.” I don’t understand. How does Peter know? “Let me carry her,” Tobias says. “No. You’re a better shot than I am. Take my gun. I’ll carry her.” I hear the gun slide out of its holster. Tobias brushes a hand over my forehead. They both start running. At first all I hear is the pounding of their feet, and my head snaps back painfully. I feel tingling in my hands and feet. Peter shouts, “Left!” at Tobias. Then a shout from down the hallway. “Hey, what--!” A bang. And nothing. More running. Peter shouts, “Right!” I hear another bang, and another. “Whoa,” he mumbles. “Wait, stop here!” Tingling down my spine. I open my eyes as Peter opens another door. He charges through it, and just before I smack my head against the door frame, I stick my arm out and stop us. “Careful!” I say, my voice strained. My throat still feels as tight as it did when he first injected me and I found it difficult to breathe. Peter turns sideways to bring me through the door, then nudges it shut with his heel and drops me on the floor. The room is almost empty, except for a row of empty trash cans along one wall and a square metal door large enough for one of the cans to fit through it along the other wall. “Tris,” Tobias says, crouching next to me. His face is pale, almost yellow. There is too much I want to say. The first thing that comes out is, “Beatrice.” He laughs weakly. “Beatrice,” he amends, and touches his lips to mine. I curl my fingers into his shirt. “Unless you want me to throw up all over you guys, you might want to save it for later.” “Where are we?” I ask. “This is the trash incinerator,” says Peter, slapping the square door. “I turned it off. I’ll take us to the alley. And then your aim had better be perfect, Four, if you want to get out of the Erudite sector alive.” “Don’t concern yourself with my aim,” Tobias retorts. He, like me, is barefoot. Peter opens the door to the incinerator. “Tris, you first.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
I guess I’m left with only one option.” She spun out of the kitchen into the pantry. “I’ll have to be the one to go and get her.” She stomped toward the back door and banged it open. As she rushed outside, a gust of wind slapped her cheeks. “Where are you going?” Connell caught the door before it slammed shut, and he followed her outside. A hill of dark clouds had pushed in with the growing darkness. She pulled her coat tighter and started toward the front of the hotel, trying to ignore the long shadows of the evening that reached out to haunt her. “I’m heading to the Stockade to see if Frankie’s there.” “You can’t go up there by yourself,” he called after her. “I’m certain God would want me to do whatever I can to rescue the girl, even if it means going by myself.” She picked up her pace, and her boots sloshed through the muddy snow that remained after the past week. She made it only a half a dozen more steps before Connell’s hand gripped her upper arm and dragged her to a stop. “I won’t let you go.” He spun her around so that she had no choice but to face him. “How dare you? What right do you have to stop me?” She jerked her arm and tried to break away. But his hold didn’t budge. “I probably don’t have any right to stop you.” She tugged again, this time harder. “Then leave me alone.” He wavered, almost as if he would let her go, but then with a growl he yanked her against his body. The strength of his grip held her captive. But the hard width of his chest against hers and the nearness of his face—only inches away—held her in greater captivity. For a long moment she couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, couldn’t think. The crashing thud of her heartbeat and the soft rasp of his breath filled the space between them. His gaze lingered upon her cheek, her chin, her other cheek before moving to her lips. Spring butterflies awakened in her stomach, and she couldn’t keep from studying his mouth, so close, so warm, so firm. But the boldness of such an inspection sent embarrassed heat through her, making her want to duck her head. “Lily,” he whispered. His eyes turned into a forest at midnight. “I just don’t want anything to happen to you. I can’t let you go up to the Stockade. It’s too dangerous.
Jody Hedlund (Unending Devotion (Michigan Brides, #1))
27. To Get, You Have First To Give A lot of advice in this book comes from my parents, and I am always grateful for having been raised by two wonderful and smart people. So here’s another gem from my mum: If you want to receive, you must first look around for something to give. As a kid, this was usually a pretty simple equation - she would only buy me a new toy if I selected an old one to give to the charity shop. (Quite annoying, I seem to remember!) But as I got older I realized that giving to get is actually one of the universe’s hidden rules. You want someone to help you? Guess what: if you’ve helped them in the past, they are far more likely to come to your rescue. You want to get a bumper crop from your veg patch? Guess what, the more water, fertilizer and attention you give your seedlings, the more bountiful harvests they will produce. But the inexplicable thing about my mum’s rule is that it works in the wilderness, too. There have been many times when I’ve been lost, exhausted, hungry, and I’ve felt my strength and my ability to keep going draining away. In these situations, it’s human nature to shrink back and give up. Yet my mother’s wisdom has been proved to me time and time again - to ‘get’ good results, you have to ‘give out’ something good or positive first. So when I am tired, I commit to working even harder. When I feel downcast, I decide to be upbeat. You see, no matter how low your optimism or strength feels, if you can ‘force’ yourself to put out the good vibes, the good attitudes, the hopeful thoughts (even if you don’t feel them or believe them right at that moment), then you will be rewarded. Try it some time when you are dog-tired. Get off that couch and start moving energetically. You will soon feel invigorated. Or when you are knee-deep in paperwork, slowing to a crawl, try just picking up the pace and focus, get ripping through it, giving it your all - and your body and mind will respond. To get, first you have to give.
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
My grandfather always had a little framed picture by his bed that simply said: There is always music in the garden, but our hearts have to be still enough to hear it. So every once in a while, take out your backpack and head off for a night under canvas. Even if it’s only for one night, and even if it’s only in your garden. Nature and the outdoors are a universal and deep-rooted language that we can all pick up once we get immersed. Once you have learnt to tie a bowline or cook a simple meal over a fire that you’ve built yourself, you’ll never forget it. I mean, who doesn’t want to learn how to make fire without matches? It is one of the greatest and oldest of human achievements. These skills and experiences are so deep-rooted in our subconscious that it is no surprise that they calm us. It is about being true to who we all are. And to remind ourselves of this, every now and again, is always going to better our lives. So camp out, enjoy some stories, watch a bit of nature’s TV (that’s a fire, by the way), eat simple food with your fingers, drink some wine and chat to those you love, and then lie back and soak in some quiet time under the night sky: it is restorative. You don’t need to be in Fiji to get restored! The only thing I would add to all this is once a year to watch a sunrise. It is good for the mind, body and spiritual health: to get up early and watch the sun appear quietly over the horizon, with no fuss, no fanfare - a gentle, warming, calm reminder that the world, at its heart, is wonderful, and that life is truly a gift. Never underestimate the power of simple pleasures like this to restore and inspire you. It is part of how we are made.
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
This means you must limit the time you spend alone—especially in the early phases of the struggle against pornography. Be honest with your accountability partner about the typical times when you are alone and find yourself tempted. Make plans to spend those times with others. You can study together, take a walk, play sports, read the Bible and pray, or watch a movie. You can even have an accountability partner scheduled to call you during those times (with the requirement that you must pick up the phone) to check in on you. If you’re married, you may need to commit to going to bed at the same time as your spouse, even if you don’t feel tired. Cut back as much as possible on the times when you are alone and tempted to indulge in pornography.
Heath Lambert (Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace)
Stay with me tonight. You can read while I work, and I will teach you how to build better shields to protect yourself from the unwanted emotions of those around you.” “What can you do for my hearing? Your little medicinal concoctions have increased my hearing to the point of absurdity.” She arched an eyebrow at him. “Do you have any idea what else is going to happen to me?” His teeth grazed the back of her neck, his fingers brushed across her breast possessively. “I have all kinds of ideas, little one.” “I’ll just bet you do. I think you’re a sex maniac, Mikhail.” Raven slipped out of his grasp. “I think you put something in that concoction to make me a sex maniac, too.” She seated herself at the table, calmly picked up her glass of juice, and looked up at him steadily. “Did you?” “Drink that slowly,” he ordered absently. “Where do you come up with your ideas?
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
The less you see of your toxic friends and the more you see of your enthusiastic friends, the better you will feel about yourself, and the better you will become. We are such social creatures that we all tend to become like the people we hang out with. It is human nature. So spend your days in the company of people who build you up and who see your mountain as achievable. It is why I pick team members on big expeditions so carefully. I don’t pick people just for their skills - the world is full of skilful people. I pick those who have that rare combination of good skills and even better attitudes. Those who see the glass as half full; those who will see an obstacle as a challenge not a problem; those who help others, who encourage others and who will watch my back when it is turned. Picking friends and expedition members who are better than you is a sure way to grow yourself. It elevates us, it inspires us, and together we all get stronger. But most people do the opposite: they pick friends or team members who are just a little ‘lower’ down the pecking order than they are, because it makes them feel superior. But that is not the path of growth - it is the path of mediocrity. The true champion, the true summiteer, hangs out with those who help and inspire them to be even better - through encouragement, through their actions and through their attitudes.
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
36. We All Struggle With Motivation Sometimes Shock, horror…yes, even I feel unmotivated occasionally! I am human. So don’t worry when you feel a little demotivated - it is normal. Just give yourself a short break, take a nap, go for a walk, make a cup of tea, then pick yourself up and make the conscious decision to get charging. It is always best not to deny to yourself that you might occasionally suffer from a little bit of stinkin’ thinkin’ - so give it its moment, then boot it out! So don’t beat yourself up about having a bad day - I have had loads of them and will have many more in the future. Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back for being human after all, then get out there and get moving again. Champions don’t stay down for long. Oh, and I have a good trick for doing stuff, like exercising, when I really am not in the mood…I tell myself that I can quit, but only after three minutes. I have to at least begin. Invariably after three minutes of running, I find I am in the groove and want to keep going. The hard bit is always getting going, so I commit at least to start, with my ‘three-minute-get-out clause’…which, of course, then doesn’t get used! Whatever works for you…but keep feeding the motivation into your brain and soul every day. Remember the previous chapter on armpits!
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
I remember when I first became a believer in Jesus. I somehow thought it was my duty to change people for the sake of spreading the gospel. I would rejoice when people would find hope in Christ but would feel like a failure when someone would decline the invitation to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was a little discouraging. But that’s because my understanding of how God works in my life was off. I say this because I believe many of today’s Christians put too much pressure on themselves to bring people to Jesus. It’s our job to love people, not change them. Only the Holy Spirit has the power and authority to do such a thing. Our calling is to simply share the gospel in love and truth, showing the character of Jesus through our everyday lives. When you let yourself off the hook for being solely responsible for somebody’s soul, you will find a totally new sense of freedom: the freedom to love. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to know all the right things to say. You don’t have to have all the answers. And if your message is totally rejected . . . it’s not on you. It’s between that individual and God. Maybe you’ll get another opportunity to try, but it’s not your job to change him or her. Our job is to simply be available for those who are looking to know more about God, take opportunities to be vocal about our personal relationships with him, and continue to point people back to God with every question they may have. I didn’t understand this in the early years of my faith, and I put way too much pressure on myself when it came to people being transformed. Why? Because we live in a performance-based culture, and yes, even pastors have a tendency to fall captive to its pull. Like me, you probably feel pressured from multiple angles. We’re told by advertising that we need to be attractive, by parents that we need good jobs, by teachers that we need good grades, by friends that we need to give more time. Jesus isn’t like that. He doesn’t make irrational demands and point a finger at us for not living up to the expectation. The only thing Jesus wants from us is our love. And when we learn to offer him that love, we long to obey him and live in the better way he has for us as well. It’s a beautiful thing. As we learned from Jesus in Matthew 25, we can love God simply by loving others. Whether that love produces a change in their lives is up to God. We don’t have to stress about it. Only the Holy Spirit has the power and authority to change someone’s heart. Our calling is to simply share the gospel in love and truth, showing the character of Jesus through our everyday lives. This alone is the calling of a Christian. This alone is a weighty yet fulfilling purpose for all who choose to pick up their crosses daily. If we were to scour the Bible, we’d see there isn’t a single passage that states we are called to change people ourselves. Why? Because it’s not our job, and it was never intended to be. We must take a step back and realize that God’s job is to be God and our job is to lead people toward the door that is hope. Once we’ve done this, we must let go and allow the one who created the world to take care of the rest. If we had the power to change people, the transformative love of God wouldn’t be needed. Don’t waste your time trying to change people. Instead, focus on loving well.
Jarrid Wilson (Love Is Oxygen: How God Can Give You Life and Change Your World)
But even then, it takes a certain amount of courage to be the first one to come out and blame someone else. What if no one else joins you? No one else stands up to condemn the wrongdoer? On the other hand, it’s easy to join in condemning someone once someone else has gotten the ball rolling. You don’t even have to put yourself out there; all you have to do is say, “Me, too!” It doesn’t end there: You also get the benefit of feeling that you’re doing good by picking on someone evil—it can even be a kind of stress release. Once you’ve done it, though, you may find that you want that feeling again—that you need someone else to accuse just to get the rush back. You may have started with real bad guys, but the second time around you may have to look further down the food chain, be more and more creative in your charges and accusations.
Kanae Minato (Confessions)
Anyone care for a drink?” Rolly asked as he pulled out a bottle of Bulliet bourbon whiskey. It was his favorite drink, and the girls had been nice enough to pick him up a bottle a few days before. “I’ll take a sip,” I said with a nod. I guessed that his willingness to share it with us said a lot about how he felt. I tossed the meat into the skillet along with a handful of morel mushrooms that looked like they had been picked fresh today. Then I accepted the bottle of whiskey and took a sip. The alcohol warmth was a nice way to end the day. I passed it back to the old man. “We should grab a bottle of soda. We worked hard today and can use the calories.” “Plus, I noticed that some of it started to go flat,” Bailey said. “I don’t know about you guys but I would rather drink it while it still has the bubbles.” “At least it still makes a decent mixer when it’s flat,” Tara said with a shrug. “I’ll go grab some kitchenware and soda,” Anna volunteered with a chuckle. “Just don’t eat all of that meat without me. It is starting to smell really good.” The meat sizzled in the pan as one side of it started to sear, and the smell of fresh cooked meat mixed with the wild mushrooms started to fill the air. “Don’t worry, Tav has enough meat for all of us,” Tara teased. “He most certainly does,” Paige agreed as she stared at me with a hungry look in her eyes. “I just want some of that venison,” Rolly said as he shook his head. “You guys have to wait until I go to bed to eat anything else.” “Of course, we aren't animals,” Bailey said. “Speak for yourself,” Paige growled as she shot her friend a wicked grin.
Eric Vall (Without Law 2 (Without Law, #2))
Ihung up with Josh, and the switch flipped in my head. Sloan called it my velociraptor brain because it made me fierce and sharp. Something big had to trigger it, and when it did, my compulsive, laser-focused, primal side activated. The one that got me a near perfect score on my SATs and got me through college finals and Mom. The one that made me clean when I was stressed and threatened to launch into full-scale manic OCD if left unchecked—that kicked in. Emotion drained away, the tiredness from staying up all night crying dissipated, and I became my purpose. I didn’t do hysterics. Never had. When in crisis, I became systematic and efficient. And the transition was now complete. I weighed only for a second whether to call Sloan and tell her or go pick her up. I decided to pick her up. She would be too upset to drive properly, but knowing her, she would try anyway. From Josh’s explanation of the situation, Brandon wouldn’t be out of the hospital anytime soon. Sloan wouldn’t leave Brandon, and I wouldn’t leave her. She would need things for the stay. People would need to be called. Arrangements made. I began to compile a list in my head of things to do and things to pack as I quickly but methodically drove to Sloan’s. Phone charger, headphones, blanket, change of clothes for Sloan, toiletries, and her laptop. It took me twenty minutes to get to her house, and I got out of my car ready for a surgical extraction. I stood there, surrounded by the earthy smell of Sloan’s just-watered potted porch flowers. The door opened, and I took in her blissfully ignorant face one more time. “Kristen?” It wasn’t unusual for me to stop by. But she knew me well enough to instantly know something was wrong. “Sloan, Brandon has been in an accident,” I said calmly. “He’s alive, but I need you to get your purse and come with me.” I knew immediately that I’d been right to come get her instead of calling. One look at her and I knew she wouldn’t have been able to put a foot in front of the other. While I mobilized and became strong under stress, she froze and weakened. “What?  ” she breathed. “We have to hurry. Come on.” I pushed past her and systematically executed my checklist. I gave myself a two-minute window to grab what was needed. Her gym bag would be in the laundry room, already filled with toiletries and her headphones. I grabbed that, pulled a sweater from her closet, selected a change of clothes for her, and stuffed her laptop inside the bag. When I came out of the room, she had managed to grab her purse as instructed. She stood by the sofa looking shaken, her eyes moving back and forth like she was trying to figure out what was happening. Her cell phone sat by her easel and I snatched it, pulling the charger from the wall. I grabbed her favorite throw blanket from the sofa and stuffed that in the bag and zipped it. List complete. Then I took her by the elbow, locked her front door, and dragged her to the car. “Wha…what happened? What happened!” she screamed, finally coming out of her shock. I opened up the passenger door and put her in. “Buckle yourself up. I’ll tell you what I know on the way.” When I got around to the driver’s side, she had her phone to her ear. “He’s not answering. He’s not answering! What happened, Kristen?!” I grabbed her face in my hands. “Listen to me. Look at me. He is alive. He was hit on his bike. Josh went on the call. He was unconscious. It was clear he had some broken bones and a possible head injury. He’s at the ER, and I need to get you to the hospital to be with him. But I need you to be calm.” Her brown eyes were terrified, but she nodded. “Right now your job is to call Brandon’s family,” I said firmly. “Relay what I just said to you, calmly. Can you do that for Brandon?” She nodded again. “Yes.” Her hands shook, but she dialed.
Abby Jimenez
Lucy picked up the point. “I remember this one time when I was in the third grade? And Jesse Cantu decided that he liked me? But I didn’t like him? So he decided that I would fall in love with him if he rescued me from some kind of danger, because that’s what always happens in the movies? So one day he told me that there was a surprise waiting for me in the cupboard at the back of the classroom and all I had to do was go in at recess and open the cupboard door—” “And you believed him?” Benno interrupted, aghast. “Of course!” Lucy said indignantly. “Because I’m from Mississippi! Where we believe people! So anyway, when I opened the cupboard there was a whole mess of spiders in there and I know people say that spiders scuttle away when they see you coming, but these spiders jumped out at me like they were rabid or something and Jesse ran into the room to save me but I was screaming so much that the principal called 911!” She paused for breath. “And the only good thing that happened was that we all got out of school for the rest of the day.” There was a brief silence as everyone absorbed this. Finally Silvia muttered, “Men are pigs.” Giacomo sighed. “How old was this boy with the spiders?” he asked Lucy in a patient voice, as if they had all gone off the rails but were fortunate that he was there to put them right. She frowned, as if suspecting a trick, but finally answered, “Eight.” “As I thought! Far too young to realize what a mistake he was making,” he said triumphantly. “But I’m sure he learned from this sad experience, yes? He didn’t keep trying to attract women with spiders?” “Well, no, of course not,” Lucy said. “Jesse’s still real immature, but he’s not an idiot.” “There you are, then.” Giacomo leaned his chair back, teetering on the back two legs, looking pleased with himself. “Everyone makes mistakes in love. The point is to learn from them. For example, Jesse learned—” “What?” Kate scoffed. “That attacking a girl with spiders isn’t a good way to say ‘I love you’? That should have been obvious from the start.” “Well, yes.” He nodded, as if conceding the point, but then added. “Of course, all knowledge is useful.” “But not all knowledge is worth the cost.” “And what cost is that?” Giacomo’s deep brown eyes were alight with enjoyment. “Looking like a fool.” “Oh, that.” He folded his arms across his chest with the air of one who is about to win an argument. “That’s nothing to concern yourself with. After all, love makes fools of everyone, don’t you agree?” “No, I don’t.” Kate bit off each word. “I don’t agree at all.” “How astonishing,” he muttered. “In fact,” she said meaningfully, “I would say that love only makes fools of those who were fools to begin with.” She smiled at him, clearly pleased with her riposte. Giacomo let his chair fall back to the floor with a thump. “If the world was left to people like you,” he said in an accusing tone, “we’d all be computing love’s logic on computers and dissecting our hearts in a biology lab.” “If the world were left to people like me,” Kate said with conviction, “it would be a much better place to live.” “Oh, yes,” he said sarcastically. “Because it would be orderly. Sensible. And dull.” “Love doesn’t have to end in riots and disaster and, and, and . . . spider attacks!” she said hotly.
Suzanne Harper (The Juliet Club)
#23 - Take Immediate Action Many people have difficulty taking action. Reasons vary. Some folks fear failure. Others are disinclined to try new things. Still others are saddled with indecision to the point that they become paralyzed when confronted with multiple options. But making decisions and acting on them quickly can benefit you in several ways. First, you become more committed to the path you choose for yourself. Second, you radiate confidence, an essential trait if you serve in a leadership role. Third, it improves communication; others will realize you’re disinclined to vacillate and respond in a similar manner. Fourth, you accomplish more. These advantages are tough to ignore. If you tend to dither when making decisions and forging ahead, consider developing this habit. It can literally change your life. If you’re unaccustomed to taking immediate action, here’s how I would build this habit… How to start small: Compile a list of tasks you’ve put on the back burner. During Week 1, pick one task from the list each day. Regardless of the reason you put it off (procrastination, a fear of failure, etc.), commit to finishing it before the end of the day. Beginning in Week 2, continue to work through your list of postponed tasks, addressing one per day. In addition, spend 10 minutes per day cleaning up your email inbox. This is a common area of indecision for people. Train yourself to deal with each email decisively. Respond to it, delete it, or archive it. During Week 3, focus on making at least one decision quickly per day. When confronted with multiple options, choose one within 10 seconds. For example, let’s say your spouse asks you which restaurant you’d like to visit for dinner. Instead of spending five minutes considering every local venue, just choose one. Be decisive. Starting in Week 4, look for opportunities to make quick decisions and take immediate action. For example, if you’re presented with more than one set of driving directions, pick one and move on. If you’re at the grocery store and trying to decide between chocolate chip ice cream or Rocky road, choose one and put it in your shopping cart. If you’re trying to decide between two wines for a dinner party, make a fast decision. Give yourself 10 seconds.
Damon Zahariades (Small Habits Revolution: 10 Steps To Transforming Your Life Through The Power Of Mini Habits! (Self-Help Books for Busy People Book 1))
I’d made the decision to stop doing drugs many times before, but I never followed up with the daily maintenance, the cultivation of a path to a spiritual awakening. I think that anyone who comes in and works all of the steps and goes to meetings and is of constant love and service is guaranteed to stay sober. But anyone who comes in like I did in the past and picks and chooses and thinks, “I’ll do it some days, I won’t do it others. I’ll work some steps, but I won’t work the others. I’ll take the call sometimes, but sometimes I’m too busy,” is doomed to failure. You can’t buy seven tenths of the way into the program and expect to get seven tenths back; you get nothing back unless you give yourself completely.
Anthony Kiedis (Scar Tissue)
Pick Your Battles You’ll be pretty worn out, and friendless, if you try to fight every battle that comes your way on the relationship front. In fact, people who try to fight every battle are often seen as reactive and extremist, and are rarely taken seriously. But the wise among us know that people make mistakes, they have general human failings, and the wise know that we have to let bygones be bygones many times in our relationships with people. If you take a live-and-let-live approach to dealing with people, you will find that they will give the same to you. Let the petty go, let it roll off your back, and save your energy for the bigger things that can bring real meaning to your life. Not only will this help you stay balanced, but it will also make people more apt to forgive and forget quickly when you mess up yourself—and you will, from time to time.
Robert Dittmer (151 Quick Ideas to Improve Your People Skills)
age of computers and programming, and he couldn’t understand either. Sure, he could send emails, had even mastered Word and Excel, but apart from that, the complexities of the machine left him baffled. There was unemployment, but he had never taken the dole, or he could go overseas, try his luck on an oil rig. Even if that were possible, he didn’t want to go, but these were desperate times, and now, to add confusion, there was a solution. Betty Galton, his former sister-in-law, had in her possession a million pounds in gold. He opened his laptop and switched it on. How does one melt gold? How does one dispose of it? he thought. He entered the search terms, fingering one key at a time, and pressed enter. If a criminal act was committed during the planning stage, then he was guilty as charged. And for once, he did not care. He hummed a tune to himself. It had been some time since he had been contented. For that night, he would forget what would be required and envisage what his life could be like with money in his pocket. Maybe a small place in the country, a dog, possibly a woman. How long had it been since he had enjoyed the closeness of another’s skin? He picked up his phone and made a call. It was a special treat for himself and for once the budget was going to be blown. He knew she’d look after him, the way she looked after so many others. Chapter 11 Clare woke early the next day; her phone was ringing. She leant over and picked it up. ‘Yarwood, I’m at the hospital,’ Tremayne said. She could tell by his voice that something was amiss. ‘I’ll be there in fifteen.’ ‘Thanks, and don’t tell anyone.’ A quick shower, some food for her cat, and Clare was out of her cottage. A murder enquiry was serious; her boss being ill, more so. Parking at the hospital, she soon found her way to outpatients, meeting someone she knew. ‘It’s Tremayne, he’s not well,’ Clare said. ‘And please, not a word to anyone.’ The woman, a friend, understood. Inside, behind some screens, Tremayne was lying flat on his back. His shoes had been removed, and his tie had been loosened. ‘How long have you been here?’ Clare said. She knew Tremayne would not appreciate lashings of sympathy, although he looked dreadful. ‘Since last night. I’d had a few drinks, a few cigarettes, and all of a sudden I’m in the back of an ambulance.’ ‘Does Jean know?’ ‘Not yet. Maybe you can phone her. She went to see her son for a few days, left me on my own.’ ‘Off the leash and into trouble, that’s you, guv.’ ‘Not today, Yarwood. Maybe Moulton’s right about me retiring.’ ‘Having you feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to help, is it?’ The nurse, standing on the other side of the bed, looked over at Clare disapprovingly. ‘It’s how we work,’ Clare said. ‘That may be the case, but Mr Tremayne has had a bit of a scare. He needs to be here for a few days while we conduct a few checks.’ ‘What’s the problem?’ ‘It’s not for me to say. That’s for the doctor.’ ‘He told me to cut down on the beer, quit smoking, and take it easy.’ ‘Retire, is that it?’ Clare said. ‘They don’t get it, do they?’ Tremayne looked over at the nurse who was monitoring his condition. ‘Sorry. We’ve got a murder to deal with, nothing personal.’ ‘Don’t worry about me. We get our fair share of people, men mainly, who think they’re invincible. You’re not the first, not the last, who thinks they know more
Phillip Strang (Death by a Dead Man's Hand (DI Tremayne Thriller Series #5))
His eyes lit appreciatively as her gaze snagged there. “I could pick you up and wrap those lovely long legs of yours around my waist. Slip deep inside you, rock you against me and love you till you lay in my arms and slept like a babe. I will spend each night stretched beside you, teaching you what you want me to teach you. I can feel that you want it from me. Yet it will be at your pace, when you choose. I will wait as long as I must. “But know this, Lisa—when you are across the dinner table from me on the morrow, in my mind I am pushing you back on a bed. In my fantasy”—he laughed, as if at his own brashness—“you are discovering yourself with my willing body. Who knows, perhaps even laying siege to the heart that beats within this chest.” He thumped his chest with a fist and silently admitted she’d already begun to do that, otherwise he wouldn’t have offered himself. But she didn’t need to know that. He knotted the tartan slowly, never taking his eyes from hers. “Good night, Lisa. Sleep with the angels.” Her eyes stung from quick tears. It had been her mother’s nightly benediction: Sleep with the angels. But then he added words her mother never had: “Then come back to earth and sleep with your devil, who would burn in hell for one night in your arms.
Karen Marie Moning (The Highlander's Touch (Highlander, #3))
If you nd yourself constantly thirsty for more, never quite satis ed no matter how often you go back to draw from the well of social media or online streaming and shopping, then you’ve likely been drinking from a well that was never meant to satisfy you. Like it or not, we all tend to forsake the spring of living water and dig our own cisterns. They’re broken and, as a result, so are we. Still, we keep at it. And the more broken we become, the more fervent our search for happiness. Each ping, buzz, and noti cation triggers a dopamine release in our brains, synthetically creating a short sensation of happi- ness. We’ve become chemically and emotionally addicted to these short-lived highs. That’s why I’ve decided to put my foot down by putting my phone down, so that I might pick up the joy-inducing presence of God instead.
Wendy Speake (The 40-Day Social Media Fast: Exchange Your Online Distractions for Real-Life Devotion)
Receive it for the gift it is! Pause, and let the beauty minister to you. I receive this into my soul. Too often we just notice and go on, like a pedestrian who steps over a hundred-dollar bill lying on the sidewalk. Stop and pick it up! In these moments you open yourself and receive the beauty, the gift, the grace—receive it into your being. Let it bring to you God’s love, his tenderness, his rich goodness.
John Eldredge (Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad)
You there! What are you doing?” A sentry was approaching, her strides swift and purposeful. “Identify yourself!” She held a lantern close to me, and I squinted in the light, my heart thrumming loudly. On the chance that I could still pull off the charade, I attempted to mimic a Cokyrian accent. The inflection was subtle, but not terribly different from our own, and I hoped that guard would be none the wiser. “I was sent to deliver a message.” “And what message is that?” Her voice was skeptical and she laid a hand on the hilt of the sword at her hip. “The message is not for you.” The sentry laughed. “Get out of here, girl. I have no interest in arresting you. I’ll consider this an amusing part of my night duty as long as you don’t cause any trouble.” “The message is from Rava,” I tried again, my natural stubbornness overcoming my fear. “For her brother.” “Messages should be taken to the main building,” she pronounced, no longer confident that she should send me away. “Rava instructed me to deliver it to no one but Saadi. She said he would be in the officer’s barracks.” The woman deliberated, looking dubiously at me, although she ultimately decided in my favor. “Then I’ll take you to him. We’ll see what he has to say about this.” The sentry grabbed my arm and led me toward the building. There were two guards at its entrance, and she instructed one of them to fetch Saadi. Despite the coolness of the weather, I could feel myself sweating. If Saadi refused to come, I would be locked up and likely taken to Rava in the morning. But if he did come, how did I know he would be happy to see me? He might not approve of the game I was playing. Nausea roiled my stomach, and I glanced at the Cokyrians on each side of me, trying to decide if I should beat a hasty retreat. Too afraid of the consequences if I failed to get away, I waited, praying the fates would smile upon me. It wasn’t long before footfalls reached my ears, and the door to the barracks swung open. Saadi stood there in breeches and a loose, unlaced shirt, strapping on his weapons, obviously having been awakened. Would he be angry that I had disturbed his sleep? “Well?” the guard who discovered me prompted. “I recognize her,” Saadi answered, staring directly at the woman. “She works for my sister as an errand girl.” I briefly closed my eyes in relief. Saadi waved the guard back to her post and issued an order to the man behind him to retrieve his cloak. When it was thrust into his hands, he escorted me back across the base, not speaking until we were out of earshot of those on patrol. “So, Rava has a message for me?” I shoved him unthinkingly, teasingly, and he laughed, jumping away. “You wanted to see me, remember?” I pointed out. “But you never picked a time or place!” “So you decided to do it for me. Fair enough, but I’m dying to know what you have in mind to do.” “I don’t have anything in mind.” We had reached the thoroughfare, and he chuckled. “You braved Cokyrian soldiers and the stronghold of the military base, but don’t have a thing in mind for us to do?” “That’s right,” I admitted, irritated that he was laughing at me. “Would you grow up please?” “Shaselle, there’s nothing ‘grown-up’ about what we’re doing. I assume you snuck away from home to see me, and I have a five o’clock call in the morning.” I came to a halt and turned to face him, my eyes issuing a challenge. “If you want to go back, feel free. Tell those soldiers that Rava just wanted to make sure her baby brother went to bed on time.” He grinned, enjoying my feisty responses, and smoothed his bronze hair forward, a habit I still found annoying. It also served to make my heart flutter.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Dandelions represent the easy way. You pick up a dandelion and it's so soft, and it's so easy and even fun sometimes to blow the seeds everywhere. And you don't even realize what you're doing. Nothing happens right then, except you get a pretty little show in the breeze. It's not until later, sometimes, a long time later, that you look out in your garden and realize what you did. It's easy, love, to pull back, to hide in yourself, to run and say you're just taking some time, to keep all of your emotions inside, maybe even to think you're protecting me from something. It would be easier still for me to let you do that. To watch you blow those dandelion seeds everywhere, and pretend it won't damage anything. To pretend we won't wake up one summer morning to discover we've allowed a huge patch of weeds to grow between us, opening up cracks in the foundation of our marriage. Thorns, on the other hand... they're not easy. They hurt. They make you want to give up on the whole plant sometimes. But if you don't give up, love, if you fight through it, allow yourself to be hurt - the result is beautiful and strong. And it will last forever if you care for it.
Breeana Puttroff
I feel like a fool.” “You aren’t.” “I don’t want to be this person. God! I feel like you’ve been trying to pick me up off the floor for weeks!” “You’ve had a string of really shitty luck, honey.” I laughed. And it turned to tears again. My phone buzzed on the coffee table where I’d set it down. I don’t think I can handle more of Jonathan wanting to talk. What more was there to say? When I didn’t move toward the phone, Logek picked it up and looked at the screen. She turned it toward me so that I could see. Adam. “Shall we read it?” I shrugged and started crying again. Who gives a shit what he has to say? Logek looked at the screen and frowned. She read it aloud. “The tragic marble fortress is going to bed. See you tomorrow, yes?” Logek just looked at me with lowered brows, waiting to see if I would explain. I sniffed, then straightened my shoulders. Time to pull yourself up, Kate. This fragile, damaged girl is not you. I blew out a long sigh. “Let’s see. We got into it a little after work when he followed me out of the building. I sort of gave him my ‘you’re a broken toy and I’m not the least bit interested in a cold fish like you’ speech. I guess he was wondering if it would be enough to make me quit.” Logek, god love her, dropped her head back onto the couch and started laughing
Erin Lyon (I Love You Subject to the Following Terms and Conditions)
Love, now that was dangerous. It plucks your heart out of your chest cavity and throws it into the skies where all you can do is watch it freefall towards the object of your love, and hope he or she would catch it. And very often your heart would land with a sordid, painful thud on the ground, or worse, a ditch, and lie there forlorn, neglected and pitiful until you found it, picked it up, glued the various parts back together and put it back into your chest where it would continue to beat on, stolidly, with only you knowing that there was a beat missing. A beat audible to no discerning ear, but your own, a slight sense of being out of tune with yourself, a heart that beat reluctantly, for the sake of keeping up appearances, in the forlorn hope that some day it would get back in rhythm, that some day it would have something to beat for. And then, over the years of missing a beat, you would grown irretrievably out of beat with yourself, and end up discordant.
Kiran Manral (The Face at the Window)
For a girl, how about Nicole? It means a girl who’s victorious for her people.” “Oh, I like that,” Loretta whispered. “Hunter would love that.” Rachel smiled. “Nicole Wolf. If she has her daddy’s eyes, Indigo would go perfect with it. Nicole Indigo Wolf.” “Doesn’t sound right,” Amy argued. “Indigo Nicole Wolf! That, I like.” “Indigo Nicole.” Tears burned behind Loretta’s eyelids. A girl victorious for her people. “Yes, that’s beautiful, for both worlds.” “Your own name isn’t half-bad. Bet you don’t know what Loretta means.” Rachel folded the dough over, then glanced up with a teasing grin. “Your momma and me picked it, mainly for the meaning.” “It’s a variation of Laura, isn’t it? Laurel wreath or something?” “That’s the common meaning. But in your ma’s name book, there was another.” “Well? Give over.” Loretta waited, watching her aunt. “What’s it mean? Flat-chested and scrawny?” Rachel threw back her head and chuckled. “Flat-chested and scrawny? Loretta Jane, I swear, no one can say you have too high an opinion of yourself. It means little wise one.” The color washed from Loretta’s face, and she planted her feet on the floor to stop the chair from rocking. “It means what?” “Little wise one.” Rachel’s smile faded. “You feelin’ peaked? What’s wrong?” Loretta set her sewing aside and pushed to her feet. “Nothing, Aunt Rachel. N-nothing.” Glancing dazedly around the room, Loretta pressed the back of her wrist to her temple, a feeling of unreality surrounding her. “I, um, think I’ll get a breath of air.” After hurrying from the house, Loretta struck off across the yard to lean on the fence, her favorite spot because it afforded her a view of the rise. Little wise one. Still numb with shock, she stared off into the distance, remembering the night Hunter had recited his song to her. The People will call her the Little Wise One…
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Your own name isn’t half-bad. Bet you don’t know what Loretta means.” Rachel folded the dough over, then glanced up with a teasing grin. “Your momma and me picked it, mainly for the meaning.” “It’s a variation of Laura, isn’t it? Laurel wreath or something?” “That’s the common meaning. But in your ma’s name book, there was another.” “Well? Give over.” Loretta waited, watching her aunt. “What’s it mean? Flat-chested and scrawny?” Rachel threw back her head and chuckled. “Flat-chested and scrawny? Loretta Jane, I swear, no one can say you have too high an opinion of yourself.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
God knows how to bring justice in your life. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen. We all go through situations in which we are treated unfairly. Maybe somebody is gossiping about you, or picking on you, trying to make you look bad at school or work. The natural response is to defend yourself or strike back. Human nature wants to get revenge. We like to get even. But the Lord says, “Vengeance is Mine” (Deuteronomy 32:35 NKJV). That means God will make your wrongs right. God wants to repay you for every unfairness. He is a God of justice. The bottom line is this: God wants you to have the last laugh. Here’s how it can happen. Romans 12:19 says to never avenge yourselves, but to let God do it. Notice, you can avenge yourself, or you can let God be your avenger; but you cannot have it both ways. If you take matters into your own hands, God will step back and say, “You go ahead. You don’t need My help.” But if you learn to stay on the high road, control your emotions, and let God be your avenger, He will show up and say, “All right. Let Me go to work.
Joel Osteen (Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week)
Let me help,” Hauk said, his tone sincere. Nykyrian raked him with a sneer. “I’m not dumb enough to fall for that trick again. Get away from me.” He finished picking up the garbage and his reader, then rose to his feet. He gave a long, hard glare of hatred to Hauk before he headed to the window. Hauk watched him leave, his face a mask of sadness. “What the hell are you doing, Dancer?” Kiara grimaced at the sight of the crowned Andarion prince and heir. She’d always hated that smug prick. There was something about him that made her flesh crawl. Hauk bowed low to him. “He saved my life, Highness. I was only trying to pay him back.” Jullien arched one regal, scathing brow. “You’d better remember where your loyalties lie, pleb. Or else you’ll find yourself sharing his misery.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Night (The League, #1))
Your own name isn’t half-bad. Bet you don’t know what Loretta means.” Rachel folded the dough over, then glanced up with a teasing grin. “Your momma and me picked it, mainly for the meaning.” “It’s a variation of Laura, isn’t it? Laurel wreath or something?” “That’s the common meaning. But in your ma’s name book, there was another.” “Well? Give over.” Loretta waited, watching her aunt. “What’s it mean? Flat-chested and scrawny?” Rachel threw back her head and chuckled. “Flat-chested and scrawny? Loretta Jane, I swear, no one can say you have too high an opinion of yourself. It means little wise one.” The color washed from Loretta’s face, and she planted her feet on the floor to stop the chair from rocking. “It means what?” “Little wise one.” Rachel’s smile faded. “You feelin’ peaked? What’s wrong?” Loretta set her sewing aside and pushed to her feet. “Nothing, Aunt Rachel. N-nothing.” Glancing dazedly around the room, Loretta pressed the back of her wrist to her temple, a feeling of unreality surrounding her. “I, um, think I’ll get a breath of air.” After hurrying from the house, Loretta struck off across the yard to lean on the fence, her favorite spot because it afforded her a view of the rise. Little wise one. Still numb with shock, she stared off into the distance, remembering the night Hunter had recited his song to her. The People will call her the Little Wise One… She studied the rise, truly believing, for the first time, that she and Hunter were destined to be together. She tried to remember all the words to his song. They came to her in snatches. Between them will be a great canyon that runs high with blood. A silly legend, she had once called it. Now she knew better. Too much of it had already come to pass for her to scoff. A canyon of blood. Loretta curled her hands into fists. Hunter would return to her. She didn’t know when, or how, but suddenly she felt certain the song, once the bane of her existence, had become her greatest hope.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
Very sexy, babe,” Sierra says, eyeing Doug’s Speedo. Doug is walking like a penguin, waddling while trying to get comfortable. “I swear to God I’m taking these off as soon as I get in the hot tub. They’re choking my balls.” “TMI,” Brittany chimes in, covering her ears with her palms. She’s wearing a yellow bikini, leaving very little to the imagination. Does she realize she looks like a sunflower, ready to rain sunshine on all who look down upon her? Doug and Sierra climb into the tub. I hop into the tub and sit beside Brittany. I’ve never been in a hot tub before, and am not sure about hot-tub protocol. Are we going to sit here and talk, or do we break off into couples and make out? I like the second option, but Brittany looks nervous. Especially when Doug tosses his Speedo out of the tub. I wince. “Come on, man.” “What? I want to be able to have kids one day, Fuentes. That thing was cutting off my circulation.” Brittany hops out of the tub and pulls a towel around her. “Let’s go inside, Alex.” “You guys can stay in here,” Sierra says. “I’ll make him put the marble bag back on.” “Forget it. You two enjoy the tub. We’ll be inside,” Brittany says. When I’m out of the tub, Brittany hands me an extra towel. I put my arm around her as we walk to the cabin. “You okay?” “Absolutely. I was thinking you were upset.” “I’m cool. But…” Inside, I pick up a blown-glass figurine and study it. “Seein’ this house, this life…I want to be here with you, but I look around and realize this will never be me.” “You’re thinking too much.” She kneels on the carpet and pats the floor. “Come here and lie on your stomach. I know how to give Swedish massages. It’ll relax you.” “You’re not Swedish,” I say. “Yeah, well, neither are you. So if I do it wrong you’ll never know the difference.” I lie next to her. “I thought we were gonna take this relationship slow.” “A back rub is harmless.” My eyes roam over her kick-ass bikini-covered bod. “I’ll have you know I’ve been intimate with girls wearin’ a lot more.” She slaps me on the butt. “Behave yourself.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
George, please sit down,” Luke said. “Visit a while.” “Thanks, don’t mind if I do.” George pulled a chair over from an empty table and sat right beside Maureen so that she was sandwiched between himself and Art. “What brings you back to town so soon?” he asked her. “I’m, ah, visiting.” “Fantastic,” he said. “A long visit, I hope.” Luke took his seat, chuckling as he did so. “I have a brother here right now—Sean. You might remember him as my best man. He just discovered he has a young daughter in the area. Mom is visiting us and getting to know her first granddaughter, Rosie, three and a half and smart as a whip.” “How wonderful!” George said enthusiastically. “You must be having the time of your life!” Maureen lifted a thin brow, wary of his reaction. “I am enjoying her, yes.” “First one? I suppose before too much longer the other boys will be adding to the flock.” “Only the married ones, I hope,” Maureen said. “Do you have grandchildren, Mr. Davenport?” “Oh, let’s not be so formal—I’m George. Only step-grandchildren. I had no children of my own, in fact. Noah’s the closest thing to a son I’ve ever had, but I started out as his teacher. I’m a professor at Seattle Pacific University. I’ve known him quite a few years now. I’m here to be his best man on Friday night. I hope you’re all coming to the wedding.” “Wouldn’t miss it,” Luke said, grabbing Shelby’s hand. “And…Maureen?” George asked pointedly. “I’m not sure,” she said evasively. “Well, try to come,” he said. “These Virgin River people know how to have a good time. In fact, I have an idea. Once I have my best-man duties out of the way, I suggest we go to dinner. I’ll take you someplace nice in one of the coast towns, though it’ll be hard to improve on Preacher’s cooking. But we deserve some time away from all these young people, don’t you think?” “Excuse me, George?” she asked. “I assume you were married?” “Twice, as a matter of fact. Divorced a long time ago and, more recently, widowed. My wife died a few years ago. Maybe we should pick an evening and exchange phone numbers,” he suggested. “That’s very nice of you, but no. I don’t go out with men.” “Really?” he asked, surprised by her immediate refusal. “And why is that?” “I’m a widow,” she said. “A single woman.” “What a coincidence. And I’m a single man. I’m all for free thinking, but I wouldn’t ask you to dinner were I married. Are you recently widowed?” Out of the corner of his eye, George saw Luke snicker and look away. “Yes,” Maureen said. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “I was under the impression it had been years. When did you lose your husband, Maureen?” She looked a bit shocked to be put on the spot like that. It was apparent she was trying to gather her wits. She put out her hand. “It was so nice to see you again, Mr….George. I’m glad you sat and visited awhile. Maybe I’ll see you at the wedding this weekend if I’m not needed for anything else. I should probably get on the road—I have to drive to Eureka.” She stood and George did, as well. “Eureka? You’re not staying here in Virgin River with your son?” “I’m staying with a friend just down the street from my granddaughter so I’m free to pick her up after preschool. We spend most afternoons together. Really, nice seeing you.” She turned to Luke. “I’m going to head back to Viv’s, Luke. Good night, Shelby. ’Night, Art. Thanks for dinner, it was great as usual.” “Wonderful seeing you, too,” George said. “Try to come to Noah’s wedding. I guarantee you’ll enjoy yourself.” Luke
Robyn Carr (Angel's Peak (Virgin River #10))
There was another whole bunch of hopefuls. They would diminish down at a startling rate. We had seen it happen before. This time, though, we were there as the “old hands.” And it helped. We knew what to expect; the mystique had gone, and the prize was up for grabs. That was empowering. It was now wintertime, and winter Selection is always considered the tougher course, because of the mountain conditions. I tried not to think about this. Instead of the blistering heat and midges, our enemies would be the freezing, driving sleet, the high winds, and the short daylight hours. These made Trucker and me look back on the summer Selection days as quite balmy and pleasant! It is strange how accustomed you become to hardship, and how what once seemed horrific can soon become mundane. The DS had often told us: “If it ain’t raining, it ain’t training.” And it rains a lot in the Brecon Beacons. Trust me. (I recently overheard our middle boy, Marmaduke, tell one of his friends this SAS mantra. The other child was complaining that he couldn’t go outside because it was raining. Marmaduke, age four, put him straight. Priceless.) The first few weekends progressed, and we both shone. We were fitter, stronger, and more confident than many of the other recruits, but the winter conditions were very real. We had to contend with winds that, on one weekend exercise, were so strong on the high ridges that I saw one gust literally blow a whole line of soldiers off their feet--including the DS. Our first night march saw one recruit go down with hypothermia. Like everyone else, he was wet and cold, but in the wind and whiteout he had lost that will to look after himself, and to take action early. He had forgotten the golden rule of cold, which the DS had told us over and over: “Don’t let yourself get cold. Act early, while you still have your senses and mobility. Add a layer, make shelter, get moving faster--whatever your solution us, just do it.” Instead, this recruit had just sat down in the middle of the boggy moon grass and stopped. He could hardly talk and couldn’t stand. We all gathered round him, forming what little shelter we could. We gave him some food and put an extra layer of clothing on him. We then helped him stagger off the mountain to where he could be picked up by Land Rover and taken to base camp, where the medics could help him. For him, that would be his last exercise with 21 SAS, and a harsh reminder that the struggles of Selection go beyond the demons in your head. You also have to be able to survive the mountains, and in winter that isn’t always easy. One of the other big struggles of winter Selection was trying to get warm in the few hours between the marches. In the summer it didn’t really matter if you were cold and wet--it was just unpleasant rather than life-threatening. But in winter, if you didn’t sort yourself out, you would quickly end up with hypothermia, and then one of two things would happen: you would either fail Selection, or you would die. Both options were bad.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Last chance,” he said in guttural voice. “Get out, or get in my bed.” “Is there a third option?” Beatrix asked weakly, her breast throbbing beneath his touch. For answer, Christopher picked her up with stunning ease and carried her to the bed. She was tossed to the mattress. Before she could move, he had straddled her, all that sleek golden power poised above her. “Wait,” Beatrix said. “Before you force yourself on me, I would like to have five minutes of rational conversation. Only five. Surely that’s not too much to ask.” His eyes were pitiless. “If you wanted rational conversation, you should have gone to another man. Your Mr. Chittering.” “Chickering,” Beatrix said, squirming beneath him. “And he’s not mine, and--” She swatted his hand away as he touched her breast again. “Stop that. I just want to--” Undeterred, he had gone for the button placket of her shirt. She scowled in exasperation. “All right, then,” she snapped, “do as you please! Perhaps afterward we could manage a coherent discussion.” Twisting beneath him, she flopped onto her stomach. Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?” “I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.” Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?” “Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over her shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask. “Isn’t it?” His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?” “No, but I’ve read about it.” Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?” “Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals, and--” She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement. Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing. “Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all--” She broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me?” Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m…I’m not laughing at you.” “You are!” “No I’m not. It’s just…” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels…” “Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
7. Energy. Your degree of personal energy and enthusiasm has a great deal to do with whether or not someone will want to hear the message you are trying to communicate. Believing in what you have to say also helps you to overcome interactive inhibition. If you care passionately about something, your life force will flow naturally, energizing you, and you will be able to focus better on getting the message out to others. Before entering an interactive situation, try “turning yourself on.” Put yourself in a peak state of enthusiasm. This might involve playing a piece of music that makes you feel great or thinking back to a time when you felt absolutely unstoppable. By accessing memories of a time when you felt energetic, you can induce the same state again. 8. Pitch and tone of voice. Speaking in a monotone is a quick way to turn off any audience. Practice using a variety of vocal qualities in your speech. Try using a tape recorder to make sure your voice is pleasant to listen to, and that your message matches your tone of voice. People pick up more from the voice tone than from the actual words you use. 9. Animation and gestures. Don’t be afraid to use your body, especially your hands, to use moderate gestures during conversation. Gestures send signals of enthusiasm and energy. Whenever you speak, you are essentially on stage, and appropriate gesturing helps you to communicate. 10. Ability to hold interest of others. In an interview, be prepared to discuss a variety of topics—not just the job you are applying for. And be sure to ask questions (prepare some in advance if necessary). 11. Commitment. This attribute has to do with caring passionately—about yourself, the other person, and the message you are trying to convey. If you convey that you can make a positive difference in the prospective workplace, you are much more likely to influence the interviewer and leave him or her with a lasting positive impression of you. 12. Ability to make others feel comfortable. In order to make others comfortable, you must first appear comfortable yourself. Practice looking more comfortable and relaxed by watching yourself in the mirror. Encouraging others to speak openly and freely also helps them to feel more comfortable and at ease with you. Dominating a conversation makes others feel uncomfortable very quickly. Asking others for their opinions, feelings, and values opens them up to you equally quickly. In an interview situation, it is usually a good idea to let the interviewer do most of the talking. Again, prepare some questions to get a two-way conversation going. All twelve elements are essential for good communication. They should work together in harmony, and each element should support the overall message you are communicating.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
Show me something." "What would you like to see?" "Anything. Dazzle me with your boring, practical Alben magic." Sir Bird preens next to me, tucking feathers into place with a low noise in his throat almost like he's talking to himself. A slow smile spreads across Finn's face as he rubs his knuckles - black and blue with several bruises from Sir Bird's beak. "Let's see," he says, flipping through his father's book. "Here! I'll need some water in a shallow bowl ... ink ... yes, I think this is everything." He gathers the items, then reads over the entry several times, eyebrows knit in concentration. Dipping his pen in the ink, he whispers strange words while writing on the surface of the water. The ink drips down, elongating the form of the symbols that still hover where he wrote them. I recognize one - change. But the rest I haven't learned yet. Then, without warning, he lifts up the bowl and dumps the whole thing onto Sir Bird. Only instead of getting wet, as the water washes over his body, Sir Bird's feathers turn ... blue. Bright, brilliant, shimmering blue. Squawking in outrage, Sir Bird hops and flies around the room, frantically shaking his feathers. He lands on the desk with a scrabble of clawed feet, then begins trying to bite off the color. "Ha!" Finn says, pointing at his knuckles. "Now you're black and blue, too!" I can't help but laugh at my poor, panicking bird. Not to mention the ridiculous pettiness of Finn's magic show. Picking up Sir Bird, I stroke his feathers and speak softly to him. "Hush now. I'll make him fix you. You're still very handsome, but blue isn't your color, is it?" He caws mournfully, still pulling at his own feathers. "Finn." He puts his hands behind his back, trying to look innocent. "What? He deserved it." "He's a bird. You can't really find this much satisfaction in revenge against a bird, can you?" His voice comes out just a tad petulant. "He started it. Besides, I made it temporary. It'll wear off within the hour." "There now." I kiss Sir Bird's head and set him on my shoulder. "You'll be back to yourself in no time." "Tell him to stop pecking at me.' "Perhaps you deserve it.
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
Do you need to start changing the channel? Are you reliving every hurt, disappointment, and bad break? As long as you’re replaying the negative, you will never fully heal. It’s like a scab that’s starting to get better, but it will only get worse if you pick at it. Emotional wounds are the same way. If you’re always reliving your hurts and watching them on the movie screen of your mind--talking about them, and telling your friends--that’s just reopening the wound. You have to change the channel. When you look back over your life, can you find one good thing that has happened? Can you remember one time where you know it was the hand of God, promoting you, protecting you, and healing you? Switch over to that channel. Get your mind going in a new direction. A reporter asked me not long ago what my biggest failure has been, my biggest regret. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I don’t remember what my biggest failure was. I don’t dwell on that. I’m not watching that channel. We all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we had done differently. You can lean from your mistakes, but you’re not supposed to keep them in the forefront of your mind. You’re supposed to remember the things you did right: The times you succeeded. The times you overcame the temptation. The times you were kind to strangers. Some people are not happy because they remember every mistake they’ve made since 1927. They’ve got a running list. Do yourself a big favor and change the channel. Quit dwelling on how you don’t measure up and how you just should have been more disciplined, should have stayed in school, or should have spent more time with your children. You may have fallen down, but focus on the fact that you got back up. You’re here today. You may have made a poor choice, but dwell on your good choices. You may have some weaknesses, but remember your strengths. Quit focusing on what’s wrong with you and start focusing on what’s right with you. You won’t ever become all you were created to be if you’re against yourself. You have to retrain your mind. Be disciplined about what you dwell on.
Joel Osteen (You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner)
Nora sobered and turned back to the windows, her breath fogging the glass. "We may as well lay some ground rules if we're going to be stuck here for a few days." "Okay." "You can keep the bed, I prefer the sofa. I don't cook. I'm not a maid, so pick up after yourself. You can eat whatever you can find in the kitchen, but I'll warn you, I don't keep much. I prefer my privacy, so you'll have to occupy yourself. Any questions? "Only one." She turned to face him. "What are you hiding from?
Jennifer Lowery (Taking Chances (short story))
A horse and a chicken are playing in a meadow. The horse falls into a mud hole and is sinking fast. He calls to the chicken to go and get the farmer to help pull him out to safety. The chicken runs to the farm but the farmer can’t be found, so he drives the farmer’s Mercedes back to the mud hole and ties some rope around the bumper. He then throws the other end of the rope to the horse and drives the car forward, saving him from sinking! A few days later the chicken and the horse are playing in the meadow again and the chicken falls into the same mud hole. The chicken yells to the horse to go and get the farmer to save him. The horse says, “There’s no time for that! I think I can stand over the hole!” So he stretches over the width of the hole and says, “Grab for my cock and pull yourself up.” The chicken does as he’s told and pulls himself to safety. The moral of the story? If you are hung like a horse, you don’t need a Mercedes to pick up chicks.
Barry Dougherty (Friars Club Private Joke File: More Than 2,000 Very Naughty Jokes from the Grand Masters of Comedy)
For a true radio amateur, there is no substitute for a real, on-the-air, shortwave radio contact. Some may wonder why we bother with all the radios and antennas, and all the uncertainty caused by sunspots and atmospheric conditions. Why not just pick up the phone and talk to whomever you want? Well, there is just something special about pulling a faint voice out of the ether using your own antenna and radio equipment, and then sending your voice back over the same ethereal path. The thrill is intensified greatly if you have built all or part of the equipment yourself.
Bill Meara (SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics)
The burglar took two quick, long strides to Edith’s side of the bed and reached for a collar. “What’s he doing?!” a wide-eyed Edith asked Stick Cat in an angry whisper. She breathed fast, her shoulders were hunched a bit, and the fur on her back was up. “He’s stealing, Edith.” “My collars?! My daily collars?! My beautiful, colorful collars?!” “Yes.” “He’s stealing from me?!” “Yes.” “A cat?!” “That’s right.” “But I’m a good kitty.” “I know you are.” “I’m a great kitty!” “I know.” “I’m a fabulous, beautiful, and totally modest kitty!” “Mm-hmm.” “And Tuna Todd is stealing from me?” “I’m afraid so.” It took several seconds for Edith to consider and digest this information. As she did, the man began to pick her collars off the pegs one by one. He reached for the first one—Monday’s collar—with his greedy, grabby left hand. “Stick Cat,” Edith said, and looked him right in the eyes. “Yes?” “I don’t like Tuna Todd anymore.” Stick Cat used all his effort to suppress a smile. He knew this was a scary situation, but at this exact moment he was amused that it took something being stolen from Edith herself for her to finally understand the situation. “I’m sorry about your collars,” Stick Cat said. “And I’m sorry Tuna Todd didn’t turn out to be as nice as you thought.” “We should have figured it out earlier,” hissed Edith. “Umm,” Stick Cat said, and stopped. It seemed like he was contemplating the right words to use. “You’re right. If only I had been clever enough to figure out what he was doing.” “Don’t blame yourself, Stick Cat,” Edith said. “Thankfully, you have me here to help.
Tom Watson (Stick Cat: Two Catch a Thief)
I’m trying to make a profit. I’m using batteries, toilet paper, and paper towels as currency. Each is something that will eventually be in short supply.” “You’re trying to get all the toilet paper in town?” Astrid shrilled. “Are you kidding?” “No, Astrid, I’m not kidding,” Albert said. “Look, right now, kids are playing with the stuff. I saw little kids throwing rolls of it around on their lawns like it was a toy. So—” “So your solution is to try and take it all away from people?” “You’d rather see it wasted?” “Yeah, actually,” Astrid huffed. “Rather than you getting it all for yourself. You’re acting like a jerk.” Albert’s eyes flared. “Look, Astrid, now kids know they can buy their way into the club with it. So they’re not going to waste it anymore.” “No, they’re going to give it all to you,” she shot back. “And what happens when they need some?” “Then there will still be some left because I made it valuable.” “Valuable to you.” “Valuable to everyone, Astrid.” “It’s you taking advantage of kids dumb enough not to know any better. Sam, you have to put a stop to this.” Sam had drifted away from the conversation, his head full of the music. He snapped back. “She’s right, Albert, this isn’t okay. You didn’t get permission—” “I didn’t think I needed permission to give kids what they want. I mean, I’m not threatening anyone, saying, ‘Give me your toilet paper, give me your batteries.’ I’m just playing some music and saying, ‘If you want to come in and dance, then it’ll cost you.’” “Dude, I respect you being ambitious and all,” Sam said. “But I have to shut this down. You never got permission, even, let alone asked us if it was okay to charge people.” Albert said, “Sam, I respect you more than I can even say. And Astrid, you are way smarter than me. But I don’t see how you have the right to shut me down.” That was it for Sam. “Okay, I tried to be nice. But I am the mayor. I was elected, as you probably remember, since I think you voted for me.” “I did. I’d do it again, man. But Sam, Astrid, you guys are wrong here. This club is about all these kids have that can get them together for a good time. They’re sitting in their homes starving and feeling sad and scared. When they’re dancing, they forget how hungry and sad they are. This is a good thing I’m doing.” Sam stared hard at Albert, a stare that kids in Perdido Beach took seriously. But Albert did not back down. “Sam, how many cantaloupes did Edilio manage to bring back with kids who were rounded up and forced to work?” Albert asked. “Not many,” Sam admitted. “Orc picked a whole truckload of cabbage. Before the zekes figured out how to get at him. Because we paid Orc to work.” “He did it because he’s the world’s youngest alcoholic and you paid him with beer,” Astrid snapped. “I know what you want, Albert. You want to get everything for yourself and be this big, important guy. But you know what? This is a whole new world. We have a chance to make it a better world. It doesn’t have to be about some people getting over on everyone else. It can be fair to everyone.” Albert laughed. “Everyone can be equally hungry. In a week or so, everyone can starve.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))