Severe Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Severe. Here they are! All 200 of them:

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.
William Styron (Conversations with William Styron)
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year-old.
John Green (Paper Towns)
I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass)
Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?" Mo had said..."As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells...and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower...both strange and familiar.
Cornelia Funke (Inkspell (Inkworld, #2))
I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, "I want to go too! I want to go too!" And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: "We are all going.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
I'm about to make a wild, extreme and severe relationship rule: the word busy is a load of crap and is most often used by assholes. The word "busy" is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. It seems like a good excuse, but in fact in every silo you uncover, all you're going to find is a man who didn't care enough to call. Remember men are never to busy to get what they want.
Greg Behrendt
The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
In books and in life, you need to read several pages before someone's true character is revealed.
Gail Carson Levine
When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Gus: "It tastes like..." Me: "Food." Gus: "Yes, precisely. It tastes like food, excellently prepared. But it does not taste, how do I put this delicately...?" Me: "It does not taste like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes which were then served to you accompanied by several luminous balls of fermented, bubbly plasma while actual and literal flower petals floated down around your canal-side dinner table." Gus: "Nicely phrased." Gus's father: "Our children are weird." My dad: "Nicely phrased.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
To paraphrase several sages: Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time.
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
But-" Maia, still looking at Alec and Magnus, broke off and rasied her eyebrows. Simon turned to see what she was looking at - and stared. Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him full on the mouth. Magnus, who appeared to be in a state of shock, stood frozen. Several groups of people - Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike - were staring and whispering. Glancing to the side, Simon saw the Lightwoods, their eyes widen, gaping at the display. Maryse had her hand over her mouth. Maia looked perplexed. "Wait a second," she said. "Do we all have to do that, too?
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Will: "Nice place to live, isn't it? Let's hope they left something behind other than filth. Forwarding addresses, a few severed limbs, a prostitute or two ..." Jem: "Indeed. Perhaps, if we're fortunate, we can still catch syphilis." "Or demon pox," Will suggested cheerfully, trying the door under the stairs.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.
George Orwell (Animal Farm)
He f**ks even better than he looks”, I settled on saying. Several heads turned. I didn’t care; I was pissed. “And that beautiful face is going to be clamped between my legs as soon as we get home, don’t you worry.
Jeaniene Frost (Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4))
Multiple experiments with spirit contact transmitted the name Matthew Edward Hall on several occasions. I predict this to be a very important future individual in humanities development. Possibly the second embodiment of Christ on Earth.
G.I. Gurdjieff (Gurdjieff's Early Talks 1914-1931: In Moscow, St. Petersburg, Essentuki, Tiflis, Constantinople, Berlin, Paris, London, Fontainebleau, New York, and Chicago)
Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while
Groucho Marx
There are a hundred things she has tried to chase away the things she won't remember and that she can't even let herself think about because that's when the birds scream and the worms crawl and somewhere in her mind it's always raining a slow and endless drizzle. You will hear that she has left the country, that there was a gift she wanted you to have, but it is lost before it reaches you. Late one night the telephone will sign, and a voice that might be hers will say something that you cannot interpret before the connection crackles and is broken. Several years later, from a taxi, you will see someone in a doorway who looks like her, but she will be gone by the time you persuade the driver to stop. You will never see her again. Whenever it rains you will think of her.
Neil Gaiman
Jesper couldn’t quite believe he was having a conversation with the Sturmhond. The privateer was a legend. He’d broken countless blockades on behalf of the Ravkans and there were rumors that… “Do you really have a flying ship? blurted Jesper. “No.” “Oh.” “I have several.” “Take me with you.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Harry looked around; there was Ginny running toward him; she had a hard blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her. After several long moments, or it might have been half an hour-or possibly several sunlit days- they broke apart.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
I was not a hypocrite, with one real face and several false ones. I had several faces because I was young and didn't know who I was or wanted to be.
Milan Kundera (The Joke)
. . . gentleness is stronger than severity, water is stronger than rock, love is stronger than force.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it's when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it's when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It's when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there's nothing there...
Stephen King
There’s a Korean word my grandma taught me. It’s called jung. It’s the connection between two people that can’t be severed, even when love turns to hate. You still have those old feelings for them; you can’t ever completely shake them loose of you; you will always have tenderness in your heart for them.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Today was a very cold and bitter day, as cold and bitter as a cup of hot chocolate, if the cup of hot chocolate had vinegar added to it and were placed in a refrigerator for several hours.
Lemony Snicket
There is a difference between admitting and confessing. Admitting involves softening, making excuses for things that cannot be excused; confessing just names the crimes at its full severity.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells... to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.
Dave Barry
When I dream, I dream of him. For several nights now he’s come to me, waving from a distant shore as if he’s been waiting patiently for me to arrive. He doesn’t utter a word, but his smile says everything: I’ve missed you.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
Whenever someone who knows you disappears, you lose one version of yourself. Yourself as you were seen, as you were judged to be. Lover or enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us, and their several knowings slant the different facets of our characters like diamond-cutter's tools. Each such loss is a step leading to the grave, where all versions blend and end.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
I’m about to make a wild, extreme, and severe relationship rule: THE WORD "BUSY" IS A LOAD OF CRAP AND IS MOST OFTEN USED BY ASSHOLES. The word “busy” is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. Remember: Men are never too busy to get what they want.
Greg Behrendt (He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys)
He taught me there's a place on a man's back where, if you sink a blade in, you can pierce his heart and sever his spine, all at once,' Sebastian had said. 'I guess we got the same birthday present that year, big brother,' Jace thought. 'Didn't we?
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.' If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you'd seen. They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the 'mind adventures' got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren't unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.' So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
One must pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while still alive.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Look at the time." I tipped my chin toward the clock. "It's past midnight. It's January second. You lost." For several moments he stared at the clock like it was an Arum he was about to blast into the next county and then his eyes found mine. Daemon smiled. "No. I didn't lose. I still won.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.
Abigail Adams
So there's magic? Real magic? It's not just all scientific like David says?" Tamani rolled his eyes. "David again?" Laurel bristled. "He's my friend. My best friend." "Not your boyfriend?" "No. I mean...no." Tamani stared at her for several seconds. "So the position's still open?" Laurel rolled her eyes. "We are so not having this conversation.
Aprilynne Pike (Wings (Wings, #1))
After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, "You named your breasts?" I turned my back to him with a shrug. "I named my ovaries, too, but they don't get out as much.
Darynda Jones (First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1))
This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.
Gary Provost
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
Some people—and I am one of them—hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm. Doom should not jam. The avalanche stopping in its tracks a few feet above the cowering village behaves not only unnaturally but unethically.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pnin)
[Harry] had always suffered from a vague restlessness, a longing for adventure that she told herself severely was the result of reading too many novels when she was a small child.
Robin McKinley (The Blue Sword (Damar, #1))
Enduring and forgiving are two different things. You must not forgive the cruelty of this world. It's our duty as human beings to be angry at injustice. But we must also endure it. Because someone must sever this chain of hatred.
Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 18 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #18))
Patch was dressed in the usual: black shirt, black jeans and a thin silver necklace that flashed against his dark complexion. His sleeves were pushed up his forearms, and I could see his muscles working as he punched buttons. He was tall and lean and hard, and I wouldn't have been surprised if under his clothes he bore several scars, souvenirs from street fights and other reckless behavior. Not that I wanted a look under his clothes.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.” I pointed to my right breast. “This is Danger.” Then my left. “And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.” After a long pause in which he took the time to blink several times, he asked, “You named your breasts?” I turned my back to him with a shrug. “I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.
Darynda Jones (First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1))
How sad. A leader bereft of followers. An angel with severed wings. A warrior without a sword.” Beliel circles Raffe like a shark as he taunts him. “You have nothing left." "He has me," I say.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
God never witholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God's refusals are always merciful -- "severe mercies" at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better.
Elisabeth Elliot
...You can only subject people to anguish who have a conscience. You can only punish people who have hopes to frustrate or attachments to sever; who worry what you think of them. You can really only punish people who are already a little bit good.
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.
Stephen Fry (Paperweight)
With her Florentino Ariza learned what he had already experienced many times without realizing it: that one can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the same sorrow with each, and not betray any of them. Alone in the midst of the crowd on the pier, he said to himself in a flash of anger: 'My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
By then she was dead. In fact, she may have been dead a while ago. Physically, several seconds ago, mentally, ages ago.
Koushun Takami (Battle Royale)
There's a fine edge to new grief, it severs nerves, disconnects reality--there's mercy in a sharp blade. Only with time, as the edge wears, does the real ache begin.
Christopher Moore
But there were worse things than disappointment, and I'd lived through several of them already.
R.J. Anderson (Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1))
One can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the sorrow with each, and not betray any of them.
Gabriel García Márquez
She likes to read, she reads all the time, and she prefers to be reading several things at once, she says it gives endless perspective and dimension.
Ali Smith (Autumn (Seasonal Quartet, #1))
Daemon followed me home after school. Literally. He tailed me in his new Infiniti SUV. My old Camry, with its leaky exhaust and loud muffler, was no match for the speed he wanted to go. I’d brake-checked him several times. He’d blown his horn. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
He is not to them what he is to me," I thought: "he is not of their kind. I believe he is of mine- I am sure he is- I feel akin to him- I understand the language of his countenance and movements: though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain and heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
It is absurd to pretend that one cannot love the same woman always, as to pretend that a good artist needs several violins to execute a piece of music.
Honoré de Balzac
A good book should leave you....slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.
William Styron
There are several ways to react to being lost. One is to panic: this was usually Valentina's first impulse. Another is to abandon yourself to lostness, to allow the fact that you've misplaced yourself to change the way you experience the world.
Audrey Niffenegger (Her Fearful Symmetry)
Since I don't smoke, I decided to grow a mustache - it is better for the health. However, I always carried a jewel-studded cigarette case in which, instead of tobacco, were carefully placed several mustaches, Adolphe Menjou style. I offered them politely to my friends: "Mustache? Mustache? Mustache?" Nobody dared to touch them. This was my test regarding the sacred aspect of mustaches.
Salvador Dalí (Dalí's Mustache)
I am convinced that the act of thinking logically cannot possibly be natural to the human mind. If it were, then mathematics would be everybody's easiest course at school and our species would not have taken several millennia to figure out the scientific method.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist)
But in the real world, you couldnt really just split a family down the middle, mom on one side, dad the other, with the child equally divided between. It was like when you ripped a piece of paper into two: no matter how you tried, the seams never fit exactly right again. It was what you couldn't see, those tiniest of pieces, that were lost in the severing, and their absence kept everything from being complete.
Sarah Dessen (What Happened to Goodbye)
I don't see what's so triffic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset cos' they act like people", said Adam severely. "Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.
David Livingstone
When you think yours is the only true path you forever chain yourself to judging others and narrow the vision of God. The road to righteousness and arrogance is a parallel road that can intersect each other several times throughout a person's life. It’s often hard to recognize one road from another. What makes them different is the road to righteousness is paved with the love of humanity. The road to arrogance is paved with the love of self.
Shannon L. Alder
The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne. The prevention of many suicides will continue to be hindered until there is a general awareness of the nature of this pain.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
It is part of the human nature always to judge others very severely and,when the wind turns against us,always to find an excuse for our own misdeeds,or to blame someone else for our mistakes.
Paulo Coelho (Like the Flowing River)
I love you, too," she said. Nathaniel's brow furrowed. He turned his face to the side and blinks several times. "Thank God," he said finally. "I don't think unrequited love would have suited me. I might have started writing poetry.
Margaret Rogerson (Sorcery of Thorns (Sorcery of Thorns, #1))
As Lothaire lifted the lid with a sense of dread, Nïx murmured, “Hint: it’s the middle one.” Elizabeth’s fragile finger.Seeing it severed like this brought on a visceral reaction—pain shooting through his own hand, radiating throughout his regenerated heart. He closed the lid with a swallow, sentimentally pocketing the package. “You gave her your heart, and she gave you the bird.” Nïx sighed. “Songs will be written about this.
Kresley Cole (Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #11))
It came charging toward me, several hundred pounds of angry-looking monster, and I did the only thing any reasonable wizard could have done. I turned around and ran like hell.
Jim Butcher (Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5))
I love how you aren't weird and awkward, despite the fact that you've been severely cut off from socialization to the point where you make the Amish look trendy.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Lost in thought, it took her several moments to realize that Jace had been saying something to her. When she blinked at him, she saw a wry grin spread across his face. "What?" she asked, ungraciously. "I wish you'd stop desperately trying to get my attention like this," he said. "It's become embarrassing." "Sarcasm is the last refuge of the imaginatively bankrupt," she told him. "I can't help it. I use my rapier wit to hide my inner pain." "Your pain will be outer soon if you don't get out of traffic. Are you trying to get run over by a cab?" "Don't be ridiculous," he said. "We could never get a cab that easily in this neighborhood.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
How much does a man live, after all?/ Does he live a thousand days, or one only? For a week, or for several centuries?/ How long does a man spend dying?/ What does it mean to say 'for ever'?
Pablo Neruda
You think these recent events are everything. You think Aaron fell in love with your friend of several months, a rebel girl named Juliette. You don't know. You don't know. You don't know that Aaron has been in love with Ella for the better part of his entire life. They've known each other since childhood...…..The reason he had to keep wiping their memories was because it didn't matter how many times he reset the story or remade the introductions - Aaron always fell in love with her. Every time. - Delalieu
Tahereh Mafi (Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5))
I love you,' Buttercup said. 'I know this must come as something of a surprise to you, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter.' Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. 'I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now then when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.' And with that, she dared the bravest thing she'd ever done; she looked right into his eyes.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong. I will love you as a battlefield loves young men and as peppermints love your allergies, and I will love you as the banana peel loves the shoe of a man who was just struck by a shingle falling off a house. I will love you as a volunteer fire department loves rushing into burning buildings and as burning buildings love to chase them back out, and as a parachute loves to leave a blimp and as a blimp operator loves to chase after it. I will love you as a dagger loves a certain person’s back, and as a certain person loves to wear dagger proof tunics, and as a dagger proof tunic loves to go to a certain dry cleaning facility, and how a certain employee of a dry cleaning facility loves to stay up late with a pair of binoculars, watching a dagger factory for hours in the hopes of catching a burglar, and as a burglar loves sneaking up behind people with binoculars, suddenly realizing that she has left her dagger at home. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguised and until every home is rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods, and until every criminal is handcuffed by the laziest of policemen. I will love until M. hates snakes and J. hates grammar, and I will love you until C. realizes S. is not worthy of his love and N. realizes he is not worthy of the V. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple, and until the apple hates a tree and the tree hates a nest, and until a bird hates a tree and an apple hates a nest, although honestly I cannot imagine that last occurrence no matter how hard I try. I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where we once we were so close that we could slip the curved straw, and the long, slender spoon, between our lips and fingers respectively. I will love you until the chances of us running into one another slip from slim to zero, and until your face is fogged by distant memory, and your memory faced by distant fog, and your fog memorized by a distant face, and your distance distanced by the memorized memory of a foggy fog. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, no matter where you avoid and who you don’t see, and no matter who sees you avoiding where you go. I will love you no matter what happens to you, and no matter how I discover what happens to you, and no matter what happens to me as I discover this, and now matter how I am discovered after what happens to me as I am discovering this.
Lemony Snicket
There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.
Mark Twain
A phenomenon that a number of people have noted while in deep depression is the sense of being accompanied by a second self — a wraithlike observer who, not sharing the dementia of his double, is able to watch with dispassionate curiosity as his companion struggles against the oncoming disaster, or decides to embrace it. There is a theatrical quality about all this, and during the next several days, as I went about stolidly preparing for extinction, I couldn't shake off a sense of melodrama — a melodrama in which I, the victim-to-be of self-murder, was both the solitary actor and lone member of the audience.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
Feelings come and feelings go, And feelings are deceiving; My warrant is the Word of God-- Naught else is worth believing. Though all my heart should feel condemned For want of some sweet token, There is One greater than my heart Whose Word cannot be broken. I'll trust in God's unchanging Word Till soul and body sever, For, though all things shall pass away, HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER!
Martin Luther
They danced in silence for several long moments, spinning together and apart, a slower version of their cadence in the ring. And then, out of nowhere, Lila asked, “Why?” “Why what?” “Why did you ask me to dance?” He almost smiled. A ghost. A trick of the light. “So you couldn’t run away again before I said hello.” “Hello,” said Lila. “Hello,” said Kell. “Where have you been?
Victoria Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
How well I know with what burning intensity you live. You have experienced many lives already, including several you have shared with me- full rich lives from birth to death, and you just have to have these rest periods in between.
Anaïs Nin
Every man desires to live long, but no man wishes to be old.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World.)
It sounded like a piece of blackboard being dragged over the nails of a wall of severed fingers.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
I once watched several criminals engage in an organized argument, while an audience of supporters cheered them on, but I was so disgusted that I had to turn off the political debate.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
Sean reaches between us and slides a thin bracelet of red ribbons over my free hand. Lifting my arm, he presses his lips against the inside of my wrist. I'm utterly still; I feel my pulse tap several times against his lips, and then he releases my hand. "For luck," he says. He takes Dove's lead from me. "Sean," I say, and he turns. I take his chin and kiss his lips, hard. I'm reminded, all of a sudden, of that first day on the beach, when I pulled his head from the water. "For luck," I say to his startled face.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?
Jay Leno
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.
Ashleigh Brilliant
I'm very emotional; I think I may go mad in several years' time.
Freddie Mercury
If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options. You can climb it and cross to the other side. You can go around it. You can dig under it. You can fly over it. You can blow it up. You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there. You can turn around and go back the way you came. Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Once I got home, though, and saw several packages on my front porch, all the crap from the day disappeared. A few had smiley faces on them. Squealing, I grabbed the boxes. Books were inside-- new release books I'd preordered weeks ago.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Obsidian (Lux, #1))
Perhaps you are thinking: 'But a tank costs several million dollars, not including floor mats. I don't have that kind of money.' Don't be silly. You're a consumer, right? You have credit cards, right? Perhaps you are thinking: 'Yes, but how am I going to pay the credit-card company?' Don't be silly. You have a tank, right?
Dave Barry
They were more severely infected than the men, because while men were always getting furious, they calmed down in the end; women, who appeared to be silent, acquiescent, when they were angry flew into a rage that had no end.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1))
It's impossible to be the Mockingjay. Impossible to complete even this one sentence. Because now I know that everything I say will be directly taken out on Peeta. Result in his torture. But not his death, no, nothing so merciful as that. Snow will ensure that his life is much more worse than death. "Cut," I hear Cressida say quietly. "What's wrong with her?" Plutarch says under his breath. "She's figured out how Snow's using Peeta," says Finnick. There's something like a collective sigh of regret from that semicircle of people spread out before me. Because I know this now. Because there will never be a way for me to not know this again. Because, beyond the military disadvantage losing a entails, I am broken. Several sets of arms would embrace me. But in the end, the only person I truly want to comfort me is Haymitch, because he loves Peeta, too. I reach out for him and say something like his name and he's there, holding me and patting my back. "It's okay. It'll be okay, sweetheart." He sits me on a length of broken marble pillar and keeps an arm around me while I sob. "I can't do this anymore," I say. "I know," he says.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Abuse manipulates and twists a child’s natural sense of trust and love. Her innocent feelings are belittled or mocked and she learns to ignore her feelings. She can’t afford to feel the full range of feelings in her body while she’s being abused—pain, outrage, hate, vengeance, confusion, arousal. So she short-circuits them and goes numb. For many children, any expression of feelings, even a single tear, is cause for more severe abuse. Again, the only recourse is to shut down. Feelings go underground.
Laura Davis (Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Is a Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse)
There is one bright side to this," said Fang. Yeah? What's that?" The new and improved Erasers would mutilate us before they killed us? He grinned at me so unexpectedly I forgot to flap for a second and dropped several feet. "You looove me," he crooned smugly. Holding his arms out wide he added, "You love me this much." My shriek of appalled rage could probably be heard in California, or maybe Hawaii.
James Patterson (Max (Maximum Ride, #5))
Some damage is too severe, some harm endures. And what you have to do is accept it. And by accept it I mean, don’t be the paralyzed person in the bed who is waiting to walk again. Realize, it’s never gonna happen. And find some other way to get around –swing from a vine, get a Mad Max wheelchair. Anything but…wait.
Augusten Burroughs
Once upon a time in the dead of winter in the Dakota Territory, Theodore Roosevelt took off in a makeshift boat down the Little Missouri River in pursuit of a couple of thieves who had stolen his prized rowboat. After several days on the river, he caught up and got the draw on them with his trusty Winchester, at which point they surrendered. Then Roosevelt set off in a borrowed wagon to haul the thieves cross-country to justice. They headed across the snow-covered wastes of the Badlands to the railhead at Dickinson, and Roosevelt walked the whole way, the entire 40 miles. It was an astonishing feat, what might be called a defining moment in Roosevelt’s eventful life. But what makes it especially memorable is that during that time, he managed to read all of Anna Karenina. I often think of that when I hear people say they haven’t time to read.
David McCullough
We had no idea what waited ahead of us, other than the big, fat unknown, and most likely a big, fat kick in the face. The gravity of that was killing me-killing us I squared my shoulders. "Release the Kraken!" Several sets of eyes settled on me. "What?" I gave a lopsided shrug. "I've always wanted to yell that since I saw that movie. Seemed like the perfect moment.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
What was that?" Belgarath asked, coming back around the corner. "Brill," Silk replied blandly, pulling his Murgo robe back on. "Again?" Belgarath demanded with exasperation. "What was he doing this time?" "Trying to fly, last time I saw him." Silk smirked. The old man looked puzzled. "He wasn't doing it very well," Silk added. Belgarath shrugged. "Maybe it'll come to him in time." "He doesn't really have all that much time." Silk glanced out over the edge. "From far below - terribly far below - there came a faint, muffled crash; then, after several seconds, another. "Does bouncing count?" Silk asked. Belgarath made a wry face. "Not really." "Then I'd say he didn't learn in time." Silk said blithely.
David Eddings (Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #3))
A marriage is a private thing. It has its own wild laws, and secret histories, and savage acts, and what passes between married people is incomprehensible to outsiders. We look terrible to you, and severe, and you see our blood flying, but what we carry between us is hard-won, and we made it just as we wished it to be, just the color, just the shape.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script. It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
You are beyond mad," said Locke after several moments of silent, furious thought. "Full-on barking madness is a state of rational bliss to which you may not aspire. Men living in gutters and drinking their own piss would shun your company. You are a prancing lunatic.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
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))
As you get older, the heart shed its leaves like a tree. You cannot hold out against certain winds. Each day tears away a few more leaves; and then there are the storms that break off several branches at one go. And while nature’s greenery grows back again in the spring, that of the heart never grows back.
Gustave Flaubert
Daemon snatched the yellow packages from my hands. “Oh! Books! You have books!” I laughed as several people waiting in line looked over their shoulders. “Hand them over.” He clutched them to his chest, making moony eyes. “My life is now complete.” “My life would be complete if I could actually post a review on something other than the school library computers.” I did that about twice a week since my latest laptop went to the big computer heaven in the sky.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
Do you always wear underwear like this, or is it for me?” I rolled to my back and pulled the sheet to my waist. “It isn’t for you, I’ve been wearing underwear like this since Gram gave me my first Frederick’s of Hollywood box on my sixteenth birthday. Now, I owe Victoria’s Secret my first-born child.” Before speaking again, Lee waited several seconds that can only be described as ‘loaded silence’. While this silence was going on, he pulled the sheet back down. “You’re tellin’ me that since you were sixteen you’ve been sittin’ next to me every year at Christmas Dinner wearin’ underwear like this?
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick (Rock Chick, #1))
Have you thought of an ending?" "Yes, several, and all are dark and unpleasant." "Oh, that won't do! Books ought to have good endings. How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever after?" "It will do well, if it ever came to that." "Ah! And where will they live? That's what I often wonder.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Rules for Living by Olivia Joules 1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think. 2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you. 3. Never change haircut or color before an important event. 4. Nothing is either as bad or good as it seems. 5. Do as you would be done by, e.g. thou shalt not kill. 6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like. 7. Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it really matter?" 8. The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure. 9. Be honest and kind. 10. Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance. 11. Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination. 12. When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it's really a disaster by doing the following: (a) think, "Oh, fuck it," (b) look on the bright side, and if that doesn't work, look on the funny side. If neither of the above works then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 4. 13. Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
Helen Fielding (Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination)
Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have "essential" and "long overdue" meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.
J.K. Rowling
Jem raised his hand, and his witchlight flared into life, frightening a group of blackbeetles. They scurried across the floor, causing Will to grimace. “Nice place to live, isn’t it? Let’s hope they left something behind other than filth. Forwarding addresses, a few severed limbs, a prostitute or two…” “Indeed. Perhaps, if we’re fortunate, we can still catch syphilis.” “Or demon pox,” Will suggested cheerfully, trying the door under the stairs. It swung open, unlocked as the front door had been. “There’s always demon pox.” “Demon pox does not exist.” “Oh ye of little faith,” said Will, disappearing into the darkness under the stairs.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Several sets of arms would embrace me. But in the end, the only person I truly want to comfort me is Haymitch, because he loves Peeta, too. I reach out for him and say something like his name and he's there, holding me and patting my back. "It's okay. It'll be okay, sweetheart." He sits me on a length of broken marble pillar and keeps an arm around me while I sob.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
I miss something I never even had.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
The second I encounter his erection, my jaw drops. “Oh my God, are you kidding me?” He looks startled. “What’s wrong?” “Are you taking human growth hormones or something? I snatch my hand back, fighting another rush of nervousness. “There’s no way that huge man monster is fitting inside me!” Garrett’s head abruptly drops in the crook of his arm as a shudder racks his body. At first I think he’s pissed off. Or maybe even crying. It takes several seconds before I realize what’s happening. He’s laughing. Scratch that – he’s in hysterics.
Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
That's a sweet piece," said Jean, briefly forgetting to be aggravated. "You didn't snatch that off a street." "No," said Locke, before taking another deep draught of the warm water in the decanter. "I got it from the neck of the governor's mistress." "You can't be serious." "In the governor's manor." "Of all the -" "In the governor's bed." "Damned lunatic!" "With the governor sleeping next to her." The night quiet was broken by the high, distant trill of a whistle, the traditional swarming noise of city watches everywhere. Several other whistles joined in a few moments later. "It is possible," said Locke with a sheepish grin, "that I have been slightly too bold.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
I’m sorry about that. I’m sure you didn’t miss me like I missed you, but sometimes the things that matter to you most are also the things that hurt you the most. And in order to get over that hurt, you have to sever all the extensions that keep you tethered to that pain. You were an extension of my pain, so I guess that’s what I was doing. I was just trying to save myself a little bit of agony.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1))
According to Festus, our flying table, Buford, made it back safely while we were in Charleston, so those eagles didn't get him. Unfortunately, he lost the laundry bag with your pants." "Dang it!" Frank Barked, which Leo figured was probably severe profanity for him. No doubt Frank would've cursed some more -busting out the golly gees and the gosh darns- but Percy interrupted by doubling over and groaning. "Did the world just turn upside down?" he asked. Jason pressed his hands to his head. "Yeah, and it's spinning. Everything is yellow. Is it supposed to be yellow?
Rick Riordan
I have my sources." Somehow, saying I'd heard it from my mom sounded less cool. "You've decided, right? I mean, it sounds like a good deal, seeing as she's going to give you fringe benefits..." He gave me a level look. "What happens between her and me is none of your business," he replied crisply. ... Dimitri arched an eyebrow, then jerked his head back where we'd come from. "You hang out in his room a lot?" Several retorts popped into my head, and then a golden one took precedence. "What happens between him and me is none of your business." I managed a tone very similar to he one he'd used on me when making a similar comment about him and Tasha.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
I hate both of my parents right now: for sitting quietly in our house, while out in the darkness my heart was beating away all of the seconds of my life, ticking them off one by one until my time was up; for letting the thread between us stretch so far and so thin that the moment it was severed for good they didn't even feel it.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
William Shakespeare (As You Like It)
The mouthful of turkey sandwich I’d bitten off caught in my throat when Ren rested his hand on my leg, his fingers exploring the curve of my thigh. I coughed and snatched the bottle of water from his other hand, taking several desperate swallows before swatting his fingers from my leg. “Are you trying to kill me?” I choked the words out. “Keep your hands to yourself.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
He trapped my hand against his chest and yanked my sleeve down past my wrist, covering my hand with it. Just as quickly, he did the same thing with the other sleeve. He held my shirt by the cuffs, my hands captured. My mouth opened in protest. Reeling me closer, he didn’t stop until I was directly in front of him. Suddenly he lifted me onto the counter. My face was level with his. He fixed me with a dark, inviting smile. And that’s when I realized this moment had been dancing around the edge of my fantasies for several days now. "Take off your hat," I said, the words tumbling out before I could stop them. He slid it around, the brim facing backward. I scooted to the edge of the counter, my legs dangling one on either side of him. Something inside of me was telling me to stop—but I swept that voice to the far back of my mind. He spread his hands on the counter, just outside my hips. Tilting his head to one side, he moved closer. His scent, which was all damp dark earth, overwhelmed me. I inhaled two sharp breaths. No. This wasn’t right. Not this, not with Patch. He was frightening. In a good way, yes. But also in a bad way. A very bad way. "You should go," I breathed. "You should definitely go." "Go here?" His mouth was on my shoulder. "Or here?" It moved up my neck. My brain couldn’t process one logical thought. Patch’s mouth was roaming north, up over my jaw, gently sucking at my skin... "My legs are falling asleep," I blurted. It wasn’t a total lie. I was experiencing tingling sensations all through my body, legs included. "I could solve that." Patch’s hands closed on my hips.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led.
Spencer W. Kimball
We would be outnumbered a couple hundred to two, by something worse than Erasers. I had no idea if the rest of the Flock would be able to help. It was pretty much a suicide mission. Again. 'There is one bright side to this,' said Fang. 'Yeah? What's that?' The new and improved Erasers would mutilate us before they killed us? He grinned at me so unexpectedly that I forgot to flap for a second and dropped several feet. 'You looove me,' he crooned smugly. Holding his arms out wide, he added, 'You love me this much.' My shriek of appalled rage could probably be heard in California, or maybe Hawaii.
James Patterson (Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride, #3))
The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members
Pearl S. Buck (My Several Worlds)
A general “law of least effort” applies to cognitive as well as physical exertion. The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action. In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of skill is driven by the balance of benefits and costs. Laziness is built deep into our nature.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
How come when mortals want things, their only option is to make a deal with Hell and sell their soul? Why can’t they make deals with God in exchange for good behavior?" It was another of those rare moments when I’d surprised Carter. I waited for the glib answer I’d mentioned to Seth, something along the lines of goodness being its own reward. The angel considered for several seconds. "Humans make those deals all the time," he said finally. "They just don’t make them with God." "Then who are they making them with?" I exclaimed. "Themselves.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, #4))
Grover Underwood of the satyrs!" Dionysus called. Grover came forward nervously. "Oh, stop chewing your shirt," Dionysus chided. "Honestly, I'm not going to blast you. For your bravery and sacrifice, blah, blah, blah, and since we have an unfortunate vacancy, the gods have seen fit to name you a member of the Council of Cloven Elders." Grover collapsed on the spot. "Oh, wonderful," Dionysus sighed, as several naiads came forward to help Grover. "Well, when he wakes up, someone tell him that he will no longer be an outcast, and that all satyrs, naiads, and other spirits of nature will henceforth treat him as a lord of the Wild, with all rights, privileges, and honors, blah, blah, blah. Now please, drag him off before he wakes up and starts groveling." "FOOOOOD," Grover moaned, as the nature spirits carried him away. I figured he'd be okay. He would wake up as a lord of the Wild with a bunch of beautiful naiads taking care of him. Life could be worse.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Two students severely injured, you yourself covered in blood, a Reaper on the premises, a Fenrir wolf running around loose somewhere, and extensive property damage to the resort. Well?" Nickamedes snapped. "What do you have to say for yourself, Gwendolyn?" I thought for a second, then grinned at him. "I followed your directions exactly. I never set one foot outside the hotel.
Jennifer Estep (Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy, #2))
Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.
Alexander Pope (Miscellanies in Verse and Prose. by Alexander Pope, Esq; And Dean Swift. in One Volume. Viz. the Strange and Deplorable Frensy of Mr. John Dennis. ... Epitaph on Francis Ch-Is. Soldier and Scholar. with Several More Epigrams, Epitaphs, and Poems.)
The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict? The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict. The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict. (Junky, Prologue, p. xxxviii)
William S. Burroughs (Junky)
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free enquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves.
Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia)
So we all have to do that?' Maia said. 'Get drawn on, I mean.' Only if you're going to fight,' Isabelle said, looking at the other girl coldly. 'You don't look eighteen yet.' Maia smiled tightly. 'I'm not a Shadowhunter. Lycanthropes are considered adults at sixteen.' Well, you have to get drawn on, then,' said Isabelle. 'By a Shadowhunter. So you'd better look for one.' But--' Maia, still looking over at Alec and Magnus, broke off and raised her eyebrows. Simon turned to see what she was looking at--and stared. Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him, full on the mouth. Magnus, who appeared to be in a state of shock, stood frozen. Several groups of people--Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike--were staring and whispering. Glancing to the side, Simon saw the Lightwoods, their eyes wide, gaping at the display. Maryse had her hand over her mouth. Maia looked perplexed. 'Wait a second,' she said. 'Do we all have to do that, too.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
He uncovered the boat, his hands working the knots like he'd been doing it his whole life. Under the tarp was an old steel rowboat with no oars. The boat had been painted dark blue at one point, but the hull was so crusted with tar and salt it looked like one massive nautical bruise. On the bow, the name Pax was still readable, lettered in gold. Painted eyes drooped sadly at the water level, as if the boat were about to fall asleep. On board were two benches, some steel wool, an old cooler, and a mound of frayed rope with one end tied to the mooring. At the bottom of the boat, a plastic bag and two empty Coke cans floated in several inches of scummy water. "Behold," Frank said. "The mighty Roman navy.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
Have a care, Sir Tucker, lest you find yourself in the stockades." He scoffs and looks at Mr. Erikson. "She can't do that, can she? She's not the ruler of this class. Brady is." ... "You could strip him of his title," suggests Brady, apparently not minding at all that I have usurped his throne. "Make him a serf." "Yeah," says Christian. "Make him a serf. Being a serf blows." As a serf, poor Christian has already been killed several times in our class. Aside from dying of the Black Plague on the first day, he's starved to death, had his hands cut off for stealing a loaf of bread, and been run down by his master's horse just for kicks. He's like Christian the fifth now.
Cynthia Hand (Unearthly (Unearthly, #1))
Kell wore a very peculiar coat. It had neither one side, which would be conventional, nor two, which would be unexpected, but several, which was, of course, impossible. The first thing he did whenever he stepped out of one London and into another was take off the coat and turn it inside out once or twice (or even three times) until he found the side he needed. Not all of them were fashionable, but they each served a purpose. There were ones that blended in and ones that stood out, and one that served no purpose but of which he was just particularly fond.
V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1))
Deep within everyone's heart there always remains a sense of longing for that hour, that summer, that one brief moment of blossoming. For several weeks or months, rarely longer, a beautiful young woman lives outside ordinary life. She is intoxicated. She feels as if she exists beyond time, beyond its laws; she experiences not the monotonous succession of days passing by, but moments of intense, almost desperate happiness.
Irène Némirovsky (Jezebel)
Dimitri's voice snapped my attention back to him. "That's Adrian Ivashkov." He said the name the same way everyone else did. "Yeah, I know." "This is the second time I've seen you with him." "Yeah," I replied glibly. "We hang out sometimes." Dimitri arched an eyebrow, then jerked his head back toward where we'd come from. "You hang out in his room a lot?" Several retorts popped into my head, and then a golden one took precedence. "What happens between him and me is none of your business." I managed a tone very similar to the one he'd used on me when making a similar comment about him and Tasha. "Actually, as long as you're at the Academy, what you do is my business." "Not my personal life. You don't have any say in that.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
Let's suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream that you wanted to dream. And that you could, for example, have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time. Or any length of time you wanted to have. And you would, naturally as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure you could conceive. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each, you would say "Well, that was pretty great." But now let's have a surprise. Let's have a dream which isn't under control. Where something is gonna happen to me that I don't know what it's going to be. And you would dig that and come out of that and say "Wow, that was a close shave, wasn't it?" And then you would get more and more adventurous, and you would make further and further out gambles as to what you would dream. And finally, you would dream ... where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.
Alan W. Watts
This much I'm certain of: it doesn't happen immediately. You'll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years. You'll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won't matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you'll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You'll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you'll realize it's always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won't understand why or how. You'll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place ... You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You'll care only about the darkness and you'll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you're some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you'll be afraid to look away, you'll be afraid to sleep. Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you'll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You'll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you'll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you've got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name. And then the nightmares will begin.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
It is tempting when looking at the life of anyone who has committed suicide to read into the decision to die a vastly complex web of reasons; and, of course, such complexity is warranted. No one illness or event causes suicide; and certainly no one knows all, or perhaps even most, of the motivations behind the killing of the self. But psychopathology is almost always there, and its deadliness is fierce. Love, success, and friendship are not always enough to counter the pain and destructiveness of severe mental illness
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
Believe me, I know all about bottle acoustics. I spent much of the sixth century in an old sesame oil jar, corked with wax, bobbing about in the Red Sea. No one heard my hollers. In the end an old fisherman set me free, by which time I was desperate enough to grant him several wishes. I erupted in the form of a smoking giant, did a few lightning bolts, and bent to ask him his desire. Poor old boy had dropped dead of a heart attack. There should be a moral there, but for the life of me I can't see one.
Jonathan Stroud
I can tell you that “Just cheer up” is almost universally looked at as the most unhelpful depression cure ever. It’s pretty much the equivalent of telling someone who just had their legs amputated to “just walk it off.” Some people don’t understand that for a lot of us, mental illness is a severe chemical imbalance rather just having “a case of the Mondays.” Those same well-meaning people will tell me that I’m keeping myself from recovering because I really “just need to cheer up and smile.” That’s when I consider chopping off their arms and then blaming them for not picking up their severed arms so they can take them to the hospital to get reattached.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Charisma is the numinous aura around a narcissistic personality. It flows outward from a simplicity or unity of being and a composure and controlled vitality. There is gracious accommodation, yet commanding impersonality. Charisma is the radiance produced by the interaction of male and female elements in a gifted personality. The charismatic woman has a masculine force and severity. The charismatic man has an entrancing female beauty. Both are hot and cold, glowing with presexual self love.
Camille Paglia
What are you doing?" "Ya!" said Jane, whirling around, her hands held up menacingly. It was Mr. Nobley with coat, hat, and cane, watching her with wide eyes. Jane took several quick (but oh so casual) steps away from Martin's window. "Um, did I just say, 'Ya'?" "You just said 'Ya,'" he confirmed. "If I am not mistaken, it was a battle cry, warning that you were about to attack me. I, uh..." She stopped to laugh. "I wasn't aware until this precise and awkward moment that when startled in a startled in a strange place, my instincts would have me pretend to be a ninja.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
On July 2, McCandless finished reading Tolstoy's "Family Happiness", having marked several passages that moved him: "He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others... I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one's neighbor - such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps - what more can the heart of a man desire?" ...
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Very well, I promise. So, what did you get for me?" Angeline paused for a beat. "Jeans." "What?" croaked Artemis. "And a T-shirt" ...Artemis took several breaths. "Does the T-shirt have any writing on it?" A rustling of paper crackled through the phone's speakers. "Yes, it's so cool. There's a picture of a boy who for some reason has no neck and only three fingers on each hand, and behind him in this sort of graffiti style is the words RANDOMOSIY. I don't know what that means but it sounds really current." Randomosity though Artemis, and he felt like weeping.
Eoin Colfer (The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl, #7))
Marianne wanted her life to mean something then, she wanted to stop all violence committed by the strong against the weak, and she remembered a time several years ago when she had felt so intelligent and young and powerful that she almost could have achieved such a thing, and now she knew she wasn’t at all powerful, and she would live and die in a world of extreme violence against the innocent, and at most she could only help a few people. It was so much harder to reconcile herself to the idea of helping a few, like she would rather help no one than do something so small and feeble
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
Written in ink, in German, in a small, hopelessly sincere handwriting, were the words "Dear God, life is hell." Nothing led up to or away from it. Alone on the page, and in the sickly stillness of the room, the words appeared to have the stature of an uncontestable, even classic indictment. X stared at the page for several minutes, trying, against heavy odds, not to be taken in. Then, with far more zeal than he had done anything in weeks, he picked up a pencil stub and wrote down under the inscription, in English, "Fathers and teachers, I ponder, 'What is Hell?' I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
J.D. Salinger (Nine Stories)
Shahrzad, I've failed you several times. But there was one moment I failed you beyond measure. It was the day we met. The moment I took your hand and you looked at me, with the glory of hate in your eyes. I should have sent you home to your family. But I didn't. There was honesty in your hatred. Fearlessness in your pain. In your honesty, I saw a reflection of myself. Or rather, of the man I longed to be. So I failed you. I didn't stay away. Then later, I thought if I had answers, it would be enough. I would no longer care. You would not matter. So I continued failing you. Continued wanting more. And now I can't find the words to say what must be said. To convey to you the least of what I owe. When I think of you, I can't find the air to breathe. And now, though you are gone, there is no pain or fear. All I am left with is gratitude. When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that your story isn't over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told. Make it a story worthy of you. I failed you in one last thing. Here is my chance to rectify it. It was never because I didn't feel it. It was because I swore I would never say it, and a man is nothing if he can't keep his promises. So I write it in the sky- I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it. Khalid
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more. This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it. Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought. Er, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach. Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet? No. Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation … Or is it the wind? There really is a lot of that now isn’t it? And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence. Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
We'll squeeze every second that we can from our lives, because we're young, and we have plenty of years to grow. We'll grow until we're braver. We'll grow until our bones ache and our skin wrinkles and our hair goes white, and until our hearts decide, at last, that it's time to stop.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
Do you think you could persuade that horse of yours to stay with the other horses for a minute or two?” he said with a mock severity. “Otherwise he’ll wind up believing he’s one of us.” He’s been driving Halt crazy since we found your tracks,” Horace put in. “He must have picked up your scent and known it was you we were following, although Halt didn’t realize it.” At that, Halt raised an eyebrow. “Halt didn’t realize it?” he repeated. “And I suppose you did?” Horace shrugged. “I’m just a warrior,” he replied. “I’m not supposed to be the thinker. I leave that to you Rangers.
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them…digest them. Let them go into your very self. Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analyses of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed. Little learning and much pride comes from hasty reading. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditation away for the sake of much reading. In reading let your motto be ‘much not many.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Lectures to My Students)
We now know the basic rules governing the universe, together with the gravitational interrelationships of its gross components, as shown in the theory of relativity worked out between 1905 and 1916. We also know the basic rules governing the subatomic particles and their interrelationships, since these are very neatly described by the quantum theory worked out between 1900 and 1930. What's more, we have found that the galaxies and clusters of galaxies are the basic units of the physical universe, as discovered between 1920 and 1930. ...The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern 'knowledge' is that it is wrong... My answer to him was, when people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together. The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that 'right' and 'wrong' are absolute; that everything that isn't perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong. However, I don't think that's so. It seems to me that right and wrong are fuzzy concepts, and I will devote this essay to an explanation of why I think so. When my friend the English literature expert tells me that in every century scientists think they have worked out the universe and are always wrong, what I want to know is how wrong are they? Are they always wrong to the same degree?
Isaac Asimov
Amy [Winehouse] increasingly became defined by her addiction. Our media though is more interested in tragedy than talent, so the ink began to defect from praising her gift to chronicling her downfall. The destructive personal relationships, the blood soaked ballet slippers, the aborted shows, that YouTube madness with the baby mice. In the public perception this ephemeral tittle-tattle replaced her timeless talent. This and her manner in our occasional meetings brought home to me the severity of her condition. Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, mental institutions, or death.
Russell Brand
She turned back to the cards and tapped the Ace of Cups. "You're on the verge of a new beginning, a rebirth of great power and emotion. Your life will change, but it will be change that takes you in the direction that, while difficult, will ultimatley illuminate the world." "Whoa," I said. Rhonda then pointed to the Empress. "Power and leadership lie ahead of you, which you will handle with grace and intelligence. The seeds are already in place, though there's an edge of uncertainty-an enigmatic set of influences that hang around you like a mist." Her attention was on the Moon as she said those words. "But my overall impression is that those unknown factors won't deter you from your destiny." Lissa's eyes were wide. "You can teel that just from the cards?" ... After several moments of heavy silence, she said, "You will destroy that which is undead." i waited about thirty seconds for her to continue, but she didn't. "Wait, that's it?" ... Her eyes flickered over the cards, looked at Dimitri, then looked back at the cards. Her expression was blank. "You will lose what you value most, so treasure it while you can." She pointed to the Wheel of Fortune card. "The wheel is turning, always turning.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
How can I live without thee, how forego Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly joined, To live again in these wild woods forlorn? Should God create another Eve, and I Another rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart; no, no, I feel The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh, Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe. However, I with thee have fixed my lot, Certain to undergo like doom; if death Consort with thee, death is to me as life; So forcible within my heart I feel The bond of nature draw me to my own, My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; Our state cannot be severed, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
Having solved all the major mathematical, physical, chemical, biological, sociological, philosophical, etymological, meteorological and psychological problems of the Universe except for his own, three times over, [Marvin] was severely stuck for something to do, and had taken up composing short dolorous ditties of no tone, or indeed tune. The latest one was a lullaby. Marvin droned, Now the world has gone to bed, Darkness won't engulf my head, I can see in infrared, How I hate the night. He paused to gather the artistic and emotional strength to tackle the next verse. Now I lay me down to sleep, Try to count electric sheep, Sweet dream wishes you can keep, How I hate the night.
Douglas Adams (Life, the Universe and Everything (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #3))
Unwrapping the paper carefully so it doesn’t tear, I find a beautiful red leather box. Cartier. It’s familiar, thanks to my second-chance earrings and my watch. Cautiously, I open the box to discover a delicate charm bracelet of silver, or platinum or white gold—I don’t know, but it’s absolutely enchanting. Attached to it are several charms: the Eiffel Tower, a London black cab, a helicopter—Charlie Tango, a glider—the soaring, a catamaran—The Grace, a bed, and an ice cream cone? I look up at him, bemused. “Vanilla?” He shrugs apologetically, and I can’t help but laugh. Of course. “Christian, this is beautiful. Thank you. It’s yar.” He grins. My favorite is the heart. It’s a locket. “You can put a picture or whatever in that.” “A picture of you.” I glance at him through my lashes. “Always in my heart.” He smiles his lovely, heartbreakingly shy smile. I fondle the last two charms: a letter C—oh yes, I was his first girlfriend to use his first name. I smile at the thought. And finally, there’s a key. “To my heart and soul,” he whispers.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
Well," he said, "I don't believe that either." "Believe what? That I messed up? Why not?" "Weren't you just listening? I saw you in Spokane. Someone like you doesn't mess up freeze." I was about to give him the same line I had given the guardians, that killing Strigoi didn't make me invincible, but he cut me off: "Plus I saw your face out there." "Out.... on the quad?" "Yeah," several more quite moments passed. "I don't know what happened, but the way you looked...that wasn't the look of someone trying to get back at a person. It wasn't the look of someone blanking out of Alto's attack either. It was something different...I don't know. But you were completely consumed by something else—and honestly? Your expression? Kind of scary." "Yet...you aren't giving me a hard time over that either." "Not my business. If it was big enough to take you over like that, then it must be serious. But if push comes to shove, I feel safe with you, Rose. I know you'd protect me if there really was a Strigoi there." He yawned. "Okay. Now that I have bared my soul, can we please go to bed? Maybe you don't need beauty sleep, but some of us aren't so lucky.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
With the world securely in order, Dain was able to devote the leisurely bath time to editing his mental dictionary. He removed his wife from the general category labeled "Females" and gave her a section of her own. He made a note that she didn't find him revolting, and proposed several explanations: (a) bad eyesight and faulty hearing, (b)a defect in a portion of her otherwise sound intellect, (c) an inherited Trent eccentricity, or (d) an act of God. Since the Almighty had not done him a single act of kindness in at least twenty-five years, Dain thought it was about bloody time, but he thanked his Heavenly Father all the same, and promised to be as good as he was capable of being.
Loretta Chase (Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3))
I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.
William Lloyd Garrison
What, I wondered, did he mean by “society”? The plural of human beings? Where was the substance of this thing called “society”? I had spent my whole life thinkng that society must certainly be something powerful, harsh and severe, but to hear Horiki talk made the words “Don’t you mean yourself?” come to the tip of my tongue. But I held the words back, reluctant to anger him. ‘Society won’t stand for it.’ ‘It’s not society. You’re the one who won’t stand for it - right?’ ‘If you do such a thing society will make you suffer for it’ ‘It’s not society. It’s you, isn’t it?’ ‘Before you know it, you’ll be ostracized by society.’ ‘It’s not society. You’re going to do the ostracizing, aren’t you?’ Words, words of every kind went flitting through my head. “Know thy particular fearsomeness, thy knavery, cunning and witchcraft!” What I said, however, as I wiped the perspiration from my face with a handkerchief was merely, “You’ve put me in a cold sweat!” I smiled. From then on, however, I came to hold, almost as a philosophical conviction, the belief: What is society but an individual?
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
When the late Pope John Paul II decided to place the woman so strangely known as “Mother” Teresa on the fast track for beatification, and thus to qualify her for eventual sainthood, the Vatican felt obliged to solicit my testimony and I thus spent several hours in a closed hearing room with a priest, a deacon, and a monsignor, no doubt making their day as I told off, as from a rosary, the frightful faults and crimes of the departed fanatic. In the course of this, I discovered that the pope during his tenure had surreptitiously abolished the famous office of “Devil’s Advocate,” in order to fast‐track still more of his many candidates for canonization. I can thus claim to be the only living person to have represented the Devil pro bono.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The woman knows from living with the abusive man that there are no simple answers. Friends say: “He’s mean.” But she knows many ways in which he has been good to her. Friends say: “He treats you that way because he can get away with it. I would never let someone treat me that way.” But she knows that the times when she puts her foot down the most firmly, he responds by becoming his angriest and most intimidating. When she stands up to him, he makes her pay for it—sooner or later. Friends say: “Leave him.” But she knows it won’t be that easy. He will promise to change. He’ll get friends and relatives to feel sorry for him and pressure her to give him another chance. He’ll get severely depressed, causing her to worry whether he’ll be all right. And, depending on what style of abuser he is, she may know that he will become dangerous when she tries to leave him. She may even be concerned that he will try to take her children away from her, as some abusers do.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Relax, Mr. Diggums. Have another nettle beer, or some spring water." The commander took two bottles from the cooler and offered one to Mulch. Mulch studied the label. "Derrier? No thanks. You know how they put the bubbles in this stuff?" Vinyaya's mouth twitched with the ghost of a smile. "I thought it was naturally carbonated." "Yeah, that's what I thought until I got a prison job at the Derrier plant. They employ every dwarf in the Deeps. They made us sign confidentiality contracts." Vinyaya was hooked. "So go on, tell me. How do they get the bubbles in?" Mulch tapped his nose. "Can't say. Breach of contract. All I can say is it involves a huge vat of water and several dwarfs using our ...eh" Mulch pointed to his rear end-"... natural talents." Vinyaya gingerly replaced her bottle.
Eoin Colfer (The Lost Colony (Artemis Fowl, #5))
When We Two Parted When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss; Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this. The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow— It felt like the warning Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken, And light is thy fame: I hear thy name spoken, And share in its shame. They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear; A shudder comes o'er me— Why wert thou so dear? They know not I knew thee, Who knew thee too well: Long, long shall I rue thee, Too deeply to tell. In secret we met— In silence I grieve, That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive. If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee? With silence and tears.
Lord Byron (Poetical Works)
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years- Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres- Trying to use words, and every attempt Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure Because one has only learnt to get the better of words For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate, With shabby equipment always deteriorating In the general mess of imprecision of feeling, Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer By strength and submission, has already been discovered Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope To emulate - but there is no competition - There is only the fight to recover what has been lost And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss. For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn't matter. . . Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp's half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer's task to say, "It is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a café when you can eat macrobiotic at home." Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.
Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within)
If someone called me chubby, it would no longer be something that kept me up late at night. Being called fat is not like being called stupid or unfunny, which is the worst thing you could ever say to me. Do I envy Jennifer Hudson for being able to lose all that weight and look smokin’ hot? Of course, yes. Do I sometimes look at Gisele Bundchen and wonder how awesome life would be if I never had to wear Spanx? Duh, of course. That’s kind of the point of Gisele Bundchen. And maybe I will, once or twice, for a very short period of time. But on the list of things I want to do in my lifetime, that’s not near the top. I mean, it’s not near the bottom either. I’d say it’s right above “Learn to drive a vespa,” but several notches below “film a chase scene for a movie.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next. I worked at concentrating my attention on the real and useful. I would go to the pool almost every day for a long swim, take walks, make myself three meals. But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drank, the very air I breathed, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be "healing." A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to "get through it," rise to the occasion, exhibit the "strength" that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves the for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief was we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. he sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lampost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: "it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks." And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it. When I read this letter of Van Gogh's it comforted me very much and seemed to throw a clear light on the whole road of Art. Before, I thought that to produce a work of painting or literature, you scowled and thought long and ponderously and weighed everything solemnly and learned everything that all artists had ever done aforetime, and what their influences and schools were, and you were extremely careful about *design* and *balance* and getting *interesting planes* into your painting, and avoided, with the most astringent severity, showing the faintest *acedemical* tendency, and were strictly modern. And so on and so on. But the moment I read Van Gogh's letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others, by drawing it. And Van Gogh's little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care.
Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit)
4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ. ...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
Strigoi have red eyes, " I explained. "Do his eyes look red?" The boy leaned forward. "No. They're brown. " "What else do you know about Strigoi?" I asked. "They have fangs like us, " the boy replied. "Do you have fangs?" I asked Dimitri in a singsong voice. I had a feeling this was already-covered territory, but it took on a new feel when asked from a child's perspective. Dimitri smiled--a full, wonderful smile that caught me off guard. "Okay, Jonathan, " said his mother anxiously. "You asked. Let's go now. " "Strigoi are super strong, " continued Jonathan, who possibly aspired to be a future lawyer. "Nothing can hurt them. " Jonathan fixed Dimitri with a piercing gaze. "Are you super strong? Can you be hurt?" "Of course I can, " replied Dimitri. "I'm strong, but all sorts of things can still hurt me. " And then, being Rose Hathaway, I said something I really shouldn't have to the boy. "You should go punch him and find out. " Jonathan's mother screamed again, but he was a fast little bastard, eluding her grasp. He ran up to Dimitri before anyone could stop him--well, I could have--and pounded his tiny fist against Dimitri's knee. Then, with the same reflexes that allowed him to dodge enemy attacks, Dimitri immediately feinted falling backward, as though Jonathan had knocked him over. Clutching his knee, Dimitri groaned as though he were in terrible pain. Several people laughed, and by then, one of the other guardians had caught hold of Jonathan and returned him to his near-hysterical mother. As he was being dragged away, Jonathan glanced over his shoulder at Dimitri. "He doesn't seem very strong to me. I don't think he's a Strigoi. " This caused more laughter
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
Halt waited a minute or two but there was no sound except for the jingling of harness and the creaking of leather from their saddles. Finally, the former Ranger could bear it no longer. What?” The question seemed to explode out of him, with a greater degree of violence than he had intended. Taken by surprise, Horace’s bay shied in fright and danced several paces away. Horace turned an aggrieved look on his mentor as he calmed the horse and brought it back under control. What?” he asked Halt, and the smaller man made a gesture of exasperation. That’s what I want to know,” he said irritably. “What?” Horace peered at him. The look was too obviously the sort of look that you give someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses. It did little to improve Halt’s rapidly growing temper. What?” said Horace, now totally puzzled. Don’t keep parroting at me!” Halt fumed. “Stop repeating what I say! I asked you ‘what,’ so don’t ask me ‘what’ back, understand?” Horace considered the question for a second or two, then, in his deliberate way, he replied: “No.” Halt took a deep breath, his eyebrows contracted into a deep V, and beneath them his eyes with anger but before he could speak, Horace forestalled him. What ‘what’ are you asking me?” he said. Then, thinking how to make the question clearer, he added, “Or to put it another way, why are you asking ‘what’?” Controlling himself with enormous restraint, and making no secret of the fact, Halt said, very precisely: “You were about to ask me a question.” Horace frowned. “I was?” Halt nodded. “You were. I saw you take a breath to ask it.” I see,” Horace said. “And what was it about?” For just a second or two, Halt was speechless. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then finally found the strength to speak. That is what I was asking you,” he said. “When I said ‘what,’ I was asking you what you were about to ask me.” I wasn’t about to ask you ‘what,’” Horace replied, and Halt glared at him suspiciously. It occurred to him that Horace could be indulging himself in a gigantic leg pull, that he was secretly laughing at Halt. This, Halt could have told him, was not a good career move. Rangers were not people who took kindly to being laughed at. He studied the boy’s open face and guileless blue eyes and decided that his suspicion was ill-founded. Then what, if I may use that word once more, were you about to ask me?” Horace drew a breath once more, then hesitated. “I forget,” he said. “What were we talking about?
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
He cocked his head in an overly dramatic fashion. "Hey, I just got it: it was you, wasn't it?" He looked at Lissa, the back at me. "She got you to kill the fox, didn't she?Some weird kind of lesbian voo—ahhh!” Ralf burst into flames. I jumped up and pushed Lissa out of the way—not easy to do, since we were sitting at our desks. We both ended up on the floor as screams—Ralf's in particular—filled the classroom and Ms. Meissner sprinted for the fire extinguisher. And then, just like that, the flames disappeared. Ralf was still screaming and patting himself down, but he didn't have a single singe mark on him. The only indication of what had happened was the lingering smell of smoke in the air. For several seconds, the entire classroom froze. Then, slowly, everyone put the pieces together. Moroi magical specializations were well known, and after scanning the room, I deduced three fire users: Ralf, his friend Jacob, and— Christian Ozera. Since neither Jacob nor Ralf would have set Ralf on fire, it sort of made the culprit obvious. The fact that Christian was laughing hysterically sort of gave it away too.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
The phrase "in the dark," as I'm sure you know, can refer not only to one's shadowy surroundings, but also to the shadowy secrets of which one might be unaware. Every day, the sun goes down over all these secrets, and so everyone is in the dark in one way or another. If you are sunbathing in a park, for instance, but you do not know that a locked cabinet is buried fifty feet beneath your blanket, then you are in the dark even though you are not actually in the dark, whereas if you are on a midnight hike, knowing full well that several ballerinas are following close behind you, then you are not in the dark even if you are in fact in the dark. Of course, it is quite possible to be in the dark in the dark, as well as to be not in the dark not in the dark, but there are so many secrets in the world that it is likely that you are always in the dark about one thing or another, whether you are in the dark in the dark or in the dark not in the dark, although the sun can go down so quickly that you may be in the dark about being in the dark in the dark, only to look around and find yourself no longer in the dark about being in the dark in the dark, but in the dark in the dark nonetheless, not only because of the dark, but because of the ballerinas in the dark, who are not in the dark about the dark, but also not in the dark about the locked cabinet, and you may be in the dark about the ballerinas digging up the locked cabinet in the dark, even though you are no longer in the dark about being in the dark, and so you are in fact in the dark about being in the dark, even though you are not in the dark about being in the dark, and so you may fall into the hole that the ballerinas have dug, which is dark, in the dark, and in the park.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
It takes a lot of courage to fight biases and oppressive regimes, but it takes even greater courage to admit ignorance and venture into the unknown. Secular education teaches us that if we don’t know something, we shouldn’t be afraid of acknowledging our ignorance and looking for new evidence. Even if we think we know something, we shouldn’t be afraid of doubting our opinions and checking ourselves again. Many people are afraid of the unknown, and want clear-cut answers for every question. Fear of the unknown can paralyse us more than any tyrant. People throughout history worried that unless we put all our faith in some set of absolute answers, human society will crumble. In fact, modern history has demonstrated that a society of courageous people willing to admit ignorance and raise difficult questions is usually not just more prosperous but also more peaceful than societies in which everyone must unquestioningly accept a single answer. People afraid of losing their truth tend to be more violent than people who are used to looking at the world from several different viewpoints. Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Lea stood upon a fallen log ahead of us, staring ahead. Mouse walked up to her. Gggrrrr rawf arrrgggrrrrarrrr," I said. Mouse gave me an impatient glance, and somehow--I don't know if it was something in his body language or what--I became aware that he was telling me to sit down and shut up or he'd come over and make me. I sat down. Something in me really didn't like that idea, but when I looked around, I saw that everyone else had done it too, and that made me feel better. Mouse said, again in what sounded like perfectly clear English, "Funny. Now restore them." Lea turned to look at the big dog and said, "Do you dare to give me commands, hound?" Not your hound," Mouse said. I didn't know how he was doing it. His mouth wasn't moving or anything. "Restore them before I rip your ass off. Literally rip it off." The Leanansidhe tilted her head back and let out a low laugh. "You are far from your sources of power here, my dear demon." I live with a wizard. I cheat." He took a step toward her and his lips peeled up from his fangs in unmistakable hostility. "You want to restore them? Or do I kill you and get them back that way?" Lea narrowed her eyes. Then she said, "You're bluffing." One of the big dog's huge, clawed paws dug at the ground, as if bracing him for a leap, and his growl seemed to . . . I looked down and checked. It didn't seem to shake the ground. The ground was actually shaking for several feet in every direction of the dog. Motes of blue light began to fall from his jaws, thickly enough that it looked quite a bit like he was foaming at the mouth. "Try me." The Leanansidhe shook her head slowly. Then she said, "How did Dresden ever win you?" He didn't," Mouse said. "I won him.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. ...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
Charles Darwin (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82)
You okay with all of this?" I whispered to Daemon. He shrugged. "Not like I can stop her." I knew he could if he wanted, which meant he didn't have a problem with it. "Cookie?" he offered, holding a cookie full of chocolate chips. Upset tummy or not, there was no way I could refuse that. "Sure." His lips tipped up one side and he leaned toward me, his mouth inches from mine. "Come and get it." Come and get...? Daemon placed half the cookie between those full, totally kissable lips. Oh, holy alien babies everywhere... My mouth dropped open. Several of the girls at the table made sounds that had me wondering if they were turning into puddles under the table, but I couldn't bring myself to check out what they really were doing. That cookie—those lips—were right there. Heat swept over my cheeks. I could feel the eyes of everyone on else, and Daemon... dear God, Daemon arched his brows, daring me. Dee gagged. "I think I'm going to hurl." Mortified, I wanted to crawl into a hole. What did he think I was going to do? Take the cookie from his mouth like something straight out of an R rated version of Lady and the Tramp? Heck, I kind of wanted to and I wasn't sure what that said about me. Daemon reached up and took the cookie. There was a gleam to his eyes, as if he just won some battle. "Times up, Kitten." I stared at him. Breaking the cookie into two, he handed me the larger piece. I snatched it away, half tempted to throw it back in his face, but it was... it was chocolate chip. So I ate it and loved it.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
There was a dragon who had a long-standing obsession with a queen's breasts," she said, growing breathless. "The dragon knew the penalty to touch her would mean death, yet he revealed his secret desire to the king's chief doctor. This man promised he could arrange for the dragon to satisfy his desire, but it would cost him one thousand gold coins." She spread her soapy hands over his nipples, then down his arms. "Though he didn't have the money, the dragon readily agreed to the scheme." Grace," Darius moaned, his erection straining against her stomach. She hid her smile, loving that she had this much power over such a strong man. That she, Grace Carlyle, made him ache with longing. "The next day the physician made a batch of itching powder and poured some into the queen's bra… uh, you might call it a brassiere… while she bathed. After she dressed, she began itching and itching and itching. The physician was summoned to the Royal Chambers, and he informed the king and queen that only a special saliva, if applied for several hours, would cure this type of itch. And only a dragon possessed this special saliva." Out of breath, she paused. Continue," Darius said. His arms wound around her so tightly she could barely breathe. His skin blazed hot against hers, hotter than even the steamy water. Are you sure?" Continue." Taut lines bracketed his mouth. Well, the king summoned the dragon. Meanwhile, the physician slipped him the antidote for the itching powder, which the dragon put into his mouth, and for the next few hours, the dragon worked passionately on the queen's breasts. Anyway," she said, reaching around him and lathering the muscled mounds of his butt, "the queen's itching was eventually relieved, and the dragon left satisfied and touted as a hero." This does not sound like a joke," Darius said. I'm getting to the punch line. Hang on. When the physician demanded his payment, the now satisfied dragon refused. He knew that the physician could never report what really happened to the king. So the next day, the physician slipped a massive dose of the same itching powder into the king's loincloth. And the king immediately summoned the dragon." -Heart of the Dragon
Gena Showalter
...he asked, "Where are you today, right now?" Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later. "Very well," he said. "But you still have not answered my question about where you are." "Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work." "Where are you?" "What do you mean, where am I?" "Where Are you?" he repeated softly. "I'm here." "Where is here?" "In this office, in this gas station!" I was getting impatient with this game. "Where is this gas station?" "In Berkeley?" "Where is Berkeley?" "In California?" "Where is California?" "In the United States?" "On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I..." "Where are the continents? I sighed. "On the earth. Are we done yet?" "Where is the earth?" "In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?" "Where is the Milky Way?" "Oh, brother, " I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. "In the universe." I sat back and crossed my arms with finality. "And where," Socrates smiled, "is the universe?" "The universe is well, there are theories about how it's shaped..." "That's not what I asked. Where is it?" "I don't know - how can I answer that?" "That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of What anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery. "My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
A pale, slightly luminescent form materialized in front of us. Mason. He looked the same as ever-or did he? The usual sadness was there, but I could see something else, something else I couldn't quite put my finger on. Panic? Frustration? I could have almost sworn it was fear, but honestly, what would a ghost have to be afraid of. "What's wrong?" asked Dimitri. "Do you see him?" I whispered. Dimitri followed my gaze. "See who?" "Mason." Mason's troubled expression grew darker. I might not have been able to adequately identify it, but I knew it wasn't anything good. The nauseous feeling within me intensified, but somehow, I knew it had nothing to do with him. "Rose...we should go back..." said Dimitri carefully. He still wasn't on board with me seeing ghosts. But I didn't move. Mason's face was saying something else to me-or trying to. There was something here, something important that I needed to know. But he couldn't communicate it. "What?" I asked. "What is it?" A look of frustration crossed his face. He pointed off behind me, the dropped his hand. "Tell me," I said, my frustration mirroring his. Dimitri was looking back and forth between me and Mason, though mason was probably only and empty space to him. I was too fixated on Mason to worry what Dimitri might think. There was something here. Something big. Mason opened his mouth, wanting to speak as in previous times but still unable to get the words out. Except, this time, after several agonizing seconds, he managed it. The words were nearly inaudible. "They're...coming....
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
Today," she told it, "death comes to all your circuits. Will it be slow and systematic or fast and brutal?" Considering, she circled it, "Tough decision. I've waited so long for this moment. Dreamed of it." Showing her teeth, she began to roll up her sleeves. "What," Roarke asked from the doorway that connected their work areas, "is that?" "The former bane of my existence. The Antichrist of technology. Do we have a hammer?" Studying the pile on the floor, he walked in. "Several, I imagine, of various types." "I want all of them. Tiny little hammers, big, wallbangers, and everything in between." "Might one ask why?" "I'm going to beat this thing apart, byte by byte, until there's nothing left but dust from the last trembling chip." "Hmmm." Roarke crouched down, examined the pitifully out-of-date system. "When did you haul this mess in here?" "Just now. I had it in the car. Maybe I should use acid, just stand here and watch it hiss and dissolve. That could be good." Saying nothing, Roarke took a small case out of his pocket, opened it, and chose a slim tool. With a few deft moves, he had the housing open. "Hey! Hey! What're you doing?" "I haven't seen anything like this in a decade. Fascinating. Look at this corrosion. Christ, this is a SOC chip system. And it's cross-wired." When he began to fiddle, she rushed over and slapped at his hands. "Mine. I get to kill it." "Get a grip on yourself," he said absently and delved deeper into the guts. "I'll take this into research." "No. Uh-uh. I have to bust it apart. What if it breeds?
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
Freuchen tells how one day, after coming home hungry from an unsuccessful walrus-hunting expedition, he found one of the successful hunters dropping off several hundred pounds of meat. He thanked him profusely. The man objected indignantly: "Up in our country we are human!" said the hunter. "And since we are human we help each other. We don't like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs. ... The refusal to calculate credits and debits can be found throughout the anthropological literature on egalitarian hunting societies. Rather than seeing himself as human because he could make economic calculations, the hunter insisted that being truly human meant refusing to make such calculations, refusing to measure or remember who had given what to whom, for the precise reason that doing so would inevitably create a world where we began "comparing power with power, measuring, calculating" and reducing each other to slaves or dogs through debt. It's not that he, like untold millions of similar egalitarian spirits throughout history, was unaware that humans have a propensity to calculate. If he wasn't aware of it, he could not have said what he did. Of course we have a propensity to calculate. We have all sorts of propensities. In any real-life situation, we have propensities that drive us in several different contradictory directions simultaneously. No one is more real than any other. The real question is which we take as the foundation of our humanity, and therefore, make the basis of our civilization.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
I read an article once that said that when women have a conversation, they're communicating on five levels. They follow the conversation that they're actually having, the conversation that is specifically being avoided, the tone being applied to the overt conversation, the buried conversation that is being covered only in subtext, and finally the other person's body language. That is, on many levels, astounding to me. I mean, that's like having a freaking superpower. When I, and most other people with a Y chromosome, have a conversation, we're having a conversation. Singular. We're paying attention to what is being said, considering that, and replying to it. All these other conversations that have apparently been booing on for the last several thousand years? I didn't even know that they existed until I read that stupid article, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. ... So, ladies, if you ever have some conversation with your boyfriend or husband or brother or male friend, and you are telling him something perfectly obvious, and he comes away from it utterly clueless? I know it's tempting to thing to yourself, 'The man can't possibly be that stupid!' But yes. Yes, he can. Our innate strengths just aren't the same. We are the mighty hunters, who are good at focusing on one thing at a time. For crying out loud, we have to turn down the radio in the car if we suspect we're lost and need to figure out how to get where we're going. That's how impaired we are. I'm telling you, we have only the one conversation. Maybe some kind of relationship veteran like Michael Carpenter can do two, but that's pushing the envelope. Five simultaneous conversations? Five? Shah. That just isn't going to happen. At least, not for me.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which surely is as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the Fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping-and, dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press-seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's car, and say, "Great. Maybe YOU can do a better job." Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?" The word sprang from my lips without thought. "No!" "Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!" Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. "So you think you'll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?" I thought better of myself. "No, no. It's not like that. I don't think I'm better than any of the other girls; they're all amazing. It's just...I don't think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste." I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I'd called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word "Prince" in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I'd said it on live television. I looked to see if Maxon was angry. He had a calm smile on his face. So he wasn't mad...but I was embarrassed. I blushed fiercely. "Ah, so it seems you really have gotten to know our prince. Tell me, what do you think of Maxon?" I ahd thought of several answers while I was waiting for my turn. I was going to make fun of his laugh or talk about the pet name he wanted his wife to call him. It seemed like the only way to save the situation was to get back the comedy. But as I lifted my eyes to make one of my comments, I saw Maxon's face. He really wanted to know. And I couldn't poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I'd really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn't joke about the person who'd saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn't imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn't anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life. "Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good. He is going to be a phenomenal king. He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn't get mad when someone who doesn't know him clearly mislabels him." I gave Gavril a keen look, and he smiled. And behind him, Maxon looked intrigued. "Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl. And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject." I saw Maxon swallow, and I lowered my eyes. "America Singer, thank you so much." Gavril went to shake my hand. "Up next is Miss Tallulah Bell." I didn't hear what any of the girls said after me, though I stared at the two seats. That interview had become way more personal than I'd intended it to be. I couldn't bring myself to look at Maxon. Instead I sat there replaying my words again and again in my head.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))