Short Best Friend Quotes

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I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.
Richard P. Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman)
I didn't get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I'd wished she'd done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very heigh of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could full. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death—losing their hearing, their memory, their best friends, their way of life. As Felix put it to me, “Old age is a continuous series of losses.” Philip Roth put it more bitterly in his novel Everyman: “Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Let's put it this way- if The Fault in Our Stars was a person I would marry them. Will Grayson, WIll Grayson would be my maid/man of honor. Alaska and Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines and Let it Snow would be my best friends. In short- you can't go wrong with John Green. Ever.
Emma Crape
Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other. None of us need one more person bashing or pointing out where we have failed or fallen short. Most of us are already well aware of the areas in which we are weak. What each of us does need is family, friends, employers, and brothers and sisters who support us, who have the patience to teach us, who believe in us, and who believe we're trying to do the best we can, in spite of our weaknesses. What ever happened to giving each other the benefit of the doubt? What ever happened to hoping that another person would succeed or achieve? What ever happened to rooting for each other?
Marvin J. Ashton
For you she learned to wear a short black slip and red lipstick, how to order a glass of red wine and finish it. She learned to reach out as if to touch your arm and then not touch it, changing the subject. Didn't you think, she'd begin, or Weren't you sorry. . . . To call your best friends by their schoolboy names and give them kisses good-bye, to look away when they say Your wife! So your confidence grows. She doesn't ask what you want because she knows. Isn't that what you think? When actually she was only waiting to be told Take off your dress--- to be stunned, and then do this, never rehearsed, but perfectly obvious: in one motion up, over, and gone, the X of her arms crossing and uncrossing, her face flashing away from you in the fabric so that you couldn't say if she was appearing or disappearing.
Deborah Garrison (A Working Girl Can't Win)
Someday I will stop being young and wanting stupid tattoos. There are 7 people in my house. We each have different genders. I cut my hair over the bathroom sink and everything I own has a hole in it. There is a banner in our living room that says “Love Cats Hate Capitalism.” We sit around the kitchen table and argue about the compost pile and Karl Marx and the necessity of violence when The Rev comes. Whatever the fuck The Rev means. Every time my best friend laughs I want to grab him by the shoulders and shout “Grow old with me and never kiss me on the mouth!” I want us to spend the next 80 years together eating Doritos and riding bikes. I want to be Oscar the Grouch. I want him and his girlfriend to be Bert and Ernie. I want us to live on Sesame Street and I will park my trash can on their front stoop and we will be friends every day. If I ever seem grouchy it’s just because I am a little afraid of all that fun. There is a river running through this city I know as well as my own name. It’s the first place I’ve ever called home. I don’t think its poetry to say I’m in love with the water. I don’t think it’s poetry to say I’m in love with the train tracks. I don’t think it’s blasphemy to say I see God in the skyline. There is always cold beer asking to be slurped on back porches. There are always crushed packs of Marlboro’s in my back pockets. I have been wearing the same patched-up shorts for 10 days. Someday I will stop being young and wanting stupid tattoos.
Clementine von Radics
Man is a short-sighted creature, sees but a very little way before him; and as his passions are none of his best friends, so his particular affections are generally his worst counselors.
Daniel Defoe (The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe)
To make matters worse, everyone she talks to has a different opinion about the nature of his problem and what she should do about it. Her clergyperson may tell her, “Love heals all difficulties. Give him your heart fully, and he will find the spirit of God.” Her therapist speaks a different language, saying, “He triggers strong reactions in you because he reminds you of your father, and you set things off in him because of his relationship with his mother. You each need to work on not pushing each other’s buttons.” A recovering alcoholic friend tells her, “He’s a rage addict. He controls you because he is terrified of his own fears. You need to get him into a twelve-step program.” Her brother may say to her, “He’s a good guy. I know he loses his temper with you sometimes—he does have a short fuse—but you’re no prize yourself with that mouth of yours. You two need to work it out, for the good of the children.” And then, to crown her increasing confusion, she may hear from her mother, or her child’s schoolteacher, or her best friend: “He’s mean and crazy, and he’ll never change. All he wants is to hurt you. Leave him now before he does something even worse.” All of these people are trying to help, and they are all talking about the same abuser. But he looks different from each angle of view.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Because the best kind of friendships never really ended. They could be put on pause for a short while or divided by space and time. But real friends—the truest ones—always waited and never missed a beat.
Bethany-Kris (Deathless & Divided (The Chicago War, #1))
I hate that I got dealt shitty parents! I hate how you make me feel like scum! I hate that you’re always running away from me! And I hate that I ever fucking gave you the power to destroy me!
Adriana Law (Chasing Memories)
And if we do speak out, we risk rejection and ridicule. I had a best friend once, the kind that you go shopping with and watch films with, the kind you go on holiday with and rescue when her car breaks down on the A1. Shortly after my diagnosis, I told her I had DID. I haven't seen her since. The stench and rankness of a socially unacceptable mental health disorder seems to have driven her away.
Carolyn Spring (Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Campaigning Voices)
You know this girl. Her hair is neither long nor short nor light nor dark. She parts it precisely in the middle. She sits precisely in the middle of the classroom, and when she used to ride the school bus, she sat precisely in the middle of that, too. She joins clubs, but is never the president of them. Sometimes she is the secretary; usually, just a member. When asked, she has been known to paints sets for the school play. She always has a date to the dance, but is never anyone’s first choice. In point of fact, she’s nobody’s first choice for anything. Her best friend became her best friend when another girl moved away. She has a group of girls she eats lunch with every day, but God, how they bore her. Sometimes, when she can’t stand it anymore, she eats in the library instead. Truth be told, she prefers books to people, and the librarian always seems happy to see her. She knows there are other people who have it worse—she isn’t poor or ugly or friendless or teased. Of course, she’s also aware that the reason no one teases is because no one ever notices her. This isn’t to say she doesn’t have qualities. She is pretty, maybe, if anyone would bother to look. And she gets good enough grades. And she doesn’t drink and drive. And she says NO to drugs. And she is always where she says she will be. And she calls when she’s going to be late. And she feels a little, just a little, dead inside. She thinks, You think you know me, but you don’t. She thinks, None of you has any idea about all the things in my heart. She thinks, None of you has any idea how really and truly beautiful I am. She thinks, See me. See me. See me. Sometimes she thinks she will scream. Sometimes she imagines sticking her head in an oven. But she doesn’t. She just writes it all down in her journal and waits. She is waiting for someone to see.
Gabrielle Zevin (Love Is Hell)
Sometimes an adventure is a mundane thing. A trip to the shore with your best friend. Learning you can laugh in unearthly ways.
Rose Christo (Unborn: Three Short Stories (Unborn, #2))
Leave it to your best friend to grab you by the short curly ones with one hand and bitch slap you with the other." "His Name was Harley Manfield
T.A. Webb (Winter Heat: Erotic Stories to Warm Your Life)
Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly. Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who speaks highly of you. Someone you can laugh with. The kind of laughs that make your belly ache, and your nose snort. The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs. Wit is important. Life is too short not to love someone who lets you be a fool with them. Make sure they are somebody who lets you cry, too. Despair will come. Find someone that you want to be there with you through those times. Most importantly, marry the one that makes passion, love, and madness combine and course through you. A love that will never dilute - even when the waters get deep, and dark.
N'tima
Jordan, Attached, please find a copy of the schedule for our trip. Best Courtney." I was really proud of it. The email i mean. Because it was so short and cold.Of course, it took me and my friend Jocelyn about two hours to come up with the perfect wording, but Jordan doesn't know that.
Lauren Barnholdt
In 1976, Stephen King published a short story, “I Know What You Need,” about the courting of a young woman. Her suitor was a young man who could read her mind but did not tell her so. He simply appeared with what she wanted at the moment, beginning with strawberry ice cream for a study break. Step by step he changed her life, making her dependent upon him by giving her what she thought she wanted at a certain moment, before she herself had a chance to reflect. Her best friend realized that something disconcerting was happening, investigated, and learned the truth: “That is not love,” she warned. “That’s rape.” The internet is a bit like this. It knows much about us, but interacts with us without revealing that this is so. It makes us unfree by arousing our worst tribal impulses and placing them at the service of unseen others.
Timothy Snyder (The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America)
Let me tell you girls a story, short and sweet. In high school, I was a junior varsity cheerleader dating a senior who was up for football scholarships. I'd slept with him several times willingly. One night I wasn't in the mood, but he was. So he held me down and forced me. The few people I told about it - including my best friend - pointed out what would happen to him if I told. They stressed the fact that I hadn't been a virgin, that we were dating, that we'd had sex before. So I kept quiet. I never even told my mother. That boy put bruises on my body. I was crying and begging him to stop and he didn't. That's called rape, ladies.
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
Oh please, I don't have 'best' friends, I have but a few people whose presence I can tolerate just slightly more than others who I allow to occupy space within my vicinity for short periods of time.
Julia Wertz (The Infinite Wait and Other Stories)
When you are deeply hurt, no person on this earth can shut out the innermost fears and deepest agonies. The best of friends cannot really understand the battle you are going through or the wounds inflicted on you. Only God can shut out the waves of depression and feelings of loneliness and failure that come over you. Faith in God’s love alone can salvage the hurt mind. The bruised and broken heart that suffers in silence can be healed only by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, and nothing short of divine intervention really works.
David Wilkerson (Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?: Finding Hope and Healing When You Feel Discouraged)
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore? I’m probably hopelessly out of date but my advice is get real-world experience: Be a cowboy. Drive a truck. Join the Marine Corps. Get out of the hypercompetitive “life hack” frame of mind. I’m 74. Believe me, you’ve got all the time in the world. You’ve got ten lifetimes ahead of you. Don’t worry about your friends “beating” you or “getting somewhere” ahead of you. Get out into the real dirt world and start failing. Why do I say that? Because the goal is to connect with your own self, your own soul. Adversity. Everybody spends their life trying to avoid it. Me too. But the best things that ever happened to me came during the times when the shit hit the fan and I had nothing and nobody to help me. Who are you really? What do you really want? Get out there and fail and find out.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
Tripp was my best friend, my lover, my confidant, my soul mate. He was the salt to my pepper. He was the peanut butter to my chocolate. He gave me love and hope and joy. Together we created our three beautiful girls and together we looked at the world as ours to conquer. In short, he was my other half; the part that completed me.
Kathryn McNeill Crane (Searching for Tomorrow (Tomorrows #1))
My mouth dropped open, because even if it wasn't my best friend, I knew the guy who was presently rubbing the short stubble on his chin. The only new thing about him was the little scar on his left eyebrow. It was Gabriel Green, known to me as Gabe the douche bag. Great!
Stephanie Witter (By My Side)
Floyd Talbert wrote shortly before his death, “Dick, you are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier who ever served under you. You are the best friend I ever had…you were my ideal, and motor in combat…you are to me the greatest soldier I could ever hope to meet.
Dick Winters (Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters)
Lidewij, I believe Agustus Waters sent a few pages from a notebok to Peter Van Houten shortly before he (Augustus) died. It is very important to me that someone reads these pages. I want to read them, of course, but maybe they weren't written for me. Regardless, they must be read. They must be. Can you help? Your friend, Hazel Grace Lancaster "She responded late that afternoon." Dear Hazel, I did not know that Augustus had died. I am very sad to hear this news. He was such a very charismatic young man. I am so sorry, and so sad. I have not spoken to Peter since I resigned that day we met. It is very late at night here, but I am going over to his house first thing in the morning to find this letter and force him to read it. Mornings were his best time, usually. Your friend, Lidewij Vliegenthart p.s. I am bringing my boyfriend in case we have to physically retsrain Peter.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
The point I’m trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all-around obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be the best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend, and certainly not the best friend of the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But as I am apparently your best friend, I cannot congratulate you on your choice of companion. Actually, now I can. Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable. John, you have endured war, and injury, and tragic loss — so sorry again about that last one. So know this: Today, you sit between the woman you have made your wife and the man you have saved. In short, the two people who love you most in all this world. And I know I speak for Mary as well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that. Now, on to some funny stories about John...
Steven Moffat
♔ Writing is my passion. I never want to let it go. It may be short, Fan-Fiction or purely my own work. But it is my kingdom, I am the princess. For all the noble readers in the kingdom, I bring them joy with tales. My knights that protect me, are my fellow writers. The dragon would be the inspiration for my writing. The fortune teller would be my best friend, giving me hope. The castle would be Wattpad, it keeps everything protected. ♔
BritHoran
With time to think, the full reality of what had happened hit Thomas like a falling boulder. Ever since Thomas had entered the Maze, Newt had been there for him. Thomas hadn’t realized just how much of a friend he’d become until now. His heart hurt. He tried to remind himself that Newt wasn’t dead. But in some ways this was worse. In most ways. He’d fallen down the slope of insanity, and he was surrounded by bloodthirsty Cranks. And the prospect of never seeing him again was almost unbearable. [...] He pulled the envelope out of his pocket and ripped it open, then took out the slip of paper. The soft lights that ringed the mirror lit up the message in a warm glow. It was two short sentences: Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me. Thomas read it over and over, wishing the words would change. To think that his friend had been so scared that he’d had the foresight to write those words made him sick to his stomach. And he remembered how angry Newt had been at Thomas specifically when they’d found him in the bowling alley. He’d just wanted to avoid the inevitable fate of becoming a Crank. And Thomas had failed him. [...] “Newt suddenly twisted around and grabbed Thomas by the hand holding the gun. He yanked it toward himself, forcing it up until the end of the pistol was pressed against his own forehead. “Now make amends! Kill me before I become one of those cannibal monsters! Kill me! I trusted you with the note! No one else. Now do it!” Thomas tried to pull his hand away, but Newt was too strong. “I can’t, Newt, I can’t.” “Make amends! Repent for what you did!” The words tore out of him, his whole body trembling. Then his voice dropped to an urgent, harsh whisper. “Kill me, you shuck coward. Prove you can do the right thing. Put me out of my misery.” The words horrified Thomas. “Newt, maybe we can—” “Shut up! Just shut up! I trusted you! Now do it!” “I can’t.” “Do it!” “I can’t!” How could Newt ask him to do something like this? How could he possibly kill one of his best friends? “Kill me or I’ll kill you. Kill me! Do it!” “Newt …” “Do it before I become one of them!” “I …” “KILL ME!” And then Newt’s eyes cleared, as if he’d gained one last trembling gasp of sanity, and his voice softened. “Please, Tommy. Please.” With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
I have not read most of the big 19th — century novels that people consider “essential,” nor most of the 20th-century ones for that matter. But this does not embarrass me. There are many films to see, many friends to visit, many walks to take, many playlists to assemble and many favorite books to reread. Life’s too short for anxious score-keeping. Also, my grandmother is illiterate, and she’s one of the best people I know. Reading is a deep personal consolation for me, but other things console, too.
Teju Cole
kids who were able to overcome their desire for short-term reward in favor of a better outcome later weren’t smarter than the other kids, nor were they less gluttonous. They just had a better grasp of how to trick themselves into doing what was best for them.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
Eyes speak louder than words; life is precious; hate is poison; God is the best of all possible friends; silence and time are valuable treasures; happiness can be just as powerful in pretend; and soft licorice is a temptation in any color, especially exotic black.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
He is a principled man, and compassionate, someone who will remind himself of your best qualities while struggling to forgive your worst. In short, he is a friend.
Tracy Guzeman (The Gravity of Birds)
A chuckle escaped Meredith's lips as Cassie swung from sleepy little girl to sympathetic confidante to vengeful angel all in the course of a single minute.
Karen Witemeyer (Short-Straw Bride (Archer Brothers, #1))
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do? I have a friend at the gym who knew Jack LaLanne (Google him if the name is unfamiliar). Jack used to say it’s okay to take a day off from working out. But on that day, you’re not allowed to eat. That’s the short way of saying you’re not really allowed to get unfocused. Take a vacation. Gather yourself. But know that the only reason you’re here on this planet is to follow your star and do what the Muse tells you. It’s amazing how a good day’s work will get you right back to feeling like yourself.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
Some of my scientific friends and colleagues confess that they cannot for the life of them see why I don't abandon ship and join them. The short answer is that I have managed, by straddling the boundaries, to have the best of both worlds. By working with scientists I get a rich diet of fascinating and problematic facts to think about, but by staying a philosopher without a lab or a research grant, I get to think about all the theories and experiments and never have to do the dishes
Daniel C. Dennett (Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking)
I think back to my own short-lived marriage. The lust didn’t die with us. But that didn’t stop him leaving after four years to be with someone else when our son was barely two years old. Maybe she has a point. I don’t think I ever saw my ex, Ian, as my best friend.
Sarah Pinborough (Behind Her Eyes)
It huddled on the edge of a dead, dirty lake, fed by a river best known for burning; it was built on a river whose very name meant sadness: Chagrin. Which then gave its name to everything, pockets of agony scattered throughout the city, buried like veins of dismay: Chagrin Falls, Chagrin Boulevard, Chagrin Reservation. Chagrin Real Estate. Chagrin Auto Body. Chagrin reproducing and proliferating, as if they would ever run short. The Mistake on the Lake, people called it sometimes, and to Lexie, as to her siblings and friends, Cleveland was something to be escaped.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
The danger facing all of us--let me say it again, for one feels it tremendously--is not that we shall make an absolute failure of life, nor that we shall fall into outright viciousness, nor that we shall be terribly unhappy, nor that we shall feel that life has no meaning at all--not these things. The danger is that we may fail to perceive life's greatest meaning, fall short of its highest good, miss its deepest and most abiding happiness, be unable to render the most needed service, be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God--and be content to have it so--that is the danger. That some day we may wake up and find that always we have been busy with the husks and trappings of life--and have really missed life itself. For life without God, to one who has known the richness and joy of life with Him, is unthinkable, impossible. That is what one prays one's friends may be spared--satisfaction with a life that falls short of the best, that has in it no tingle and thrill which come from a friendship with the Father.
Phillips Brooks
Ruxandra pulled the blanket down just far enough to see the two girls shut the door behind them, stuff something under it to block any light, and throw a blanket over the shutters. A flint sparked one, twice, and a taper flared to life, lighting the faces of her friends. Adela was a short blonde whose breasts pushed against her nightdress and were the despair of the nuns’ attempts to instill modesty. Her parents had sent her to the convent in desperate hopes to keep her from scandal. And between her sweet, round face and her ability to lie shamelessly, she almost managed to make the nuns believe they were being successful. Valeria was slim and dark, a mischief-maker whose pranks had gotten her in trouble more than once. They were both her lovers. Adela called it practice for when they had husbands. Valeria called it wonderful. The nuns declared it a sin in no uncertain terms. And while Ruxandra did her best to obey the nuns in most matters, and to turn her thoughts to God and do his good work, she could not stop loving the girls. From the moment she’d first held Adela’s hand, she’d known that, whatever else their feelings were for each other, they were too sweet to be sinful.
John Patrick Kennedy (Princess Dracula (Princess Dracula #1))
But we all know how this ends, right? Just a few short months later, not only were Korie and Stephen no longer dating, they sure as hell weren’t best friends.
Lauren Layne (Blurred Lines (Love Unexpectedly, #1))
And trust me, you could get into business with your bestest-bestie-best-BFFL-friend ever, and something will undoubtedly happen. The short version: get it in writing.
Jason SurfrApp (Creativity For Sale: How I Made $1,000,000 Wearing T-Shirts and How You Can Turn Your Passion Into Profit, Too)
If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities.
T. Coraghessan Boyle (The Best American Short Stories 2015)
The Reed Flute's Song Listen to the story told by the reed, of being separated. "Since I was cut from the reedbed, I have made this crying sound. Anyone apart from someone he loves understands what I say. Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back. At any gathering I am there, mingling in the laughing and grieving, a friend to each, but few will hear the secrets hidden within the notes. No ears for that. Body flowing out of spirit, spirit up from body: no concealing that mixing. But it's not given us to see the soul. The reed flute is fire, not wind. Be that empty." Hear the love fire tangled in the reed notes, as bewilderment melts into wine. The reed is a friend to all who want the fabric torn and drawn away. The reed is hurt and salve combining. Intimacy and longing for intimacy, one song. A disastrous surrender and a fine love, together. The one who secretly hears this is senseless. A tongue has one customer, the ear. A sugarcane flute has such effect because it was able to make sugar in the reedbed. The sound it makes is for everyone. Days full of wanting, let them go by without worrying that they do. Stay where you are inside such a pure, hollow note. Every thirst gets satisfied except that of these fish, the mystics, who swim a vast ocean of grace still somehow longing for it! No one lives in that without being nourished every day. But if someone doesn't want to hear the song of the reed flute, it's best to cut conversation short, say good-bye, and leave.
Rumi
I’m an old man, now. I’ve been alone since my 17th birthday. I’d wanted to marry, have a bunch of kids, and maybe be a grandpa. The big family around the Thanksgiving table, laughing and pouring wine and cracking jokes and harmlessly teasing the missus—I wanted that. I wanted to do something good with my life—something right. I didn’t want what happened to Danny, my best childhood friend, to be the only mark I’d ever make in this world. But I thought it best not to fancy such hopes and dreams: a family, love. I’d been cursed by my best friend, and I thought it right not to inflict that curse on anyone who’d be foolish enough to love me.
J. Tonzelli (The End of Summer: Thirteen Tales of Halloween)
After a short trip to the changing room, he emerged in khaki pants, a linen shirt, and loafers. “What do you think?” I asked, coming up to the mirror and checking him out up close. “It looks like I’m one of those guys who lives on a boat and sleeps with nineteen-year-olds.
Ajme Williams (Best Friend's Brother (Heart of Hope))
It’s funny, but when I talk about this business of my father and Valentina with my women friends, they’re absolutely appalled. They see a vulnerable old man who’s being exploited. Yet all the men I talk to—without any exception, Mike” (I wag my finger) “they respond with these wry knowing smiles, these little admiring chuckles. Oh, what a lad he is. What an achievement, pulling this much younger bird. Best of luck to him. Let him have his bit of fun.” “You must admit, it’s done him good.” “I don’t admit anything.” (It’s much less satisfying arguing with Mike than with Vera or Pappa. He’s always so irritatingly reasonable.) “Are you sure you’re not just being a bit puritanical?” “Of course I’m not!” (So what if I am?) “It’s because he’s my father—I just want him to be grown up.” “He is being grown up, in his way.” “No he’s not, he’s being a lad. An eighty-four-year-old lad. You’re all being lads together. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. What a great pair of knockers. For goodness’ sake!” My voice has risen to a shriek. “But you can see it’s doing him good, this new relationship. It’s breathed new life into him. Just goes to show that you’re never too old for love.” “You mean for sex.” “Well, maybe that as well. Your Dad is just hoping to fulfil every man’s dream—to lie in the arms of a beautiful younger woman.” “Every man’s dream?” That night Mike and I sleep in separate beds.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
I’ve only ever known Jacob the Ghost. What that really means is that I’ve only known Jacob from the point when he entered my story. I didn’t think so much about the fact that he had a story of his own. A whole life, short as it was, before we got tangled up, before he became my best friend.
Victoria Schwab (Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake, #2))
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
The minute Molly and Priss disappeared inside, Trace cursed. He actually wanted to hit something, but a tree would break his knuckles, he didn’t want to put another dent in the truck, and Dare would hit back. Chris Chapey, Dare’s longtime best friend and personal assistant, approached with the enormous cat draped over one shoulder so that he could keep an eye on the trailing dogs. The bottom half of Liger filled his arms, and the long tail hung down to the hem of Chris’s shorts. Without even thinking about it, Trace started petting the cat. After a few hours in the truck together, he and Liger had an understanding of sorts. Dare watched him, but said only, “That cat is a beast.” “He’s an armful, that’s for sure.” Chris hefted him a little higher, and got a sweet meow in return. Both dogs barked in excitement, but quited when Liger gave them a level stare. Chris laughed at that. “You want me to head in to keep an eye on things” “That’s why I pay you the big bucks, right?” Dare stared toward the house. “You can tell Trace’s lady—” “She’s not mine.” Both Chris and Dare gave him a certain male-inspired look, a look that said they understood his bullshit and would let it slide—for now.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
There's not much to say about loneliness, for it's not a broad subject. Any child, alone in her room, can journey across its entire breadth, from border to border, in an hour. Though not broad, our subject is deep. Loneliness is deeper than the ocean. But here, too, there is no mystery. Our intrepid child is liable to fall quickly to the very bottom without even trying. And since the depths of loneliness cannot sustain human life, the child will swim to the surface again in short order, no worse for wear. Some of us, though, can bring breathing aids down with us for longer stays: imaginary friends, drugs and alcohol, mind-numbing entertainment, hobbies, ironclad routine, and pets. (Pets are some of the best enablers of loneliness, your own cuddlesome Murphy notwithstanding.) With the help of these aids, a poor sap can survive the airless depths of loneliness long enough to experience its true horror -- duration. Did you know, Myren Vole, that when presented with the same odor (even my own) for a duration of only several minutes, the olfactory nerves become habituated -- as my daughter used to say -- to it and cease transmitting its signal to the brain? Likewise, most pain loses its edge in time. Time heals all -- as they say. Even the loss of a loved one, perhaps life's most wrenching pain, is blunted in time. It recedes into the background where it can be borne with lesser pains. Not so our friend loneliness, which grows only more keen and insistent with each passing hour. Loneliness is as needle sharp now as it was an hour ago, or last week. But if loneliness is the wound, what's so secret about it? I submit to you, Myren Vole, that the most painful death of all is suffocation by loneliness. And by the time I started on my portrait of Jean, I was ten years into it (with another five to go). It is from that vantage point that I tell you that loneliness itself is the secret. It's a secret you cannot tell anyone. Why? Because to confess your loneliness is to confess your failure as a human being. To confess would only cause others to pity and avoid you, afraid that what you have is catching. Your condition is caused by a lack of human relationship, and yet to admit to it only drives your possible rescuers farther away (while attracting cats). So you attempt to hide your loneliness in public, to behave, in fact, as though you have too many friends already, and thus you hope to attract people who will unwittingly save you. But it never works that way. Your condition is written all over your face, in the hunch of your shoulders, in the hollowness of your laugh. You fool no one. Believe me in this; I've tried all the tricks of the lonely man.
David Marusek (Counting Heads (Counting Heads, #1))
I sat with my back to the door, muffling my tears, wishing my dead liberal mother were here, to tell them all to leave me alone, pack my bags for me, and take me home to our little stucco house a few short blocks from Penny, my best friend, who didn’t deserve to be a “major policy issue,” who I swore, I swore, I would never, ever apologize for.
Jenn Marie Thorne (The Wrong Side of Right)
Lower [plane] than one of those who perished. It was their war, not mine. I was able to walk out of it, leave it behind. Though God preserved me, the best stories were theirs, and these were cut short. The real story of a war is no story at all - blackness, sadness, silence. The stories they tell of comradeship and valor are all to make up for what they lacked. When I was in the army I was always surrounded by thousands of men, and yet I was almost always alone. Whenever I made friends, they were killed. "If I describe what I saw of war, you'll know it from the point of view of the living, and that is the smallest part of the truth. The truth itself is what was finally apprehended by those who didn't come back.
Mark Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War)
Mom asked me this morning if I’d made my New Year’s resolution yet. I told her it’s to get a tattoo on my butt cheek of half a heart, like those friendship necklaces, and trip was going to get the other half-we’re still arguing over who gets the Best butt cheek and who gets the Friends cheek. Each has its own issues in isolation. I feel like there’s a poem in there somewhere.
Jared Reck (A Short History of the Girl Next Door)
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
When we miss the meaning of a language, we miss the real essence and impact of communication. If we lose the real meaning of a language, we lose the real understanding of a language. Friendship is developed and nurtured through effective communication and that is the great tool that shapes friendship. A good communication, regardless of how short it might be is a great litmus paper that proves who a true friend or false friend is. A good communication does not only trigger the best bond but it also uncovers things in the heart that are hidden from the eyes. Without an effective communication, real friendship and real love between two great people is just like two great mountains with a valley between them. Without communication, we lose what we could have heard from real people. When we miss the meaning of a language, we miss the real essence and impact of communication!!!
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
From the short story (and anthology containing it) DONNY DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE : Donny acted like he didn’t hear me. “You can’t send your mom off into eternity looking like that, Artie. She wouldn’t like it.” He reached into my mother’s casket, shoved his fingers into her mouth like it was the most logical thing in the world. 
“Donny, you can’t --!” 
“I’m just making her look right, Artie. It’s what she would want.” He tugged hard at my mom’s lips. I knew they were cold because I had kissed them a few moments earlier, and for a moment I felt convinced my friend had completely lost his mind. But when I looked inside Mom’s casket I knew Donny had done something only a best friend would think to do. My mother was smiling again. And she looked just the way I remembered her, the way I would always want to remember her. I got so choked up I couldn’t talk for a few minutes. 
Finally I managed, “My mother always told me you could make her smile.
Kenneth C. Goldman (Donny Doesn't Live Here Anymore)
I've been fortunate to work with hundreds of best selling authors and speakers which led me to a stark reality: Very few people advise you what NOT to do. Call it unconventional wisdom. I spent a long time making this books short--so you'll finish it! If you know of a book that delivers more useful information in fewer pages, I want to know about it! In the meantime, please tell your friends to download or buy it. And stay tuned for the online test, coming soon to http://howtokillyourcompany.com/ Thanks!
Ken Kirsh (How to Kill Your Company: 50 Ways You're Bleeding Your Organization and Damaging Your Career)
Chelsea, of course, was the first one to speak up. “Okay, am I the only one who noticed how gi-mungous Mimi Nichols’s dress makes her ass look? Of course, you can barely notice it since her freakishly giant boobs are practically hanging out the top of it.” Chelsea glanced at Jules and grinned. “No offense, of course,” she offered, raising her eyebrows at Jules’s chest. Claire giggled, and Jules wrinkled up her face in disgust at Chelsea’s teasing barb. “You’re just jealous,” she retorted, eyeing Chelsea’s chest in return. “Touche, Jules. Touche!” Chelsea admitted. Claire wanted so badly to join in on the catty conversation, but she was terrible at finding other people’s flaws . . . at least intentionally. Still, she gave it her best shot. “And what about Jennifer Cummings?” she asked accusingly, trying to mimic one of Chelsea’s cutting looks. They looked around at one another, wondering what it was that they weren’t getting. Chelsea was the only one brave enough to ask, “What about her, Claire?” “She does not even look kind of cute!” Claire stated, her face a mask of mock horror. They all stared at her, not sure what to say. And then once again, of course, it was Chelsea who broke the stunned silence. “I swear, Claire-bear, I am going to call your mom and tell her you need to start riding the short bus. You really need to start practicing your bitchy comments. What are you gonna do when we’re not here to get your back?” Claire rolled her eyes, too oblivious to be insulted, which was why she was the perfect friends for Chelsea, who was too insulting to be obvious. “Geez, Chels, I don’t even ride the bus.” Jules couldn’t help herself; despite her best efforts to hold on to her detached cool, she started laughing. And pretty soon they were all laughing, even Claire, who still didn’t realize what they were laughing at. “You guys are so mean!” Violet charged accusingly. “Can’t you just have fun and stop picking everyone part?” Chelsea looked disgusted. “You’ve gone soft, haven’t you? Jay has made you soft!” Violet rolled her eyes, smiling despite her best efforts. “Whatever. Everyone’s soft compared to you.” “Ouch!” Chelsea pretended to be wounded. But again, she just couldn’t pull it off.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
It’s your life time that is short and running out all the time So what are you doing taking drugs? Why are you putting cigarette smoke in those beautiful lungs of yours? What are you drinking that poison for? Weeks ago sections of this city burned to the ground For nothing Months ago my best friend was shot in the face and killed on my front porch For nothing Life time’s up for him You’re different You’re alive, you’re breathing I’d like to see you stay that way Don’t do anything for nothing You’re too important This trip is all about you
Henry Rollins (See A Grown Man Cry/Now Watch Him Die)
My great-great grandfather and I were best of friends, although we never met. Fire and shipwreck orphan us – 140 years apart. We escape to imagination to survive our fate. There, midst flights of whimsy we find one another. Companionship quells our loneliness. We create fables and tales, shields against a harsh existence. We must battle animals and humans of prey. Together, he, the future abolitionist-publisher James Thaddeus ‘Blackjack’ Fiction, and I vault from glory-laden adventures to tragedy and then to triumph. I am Raji Singh and this is my story.
Raji Singh
Best Of Friends [Verse 1] I see Alaina in the distance Shouting out a word And she runs through persistence Oh, her mind is so absurd Oh love, oh love Jumping jolly until the end I wanna be your friend [Hook] I wanna be your best friend I don't want you to be my girl I wanna be your best friend I don't want you to be my… I don't want you to be my… [Verse 2] Well well well… I see witness Wendy Her short hair and her pistol boots Oh man, she's always ready To take that line and finally shoot Oh lord, oh lord Jumping jolly until the end I wanna be your friend [Hook x2]
Palma Violets
He didn’t know how to help. If Max were anyone else, Jules would sit with him for a while, looking out at the night, and then start to talk. About nothing too heavy at first. Warming up to get into the hard stuff. Although, maybe, if he tried that now, the man would either open up—Ha, ha, ha! Riotous laughter. Like that would ever happen—or he’d stand up and move outside of talking range, which would put him away from the window with nothing to look at, at which point he might close his eyes for a while. It was certainly worth a try. Of course there were other possibilities. Max could put Jules into a chokehold until he passed out. So okay. Start talking. Although why bother with inconsequential chitchat, designed to make Max relax? And weren’t those words--Max and relax--two that had never before been used together in a sentence? It wasn’t going to happen, so it made sense to just jump right in. Although, what was the best way to tell a friend that the choices he’d made were among the stupidest of all time, and that he was, in short, a complete dumbfuck? Max was not oblivious to Jules’s internal hemming and hawing. “If you have something you need to say, for the love of God, just say it. Don’t sit there making all those weird noises.” What? “What noises? I’m not making weird noises.” “Yeah,” Max said. “You are.” “Like what? Like . . .?” He held out his hands, inviting Max to demonstrate. “Like . . .” Max sighed heavily. “Like . . .” He made a tsking sound with his tongue. Jules laughed. “Those aren’t weird noises. Weird noises are like, whup-whup-whup-whup”-- he imitated sounds from a Three Stooges movie—“or Vrrrrrr.” “Sometimes I really have to work to remind myself that you’re one of the Bureau’s best agents,” Max said.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
According to the Islamic law of international treaties, Muslims could make treaties of peace and live at peace with countries outside of dār al-islām if they themselves were not threatened by them. The best example of such a situation is the friendly relations the Prophet himself had with then Christian Abyssinians, who had in fact given refuge to some of the Muslims from Mecca shortly after the advent of the Quranic revelation. Many instances of such peaceful coexistence are also to be seen between Muslim and Christian kingdoms in Spain and Hindu and Muslim states in India. In
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity)
She does not even look kind of cute!" Claire stated, her face a mask of mock horror. They all started at her, not sure what to say. And then once again, of course, it was Chelsea who broke the stunned silence. "I swear, Claire-bear, I am going to call your mom and tell her you need to start riding the short bus. You really need to start practicing your bitchy comments. What are you gonna do when we're not here to get your back?" Claire rolled her eyes, too oblivious to be insulted, which was why she was the perfect friend for Chelsea, who was too insulting to be oblivious. "Geez, Chels, I don't even ride the bus." Jules couldn't help herself; despite her best efforts to hold on to her detached cool, she started laughing. And pretty soon they were all laughing, even Claire, who still didn't realize what they were laughing at. "You guys are so mean!" Violet charged accusingly. "Can't you just have fun and stop picking everyone apart?" Chelsea looked disgusted. "You've gone soft, haven't you? Jay has made you soft!" Violet rolled her eyes, smiling despite her best efforts. "Whatever. Everyone's soft compared to you." "Ouch!" Chelsea pretended to be wounded. But again, she just couldn't pull it off.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
God entered the yellow church on the disabled ramp. He was in a wheelchair too; He had once lost a woman too. He was silvery. Not the cheap, glittery silver of a banker’s BMW, but a muted, matte silver. Once, as He was gliding among the silvery stars with his silvery beloved, a gang of golden gods attacked them. When they were kids, God had once beaten one of them up, a short, skinny golden god who had now grown up and returned with his friends. The golden gods beat Him with golden clubs of sunlight and didn’t stop until they’d broken every bone in His divine body. It took Him years to recuperate. His beloved never did. She remained a vegetable. She could see and hear everything, but she couldn’t say a word. The silvery God decided to create a species in His own image so she could watch it to pass the time. That species really did resemble Him: battered and victimized like Him. And His silvery beloved stared wide-eyed at the members of that species for hours, stared and didn’t even shed a tear. 'What do you think,' the silvery God asked the yellow priest in frustration, 'that I created all of you like this because it's what I wanted? Because I'm some kind of pervert or sadist who enjoys all this suffering? I created you like this because this is what I know. It's the best I can do.
Etgar Keret (פתאום דפיקה בדלת)
Mr. Brock’s account of his adventure in London has given the reader some short notice of his friend, Mr Macshane. Neither the wits nor the principles of that worthy Ensign were particularly firm: for drink, poverty, and a crack on the skull at the battle of Steenkirk had served to injure the former; and the Ensign was not in his best days possessed of any share of the latter. He had really, at one period, held such a rank in the army, but pawned his half-pay for drink and play; and for many years past had lived, one of the hundred thousand miracles of our city, upon nothing that anybody knew of, or of which he himself could give any account. Who has not a catalogue of these men in his list? who can tell whence comes the occasional clean shirt, who supplies the continual means of drunkenness, who wards off the daily-impending starvation? Their life is a wonder from day to day: their breakfast a wonder; their dinner a miracle; their bed an interposition of Providence. If you and I, my dear sir, want a shilling tomorrow, who will give it us? Will OUR butchers give us mutton-chops? will OUR laundresses clothe us in clean linen? — not a bone or a rag. Standing as we do (may it be ever so) somewhat removed from want,[*] is there one of us who does not shudder at the thought of descending into the lists to combat with it, and
William Makepeace Thackeray (Delphi Complete Works of W. M. Thackeray (Illustrated))
Have you ever listened to a song from a long time ago; from your past; a song that was filled with so many memories tied to it, that you felt it so deeply- that it made you cry? And did you listen to it again, intentionally, for a second time? So you could travel back in time through that song; back when everything seemed so much simpler, basic, carefree? Those are the songs that are the soundtracks of our lives… the ones that bring back childhood memories, deep feelings, snapshots of our lives (or short videos), best friends, first loves, first heartbreaks… births, deaths. Our lives are like the record albums that we used to play just a few years ago; just yesterday. We played some of the songs over and over again- to the point of which we can sing along with every word as we play it. Other songs seem somewhat unfamiliar, as we rarely go back to listen to them; we skip over them or we barely listen to the start of it before we turn off the record player. But just like on a record album and just like in our memories, you can't cut a song out off an album... just like you can't cut out a memory. The songs and memories remain there, side by side; the good ones, the bad ones, the ones that thrill us and the ones that hurt. Those are the songs that our lives are composed of. Those are the songs that we chase back, back into our our own memories in our private and personal musical time machines.
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
More people continue to join the party, some familiar faces, and some new ones that I look forward to getting to know. I smile and wave as I spot Lucy through the crowd, where she stands outside Logan’s Tavern laughing. She’s joined by the two girls she met when we first arrived here that she now classes as her best friends. She’s recently completed her first year of an art course at college. Seems she has a real flair for it, and I've never seen her happier. Her watercolours of Ceaders Bay, which take pride of place on the walls of our new home, are nothing short of phenomenal. She has recently painted one to send as a house warming gift to my parents, who are now living up the coast from us in their beloved village of Pemblington
N.C. Marshall (See You Soon)
Life is too short, dare to enjoy every minute. Life is too short, dare to love everybody. Life is too short, dare to make best of it. Life is too short, dare to have a grateful heart. Life is too short, dare to keep smiling. Life is too short, dare to have no regrets. Life is too short, dare to have no heartbreaks. Life is too short, dare to extend hand to needy people. Life is too short, dare to fight injustice. Life is too short, dare to be all you can be. Life is too short, dare to tell the truth at all times. Life is too short, dare to see the world. Life is too short, dare to forgive and forget. Life is too short, dare to waste no time. Life is too short, dare to burn no bridges. Life is too short, dare to be more brave than weak. Life is too short, dare to prioritize things of importance. Life is too short, dare to spend your time with those who you care. Life is too short, dare to be around people who believe in you. Life is too short, dare to share your stories with others. Life is too short, dare to do things you enjoy most. Life is too short, dare to start your day with a positive attitude. Life is too short, dare to live your life with a purpose. Life is too short, dare to be surrounded by people who share your dreams. Life is too short, dare to go to places you feel most excited about. Life is too short, dare to love like there is no tomorrow. Life is too short, dare to get out of the house every day. Life is too short, dare to spend time with friends. Life is too short, dare to
John Taskinsoy
Missy and I became best friends, and soon after our first year together I decided to propose to her. It was a bit of a silly proposal. It was shortly before Christmas Day 1988, and I bought her a potted plant for her present. I know, I know, but let me finish. The plan was to put her engagement ring in the dirt (which I did) and make her dig to find it (which I forced her to do). I was then going to give a speech saying, “Sometimes in life you have to get your hands dirty and work hard to achieve something that grows to be wonderful.” I got the idea from Matthew 13, where Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower. I don’t know if it was the digging through the dirt to find the ring or my speech, but she looked dazed and confused. So I sort of popped the question: “You’re going to marry me, aren’t you?” She eventually said yes (whew!), and I thought everything was great.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
It was wrong. It was so relentlessly awful that my mother had been taken from me. I couldn’t even hate her properly. I didn’t get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I wished she’d done differently and then get older and understand that she did the best she could and realize that what she did was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we’d left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could fill. I’d have to fill it myself again
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough)
Have you ever been in a place where history becomes tangible? Where you stand motionless, feeling time and importance press around you, press into you? That was how I felt the first time I stood in the astronaut garden at OCA PNW. Is it still there? Do you know it? Every OCA campus had – has, please let it be has – one: a circular enclave, walled by smooth white stone that towered up and up until it abruptly cut off, definitive as the end of an atmosphere, making room for the sky above. Stretching up from the ground, standing in neat rows and with an equally neat carpet of microclover in between, were trees, one for every person who’d taken a trip off Earth on an OCA rocket. It didn’t matter where you from, where you trained, where your spacecraft launched. When someone went up, every OCA campus planted a sapling. The trees are an awesome sight, but bear in mind: the forest above is not the garden’s entry point. You enter from underground. I remember walking through a short tunnel and into a low-lit domed chamber that possessed nothing but a spiral staircase leading upward. The walls were made of thick glass, and behind it was the dense network you find below every forest. Roots interlocking like fingers, with gossamer fungus sprawled symbiotically between, allowing for the peaceful exchange of carbon and nutrients. Worms traversed roads of their own making. Pockets of water and pebbles decorated the scene. This is what a forest is, after all. Don’t believe the lie of individual trees, each a monument to its own self-made success. A forest is an interdependent community. Resources are shared, and life in isolation is a death sentence. As I stood contemplating the roots, a hidden timer triggered, and the lights faded out. My breath went with it. The glass was etched with some kind of luminescent colourant, invisible when the lights were on, but glowing boldly in the dark. I moved closer, and I saw names – thousands upon thousands of names, printed as small as possible. I understood what I was seeing without being told. The idea behind Open Cluster Astronautics was simple: citizen-funded spaceflight. Exploration for exploration’s sake. Apolitical, international, non-profit. Donations accepted from anyone, with no kickbacks or concessions or promises of anything beyond a fervent attempt to bring astronauts back from extinction. It began in a post thread kicked off in 2052, a literal moonshot by a collective of frustrated friends from all corners – former thinkers for big names gone bankrupt, starry-eyed academics who wanted to do more than teach the past, government bureau members whose governments no longer existed. If you want to do good science with clean money and clean hands, they argued, if you want to keep the fire burning even as flags and logos came down, if you understand that space exploration is best when it’s done in the name of the people, then the people are the ones who have to make it happen.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
Another New Year's dawned, new opportunities and difficulties are sneaking around you. To take hold of good and let go bad, face the new challenges and open the new chances to anew your life again. Everyday train your brain to solve all difficulties and transform them into opportunities, get rich mentally, physically and financially. Love your family, friends, colleagues and all folks surrounded by you. Take care of your health, children, wealth and travel new exotic places, people and enjoy good food. Life is very short, fully enjoy it. Embrace new ideas, knowledge and every opportunity. And always surround yourself with good people and avoid toxic and negative people to secure your peace of mind and dignity. I wholeheartedly and boldly set my plan as is the best year of my life for financial freedom, good health, richness, love, care and abundance. I do solemnly yearn for the folks around the world a thoroughly Peaceful, Happy and Beautiful New Year free from hunger, poverty, disease, inequality, war and conflict.
Lord Robin
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The human ripples of pain are still heartbreaking when made visible to us now. Our friend Agnolo the Fat wrote: “Father abandoned child, wife husband, one brother another; for this illness seemed to strike through the breath and sight. And so they died. And none could be found to bury the dead for money or friendship. Members of a household brought their dead to a ditch as best they could, without priest, without divine offices.” The essence of that account is of an epidemic destroying the very bonds of human society. When was the last time the developed world experienced such a rapid descent into a microbial hell? And if parents abandoning children wasn’t destabilizing enough, other support elements in society were shattered by the justifiable fear of the pestilence. The natural human inclination to seek companionship and support from one’s neighbors was short-circuited. No one wanted to catch whatever was killing everybody. In an era when people congregating together was so much more important than it is in our modern, so-called connected world, people kept their distance from one another, creating one of the silent tragedies of this plague: that they had to suffer virtually alone.
Dan Carlin (The End is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses)
At 10:50 A.M., the radio flared into life. It was Mick’s voice. He sounded weak and distant. “Bear. This is Mick. Do you copy?” The message then crackled with intermittent static. All I could make out was something about oxygen. I knew it was bad news. “Mick, say that again. What about your oxygen, over?” There was a short pause. “I’ve run out. I haven’t got any.” The words hung in the quiet of the tent at camp two. Through eyes squeezed shut, all I could think was that my best friend would soon be dying some six thousand feet above me--and I was powerless to help. “Keep talking to me, Mick. Don’t stop,” I said firmly. “Who is with you?” I knew if Mick stopped talking and didn’t find help, he would never survive. First he would lose the strength to stand, and with it the ability to stave off the cold. Immobile, hypothermic, and oxygen-starved, he would soon lose consciousness. Death would inevitably follow. “Alan’s here.” He paused. “He’s got no oxygen either. It’s…it’s not good, Bear.” I knew that we had to contact Neil, and fast. Their survival depended on there being someone else above them. Mick came back on the net: “Bear, I reckon Alan only has ten minutes to live. I don’t know what to do.” I tried to get him back on the radio but no reply came.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
That same day we drove to Seville to celebrate. I asked someone for the name of the smartest hotel in Seville. Alfonso XIII, came the reply. It is where the King of Spain always stays. We found the hotel and wandered in. It was amazing. Shara was a little embarrassed as I was dressed in shorts and an old holey jersey, but I sought out a friendly-looking receptionist and told her our story. “Could you help us out? I have hardly any money.” She looked us up and down, paused--then smiled. “Just don’t tell my manager,” she whispered. So we stayed in a $1,000-a-night room for $100 and celebrated--like the King of Spain. The next morning we went on a hunt for a ring. I asked the concierge in my best university Spanish where I would find a good (aka well-priced) jeweler. He looked a little surprised. I tried speaking slower. Eventually I realized that I had actually been asking him where I might find a good mustache shop. I apologized that my Spanish was a little rusty. Shara rolled her eyes again, smiling. When we eventually found a small local jeweler, I had to do some nifty subcounter mathematics, swiftly converting Spanish pesetas into British pounds, to work out whether or not I could afford each ring Shara tried on. We eventually settled on one that was simple, beautiful--and affordable. Just. Love doesn’t require expensive jewelry. And Shara has always been able to make the simple look exquisite. Luckily.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Fortunate beyond measure… wise and provident in counsel, well-learned in law, history, humanity and divinity. He understood Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and High and Low-Dutch, besides his native language. He was of quick apprehension, judicious and skillful in nature, elegant in speech, sweet, familiar and affable in behaviour; stern to the obstinate, but calm and meek to the humble. Magnanimous and courageous above all the princes of his days; apt for war but a lover of peace; never puffed up with prosperity nor dismayed at adversity. He was of an exalted, glorious, and truly royal spirit, which never entertained anything vulgar or trivial, as may appear by the most excellent laws which he made, by those two famous jubilees he kept, and by the most honourable Order of the Garter, which he first devised and founded. His recreations were hawking, hunting and fishing, but chiefly he loved the martial exercise of jousts and tournaments. In his buildings he was curious, splendid and magnificent, in bestowing of graces and donations, free and frequent; and to the ingenious and deserving always kind and liberal; devout to God, bountiful to the clergy, gracious to his people, merciful to the poor, true to his word, loving to his friends, terrible to his enemies… In short he had the most virtues and the fewest vices of any prince that ever I read of. He was valiant, just, merciful, temperate, and wise; the best lawgiver, the best friend, the best father, and the best husband in his days.5
Ian Mortimer (Edward III: The Perfect King)
so often I get optimistic and explain the best method of learning to write to students. I don’t believe any of them has ever tried it, but I will explain it to you now. After all, you may be the exception. When I read about this method, it was attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who invented and discovered so much. Certainly I did not invent it. But I did it, and it worked. That is more than can be said for most creative writing classes. Find a very short story by a writer you admire. Read it over and over until you understand everything in it. Then read it over a lot more. Here’s the key part. You must do this. Put it away where you cannot get at it. You will have to find a way to do it that works for you. Mail the story to a friend and ask him to keep it for you, or whatever. I left the story I had studied in my desk on Friday. Having no weekend access to the building in which I worked, I could not get to it until Monday morning. When you cannot see it again, write it yourself. You know who the characters are. You know what happens. You write it. Make it as good as you can. Compare your story to the original, when you have access to the original again. Is your version longer? Shorter? Why? Read both versions out loud. There will be places where you had trouble. Now you can see how the author handled those problems. If you want to learn to write fiction, and are among those rare people willing to work at it, you might want to use the little story you have just finished as one of your models. It’s about the right length.     P
Gene Wolfe (The Best of Gene Wolfe)
Define Your Options When people are spinning their rumination wheels about a particular problem, they often don’t concretely define what their options are for moving forward. To shift out of rumination and into problem-solving mode, concretely and realistically define what your best three to six options are. For example, imagine you’ve recently hired a new employee but that person is not working out. Instead of mentally slapping yourself around about why you made the hire, it would be more useful to define what your options are at this point: --Giving the employee more time --Shifting the employee’s responsibilities to simpler jobs --Giving the employee checklists of the steps needed to complete each task --Having another employee work with the individual --Firing the employee Defining your options relieves some of the stress of rumination and helps you shift to effective problem solving. Keeping your list of options short will prevent you from running into choice-overload problems. Research shows that if you consider more than three to six choices, you’re less likely to end up making a choice. Experiment: Practice concretely defining your best three to six options for moving forward with a problem you’re currently ruminating or worrying about. Write brief bullet points, like in the example just given. You can use this method for all sorts of problems. For example, a friend just used it to come up with ideas for how to have more social contact in her life. Note: If the word best is causing you to jump into perfectionism/frozen mode, write any three to six options.
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
I was lucky to receive it. Most rogue interns never get a second chance. And here it’s worth mentioning that I benefited from what was known in 2009 as being fortunate, and is now more commonly called privilege. It’s not like I flashed an Ivy League gang sign and was handed a career. If I had stood on a street corner yelling, “I’m white and male, and the world owes me something!” it’s unlikely doors would have opened. What I did receive, however, was a string of conveniences, do-overs, and encouragements. My parents could help me pay rent for a few months out of school. I went to a university lousy with successful D.C. alumni. No less significantly, I avoided the barriers that would have loomed had I belonged to a different gender or race. Put another way, I had access to a network whether I was bullshit or not. A friend’s older brother worked as a speechwriter for John Kerry. When my Crisis Hut term expired, he helped me find an internship at West Wing Writers, a firm founded by former speechwriters for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. In the summer of 2009, my new bosses upgraded me to full-time employee. Without meaning to, I had stumbled upon the chance to learn a skill. The firm’s partners were four of the best writers in Washington, and each taught me something different. Vinca LaFleur helped me understand the benefits of subtle but well-timed alliteration. Paul Orzulak showed me how to coax speakers into revealing the main idea they hope to express. From Jeff Shesol, I learned that while speechwriting is as much art as craft, and no two sets of remarks are alike, there’s a reason most speechwriters punctuate long, flowy sentences with short, punchy ones. It works.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
John Doerr, the legendary venture capitalist who backed Netscape, Google, and Amazon, doesn’t remember the exact day anymore; all he remembers is that it was shortly before Steve Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on January 9, 2007, to announce that Apple had reinvented the mobile phone. Doerr will never forget, though, the moment he first laid eyes on that phone. He and Jobs, his friend and neighbor, were watching a soccer match that Jobs’s daughter was playing in at a school near their homes in Palo Alto. As play dragged on, Jobs told Doerr that he wanted to show him something. “Steve reached into the top pocket of his jeans and pulled out the first iPhone,” Doerr recalled for me, “and he said, ‘John, this device nearly broke the company. It is the hardest thing we’ve ever done.’ So I asked for the specs. Steve said that it had five radios in different bands, it had so much processing power, so much RAM [random access memory], and so many gigabits of flash memory. I had never heard of so much flash memory in such a small device. He also said it had no buttons—it would use software to do everything—and that in one device ‘we will have the world’s best media player, world’s best telephone, and world’s best way to get to the Web—all three in one.’” Doerr immediately volunteered to start a fund that would support creation of applications for this device by third-party developers, but Jobs wasn’t interested at the time. He didn’t want outsiders messing with his elegant phone. Apple would do the apps. A year later, though, he changed his mind; that fund was launched, and the mobile phone app industry exploded. The moment that Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone turns out to have been a pivotal junction in the history of technology—and the world.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
Dear Peter K, First of all I refuse to call you Kavinsky. You think you’re so cool, going by your last name all of a sudden. Just so you know, Kavinsky sounds like the name of an old man with a long white beard. Did you know that when you kissed me, I would come to love you? Sometimes I think yes. Definitely yes. You know why? Because you think EVERYONE loves you, Peter. That’s what I hate about you. Because everyone does love you. Including me. I did. Not anymore. Here are all your worst qualities: You burp and you don’t say excuse me. You just assume everyone else will find it charming. And if they don’t, who cares, right? Wrong! You do care. You care a lot about what people think of you. You always take the last piece of pizza. You never ask if anyone else wants it. That’s rude. You’re so good at everything. Too good. You could’ve given other guys a chance to be good, but you never did. You kissed me for no reason. Even though I knew you liked Gen, and you knew you liked Gen, and Gen knew you liked Gen. But you still did it. Just because you could. I really want to know: Why would you do that to me? My first kiss was supposed to be something special. I’ve read about it, what it’s supposed to feel like00fireworks and lightning bolts and the sound of waves crashing in your ears. I didn’t have any of that. Thanks to you it was as unspecial as a kiss could be. The worst part of it is, that stupid nothing kiss is what made me start liking you. I never did before. I never even thought about you before. Gen has always said that you are the best-looking boy in our grade, and I agreed, because sure, you are. But I still didn’t see the allure of you. Plenty of people are good-looking. That doesn’t make them interesting or intriguing or cool. Maybe that’s why you kissed me. To do mind control on me, to make me see you that way. It worked. Your little trick worked. From then on, I saw you. Up close, your face wasn’t so much handsome as beautiful. How many beautiful boys have you ever seen? For me it was just one. You. I think it’s a lot to do with your lashes. You have really long lashes. Unfairly long. Even though you don’t deserve it, fine, I’ll go into all the things I like(d) about you: One time in science, nobody wanted to be partners with Jeffrey Suttleman because he has BO, and you volunteered like it was no big deal. Suddenly everybody thought Jeffrey wasn’t so bad. You’re still in chorus, even though all the other boys take band and orchestra now. You even sing solos. And you dance, and you’re not embarrassed. You were the last boy to get tall. And now you’re the tallest, but it’s like you earned it. Also, when you were short, no one even cared that you were short--the girls still liked you and the boys still picked you first for basketball in gym. After you kissed me, I liked you for the rest of seventh grade and most of eighth. It hasn’t been easy, watching you with Gen, holding hands and making out at the bus stop. You probably make her feel very special. Because that’s your talent, right? You’re good at making people feel special. Do you know what it’s like to like someone so much you can’t stand it and know that they’ll never feel the same way? Probably not. People like you don’t have to suffer through those kinds of things. It was easier after Gen moved and we stopped being friends. At least then I didn’t have to hear about it. And now that the year is almost over, I know for sure that I am also over you. I’m immune to you now, Peter. I’m really proud to say that I’m the only girl in this school who has been immunized to the charms of Peter Kavinsky. All because I had a really bad dose of you in seventh grade and most of eighth. Now I never ever have to worry about catching you again. What a relief! I bet if I did ever kiss you again, I would definitely catch something, and it wouldn’t be love. It would be an STD! Lara Jean Song
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
It wasn't only my friends who suffered from female rivalry. I remember when I was just sixteen years old, during spring vacation, being whisked off to an early lunch by my best friend's brother, only to discover, to my astonishment and hurt, that she was expecting some college boys to drop by and didn't want me there to compete with her. When I started college at Sarah Lawrence, I soon noticed that while some of my classmates were indeed true friends, others seemed to resent that I had a boyfriend. It didn't help that Sarah Lawrence, a former girls' school, included very few straight men among its student body--an early lesson in how competing for items in short supply often brings out the worst in women. In graduate school, the stakes got higher, and the competition got stiffer, a trend that continued when I went on to vie for a limited number of academic jobs. I always had friends and colleagues with whom I could have trusted my life--but I also found women who seemed to view not only me but all other female academics as their rivals. This sense of rivalry became more painful when I divorced my first husband. Many of my friends I depended on for comfort and support suddenly began to view me as a threat. Some took me out to lunch to get the dirt, then dropped me soon after. I think they found it disturbing that I left my unhappy marriage while they were still committed to theirs. For other women, the threat seemed more immediate--twice I was told in no uncertain terms that I had better stay away from someone's husband, despite my protests that I would no more go after a friend's husband than I would stay friends with a woman who went after mine. Thankfully, I also had some true friends who remained loyal and supportive during one of the most difficult times of my life. To this day I trust them implicitly, with the kind of faith you reserve for people who have proved themselves under fire. But I've also never forgotten the shock and disappointment of discovering how quickly those other friendships turned to rivalries.
Susan Shapiro Barash (Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth about Women and Rivalry)
Dear Brave People, I realise that it appears I'm fearless. I can make that presentation with ease, I can stand near the edge of the cliff and look down, and I can befriend that spider in the bathroom. (He's called Steve). But recently I've realised that's not what makes people brave. Brave has a different meaning. I'm afraid of people leaving. After I watched my best friend become someone else's and I was forced into befriending my childhood bully, I realised I don't want to let myself go through this again. I see my fear come through when questioning my boyfriend;s affections. I see it when I distance myself from my friends who are going to leave for university. Isee it in my overanalysis of my parents' relationship and paranoia over a possible divorce. I don't want to be alone. I'm afraid of failure. I aced my exams and the bar has moved up again. I have those high expectations along with everyone else, but I know now that maybe the tower is just too tall, and I should've built stronger foundations. I act like I know what I'm doing, but really I'm drifting away from the shore faster and faster. I don't want to let anyone down. I'm afraid of change. I don't know where I lie anymore. I thought I knew what to do in my future, but I can't bear to think that I'm now not so sure. I thought I was completely straight, but now it's internal agony as I'm not so sure. Turns out I thought a lot of things. I don't want my life to not be the way I expected. I may not be scared of crowds. Or the dark. Or small spaces. But I am afraid. I am afraid of responsibility; I am afraid of not living up to expectations, of the changing future, of growing up, not knowing, sex, relationships, hardship, secrets, grades, judgment, falling short, loneliness, change, confusion, arguments, curiosity, love, hate, losing, pressure, differences, honesty, lies. I am afraid of me. Yet, despite this, I know I am brave. I know I am brave because I've accepted my invisible fears and haven't let them overcome me. I want you to know that you're brave because you know your fears. You're brave because you introduced yourself. You're brave because you said "No, I don't understand." You're brave because you're here. I hope you can learn from me and be brave in your own way. I know I am. -B
Emily Trunko (Dear My (Blank))
During the war, I was constantly afraid Chris would die. What made it worse was that he told me many times that he wanted to die on the battlefield. Let me refine that. He didn’t want to die, but if he had to die, then he couldn’t imagine anything better than dying on the battlefield. It was part of his sense of duty: dying on the battlefield would mean that he had been doing his utmost to protect others. There was no higher calling, and no higher proof of dedication, for Chris. So there was no sense fearing death in combat. It would be an honor. That idea hurt me. I knew my husband wasn’t reckless--far from it--but in war there is a very thin line between being brave and being foolish, and when Chris talked like that I worried the line might be crossed. I started going to church more during his first deployment, and eventually went to women’s Bible studies to learn more about the Bible. But fitting the idea of God and faith and service together was never easy. What should I pray for? My husband to live, certainly. But wasn’t that selfish? What if that wasn’t God’s will? I prayed Chris would make the right decision when it came time to reenlist or leave the Navy. I wanted him to leave, yet that wasn’t exactly what I prayed for. Yet I was disappointed when he reenlisted. Was I disappointed with God, or Chris? Had my prayers even been heard? If it was God’s plan that he reenlist, I should have been at peace with it. Yet I can’t say that I was. Right after he made his decision, I took a walk with a friend whose faith ran very deep. She knew the Bible much better than I did, and was far more active in the church. I cried to her. “I have to believe this is the best thing for our family,” I told her. “But I don’t know how it can be. I’m really struggling to accept it.” “It’s okay to be angry with God,” she told me. That caught me short. “I--I don’t think we’re supposed to be.” “Why not?” “Well…Jesus was never mad at God, and--“ “That’s wrong,” she said. “Don’t you remember in the temple with the money changers? Or in the garden before he was crucified, his doubts? Or on the cross? It’s okay to have those feelings.” We talked some more. “I do believe that if Chris dies,” I said finally, “God must be saying it’s still okay for our family, even if I don’t know how.” She teared up. “I’m in awe,” she confessed. “I don’t know if I could say that.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
While Mum was a busy working mother, helping my father in his constituency duties and beyond, Lara became my surrogate mum. She fed me almost every supper I ate--from when I was a baby up to about five years old. She changed my nappies, she taught me to speak, then to walk (which, with so much attention from her, of course happened ridiculously early). She taught me how to get dressed and to brush my teeth. In essence, she got me to do all the things that either she had been too scared to do herself or that just simply intrigued her, such as eating raw bacon or riding a tricycle down a steep hill with no brakes. I was the best rag doll of a baby brother that she could have ever dreamt of. It is why we have always been so close. To her, I am still her little baby brother. And I love her for that. But--and this is the big but--growing up with Lara, there was never a moment’s peace. Even from day one, as a newborn babe in the hospital’s maternity ward, I was paraded around, shown off to anyone and everyone--I was my sister’s new “toy.” And it never stopped. It makes me smile now, but I am sure it is why in later life I craved the peace and solitude that mountains and the sea bring. I didn’t want to perform for anyone, I just wanted space to grow and find myself among all the madness. It took a while to understand where this love of the wild came from, but in truth it probably developed from the intimacy found with my father on the shores of Northern Ireland and the will to escape a loving but bossy elder sister. (God bless her!) I can joke about this nowadays with Lara, and through it all she still remains my closest ally and friend; but she is always the extrovert, wishing she could be on the stage or on the chat show couch, where I tend just to long for quiet times with my friends and family. In short, Lara would be much better at being famous than me. She sums it up well, I think: Until Bear was born I hated being the only child--I complained to Mum and Dad that I was lonely. It felt weird not having a brother or sister when all my friends had them. Bear’s arrival was so exciting (once I’d got over the disappointment of him being a boy, because I’d always wanted a sister!). But the moment I set eyes on him, crying his eyes out in his crib, I thought: That’s my baby. I’m going to look after him. I picked him up, he stopped crying, and from then until he got too big, I dragged him around everywhere.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I miss Diana more than I can express. The world seems a colder place without her luminous presence. To had had Diana’s friendship, to have known her personally, has been a gift beyond comparison. She brought joy and pride and a touch of glamour to my life for years. I loved and admired her without reservation. When Patrick recognized her picture on magazine covers, I thought how incredible it was that we actually knew the beautiful, famous Diana. Best of all, we knew she was even lovelier inside. I read her letters, feeling deeply touched that she continued to care for us. Seeing her in person--warm, unpretentious, and radiant--was a thrill that lasted a long, long time. It truly was, “like being brushed by angels’ wings,” as my friend at the funeral had said. Whoever would have thought when I called for a nanny so many years ago, that magic would enter my life. My family and I watched her dazzling progress from a shy teenager to a multi-faceted and charismatic woman. She fulfilled her many roles so beautifully. Yet to me, Diana was a beloved friend, not the world-famous Princess of Wales. Behind the glamour, I saw the qualities I’d always admired in her--kindness, integrity, and grace in all she did. Above all, Diana was born to be a mother. Showing affection was as natural to her as breathing. I saw her tender care for my young son. I know she was an utterly devoted mother to her own boys, giving them unconditional love and deriving her greatest joy in life from them. I’ve wished so often that her life had been a fairytale, that Diana had been spared the pain and loneliness she suffered. But without the despair, she might not have developed the strength and humanity that reached out to people everywhere. Diana instinctively looked beyond her own problems to ease the pain and distress of others. She touched so many people in her short lifetime. I never thought it would end this way--that she would die so young. I will always remember, as the last hymn faded into silence at her funeral, the solemn tread of the soldiers’ boots--so haunting, so final--as they carried her casket through the Abbey. I couldn’t bear that she was leaving forever. For months now, I’ve searched for some solace in this tragedy. I hope that Diana’s untimely death and the worldwide mourning for her have silenced forever those who belittled her values and doubted her appeal. She rests peacefully now beyond reproach--young and beautiful. Diana, you were greater than we realized. We will never, never forget you.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Sebastian encountered Cam in the hallway outside the reading room. “Where is he?” he demanded without preamble. Stopping before him with an expressionless face, Cam said shortly, “He’s gone.” “Why didn’t you follow him?” White-hot fury blazed in Sebastian’s eyes. This news, added to the frustration of his vow of celibacy, was the last straw. Cam, who had been exposed to years of Ivo Jenner’s volcanic temper, remained unruffled. “It was unnecessary in my judgment,” he said. “He won’t return.” “I don’t pay you to act on your own damned judgment. I pay you to act on mine! You should have dragged him here by the throat and then let me decide what was to be done with the bastard.” Cam remained silent, sliding a quick, subtle glance at Evie, who was inwardly relieved by the turn of events. They were both aware that had Cam brought Bullard back to the club, there was a distinct possibility that Sebastian might actually have killed him— and the last thing Evie wanted was a murder charge on her husband’s head. “I want him found,” Sebastian said vehemently, pacing back and forth across the reading room. “I want at least two men hired to look for him day and night until he is brought to me. I swear he’ll serve as an example to anyone who even thinks of lifting a finger against my wife.” He raised his arm and pointed to the doorway. “Bring me a list of names within the hour. The best detectives available— private ones. I don’t want some idiot from the New Police, who’ll foul this up as they do everything else. Go.” Though Cam undoubtedly had a few opinions to offer on the matter, he kept them to himself. “Yes, my lord.” He left the room at once, while Sebastian glared after him. Seeking to calm his seething temper, Evie ventured, “There is no need to take your anger out on Cam. He—” “Don’t even try to excuse him,” Sebastian said darkly. “You and I both know that he could have caught that damned gutter rat had he wanted to. And I’ll be damned if I’ll tolerate your calling him by his first name— he is not your brother, nor is he a friend. He’s an employee, and you’ll refer to him as ‘Mr. Rohan’ from now on.” “He is my friend,” Evie replied in outrage. “He has been for years!” “Married women don’t have friendships with young unmarried men.” “Y-you dare to insult my honor with the implication that… that…” Evie could hardly speak for the multitude of protests that jammed inside her. “I’ve done nothing to merit such a lack of tr-tr-trust!” “I trust you. It’s everyone else that I hold in suspicion.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
It was a story no one could tell me when I was child. The story of Russian Jewry had been told in English, by American Jews; to them, it was a story that began with antiquity, culminated with the pogroms, and ended with emigration. For those who remained in Russia, there had been a time before the pogroms and a time after: a period of home, then a period of fear and even greater fear and then brief hope again, and then a different kind of fear, when one no longer feared for one's life but fear never having hope again. This story did not end; it faded into a picture of my parents sitting at the kitchen table poring over an atlas of the world, or of me sitting on the bedroom floor talking at my best friend. The history of the Soviet Union itself remains a story without an narrative; every attempt to tell this story in Russia has stopped short, giving way to the resolve to turn away from the decades of pain and suffering and bloodshed. With every telling, stories of Stalinism and the Second World War become more mythologized. And with so few Jew left in Russia, with so little uniting them, the Russian Jewish world is one of absences and silences. I had no words for this when I was twelve, but what I felt more strongly that anything, more strongly even than the desire to go to Israel, was this absence of a story. My Jewishness consisted of the experience of being ostracized and beaten up and the specter of not being allowed into university. Once I found my people milling outside the synagogue (we never went inside, where old men in strange clothes sang in an unfamiliar language), a few old Yiddish songs and a couple of newer Hebrew ones were added to my non-story. Finally, I had read the stories of Sholem Aleichem, which were certainly of a different world, as distant from my modern urban Russian-speaking childhood as anything could be. In the end, my Jewish identity was entirely negative: it consisted of non-belonging. How had I and other late-Soviet Jews been so impoverished? Prior to the Russian Revolution, most of the world's Jews lived in the Russian Empire. Following the Second World War, Russia was the only European country whose Jewish population numbered not in the hundreds or even thousands but in the millions. How did this country rid itself of Jewish culture altogether? How did the Jews of Russia lose their home? Much later, as I tried to find the answers to these questions, I kept circling back tot he story of Birobidzhan, which, in its concentrated tragic absurdity seemed to tell it all.
Masha Gessen (Where the Jews Aren't: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region)
There was worse. Philosophers needed to be able to think freely and to follow their ideas wherever they might lead. There was a kind of sociopathic madness to their endeavor. They were the ultimate iconoclasts, subversive by their very nature, because social and political activity was based on popular opinion, public dogma, and unexamined tradition, whereas philosophy existed to scrutinize all opinions, dogmas, and traditions. For those bounded by a belief in common morality, which is to say just about everyone, philosophers were immoralists or, at best, amoralists. These suspicions of the general public were not unfounded. Philosophers really were subversive! (Here, too, Strauss and Arendt shared a common—one might say Nietzschean—perspective. “Thinking,” Arendt wrote, “inevitably has a destructive, undermining effect on all established criteria, values, measurements for good and evil, in short on those customs and rules of conduct we treat of in morals and ethics.”) To survive in a world intrinsically hostile to freethinking, philosophers had to employ “esoteric writing” while presenting a public face of moderation and quiescence, whatever radical ideas they might be harboring. “Thought must be not moderate, but fearless, not to say shameless. But moderation is a virtue controlling the philosopher’s speech.” Or as Strauss also put it: “In political things it is a sound rule to let sleeping dogs lie.” The best hope for the preservation of freedom of thought was to remain inconspicuous. The wise knew not to poke the beast. Inconspicuousness was not always possible. Constantly vulnerable to tyrants and to tyrannical majorities, philosophers were in need of friends, not only other philosophers with whom they could exchange ideas but also more practical people who could mediate between the contemplative elite and the vulgar masses. The philosophers’ best friends in the ordinary world were the people Strauss called “gentlemen.” Philosophers were not equipped to plunge into the political world, which consisted of “very long conversations with very dull people on very dull subjects.” Neither did they have the power to impose their will on the majority even if they had wanted to, which they didn’t. Instead, they needed the help of gentlemen who appreciated the value of freedom of thought yet could function among the ignorant populace. Philosophers, who were disinterested by definition, could instruct these gentlemen to shun private advantage and personal gain for the common good—and it would help if the gentlemen were wealthy so that the prospect of acquiring riches at the public expense would be less enticing—but it was up to the gentlemen to act as the bridge between the pure thinking of the minority and the material self interest of the majority and to win the support of the citizenry at large.
Barry Gewen (The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World)
Missy and I became best friends, and soon after our first year together I decided to propose to her. It was a bit of a silly proposal. It was shortly before Christmas Day 1988, and I bought her a potted plant for her present. I know, I know, but let me finish. The plan was to put her engagement ring in the dirt (which I did) and make her dig to find it (which I forced her to do). I was then going to give a speech saying, “Sometimes in life you have to get your hands dirty and work hard to achieve something that grows to be wonderful.” I got the idea from Matthew 13, where Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower. I don’t know if it was the digging through the dirt to find the ring or my speech, but she looked dazed and confused. So I sort of popped the question: “You’re going to marry me, aren’t you?” She eventually said yes (whew!), and I thought everything was great. A few days later, she asked me if I’d asked her dad for his blessing. I was not familiar with this custom or tradition, which led to a pretty heated argument about people who are raised in a barn or down on a riverbank. She finally convinced me that it was a formality that was a prerequisite for our marriage, so I decided to go along with it. I arrived one night at her dad’s house and asked if I could talk with him. I told him about the potted plant and the proposal to his daughter, and he pretty much had the same bewildered look on his face that she’d had. He answered quite politely by saying no. “I think you should wait a bit, like maybe a couple of years,” he said. I wasn’t prepared for that response. I didn’t handle it well. I don’t remember all the details of what was said next because I was uncomfortable and angry. I do remember saying, “Well, you are a preacher so I am going to give you some scripture.” I quoted 1 Corinthians 7:9, which says: “It is better to marry than to burn with passion.” That didn’t go over very well. I informed him that I’d treated his daughter with respect and he still wouldn’t budge. I then told him we were going to get married with him or without him, and I left in a huff. Over the next few days, I did a lot of soul-searching and Missy did a lot of crying. I finally decided that it was time for me to become a man. Genesis 2:24 says: “For this reason [creation of a woman] a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” God is the architect of marriage, and I’d decided that my family would have God as its foundation. It was time for me to leave and cleave, as they say. My dad told me once that my mom would cuddle us when we were in his nest, but there would be a day when it would be his job to kick me out. He didn’t have to kick me out, nor did he have to ask me, “Who’s a man?” Through prayer and patience, Missy’s parents eventually came around, and we were more than ready to make our own nest.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
When she was done, I said, “Thanks, Ria. That’s as good as an afternoon nap in the summer.” “A shame you have to put it up again,” she said, smiling. “It’s so pretty--the color of autumn leaves. Promise you’ll never cut it.” “I won’t. It’s the only thing I have left to share with my mother, the color of our hair. And she always wanted me to grow it out.” My fingers worked quickly from old habit as I braided it up again, wrapped it twice around my head, and tucked the end in. “But I can’t parade around in long hair during a war. Or, I suppose I could, except then I’d end up carrying half the mountain in it.” “You can wear it down after we win, then, and start a new fashion.” “You’ll be the one starting the fashions,” I said, laughing up at her. “Duchess Oria,” she said, swishing around my tiny tent. “New silk shoes every day--twice a day! I can hardly wait.” “That’ll do,” Julen said to Oria. She was vigorously brushing mud off my alternate pair of woolen trousers. “You stop your nonsense and go and get your rest. We’ll have to make a supply run again tomorrow.” Oria stuck her tongue out at her mother, grinned at me, and ran out. Julen laid my other tunic down. “This is the best I can make of these trousers; the mud will not come out. Your brother’s old tunic looks even worse,” she said, frowning heavily. “I wish I could wash these properly! Even so, they wouldn’t look much better. ’Tis shameful, you not dressing to befit your station. Especially on this day.” I dropped onto my bedroll, grinning. “For whom?” I asked. “Everyone has seen me like this since I was small. And truth to tell, Oria would look a lot prettier in fancy clothes than I would.” Julen’s square, worn face looked formidable as she considered this. She said slowly, “’Tisn’t proper. When I grew up, we dressed to fit our places in life. Then you know who was what at a glance--and how to deal with ‘em.” “But that means an orderly life, and when has Tlanth been orderly?” I asked, sobering. “Not in my memory.” Julen gave a short nod. “It’s just not right, your runnin’ barefoot and ignorant with the village brats. I count my two among ‘em,” she added with a wry smile. “But they’re my friends,” I said, leaning on one elbow. “We know each other. We’ll defend each other to the death. You think Faeruk and the rest would have left their patches of farm or their work to follow us if I’d stayed in the castle, spending tax money on gowns and putting on airs?” Julen pursed her lips. “Friends in war--and I hope you’ll remember us when things are put right. But you know we all will eventually have to take up our work again, and you won’t be knowing how to have friends among your own kind.” “I don’t miss what I never had.” “I’ve said my piece. Except,” Julen added strongly, “I’ll continue to curse the day Galdran Merindar’s mother didn’t strangle him at birth.” “Now, that,” I said with a laugh, “is a fine idea, and one I’ll join with enthusiasm!
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The question is also debated, whether a man should love himself most, or some one else. People criticize those who love themselves most, and call them self-lovers, using this as an epithet of disgrace, and a bad man seems to do everything for his own sake, and the more so the more wicked he is — and so men reproach him, for instance, with doing nothing of his own accord — while the good man acts for honour's sake, and the more so the better he is, and acts for his friend's sake, and sacrifices his own interest. Perhaps we ought to mark off such arguments from each other and determine how far and in what respects each view is right. Now if we grasp the sense in which each school uses the phrase 'lover of self', the truth may become evident. Those who use the term as one of reproach ascribe self-love to people who assign to themselves the greater share of wealth, honours, and bodily pleasures; for these are what most people desire, and busy themselves about as though they were the best of all things, which is the reason, too, why they become objects of competition. So those who are grasping with regard to these things gratify their appetites and in general their feelings and the irrational element of the soul; and most men are of this nature (which is the reason why the epithet has come to be used as it is — it takes its meaning from the prevailing type of self-love, which is a bad one); it is just, therefore, that men who are lovers of self in this way are reproached for being so. That it is those who give themselves the preference in regard to objects of this sort that most people usually call lovers of self is plain; for if a man were always anxious that he himself, above all things, should act justly, temperately, or in accordance with any other of the virtues, and in general were always to try to secure for himself the honourable course, no one will call such a man a lover of self or blame him. Therefore the good man should be a lover of self (for he will both himself profit by doing noble acts, and will benefit his fellows), but the wicked man should not; for he will hurt both himself and his neighbours, following as he does evil passions. For the wicked man, what he does clashes with what he ought to do, but what the good man ought to do he does; for reason in each of its possessors chooses what is best for itself, and the good man obeys his reason. It is true of the good man too that he does many acts for the sake of his friends and his country, and if necessary dies for them; for he will throw away both wealth and honours and in general the goods that are objects of competition, gaining for himself nobility; since he would prefer a short period of intense pleasure to a long one of mild enjoyment, a twelvemonth of noble life to many years of humdrum existence, and one great and noble action to many trivial ones. Now those who die for others doubtless attain this result; it is therefore a great prize that they choose for themselves. They will throw away wealth too on condition that their friends will gain more; for while a man's friend gains wealth he himself achieves nobility; he is therefore assigning the greater good to himself. The same too is true of honour and office; all these things he will sacrifice to his friend; for this is noble and laudable for himself. Rightly then is he thought to be good, since he chooses nobility before all else. But he may even give up actions to his friend; it may be nobler to become the cause of his friend's acting than to act himself. In all the actions, therefore, that men are praised for, the good man is seen to assign to himself the greater share in what is noble. In this sense, then, as has been said, a man should be a lover of self; but in the sense in which most men are so, he ought not.
Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics)
The opponent seemed to shift slightly in the seat. His index finger tapped a card, just a couple strokes. There it was the card that ruined his hand. Her hazel eyes release the player across from her to steal a glance registering the emotion of observers around the table then to her best friend. Sophie looks like a Nervous Nelly-she, always worries. She knows the girl will put too much emphasis on a lost hand. The striking man with his lusty brown eyes tries to draw Sophie closer. Now that he has folded and left the game, he is unnecessary, and the seasoned flirt easily escapes his reach. He leaves with a scowl; Sophie turns and issues knowing wink. Ell’s focus is now unfettered, freeing her again to bring down the last player. When she wins this hand, she will smile sweetly, thank the boys for their indulgence, and walk away $700 ahead. The men never suspected her; she’s no high roller. She realizes she and Sophie will have to stay just a bit. Mill around and pay homage to the boy’s egos. The real trick will be leaving this joint alone without one of them trying to tag along. Her opponent is taking his time; he is still undecided as to what card to keep—tap, tap. He may not know, but she has an idea which one he will choose. He attempts to appear nonchalant, but she knows she has him cornered. She makes a quick glance for Mr. Lusty Brown-eyes; he has found a new dame who is much more receptive than Sophie had been. Good, that small problem resolved itself for them. She returns her focuses on the cards once more and notes, her opponent’s eyes have dilated a bit. She has him, but she cannot let the gathering of onlookers know. She wants them to believe this was just a lucky night for a pretty girl. Her mirth finds her eyes as she accepts his bid. From a back table, there is a ruckus indicating the crowd’s appreciation of a well-played game as it ends. Reggie knew a table was freeing up, and just in time, he did not want to waste this evening on the painted and perfumed blonde dish vying for his attention. He glances the way of the table that slowly broke up. He recognizes most of the players and searches out the winner amongst them. He likes to take on the victor, and through the crowd, he catches a glimpse of his goal, surprised that he had not noticed her before. The women who frequent the back poker rooms in speakeasies all dress to compete – loud colors, low bodices, jewelry which flashes in the low light. This dame faded into the backdrop nicely, wearing a deep gray understated yet flirty gown. The minx deliberately blended into the room filled with dark men’s suits. He chuckles, thinking she is just as unassuming as can be playing the room as she just played those patsies at the table. He bet she had sat down all wide-eyed with some story about how she always wanted to play cards. He imagined she offered up a stake that wouldn’t be large but at the same time, substantial enough. Gauging her demeanor, she would have been bold enough to have the money tucked in her bodice. Those boys would be eager after she teased them by retrieving her stake. He smiled a slow smile; he would not mind watching that himself. He knew gamblers; this one was careful not to call in the hard players, just a couple of marks, which would keep the pit bosses off her. He wants to play her; however, before he can reach his goal, the skirt slips away again, using her gray camouflage to aid her. Hell, it is just as well, Reggie considered she would only serve as a distraction and what he really needs is the mental challenge of the game not the hot release of some dame–good or not. Off in a corner, the pit boss takes out a worn notepad, his meaty hands deftly use a stub of a pencil to enter the notation. The date and short description of the two broads quickly jotted down for his boss Mr. Deluca. He has seen the pair before, and they are winning too often for it to be accidental or to be healthy.
Caroline Walken (Ell's Double Down (The Willows #1))
Berry Good Smoothie When trying to eat healthy, smoothies are your best friend. They taste great, they are packed full of fruit, and they're healthy. I feel as though we often forget about smoothies in our day to day life. Take full advantage of using smoothies when trying to keep a well-balanced diet. They make great snacks in between meals, are refreshing, and can cure cravings when you're looking for something sweet. When it comes to smoothies there's some really cool creations you can make and you can decide what you like the best, but here’s three great short recipes to get you started. Ingredients– - 1 Banana - 1/2 cup of Strawberries - 1/3 cup of Blackberries - 1/2 cup of Blueberries - 1/2 cup of Greek or Regular Yogurt - 5-6 Ice Cubes - 1/4 cup of Orange Juice Directions– Blend all of that goodness together. If consistency is too thick, add a bit more of milk to fit liking. Adjust flavors to fit desired taste. Serve.
Blake "Miles" Roman (Healthy Cookbook: Amazingly Delicious Recipes for a Life of Wellness)
Henrietta, at heart a contemplative person, enjoyed alarums and excursions for a short while only. For her a background of quiet was essential to happiness. It had been fun to stay with Felicity, to be petted and spoiled by her friends, to be applauded by big audiences in a crowded theater, to have lovely things to eat and go to the zoo whenever she liked, but it had completely upset her equilibrium and she had felt as though she had been turned upside down so that everything that was worth while in her mind fell out. She, like everyone else, had to find out by experience in what mode of life she could best adjust herself to the twin facts of her own personality and the moment of time in which destiny had planted it, and she was lucky perhaps that she found out so early.
Elizabeth Goudge (A City of Bells (Torminster, #1))
SINCE I HAVE MY LIFE BEFORE ME” By Brooke Bronkowski I’ll live my life to the fullest. I’ll be happy. I’ll brighten up. I will be more joyful than I have ever been. I will be kind to others. I will loosen up. I will tell others about Christ. I will go on adventures and change the world. I will be bold and not change who I really am. I will have no troubles but instead help others with their troubles. You see, I’ll be one of those people who live to be history makers at a young age. Oh, I’ll have moments, good and bad, but I will wipe away the bad and only remember the good. In fact that’s all I remember, just good moments, nothing in between, just living my life to the fullest. I’ll be one of those people who go somewhere with a mission, an awesome plan, a world-changing plan, and nothing will hold me back. I’ll set an example for others, I will pray for direction. I have my life before me. I will give others the joy I have and God will give me more joy. I will do everything God tells me to do. I will follow the footsteps of God. I will do my best!!! During her freshman year in high school, Brooke was in a car accident while driving to the movies. Her life on earth ended when she was just fourteen, but her impact didn’t. Nearly fifteen hundred people attended Brooke’s memorial service. People from her public high school read poems she had written about her love for God. Everyone spoke of her example and her joy. I shared the gospel and invited those who wanted to know Jesus to come up and give their lives to Him. There must have been at least two hundred students on their knees at the front of the church praying for salvation. Ushers gave a Bible to each of them. They were Bibles that Brooke had kept in her garage, hoping to give out to all of her unsaved friends. In one day, Brooke led more people to the Lord than most ever will. In her brief fourteen years on earth, Brooke was faithful to Christ. Her short life was not wasted.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
I thought about this a lot when I gave the commencement address at MIT back in 2013. I said that if I had a cheat sheet I could give myself at 22, it would have three things on it: a tennis ball, a circle, and the number 30,000. The tennis ball is about finding something that you can become obsessed with, like my childhood dog who would go crazy whenever anyone threw a ball for her. The most successful people I know are all obsessed with solving a problem that really matters to them. The circle refers to the idea that you’re the average of your five closest friends. Make sure to put yourself in an environment that pulls the best out of you. And the last is the number 30,000. When I was 24, I came across a website that says most people live for about 30,000 days—and I was shocked to find that I was already 8,000 days down. So you have to make every day count. I’d give the same advice today, but I would clarify that it’s not just about passion or following your dreams. Make sure the problem you become obsessed with is one that needs solving and is one where your contribution can make a difference. As Y Combinator says, “Make something people want.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
My musings were cut short when Jenna nudged me and pointed out Bruce Sims and his dearly departed wife's best friend, Wendy Haley, standing together across the room.
Jane Hinchey (Witch Way to Murder & Mayhem (Witch Way #1))
The book is based on a true story. My story. A couple's epic love story faces a twist of fate, putting their plans – and faith – to a heartbreaking test. Maybe another ordinary sappy romance story you ask? No. There is a lot to say about this story, but ordinary is far from it. This book is both beautiful and sad. It’s the kind of book that changes your life and makes you cry your eyes out. ‘Almost Home’ makes you realize how beautiful life is and how lucky you are for the things and friends you have. Life is short and unexpected, and you must live it at its best. I wrote this book to share my story of love, compassion, and kindness. It’s the kind of story that will have you crying, but you’ll keep reading. It will make you realize that there’s magic in the world, despite the bad things that happen, and it will restore your faith in humanity. You’ll learn that even the smallest gestures can have an unimaginable impact and that there’s always someone watching. So, do good, be kind and live life to the fullest. R.F. Price
Robert Fitzgerald Price (Almost Home: A Soldier's Journey Back to the Love of His Lifetime)
3 Reasons Why You Should Visit Galapagos Islands Are you have been planning to spend their vacation in most of the beautiful place in the world. Then the Galapagos Islands is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The famous archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is a demand and desired destination for travelers all around the world. The Galapagos isn’t probably the easiest and cheapest accessible place in the world but still attracts huge numbers of visitors, although there is a limit on how many people can arrive in the Galapagos. These are not budget-friendly travel destination Islands, but there are some ways how to arrange your week in paradise from cruising the living onboard and archipelago to making the day trip from one of the islands. You have most already heard or read all superlatives Galapagos Island can offer many visitors. But if you hesitate if the time and money will be worth it, we’ve put a list of three reasons why we should visit the Galapagos Islands. After reading these reasons, we believe that there won’t be any hesitation. The Galapagos Legend should be on every traveler. Pristine beaches You come to Galapagos Island to see fantastic wildlife but firstly mention the beaches. The stretches of fine white sand are on every island, and although you won’t have that much time to relax and lay down here just because of that there is so much to do, so we are looking at you sea lions only walking on those beaches from one to another end is a great unforgettable experience. Never expect deck chairs, bars, or umbrellas beaches on the Galapagos have nothing familiar with those touristy and crowded places form travel catalogs. Wildlife When we think and talk about the Galapagos Islands, we have a suspicion that the wildlife would be something marvelous and unique. What we never know was that these superlatives would get a new dimension on the Galapagos. All the wildlife animal species from iguanas, birds, tortoises, sea lions crabs to fish are incredible, and nothing can make you on their natural behavior that is dissimilar from the animal's behavior we know from our countries. The Galapagos animals never feel fear human at all, so you can get close to them and take images of a lifetime. Island hikes There are many designed ways on islands of Galapagos that will help you to walk through a unique landscape and will also help you to understand the evaluation process better, evaluation of not only the islands but also of the flora and fauna which live here in unbelievable symbiosis. The hikes are short, so visitors are allowed to walk on the island on their own so that you want a certified guide to show you around. Hikes were one of the best activities we did on the Galapagos as it combined the exploration of almost barren volcanic islands and watching wildlife. Galapagos Legend help you plan the trip you have dreamed about. You can choose onshore activities that cater to your interests, from a wildlife safari to a side trip to the fabulous annual Carnival in Rio, Brazil. As you stay on shore before and after your trip, you have the option of staying at a delightful boutique-style hotel or in a 5-star hotel setting.
ajdoorscomau
The death provoked a vast outpouring of grief, and Senator George Spencer of Alabama said, “I have never known a man more universally mourned.”65 “Poor Rawlins has gone to a happier office!” sighed Adolph Borie. “A noble fellow, truly, he was so pure zealous and earnest.”66 On the day of the funeral, the route from the War Department to the Congressional Cemetery was crowded with mourners tipping their hats or bowing in homage as the cortege rolled by. It was a remarkable tribute to a man never elected to office who had thrived in Grant’s shadow. No organization chart could evoke the influence he had wielded as Grant’s trusted counselor. A month later, James Wilson sent an appreciation of him to Orville Babcock: The death of Rawlins is more deeply regretted by the thinking and knowing men of the country than it otherwise would have been, on account of the fact that it had come to be recognized by them, that he was the President’s best friend & most useful counsellor when engaged in renouncing rascality, which the President’s unsuspicious nature has not dreamed of being near. You and I know how necessary, the bold, uncompromising, & honest character of our dead friend, was to our living one—and how impossible it is for any stranger to exercise as good an influence over him, as one who has known him from the time of his obscurity till the day he became the foremost man of the nation. The long and short of it is that Rawlins, was his Mentor—or if I may say it, his conscience keeper.67 After
Ron Chernow (Grant)
Jim, old boy,” said Lukas … in a rough voice. “That was a short journey. I’m sorry that you must share my fate now.” Jim swallowed. “We’re friends,” he said quietly, biting his lower lip to keep it from trembling so hard. The scribes chuckled again, and the bonzes nodded at each other, grinning. “Jim Button,” said Lukas, “you really are the best little fellow I ever met in all my life.” “Take them to the place of execution!” commanded the Head Bonze, and the soldiers seized Lukas and Jim to drag them away. Michael Ende, Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver
Cornelia Funke (The Inkheart Trilogy: Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath)
Nothing! thou elder brother even to Shade: That hadst a being ere the world was made, And well fixed, art alone of ending not afraid. Ere Time and Place were, Time and Place were not, When primitive Nothing Something straight begot; Then all proceeded from the great united What. Something, the general attribute of all, Severed from thee, its sole original, Into thy boundless self must undistinguished fall; Yet Something did thy mighty power command, And from fruitful Emptiness’s hand Snatched men, beasts, birds, fire, air, and land. Matter the wicked’st offspring of thy race, By Form assisted, flew from thy embrace, And rebel Light obscured thy reverend dusky face. With Form and Matter, Time and Place did join; Body, thy foe, with these did leagues combine To spoil thy peaceful realm, and ruin all thy line; But turncoat Time assists the foe in vain, And bribed by thee, destroys their short-lived reign, And to thy hungry womb drives back thy slaves again. Though mysteries are barred from laic eyes, And the divine alone with warrant pries Into thy bosom, where truth in private lies, Yet this of thee the wise may truly say, Thou from the virtuous nothing dost delay, And to be part with thee the wicked wisely pray. Great Negative, how vainly would the wise Inquire, define, distinguish, teach, devise, Didst thou not stand to point their blind philosophies! Is, or Is Not, the two great ends of Fate, And True or False, the subject of debate, That perfect or destroy the vast designs of state— When they have racked the politician’s breast, Within thy Bosom most securely rest, And when reduced to thee, are least unsafe and best. But Nothing, why does Something still permit That sacred monarchs should at council sit With persons highly thought at best for nothing fit, While weighty Something modestly abstains From princes’ coffers, and from statemen’s brains, And Nothing there like stately Nothing reigns? Nothing! who dwell’st with fools in grave disguise For whom they reverend shapes and forms devise, Lawn sleeves, and furs, and gowns, when they like thee look wise: French truth, Dutch prowess, British policy, Hibernian learning, Scotch civility, Spaniards’ dispatch, Danes’ wit are mainly seen in thee. The great man’s gratitude to his best friend, Kings’ promises, whores’ vows—towards thee may bend, Flow swiftly into thee, and in thee ever end.
John Wilmot (The Complete Poems)
Let me leave you with one very recent example of Berry at his best, drawn from an op-ed piece that he published (with his old friend and collaborator Wes Jackson) shortly after the economy crashed in the fall of 2008. For 50 or 60 years, we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. If we continue our offenses against the land and the labor by which we are fed, the food supply will decline, and we will have a problem far more complex than the failure of our paper economy. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness corporations. I
Wendell Berry (Bringing it to the Table: Writings on Farming and Food)
Did you find something?” said Mara, his best friend. She wore sage-green hunting pants and a ridiculously frilly white lace top. Why she wore such a silly outfit, he had no idea. She was eccentric, to say the least. As she came alongside, she raised her big brown eyes in concern and glanced at the tracks. She chewed a cinnamon stick and frowned.  He grunted in response and pointed a short spear with a menacing, curved blade at the stream. This was their hunt and even though they’d failed to even bag anything as big as a deer, he swore he’d do anything to bring it back home to father. Mara shook her head, the movement stubborn and terse, her short, brown hair slashing along her neck. “It’s too late. I’m serious, don’t look at me with those
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))
Part 2: After that, he’d turned to fighting, and not the good kind either. Finn, physically older by seven years, mentally older by about a hundred, had single-handedly saved Sean from just about every situation he’d ever landed himself in. Thanks to Finn, there’d been a lot fewer situations than there should’ve been and it hadn’t been for lack of trying. Fact was, everyone knew Sean had taken the slowest possible route on his way to growing up, complete with plenty of detours, but he’d hit his stride now. Or at least he hoped so because Finn was counting on him in a big way over the next week and Sean had let him down enough for a lifetime. He wouldn’t let him down now. Sean pulled into the B&B’s parking lot and turned to face the crowd he’d driven from San Francisco to Napa. And he did mean crowd. They’d had to rent a fourteen-seat passenger van to fit everyone, and he was the weekend’s designated driver. Oh, how times had changed. “Ready?” he asked. Finn nodded. Pru was bouncing up and down in her seat with excitement. Willa, her BFF, was doing the same. Keane, Willa’s boyfriend, opened the door for everyone to tumble out. It was two weeks before Christmas and the rolling hills of Napa Valley were lined with grape vines for as far as the eye could see, not that they could actually see them right now. It was late, pitch dark, and rain had been pouring down steadily all day, which didn’t detract from the beauty of the Victorian B&B in front of them. It did, however, detract from Sean’s eagerness to go out in the rain to get to it though. Not Pru and Willa. The two raced through the downpour laughing and holding hands with Elle, Colbie, Kylie, and Tina—the rest of Pru’s posse—moving more cautiously in deference to the preservation of their heels. Sean, Finn, and Finn’s posse—Archer, Keane, Spence, and Joe—followed. They all tumbled in the front door of the B&B and stopped short in awe of the place decorated with what had to be miles of garland and lights, along with a huge Christmas tree done up in all the bells and whistles. This place could’ve passed for Santa’s own house. Collectively the group “oohed” and “ahhhed” before turning expectedly to Sean. This was because he was actually in charge of the weekend’s activities that would lead up to the final countdown to the wedding happening next week at a winery about twenty minutes up the road. This was what a best man did apparently, take care of stuff. All the stuff. And that Finn had asked Sean to be his best man in the first place over any of the close friends with them this weekend had the pride overcoming his anxiety of screwing it all up. But the anxiety was making a real strong bid right at the moment. He shook off some of the raindrops and started to head over to the greeting desk and twelve people began to follow. He stopped and was nearly plowed over by the parade. “Wait here,” he instructed, pausing until his very excited group nodded in unison. Jesus. He shouldn’t have poured them that champagne to pre-game before they’d left O’Riley’s, the pub he and Finn owned and operated in San Francisco. And that he was the voice of reason right now was truly the irony of the century. “Stay,” he said firmly and then made his way past the towering Christmas tree lit to within an inch of its life, past the raging fire in the fireplace with candles lining the mantel . . . to the small, quaint check-in desk that had a plate with some amazing looking cookies and a sign that said: yes, these are for you—welcome! “Yum,” Pru said and took one for each hand.
Jill Shalvis (Holiday Wishes (Heartbreaker Bay, #4.5))
I reach for her, pull her closer to me, wanting, no needing to hold her. “Yes, I do. I love you, Chloe Jane Morris. I think I always have and I just didn’t know what it was.” She crawls closer to me, climbing into my lap. Tears are streaking down her cheeks unchecked. Her smile could light up the whole town in a blackout. “I love you, Raif Montgomery,” she says, and the tension leaves my body. Finally. I don’t know how long I’ve been longing to hear those words from her, but it feels like an age. Her mouth is mere inches from mine as she murmurs, “I’ve loved you forever. I don’t know how to stop.” I pull her even closer. “Don’t ever stop, darlin’.” I plead with her as she closes the short gap between us and sears my mouth with her kiss.
Lissa Lynn Thomas (Renegade Heart (Renegades, #1))
Fred Layman, (AKA The Club Doctor) is a veteran golf course and clubs in transition operations director/consultant. The Way I See It The Height of a Kite One sunny day, a mother and her son were outside flying a kite. The son loved watching the kite glide through the sky and cheered as it flew higher and higher. Eventually, the kite reached the end of its string and could not go any higher. After pleading with his mom to break the string, she finally agreed and cut the string to release the kite. Shortly after, a gust of wind made the kite spiral uncontrollably, and it crashed to the ground. As the son looked very sad and disappointed, the mother explained, “Just like the kite, we may reach a certain level in life and feel like things may be holding us back, such as friends, family, or rules. We feel the desire to become free from those strings, but it’s important to remember that those strings will help us remain stable and fly higher than we can without them.” Here’s the way I see it: Dan Pearce once said it best, “Who do you want to surround yourself with? People who can pull you up to their level of greatness? Or people who will happily pull you down to theirs?” Fred W. Layman III, USPTA Elite, Director of Operations The Windermere Club, is the president of an Augusta, GA based Club Consulting Company, Fred Layman Ventures.
Fred Layman
I thought somehow he would sense my disapproval and change his life in order to gain my favor. In short, I withheld love. I knew what I was doing was wrong. It was selfish. And what’s more, it would never work. By withholding love from my friend, he became defensive. He didn’t like me. He thought I was judgmental, snobbish, proud, and mean. Rather than being drawn to me, wanting to change, he was repulsed. I was guilty of using love like money, withholding to get somebody to be who I wanted them to be. I was making a mess of everything. And I was disobeying God...I had fallen miles short of God’s aim...I repented. I replaced economic metaphor with something different, a free gift metaphor, or a magnet metaphor. That is, instead of withholding love to change somebody, I poured it on, lavishly. I hoped that love would work like a magnet, pulling people from the myre, and toward healing. I knew this is the way God loved me. God never withheld love to teach me a lesson. Here is something simple about relationships [I discovered]: nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them... After I repented, things were different. But the difference wasn’t with my friend. The difference was with me. Before I had all this judgementalism and pride and loathing of other people. I hated it. And now I was set free. I was free to love. I didn’t have to discipline anybody, I didn’t have to judge anybody, I could treat everybody as though they were my best friend, as though they were rockstars or famous poets, as though they were amazing, and to me, they became amazing. Especially my new friend. I loved him. After I decided to let go of judging him, I discovered that he was very funny. I mean, really hilarious. And he was smart. Quite brilliant really. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. I felt as though I had lost an enemy, and gained a brother. And then he began to change. It didn’t matter to me whether he did or not, but he did. He began to get a little more serious about God...He was a great human being getting even better. I could feel God’s love for him. I loved the fact that it wasn’t my responsibility to change somebody, that it was God’s. That my part was just to communicate love.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
They’re not even lovers,’ said Dolby. ‘They told the news. They’re just very best friends who have found that the person they each want to be is a combination of the two of them.’ I was lagging several beats behind them. ‘“Compatible.” Why do you think they’re compatible?’ ‘Are you kidding? Aren’t you compatible with yourself?’ I gave a short laugh. ‘Depends on who you ask.’ ‘Well, you can’t imagine. The Joy of Congruence is completely beyond you.’ ‘I hope you won’t be offended if I take that as a compliment.’ As soon as I said it, the word lit up in my head. Except it was spelled complement.
Pat Cadigan (Mindplayers)
Wearing black leather trousers, short jacket, fitted corset and leather arm pads, Beck decided she looked exactly like the warrior princess she was meant to be. He always thought her an extraordinary blend of brute strength and subtle femininity and that belief was more in evidence today than ever. Her mastery in sword fighting, near blademaster rank, and her innate ability to anticipate the moves of much larger adversaries, made her a lethal fighter. She was also one of his best friends.
Valerie Zambito (An Oath of the Blood (Island Shifters, #1))
9/11/01 Gina: Especially today, with the enormity of current events, I want to convey to you again, how much you mean to me and how proud I am to be your husband. The hard work that you are engaged in right now is exhausting, invisible and largely thankless in the short term. But honey, please know that buried at the core of this tedium is the most noble and important work in the world- God's work; the fruits of which you and I will be lucky enough to enjoy as we grow old together. Watching these little guys grow into men is a privilege that I am proud to share with you, and the perfect fulfillment of our marriage bonds. You are a great mom. You are a great wife. You are my best friend. You are very pretty. Happy Birthday. -Matt
Michael Spehn
A best friend is someone who loves you when you forget to love yourself.
Mary Grand (Catching the Light: Four women, four compelling short stories)
2. Stutter. I can be on the phone for hours with my best friend, but if confronted by a cute guy, wham! I get power outage, my brain is short circuited. You'd be lucky to get anything out of me besides "er...um...uh..." and a ton of blushing. 3.Stumble. I trip over my own feet. Yeah it's easy to do that when you're five feet seven and gangly, but I managed to make the dance teacher cry when I was five years old. Or even worse, I knock things over and spill things over and spill food.
Aya Ling (The Ugly Stepsister (Unfinished Fairy Tales, #1))
These two ignorant and unpolished people had guided themselves so far on in their journey of life, by a religious sense of duty and desire to do right. Ten thousand weaknesses and absurdities might have been detected in the breasts of both; ten thousand vanities additional, possibly, in the breast of the woman. But the hard wrathful and sordid nature that had wrung as much work out of them as could be got in their best days, for as little money as could be paid to hurry on their worst, had never been so warped but that it knew their moral straightness and respected it. In its own despite, in a constant conflict with itself and them, it had done so. And this is the eternal law. For, Evil often stops short at itself and dies with the doer of it; but Good, never.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
In her hurry, though, she’d forgotten to grab her pajamas, which was a dilemma. She could either go out and get them and return to the bathroom to change, or she could go out there and put them on. If Sean didn’t like it, he didn’t have to watch. After leaving the bathroom, she turned off the overhead light in the bedroom, but it didn’t do much good. The night was clear, the moon was bright, and she knew she was all too visible when she undid her jeans and shimmied them down over her hips. “What the hell are you doing?” “Changing into my pajamas.” “You always do that in the bathroom.” His voice was low and rough, but she noticed he didn’t look away. “I forgot them, and there’s no point in going back in there.” She kicked off the jeans and was going to pull on the shorts before changing shirts, but then she remembered his stupid answers to the stupid questions in that game and changed her mind. “The point is that you don’t do it in front of me.” “Oh, did you forget? Being watched turns me on.” And she pulled her T-shirt over her head. She had to bite down on a surprised yelp once she was free of it because suddenly Sean was standing in front of her, wearing nothing but blue boxer briefs and a scowl. “You said I had no imagination.” “And having no imagination is so much worse than your best friend’s family thinking you’re an exhibitionist.” “And we’re not ever going to talk about the other thing you said. Ever.” He was crowding her personal space, so she put her hands on his chest to push him back, but he caught her wrists. Standing there with her palms pressed against his naked skin, she could feel his heart beating at a quickened pace that matched her own and she knew she had two choices. Walk away or end up in bed with him. She leaned her body a little closer and splayed her fingers across his chest. “Which thing aren’t we talking about? The fast-food-joint bathroom or—” “Don’t push me too far, Emma. It’s been a long time for me.” “How long?” “Too damn long.” He lifted her hands from his chest, but didn’t let go of her wrists. “And I never even got to scope out the dating situation here before you showed up at my door with this half-assed scheme.” “And since we… You haven’t…” “The last thing I need is to get caught cheating on a woman I can’t tell anybody I’m not really in a relationship with.” His gaze dropped from her face to her lacy white bra and he sighed. “You’re killing me.” “Lying awake on the couch every night, wondering what it would be like to slide into bed with you has been killing me for two weeks.” “Yeah.” He let go of her wrists and slid his hands up the back of her neck and into her hair. “I’ve thought about that, too. A lot. Pretty much constantly, actually.
Shannon Stacey (Yours to Keep (Kowalski Family, #3))
I happened to meet one of your friends today, when I chanced upon her during a walk.” “Who?” “Miss Hathaway.” “Beatrix?” Audrey looked at him attentively. “I hope you were polite to her.” “Not especially,” he admitted. “What did you say to her?” He scowled into his teacup. “I insulted her hedgehog,” he muttered. Audrey looked exasperated. “Oh, good God.” She began to stir her tea so vigorously that the spoon threatened to crack the porcelain cup. “And to think you were once renowned for your silver tongue. What perverse instinct drives you to repeatedly offend one of the nicest women I’ve ever known?” “I haven’t repeatedly offended her, I just did it today.” Her mouth twisted in derision. “How conveniently short your memory is. All of Stony Cross knows that you once said she belonged in the stables.” “I would never have said that to a woman, no matter how damned eccentric she was. Is.” “Beatrix overheard you telling it to one of your friends, at the harvest dance held at Stony Cross Manor.” “And she told everyone?” “No, she made the mistake of confiding in Prudence, who told everyone. Prudence is an incurable gossip.” “Obviously you have no liking for Prudence,” he began, “but if you--” “I’ve tried my best to like her. I thought if one peeled away the layers of artifice, one would find the real Prudence beneath. But there’s nothing beneath. And I doubt there ever will be.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
During NASA’s first fifty years the agency’s accomplishments were admired globally. Democratic and Republican leaders were generally bipartisan on the future of American spaceflight. The blueprint for the twenty-first century called for sustaining the International Space Station and its fifteen-nation partnership until at least 2020, and for building the space shuttle’s heavy-lift rocket and deep spacecraft successor to enable astronauts to fly beyond the friendly confines of low earth orbit for the first time since Apollo. That deep space ship would fly them again around the moon, then farther out to our solar system’s LaGrange points, and then deeper into space for rendezvous with asteroids and comets, learning how to deal with radiation and other deep space hazards before reaching for Mars or landings on Saturn’s moons. It was the clearest, most reasonable and best cost-achievable goal that NASA had been given since President John F. Kennedy’s historic decision to land astronauts on the lunar surface. Then Barack Obama was elected president. The promising new chief executive gave NASA short shrift, turning the agency’s future over to middle-level bureaucrats with no dreams or vision, bent on slashing existing human spaceflight plans that had their genesis in the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush White Houses. From the starting gate, Mr. Obama’s uncaring space team rolled the dice. First they set up a presidential commission designed to find without question we couldn’t afford the already-established spaceflight plans. Thirty to sixty thousand highly skilled jobs went on the chopping block with space towns coast to coast facing 12 percent unemployment. $9.4 billion already spent on heavy-lift rockets and deep space ships was unashamedly flushed down America’s toilet. The fifty-year dream of new frontiers was replaced with the shortsighted obligations of party politics. As 2011 dawned, NASA, one of America’s great science agencies, was effectively defunct. While Congress has so far prohibited the total cancellation of the space agency’s plans to once again fly astronauts beyond low earth orbit, Obama space operatives have systematically used bureaucratic tricks to slow roll them to a crawl. Congress holds the purse strings and spent most of 2010 saying, “Wait just a minute.” Thousands of highly skilled jobs across the economic spectrum have been lost while hundreds of billions in “stimulus” have been spent. As of this writing only Congress can stop the NASA killing. Florida’s senior U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, a former spaceflyer himself, is leading the fight to keep Obama space advisors from walking away from fifty years of national investment, from throwing the final spade of dirt on the memory of some of America’s most admired heroes. Congressional committees have heard from expert after expert that Mr. Obama’s proposal would be devastating. Placing America’s future in space in the hands of the Russians and inexperienced commercial operatives is foolhardy. Space legend John Glenn, a retired Democratic Senator from Ohio, told president Obama that “Retiring the space shuttles before the country has another space ship is folly. It could leave Americans stranded on the International Space Station with only a Russian spacecraft, if working, to get them off.” And Neil Armstrong testified before the Senate’s Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee that “With regard to President Obama’s 2010 plan, I have yet to find a person in NASA, the Defense Department, the Air Force, the National Academies, industry, or academia that had any knowledge of the plan prior to its announcement. Rumors abound that neither the NASA Administrator nor the President’s Science and Technology Advisor were knowledgeable about the plan. Lack of review normally guarantees that there will be overlooked requirements and unwelcome consequences. How could such a chain of events happen?
Alan Shepard (Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon)
The Myth of Sisyphus makes us wonder if we too are like the ones who are so distracted making friends with important people, staying on top of the latest technology, getting good marks in school, and making lots of money, that we never pause to think: What are we actually living for? Sisyphus ended up opening his heart to questions of meaning, value and purpose. He himself decided it was best to just make the most of his short time on earth, however meaningless it all may be. Through Sisyphus, Camus is telling us that life is a joke, and the courageous ones will accept that and have a laugh along the way. I know many movies released these days that operate under the same premise.
Jon Morrison (Clear Minds & Dirty Feet: A Reason to Hope, a Message to Share)
She was an intelligent and honest woman who knew what she was... and she was no beauty. Her attractions were moderate at best, and that was only if one completely discounted the current feminine ideal. She was short, and while on some days she could be described as voluptuous, on others she was most definitely plump. Her hair was a reddish-brown, wildly chaotic mass of curls- hateful curls that successfully defied any substance or implement used to straighten them. Oh, she had nice skin with no pockmarks or blemishes, and her eyes had once been described as "fine" by some well-meaning friend of the family. But they were plain gray eyes, with no shade of green or blue to enliven them.
Lisa Kleypas (Suddenly You)
When you are contemplating a job or career change, anxiety can be a large stumbling block. Hand in hand with anxiety goes low self-esteem, which can be especially detrimental during the job search. Employers respond best to those who project a comfortable, confident, and motivated self-image. If your anxiety is uncontrolled, it may mask your underlying confidence and motivation. As you do the exercises in this chapter, consider whether your anxiety is causing you to sell yourself short. If you find it difficult to list your capabilities and skills, you may wish to ask for some objective help from a friend, family member, or professional. And if anxiety is so high that it keeps you from focusing effectively on these exercises, you should try to use the various stress management strategies you have learned thus far in order to approach the project from a perspective of personal calm.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
Never use naughtiness in mixed company, unless your witticism is so funny that your audience will shoot tears of happiness out of their eyes with a velocity sufficient to powerwash a small bus. Any joke that falls short of that standard will make you lose respect in the eyes of everyone except your best friends, who, as you know, lost respect for you long ago.
Scott Adams (The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers)
Aren’t we waiting for Lori?” Jonah asked. Toby didn’t turn around as he answered. “Nah, she isn’t coming. We’ll meet up with her later today.” Great. Lori was too pissed to see him and Toby was like Antarctica. Jonah still wasn’t completely sure why they were so angry, given the fact that Zev hadn’t told anyone back home about their relationship. Well, there was one option; his old friends weren’t comfortable with him being gay. Tough shit. Jonah figured the best way to deal with the situation was to face it head-on. But as soon as they got into Jonah’s car, Toby started fiddling with the radio. Jonah decided to bide his time and wait for Toby to finish what he was doing so they could talk. He almost lost his composure when the other man landed on a Barry Manilow song and kept it there. Toby had to be the only Fanilow under the age of fifty. “So I’m guessing Lori told you about that guy in my apartment last night.” Toby’s posture immediately stiffened. Several long moments passed before he answered. “Yeah, she did.” “Anything you want to ask me about it, Toby? Might as well get it out there. No reason to walk on eggshells around each other.” “Ooookay,” Toby responded, drawing out the word. He took a deep breath and turned to face Jonah. “Did you stumble across a clearance sale on jackass cream or something? Maybe they were running a special on lobotomies?” Well, that was an unexpected response. “Huh? Whatta you mean?” “What I mean, Jonah…,” Toby said in a louder voice, “is that I know we’re all just a couple of bad decisions away from being one of those weirdos who buys fake nuts and hangs them on the back of his pickup truck, but you really managed to win the stupid cake last night.” Okay, this conversation wasn’t going exactly how Jonah had planned, but he still felt the need to defend himself. “Stupid? Why? Because I’m gay? That’s not a bad decision, Toby. It’s not a decision at all.” Jonah pulled into a parking lot of a decent diner, turned off the car, and turned to face Toby. The conversation was tense and awkward, but at least Toby’s atrocious music was no longer making Jonah’s ears bleed. Jonah would have preferred hearing his car engine drop out and drag across the asphalt than another cheesy ballad. “No shit, Sherlock. But cheating on Zev is a decision. A really bad decision.” Jonah’s mouth dropped open, and he snapped his eyes toward Toby in shock. Holy crap. Toby knew about his relationship with Zev. That meant Lori knew. As much as he hated being hidden from Zev’s family and life back in Etzgadol, Jonah didn’t want the man to be forced out against his will. “You know?” “Know what?” “About, um, me and Zev?” Toby rolled his eyes. “Of course I know. Just because I was blessed in the looks department doesn’t mean I was shorted anything upstairs. I’m not an idiot, Jonah.
Cardeno C. (Wake Me Up Inside (Mates, #1))
Make your visits short, especially to the sick. To visit too often is tiresome to your friends, and to visit too rarely is less than what is due to friendship. Your calls will be best appreciated when they are seasonable and not too frequent. Too much familiarity is a cause of coolness among friends. Do
John Wortabet (Arabian Wisdom)
Do I seriously have to go on this date? I mean seriously what if he's like the last one?" Jana complained to her best friend of Fifteen Years, as Destiny replied, "Girl, I have already settled down and had a child, you need to give this guy a chance heck who knows Gunther could be the one ever thought of that?" Jana rolled her eyes then looked herself in the mirror she has brunette short hair,grey eyes,five feet ten inches, one hundred eighty pounds and loves to be outgoing with her friends.
Annora Rose (Annabel's Fate (Fate Of Her Path #1))
Ode to Charlie THE DOG OF A LIFETIME We got a pup named Charlie One year at Christmastime. He changed our lives completely So I’ll share this dog rhyme. His ears were long and dangly, His legs were short and fat, His naps were almost constant, ’Cept when he chased the cat. I dressed him up in outfits, In dresses, shirts, and jeans, In boots and leather loafers-- The dapp’rest pup I’d seen! He started working cattle With Ladd and all the crew. He thought this was his purpose. Oh, if he only knew! That he was just a Bassett And bred for not so much. But Charlie rose above it And learned that cowdog touch. But man, that short dog syndrome… He thought he was in charge And ruled the other doggies His bravado, always large! But deep down, all he wanted Were tummy rubs all day And sausage, ham, and burgers And bacon, I would say. He snored just like an engine, His breath was not so great, His ears were always crusty From hanging in his plate. But Charlie Boy was perfect And loyal through and through. He knew what we were thinking, He sensed what we would do. We thought he’d live forever But cancer came and stayed, Then left with our dear Charles And left us all dismayed. And yet, we feel so lucky He got to be our friend. We have a million memories Right up until the end. We loved you, Charlie, you were the best We never will forget you And the very second we get to Heaven… We’re coming straight to get you!
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives)
He kissed her long and hot, drinking in her taste and scent. Her hands went to his hips, her fingers hooking through the belt loops on his khaki shorts. She pulled him against her, arching her back, the fly of her jeans against his. Josh sucked in a deep breath and finally, reluctantly, lifted his head. “I’m so damned glad to see you.” “I’m so damned glad I got on that bus,” she said, her voice breathless, her smile wide. “I hope you’re planning to stay for a while. Like all day. And night. And then the next. Four or five.” Her eyes widened. “The next four or five days?” He lowered his head, brushing his lips over hers. “I was thinking more like months.” She laughed softly, her breath hot against his mouth. “So everything I remember feeling last year is still here.” “Definitely still here,” he agreed. And stronger. Absence did make the heart grow fonder. He also knew it made memories fade and fantasies grow. But it seemed that neither of those things had happened in regard to Tori. He remembered everything—the freckles on her nose, the length of her eyelashes, the reddish-gold highlights in her hair, the way her laugh punched him in the gut and made him hard as steel. “Thank God,” she said softly. “So that’s a yes to the four or five months?” She laughed again. “Part of me is a very definite yes.” “That’s the part I want.” “Well, I can definitely offer you a chance to hang out with me for a few days.” “Done.” “You don’t even want to know what for?” “Doesn’t matter.” “Wow,” she said again. Josh brushed his thumbs over her cheekbones. “That’s what I was thinking.” She blew out a little breath. “So how do you feel about weddings?” “Are you proposing?
Erin Nicholas (My Best Friend's Mardi Gras Wedding (Boys of the Bayou, #1))
It was wrong. It was so relentlessly awful that my mother had been taken from me. I couldn’t even hate her properly. I didn’t get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I wished she’d done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we’d left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could fill. I’d have to fill it myself again and again and again.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
It is worth nothing that their neologisms, pronounciations and simplified grammar was quickly adopted by both the simplest people in the ports and by the so-called best people; and from the ports this way of speaking spread out into the newspapers and was soon in general use. Even many humans stopped attending to grammatical gender, word endings were dropped, declinations disappeared; our golden youth neglected to say r properly and learned to lisp; few educated people were any longer certain what was meant by 'indeterminism' or 'transcendent', simply because these words, even for human beings, were too long and too hard to pronounce. In short, for good or for ill, the newts became able to speak almost every language of the world according to what coast they lived on. About this time, some of the Czech national newspapers began to complain bitterly, no doubt with good reason, that none of the newts could speak their language. If there were salamanders who could speak Portuguese, Dutch and the languages of other small nations why were there none that could speak Czech? It was true, they conceded in regretful and learned terms, that Czechoslovakia had no sea coasts, and that means there will be no marine newts here, but that does not mean that Czechs should not play the same part in the culture of the world as many of the other nations whose language was being taught to thousands of newts, or perhaps even a greater part. It was only right and proper that the newts should also have some knowledge of Czech culture; but how were they to be informed about it if none of them knew the Czech language? It was not likely that someone somewhere in the world would acknowledge this cultural debt and found a chair in Czech and Czechoslovak literature at one of the newt universities. As the poet puts it, 'Trust no-one in the whole wide world, we have no friends out there'.
Karel Čapek (War with the Newts)
Anne Kihagi For Animal Enthusiasts Looking for Off-Beaten Path Discoveries, consider: Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery stretches over six miles off of California’s Highway 1. It is a part of the non-profit organization Friends of the Elephant Seal, which strives to educate the public and protect the seals. Stop at any of the viewing areas located on the highway to see over 17,000 elephant seals that use the area for birthing, breeding, and resting. The viewing areas are open year-round and are free of charge to the public. You have the best chance of glimpsing the seals between December and March when they visit the area due to inclement weather. If you are interested in learning more about the seals, Friends of the Elephant Seal has a visitor center and gift shop. It is a short, eight-mile drive away from the rookery and located within the Plaza del Cavalier in San Simon. Other area attractions include the Piedras Blancas Light Station, Hearst Castle, and the Coastal Discover Center at San Simeon Bay. Friends of the Elephant Seal also offers tours for children in third grade and higher. The group hosts school field trips, as well as organizations like Girl and Boy Scouts. Tour instructors provide students with explanation while they are viewing the seals at the rookery. People of all ages can enjoy the live action feed of the seals located on the Friends of the Elephant Seal’s website.
Anne Kihagi
In loving memory of Jessica Courson, my first true best friend and the one who taught me the important life lessons about loving God with all of my heart … and that time is short. In only sixteen years on this earth, she was able to be my undercover angel, shining with joy and hope and abundant love. I pray her life lessons will be passed on through these pages.
Angela Dusenberry (Kayla's Big Move (Undercover Angels #1))
It is not death that the very old tell me they fear. It is what happens short of death—losing their hearing, their memory, their best friends, their way of life. As Felix put it to me, “Old age is a continuous series of losses.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
Dear Friends & Folks, "Another New Year's dawned, new opportunities and difficulties are sneaking around. To take hold of good and let go bad, face the new challenges and open the new chances to anew your life again. Everyday train your brain to solve all difficulties and transform them into opportunities, get rich mentally, physically and financially. Love your family, friends, colleagues and all folks surrounded by you. Take care of your health, children, wealth and travel new exotic places, people and take good food. And enjoy life fullest as it is very short... Embrace new ideas, knowledge, and every opportunity. And always surround yourself with good people and avoid toxic and negative people to secure your peace of mind and dignity. I wholeheartedly and boldly set my plan as is the best year of my life for financial freedom, good health, richness, love, care, and abundance. May all your Dreams, Hopes and Wishes Come True This New Year. Very 'Happy New Year 2019' to All Of You." From, Lord Robin
Lord Robin
Dear Diary, “Z! Get up for school!” my mom yelled at me this evening. The sun had just gone down, and the moon was on the way up, which meant that it was time to get ready for school. My name is Zombulon, Z for short, and I’m a zombie. Looking at my name and what kind of creature I am really makes my parents look lazy, but I don’t think that they ever imagined that they’d have another kid after my older brother because his name is Arrgh, or R for short. My parents are really into one-letter nicknames. Once my brother called my parents M and D for a while, but they didn’t like that at all. It really wasn’t fair. What also isn’t fair is that I’ve got to wake up right at nightfall for school when all of the other kids get to wake up at the crack of dawn. I bet they all feel really lucky about it. It must be great to be able to wake up to the sun in your eyes instead of having to go to bed when it comes up. Being a zombie is really complicated for a lot of reasons, but my main complaint is that I can’t go outside during the day because if I do I’ll burn up. It’s like all of those stories about vampires who turn to dust in the sunlight, except for zombies are real and I just happen to be one of them. Because zombies can’t go out into the sun, most of them tend to be afraid of anything that can go into the sun and live to tell the tale. I swear that once R ran away from a chicken just because he had never seen one before. It was pretty funny. The punch in the arm that he gave me after I laughed at him was not funny. Another weird thing about being a zombie, or a monster in general around here, is that we’ve all got to go to night school. Usually, when humans talk about night school, they’re complaining about adults who they think are dumber than them for not going to college right away and waiting to take classes after work or something. My mom complains about it every once in a while, and then my dad reminds her that their best human friend went to night school and now he’s loaded. Anyway, monster night school is different. It’s just a bunch of kids like me going to school together at night. Zombies, skeletons, pigmen, and other monsters are all allowed to go to the school. Personally, I think that the humans and villagers just don’t want us to scare their kids. Anyway, Mom’s pitching a fit downstairs, so I guess that I better get ready for school. After all, it is my first day of middle school, so she wants everything to be extra special for me. I’m going to write all about it tomorrow when I actually have some news. I’m sure I will because today is going to be the first day of school this year, and new stuff always happens on the first day.
M.C. Steve (Diary of a Wimpy Zombie: Book 1 (Diary of a Wimpy Zombie #1))
Introduction This book is devoted to the blessed Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Daily working together as unified Godhead for our best interest. Would be incomplete without Jesus direct love bestowed upon me, through a perpetual act of faith in God. Fully trusting Jesus to lead me into a carefully laid-out plan. Dedicating this book to my children: Faith is 6, Christian 11, Christina 12 years old. Izzabella, my niece, is also featured in the story, Sally Saved Three Times. These Children are the inspiration for the characters in the stories. Added some personal experiences acquired during my childhood. Appreciate the support of my Mom, Dad, brother, Jacob, for being here for me the last five years. They helped me through hard circumstances when I needed them the most. Thank You! My second family is at the Erie Wesleyan Methodist Church on the corner of 29th and Liberty. They covered my life with prayer; great friends from the Lord; Supporting me on my journey towards my heavenly home. I am also thankful for Mike Lawrence who encouraged me to keep writing. Thanks, brother! This spectacular close friend of mine wrote the Forward of this book. He is God-given for moral support and prayer. Friends forever from Erie, Pennsylvania! There are scripture references, along with Bible lessons featured in each story. These short stories are ideal for devotions or bedtime stories. Suitable for parents and grandparents to read to children, grandchildren. Forward It is rare today to find Christians who are in love with doing the Lord's service. Many would sit to the side and let others bush-wack the path, but Bryan has always been the one who delights in making the way clear for others. His determination, commitment to producing these writings was encouraging to watch come to fruition. Take time now see for yourself how God is directing these works to provide something sincere, pure, innocent for families to enjoy. A pleasant respite from a sin-sick world. So, please, feel free to find a quiet place today and enjoy them alone or with your family. This body of work calls upon us to take time to be holy. I believe with all my heart that this is the authors intent, the Lord's plan, my hearts prayer that they bless you as much as they have blessed me. May God bless the time and energies sacrificed by the author in its production. Sincerely in Christ, Michael Lawrence. When writing with Shirley Dye on messenger about editing the book, she commented that this book would be a blessing to many people. That is my solemn humble prayer. Short Story Content 1. Mr. B.G. (My Testimony) 2. Trevor Wins Three Times 3. Winning The Man ON Rock-Hill 4. Sally Saved Three Times 5. Jonathan and Family Find God 6. Upright and Prideful Key Text, (Matthew 18:3), “And (Jesus) said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Bryan Guras (Kids Following Jesus: One Step At A Time)
In that short time I’d saved Dahlia House from the developers, found a stray dog that turned out to be a real treasure, obtained the best partner in the world, and been gifted with a horse from my friend Lee McBride.
Carolyn Haines (Bones To Pick (Sarah Booth Delaney #6))
SEO - The Cheapest And Easiest Way To Boost Traffic No matter what kind of web site you have, it's vital to always work to increase your visibility to attract new visitors. By optimizing your site so that you get the best results from the search engines, you'll make yourself more noticeable. In this article, you'll find some great tips for doing so. Having relevant, keyword oriented page titles is one of the best SEO strategies. By choosing titles that accurately describe your page you are better able to inform human searchers and web crawlers about the content of your site. This will naturally boost your traffic as people are better able to find your site when they search for your particular niche. Using flash files is not a good idea for search engine optimization. Be aware of using flash as it can be very slow to load, and users will get frustrated. In addition, search engine spiders will not read keywords that are found in flash files. For better search engine optimization, make use of the h1 tag. Use the h1 tag in your title, and make sure the title is somehow contained in the text. The h1 tag helps you focus directly on keywords. Also, make use of the h2 and h3 tags for more streamlined optimization. To better optimize your site for search engines, you should place keywords in the title tag for every post. Most search engines place more importance on titles than other types of contents. This means that using effective keywords is your title is one of the best ways to draw in traffic from search engines. Include the most important keywords for your site in the left-hand navigation bar and title of your homepage. These texts will be searched before the main text on your website, so you should include the keywords with which you would like your site to be most closely associated with.. Use keywords throughout your site to maximize your visibility to search engines. Be sure to choose appropriate and popular keywords that are commonly searched by people looking for information about your products and services. The two most important places to include keywords are the title tag and the page header. Pay attention to what you're using as a title tag. As people enter into your site, they will notice the title tag first. It needs to be a good description of the website and have related keywords. In addition, keep it short. If you put keywords in your HTML tag it will help your SEO efforts. Title tags have the most weight with the search engines, so make sure to put your best keywords there. Try to use strong keywords to get the best results. With so much competition for visitors on the internet, it's more important than ever that you keep yourself ahead of the game, by making sure that your site is as search engine friendly as possible. You can use the techniques in this article, so that your site will have a more visible online presence.
marketing agency
exercise is an introvert’s best friend, helping you out of your head and into your body for a short period of time.
Barrie Davenport (Self-Care For Introverts: 17 Soothing Rituals For Peace In A Hectic World)
Burns continued to work, doing a routine with Carol Channing that was short-lived. For a time it seemed that the old sentiment was to be proved true: that Burns without Gracie was a stale act indeed. Then he got a role in a movie, intended for his friend Jack Benny, who became ill and had to decline it. He won an Academy Award as Best Supporting actor in The Sunshine Boys, a 1975 release. His performance in the title role of the 1977 film Oh, God put to rest the “no-talent” argument.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
started without losing any more precious time. I might have expected that my best friend getting married would require endless discussions about which florist to use and what would be the best hors d’oeuvres to serve with the champagne. There is almost none of that. Greg’s ludicrously short timescale puts paid to any gentle deliberation. Instead we both seem to be running a solo race to our own goals. More than once I regret that the whole wedding-preparation thing is not turning out the way I had imagined, but it can’t be helped. There is just no time to waste chatting. Apart from making the dress, the main event as far as I am concerned is the shopping trip to buy the bridesmaid dresses. There will be three of us: me and Greg’s two nieces, who are to be flower girls. Beth
Imogen Clark (Postcards From a Stranger)
As life moves forward, it opens my eyes even more and more to things I feared at a young age. It reminds me that maybe life as a child was truly the best part of life. When one is young, our heart and mind just don't comprehend the horrible things that happen in life. So these moments of tragedy remind me to appreciate the short time I have in this world. Which draws me closer to my family and friends. It also reminds me that money isn't everything. And lastly, it reminds me to smile, be happy, and to give it my all every single day because in an instant, our life truly does disappear.
Julian Aguilar
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours? During my second tour in Iraq, I was commander of SEAL Team Three, Task Unit Bruiser. We were deployed to the war-torn city of Ramadi, the epicenter of the insurgency at the time. Only a few weeks into the deployment, we conducted a large operation in conjunction with U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. Marines, and friendly Iraqi Army soldiers. There were multiple elements on the battlefield, all engaged in heavy enemy contact. In the fog of war, mistakes were made. Bad luck emerged. Things went wrong. There ended up being a vicious firefight between one of my SEAL elements and a friendly Iraqi unit. An Iraqi soldier was killed and several others were wounded, including one of my SEALs. It was a nightmare. While there was plenty of blame to go around, and plenty of people who had made mistakes, I realized there was only one person to blame: me. I was the commander. I was the senior man on the battlefield, and I was responsible for everything that happened. Everything. As a leader, there is no one else to blame. Don’t make excuses. If I don’t take ownership of problems, I can’t solve them. That’s what a leader has to do: take ownership of the problems, the mistakes, and the shortfalls, and take ownership of creating and implementing solutions to get those problems solved. Take ownership.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
The jagged V of a heartbeat launched the room back into action, and I breathed again. I was backed out into the hallway by the throng of people working on him. They started a central line. They started X-rays. Neurology was called. And then a curtain yanked closed and it was done. There was nothing else we could do for him. That was it. It was out of our hands. I stood there panting, in shock, the adrenaline crashing into me now that I’d stopped moving. I looked down at myself, my hands trembling. I was covered in his blood. Coveredin my best friend’s blood. Luke spoke from behind me. “She was drunk.” My hands balled into fists, and Shawn started to wheeze. Sloan. I needed Kristen to get Sloan. I walked outside, praying to God that Kristen answered my call, that she hadn’t decided to ice me out again in the short time since I’d seen her. If she didn’t answer and I had to text her, I wouldn’t be able to do it. My hands shook so violently now that it was all I could do to unlock my phone and pull up her number. It had been twenty minutes since I’d seen her. Twenty minutes that felt like a lifetime. I pressed the phone to my ear, my hand shaking. I wouldn’t be able to stay with him. My station had mandated staffing. I couldn’t leave until someone relieved me. I had to go back. “Hey.” Her voice gave me the first full breath I’d taken in almost half an hour. Just knowing she was on the other end of the line grounded me. Everything that had happened between us felt years away and unimportant.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
Too often, aspiring artists put pressure on themselves to make their creative work their only source of income. In my experience, it’s a road to misery. If art is your sole source of income, then there’s unrelenting pressure on that art, and mercenary pressure is the enemy of the creative elves inside you trying to get the work done. Having another stream of income drains the pressure on your creative engine. If nothing comes of your art, you still have an ironclad plan to support yourself. As a result, your creative soul feels lighter and free to do its best work. I’m a personal practitioner of this: Even after three books and a hefty movie deal, I still tutor kids and help them with their college applications. My friends can’t understand it, but it’s the only way I know how to write without feeling like it’s a matter of life and death.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
The doorbell rings again, and I thank God for small miracles. "Hold again," I say as I hold against my shoulder. I walk over, smiling because I know that Nicole must be going out of her mind. "Did you for--" "Hello, Officer Covey." Eli grins as he leans against the doorframe. "I was hoping you were home. We didn't get a chance to finish our conversation." Not even thinking, I close the door and stand there. Holy shit. What the hell? "Heather?" Nicole's voice is a buzzing in my ear. Or is that my suddenly frantic pulse? "Hmm?" I can't speak. Eli Walsh is at my freaking house. "Is that whole I think it is?" I rise onto my tiptoes and peek out the peephole. Sure enough, he's right there, smiling as if he has not a care in the world. "Yup." "Are you fucking kidding?" Nicole screams. "Holy shit, Nic. What the hell do I do?" My heart continues to race, and I'm completely freaking out. Nicole chuckles and then proceeds to yell again. "Open the goddamn door!" I look in the mirror and groan. I have on shorts and an oversized sweatshirt, which now has a beautiful pizza stain on the front. My hair is in a messy bun, I'm not wearing any makeup, and I have my glasses on instead of my contacts. I can't believe this. Eli knocks again. "Heather, I can hear you on the other side." My hand presses against the wood and I close my eyes, "What do you want, Eli?" "Heather! Open the fucking door right now!" Nicole's voice raises in my ear. "Shut up!" I yell at my jackass best friend. "I didn't say anything," Eli answers.
Corinne Michaels (We Own Tonight (Second Time Around, #1))
Peggy, to say, “Hey, Peg, let’s stop asking Wanda how many dresses she has.” When she finished her arithmetic, she did start a note to Peggy. Suddenly she paused and shuddered. She pictured herself in the school yard, a new target for Peggy and the girls. Peggy might ask her where she got the dress she had on, and Maddie would have to say that it was one of Peggy’s old ones that Maddie’s mother had tried to disguise with new trimmings so that no one in Room 13 would recognize it. If only Peggy would decide of her own accord to stop having fun with Wanda. Oh, well! Maddie ran her hand through her short blond hair as though to push the uncomfortable thoughts away. What difference did it make? Slowly Maddie tore the note she had started into bits. She was Peggy’s best friend, and Peggy was the best-liked girl in the whole room. Peggy could not possibly do anything that was really wrong, she thought.
Eleanor Estes (The Hundred Dresses)
A third assumption: a commitment to monogamy is an admirable consequence of love, stemming from a deep-seated generosity and an intimate interest in the other’s flourishing and well-being. A call for monogamy is a sure indication that one partner has the other’s best interests at heart. To Rabih’s new way of thinking, it seems anything but kind or considerate to insist that a spouse return to his room alone to watch CNN and eat yet another club sandwich while perched on the edge of his bed, when he has perhaps only a few more decades of life left on the planet, an increasingly dishevelled physique, an at best intermittent track record with the opposite sex, and a young woman from California standing before him who sincerely wishes to remove her dress in his honour. If love is to be defined as a genuine concern for the well-being of another person, then it must surely be deemed compatible with granting permission for an often harassed and rather browbeaten husband to step off the elevator on the eighteenth floor, in order to enjoy ten minutes of rejuvenating cunnilingus with a near-stranger. Otherwise it may seem that what we are dealing with is not really love at all but rather a kind of small-minded and hypocritical possessiveness, a desire to make one’s partner happy if, but only if, that happiness involves oneself. It’s past midnight already, yet Rabih is just hitting his stride, knowing there might be objections but sidestepping them nimbly and, in the process, acquiring an ever more brittle sense of self-righteousness. A fourth assumption: monogamy is the natural state of love. A sane person can only ever want to love one other person. Monogamy is the bellwether of emotional health. Is there not, wonders Rabih, an infantile idealism in our wish to find everything in one other being – someone who will be simultaneously a best friend, a lover, a co-parent, a co-chauffeur and a business partner? What a recipe for disappointment and resentment in this notion, upon which millions of otherwise perfectly good marriages regularly founder. What could be more natural than to feel an occasional desire for another person? How can anyone be expected to grow up in hedonistic, liberated circles, experience the sweat and excitement of nightclubs and summer parks, listen to music full of longing and lust and then, immediately upon signing a piece of paper, renounce all outside sexual interest, not in the name of any particular god or higher commandment but merely from an unexplored supposition that it must be very wrong? Is there not instead something inhuman, indeed ‘wrong’, in failing to be tempted, in failing to realize just how short of time we all are and therefore with what urgent curiosity we should want to explore the unique fleshly individuality of more than one of our contemporaries? To moralize against adultery is to deny the legitimacy of a range of sensory high points – Rabih thinks of Lauren’s shoulder blades – in their own way just as worthy of reverence as more acceptable attractions such as the last moments of ‘Hey Jude’ or the ceilings of the Alhambra Palace. Isn’t the rejection of adulterous possibilities tantamount to an infidelity towards the richness of life itself? To turn the equation on its head: would it be rational to trust anyone who wasn’t, under certain circumstances, really pretty interested in being unfaithful?
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
A young nephew who was preparing for Sau-mur, and was meanwhile stationed in the neighbourhood, at Doncières, was coming to spend a few weeks’ furlough with her, and she would be devoting most of her time to him. In the course of our drives together she had boasted to us of his extreme cleverness, and above all of his goodness of heart; already I was imagining that he would have an instinctive feeling for me, that I was to be his best friend; and when, before his arrival, his aunt gave my grandmother to understand that he had unfortunately fallen into the clutches of an appalling woman with whom he was quite infatuated and who would never let him go, since I believed that that sort of love was doomed to end in mental aberration, crime and suicide, thinking how short the time was that was set apart for our friendship, already so great in my heart, although I had not yet set eyes on him, I wept for that friendship and for the misfortunes that were in store for it, as we weep for a person whom we love when some one has just told us that he is seriously ill and that his days are numbered.
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
Claudette wasn’t just my lover. She was also my best friend. I wish that on everyone. Sure, I used the money I made from bussing tables to buy her flowers or take her to a restaurant every chance I had. And sure, the mere sight of her silhouette in a summer dress was enough to make me pass out with cum in my shorts. But she was also my pal. 
Andrew Armacost (The Poor Man's Guide to Suicide)
At the end of an evening, her women friends would hug her, or a friend’s husband might slip his arm around her waist to kiss her, just a little too suggestively, and the coldness in her would respond, I don’t give a damn if I ever see any of you again.
Jennifer Egan (The Best American Short Stories 2014 (Best American Series))
What happened to the troubled young reporter who almost brought this magazine down The last time I talked to Stephen Glass, he was pleading with me on the phone to protect him from Charles Lane. Chuck, as we called him, was the editor of The New Republic and Steve was my colleague and very good friend, maybe something like a little brother, though we are only two years apart in age. Steve had a way of inspiring loyalty, not jealousy, in his fellow young writers, which was remarkable given how spectacularly successful he’d been in such a short time. While the rest of us were still scratching our way out of the intern pit, he was becoming a franchise, turning out bizarre and amazing stories week after week for The New Republic, Harper’s, and Rolling Stone— each one a home run. I didn’t know when he called me that he’d made up nearly all of the bizarre and amazing stories, that he was the perpetrator of probably the most elaborate fraud in journalistic history, that he would soon become famous on a whole new scale. I didn’t even know he had a dark side. It was the spring of 1998 and he was still just my hapless friend Steve, who padded into my office ten times a day in white socks and was more interested in alphabetizing beer than drinking it. When he called, I was in New York and I said I would come back to D.C. right away. I probably said something about Chuck like: “Fuck him. He can’t fire you. He can’t possibly think you would do that.” I was wrong, and Chuck, ever-resistant to Steve’s charms, was as right as he’d been in his life. The story was front-page news all over the world. The staff (me included) spent several weeks re-reporting all of Steve’s articles. It turned out that Steve had been making up characters, scenes, events, whole stories from first word to last. He made up some funny stuff—a convention of Monica Lewinsky memorabilia—and also some really awful stuff: racist cab drivers, sexist Republicans, desperate poor people calling in to a psychic hotline, career-damaging quotes about politicians. In fact, we eventually figured out that very few of his stories were completely true. Not only that, but he went to extreme lengths to hide his fabrications, filling notebooks with fake interview notes and creating fake business cards and fake voicemails. (Remember, this was before most people used Google. Plus, Steve had been the head of The New Republic ’s fact-checking department.) Once we knew what he’d done, I tried to call Steve, but he never called back. He just went missing, like the kids on the milk cartons. It was weird. People often ask me if I felt “betrayed,” but really I was deeply unsettled, like I’d woken up in the wrong room. I wondered whether Steve had lied to me about personal things, too. I wondered how, even after he’d been caught, he could bring himself to recruit me to defend him, knowing I’d be risking my job to do so. I wondered how I could spend more time with a person during the week than I spent with my husband and not suspect a thing. (And I didn’t. It came as a total surprise). And I wondered what else I didn’t know about people. Could my brother be a drug addict? Did my best friend actually hate me? Jon Chait, now a political writer for New York and back then the smart young wonk in our trio, was in Paris when the scandal broke. Overnight, Steve went from “being one of my best friends to someone I read about in The International Herald Tribune, ” Chait recalled. The transition was so abrupt that, for months, Jon dreamed that he’d run into him or that Steve wanted to talk to him. Then, after a while, the dreams stopped. The Monica Lewinsky scandal petered out, George W. Bush became president, we all got cell phones, laptops, spouses, children. Over the years, Steve Glass got mixed up in our minds with the fictionalized Stephen Glass from his own 2003 roman à clef, The Fabulist, or Steve Glass as played by Hayden Christiansen in the 2003
Anonymous
Best Beef Soup Ever This hearty and yummy winter soup is good any time of the year. 8–10 cups (1.9–2.4 L) water 2 large onions, quartered 5 pounds (2.3 kg) short ribs with bone cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks (results in 2½ pounds, or 1.1 kg, beef chunks) 1 tablespoon (18 g) kosher salt
Pamela Compart (The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook, Updated and Revised)
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life? When I give a book, I always try to find something that I loved, and most important, speaks to the person’s dreams, yearnings, or challenges they are facing. For friends who have faced or are facing cancer, I often give them The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee, because this beautifully written book weaves together science and story so elegantly, and helped me understand cancer—the history, causes, and innovative treatment—when my son had cancer. For new cooks I give Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything because it delivers exactly what it promises! For New York City geeks—and I know a lot of them—I gave Nonstop Metropolis by Rebecca Solnit. For a great novel that I have read three times, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. For young women, I get The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, which I read when I was studying in Paris. “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” And for those who struggle with productivity and taking control of their lives, The 4-Hour Workweek, of course!
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore? I thought about this a lot when I gave the commencement address at MIT back in 2013. I said that if I had a cheat sheet I could give myself at 22, it would have three things on it: a tennis ball, a circle, and the number 30,000. The tennis ball is about finding something that you can become obsessed with, like my childhood dog who would go crazy whenever anyone threw a ball for her. The most successful people I know are all obsessed with solving a problem that really matters to them. The circle refers to the idea that you’re the average of your five closest friends. Make sure to put yourself in an environment that pulls the best out of you. And the last is the number 30,000. When I was 24, I came across a website that says most people live for about 30,000 days—and I was shocked to find that I was already 8,000 days down. So you have to make every day count. I’d give the same advice today, but I would clarify that it’s not just about passion or following your dreams. Make sure the problem you become obsessed with is one that needs solving and is one where your contribution can make a difference. As Y Combinator says, “Make something people want.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
Life is too short, dare to enjoy every minute. Life is too short, dare to love everybody. Life is too short, dare to make best of it. Life is too short, dare to have a grateful heart. Life is too short, dare to keep smiling. Life is too short, dare to have no regrets. Life is too short, dare to have no heartbreaks. Life is too short, dare to extend hand to needy people. Life is too short, dare to fight injustice. Life is too short, dare to be all you can be. Life is too short, dare to tell the truth at all times. Life is too short, dare to see the world. Life is too short, dare to forgive and forget. Life is too short, dare to waste no time. Life is too short, dare to burn no bridges. Life is too short, dare to be more brave than weak. Life is too short, dare to prioritize things of importance. Life is too short, dare to spend your time with those who you care. Life is too short, dare to be around people who believe in you. Life is too short, dare to share your stories with others. Life is too short, dare to do things you enjoy most. Life is too short, dare to start your day with a positive attitude. Life is too short, dare to live your life with a purpose. Life is too short, dare to be surrounded by people who share your dreams. Life is too short, dare to go to places you feel most excited about. Life is too short, dare to love like there is no tomorrow. Life is too short, dare to get out of the house every day. Life is too short, dare to spend time with friends. Life is too short, dare to...you fill the blank.
John Taskinsoy
Other things my best friend said to me: That two years was but a short span.
Helen Oyeyemi (What is Not Yours is Not Yours)
I was willing to make us into a proper family; I was willing to put the time into it. I’ve sent your brother to fetch your mother, despite needing him elsewhere, in a bid to make you happy. But I don’t have time to play with you any more. Your friends are not the only ones who understand you’re replaceable. You’re alive only because I permit it, and I am fast running out of patience with you. So tomorrow evening, you will present yourself in the Great Hall an hour after sunset. You will wear something very pretty, and your best smile. And we will dine together, companionably.You will not try to stab me. You will not spit at me, or slap me. You will behave with decorum. In short, sweetling, you will make yourself special to me, or I will remove you from my game board. I need your brother, and I need the philtresmith. But I don’t need you. Bear that in mind.
Melinda Salisbury (The Scarecrow Queen (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #3))
Some years later, during a heart-to-heart chat, a friend of mine remarked that I have the propensity to disappear, when faced with hindrances. He advised me to face problems head-on, instead of avoiding confrontations and running away like a coward, much as I had with my dad, with you, and with Tony. This is a liability I’m learning to confront. And, it isn’t easy.               Thanks to my sister, Aria, I was able to make peace with my father, before he passed. For years, I had resented the way he treated us, during our Christmas vacation at Vaduz. I couldn’t bring myself to forgive the insults he flung at us. Although my mother did her best to assuage the damage, I fled as quickly and as far as I could. I had refused to meet with my dad unless he apologized; he refused to budge. During his final days, Aria and Ari begged me to return home, to pay my respects. It was then and there that we made peace. Before he took his final breath, he apologized and asked my forgiveness. When he finally accepted me for who I am, an immense relief flooded me. I came to the realization that our time on earth is short, and if either one of us had been less difficult, our years of estrangement could have been resolved long before.               Relief followed apprehension, for I knew he had died in peace; for this, I am eternally grateful.               What about you? How did you get on with your father? When we parted ways, you had unresolved issues with him, as I did with mine. Now that the ball is in your court, send me your chronicles.☺
Young (Turpitude (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 4))
Her relationship with Paul went back much further, of course. It wasn’t as though they became friends because of Matt’s death. In fact, that night long ago when she met Matt, it had been Paul across the room who’d first caught her eye. He was so tall, his legs so long and hands so big, it was hard for him not to stand out in a crowd. There was that willful, sandy hair that had to be kept short because it would defy any kind of styling. Not that Paul was the kind of man to fuss with his hair—it was obvious even from a distance that he stuck to basics. It was his masculinity she noticed; he looked like a lumberjack who’d cleaned up to go into town. He had an engaging smile; one tooth in front was just a little crooked and he had a dimple on the left cheek. Heavy brown brows, deep chocolate eyes—details she discovered a bit later, of course. She hadn’t even noticed Matt… But it was Matt who put the rush on her, swept her off her feet, made her laugh, made her blush. While Paul hung back, shy and silent, Matt charmed her to her very bones. And shortly after the charm, he made her desire him madly, love him deeply. He was hardly a consolation prize—he was one of the best men in the world. And a devoted husband, so in love with her. She loved Paul before Matt’s death, grew to love him more deeply afterward. When little Mattie was born, she said to Paul, “I will never love anyone but Matt.” But as the weeks passed she realized that she didn’t have to stop loving Matt any more than Paul should. Matt would be with them both forever. And it was like the natural order of things that Paul should step in now.
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
Ken Wharfe In 1987, Ken Wharfe was appointed a personal protection officer to Diana. In charge of the Princess’s around-the-clock security at home and abroad, in public and in private, Ken Wharfe became a close friend and loyal confidant who shared her most private moments. After Diana’s death, Inspector Wharfe was honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and made a Member of the Victorian Order, a personal gift of the sovereign for his loyal service to her family. His book, Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. He is a regular contributor with the BBC, ITN, Sky News, NBC, CBS, and CNN, participating in numerous outside broadcasts and documentaries for BBC--Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News, News 24, and GMTV. My memory of Diana is not her at an official function, dazzling with her looks and clothes and the warmth of her manner, or even of her offering comfort among the sick, the poor, and the dispossessed. What I remember best is a young woman taking a walk in a beautiful place, unrecognized, carefree, and happy. Diana increasingly craved privacy, a chance “to be normal,” to have the opportunity to do what, in her words, “ordinary people” do every day of their lives--go shopping, see friends, go on holiday, and so on--away from the formality and rituals of royal life. As someone responsible for her security, yet understanding her frustration, I was sympathetic. So when in the spring of the year in which she would finally be separated from her husband, Prince Charles, she yet again raised the suggestion of being able to take a walk by herself, I agreed that such a simple idea could be realized. Much of my childhood had been spent on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, a county in southern England approximately 120 miles from London; I remembered the wonderful sandy beaches of Studland Bay, on the approach to Poole Harbour. The idea of walking alone on miles of almost deserted sandy beach was something Diana had not even dared dream about. At this time she was receiving full twenty-four-hour protection, and it was at my discretion how many officers should be assigned to her protection. “How will you manage it, Ken? What about the backup?” she asked. I explained that this venture would require us to trust each other, and she looked at me for a moment and nodded her agreement. And so, early one morning less than a week later, we left Kensington Palace and drove to the Sandbanks ferry at Poole in an ordinary saloon car. As we gazed at the coastline from the shabby viewing deck of the vintage chain ferry, Diana’s excitement was obvious, yet not one of the other passengers recognized her. But then, no one would have expected the most photographed woman in the world to be aboard the Studland chain ferry on a sunny spring morning in May. As the ferry docked after its short journey, we climbed back into the car and then, once the ramp had been lowered, drove off in a line of cars and service trucks heading for Studland and Swanage. Diana was driving, and I asked her to stop in a sand-covered area about half a mile from the ferry landing point. We left the car and walked a short distance across a wooded bridge that spanned a reed bed to the deserted beach of Shell Bay. Her simple pleasure at being somewhere with no one, apart from me, knowing her whereabouts was touching to see. Diana looked out toward the Isle of Wight, anxious by now to set off on her walk to the Old Harry Rocks at the western extremity of Studland Bay. I gave her a personal two-way radio and a sketch map of the shoreline she could expect to see, indicating a landmark near some beach huts at the far end of the bay, a tavern or pub, called the Bankes Arms, where I would meet her.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
Ken Wharfe In 1987, Ken Wharfe was appointed a personal protection officer to Diana. In charge of the Princess’s around-the-clock security at home and abroad, in public and in private, Ken Wharfe became a close friend and loyal confidant who shared her most private moments. After Diana’s death, Inspector Wharfe was honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and made a Member of the Victorian Order, a personal gift of the sovereign for his loyal service to her family. His book, Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. He is a regular contributor with the BBC, ITN, Sky News, NBC, CBS, and CNN, participating in numerous outside broadcasts and documentaries for BBC--Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Channel 5 News, News 24, and GMTV. And so, early one morning less than a week later, we left Kensington Palace and drove to the Sandbanks ferry at Poole in an ordinary saloon car. As we gazed at the coastline from the shabby viewing deck of the vintage chain ferry, Diana’s excitement was obvious, yet not one of the other passengers recognized her. But then, no one would have expected the most photographed woman in the world to be aboard the Studland chain ferry on a sunny spring morning in May. As the ferry docked after its short journey, we climbed back into the car and then, once the ramp had been lowered, drove off in a line of cars and service trucks heading for Studland and Swanage. Diana was driving, and I asked her to stop in a sand-covered area about half a mile from the ferry landing point. We left the car and walked a short distance across a wooded bridge that spanned a reed bed to the deserted beach of Shell Bay. Her simple pleasure at being somewhere with no one, apart from me, knowing her whereabouts was touching to see. Diana looked out toward the Isle of Wight, anxious by now to set off on her walk to the Old Harry Rocks at the western extremity of Studland Bay. I gave her a personal two-way radio and a sketch map of the shoreline she could expect to see, indicating a landmark near some beach huts at the far end of the bay, a tavern or pub, called the Bankes Arms, where I would meet her. She set off at once, a tall figure clad in a pair of blue denim jeans, a dark-blue suede jacket, and a soft scarf wrapped loosely around her face to protect her from the chilling, easterly spring wind. I stood and watched as she slowly dwindled in the distance, her head held high, alone apart from busy oyster catchers that followed her along the water’s edge. It was a strange sensation watching her walking away by herself, with no bodyguards following at a discreet distance. What were my responsibilities here? I kept thinking. Yet I knew this area well, and not once did I feel uneasy. I had made this decision--not one of my colleagues knew. Senior officers at Scotland Yard would most certainly have boycotted the idea had I been foolish enough to give them advance notice of what the Princess and I were up to.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
Your spirituality is simply the positive, loving side of yourself, the energy of joy and togetherness. It's the feeling you have when your dog bounds up wagging its tail, or the biggest laugh you have with your best friend. Or that feeling in a concert when sixty thousand people sing along in unison to a song you love, or the moment when you are looking into the eyes of someone you love, or when you feel at your most confident and happy, as if you can do anything. It is all the most positive aspects of our existence. In short, it is love.
Matthew Todd (Straight Jacket)
When you think of me, you must think of me as one who is truly happy. It is true, I want a great many things I haven't got, but I don't want them enough to be discontented and not enjoy the many blessings that are mine. I have my home among the blue mountains, my healthy, well-formed children, my clean, honest husband, my kind, gentle milk cows, my garden which I make myself. I have loads and loads of flowers which I tend myself. There are lots of chickens, turkeys, and pigs which are my own special care. I have some slow old gentle horses and an old wagon. I can load up the kiddies and go where I please any time. I have the best, kindest neighbors and I have my dear absent friends. Do you wonder I am so happy? When I think of it all, I wonder how I can crowd all my joy into one short life.
Elinore Rupert Stewart
I don’t understand how you can smile all day long but cry yourself to sleep at night. How pictures never change but the people in them do. How your best friend become your worst enemy. Or how strange it is when your worst enemy turns into your best friend. How forever turns into a few short months that you’d do almost anything to get back. How you can let go of something you once said you couldn’t live without. How even though you know something is best for you, it hurts just the same. How the people who once wanted to spend every second of their time with you, think a few minutes of their time is too much to spare. How people make promises despite how common it is for promises to be broken. How people can erase you from their lives just because it’s easier than working things out.
Kiki J.P. Deering
Accountability With Friends   In many areas of life there's a battle between doing the thing that will work very effectively to solve a specific problem in the short term versus doing that which will take longer to become effective but will solve many problems in the long term. For example, building up willpower is extremely slow, but once you have a high capacity for it, you can do a lot of difficult things outside your routine. If you have low or normal willpower, you will rely exclusively on habits to get a lot done.   Similarly, it's a good practice to build up the ability to be accountable entirely to yourself, but if you're unable to do that, or for habits that are very long term or very difficult, you can ask a friend to help you be accountable.   A good friend of mine, Leo Babauta, who is a master of habits and is excellent at being accountable to himself, asked me to help him stay accountable for his diet because he was trying to eat a perfect diet for a full six months. That's a very difficult challenge, but having someone to stay accountable to makes it slightly easier.   Earlier this year I wanted to completely eliminate all non-work web browsing for three months, so I asked a friend to hold me accountable. It worked, and I'm not sure I would have been able to do it without him.   When asking a friend to hold you accountable, make it concrete and easy for him. It must be concrete, because you don't want to impose on him to constantly evaluate your progress. Either Leo ate sugar or he didn't. Either I visited a web site or I didn't. You must also report your progress at regular intervals. Leo created a shared spreadsheet where I could see whether he ate properly each day.   Last, there must be consequences for failure. The primary purpose of having consequences is that they make the agreement official and definite. People remember bets, but forget offhand claims. My friend bet me $50 I couldn't stay off the web sites for three months. Without the bet, I doubt he would have kept track of it if he had just said, “I don't think you can do it”. Since your friend is doing you a favor, be willing to make a one-sided bet where he has no downside.   Reserve accountability for only the most difficult and important of your habits. It increases compliance, but at the cost of coordinating (albeit minimally) with someone else. It's also a missed opportunity to build the habit of self-reliance, so use it only when there's serious concern that you may not stick with the habit without it.   Habitualizing
Tynan (Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time)
Shelby is a wonderful young woman. You’re good together.” “Mother…” “It isn’t just her. Oh, it’s obvious she loves you. But it’s also you. The second she’s near you, all those tense lines in your face relax and you soften up. That grumpy, self-protective shield drops and you’re warm and affectionate. She’s good for you, she brings out your best, makes you fun. You have something special with her.” “She’s twenty-five.” Maureen shook her head. “I don’t think that’s relevant. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with how you two communicate…” “There are things you don’t understand about Shelby,” he said. “She’s not just young, she hasn’t had many relationships. She’s been taking care of her mother and hasn’t really looked at the world. In a lot of ways, she’s a child.” “I know all about her mother, but she’s no child,” Maureen said. “It takes maturity and courage to do what she did. So she didn’t have a lot of relationships with young men, it doesn’t mean she lacks worldly experience. And your age doesn’t matter to her.” “It will. I’m too old. I’m not going to stand still while she gets older. She’ll be thirty-five and I’ll be almost fifty. She’d find herself with an old man.” “At fifty?” She laughed. “I liked fifty,” she said with a dismissive shrug. “Fifty was good. I was only twenty-three when I married your father and I never thought of him as too old for me. To the contrary, it made me feel better in so many ways, to be with a mature man, a man of experience who didn’t have doubts anymore. He was stable and solid. It brought me comfort. And he was awful good to me.” Luke straightened his shoulders. “I’m not getting married. Shelby will move on, Mom. She wants a career. A young husband. She wants a family.” “You know this?” Maureen asked. “Of course I know that,” he said. “You think we haven’t talked? I didn’t lead her on. And she didn’t lead me on. She knows I don’t want a wife, don’t want children…” Maureen was quiet for a long moment. Finally she said, “You did once.” Luke let go a short laugh that was tinged with his inner rage. “I’m cured of that.” “You have to think about this. The way you’ve managed your life since Felicia hasn’t exactly brought you peace. I suppose it’s normal when a man gets hurt to avoid anything risky for a while, but not for thirteen years, Luke. If the right person comes along, don’t assume it can’t work just because it didn’t work once, a long, long time ago. I know this young woman as well as I ever knew Felicia. Luke, Shelby is nothing like her. Nothing.” Luke pursed his lips, looked away for a second and then took a slow sip of coffee. “Thank you, Mom. I’ll remember that.” She stepped toward him. “It’s going to hurt just as much to let her go as it hurt you to be tossed away by Felicia. Remember that.” “You know, I don’t think I’m the one guilty of assumptions here,” he said impatiently. “What makes you think all people want a tidy little marriage and children? Huh? I’ve been damn happy the past dozen years. I’ve been challenged and successful in my own way, I’ve had a good time, good friends, a few relationships…” “You’ve been treading water,” she said. “You’re marking the years, not living them. There’s more to life, Luke. I hope you let yourself see—you’re in such a good place right now—you can have it all. You put in your army years and it left you with a pension while you’re still young. You’re healthy, smart, accomplished, and you have a good woman. She’s devoted to you. There’s no reason you have to be alone for the rest of your life. It’s not too late.” He’d
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
Are you all right, Vanni?” he asked. “Hmm, just a little melancholy, that’s all.” “It’s hard to tell what’s bothering you most—Midge’s passing or some problem you’re having with Paul.” She turned to look at him and he said, “Anything you want to talk about?” She shrugged. “There’s not too much to talk about, Dad.” “You could help me understand a couple of things, you know.” “For instance?” “Oh, don’t be coy—you stood Paul up to go away with the doctor and if I know anything about you, you’re not that interested in the doctor. Hell, you’ve been in a strange mood since Paul left after Mattie was born. You knew Paul was coming for the weekend—and despite his best efforts to be circumspect, you knew he was coming for you.” “I wasn’t so sure about that.” “I heard you fight with him, Vanni. Did you and Paul have some kind of falling-out?” “Not exactly, Dad.” Walt took a breath. “Vanessa, I don’t mean to pry, but it’s pretty apparent to me how you feel about Paul. And how Paul feels about you. And yet…” “Dad, while Paul was here last autumn, we got a lot closer. We were good friends before, but of course with all we went through together… Dad, before all that happened, Paul had a life in Grants Pass. One that’s not so easily left behind.” “Vanni, Paul loves you, but something happened between you recently…” “He let me know—there are complications in Grants Pass. Something he’s been struggling with. It’s kept him from being honest about his feelings,” she said. “He has commitments, Dad.” “A woman?” Walt asked. Vanni laughed softly. “We shouldn’t be so surprised that Paul actually had women in his life, should we? Yes, apparently there was a woman. Is a woman…” “Jesus,” Walt said under his breath. “He’s not married, is he?” “Of course not. He wouldn’t keep something like that from us.” “Engaged?” “He says there’s enough of an entanglement there to make his position difficult. That’s why he wasn’t around after Mattie was born.” Walt drove in silence for a while and Vanni resumed gazing out the window. After a few moments of silence Walt asked, “What about you, Vanni? I know you care about him.” “Dad, Matt’s only been gone a few months. Should I even have such feelings? Should I be completely embarrassed? I’ll miss him forever, but I—” “Please don’t do that to yourself, honey,” he said. “Haven’t we learned by now? Life is too short to suffer needlessly.” “Will people say I—” “I don’t give a good goddamn what people say,” he growled. “Everyone is entitled to a little happiness, wherever that is. And I think for you, it’s with Paul.” She sighed and said, “I’m asking myself why I thought I had some claim on him. He was very good to us all, I’m so grateful—but why didn’t I realize that a man like Paul wouldn’t have any trouble attracting the attention—the love—of a woman? I’ve been so angry with him for not telling me, but… Why didn’t I ask?” “Now what, Vanni? Is he trying to make a choice, is that it?” “We were having a discussion, not a very pleasant one, right when the call came from Shelby. It left his intentions up in the air a bit. But there’s one thing I won’t do, I can’t do—I can’t ask Paul to choose me over a woman he has an obligation to. I tried to make it very clear, his duty to me as his best friend’s widow has expired. He doesn’t have to take care of me anymore.” “I have a feeling it’s more than duty,” Walt said. “I have a feeling it always has been…” “He has to do the right thing,” she said. “I’m not getting in the way of that. A man like Paul—he could regret the wrong decision for the rest of his life. And frankly, I don’t want to be the one left to live with his regret.” “Oh, boy. You two have some talking to do.” “No. Paul has business to take care of. I have nothing more to say about this.” *
Robyn Carr (Second Chance Pass)
Simone Simmons Simone Simmons works as an energy healer, helping her patients through empowering them rather than creating a dependency on the healer. She specializes in absent healing, mainly with sufferers of cancer and AIDS. She met Diana four years before her death when the Princess came to her for healing, and they became close friends. In 2005, Simone wrote a book titled Diana: The Last Word. Diana was exuberant about everything she did, and that extended to her friendships. She didn’t so much walk into a room as explode, scattering smiles and jokes and good humor in a way that embraced everyone. When she saw someone she knew, her face would light up, her arms would fly out in welcome, and more often than not she would wrap them in a warm hug, while new acquaintances were made to feel like old friends. Very few are blessed with that kind of star quality, and we were all captivated by her charisms. It was almost as if she was skipping on air, and even those who had been critical of her in the past came away enchanted after spending only a short time with her. Whenever we met, she always made me feel as if she was truly grateful for my time and exuded interest in everything I was doing. Most of us try and hide our insecurities behind a mask. Diana never bothered with that sort of psychological subterfuge. She was refreshingly open and interested in everyone around her in an unaffected and outgoing way that shone through in her photographs, which I am sure is why she enjoyed such enormous popularity.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
So what was Jonah like before high school? As a kid?” “As a kid?” Hallelujah brings up the picture in her mind. “He was . . . sweet, I guess. Dorky. He’d wear these outfits his mom picked out—pleated khaki pants and polo shirts, with his hair slicked down with gel. And he would get really enthusiastic about things. Too enthusiastic. He went through this cowboy phase where he wore a cowboy hat and boots to school every day. Didn’t care what anyone thought.” The mental image makes her smile. “And he and Luke were best friends?” “Starting in middle school, yeah. They played soccer together.” “Huh.” Rachel pauses. “So when did Jonah get cute?” “He was still pretty short in middle school. And skinny. But he did start dressing better.” “No more pleated khakis?” “No more pleated khakis. And then the summer before ninth grade, he had this growth spurt. And he started to, uh, fill out. So I guess ninth grade is when I noticed . . .” Hallelujah fades off. “This is embarrassing.” “No, it’s not. This is what girls talk about.” Rachel grins. “Besides. I wanted to see if you were paying as close attention to him as he was to you.” “I didn’t realize I was. We were just friends.” “You can be friends and still objectively notice someone’s cuteness.
Kathryn Holmes
sounded like another language entirely. I felt relieved, momentarily, to be a relatively worldly Lubavitcher, even if I didn’t entirely fit in with the Crown Heights crowd. — Much to my disappointment, Miri was rarely to be seen. Most days she left the apartment around ten in a giddy rush and returned in the early evening with armloads of shopping bags, only to leave again for dinner with her friends. But one morning, when Leah was otherwise engaged, I was finally recruited for shomeres service. We were going to Ratfolvi’s, in Flatbush, to pick up the sheitel that Miri would be required to wear as a married woman. Pulling up to a residential building, we let ourselves into Mrs. Ratfolvi’s wig shop/apartment and sat down in the reception area, where four or five women were chatting away on a damask sofa and chairs. While we waited our turn, I examined the rows of wigs on display: there were various shades of brunette, blonde, and ginger; short, teased bouffants and glamorous, shoulder-length falls; wigs encased in rollers and wigs that were fully styled, needing nothing more than a final shpritz of hair spray. They were set upon Styrofoam heads complete with turned-up noses, high cheekbones, and luscious lips that looked like they could come alive at any moment. I longed to get my hands on a brush and a pair of scissors so that I could create my own visions of tonsorial loveliness. I did this from time to time to my dolls, to my mother’s great irritation, and here was a whole wall of victims. When Miri’s name was called, she plunked herself into the salon chair and pulled the silk scarf off her ponytail. I stood as close as I could without getting in the way. From conversations that I’d overheard between my mother and her sisters, I knew that Mrs. Ratfolvi was considered “the best,” and I was eager to watch her at work. The “rat” in her name had led me to expect someone old and unattractive, but she was actually a nicely put-together middle-aged woman. The receptionist brought over a plastic case about the size of a chubby toddler. In one expert motion, Mrs. Ratfolvi clicked it open, withdrew the fully styled wig on its Styrofoam head
Chaya Deitsch (Here and There: Leaving Hasidism, Keeping My Family)
Well, Nigel?” Silverton’s sardonic tone drew him back to the conversation. “You’re right in that I wouldn’t expect Miss Easton to hold the lack of a title against a fellow, but she doesn’t think about me as a…prospective suitor.” Nigel paused, forcing himself to accept the grim reality. “She sees me only as a friend.” And that had been the story of Nigel’s life. He was everyone’s easy-going friend, and the perfect man to chat with old ladies or put shy debs at their ease. The best man to smooth over awkward moments, soothe flustered spinsters, or joke scowling dowagers out of a pet. And, normally, Nigel didn’t mind that role. He enjoyed lending a hand when needed and genuinely liked talking to people—all sorts of people, even the grumpiest of old dowagers. He was, quite simply, good, old Nigel Dash, the most dependable man in the ton, but certainly not a dashing suitor—a true irony, given his name. In the eyes of most young ladies—including Amelia Easton, he suspected—dependable was only a short step away from boring. Silverton
Anna Campbell (A Grosvenor Square Christmas)
I punch Blake’s contact and put the phone to my ear. “What?” I walk into the kitchen and grab a beer. “I didn’t kill your son.” “Good, because it would be a real fucking bummer to have to buy my kid and my best friend while being incarcerated for murder, you asshole.” “Please tell me this kid is nothing like you, you walking fucking case of gonorrhoea.” “Fuck you. You kiss your wife with that mouth? Don’t act like your dick didn’t have just as much of a chance of fallin’ off as mine did back in the day.” I take a long swig from my beer and drop down onto a barstool with a groan. “What are the chances that our kids are better than us?” “Shit. With Layla and Raven being their moms? I’d say pretty fucking good.” “Good point.
J.B. Salsbury (Uncaged: A Fighting for Flight Short Story)
I realized that I had to let people leave my life, never to return. Every relationship I have in my life, from family and friends to business partners, must be a voluntary relationship. My wife can leave at any time. Family members can call me or not. Business partners can decide to move on, and it’s all okay. But the same is true on my end. If I say I’m ready to move on and someone doesn’t accept that, now we have a problem. I remember trying to move on from a very close friend because he was displaying behaviors I wasn’t comfortable with.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
10/10/10 provides distance by forcing us to consider future emotions as much as present ones. • A 10/10/10 analysis tipped Annie toward saying “I love you” first to Karl. 4. Our decisions are often altered by two subtle short-term emotions: (1) mere exposure: we like what’s familiar to us; and (2) loss aversion: losses are more painful than gains are pleasant.     •  How many of our organizational truths are ideas that we like merely because they’ve been repeated a lot?     •  Students given a mug won’t sell it for less than $7.12, even though five minutes earlier they wouldn’t have paid more than $2.87! 5. Loss aversion + mere exposure = status-quo bias. • PayPal: Ditching the PalmPilot product was a no-brainer—but it didn’t feel that way. 6. We can attain distance by looking at our situation from an observer’s perspective. • Andy Grove asked, “What would our successors do?”     •  Adding distance highlights what is most important; it allows us to see the forest, not the trees. 7. Perhaps the most powerful question for resolving personal decisions is “What would I tell my best friend to do in this situation?
Chip Heath (Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work)
SEVEN YEARS AGO… “You notice anything different about Ash?” my cousin Sawyer asked as he climbed up the tree to sit beside me on our favorite limb overlooking the lake. I shrugged, not sure how to answer his question. Sure, I’d noticed things about Ash lately. Like the way her eyes kind of sparkled when she laughed and how pretty her legs looked in shorts. But there was no way I was confessing those things to Sawyer. He’d tell Ash, and they’d both laugh their butts off. “No,” I replied, not looking at Sawyer for fear he’d be able to tell I was lying. “I heard Mom talking to Dad the other day, saying how you and me would start noticing Ash differently real soon. She said Ash was turning into a beauty, and things between the three of us would change. I don’t want things to change,” Sawyer said with a touch of concern in his voice. I couldn’t look at him. Instead I kept my eyes fixed on the lake. “I wouldn’t worry about it. Ash is Ash. Sure, she’s always been pretty, I guess, but that’s not what’s important. She can climb a tree faster than either of us, she baits her own hook, and she can fill up water balloons like a pro. The three of us have been best friends since preschool. That won’t change.” I chanced a glance at Sawyer. My speech sounded pretty convincing, even to me. Sawyer smiled and nodded. “You’re right. Who cares that she’s got hair like some kind of fairy princess? She’s Ash. Speaking of water balloons, could you two please stop sneaking out and throwing them at cars right outside my house at night? My parents are gonna catch y’all one of these days, and I won’t be able to get y’all outta trouble.” I grinned, thinking about Ash covering her mouth to silence her giggles last night when we’d snuck down there to fill up the balloons. That girl sure loved to break rules--almost as much as I did. “I heard my name.” Ash’s voice startled me. “You two better not still be making fun of me about this stupid bra Mama’s making me wear. I’ve had it with the jokes. I’ll break both your noses if it doesn’t stop.” She was standing at the bottom of the tree with a bucket of crickets in one hand and a fishing pole in the other. “Are we gonna fish or had y’all rather just stare down at me like I’ve grown another head?
Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1))
Who’s shooting at us?’ he got out, and this time the words sounded clear enough. ‘Your friends,’ Scoles told him shortly, which ranked amongst the world’s least comforting answers, in the circumstances, leaving Holsten with the twin assurances that his current company did not consider him a friend, and that his actual friends – whoever they were – were ambivalent at best about hurting him.
Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time (Children of Time #1))
The lovely young lady in the mirror was not a stranger, nor was she Lady Overlooked. Once again, Brierly had found some essential core of her model and designed the whole dress around it. Brierly had gathered Nissa’s brown hair in a loose pile on top of her head, with a curl spilling over here and there. The comb secured a single rose just verging on full bloom. Nissa still looked short and sturdy but—endearingly so. A friendly elf. Youthful, but not childish. The dress flattered and concealed the correct curves. Not even Aunt Perturbance would mistake her for fifteen tonight. Nissa blushed–ith pleasure at her appearance, yes–but mainly that her childhood heroine would think so highly of her as to craft such a masterpiece. That she would know her so well as to reflect the true Nissa, but love her so well as to reflect the best possible Nissa.
Sarah E. Morin (Waking Beauty)
Snacks? What kind of snacks?” I asked. “Something called chips, which are made from potatoes, and different kinds of candies.” “Oh, you’re gonna sell candy, too?” “Yeah, but totally different from the candy shop.” “I see.” “I hope you’ll come by for the grand opening.” “When is it?” “Hopefully, next week. I’ll let you know.” I nodded. “Okay, I’ll try to make it, Tes.” “Cool. Thank you. Alright, I’m going to get some more food,” he said and left. A few minutes later, Maky got on the microphone and announced that the dancing portion of the night was going to start soon. “Woohoo! It’s dancing time,” said Arthur excitedly. “You know who I’m going to ask to dance with me?” “Who?” I asked. “Autumn,” answered Pierce. “Yup! Hopefully, she’ll agree.” “What about you, Pierce? Are you gonna ask anyone to dance?” “Um, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just dance by myself or with a group of friends,” the knight answered. “Cool…” I said sadly because I felt a little bit left out. “Or you know, maybe I’ll just hang out with you.” “Naw, I’m fine. You don’t have to keep me company.” Then suddenly, music started playing from the speakers that were set up at all the four corners of the city square. “Oh, here we go! I’ll be back later,” said Arthur as he took off to find Autumn. As the music played, I looked around for Maky’s band, but they were nowhere in sight. “Hm. This music must be coming from the jukebox,” I said. “Yeah, I don’t think Maky is playing tonight,” said Pierce. “She’s not? Why not? They’re super good.” “I don’t know, Steve.” “Hm. Oh, look. People are starting to take to the dance floor.” Slowly, a couple of villagers made their way toward the center of the city square. They were nervous about being the first ones, but soon after, many others followed their lead. Before I knew it, there were a ton of villagers in the middle, jumping up and down and dancing to the music. “That looks like fun…” I said. “Yeah…” said Pierce. “You should go join them.” “N-nah. I like sitting here.” Right when Pierce said that, someone came by and grabbed his hand and pulled him to the dance floor. “Come on, Pierce, let’s show them how it’s done,” said Leila. “B-but I’m not that good!” said Pierce. I tried my best to smile and said, “Have fun…” With my fake smile on, I watched as Pierce was dragged into the middle. Leila had stolen my only company away from me, and that made me feel super left out. I sighed and thought to myself, I wish I was out of this chair already. But I knew I didn’t have a choice, so I just sat in my chair and nodded along to the music. A few minutes later, the first song ended and the next one came on. I just continued sitting there while watching my friends have fun. In the middle, I could see Arthur dancing with Autumn, Cindy dancing with Arceus, and Leila dancing with Pierce. Shortly after, someone came by to talk to me. “Hey, Steve! How ya doing?” Maky asked while breathing hard. “Maky? Why aren’t you playing tonight?” I asked. “Oh, because I wanted to dance and have fun tonight. I mean, playing my instrument is fun, too, but dancing is a different kind of fun.” “I see.” “So, what are you doing over here? You don’t want to join the fun?” “Uh, there’s not much fun to be had when I’m stuck in a wheel chair.” “Oh, that’s nonsense!” Then she ran behind my chair, tilted it slightly backwards and pushed me off toward the middle of the dance floor. “Whoa! What are you doing?!” “We’re going to dance!” “Huh?!
Steve the Noob (Diary of Steve the Noob 35 (An Unofficial Minecraft Book) (Diary of Steve the Noob Collection))
Talk turned to current affairs. When the Bush-Gore election came up, Michael noted, “We discovered that to the credit of Gore he said his favourite book was Le Rouge et Le Noir.” Stendhal was one of Michael’s all-time favourites. “That settled things for Michael,” I said. “Yes,” he quickly agreed. “How’s Plymouth Argyle doing Michael?” Peter asked. “It’s dreadful. We’ve had the worst beginning of a season for years,” Michael replied, dropping his voice in disgust. “So we don’t need to press that subject.” We all laughed. Michael started to rise with his usual stagger. “Are you all right, Michael?” Emma asked. “Just let people help you,” Celine suggested. “I know,” Michael said. “You must do it,” Celine insisted. “You’ve always been independent, but it’s not in your best interests.” Celine was the only one of Michael’s friends who was quite this direct with him. While in Bermuda, Celine and Peter had provided a wheelchair for Michael, so that he could get around more quickly. Celine pressed her case in a jolly way, nearly always punctuating her remarks with laughter. A former centrefold, she was short and zaftig. She recommended that Michael find a nice girl with long hair to give him a massage. “It might work,” Michael agreed. He kept saying his legs had been getting better in Dubrovnik. I saw no sign of that, but I did marvel at how he negotiated the three sets of stairs from the kitchen to the living room (at street level) and then up another flight to where Jill’s study and his library are and then yet another all the way up to his bedroom. It was a very long haul that he laboriously
Carl Rollyson (A Private Life of Michael Foot)
All the guys at the bar, Jimmy, all the girls; they don't show up at your wake. Not because they don't like you. But because, they never knew your last name. Then a month later, someone tells them, "Oh, Jimmy died." "Jimmy who?" "Jimmy the Cop." "Ohhh," they say, "him". And all the people on the job, all those people you spent all the hours in the radio cars with, the guys with their feet up on the desk, tellin' stories, who shorted you on your food runs, who signed your overtime slips. In the end, they're not gonna be there either. Family, that's it. Family, and if you're lucky, one or two friends who are the same as family. That's all the best of us get. Everything else is just...
Beadie Russell
be her friend, if she would let him. He gulped in a deep breath of the evening air and flopped into Pop’s wooden rocking chair. It smelled as if rain was coming, and with the oppressing heat they’d been having lately, the land could surely use a good dousing. A short time later, a streak of lightning shot across the sky, followed by a thunderous roar that shook the whole house. “Jah, a summer storm’s definitely coming,” he murmured. “Guess I’d best be getting to bed, or I’ll be tempted to sit out here and watch it all night.” Noah had enjoyed watching thunderstorms ever since he was a boy. Something fascinated him about the way lightning zigzagged across the sky as the rain pelted the earth. It made Noah realize the awesomeness of God’s power. Everything on earth was under the Master’s hand, and Noah never ceased to marvel at the majesty of it all. He rose from his chair just as the rain started to fall. It fell lightly at first but soon began to pummel the ground. He gazed up at the dismal, gray sky. “Keep us all safe this night, Lord.” Faith shuddered and pulled the sides of her pillow around her ears as she tried to drown out the sound of the storm brewing outside her bedroom window. She’d been afraid of storms since
Wanda E. Brunstetter (Going Home (Brides of Webster County #1))
If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?
T. Coraghessan Boyle (The Best American Short Stories 2015)
All went smoothly for the first fifteen minutes--my mother was, after all, very adept at making people comfortable. She chatted, though not excessively, primarily with me. As I had predicted, Narian was silent and observant, letting me carry the conversation while he tried to get a feel for the woman across from us, not quite trusting that she was on our side. He was never rude, and never short with her; he simply hid himself behind good etiquette. During a natural pause in conversation, my mother perused Narian and me, and her mood became contemplative. “When was it that you fell in love?” she asked. “Was it right under our noses?” “More or less,” I said with a laugh, glancing at Narian. “We became friends when he first came to Hytanica. All those trips Miranna and I made to Baron Koranis’s estate were really so I could see him.” Mother smiled and Narian glanced at me as if this were news to him. Then she picked up the thread of the conversation. “I remember falling in love,” she mused, and I wondered how far she would venture into her story, knowing it was not a wholly happy one. “I was fifteen, going through the very difficult experience of losing my family in a fire. I was brought to live in the palace, for I’d been betrothed for years to Andrius, Alera’s uncle, who later died in the war before we could be married.” I realized she was not talking to me, and that, though he was still aloof, she had captured Narian’s interest, for his deep blue eyes were resting attentively upon her. “At the time, I was so lost and alone and frightened. And then Andrius and I grew close. With him, my life made sense again. I had something to hold on to, something to steady me. What was the worst time of my life became the best.” There was a pause, and she innocently met Narian’s gaze. But her story was not innocent at all. If I could recognize the parallel she was drawing to his life in the aftermath of learning of his Hytanican heritage, then he surely could, as well. He didn’t say a word, however, and she dropped the veiled attempt to connect with him before it became awkward, turning to me instead. “I’ve told you before, Alera--Andrius lives on in you. I see him in you every day.” I smiled, tipping my head in acceptance of the compliment. “And in you--” she said, once more turning to Narian, tapping a finger against her lips in thought “--I see Cannan.” She was lightly cajoling him, exactly as a parent would do. I couldn’t imagine what was going on in his mind, but he was no longer eager to leave, his eyes never once flicking toward me or the door.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
Nice hammer,” Harlow said from behind me. “Hey,” I said, glancing around casually to see if Winnie was with her. “Nice shiner.” “You should see the other chick,” she muttered. “Can we talk?” Setting down my hammer, I followed her away from the other guys. Harlow seemed tense and I worried something was wrong with Winnie. “This is awkward and I feel weird coming here like this,” she said, pushing her blonde hair behind her ears. “Are you dating anyone?” My breath caught. A fear rose up in my chest at the thought of Harlow wanting to date me. What would that mean for me and Winnie? The look in Harlow’s eyes calmed my terror. I might as well have been a brick wall based on the lack of attraction she showed. “No.” “Some girl was hugging you outside a restaurant. Wasn’t that a date?” Frowning, I scratched at my jaw where I forgot to shave that morning. “That was a girl from high school. She might have been into me, but we went out as friends. I’m not dating anyone.” “Winnie saw you with that girl and she got really upset. I know she’s not ready to have a boyfriend, but she wants you. Do you want her?” Playing it cool might be the stud move, but I didn’t want to be a player. I wanted Winnie. Besides, for the second time in twenty four hours, someone close to Winnie wanted to play matchmaker. “Yes.” Harlow nodded. “She’s messed up. You know that, right?” “I know she’s fragile, yeah.” “Winnie has a lot of phobias. Not stupid shit for attention, but real chronic problems that won’t go away because you’re hot. She’s been in therapy for years and gotten stronger, but she’ll never be okay.” “I understand.” Harlow bit her lip then nodded again. “Do you want to take her out to dinner tomorrow?” “Yes.” Harlow smiled. “You better be chattier than that on the date or else no one will say anything. Winnie likely won’t say anything all night, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to. She just takes a long time to warm up to people.” I wasn’t sure what Harlow saw on my face, but she grinned. “She really wants to warm up to you, Dylan. Don’t fuck it up, okay?” “I’ll do my best.” When Harlow narrowed her eyes, I was pretty sure she might hit me. “I appreciate the way you tried to save us that day. You showed balls and I respect that. With that said, you better be taking this seriously, understand?” Leaning closer, I stared right into those suspicious eyes. “No one makes me feel like Winnie. If she needs to take it slow, we’ll go slow. If she wants to rush into it, we’ll rush. If she needs me to stand on my fucking head and sing the National Anthem, I’ll do it. So yes, I’m taking this very seriously,” I said, running a hand where short dark stubble took the place of my mohawk. “I told Winnie I would wait and I meant it. What you think is me being passive is just patience.” “Okay,” Harlow said softly. “You know when I came to Ellsberg, I was pretty messed up. My family was dead and I was in this new place with strangers. Winnie took care of me. She became my sister and best friend. I love her like she’s blood. Nothing personal, but if you hurt her, I’ll have to kill you.” “Fair enough,” I said, grinning. “Smile all you want, buddy, but I’ve got moves.” Harlow faked a punch, but I didn’t flinch. My mind was already focused on tomorrow. I hadn’t talked to Winnie since the day Nick’s dad showed up. I hadn’t seen her close up in weeks. I needed to be close to her even if she couldn’t do more than hide behind her hair all night.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Bulldog (Damaged, #6))
How Nicky went all fierce before he hung up. It was kinda hot actually.” “Gross, Leah.” I stand up and make a grab for the purple dress she’s scrunching in her hands. “That’s my brother.” “What? I can’t think your brother’s hot?” “No. It’s a rule,” I inform her as I toss the dress on the bed and peel off my hoodie. I drop it on the floor. “Thou shalt not covet thy best friend’s brother or thy best friend shalt barf.” Off goes my white tank top, and I peel the gym shorts down my legs without inhibition. After years of locker rooms, stripping in front of my friend and teammate isn’t much of a big deal. “Thou friend has eyes in her head, and he’s hot as hell so shut your mouth.
Kate McCarthy
As a former consultant, I can tell you that many tout engagement as a panacea. They measure engagement through a short questionnaire, typically including statements like: “I have a best friend at work,” “In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work,” or “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.” My chief HR officer friends tell me that engagement surveys fail to tell them how to improve. If your scores are low, do you raise them by somehow convincing more employees to be best friends? Or, if profits are low, is the best fix to start praising people more? We do measure some similar topics at Google (along with dozens more), but don’t merge them into a single all-encompassing construct like engagement. We see better results by instead understanding very specific areas like career development or manager quality.
Laszlo Bock (Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead)
father’s men had pursued. Lad, don’t want you dying like your brother, you’re the last son of the Storm family lineage, and all.  Finding nothing all day, he scanned the muddy ground for tracks, kicking away needles and sticks. Off to the corner of his eye he spotted an indentation in the wet leaves. He strode over and bent down, flipping his hair away from his eyes for a better look. A thrill raced through him at the sight of fresh tracks. He raised his head and studied a sloshing stream blanketed with a soft mist, and squinted at a path illuminated by the four moon sisters. This was his kill.  “Did you find something?” said Mara, his best friend. She wore sage-green hunting pants and a ridiculously frilly white lace top, why, he had no idea. She was funny like that. As she came alongside, she raised her big brown eyes in concern, and glanced at the tracks. She chewed a cinnamon stick and frowned.  He grunted in response and pointed a short
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))
Have you ever been swept away by a toxic lover who sucked you dry? I have. Bad men used to light me up like a Christmas tree. If I had a choice between the rebel without a cause and a nice guy in a sweater and outdoorsy shoes, you can imagine who got my phone number. Rebels and rogues are smooth (and somewhat untamed); they know the headwaiters at the best steak houses, ride fast European motorcycles, and start bar fights in your honor. In short, the rebel makes you feel really alive! It’s all fun and games until he screws your best friend or embezzles your life’s savings. You may be asking yourself how my pathetic dating track record relates to your diet. Simple. The acid—alkaline balance, which relates to the chemistry of your body’s fluids and tissues as measured by pH. The rebel/rogue = acid. The nice solid guy = alkaline. The solid guy gives you energy; he’s reliable and trustworthy. The solid guy calls you back when he says he will. He helps you clean your garage and does yoga with you. He’s even polite to your family no matter how whacked they are, and has the sexual stamina to rock your world. While the rebel can help you let your hair down, too much rebel will sap your energy. In time, a steady rebellious diet burns you out. But when we’re addicted to bad boys (junk food, fat, sugar, and booze), nice men (veggies and whole grains) seem boring. Give them a chance!
Kris Carr (Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, And Live Like You Mean It!)
Benefits of Going Green The benefits of going green are sometimes not similar to obvious right away. For some people, because of this that going green can be so difficult. They have to see immediate or near immediate results of their green efforts. Unfortunately, some benefits take a while and dedication. Now and dedication can be a good thing about going green in itself. When we become more commited to an environmentally friendly lifestyle we study that lifestyle, the aspects of the life-style that is effective on our behalf and then we study new tips that make the lifestyle much better to create. Other merits of going green can be found especially zones of green lifestyles. Benefits of Going Green at Home Going green at your home is among the few places that green lifestyle benefits are shown quickly or in the next short space of time. The first home benefit that many individuals who go green see, is a drop in utility bills and spending. As people commence to make subtle and full blown changes in the volume of energy they use and the manner they make use of it, the utility bills will drop. This benefit shows itself within the first three billing cycles no matter the effective changes. Spending also reduces. The spending pattern of green lifestyles shows a spending reduction because of switching from disposable items to reusable items, pricey chemical items for DIY natural options and swapping out appliances for higher energy levels effiencent models. Simply not only are the advantages observed in healthier lifestyle options, but on top of that they are seen in healthier financial options. Benefits to Going Green at Work Going green at work is problematic to implement and hard to see immediate results from. However, the avantages of going green in the workplace might be incredibly financially beneficial regarding the business. A clear benefit for businesses going green that is the alleviates clutter and increased organization. By utilizing green techniques in your business such as cloud storage, going paperless and energy usage techniques a business will save many dollars each month. This is a clear benefit, but the additional advantage is increased business. Consumers, businesses and sales professionals love aligning themselves with green businesses. It shows an ecological awareness and connection and it has verified that the green business cares about the approach to life of their total clients. The green business logo and concept means the advantage of a higher customer base and increased sales. Advantages and benefits of Going Green within the Community Community advantages and benefits of going green are the explanation as to why many individuals begin contribution in the green movement. Community efforts do take time and effort to develop. Recycling centers, landscaping endeavors and urban gardening projects take community efforts and dedication. These projects can build wonderful benefits regarding the community. Initially the advantages will show in areas similar to a decrease in waste, increased organic gardening options and recycling endeavors to diminish waste in landfills. Eventually the avantages of going green locally can present a residential district bonding, closer knit communities and environmental benefits which will reach to reduced air pollution. There can also be an increase in local food production and local companies booming which helps the regional economy. There are numerous other benefits of going green. These benefits might be comprehensive and might change the thought of how communities, states and personal lifestyles are changed.
Green Living
The whole project took us all day. By late in the afternoon, my back ached from stacking tree limbs and logs. As the long shadows crossed the yard, Steve said four words very uncharacteristic of him: “Let’s take a break.” I wondered what was up. We sat under a big fig tree in the yard with a cool drink. We were both covered in little flecks of wood, leaves, and bark. Steve’s hair was unkempt, a couple of his shirt buttons were missing, and his shorts were torn. I thought he was the best-looking man I had ever seen in my life. “I am not even going to walk for the next three days,” I said, laughing. Steve turned to me. He was quiet for a moment. “So, do you want to get married?” Casual, matter-of-fact. I nearly dropped the glass I was holding. I had twigs in my hair an dirt caked on the side of my face. I’d taken off my hat, and I could feel my hair sticking to the sides of my head. My first thought was what a mess I must look. My second, third, and fourth thoughts were lists of every excuse in the world why I couldn’t marry Steve Irwin. I could not possibly leave my job, my house, my wildlife work, my family, my friends, my pets--everything I had worked so hard for back in Oregon. He never looked concerned. He simply held my gaze. As all these things flashed through my mind, a little voice from somewhere above me spoke. “Yes, I’d love to.” With those four words my life changed forever.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
On our return from the bush, we went straight back to work at the zoo. A huge tree behind the Irwin family home had been hit by lightning some years previously, and a tangle of dead limbs was in danger of crashing down on the house. Steve thought it would be best to take the dead tree down. I tried to lend a hand. Steve’s mother could not watch as he scrambled up the tree. He had no harness, just his hat and a chainsaw. The tree was sixty feet tall. Steve looked like a little dot way up in the air, swinging through the tree limbs with an orangutan’s ease, working the chainsaw. Then it was my turn. After he pruned off all the limbs, the last task was to fell the massive trunk. Steve climbed down, secured a rope two-thirds of the way up the tree, and tied the other end to the bull bar of his Ute. My job was to drive the Ute. “You’re going to have to pull it down in just the right direction,” he said, chopping the air with his palm. He studied the angle of the tree and where it might fall. Steve cut the base of the tree. As the chainsaw snarled, Steve yelled, “Now!” I put the truck in reverse, slipped the clutch, and went backward at a forty-five-degree angle as hard as I could. With a groan and a tremendous crash, the tree hit the ground. We celebrated, whooping and hollering. Steve cut the downed timber into lengths and I stacked it. The whole project took us all day. By late in the afternoon, my back ached from stacking tree limbs and logs. As the long shadows crossed the yard, Steve said four words very uncharacteristic of him: “Let’s take a break.” I wondered what was up. We sat under a big fig tree in the yard with a cool drink. We were both covered in little flecks of wood, leaves, and bark. Steve’s hair was unkempt, a couple of his shirt buttons were missing, and his shorts were torn. I thought he was the best-looking man I had ever seen in my life. “I am not even going to walk for the next three days,” I said, laughing. Steve turned to me. He was quiet for a moment. “So, do you want to get married?” Casual, matter-of-fact. I nearly dropped the glass I was holding. I had twigs in my hair an dirt caked on the side of my face. I’d taken off my hat, and I could feel my hair sticking to the sides of my head. My first thought was what a mess I must look. My second, third, and fourth thoughts were lists of every excuse in the world why I couldn’t marry Steve Irwin. I could not possibly leave my job, my house, my wildlife work, my family, my friends, my pets--everything I had worked so hard for back in Oregon. He never looked concerned. He simply held my gaze. As all these things flashed through my mind, a little voice from somewhere above me spoke. “Yes, I’d love to.” With those four words my life changed forever.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
By Thursday the news had leaked out and a group of photographers waited for her outside the hospital. “People thought Diana only came in at the end,” says Angela. “Of course it wasn’t like that at all, we shared it all.” In the early hours of Thursday, August 23 the end came. When Adrian died, Angela went next door to telephone Diana. Before she could speak Diana said: “I’m on my way.” Shortly after she arrived they said the Lord’s Prayer together and then Diana left her friends to be alone for one last time. “I don’t know of anybody else who would have thought of me first,” says Angela. Then the protective side of Diana took over. She made up a bed for her friend, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight. While she was asleep Diana knew that it would be best if Angela joined her family on holiday in France. She packed her suitcase for her and telephoned her husband in Montpellier to tell him that Angela was flying out as soon as she awoke. Then Diana walked upstairs to see the baby ward, the same unit where her own sons were born. She felt that it was important to see life as well as death, to try and balance her profound sense of loss with a feeling of rebirth. In those few months Diana had learned much about herself, reflecting the new start she had made in life. It was all the more satisfying because for once she had not bowed to the royal family’s pressure. She knew that she had left Balmoral without first seeking permission from the Queen and in the last days there was insistence that she return promptly. The family felt that a token visit would have sufficed and seemed uneasy about her display of loyalty and devotion which clearly went far beyond the traditional call of duty. Her husband had never known much regard for her interests and he was less than sympathetic to the amount of time she spent caring for her friend. They failed to appreciate that she had made a commitment to Adrian Ward-Jackson, a commitment she was determined to keep. It mattered not whether he was dying of AIDS, cancer or some other disease, she had given her word to be with him at the end. She was not about to breach his trust. At that critical time she felt that her loyalty to her friends mattered as much as her duty towards the royal family. As she recalled to Angela: “You both need me. It’s a strange feeling being wanted for myself. Why me?” While the Princess was Angela’s guardian angel at Adrian’s funeral, holding her hand throughout the service, it was at his memorial service where she needed her friend’s shoulder to cry on. It didn’t happen. They tried hard to sit together for the service but Buckingham Palace courtiers would not allow it. As the service at St Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge was a formal occasion, the royal family had to sit in pews on the right, the family and friends of the deceased on the left. In grief, as with so much in Diana’s life, the heavy hand of royal protocol prevented the Princess from fulfilling this very private moment in the way she would have wished. During the service Diana’s grief was apparent as she mourned the man whose road to death had given her such faith in herself. The Princess no longer felt that she had to disguise her true feelings from the world. She could be herself rather than hide behind a mask. Those months nurturing Adrian had reordered her priorities in life. As she wrote to Angela shortly afterwards: “I reached a depth inside which I never imagined was possible. My outlook on life has changed its course and become more positive and balanced.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
Tim Graham Tim Graham has specialized in photographing the Royal Family for more than thirty years and is foremost in his chosen field. Recognition of his work over the years has led to invitations for private sessions with almost all the members of the British Royal Family, including, of course, Diana, Princess of Wales, and her children. Diana had none of the remoteness of some members of royal families. Along with several of my press colleagues, I felt I came to know her quite well. She was a superstar, she was royal, but she was also very approachable. I have had various sessions with members of the Royal Family over the years, but those with her were more informal. I remember photographing Prince William at Kensington Palace when he was a baby. I was lying on the floor of the drawing room in front of the infant prince, trying to get his attention. Not surprisingly, he didn’t show much interest, so, without prompting, Diana lay down on the floor close to me and, using one of those little bottles of bubbles, starting blowing bubbles at him. Perfect. As he gazed in fascination at his mother, I was able to get the picture I wanted. I can’t think of many members of the Royal Family who would abandon protocol and lie on the carpet with you in a photo session! Funnily enough, it wasn’t the only time it happened. She did the same again years when she was about to send her dresses to auction for charity and we were sifting through prints of my photographs that she had asked to use in the catalog. She suggested that we sit on the floor and spread the photographs all around us on the carpet, so, of course, we did. I donated the use of my pictures of her in the various dresses to the charity, and as a thank-you, Diana invited me to be the exclusive photographer at both parties held for the dresses auction--one in London and the other in the United States. The party in New York was held on preview night, and many of the movers and shakers of New York were there, including her good friend Henry Kissinger. It was a big room, but everyone in it gravitated to the end where the Princess was meeting people. She literally couldn’t move and was totally hemmed in. I was pushed so close to her I could hardly take a picture. Seeing the crush, her bodyguard spotted an exit route through the kitchen and managed to get the Princess and me out of the enthusiastic “scrum.” As the kitchen door closed behind the throng, she leaned against the wall, kicked off her stiletto-heeled shoes, and gasped, “Gordon Bennett, that’s a crush!” I would have loved to have taken a picture of her then, but I knew she wouldn’t expect that to be part of the deal. You should have seen the kitchen staff--they were thrilled to have an impromptu sight of her but amazed that someone of her status could be so normal. She took a short breather, said hi to those who had, of course, stopped work to stare at her, and then glided back into the room through another door to take up where she had left off. That’s style!
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
Tim Graham Tim Graham has specialized in photographing the Royal Family for more than thirty years and is foremost in his chosen field. Recognition of his work over the years has led to invitations for private sessions with almost all the members of the British Royal Family, including, of course, Diana, Princess of Wales, and her children. I donated the use of my pictures of her in the various dresses to the charity, and as a thank-you, Diana invited me to be the exclusive photographer at both parties held for the dresses auction--one in London and the other in the United States. The party in New York was held on preview night, and many of the movers and shakers of New York were there, including her good friend Henry Kissinger. It was a big room, but everyone in it gravitated to the end where the Princess was meeting people. She literally couldn’t move and was totally hemmed in. I was pushed so close to her I could hardly take a picture. Seeing the crush, her bodyguard spotted an exit route through the kitchen and managed to get the Princess and me out of the enthusiastic “scrum.” As the kitchen door closed behind the throng, she leaned against the wall, kicked off her stiletto-heeled shoes, and gasped, “Gordon Bennett, that’s a crush!” I would have loved to have taken a picture of her then, but I knew she wouldn’t expect that to be part of the deal. You should have seen the kitchen staff--they were thrilled to have an impromptu sight of her but amazed that someone of her status could be so normal. She took a short breather, said hi to those who had, of course, stopped work to stare at her, and then glided back into the room through another door to take up where she had left off. That’s style!
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
Sean checked his watch, grimaced, and lengthened his stride down the hallway. He’d make it to the high school—but only if he skirted around town instead of cutting through. It was 12:40 p.m. and the downtown streets would be clogged with motorists battling for lunch hour parking. He was halfway down the granite steps when he spotted Dave and Evelyn standing beside his car in the lot reserved for official use. He raised an eyebrow at the twin smiles of angelic innocence on their faces. “What are you two doing, camped out here?” “That should be obvious,” his secretary replied. “You tipped your hand when you canceled your lunch with Ferrucci and the oh-so-friendly developers. So Dave and I decided we might as well share the ride. No point in taking separate cars when we can carpool.” He made a show of looking at his watch. “You want a lift to the deli for sandwiches? Fine, hop on in.” Evelyn made a clucking noise with her tongue. Her pink curls shook slightly. “Sean, we’re your friends. If we’re willing to admit to unholy curiosity, then you should, too.” Dave merely nodded in agreement, wisely holding his tongue. A good thing, too. These days, Sean’s temper had a real short fuse, wired to explode. He didn’t want to throttle his best friend in the town hall parking lot. Sean had thought it would be easier not to see Lily, but he’d been wrong. Just knowing she was near had him craving even a glimpse of her. It was a gnawing hunger that nothing could appease . . . except her.
Laura Moore (Night Swimming)
The general, whom the boys knew as the commander of their division, looked at the other officer and spoke coolly, as if he were criticising his clothes. "Th' enemy's formin' over there for another charge," he said. "It'll be directed against Whiterside, an' I fear they'll break through there unless we work like thunder t' stop them." The other swore at his restive horse, and then cleared his throat. He made a gesture toward his cap. "It'll be hell t' pay stoppin' them," he said shortly. "I presume so," remarked the general. Then he began to talk rapidly and in a lower tone. He frequently illustrated his words with a pointing finger. The two infantrymen could hear nothing until finally he asked: "What troops can you spare?" The officer who rode like a cowboy reflected for an instant. "Well," he said, "I had to order in th' 12th to help th' 76th, an' I haven't really got any. But there's th' 304th. They fight like a lot 'a mule drivers. I can spare them best of any." The youth and his friend exchanged glances of astonishment. The general spoke sharply. "Get 'em ready, then. I'll watch developments from here, an' send you word when t' start them. It'll happen in five minutes." As the other officer tossed his fingers toward his cap and wheeling his horse, started away, the general called out to him in a sober voice: "I don't believe many of your mule drivers will get back." The other shouted something in reply. He smiled. With scared faces, the youth and his companion hurried back to the line. These happenings had occupied an incredibly short time, yet the youth felt that in them he had been made aged. New eyes were given to him. And the most startling thing was to learn suddenly that he was very insignificant. The officer spoke of the regiment as if he referred to a broom. Some part of the woods needed sweeping, perhaps, and he merely indicated a broom in a tone properly indifferent to its fate. It was war, no doubt, but it appeared strange.
Stephen Crane (The Red Badge of Courage)
every hunting trip his father’s men had pursued. Lad, don’t want you dying like your brother, you’re the last son of the Storm family lineage, and all.  Finding nothing all day, he scanned the muddy ground for tracks, kicking away needles and sticks. Off to the corner of his eye he spotted an indentation in the wet leaves. He strode over and bent down, flipping his hair away from his eyes for a better look. A thrill raced through him at the sight of fresh tracks. He raised his head and studied a sloshing stream blanketed with a soft mist, and squinted at a path illuminated by the four moon sisters. This was his kill.  “Did you find something?” said Mara, his best friend. She wore sage-green hunting pants and a ridiculously frilly white lace top, why, he had no idea. She was funny like that. As she came alongside, she raised her big brown eyes in concern, and glanced at the tracks. She chewed a cinnamon stick and frowned.  He grunted in response and pointed a short spear with a menacing, curved blade at the stream. This was his hunt and even though he’d failed to even bag anything as big as a deer, he swore he’d do whatever it took to bring it back home to father. Mara shook her head, the movement stubborn and terse, her short, brown hair slashing along her neck. “It’s too late. I’m serious, don’t look at me with those oh-please-Mara eyes of yours.”   “But the prints are fresh, an hour old at the most—”  “What are you trying to prove? We’ve been
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))