Six Word Quotes

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I want you to stay. I want you to … I want you.” “You want me.” She turned the words over. Gently, she squeezed his hand. “And how will you have me, Kaz?” He looked at her then, eyes fierce, mouth set. It was the face he wore when he was fighting. “How will you have me?” she repeated. “Fully clothed, gloves on, your head turned away so our lips can never touch?”<...>“I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I muttered a swear word to myself. After I heard Angel cussing like a sailor when she stubbed her toe, my new resolution was to watch my language. All I needed was a six-year-old mutant with a potty mouth
James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
When God Created Mothers" When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one." And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?" She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands." The angel shook her head slowly and said. "Six pairs of hands.... no way." It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God remarked, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have." That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. God nodded. One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word." God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow...." I can't," said God, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower." The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed. But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure." Can it think?" Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator. Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model." It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear." What's it for?" It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride." You are a genius, " said the angel. Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there.
Erma Bombeck (When God Created Mothers)
Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds' eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks. Or they are words on the air, composed of sounds and ideas-abstract, invisible, gone once they've been spoken-and what could be more frail than that? But some stories, small, simple ones about setting out on adventures or people doing wonders, tales of miracles and monsters, have outlasted all the people who told them, and some of them have outlasted the lands in which they were created.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Kaz can pick the locks,” said Wylan. “No,” said Kaz, “I can’t.” “I don’t think I’ve ever heard those words leave your lips,” said Nina. “Say it again, nice and slow.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
This isn’t … it isn’t a trick, is it?” Her voice was smaller than she wanted it to be. The shadow of something dark moved across Kaz’s face. “If it were a trick, I’d promise you safety. I’d offer you happiness. I don’t know if that exists in the Barrel, but you’ll find none of it with me.” For some reason, those words had comforted her. Better terrible truths than kind lies. “All right,” she said. “How do we begin?” “Let’s start by getting out of here and finding you some proper clothes. Oh, and Inej,” he said as he led her out of the salon, “don’t ever sneak up on me again.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Though Kaz’s tone was easy, Matthias heard the dark anticipation in his words. He had often wondered how people survived this city, but it was possible Ketterdam would not survive Kaz Brekker.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I can see what you’re up to.” “Five foot six inches,” Shallan said. “I suspect that’s all I will ever be up to, unfortunately.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
Every night I give a violin recital for six hours, and attendance is mandatory. The word 'mandatory' means that if you don't show up, you have to buy me a large bag of candy and watch me eat it.
Lemony Snicket
That's the power of words; twenty six little letter can paint a whole universe
Jay Kristoff (Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2))
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words -- the emotions, the stories, the truth -- that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until you hit something.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
What do you like?" "Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They ... they don't get mixed up." "If only you could talk to girls in equations." There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, "Just girls?" Jesper restrained a grin. "No. Not just girls." It really was a shame they were all probably going to die tonight.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
If you stop to think about it, you’ll have to admit that all the stories in the world consist essentially of twenty-six letters. The letters are always the same, only the arrangement varies. From letters words are formed, from words sentences, from sentences chapters, and from chapters stories.
Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
My favorite six letter word is always because it promises so much. My favorite five letter word is never because it insists on contradicting the promise. My favorite four letter word is once because it says it happened then. My favorite three letter word is yes because I’m just now learning to say it to my heart. My favorite two letter word is if because it makes all things possible like this: If not always If not never Then once. Yes.
Kate DiCamillo
He mouths something. Six words. Six words that seem too impossible to be true. Six words that bleed hope into my soul. Six words. “You’re not crazy. I love you.
Lauren Hammond
He ignored me, thank God, saying to Kat, "Let go of Frosty's leash. You're choking the life out of him." Kat's eyes narrowed to tiny slits, a sure sign of her aggression. "He deserves to choke. He didn't keep little frosty in his pants this summer." the words snapped like a whip. "He did." Cole snapped back with unwavering confidence. "Not." "Did." "Not!" "Did," "Not, not, not!" she shouted with a stomp of her foot. "What are we five?" Cole said. "Six.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
Wylan drew himself up. “I may not have had your … education, but I’m sure I know plenty of words that you don’t.” “Also the proper way to fold a napkin and dance a minuet. Oh, and you can play the flute. Marketable skills, merchling. Marketable skills.” “No one dances the minuet any more,” grumbled Wylan.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Sergeant Max Franklin replied, “Just go back to your post at number six and keep your wits about you. The word from the Americans in “Big Red One” is that the Noggies are coming to us. I hope not, but it could be what you have been hearing.
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy)
He buried his face in her hair. She felt his lips move against her ear when he said, “I never want to see you like this again.” “Do you mean the dress or the cell?” A laugh shook him. “Definitely the cell.” Then he cupped her face in his hands. “Jer molle pe oonet. Enel mörd je nej afva trohem verretn.” Nina swallowed hard. She remembered those words and what they truly meant. I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath. It was the vow of the drüskelle to Fjerda. And now it was Matthias’ promise to her. She knew she should say something profound, something beautiful in response. Instead, she spoke the truth. “If we make it out of here alive, I’m going to kiss you unconscious.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
You’re about to be rich, Kaz. What will you do when there’s no more blood to shed or vengeance to take?” “There’s always more.” “More money, more mayhem, more scores to settle. Was there never another dream?” He said nothing. What had carved all the hope from his heart? She might never know. Inej turned to go. Kaz seized her hand, keeping it on the railing. He didn’t look at her. "Stay,” he said, his voice rough stone. “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.” She looked down at his gloved hand clutching hers. Everything in her wanted to say yes, but she would not settle for so little, not after all she’d been through. “What would be the point?” He took a breath. “I want you to stay. I want you to … I want you.” “You want me.” She turned the words over. Gently, she squeezed his hand. “And how will you have me, Kaz?” He looked at her then, eyes fierce, mouth set. It was the face he wore when he was fighting. “How will you have me?” she repeated. “Fully clothed, gloves on, your head turned away so our lips can never touch?” He released her hand, his shoulders bunching, his gaze angry and ashamed as he turned his face to the sea. Maybe it was because his back was to her that she could finally speak the words. “I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
—I probably shouldn’t tell you this, I said. —Kay-Kay, those are my six favorite words in the English language.
Amor Towles (Rules of Civility)
What do you like?' 'Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They...they don't get mixed up.' 'If only you could talk to girls in equations.' There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, 'Just girls?' Jesper restrained a grin. 'No, not just girls.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
The word of God is my vow.
Pittacus Lore (The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2))
Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . . History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened. My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder's jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . . There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . . And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . . So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
I will have you without armor. Those were the words she'd said to Kaz aboard the Ferolind, desperate for some sign that he might open himself to her, that they could be more than two wary creatures united by their distrust of the world.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
A book is an arrangement of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numerals, and about eight punctuation marks, and people can cast their eyes over these and envision the eruption of Mount Vesuvius or the Battle of Waterloo.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
THE FATHER: But don't you see that the whole trouble lies here? In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.
Luigi Pirandello (Six Characters in Search of an Author)
I’m not asking you to live for me. Even though that would be nice because I’m in love with you. And yeah, yeah, you can tell me I’m misusing that word, but I don’t care. That’s how I feel. But this isn’t even about me, or how I feel about you. I want you to live for you because I know there’s so much more waiting for you. There’s so much more for you to discover and experience. And you deserve it, you might not think you do, but you do. I’m here to tell you that you deserve it. And I know I sound cheesy as hell. Believe me, six weeks ago, I would’ve slapped myself for saying shit like this, but knowing you... Knowing you has helped me see things differently. See myself differently. And all I want is for you to see yourself the way that I do.
Jasmine Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
Seven little crazy kids chopping up sticks; One burnt her daddy up and then there were six. Six little crazy kids playing with a hive; One tattooed himself to death and then there were five. Five little crazy kids on a cellar door; One went all schizo and then there were four. Four little crazy kids going out to sea; One wouldn't say a word and then there were three. Three little crazy kids walking to the zoo; One jerked himself too much and then there were two. Two little crazy kids sitting in the sun; One a took a bunch of pills and then there was one. One little crazy kid left all alone; He went and slit his wrists, and then there were none.
Michael Thomas Ford (Suicide Notes)
Sean, as always, gets by on one word while everyone else needs five or six.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
Why does your weak king send a filthy pirate to do his bidding?” sneered the Fjerdan ambassador, his words echoing across the cathedral. “Privateer,” corrected Sturmhond. “I suppose he thought my good looks would give me the advantage. Not a concern where you’re from, I take it?” “Preening, ridiculous peacock. You stink of Grisha foulness.” Sturmhond sniffed the air. “I’m amazed you can detect anything over the reek of ice and inbreeding.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
She took a shaky breath. The words came like a string of gunshots, rapid-fire, as if she resented the very act of speaking them. “I didn’t know if you would come.” Kaz couldn’t blame Van Eck for that. Kaz had built that doubt in her with every cold word and small cruelty. “We’re your crew, Inej. We don’t leave our own at the mercy of merch scum.” It wasn’t the answer he wanted to give. It wasn’t the answer she wanted.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I have been made to protect you. Even in death, I will find a way.” He clasped her hand tighter. “Bury me so I can go to Djel. Bury me so I can take root and follow the water north.” “I promise, Matthias. I’ll take you home.” “Nina,” he said, pressing her hand to his heart. “I am already home.” The light vanished from his eyes. His chest stilled beneath her hands. Nina screamed, a howl that tore from the black space where her heart had beat only moments before.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
It's when I'm standing six feet away from you and not being able to find the words to tell you how much I love you and how much I miss you that I want to just scream to the whole room that I'm still in love with you. It's when I'm sitting alone with the phone in my hand dialing your number and hanging up that I would trade a thousand tomorrows for just one yesterday. Then I could just call you to tell you goodnight. It's when I am really sad about something and need someone to talk to that I realize you're the only one who really knew me at all. It's when I cry myself to sleep at night and it hits me how much I would give to hold you at that very moment. It's when I think about you that I realize no one else in the world is meant for me.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
When you're having an asthma attack, you don't have any breath. When you don't have any breath, it's hard to speak. You're limited by the amount of air you can spend from your lungs. That's not much, something between three to six words. It gives the word a meaning. You're searching through the piles of words in your head, picking the most important ones. And they have a cost. It's not like the healthy people that take out every word that has accumulated in their head like garbage. When someone, while having an asthma attack, says "I love you" or "I really love you", there's a difference. A word difference. And a word is a lot, because that word could have been "sit", "Ventolin" or even "ambulance".
Etgar Keret (צנורות)
I was dying, of course, but then we all are. Every day, in perfect increments, I was dying of loss. The only help for my condition, then as now, is that I refused to let go of what I loved. I wrote everything down, at first in choppy fragments; a sentence here, a few words there, it was the most I could handle at the time. Later I wrote more, my grief muffled but not eased by the passage of time. When I go back over my writing now I can barely read it. The happiness is the worst. Some days I can't bring myself to remember. But I will not relinquish a single detail of the past. What remains of my life depends on what happened six years ago. In my brain, in my limbs, in my dreams, it is still happening.
Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now)
Words Be careful of words, even the miraculous ones. For the miraculous we do our best, sometimes they swarm like insects and leave not a sting but a kiss. They can be as good as fingers. They can be as trusty as the rock you stick your bottom on. But they can be both daisies and bruises. Yet I am in love with words. They are doves falling out of the ceiling. They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap. They are the trees, the legs of summer, and the sun, its passionate face. Yet often they fail me. I have so much I want to say, so many stories, images, proverbs, etc. But the words aren't good enough, the wrong ones kiss me. Sometimes I fly like an eagle but with the wings of a wren. But I try to take care and be gentle to them. Words and eggs must be handled with care. Once broken they are impossible things to repair.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
Who needs a large vocabulary when you can just make up any word at any time? It makes life a whole lot more emeaglibop.
Jarod Kintz (How to construct a coffin with six karate chops)
You had this young man with you for... what, six years?" Halt shrugged. "Near enough," he replied. "And did you ever understand a word he was saying?" "Not a lot of the time, no," Halt said. Crowley shook his head in wonder. "It's just as well he didn't go into the Diplomatic Service. We'd be at war with half a dozen countries by now if he was on the loose." Will drew a deep breath to begin talking. He noticed that both men took an involuntary half step backward and he decided he'd better try to keep it as simple as possible.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer in the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
My definition of dictionary can’t be found in the dictionary. Dictionary—A linguistic prison, confining words to well-defined cells, with little chance of parole.
Jarod Kintz (How to construct a coffin with six karate chops)
We were fools.” “You were children. Was there no one to protect you?” “Was there anyone to protect you?” “My father. My mother. They would have done anything to keep me from being stolen.” “And they would have been mowed down by slavers.” “Then I guess I was lucky I didn’t have to see that.” How could she still look at the world that way? “Sold into a brothel at age fourteen and you count yourself lucky.” “They loved me. They love me. I believe that.” He saw her draw closer in the mirror. Her black hair was an ink splash against the white tile walls. She paused behind him. “You protected me, Kaz.” “The fact that you’re bleeding through your bandages tells me otherwise.” She glanced down. A red blossom of blood had spread on the bandage tied around her shoulder. She tugged awkwardly at the strip of towel. “I need Nina to fix this one.” He didn’t mean to say it. He meant to let her go. “I can help you.” Her gaze snapped to his in the mirror, wary as if gauging an opponent. I can help you. They were the first words she’d spoken to him, standing in the parlor of the Menagerie, draped in purple silk, eyes lined in kohl. She had helped him. And she’d nearly destroyed him. Maybe he should let her finish the job.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Ambition was such a dirty word, so tainted, but she had it. She was enslaved by it. There was so much ego to the concept of fate, but she needed to cling to it. She needed to believe she was meant for enormity; that the fulfillment of a destiny could make for the privilege of salvation, even if it didn't feel that way right now.
Olivie Blake (The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1))
Okay, let's see if I got this straight. The butt is the new breast, and the lower back is the new ankle. Now if only we could figure out where the brain has moved.
Celia Rivenbark (Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: And Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom)
Kaz can pick the lock, " said Wylan. "No, " said Kaz, "I can't. " "I don't think I ever heard those words leave your lips, " said Nina. "Say it again, nice and slow.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Time: the word tolled like the bells of a church. Fonny was doing: time. In six months time, our baby would be here. Somewhere, in time, Fonny and I had met: somewhere, in time, we had loved; somewhere, no longer in time, but, now, totally, at time’s mercy, we loved.
James Baldwin (If Beale Street Could Talk)
You were with Margo Roth Spiegelman last night? At THREE A.M.? I nodded. Alone? I nodded. Oh my God, if you hooked up with her, you have to tell me every single thing that happened. You have to write me a term paper on the look and feel of Margo Roth Spiegelman's breasts. Thrity pages, minimum! I want you to do a photo-realistic pencil drawing. A sculpture would also be acceptable. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to write a sestina about Margo Roth Spiegelman's breasts? Your six words are: pink, round, firmness, succulent, supple, and pillowy. Personally, I think at least one of the words should be buhbuhbuhbuh.
John Green (Paper Towns)
You think you can say a few words and end us? There is no end, Eva." he flattened me into the side of the car. I was pinned by six feet, two inches of violently aroused male.
Sylvia Day (Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2))
It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words- the emotions, and the stories, the truth- that you can let flow right out of your mouth.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Six Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town Climbed a hill, and never came down Found their flesh and lost their skins Flew away on stony wings. Five Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town Walked a road not up nor down Were torn to many and turned to one, In the end, left a task half-done Four Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town They spoke in words without a sound They begged their Queen to let them go And what became of them, no one can know. Three Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town They’d helped a king to keep his crown. But when they tried to climb the hill Down they came in a terrible spill. Two Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town Gentle women there they found. Forgot their quest and lived in love Perhaps were wiser than ones above. One Wiseman came to Jhaampe-town. He set aside both Queen and Crown Did his task and fell asleep Gave his bones to the stones to keep. No wise men go to Jhaampe-town, To climb the hill and never come down. ‘Tis wiser far and much more brave To stay at home and face the grave.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3))
She knew that she belonged to this man, body and soul. Every trace of shame departed; it was burnt out by the fire that consumed her. She gave him a thousand opportunities; she fought to turn his words to serious things. He baffled her with his shallow smile and ready tongue, that twisted all topics to triviality. By six o'clock she was morally on her knees before him; she was imploring him to stay to dinner with her. He refused.
Aleister Crowley (Moonchild)
We all have a world of things inside ourselves and each one of us has his own private world. How can we understand each other if the words I use have the sense and the value that I expect them to have, but whoever is listening to me inevitably thinks that those same words have a different sense and value, because of the private world he has inside himself, too.
Luigi Pirandello (Six Characters in Search of an Author)
There are only twenty-six letters in the English alphabet. You would think there would only be so much you could do with twenty-six letters. You would think there were only so many ways those letters could make you feel when mixed up and shoved together to make words. However, there are infinite ways those twenty-six letters can make a person feel, and this song is living proof. I’ll never understand how a few simple words strung together can change a person, but this song, these words, are completely changing me. I feel like my maybe someday just became my right now.
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
I’m going to learn to sail.” Kaz’s brow furrowed, and he cast her a surprised glance. “Really? Why?” “I want to use my money to hire a crew and outfit a ship.” Saying the words wrapped her breath up in an anxious spool. Her dream still felt fragile. She didn’t want to care what Kaz thought, but she did. “I’m going to hunt slavers.” “Purpose,” he said thoughtfully. “You know you can’t stop them all.” “If I don’t try, I won’t stop any.” “Then I almost pity the slavers,” Kaz said. “They have no idea what’s coming for them.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I don't like the idea of killing people, either. I don't even like chemistry." "What do you like?" "Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They ... they don't get mixed up." "If only you could talk to girls in equations." There was a long silence, and then, eyes trained on the notch they'd created in the link, Wylan said, "Just girls?" Jesper restrained a grin. "No. Not just girls." It really was a shame they were all probably going to die tonight.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
If you only write when you’re inspired you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist because you’re going to have to make your word count today and those words aren’t going to wait for you whether you’re inspired or not. You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next. The process of writing can be magical. …Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.
Neil Gaiman
One minute you're closer to someone than anyone in the whole world, next minute they need only to say the words 'time apart', 'serious talk' or 'maybe you...' and you're never going to see them again and will have to spend the next six months having imaginary conversations in which they beg to come back, and bursting into tears at the sight of their toothbrush.
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones, #2))
Don't say another goddamn word. Up until now, I've been polite. If you say anything else--word one--I will kill myself. And when my tainted spirit finds its destination, I will topple the master of that dark place. From my black throne, I will lash together a machine of bone and blood, and fueled by my hatred for you this fear engine will bore a hole between this world and that one. When it begins you will hear the sound of children screaming--as though from a great distance. A smoking orb of nothing will grow above your bed, and from it will emerge a thousand starving crows. As I slip through the widening maw in my new form, you will catch only a glimpse of my radiance before you are incinerated. Then, as tears of bubbling pitch stream down my face, my dark work will begin. I will open one of my six mouths, and I will sing the song that ends the Earth.
Jerry Holkins
There’re eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds in a day, right? There’re one thousand, four hundred and forty minutes in a day.” Her brow knitted. “Okay. I’ll take your word for it.” “I’m right.” I tapped my finger against my head. “A lot of useless knowledge up here. Anyway, are you following me? There’re one hundred and sixty-eight hours in a week. Around eighty-seven hundred and then some hours in a year, and you know what?” She smiled. “What?” “I want to spend every second, every minute, every hour with you.” Part of me couldn’t believe something that cheesy had come out of my mouth, but it was also so beauti fully true. “I want a year’s worth of seconds and minutes with you. I want a decade’s worth of hours, so many that I can’t add them up.” Her chest rose sharply as she stared at me, eyes widening. I took one more step and then went down on one knee in front of her, in a towel. Probably should have put some pants on. “Do you want that?” I asked. Kat’s eyes met mine, and the answer was immediate. “Yes. I want that. You know I want that.” “Good.” My lips curved up. “So let’s get married.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
One day Bird had approached his father with this question; he was six years old: Father, where was I a hundred years before I was born? Where will I be a hundred years after I die? Father, what will happen to me when I die? Without a word, his young father had punched him in the mouth, broke two of his teeth and bloodied his face, and Bird forgot the fear of death.
Kenzaburō Ōe (A Personal Matter)
These better be my size,” Nina said grumpily. She was tempted to strip down in the middle of the tomb, but she thought Matthias might keel over from the sheer impropriety of it all. She grabbed a lantern and marched into one of the side catacombs to change. She didn’t have a mirror, but she could tell the dress was spectacularly dowdy, and she had no words for the little knitted vest. When she emerged from the passage, Jesper doubled over laughing, Kaz’s brows shot up, and even Inej’s lips twitched. “Saints,” Nina said sourly. “How bad is it?” Inej cleared her throat. “You do look a bit …” “Enchanting,” said Matthias. Nina was about to snap that she didn’t appreciate the sarcasm when she saw the expression on his face. He looked like someone had just given him a tuba full of puppies.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart How astonishing it is that language can almost mean, and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say, God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according to which nation. French has no word for home, and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people in northern India is dying out because their ancient tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost vocabularies that might express some of what we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would finally explain why the couples on their tombs are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated, they seemed to be business records. But what if they are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light. O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper, as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor. Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script is not language but a map. What we feel most has no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.
Jack Gilbert (The Great Fires)
Do not bend," Nina snapped. "Do not leap. Do not move abruptly. If you don't promise to take it easy, I'll slow your heart and keep you in a coma until I can be sure you've recovered fully." "Nina Zenik, as soon as I figure out where you've put my knifes, we're going to have words." "The first ones had better be 'Thank you, oh great Nina, for dedicating every waking moment of this miserable journey to saving my sorry life'" Jasper expected Inej to laugh and was startled when she took Nina's face between her hands and said, "Thank you for keeping me in this world when fate seemed determined to drag me to the next. I owe you a life debt." Nina blushed deeply. "I was teasing, Inej." She paused. "I think we've both had enough of debts." "This is one I'm glad to bear.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Bill Gates (and his successor at Microsoft, Ray Ozzie) are famous for taking annual reading vacations. During the year they deliberately cultivate a stack of reading material—much of it unrelated to their day-to-day focus at Microsoft—and then they take off for a week or two and do a deep dive into the words they’ve stockpiled. By compressing their intake into a matter of days, they give new ideas additional opportunities to network among themselves, for the simple reason that it’s easier to remember something that you read yesterday than it is to remember something you read six months ago.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation)
There was a light knock at the door. Cal let go of my arm and we jumped about six feel apart as Lara eased the door open. If Mrs. Casnoff had caught Cal in my bedroom back at Hecate--with the door closed, and me still in my pajamas--I had a feeling there would have been steely glares, pursed lips, and words like "wildly inappropriate".
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Kaz Brekker didn’t need a reason. Those were the words whispered on the streets of Ketterdam, in the taverns and coffeehouses, in the dark and bleeding alleys of the pleasure district known as the Barrel. The boy they called Dirtyhands didn’t need a reason any more than he needed permission – to break a leg, sever an alliance, or change a man’s fortunes with the turn of a card.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Do you know the Suli have no words to say ‘I’m sorry’?” “What do you say when you step on someone’s foot?” “I don’t step on people’s feet.” “You know what I mean.” “We say nothing. We know the slight was not deliberate. We live in tight quarters, traveling together. There’s no time to constantly be apologizing for existing. But when someone does wrong, when we make mistakes, we don’t say we’re sorry. We promise to make amends.” “I will.” “Mati en sheva yelu. This action will have no echo. It means we won’t repeat the same mistakes, that we won’t continue to do harm.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Sometimes I think that wisdoms slip from my mind like drool from the lips of an idiot... Where's all this stuff coming from? Is it any good? Any good in, you know, the wisdom sense? Who am I to spout this stuff anyway? Well, here's the thing. You too can find yourself shedding wisdom like cat hair if you only allow yourself the liberty of introspection. Think about what you alone know that no one else does. That one neat wonderful profound insight. It is fully yours. No one else on this planet of about six billion people understands it like you do. Now, see if you can share it with someone. Bestow it, a gift of yourself. Wisdom is like gossip. Except it's the good kind.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
There were six dolls to be taken up and dressed every morning, for Beth was a child still, and loved her pets as well as ever. Not one whole or handsome one among them; all were outcasts till Beth took them in; for, when her sisters outgrew these idols, they passed to her.... Beth cherished them all the more tenderly for that very reason, and set up a hospital for infirm dolls. No pins were ever stuck into their cotton vitals; no harsh words or blows were ever given them; no neglect ever saddened the heart of the most repulsive: but all were fed and clothed, nursed and caressed, with an affection which never failed.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
Nina Zenik, as soon as I figure out where you’ve put my knives, we’re going to have words.” “The first ones had better be Thank you, oh great Nina, for dedicating every waking moment of this miserable journey to saving my sorry life.” Jesper expected Inej to laugh and was startled when she took Nina’s face between her hands and said, “Thank you for keeping me in this world when fate seemed determined to drag me to the next. I owe you a life debt.” Nina blushed deeply. “I was teasing, Inej.” She paused. “I think we’ve both had enough of debts.” “This is one I’m glad to bear.” “Okay, okay. When we’re back in Ketterdam, take me out for waffles.” Now Inej did laugh. She dropped her hands and appeared to speculate. “Dessert for a life? I’m not sure that seems equitable.” “I expect really good waffles.” “I know just the place,” said Jesper. “They have this apple syrup—” “You’re not invited
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
When words don’t add up in love, it is because of six possible reasons: 1. They are afraid to tell you the truth because you will leave them. 2. They enjoy being a liar or playing people because of ego reasons and/or control. 3. They don’t know the truth themselves. 4. They are undecided. 5. They refuse to let their guard down and be vulnerable because you or someone else have hurt them tremendously. 6. You are not being told all the information because of a break down in communication.
Shannon L. Alder
Inej turned to go. Kaz seized her hand, keeping it on the railing. He didn't look at her. "Stay," he said, his voice rough stone. "Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me." She looked down at his gloved hand clutching hers. Everything in her wanted to say yes, but she would not settle for so little, not after all she'd been through. "What would be the point?" He took a breath. "I want you to stay. I want you to ... I want you." "You want me." She turned the words over. Gently, she squeezed his hand. "And how will you have me, Kaz?" "How will you have me?" she repeated. "Fully clothed, gloves on, your head turned away so our lips can never touch?
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Posthuman. It was a word that came up in the media every five or six years, and it meant different things every time. Neural regrowth hormone? Posthuman. Sex robots with inbuilt pseudo intelligence? Posthuman. Self-optimizing network routing? Posthuman. It was a word from advertising copy, breathless and empty, and all he’d ever thought it really meant was that the people using it had a limited imagination about what exactly humans were capable of.
James S.A. Corey (Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1))
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death. At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man. Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be. We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
Kaz had rescued her from that hopelessness, and their lives had been a series of rescues ever since, a string of debts that they never tallied as they saved each other again and again. Lying in the dark, she realized that for all her doubts, she’d believed he would rescue her once more, that he would put aside his greed and his demons and come for her. Now she wasn’t so sure. Because it was not just the sense in the words she’d spoken that had stilled Van Eck’s hand but the truth he’d heard in her voice. He’ll never trade if you break me. She could not pretend those words had been conjured by strategy or even animal cunning. The magic they’d worked had been born of belief. An ugly enchantment.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I need you to save the others.” “What others?” she asked desperately. “The other drüskelle. Swear to me you’ll at least try to help them, to make them see.” “We’ll go together, Matthias. We’ll be spies. Genya will tailor us and we’ll go to Fjerda together. I’ll wear all the ugly knitted vests you want.” “Go home to Ravka, Nina. Be free, as you were meant to be. Be a warrior, as you always have been. Just save some mercy for my people. There has to be a Fjerda worth saving. Promise me.” “I promise.” The words were more sob than sound.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
As I uttered these inspiring words the idea came like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truth was revealed. I drew with a stick on the sand the diagram shown six years later in my address before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and my companion understood them perfectly. The images I saw were wonderfully sharp and clear and had the solidity of metal and stone, so much so that I told him, "See my motor here; watch me reverse it." I cannot begin to describe my emotions. Pygmalion seeing his statue come to life could not have been more deeply moved. A thousand secrets of nature which I might have stumbled upon accidentally, I would have given for that one which I had wrested from her against all odds and at the peril of my existence ...
Nikola Tesla
I wish that in order to secure his party’s nomination, a presidential candidate would be required to point at the sky and name all the stars; have the periodic table of the elements memorized; rattle off the kings and queens of Spain; define the significance of the Gatling gun; joke around in Latin; interpret the symbolism in seventeenth-century Dutch painting; explain photosynthesis to a six-year-old; recite Emily Dickenson; bake a perfect popover; build a shortwave radio out of a coconut; and know all the words to Hoagy Carmichael’s “Two Sleepy People”, Johnny Cash’s “Five Feet High and Rising”, and “You Got the Silver” by the Rolling Stones...What we need is a president who is at least twelve kinds of nerd, a nerd messiah to come along every four years, acquire the Secret Service code name Poindexter, install a Revenge of the Nerds screen saver on the Oval Office computer, and one by one decrypt our woes.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "How young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are." "All young ladies accomplished? My dear Charles, what do you mean?" "Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time without being informed that she was very accomplished." "Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished." "Nor I, I am sure." said Miss Bingley. "Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman." "Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it." "Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can really be esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved." "All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading." "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder at your knowing any.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other words? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take 'good,' for instance. If you have a word like 'good,' what need is there for a word like 'bad'? 'Ungood' will do just as well--better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of 'good,' what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like 'excellent' and 'splendid' and all the rest of them? 'Plusgood' covers the meaning, or 'doubleplusgood' if you want something stronger still...In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words--in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston?
George Orwell
I saw the folded note peeking up from behind the cover of the book in which I'd hidden it. I brushed my fingertips across the lineny surface, my skin sparking with electricity, my fingers itching to pull it free. I shoudn't, I told myself, even as I held my breath and watched myself withdrawing it from the book. I tried to tamp down the feeling of anticipation coursing through me at the same time I argued that it was a mistake to look at it again. It didn't deserve anymore of my time. He didn't deserve the space he already occupied in my mind. I glanced around to see if anyone had noticed me there, tucked beneath my desk, reading a note that I'd already memorized. No one paid me any attention. I held the letter, vividly picturing the six words written inside the folds. Six words that I already knew by heart. Six words that meant more to me than they should. I unfolded the top third of the paper, then the bottom, purposely keeping my eyes unfocused for just a moment. My heart stopped. And then my eyesight cleared. I pledge to keep you safe.
Kimberly Derting (The Pledge (The Pledge, #1))
The point I was trying to make before you interrupted with your inventory of my personality is that neither of us is going to be able to stay celibate for the next six months." She dropped her eyes. If only he knew that she'd stayed that way all her life. We'll be living in close quarters," he went on. "We're legally married, and it's only natural that we're going to get it on." Get it on? His bluntness reminded her that none of this meant anything to him emotionally, and contrary to all logic, she'd wanted to hear something romantic. With some pique, she said, "In other words, you expect me to keep house, work for the circus, and 'get it on' with you." He thought it over. "I guess that's about the size of it.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Kiss an Angel)
Why should I keep myself so safe?” he asked her, but he was almost asking himself. What is there in my life worth preserving? With a good wife back there in the mountains, serviceable as an old spoon, dry in the heart from having been scared of marriage since she was six? With three children so shy of their father, the Prince of the Arjikis, that they will hardly come near him? With a careworn clan moving here, moving there, going through th same disputes, herding the same herds, as thy have done for five hundred years? And me, with a shallow and undirected mind, no artfulness in word or habit, no especial kindness toward the world? What is there that makes my life worth preserving? “I love you,” said Elphaba. “So that’s that then, and that’s it,” he answered her and himself. “And I love you. So I promise to be careful.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
Could you bring back a man without a head?” Arya asked. “Just the once, not six times. Could you?” “I have no magic, child. Only prayers. That first time, his lordship had a hole right through him and blood in his mouth, I knew there was no hope. So when his poor torn chest stopped moving, I gave him the good god’s own kiss to send him on his way. I filled my mouth with fire and breathed the flames inside him, down his throat to lungs and heart and soul. The last kiss it is called, and many a time I saw the old priests bestow it on the Lord’s servants as they died. I had given it a time or two myself, as all priests must. But never before had I felt a dead man shudder as the fire filled him, nor seen his eyes come open. It was not me who raised him, my lady. It was the Lord. R’hllor is not done with him yet. Life is warmth, and warmth is fire, and fire is God’s and God’s alone.” Arya felt tears well in her eyes. Thoros used a lot of words, but all they meant was no, that much she understood.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
There are blondes and blondes and it is almost a joke word nowadays. All blondes have their points, except perhaps the metallic ones who are as blond as a Zulu under the bleach and as to disposition as soft as a sidewalk. There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters, and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare. There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very tired when you take her home. She makes that helpless gesture and has that goddamned headache and you would like to slug her except that you are glad you found out about the headache before you invested too much time and money and hope in her. Because the headache will always be there, a weapon that never wears out and is as deadly as the bravo’s rapier or Lucrezia’s poison vial. There is the soft and willing and alcoholic blonde who doesn’t care what she wears as long as it is mink or where she goes as long as it is the Starlight Roof and there is plenty of dry champagne. There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable type. She is very languid and very shadowy and she speaks softly out of nowhere and you can’t lay a finger on her because in the first place you don’t want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provençal. She adores music and when the New York Philharmonic is playing Hindemith she can tell you which one of the six bass viols came in a quarter of a beat too late. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them. And lastly there is the gorgeous show piece who will outlast three kingpin racketeers and then marry a couple of millionaires at a million a head and end up with a pale rose villa at Cap Antibes, an Alfa-Romeo town car complete with pilot and co-pilot, and a stable of shopworn aristocrats, all of whom she will treat with the affectionate absent-mindedness of an elderly duke saying goodnight to his butler.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
Opening the door, he nearly did a double take into the mirror behind him. Hooch. Hooch, pushing his shades back up onto his head, and re-shouldering the bergan. Hooch, standing in the doorway. “Been thinking.” Two words, more than usual. “Been around a bit.” Six, speech worthy of a national holiday. “Looking for a station now.” Eleven, whole fucking fireworks. "Central station.” Thirteen, and the heavens came down for Matt. “You still offering?” Sixteen, and the world stopped spinning. Matt stood thinking for a while, not a muscle in his face twitched. Then stepped aside, gestured the other man to follow him. Closed the door. “One condition.” Hooch’s brows rose for a split second. Matt broke into a grin at last, which threatened to split his face. “Promise not to talk too much.
Marquesate (Special Forces)
It's 5:22pm you're in the grocery checkout line. Your three-year-old is writhing on the floor, screaming, because you have refused to buy her a Teletubby pinwheel. Your six-year-old is whining, repeatedly, in a voice that could saw through cement, "But mommy, puleeze, puleeze" because you have not bought him the latest "Lunchables," which features, as the four food groups, Cheetos, a Snickers, Cheez Whiz, and Twizzlers. Your teenager, who has not spoken a single word in the past foor days, except, "You've ruined my life," followed by "Everyone else has one," is out in the car, sulking, with the new rap-metal band Piss on the Parentals blasting through the headphones of a Discman. To distract yourself, and to avoid the glares of other shoppers who have already deemed you the worst mother in America, you leaf through People magazine. Inside, Uma thurman gushes "Motherhood is Sexy." Moving on to Good Housekeeping, Vanna White says of her child, "When I hear his cry at six-thirty in the morning, I have a smile on my face, and I'm not an early riser." Another unexpected source of earth-mother wisdom, the newly maternal Pamela Lee, also confides to People, "I just love getting up with him in the middle of the night to feed him or soothe him." Brought back to reality by stereophonic whining, you indeed feel as sexy as Rush Limbaugh in a thong.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
Don’t dash off a six-thousand-word story before breakfast. Don’t write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen. Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it. Set yourself a “stint,” [London wrote 1,000 words nearly every day of his adult life] and see that you do that “stint” each day; you will have more words to your credit at the end of the year. Study the tricks of the writers who have arrived. They have mastered the tools with which you are cutting your fingers. They are doing things, and their work bears the internal evidence of how it is done. Don’t wait for some good Samaritan to tell you, but dig it out for yourself. See that your pores are open and your digestion is good. That is, I am confident, the most important rule of all. Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory. And work. Spell it in capital letters. WORK. WORK all the time. Find out about this earth, this universe; this force and matter, and the spirit that glimmers up through force and matter from the maggot to Godhead. And by all this I mean WORK for a philosophy of life. It does not hurt how wrong your philosophy of life may be, so long as you have one and have it well. The three great things are: GOOD HEALTH; WORK; and a PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE. I may add, nay, must add, a fourth—SINCERITY. Without this, the other three are without avail; with it you may cleave to greatness and sit among the giants." [Getting Into Print (The Editor magazine, March 1903)]
Jack London
One of the vital things for a writer who’s writing a book, which is a lengthy project and is going to take about a year, is how to keep the momentum going. It is the same with a young person writing an essay. They have got to write four or five or six pages. But when you are writing it for a year, you go away and you have to come back. I never come back to a blank page; I always finish about halfway through. To be confronted with a blank page is not very nice. But Hemingway, a great American writer, taught me the finest trick when you are doing a long book, which is, he simply said in his own words, “When you are going good, stop writing.” And that means that if everything’s going well and you know exactly where the end of the chapter’s going to go and you know just what the people are going to do, you don’t go on writing and writing until you come to the end of it, because when you do, then you say, well, where am I going to go next? And you get up and you walk away and you don’t want to come back because you don’t know where you want to go. But if you stop when you are going good, as Hemingway said…then you know what you are going to say next. You make yourself stop, put your pencil down and everything, and you walk away. And you can’t wait to get back because you know what you want to say next and that’s lovely and you have to try and do that. Every time, every day all the way through the year. If you stop when you are stuck, then you are in trouble!
Roald Dahl
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles. This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear. But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God. ...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
Excerpt from Ursula K Le Guin's speech at National Book Awards Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality. Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write. Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words. I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.
Ursula K. Le Guin
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly. “Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced. “I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it. Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?” Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be. “I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it. I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?” “I play games for a living, Van.” I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?” He stared at me. “See?” “March third, Muffin.” What in the hell? “See?” he mocked me. Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew? “How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly. “Twenty-six.” “How do you know this?” I asked him slowly. “I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated. I was starting to think he was right. Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?” Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.” “I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.” A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?” The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it. Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.” He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me… And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?” Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.” Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.” What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said? “If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
The Tomorrow Man theory. It’s pretty basic. Today, right here, you are who you are. Tomorrow, you will be who you will be. Each and every night, we lie down to die, and each morning we arise, reborn. Now, those who are in good spirits, with strong mental health, they look out for their Tomorrow Man. They eat right today, they drink right today, they go to sleep early today–all so that Tomorrow Man, when he awakes in his bed reborn as Today Man, thanks Yesterday Man. He looks upon him fondly as a child might a good parent. He knows that someone–himself–was looking out for him. He feels cared for, and respected. Loved, in a word. And now he has a legacy to pass on to his subsequent selves…. But those who are in a bad way, with poor mental health, they constantly leave these messes for Tomorrow Man to clean up. They eat whatever the hell they want, drink like the night will never end, and then fall asleep to forget. They don’t respect Tomorrow Man because they don’t think through the fact that Tomorrow Man will be them. So then they wake up, new Today Man, groaning at the disrespect Yesterday Man showed them. Wondering why does that guy–myself–keep punishing me? But they never learn and instead come to settle for that behavior, eventually learning to ask and expect nothing of themselves. They pass along these same bad habits tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, and it becomes psychologically genetic, like a curse. Looking at you now, Maven, I can see exactly where you fall on this spectrum. You are a man constantly trying to fix today what Yesterday Man did to you. You make up your bed, you clean those dirty dishes from the night before, and pledge not to start drinking until six, thinking that’s the way to keep an even keel. But in reality you’re always playing catch-up. I know this because I’ve been there. The thing is–you can’t fix the mistakes of Yesterday. Yesterday Man is dead, he’s gone forever, and blame and atonement aren’t worth a damn. What you can do is help yourself today. Eat a vegetable. Read a book. Cut that hair of yours. Leave Tomorrow Man something more than a headache and a jam-packed colon. Do for Tomorrow Man what you would have wanted Yesterday Man to do for you.
Chuck Hogan
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?" Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious. "Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined." "But surely there's something more to it than that." "It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once." De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?" The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next. "Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-" "No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling." De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise. "Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'" The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance. He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
I slammed the water off hard enough to make it clack, got out of the shower, dried, and started getting dressed in a fresh set of secondhand clothes. “Why do you wear those?” asked Lacuna. I jumped, stumbled, and shouted half of a word to a spell, but since I was only halfway done putting on my underwear, I mostly just fell on my naked ass. “Gah!” I said. “Don’t do that!” My miniature captive came to the edge of the dresser and peered down at me. “Don’t ask questions?” “Don’t come in here all quiet and spooky and scare me like that!” “You’re six times my height, and fifty times my weight,” Lacuna said gravely. “And I’ve agreed to be your captive. You don’t have any reason to be afraid.” “Not afraid,” I snapped back. “Startled. It isn’t wise to startle a wizard!” “Why not?” “Because of what could happen!” “Because they might fall down on the floor?” “No!” I snarled. Lacuna frowned and said, “You aren’t very good at answering questions.” I started shoving myself into my clothes. “I’m starting to agree with you.” “So why do you wear those?” I blinked. “Clothes?” “Yes. You don’t need them unless it’s cold or raining.” “You’re wearing clothes.” “I am wearing armor. For when it is raining arrows. Your T-shirt will not stop arrows.” “No, it won’t.” I sighed. Lacuna peered at my shirt. “Aer-O-Smith. Arrowsmith. Does the shirt belong to your weapon dealer?” “No.” “Then why do you wear the shirt of someone else’s weapon dealer?” That was frustrating in so many ways that I could avoid a stroke only by refusing to engage. “Lacuna,” I said, “humans wear clothes. It’s one of the things we do. And as long as you are in my service, I expect you to do it as well.” “Why?” “Because if you don’t, I  .  .  . I  .  .  . might pull your arms out of your sockets.” At that, she frowned. “Why?” “Because I have to maintain discipline, don’t I?” “True,” she said gravely. “But I have no clothes.” I counted to ten mentally. “I’ll  .  .  . find something for you. Until then, no desocketing. Just wear the armor. Fair enough?” Lacuna bowed slightly at the waist. “I understand, my lord.” “Good.” I sighed. I flicked a comb through my wet hair, for all the good it would do, and said, “How do I look?” “Mostly human,” she said. “That’s what I was going for.” “You have a visitor, my lord.” I frowned. “What?” “That is why I came in here. You have a visitor waiting for you.” I stood up, exasperated. “Why didn’t you say so?” Lacuna looked confused. “I did. Just now. You were there.” She frowned thoughtfully. “Perhaps you have brain damage.” “It would not shock me in the least,” I said. “Would you like me to cut open your skull and check, my lord?” she asked. Someone that short should not be that disturbing. “I  .  .  . No. No, but thank you for the offer.” “It is my duty to serve,” Lacuna intoned. My life, Hell’s bells.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked on CNN if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. Well, the station was flooded with emails, and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad, because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which (a) proves my point, and (b) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him. Now, before I go about demonstration how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness that's dragging us down, let me just say that ignorance has life-and-death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, seventy percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Six years later, thirty-four percent still do. Or look at the health-care debate: At a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross-country to protest highways. This country is like a college chick after two Long Island iced teas: We can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget the town halls, and replace them with study halls. Listen to some of these stats: A majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. Twenty-four percent could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket. Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators, and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only three got their wife's name right on the first try. People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes more twenty-four percent of our budget. It's actually less than one percent. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen ad a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence, because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge." Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll say eighteen percent of us think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. And I haven't even brought up religion. But here's one fun fact I'll leave you with: Did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which came first. I rest my case.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))