Soft Skills Quotes

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

Politeness is the first thing people lose once they get the power.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Why?" I asked softly. The word was carried away on the wind, but he heard. "Because I want you." I gave him a sad smile, wondering if we'd meet again in the land of the dead. "Wrong answer," I told him. I let go. [...] I looked him in the eye. "I will always love you." Then I plunged the stake into his chest. It wasn't as precise a blow as I would have liked, not with the skilled way he was dodging. I struggled to get the stake in deep enough to his heart, unsure if I could do it from this angle. Then, his struggles stopped. His eyes stared at me, stunned, and his lips parted, almost into a smile, albeit a grisly and pained one. "That's what I was supposed to say..." he gasped out.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Cold?” Christian asks softly and bends to lick and suckle all the ice cream off me once more, his mouth hot compared to the cool of the ice. Oh my. It’s torture. As it starts to melt, the ice cream runs off me in rivulets on to the bed. His lips continue their slow torture, sucking hard, nuzzling, softly—Oh please!—I’m panting. “Want some?” And before I can confirm or deny his offer, his tongue is in my mouth, and it’s cold and skilled and tastes of Christian and vanilla. Delicious.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
She sat up, cheeks flushed and golden hair tousled. She was so beautiful that it made my soul ache. I always wished desperately that I could paint her in these moments and immortalize that look in her eyes. There was a softness in them that I rarely saw at other times, a total and complete vulnerability in someone who was normally so guarded and analytical in the rest of her life. But although I was a decent painter, capturing her on canvas was beyond my skill. She collected her brown blouse and buttoned it up, hiding the brightness of turquoise lace with the conservative attire she liked to armor herself in. She’d done an overhaul of her bras in the last month, and though I was always sad to see them disappear, it made me happy to know they were there, those secret spots of color in her life.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
But what of you?” Gabriel said, and they were very close now, almost touching. “It is your choice to make now, to stay or return.” “I will stay,” Cecily said. “I choose the war.” Gabriel let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. “You will give up your home?” “A drafty old house in Yorkshire?” Cecily said. “This is London.” “And give up what is familiar?” “Familiar is dull.” “And give up seeing your parents? It is against the Law …” She smiled, the glimmer of a smile. “Everyone breaks the Law.” “Cecy,” he said, and closed the distance between them, though it was not much, and then he was kissing her—his hands awkward around her shoulders at first, slipping on the stiff taffeta of her gown before his fingers slid behind her head, tangling in her soft, warm hair. She stiffened in surprise before softening against him, the seam of her lips parting as he tasted the sweetness of her mouth. When she drew away at last, he felt light-headed. “Cecy?” he said again, his voice hoarse. “Five,” she said. Her lips and cheeks were flushed, but her gaze was steady. “Five?” he echoed blankly. 907/1090 “My rating,” she said, and smiled at him. “Your skill and technique may, perhaps, require work, but the native talent is certainly there. What you require is practice.” “And you are willing to be my tutor?” “I should be very insulted if you chose another,” she said, and leaned up to kiss him again.
Cassandra Clare
Trust is not a soft skill.
David Horsager (The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line)
Cecy," he said, and closed the distance between them, though it was not much, and then he was kissing her-his hands awkward around her shoulders at first, slipping on the stiff taffeta of her gown before his fingers slipped behind her head, tangling in her soft, warm hair. She stiffened in surprise before softening against him, the seam of her lips parting as he tasted the sweetness of her mouth. When she drew away at last, he felt light-headed. "Cecy?" He said again, his voice hoarse. "Five," she said. Her lips and cheeks were flushed, but her gaze was steady. "Five?" He echoed blankly. "My rating," she said, and smiled at him. "Your skill and technique may, perhaps, require work, but the native talent is certainly there. What you require is practise." "And you are willing to be my tutor?" "I should be very insulted if you chose another," she said, and leaned up to kiss him again.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Better be careful talking about how good my cooking is. Roslyn might get jealous.” The vampire madam let out a soft laugh. “Oh, I’ll freely admit that your cooking is much better than mine, Gin. But I have certain skills you don’t, especially in the bedroom. I think that Xavier far prefers those, even over a plate of the Pork Pit’s best barbecue.” Roslyn gave Xavier a sly look, and the giant’s grin widened. “Well played, Roslyn,” I murmured. “Well played.
Jennifer Estep (Spider’s Revenge (Elemental Assassin, #5))
Employees need to feel trusted and respected at work. Everyone at the company should feel that trust and that respect.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr, CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth
He had crossed the room with no notion what he might say or do - he had no knowledge of the language of condolence, no skill at social small talk; his metier was business and politics. And yet, when his hostess had introduced them and left, he found himself still holding the hand he had kissed, looking into soft brown eyes that drowned his soul. And without further thought or hesitation had said, 'God help me, I am in love with you.
Diana Gabaldon (Lord John and the Private Matter (Lord John Grey, #1))
No matter what we do, each instant contains infinite choices. What we choose to think, to say or to hear creates what we feel in the present moment, it conditions the quality of our communication and in the end the quality of our everyday life. Beliefs and attitudes are made of thoughts. Negative thoughts can be changed and by doing so we create for ourselves more pleasant inner states and have a different impact on the people around us
Dorotea Brandin (Heart to heart(s) Communication @ work.Universal values of Buddhism to inspire open, compassionate and effective communication)
Mud ? They're going to put mud on my face ?" "You'll love it." "Whenever the kitties and I played stalk and pounce and we ended up muddy, everyone frowned about it." Surreal grunted softly. Only Jaenelle referred to Jaal and Kaelas, a full-grown tiger and an eight-hundred-pound Arcerian cat, as "the kitties"... or voluntarily played games with them to keep their predatory skills honed. "So why is this mud different ?" Jaenelle grumbled. Stretched out on the other table, Surreal turned her head and opened one eye. "It's expensive.
Anne Bishop (Dreams Made Flesh (The Black Jewels, #5))
Be yourself! Don’t try to fabricate your personality in the guise of impressing others.
Ashish Patela
Why in the name of God do you wear these ugly ass granny panties? I swear it looks like you could parachute from the Dallas Lincoln Plaza with these and have a nice soft landing! Why don’t you get on the internet and apply your online shopping skills while purchasing some panties that do not look like they came from your Grans drawer?
Kathryn Perez (Love and Truth)
If you say it very softly, with a smile, you can get away with saying almost anything, even the truth.
Neel Burton
It’s great to be born! But, it’s more exciting to know why we are born- the very reason why we joined this gigantic fine-tuned universe!
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
In business (and in life), it's important to use tasteful words. You may have to eat them some day.
Bob Musial (Soft Skills. Hard Returns.: Communicate. Persuade. Win.)
At NASA, we talk about “expeditionary behavior,” which is a loose term for being able to take care of yourself, take care of others, help out when it’s needed, stay out of the way when necessary—a combination of soft skills that’s difficult to define, hard to teach, and a significant challenge when they are lacking.
Scott Kelly (Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery)
The confidence game—the con—is an exercise in soft skills. Trust, sympathy, persuasion. The true con artist doesn’t force us to do anything; he makes us complicit in our own undoing. He doesn’t steal. We give. He doesn’t have to threaten us. We supply the story ourselves. We believe because we want to, not because anyone made us. And so we offer up whatever they want—money, reputation, trust, fame, legitimacy, support—and we don’t realize what is happening until it is too late.
Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time)
A greatness that doesn’t lead to personal fulfillment isn’t worth celebrating.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
When you are on your purpose- when you do what you love to do; you have peace unexplainable. You are happy and contented. You are in the zone 24/7.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Likability is a soft skill that leads to hard results.
Mo Bunnell (The Snowball System: How to Win More Business and Turn Clients into Raving Fans)
Adaptability is not just a soft skill, but a hard capability.
Pearl Zhu (Digital Maturity: Take a Journey of a Thousand Miles from Functioning to Delight)
I’d prefer not to say what my current salary is because if it’s higher than what you expect to pay for this job, I wouldn’t want that to eliminate me from being considered for this job—because I might be willing to accept less for the right position—and, if it’s lower than what this job would pay, I wouldn’t want to sell myself short either— I’m sure you can understand.
John Z. Sonmez (Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual)
The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture--the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men, and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white to his grave. The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christian?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Will took a deep breath. When he exhaled . . . I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. We'd been in near-total darkness so long, I wasn't sure why Will's outline suddenly seemed clearer. I could see the texture of his jeans, the individual tufts of his hair, the blue of his eyes. His skin was glowing with a soft, warm golden light as if he'd ingested sunshine. 'Whoa,' Meg said. Rachel's eyebrows floated towards her hairline. Nico smirked. 'Friends, meet my glow-in-the-dark boyfriend.' 'Could you not make a big deal about it?' Will asked. I was speechless. How could anyone not make a big deal about this? As far as demigod powers went, glowing in the dark was perhaps not as showy as skeleton-summoning or tomato-vine mastery, but it was still impressive. And, like WIll's skill at healing, it was gentle, useful and exactly what we needed in a pinch. 'I'm so proud,' I said. Will's face turned the colour of sunlight shining through a glass of cranberry juice. 'Dad, I'm just glowing. I'm not graduating at the top of my class.' 'I'll be proud when you do that, too,' I assured him.
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
Then my hair was loose and his hands were buried in it, and he was kissing me so deeply his fangs grazed my teeth and I tasted blood. I was acutely aware of every inch of my body that was touching every inch of his: his forearm grazing the side of my neck, his hands cradling my skull, his mouth so soft yet ” “hard, his powerful chest against the only part of me that wasn’t muscle, one of his thighs slipping between my legs, making my knees tremble and nearly buckle. He kissed like he did everything, with exquisite skill, passion, and one hundred percent focus. Here was where Ryodan shed his aloof businessman attire, his cool facade, and came to life with the heat and intensity of a thousand suns. And I realized that was what had so entranced me on Level 4—I’d seen him drop all his guards and fuck like a man on fire, with nothing held back. Open, unguarded, just like he’d been when we’d talked. Ryodan, controlled, is formidably fascinating. Ryodan, open, is indescribably addictive.
Karen Marie Moning (Feversong (Fever, #9))
Panting softly, I licked my dry lips. He groaned, tilted his head, and sealed his mouth over mine. I was shocked by how soft his firm lips were and the gentleness of the pressure he exerted. I sighed and his tongue dipped inside, tasting me in long, leisurely licks. His kiss was confident, skilled, and just the right side of aggressive to turn me on wildly.
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
People who have acquired academic degrees, without acquiring many economically meaningful skills, not only face personal disappointment and disaffection with society, but also have often become negative factors in the economy and even sources of danger, especially when they lash out at economically successful minorities and ethnically polarize the whole society they live in. . . . . In many places and times, soft-subject students and intellectuals have inflamed hostility, and sometimes violence, against many other successful groups.
Thomas Sowell (Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective)
Every time I glanced at Ren, I saw that he was watching me. When we finally reached the end of the tunnel and saw the stone steps that led to the surface, Ren stopped. “Kelsey, I have one final request of you before we head up.” “And what would that be? Want to talk about tiger senses or monkey bites in strange places maybe?” “No. I want you to kiss me.” I sputtered, “What? Kiss you? What for? Don’t you think you got to kiss me enough on this trip?” “Humor me, Kells. This is the end of the line for me. We’re leaving the place where I get to be a man all the time, and I have only my tiger’s life to look forward to. So, yes, I want you to kiss me one more time.” I hesitated. “Well, if this works, you can go around kissing all the girls you want to. So why bother with me right now?” He ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Because! I don’t want to run around kissing all the other girls! I want to kiss you!” “Fine! If it will shut you up!” I leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. “There!” “No. Not good enough. On the lips, my prema.” I leaned over and pecked him on the lips. “There. Can we go now?” I marched up the first two steps, and he slipped his hand under my elbow and spun me around, twisting me so that I fell forward into his arms. He caught me tightly around the waist. His smirk suddenly turned into a sober expression. “A kiss. A real one. One that I’ll remember.” I was about to say something brilliantly sarcastic, probably about him not having permission, when he captured my mouth with his. I was determined to remain stiff and unaffected, but he was extremely patient. He nibbled on the corners of my mouth and pressed soft, slow kisses against my unyielding lips. It was so hard not to respond to him. I made a valiant struggle, but sometimes the body betrays the mind. He slowly, methodically swept aside my resistance. And, feeling he was winning, he pressed ahead and began seducing me even more skillfully. He held me tightly against his body and ran a hand up to my neck where he began to massage it gently, teasing my flesh with his fingertips. I felt the little love plant inside me stretch, swell, and unfurl its leaves, like he was pouring Love Potion # 9 over the thing. I gave up at that point and decided what the heck. I could always use a rototiller on it. And I rationalized that when he breaks my heart, at least I will have been thoroughly kissed. If nothing else, I’ll have a really good memory to look back on in my multi-cat spinsterhood. Or multi-dog. I think I will have had my fill of cats. I groaned softly. Yep. Dogs for sure.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
All the sufferings of men in the world is for love and affection.God has created skillfully this two soft wares.When God sends human beings on the mundane world to perform their own duty,He inserts this two soft wares into men-one type of computer and puppet in the hands of God.
Probir kumar mandal H.M
That ride was perhaps the most wonderful thing that happened to them in Narnia. Have you ever had a gallop on a horse? Think of that; and then take away the heavy noise of the hoofs and the jingle of the bit and imagine instead the almost noiseless padding of the great paws. Then imagine instead of the black or grey or chestnut back of the horse the soft roughness of golden fur, and the mane flying back in the wind. And then imagine you are going about twice as fast as the fastest racehorse. But this is a mount that doesn't need to be guided and never grows tired. He rushes on and on, never missing his footing, never hesitating, threading his way with perfect skill between tree trunks, jumping over bush and briar and the smaller streams, wading the larger, swimming the largest of all. And you are riding not on a road nor in a park nor even on the downs, but right across Narnia, in spring, down solemn avenues of beech and across sunny glades of oak, through wild orchards of snow-white cherry trees, past roaring waterfalls and mossy rocks and echoing caverns, up windy slopes alight with gorse bushes, and across the shoulders of heathery mountains and along giddy ridges and down, down, down again into wild valleys and out into acres of blue flowers.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
Don't stop now, darling." She didn't, her finger wandering over the soft skin of her rounded stomach, into the curls that hid that magnificent place between her thighs. He watched, encouraging her with whispered guidance as she explored for herself, as she tested her own knowledge, her own skill, until he thought that he might die if he was not inside her.
Sarah MacLean (A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1))
People skills in leadership are not negotiable.
Cristina Imre
Sharing certain important core values is one of the key factors that determine the chemistry of a relationship/partnership.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
I never met or read about a great one who felt personally unfulfilled...
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
The truly great ones attained personal fulfillment. Some of them publicly announced that they were done and ready to leave the planet.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Learning in an interactive setting as opposed to a passive one is conducive to the mix of soft and academic skills we're looking to develop in our kids.
Madeline Levine (Ready or Not: Preparing Our Kids to Thrive in an Uncertain and Rapidly Changing World)
Others may not understand your joy and contentment because of your certainty about who you are and why you exist. Don't waste your time to explain.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
With your sight, you can only stumble on something that already exists. With your vision, you can create it if what you need doesn’t exist. Be a visionary!
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
People with personal mastery get along with diverse people easily and lead others better, and in turn, contribute their share for the betterment of their companies.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Where are you?” she shouted. “Don’t you see us?” taunted the woman’s voice. “I thought Hecate chose you for your skill.” Another bout of queasiness churned through Hazel’s gut. On her shoulder, Gale barked and passed gas, which didn’t help. Dark spots floated in Hazel’s eyes. She tried to blink them away, but they only turned darker. The spots consolidated into a twenty-foot-tall shadowy figure looming next to the Doors. The giant Clytius was shrouded in the black smoke, just as she’d seen in her vision at the crossroads, but now Hazel could dimly make out his form—dragon-like legs with ash-colored scales; a massive humanoid upper body encased in Stygian armor; long, braided hair that seemed to be made from smoke. His complexion was as dark as Death’s (Hazel should know, since she had met Death personally). His eyes glinted cold as diamonds. He carried no weapon, but that didn’t make him any less terrifying. Leo whistled. “You know, Clytius…for such a big dude, you’ve got a beautiful voice.” “Idiot,” hissed the woman. Halfway between Hazel and the giant, the air shimmered. The sorceress appeared. She wore an elegant sleeveless dress of woven gold, her dark hair piled into a cone, encircled with diamonds and emeralds. Around her neck hung a pendant like a miniature maze, on a cord set with rubies that made Hazel think of crystallized blood drops. The woman was beautiful in a timeless, regal way—like a statue you might admire but could never love. Her eyes sparkled with malice. “Pasiphaë,” Hazel said. The woman inclined her head. “My dear Hazel Levesque.” Leo coughed. “You two know each other? Like Underworld chums, or—” “Silence, fool.” Pasiphaë’s voice was soft, but full of venom. “I have no use for demigod boys—always so full of themselves, so brash and destructive.” “Hey, lady,” Leo protested. “I don’t destroy things much. I’m a son of Hephaestus.” “A tinkerer,” snapped Pasiphaë. “Even worse. I knew Daedalus. His inventions brought me nothing but trouble.” Leo blinked. “Daedalus…like, the Daedalus? Well, then, you should know all about us tinkerers. We’re more into fixing, building, occasionally sticking wads of oilcloth in the mouths of rude ladies—” “Leo.” Hazel put her arm across his chest. She had a feeling the sorceress was about to turn him into something unpleasant if he didn’t shut up. “Let me take this, okay?
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
When you practice a soft skill, focus on making a high number of varied reps, and on getting clear feedback. Don’t worry too much about making errors—the important thing is to explore. Soft skills are often more fun to practice, but they’re also tougher because they demand that you coach yourself. After each session ask yourself, What worked? What didn’t? And why?
Daniel Coyle (The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills)
Breaking our silence is powerful. Whether it comes as a whisper or a squeak at first, allow that sense of spaciousness, of opening, allow yourself to trust the bottomlessness, and lean into the dark roar which will light up every cell. Though it may start softly, we build in confidence and skills, we realise we do not need to wait for permission before we open our mouths. We do not need to wait for others to make space for us, we can take it. We do not need to read from others’ scripts or style ourselves in weak comparison. We do not need to look to another’s authority because we have our own. Down in our cores. We have waited so long for permission to know that it was our time, our turn on stage. That time is now. Our voices are being heard into being. They are needed.
Lucy H. Pearce (Burning Woman)
Visionaries saw humanity’s untapped potential and the unlimited possibilities in the unseen world and they brought them forth. Join the club and bring forth what our world and humanity needs in your generation and generations to come...
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
And he saw a youth approaching, Dressed in garments green and yellow, Coming through the purple twilight, Through the splendor of the sunset; Plumes of green bent o'er his forehead, And his hair was soft and golden. Standing at the open doorway, Long he looked at Hiawatha, Looked with pity and compassion On his wasted form and features, And, in accents like the sighing Of the South-Wind in the tree-tops, Said he, "O my Hiawatha! All your prayers are heard in heaven, For you pray not like the others, Not for greater skill in hunting, Not for greater craft in fishing, Not for triumph in the battle, Nor renown among the warriors, But for profit of the people, For advantage of the nations. "From the Master of Life descending, I, the friend of man, Mondamin, Come to warn you and instruct you, How by struggle and by labor You shall gain what you have prayed for. Rise up from your bed of branches, Rise, O youth, and wrestle with me!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha)
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))
I have had a two-hour meeting with Putin,” Trump told Tillerson. “That’s all I need to know. . . . I’ve sized it all up. I’ve got it.” Tillerson’s moral code and experience climbing the corporate ladder taught him to respect America’s commander in chief. In this moment, he had to deploy every diplomatic skill he had acquired to tell his boss to be careful, reminding him that Putin had a history of taking advantage if he saw an opening. Putin was a master manipulator, a former KGB agent trained to find the soft spots of his foes and to exploit them. But Trump waved him off. “I know more about this than you do,” Trump said.
Philip Rucker (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America)
To most people, Hans Hubermann was barely visible. An un-special person. Certainly, his painting skills were excellent. His musical ability was better than average. Somehow, though, and I’m sure you’ve met people like this, he was able to appear as merely part of the background, even if he was standing at the front of a line. He was always just there. Not noticeable. Not important or particularly valuable. The frustration of that appearance, as you can imagine, was its complete misleadence, let’s say. There most definitely was value in him, and it did not go unnoticed by Liesel Meminger. (The human child—so much cannier at times than the stupefyingly ponderous adult.) She saw it immediately. His manner. The quiet air around him. When he turned the light on in the small, callous washroom that night, Liesel observed the strangeness of her foster father’s eyes. They were made of kindness, and silver. Like soft silver, melting. Liesel, upon seeing those eyes, understood that Hans Hubermann was worth a lot.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
This is the secret of accompaniment. I will hold a mirror to you and show you your value, bear witness to your suffering, and to your light. And over time, you will do the same for me, for within the relationship lies the promise of our shared dignity and the mutual encouragement needed to do the hard things. Whatever you aim to do, whatever problem you hope to address, remember to accompany those who are struggling, those who are left out, who lack the capabilities needed to solve their own problems. We are each other’s destiny. Beneath the hard skills and firm strategic priorities needed to resolve our greatest challenges lies the soft, fertile ground of our shared humanity. In that place of hard and soft is sustenance enough to nourish the entire human family.
Jacqueline Novogratz (Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World)
You play with great skill," he said. "Thank you." "Is that your favorite piece?" "It's my most difficult," Helen said, "but not my favorite." "What do you play when there's no one to hear?" The gentle question, spoken in that accent with vowels as broad as his shoulders, caused Helen's stomach to tighten pleasurably. Perturbed by the sensation, she was slow to reply. "I don't remember the name of it. A piano tutor taught it to me long ago. For years I've tried to find out what it is, but no one has ever recognized the melody." "Play it for me." Calling it up from memory, she played the sweetly haunting chords, her hands gentle on the keys. The mournful chords never failed to stir her, making her heart ache for things she couldn't name. At the conclusion, Helen looked up from the keys and found Winterborne staring at her as if transfixed. He masked his expression, but not before she saw a mixture of puzzlement, fascination, and a hint of something hot and unsettling. "It's Welsh," he said. Helen shook her head with a laugh of wondering disbelief. "You know it?" "'A Ei Di'r Deryn Do.' Every Welshman is born knowing it." "What is it about?" "A lover who asks a blackbird to carry a message to his sweetheart." "Why can't he go to her himself?" Helen realized they were both speaking in hushed tones, as if they were exchanging secrets. "He can't find her. He's too deep in love- it keeps him from seeing clearly." "Does the blackbird find her?" "The song doesn't say," he said with a shrug. "But I must know the ending to the story," Helen protested. Winterborne laughed. It was an irresistible sound, rough-soft and sly. When he replied, his accent had thickened. "That's what comes o' reading novels, it is. The story needs no ending. That's not what matters." "What matters, then?" she dared to ask. His dark gaze held hers. "That he loves. That he's searching. Like the rest of us poor devils, he has no way of knowing if he'll ever have his heart's desire.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
I should have done this weeks ago. Now, I can’t wait another second.” Cradling my head in his hands he smashes our lips together. He bends down and scoops me up. I wrap my legs around his waist without removing my mouth from his. His tongue is soft as he pushes it into my mouth with skilled flicks and twirls. Mint flavor hits me, mingling with his cologne and I think I might devour him forever.
Rachel Robinson (Crazy Good (Crazy Good, #1))
She made amazing artwork. While I focused on the absurd, trying to make the strangest juxtapositions possible, her work was delicate and transcendent. I’m sure she could make a white orchid look like an angel with her photographic skill and use of soft lighting, and then pull it into Photoshop and create an image that would bring even Richard Dawkins to his knees with the belief that he was seeing God.
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
She was so beautiful that it made my soul ache. I always wished desperately that I could paint her in these moments and immortalize that look in her eyes. There was a softness in them that I rarely saw at other times, a total and complete vulnerability in someone who was normally so guarded and analytical in the rest of her life. But although I was a decent painter, capturing her on canvas was beyond my skill.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
She sat back again, a gentle loosening that made her straight spine seem effortless and restful. Again she did nothing. She simply sat across from me and unfurled herself. I felt her life brush up against me and flow around me. It was but the faintest touching, and had I not experienced both the Skill and the Wit, I do not think I would have sensed it. Cautiously, as softly as if I assayed a bridge made of cobweb, I overlay my senses on hers. She quested. Not as I did, toward a specific beast, or to read what might be close by. I discarded the word I had always given to my sensing. Kettricken did not seek after anything with her Wit. It was as she said, simply a being, but it was being a part of the whole. She composed herself and considered all the ways the great web touched her, and was content. It was a delicate and tenuous thing and I marveled at it. For an instant I, too, relaxed. I breathed out. I opened myself, Wit wide to all. I discarded all caution, all worry that Burrich would sense me. I had never done anything to compare it with before. Kettricken's reaching was as delicate as droplets of dew sliding down a strand of spiderweb. I was like a dammed flood, suddenly released, to rush out to fill old channels to overflowing and to send fingers of water investigating the lowlands. Let us hunt! The Wolf, joyfully. In the stables, Burrich straightened from cleaning a hoof, to frown at no one. Sooty stamped in her stall. Molly shrugged away and shook out her hair. Across from me, Kettricken started and looked at me as if I had spoken aloud. A moment more I was held, seized from a thousand sides, stretched and expanded, illuminated pitilessly. I felt it all, not just the human folk with their comings and goings, but every pigeon that fluttered in the eaves, every mouse that crept unnoticed behind the wine kegs, every speck of life, that was not and never had been a speck, but had always been a node on the web of life. Nothing alone, nothing forsaken, nothing without meaning, nothing of no significance, and nothing of importance.
Robin Hobb (Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2))
She glanced over her shoulder at him. “So until the wedding ceremony in your chapel, we’ll be chaste?” Her smile flirted and taunted, and he marveled at how quickly Amy had learned to entice. “There is an advantage with living in a building that was once an abbey.” “What is that, Jermyn?” She pulled on her tattered gloves. Biggers moaned softly. “The place is riddled with secret passages,” Jermyn told her. “But my lord! You’re not suggesting you’ll visit my bedchamber for a tryst?” She fluttered her eyelashes and tried to look shocked. With a straight face, he replied, “Absolutely not! You’ve already proved your skill at sneaking into my bedchamber, so I thought you would come to mine.” She burst into laughter, a full-bodied peal or merriment. Taking his arm, she scolded, “Layabout!” “Only with you, my bride, only with you.
Christina Dodd (The Barefoot Princess (Lost Princesses, #2))
You've told a good story in a skillful manner. I like it that you haven't moralized about your heroine's mistakes. You've made it difficult for the reader not to sympathize with her." "I sympathize with her," Amanda said frankly. "I've always thought it would be the worst kind of horror to be trapped in a loveless marriage. So many women are forced to marry because of pure economics. If more women were able to support themselves, there would be fewer reluctant brides and unhappy wives." "Why, Miss Briars," he said softly. "How unconventional of you." She countered his amusement with a perplexed frown. "It's only sensible, really." He realized suddenly that this was the key to understanding her. Amanda was so doggedly practical that she was willing to discard the hypocrisies and stale social attitudes that most people accepted without thinking. Why, indeed, should a woman marry just because it was the expected thing to do, if she were able to choose otherwise? "Perhaps most women think it is easier to marry than support themselves," he said, deliberately provoking her. "Easier?" she snorted. "I've never seen a shred of evidence that spending the rest of one's days in domestic drudgery is any easier than working at some trade. What women need is more education, more choices, and then they will be able to consider options for themselves other than marriage.
Lisa Kleypas (Suddenly You)
She asked, “Are you well?” “Yes.” His voice was a deep rasp. “Are you?” She nodded, expecting him to release her at the confirmation. When he showed no signs of moving, she puzzled at it. Either he was gravely injured or seriously impertinent. “Sir, you’re…er, you’re rather heavy.” Surely he could not fail to miss that hint. He replied, “You’re soft.” Good Lord. Who was this man? Where had he come from? And how was he still atop her? “You have a small wound.” With trembling fingers, she brushed a reddish knot high on his temple, near his hairline. “Here.” She pressed her hand to his throat, feeling for his pulse. She found it, thumping strong and steady against her gloved fingertips. “Ah. That’s nice.” Her face blazed with heat. “Are you seeing double?” “Perhaps. I see two lips, two eyes, two flushed cheeks…a thousand freckles.” She stared at him. “Don’t concern yourself, miss. It’s nothing.” His gaze darkened with some mysterious intent. “Nothing a little kiss won’t mend.” And before she could even catch her breath, he pressed his lips to hers. A kiss. His mouth, touching hers. It was warm and firm, and then…it was over. Her first real kiss in all her five-and-twenty years, and it was finished in a heartbeat. Just a memory now, save for the faint bite of whiskey on her lips. And the heat. She still tasted his scorching, masculine heat. Belatedly, she closed her eyes. “There, now,” he murmured. “All better.” Better? Worse? The darkness behind her eyelids held no answers, so she opened them again. Different. This strange, strong man held her in his protective embrace, and she was lost in his intriguing green stare, and his kiss reverberated in her bones with more force than a powder blast. And now she felt different. The heat and weight of him…they were like an answer. The answer to a question Susanna hadn’t even been aware her body was asking. So this was how it would be, to lie beneath a man. To feel shaped by him, her flesh giving in some places and resisting in others. Heat building between two bodies; dueling heartbeats pounding both sides of the same drum. Maybe…just maybe…this was what she’d been waiting to feel all her life. Not swept her off her feet-but flung across the lane and sent tumbling head over heels while the world exploded around her. He rolled onto his side, giving her room to breathe. “Where did you come from?” “I think I should ask you that.” She struggled up on one elbow. “Who are you? What on earth are you doing here?” “Isn’t it obvious?” His tone was grave. “We’re bombing the sheep.” “Oh. Oh dear. Of course you are.” Inside her, empathy twined with despair. Of course, he was cracked in the head. One of those poor soldiers addled by war. She ought to have known it. No sane man had ever looked at her this way. She pushed aside her disappointment. At least he had come to the right place. And landed on the right woman. She was far more skilled in treating head wounds than fielding gentlemen’s advances. The key here was to stop thinking of him as an immense, virile man and simply regard him as a person who needed her help. An unattractive, poxy, eunuch sort of person. Reaching out to him, she traced one fingertip over his brow. “Don’t be frightened,” she said in a calm, even tone. “All is well. You’re going to be just fine.” She cupped his cheek and met his gaze directly. “The sheep can’t hurt you here.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
The more I know you, the more I wonder who you are.” He counted off her qualities on his fingers. “You have the accent of a lady. You dress like a peasant. You shoot like a marksman. You view the world cynically, yet you venerate Miss Victorine. Your face and body would be the envy of a young goddess, yet you sport an air of innocence. And that innocence hides a criminal mind and the cheek to pull off the most outrageous of felonies.” “So I’m Athena, the goddess of war.” “Definitely not Diana, the goddess of virginity.” As the last shot hit home, he saw Amy’s mask slip. Blood rushed to her face. She bit her lip and looked toward the stairs as if only now realizing she could have—should have—left this whole discussion behind. He laughed softly, triumphantly. “Or perhaps I’m mistaken. Perhaps you have more in common with Diana than I thought.” “Pray remember, sir, that Diana was also the goddess of the hunt.” Amy leaned across the table, intent on making her point—but the blush still played across her cheeks. “She carried a bow and arrow, and she always bagged her quarry. Have a look at the bullet hole in the rock behind you and remember my skill and my cynicism. For we do know things about each other. I know that if you escape, you’ll make sure I’m hung from a gibbet. You know that if I catch you escaping, I’ll shoot you through the heart. Remember that as you cast longing glances toward the window.” With a flourish, she picked up the breakfast tray and walked up the stairs. Jermyn had learned something else about Amy. She liked to have the last word.
Christina Dodd (The Barefoot Princess (Lost Princesses, #2))
Duroy, who felt light hearted that evening, said with a smile: "You are gloomy to-day, dear master." The poet replied: "I am always so, young man, so will you be in a few years. Life is a hill. As long as one is climbing up one looks towards the summit and is happy, but when one reaches the top one suddenly perceives the descent before one, and its bottom, which is death. One climbs up slowly, but one goes down quickly. At your age a man is happy. He hopes for many things, which, by the way, never come to pass. At mine, one no longer expects anything - but death." Duroy began to laugh: "You make me shudder all over." Norbert de Varenne went on: "No, you do not understand me now, but later on you will remember what I am saying to you at this moment. A day comes, and it comes early for many, when there is an end to mirth, for behind everything one looks at one sees death. You do not even understand the word. At your age it means nothing; at mine it is terrible. Yes, one understands it all at once, one does not know how or why, and then everything in life changes its aspect. For fifteen years I have felt death assail me as if I bore within me some gnawing beast. I have felt myself decaying little by little, month by month, hour by hour, like a house crumbling to ruin. Death has disfigured me so completely that I do not recognize myself. I have no longer anything about me of myself - of the fresh, strong man I was at thirty. I have seen death whiten my black hairs, and with what skillful and spiteful slowness. Death has taken my firm skin, my muscles, my teeth, my whole body of old, only leaving me a despairing soul, soon to be taken too. Every step brings me nearer to death, every movemebt, every breath hastens his odious work. To breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work, dream, everything we do is to die. To live, in short, is to die. Oh, you will realize this. If you stop and think for a moment you will understand. What do you expect? Love? A few more kisses and you will be impotent. Then money? For what? Women? Much fun that will be! In order to eat a lot and grow fat and lie awake at night suffering from gout? And after that? Glory? What use is that when it does not take the form of love? And after that? Death is always the end. I now see death so near that I often want to stretch my arms to push it back. It covers the earth and fills the universe. I see it everywhere. The insects crushed on the path, the falling leaves, the white hair in a friend's head, rend my heart and cry to me, 'Behold it!' It spoils for me all I do, all I see, all that I eat and drink, all that I love; the bright moonlight, the sunrise, the broad ocean, the noble rivers, and the soft summer evening air so sweet to breath." He walked on slowly, dreaming aloud, almost forgetting that he had a listener: "And no one ever returns - never. The model of a statue may be preserved, but my body, my face, my thoughts, my desires will never reappear again. And yet millions of beings will be born with a nose, eyes, forehead, cheeks, and mouth like me, and also a soul like me, without my ever returning, without even anything recognizable of me appearing in these countless different beings. What can we cling to? What can we believe in? All religions are stupid, with their puerile morality and their egotistical promises, monstrously absurd. Death alone is certain." "Think of that, young man. Think of it for days, and months and years, and life will seem different to you. Try to get away from all the things that shut you in. Make a superhuman effort to emerge alive from your own body, from your own interests, from your thoughts, from humanity in general, so that your eyes may be turned in the opposite direction. Then you understand how unimportant is the quarrel between Romanticism and Realism, or the Budget debates.
Guy de Maupassant
Before he could say my name, I closed the space between us. Quickly, my lips moved against his. The mental and emotional emptiness took over instantly, but physically, I was more alert than ever. Wesley’s surprise didn’t last as long as it had before, and his hands were on me in seconds. My fingers tangled in his soft hair, and Wesley’s tongue darted into my mouth and became a new weapon in our war. Once again, my body took complete control of everything. Nothing existed at the corners of my mind; no irritating thoughts harassed me. Even the sounds of Wesley’s stereo, which had been playing some piano rock I didn’t recognize, faded away as my sense of touch heightened. I was fully conscious of Wesley’s hand as it slid up my torso and moved to cup my breast. With an effort, I pushed him away from me. His eyes were wide as he leaned back. “Please don’t slap me again,” he said. “Shut up.” I could have stopped there. I could have stood up and left the room. I could have let that kiss be the end of it. But I didn’t. The mind-numbing sensation I got from kissing him was so euphoric-such a high-that I couldn’t stand to give it up that fast. I might have hated Wesley Rush, but he held the key to my escape, and at that moment I wanted him… I needed him. Without speaking, without hesitating, I pulled my T-shirt over my head and threw it onto Wesley’s bedroom floor. He didn’t have a chance to say anything before I put my hands on his shoulders and shoved him onto his back. A second later, I was straddling him and we were kissing again. His fingers undid the clasp on my bra, and it joined my shirt on the floor. I didn’t care. I didn’t feel self-conscious or shy. I mean, he already knew I was the Duff, and it wasn’t like I had to impress him. I unbuttoned his shirt as he pulled the alligator clip from my hair and let the auburn waves fall around us. Casey had been right. Wesley had a great body. The skin pulled tight over his sculpted chest, and my hands drifted down his muscular arms with amazement. His lips moved to my neck, giving me a moment to breathe. I could only smell his cologne this close to him. As his mouth traveled down my shoulder, a thought pushed through the exhilaration. I wondered why he hadn’t shoved me-Duffy-away in disgust. Then again, I realized, Wesley wasn’t known for rejecting girls. And I was the one who should have been disgusted. But his mouth pressed into mine again, and that tiny, fleeting thought died. Acting on instinct, I pulled on Wesley’s lower lip with my teeth, and he moaned quietly. His hands moved over my ribs, sending chills up my spine. Bliss. Pure, unadulterated bliss. Only once, as Wesley flipped me onto my back, did I seriously consider stopping. He looked down at me, and his skilled hand grasped the zipper on my jeans. My dormant brain stirred, and I asked myself if things had gone too far. I thought about pushing him away, ending it right where we were. But why would I stop now? What did I stand to lose? Yet what could I possibly gain? How would I feel about this in an hour… or sooner? Before I could come up with any answers, Wesley had my jeans and underwear off. He pulled a condom from his pocket (okay, now that I’m thinking about it, who keeps condoms in their pockets? Wallet, yes, but pocket? Pretty presumptuous, don’t you think?), and then his pants were on the floor, too. All of a sudden, we were having sex, and my thoughts were muted again.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)
Someone--a man--came up behind her and snaked an arm around her waist. Not flirtation. Aggression. Kestrel sidestepped and spun, pulling her dagger from its sheath. Irex. His dagger was drawn, too. “A fight, dear Kestrel?” His stance was easy. He didn’t know how to play Bite and Sting, but his skill at weapons outmatched hers. “Not here,” she said stiffly. “No, not here.” His voice was soft. “But anywhere, if you want it.” “Exactly what do you think you are doing, Irex?” “You mean, a moment ago? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I was trying to pick your pocket.” His tone hinted at a coarse double meaning. Kestrel slid her dagger into its sheath. “Theft is the only way you will get my gold.” She walked from the cover of trees and saw, with shaky gratitude, that the party was still there, that the sound of porcelain and spoons still tinkled over low talk, and that no one had noticed anything. No one, except perhaps Arin. He was waiting for her. She felt a flash of something unpleasant--embarrassment, perhaps, as she wondered how much of this afternoon he had overheard. Dismay to think that he might have witnessed that last exchange with Irex, and misunderstood it. Or was she troubled by something else? Maybe it was the thought that Arin knew perfectly well what had been taking place behind the trees and had made no move to interfere, to help. It was not his place to interfere, she reminded herself. She had not needed his help. “We are leaving,” she told him.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
The true master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy.” Blank shock showed in Voldemort’s face for a moment, but then it was gone. “But what does it matter?” he said softly. “Even if you are right, Potter, it makes no difference to you and me. You no longer have the phoenix wand: We duel on skill alone…and after I have killed you, I can attend to Draco Malfoy…” “But you’re too late,” said Harry. “You’ve missed your chance. I got there first. I overpowered Draco weeks ago. I took this wand from him.” Harry twitched the hawthorn wand, and he felt the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon it. “So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does…I am the true master of the Elder Wand.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Cecy,” he said, and closed the distance between them, though it was not much, and then he was kissing her—his hands awkward around her shoulders at first, slipping on the stiff taffeta of her gown before his fingers slid behind her head, tangling in her soft, warm hair. She stiffened in surprise before softening against him, the seam of her lips parting as he tasted the sweetness of her mouth. When she drew away at last, he felt light-headed. “Cecy?” he said again, his voice hoarse. “Five,” she said. Her lips and cheeks were flushed, but her gaze was steady. “Five?” he echoed blankly. “My rating,” she said, and smiled at him. “Your skill and technique may, perhaps, require work, but the native talent is certainly there. What you require is practice.” “And you are willing to be my tutor?” “I should be very insulted if you chose another,
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Fireheart sprang forward and burst through the curtain of lichen. Tigerclaw and Bluestar were writhing on the floor of the den. Bluestar’s claws scored again and again across Tigerclaw’s shoulder, but the deputy’s greater weight kept her pinned down in the soft sand. Tigerclaw’s fangs were buried in her throat, and his powerful claws raked her back. “Traitor!” Fireheart yowled. He flung himself at Tigerclaw, slashing at his eyes. The deputy reared back, forced to release his grip on Bluestar’s throat. Fireheart felt his claws rip through the deputy’s ear, spraying blood into the air. Bluestar scrambled to the side of the den, looking half stunned. Fireheart could not tell how badly hurt she was. Pain lanced through him as Tigerclaw gashed his side with a blow from his powerful hindpaws. Fireheart’s paws skidded in the sand and he lost his balance, hitting the ground with Tigerclaw on top of him. The deputy’s amber eyes blazed into his. “Mousedung!” he hissed. “I’ll flay you, Fireheart. I’ve waited a long time for this.” Fireheart summoned every scrap of skill and strength he possessed. He knew Tigerclaw could kill him, but in spite of that he felt strangely free. The lies and the need for deceit were over. The secrets—Bluestar’s and Tigerclaw’s—were all out in the open. There was only the clean danger of battle. He aimed a blow at Tigerclaw’s throat, but the deputy swung his head to one side and Fireheart’s claws scraped harmlessly through thick tabby fur. But the blow had loosened Tigerclaw’s grip on him. Fireheart rolled away, narrowly avoiding a killing bite to his neck. “Kittypet!” Tigerclaw taunted, flexing his haunches to pounce again. “Come and find out how a real warrior fights.” He threw himself at Fireheart, but at the last moment Fireheart darted aside. As Tigerclaw tried to turn in the narrow den, his paws slipped on a splash of blood and he crashed awkwardly onto one side. At once Fireheart saw his chance. His claws sliced down to open a gash in Tigerclaw’s belly. Blood welled up, soaking into the deputy’s fur. He let out a high-pitched caterwaul. Fireheart pounced on him, raking claws across his belly again, and fastening his teeth into Tigerclaw’s neck. The deputy struggled vainly to free himself, his thrashing growing weaker as the blood flowed. Fireheart let go of his neck, planting one paw on Tigerclaw’s outstretched foreleg, and the other on his chest. “Bluestar!” he called. “Help me hold him down!” Bluestar was crouching behind him in her moss-lined nest. Blood trickled down her forehead, but that did not alarm Fireheart as much as the look in her eyes. They were a vague, cloudy blue, and she stared horror-struck in front of her as if she was witnessing the destruction
Erin Hunter (Warriors Boxed Set (Books 1-3))
It is so rare to have a new tent appear that Celia considers canceling her performances entirely in order to spend the evening investigating it. Instead she waits, executing her standard number of shows, finishing the last a few hours before dawn. Only then does she navigate her way through nearly empty pathways to find the latest edition to the circus. The sign proclaims something called the Ice Garden. and Celia smiles at the addendum below which contains an apology for any thermal inconvenience. Despite the name, she is not prepared for what awaits her inside the tent. It is exactly what the sign described. But it is so much more than that. There are no stripes visible on the walls, everything is sparkling and white. She cannot tell how far it stretches, the size of the tent obscured by cascading willows and twisting vines. The air itself is magical. Crisp and sweet in her lungs as she breathes, sending a shiver down to her toes that is caused by more than the forewarned drop in temperature. There are no patrons in the tent as she explores, circling alone around trellises covered in pale roses and a softly bubbling, elaborately carved fountain. And everything, save for occasional lengths of whet silk ribbon strung like garlands, is made of ice. Curious, Celia picks a frosted peony from its branch, the stem breaking easily. But the layered petals shatter, falling from her fingers to the ground, disappearing in the blades of ivory grass below. When she looks back at the branch, an identical bloom has already appeared. Celia cannot imagine how much power and skill it would take not only to construct such a thing but to maintain it as well. And she longs to know how her opponent came up with the idea. Aware that each perfectly structured topiary, every detail down to the stones that line the paths like pearls, must have been planned.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Do you want to have some hot sex instead of getting into a cold cab and driving away?" She looked up and grinned. "I'm awake. You're awake. We've only gone three rounds. Why not make it an even four? I'm already undressed." She took his hand and drew it down between her legs. "You don't even have to waste time with foreplay. This is what you do to me. I'm all ready to go." "I shouldn't..." "Don't tell me you don't want to." She ground her hips against his cock, now rock hard beneath his boxers. "I simply won't believe you." Jay groaned. "I do, but..." "But what?" She dropped to her knees in front of him and drew his boxers down to his ankles. His cock, thick and hard, bounced gently in her direction. "You don't like soft wet lips, firm hands, and skills honed by years of beer funnels." She flicked her tongue over the swollen head of his shaft. "Say yes. Say you'll stay long enough for me to chase your demons away." His hand dropped to her head and he swallowed hard. "Yes, but I'll do the chasing.
Sara Desai (The Singles Table (Marriage Game, #3))
This hollandaise sauce that's been generously drizzled over the whole dish... I can taste yuzu kosho and soy sauce in it. That's a decidedly Japanese twist on a typically very European sauce! The heavy savoriness of thick sliced pork grilled to a crusty golden brown... ... balances perfectly with the briskly tart Shio Konbu seaweed and shiso leaves mixed into the rice! Then there's the centerpiece of his dish, the tempura egg! It's crispy on the outside and delectably soft and gooey on the inside! Instead of freezing it, he must have poached the egg before deep-frying it this time! The whites are unbelievably tender, and the soft-boiled yolk is so creamy you might not believed it's cooked! To batter and deep-fry a poached egg that delicate without crushing it... ... you'd need skill and a touch bordering on the superhuman! Just how much has he trained?! How hard has he practiced... ... to make this single dish?! "Sure does take you back, doesn't it? This Eggs Benedict. I switched the muffin out for some seasoned rice, a family-restaurant staple. Then there's the poached egg that I deep-fried. Pork chops for the bacon. Japanese-style hollandaise sauce.
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 36 [Shokugeki no Souma 36] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #36))
He opened his eyes then, white fire flaring hotly within them. “Send me home, Legna,” he commanded her, his voice hoarse with suppressed emotion. She moved her head in affirmation even as she leaned toward him to catch his mouth once more in a brief, territorial kiss, her teeth scoring his bottom lip as she broke away. It was an incidental wound, one he could heal in the blink of an eye. But he wouldn’t erase her mark on him, and they both knew it. Finally, she stepped back, closed her eyes, and concentrated on picturing his home in her thoughts. She had been in his parlor dozens of times as a guest, always accompanied by Noah. His library, his kitchen, even the grounds of the isolated estate were well known to her. She could have sent him to any of those locations. But as she began to focus, her mind’s eye was filled with the image of a dark, elegant room she had never seen before. Hand-carved ebony-paneled walls soared up into a vast ceiling, enormous windows of intricate stained glass spilled colored light over the entire room as if a multitude of rainbows had taken up residence. It all centered around an enormous bed, the coverlet’s color indistinguishable under the blanket of colorful dawn sunlight that streamed into the room. She could feel the sun’s warmth, ready and waiting to cocoon any weary occupant who thrived on sleeping in the heat of the muted daylight sun. It was a beautiful room, and she knew without a doubt that it was Gideon’s bedroom and that he had shared the image of it with her. If she sent him there, it would be the first time she had ever teleported someone to a place she had not first seen for herself. The ability to take images of places from others’ minds for teleporting purposes was an advanced Elder ability. “You can do it,” he encouraged her softly, all of his thoughts and his will completely full of his belief in that statement. Legna kept his gaze for one last long moment, and with a flick of a wrist sent him from the room with a soft pop of moving air. She exhaled in wonder, everything inside of her knowing without a doubt that he had appeared in his bedroom, safe and sound, that very next second. Legna turned to look at her own bed and wondered how she would ever be able to sleep. Nelissuna . . . go to bed. I will help you sleep. Gideon’s voice washed through her, warming her, comforting her in a way she hadn’t thought possible. This was the connection that Jacob and Isabella shared. For the rest of the time both of them lived, each would be privy to the other’s innermost thoughts. She realized that because he was the more powerful, it was quite possible he would be able to master parts of himself, probably even hide things from her awareness and keep them private—at least, until she learned how to work her new ability with better skill. After all, she was a Demon of the Mind. It was part of her innate state of being to figure the workings of their complex minds. She removed her slippers and pushed the sleeves of her dress from her shoulders so that it sheeted off her in one smooth whisper of fabric. She closed her eyes, avoiding looking in the mirror or at herself, very aware of Gideon’s eyes behind her own. His masculine laughter vibrated through her, setting her skin to tingle. So, you are both shy and bold . . . he said with amusement as she quickly slid beneath her covers. You are a source of contradictions and surprises, Legna. My world has begun anew. As if living for over a millennium is not long enough? she asked him. On the contrary. Without you, it was far, far too long. Go to sleep, Nelissuna. And a moment after she received the thought, her eyes slid closed with a weight she could not have contradicted even if she had wanted to. Her last thought, as she drifted off, was that she had to make a point of telling Isabella that she might have been wrong about what it meant to have another to share one’s mind with.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
And were you immediately taken with Charlotte, when you found her?" "Who wouldn't be?" Gentry parried with a bland smile. He drew a slow circle on Lottie's palm, stroking the insides of her fingers, brushed his thumb over the delicate veins of her wrist. The subtle exploration made her feel hot and breathless, her entire being focused on the fingertip that feathered along the tender flesh of her upper palm. Most disconcerting of all was the realization that Gentry didn't even know what he was doing. He fiddled lazily with her hand and talked with Sophia, while the chocolate service was brought to the parlor and set out on the table. "Isn't it charming?" Sophia asked, indicating the flowered porcelain service with a flourish. She picked up the tall, narrow pot and poured a dark, fragrant liquid into one of the small cups, filling the bottom third. "Most people use cocoa powder, but the best results are obtained by mixing the cream with chocolate liquor." Expertly she stirred a generous spoonful of sugar into the steaming liquid. "Not liquor as in wine or spirits, mind you. Chocolate liquor is pressed from the meat of the beans, after they have been roasted and hulled." "It smells quite lovely," Lottie commented, her breath catching as Gentry's fingertip investigated the plump softness at the base of her thumb. Sophia turned her attention to preparing the other cups. "Yes, and the flavor is divine. I much prefer chocolate to coffee in the morning." "Is it a st-stimulant, then?" Lottie asked, finally managing to jerk her hand away from Gentry. Deprived of his plaything, he gave her a questioning glance. "Yes, of a sort," Sophia replied, pouring a generous amount of cream into the sweetened chocolate liquor. She stirred the cups with a tiny silver spoon. "Although it is not quite as animating as coffee, chocolate is uplifting in its own way." She winked at Lottie. "Some even claim that chocolate rouses the amorous instincts." "How interesting," Lottie said, doing her best to ignore Gentry as she accepted her cup. Inhaling the rich fumes appreciatively, she took a tiny sip of the shiny, dark liquid. The robust sweetness slid along her tongue and tickled the back of her throat. Sophia laughed in delight at Lottie's expression. "You like it, I see. Good- now I have found an inducement to make you visit often." Lottie nodded as she continued to drink. By the time she reached the bottom of the cup, her head was swimming, and her nerves were tingling from the mixture of heat and sugar. Gentry set his cup aside after a swallow or two. "Too rich for my taste, Sophia, although I compliment your skill in preparing it. Besides, my amorous instincts need no encouragement." He smiled as the statement caused Lottie to choke on the last few drops of chocolate.
Lisa Kleypas (Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3))
I know all their favorites. It's a knack, a professional secret, like a fortune teller reading palms. My mother would have laughed at this waste of my skills, but I have no desire to probe farther into their lives than this. I do not want their secrets or their innermost thoughts. Nor do I want their fears or gratitude. A tame alchemist, she would have called me with kindly contempt, working domestic magic when I could have wielded marvels. But I like these people. I like their small and introverted concerns. I can read their eyes, their mouths, so easily- this one with its hint of bitterness will relish my zesty orange twists; this sweet-smiling one the soft-centered apricot hearts; this girl with the windblown hair will love the mendiants; this brisk, cheery woman the chocolate brazils. For Guillaume, the florentines, eaten neatly over a saucer in his tidy bachelor's house. Narcisse's appetite for double-chocolate truffles reveals the gentle heart beneath the gruff exterior. Caroline Clairmont will dream of cinder toffee tonight and wake hungry and irritable. And the children... Chocolate curls, white buttons with colored vermicelli, pain d'épices with gilded edging, marzipan fruits in their nests of ruffled paper, peanut brittle, clusters, cracknells, assorted misshapes in half-kilo boxes... I sell dreams, small comforts, sweet harmless temptations to bring down a multitude of saints crash-crash-crashing among the hazels and nougatines....
Joanne Harris (Chocolat (Chocolat, #1))
Miss Bronson,” Jason said to Elizabeth with extreme casualness, “are you enjoying the evening so far?” Elizabeth fiddled with the silver dance card and made a show of adjusting the ribbon around her wrist. “Very much, Mr. Somers.” Staring at Elizabeth's down-bent head, with all the silky dark curls confined with pins, Jason spoke a bit gruffly. “I thought I should approach you before every place on your dance card was filled—or is it already too late?” “Hmmm… let me see…” Elizabeth flipped back the silver lid and consulted the tiny pages, deliberately drawing out the moment. Holly bit back a smile, knowing that Elizabeth had followed her advice and saved a few spaces for just an occasion such as this. “I suppose I could squeeze you in somewhere,” Elizabeth said, pursing her lips thoughtfully. “The second waltz, perhaps?” “The second waltz it is,” he said. “I'll be interested to discover if your dancing skills are more advanced than your architectural taste.” Elizabeth responded to the little jab by turning to Holly and adopting a look of round-eyed puzzlement. “Is that an example of witty repartee, my lady?” she asked, “or is he by chance saving that for later?” “I believe,” Holly said with a soft laugh, “that Mr. Somers is attempting to provoke you.” “Really.” Elizabeth turned back to Jason. “Does that technique usually attract many girls, Mr. Somers?” “I'm not trying to attract all that many,” he said with a sudden grin. “Only one, in fact.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Christopher observed the passage of the coach from his sight and then turned his gaze to the pair of men who approached them. It was Farrell and Captain Daniels, and while the latter was smiling broadly, the former frowned in sharp disapproval at the couple. Christopher thrust out a hand in greeting to his captain, then looked to his wife’s brother. “Farrell, I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced.” Christopher smiled as he extended his hand. “I am Lord Saxton.” The young man’s eyes widened, and he searched the softly smiling visage of his sister as he mechanically accepted the hand. “Lord Saxton? The Lord Saxton?” “Aye, I am the one who wore the mask and walked with a limp,” Christopher confessed. “ ’Twas done partly to fool the thieves into believing the man they had murdered was still alive, and then too, I desired to wed your sister and found no other way. I hope you will value the friendship we began when you knew me as the cripple.” Farrell tried to grasp all the facts and put them together in their proper places. “You are really married to my sister, and you are the father of her…” Erienne blushed as she glanced hesitantly toward the sea captain, who seemed to be enjoying the whole exchange. His smile broadened as her husband gave a reply. “You needn’t sharpen your skill with firearms to avenge your sister’s honor,” Christopher replied. The teasing gleam in his eyes shone brighter. “ ’Twas quite properly made, I assure you.” -Christopher & Farrell
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
Of course I’m ready. But are you ready for your part of our agreement?” “Kereseth? Yeah,” she said. “You get us in, we’ll get him out.” “I want it done simultaneously--I don’t want to risk him getting hurt because of what I’m doing,” I said. “He’s hushflower-resistant, so it will require quite a bit to knock him out. And he’s a skilled fighter, so don’t underestimate him.” Teka nodded, slowly. And stared, chewing the inside of her cheek. “What happened? You look all…frantic, or something,” she said. “You guys have a fight?” I didn’t answer. “I don’t get it,” she said. “You’re obviously in love with him, why do you want him gone?” I considered not answering that, either. The feeling of his rough chin scratching my cheek, and his mouth, warm against my skin, haunted me still. He had kissed me. Without prompting, without cunning. I should have been happy, hopeful. But it wasn’t that easy, was it? I had dozens of reasons to give her. Akos was in danger, now that Ryzek had realized he could use him as leverage over me. Eijeh was lost, and maybe Akos would be able to accept that once he was home, with his mother and sister. Akos and I would never be equals, as long as he was Ryzek’s prisoner here, so I had to make sure he was freed. But the one closest to my heart was the reason that came tumbling out. “Being here, it’s…breaking him,” I said. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, uncomfortable. “I can’t watch anymore. I won’t.” “Yeah.” Her voice was soft. “Win or lose--you get us in, we’ll get him out. Okay?” “Okay,” I said. “Thank you.
Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1))
Why did you come here tonight?” she asked. “Other than the fact that you’ve finally come to your senses and realize you love me.” Chuckling, Grey reached up and untied the ribbons that held her mask. The pretty silk fell away to reveal the beautiful face beneath. “I missed you,” he replied honestly. “And you were right-about everything. I’m tired of drifting through life. I want to live again-with you.” A lone tear trickled down her cheek. “I think that might be the most romantic thing you’ve ever said to me.” He grinned. “I have more.” She pressed her fingers to his lips. “I’m tired of talking.” She kissed him, teasing his lips with the ripe curves of hers, sliding her tongue inside to rub against his in a sensual rhythm that had him fisting his hands in her skirts. By the time they reached Mayfair, Grey’s hair was mussed, Rose’s skirts crushed, and he was harder than an oratory competition for mutes. “I can’t believe you came,” she told him as the entered the house, arms wrapped around each other. “I’m so proud of you.” “I wouldn’t have done it without you.” She shook her head. “You did it for yourself not for me.” Perhaps that was true, and perhaps it wasn’t. He had no interest in discussing it tonight. “It’s just the beginning,” he promised. “I’m going to go wherever you want to go from now on. Within reason.” She laughed. “Of course. We can’t have you attending a musicale just to please me, can we?” She gazed up at him. “You know, I think I’m going to want to spend plenty of evenings at home as well. That time I spent out of society had some very soothing moments.” “Of course,” he agreed, thinking about all the things they could do to one another at home. Alone. “There has to be moderation.” Upstairs in their bedroom, he undressed her, unbuttoning each tiny button one by one until she sighed in exasperation. “In a hurry?” he teased. His wife got her revenge, when clad only in her chemise and stockings, she turned those nimble fingers of hers to his cravat, working the knot so slowly he thought he might go mad. She worsened the torment by slowly rubbing her hips against his thigh. His cock was so rigid he could hang clothes on it, and the need to bury himself inside her consumed him. Still, a skilled lover knows when to have patience-and a man in love knows that his woman’s pleasure comes far, far before his own. So, as ready as he was, Grey was in no hurry to let this night end, not when it might prove to be the best of his new-found life. Wearing only his trousers, he took Rose’s hand and led her to their bed. He climbed onto the mattress and pulled her down beside him, lying so that they were face-to-face. Warm fingers came up to gently touch the scar that ran down his face. Odd, but he hadn’t thought of it at all that evening. In fact, he’d almost forgot about it. “I heard you that night,” he admitted. “When you told me you loved me.” Her head tilted. “I thought you were asleep.” “No.” He held her gaze as he raised his own hand to brush the softness of her cheek. “I should have said it then, but I love you too, Rose. So much.” Her smile was smug. “I know.” She kissed him again. “Make love to me.” His entire body pulsed. “I intend to, but there’s one thing I have to do first.” Rose frowned. “What’s that?” Grey pulled the brand-new copy of Voluptuous from beneath the pillow where he’d hidden it before going to the ball. “There’s a story in here that I want to read to you.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Suggestions to Develop Self-Help Skills Self-help skills improve along with sensory processing. The following suggestions may make your child’s life easier—and yours, too! DRESSING • Buy or make a “dressing board” with a variety of snaps, zippers, buttons and buttonholes, hooks and eyes, buckles and shoelaces. • Provide things that are not her own clothes for the child to zip, button, and fasten, such as sleeping bags, backpacks, handbags, coin purses, lunch boxes, doll clothes, suitcases, and cosmetic cases. • Provide alluring dress-up clothes with zippers, buttons, buckles, and snaps. Oversized clothes are easiest to put on and take off. • Eliminate unnecessary choices in your child’s bureau and closet. Clothes that are inappropriate for the season and that jam the drawers are sources of frustration. • Put large hooks inside closet doors at the child’s eye level so he can hang up his own coat and pajamas. (Attach loops to coats and pajamas on the outside so they won’t irritate the skin.) • Supply cellophane bags for the child to slip her feet into before pulling on boots. The cellophane prevents shoes from getting stuck and makes the job much easier. • Let your child choose what to wear. If she gets overheated easily, let her go outdoors wearing several loose layers rather than a coat. If he complains that new clothes are stiff or scratchy, let him wear soft, worn clothes, even if they’re unfashionable. • Comfort is what matters. • Set out tomorrow’s clothes the night before. Encourage the child to dress himself. Allow for extra time, and be available to help. If necessary, help him into clothes but let him do the finishing touch: Start the coat zipper but let him zip it up, or button all but one of his buttons. Keep a stool handy so the child can see herself in the bathroom mirror. On the sink, keep a kid-sized hairbrush and toothbrush within arm’s reach. Even if she resists brushing teeth and hair, be firm. Some things in life are nonnegotiable.
Carol Stock Kranowitz (The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder)
In a slow, pleasant voice, Prince Alaerec asked mild questions--weather, travel, Bran’s day and how he’d filled it. I stayed silent as the three of them worked away at this limping conversation. The Renselaeus father and son were skilled enough at nothing-talk, but poor Bran stumbled over half his words, sending frequent glances at me. In the past I’d often spoken for both of us, for truth was he felt awkward with his tongue and was somewhat shy with new people, but I did not feel like speaking until I’d sorted my emotions out--and there was no time for that. To bridge his own feelings, my brother gulped at the very fine wine they offered. Soon a servant came in and announced that dinner was ready, and the old Prince rose slowly, leaning heavily on a cane. His back was straight, though, as he led the way to a dining room. Bran and I fell in behind, I treading cautiously, with my skirts bunched in either hand. Bran snickered. I looked up, saw him watching me, his face flushed. “Life, Mel, are you supposed to walk like that?” He snickered again, swallowed the rest of his third glass of wine, then added, “Looks like you got eggs in those shoes.” “I don’t know how I’m supposed to walk,” I mumbled, acutely aware of that bland-faced, elegantly dressed Marquis right behind us, and elbowed Bran in the side. “Stop laughing! If I drop these skirts, I’ll trip over them.” “Why didn’t you just ask for riding gear?” “And a coach-and-six while I was at it? This is what they gave me.” “Well, it looks right enough,” he admitted, squinting down at me. “It’s just--seeing you in one of those fancy gowns reminds me of--” I didn’t want to hear what it reminded him of. “You’re drunk as four skunks, you idiot,” I muttered, and not especially softly, either. “You’d best lay it aside until you get some food into you.” He sighed. “Right enough. I confess, I didn’t think you’d really get here--thought that there’d be another bad hit.” “Well, I don’t see we’re all that safe yet,” I said under my breath.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Kato’s expression shifts into something I could almost call a smile for the first time since I found him. He plucks the chordsagain in the beginnings of a tune I recognize, a ballad popular in southern Sinta. His fingers move with skill and subtlety over the strings. I had no idea he was musical. “Maybe we’re not meant to kill it.” He keeps playing. “Doesn’t music soothe the beast? I’ll play, you sing.” “I sound like a strangled Satyr when I sing.” He smiles. “Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.” “There’s no need for mudslinging,” I say with a huff. He chuckles softly. “I can carry a tune.” “Great!” I pat his arm. “That’ll be your job. I’ll stand back—waaaaay back—while you calm the beast. I’m confident you’ll sound as good as you look.” His chest puffs out. “How do I look?” “Terrible.” I grin. “You needed a bath, a shave, and a comb before we even set foot on the Ice Plains. Now, I can just barely make out your eyes and your nose. The rest is all”—I flap my hands around—“hair.” His chest deflates. He eyes me wryly. “I could say the same about you.” I gasp. “I grew a beard? Do you think Griffin will like it? I’ve been trying to keep it neat, but I may have picked up an eel.” Kato laughs outright, and he really is unbearably handsome. Some of the grimness evaporates from his eyes. “I was talking about this.” He gives one of my tousled waves a light tug. I once saw Griffin do that to Kaia. It’s brotherly. Affectionate. My heart squeezes in my chest. My love for Griffin is completely different, but Kato has a piece of me that no man ever had, not even Aetos. Kato sees me, and accepts. In that moment, I realize he’s slipped inside my soul right next to Eleni. They’re a blond-haired, blue-eyed, sunny pair—my light in the dark. Clearing my throat doesn’t drive away the thick lump in it, or dispel the sudden tightness, so I make a show of smoothing down my hair—a lost cause at this point. “Ah, that. It’s getting to the stage where it deserves a name. The Knotted Nest? The Twisted Tresses?” “What about the Terrible Tangle?” I nod. “That has serious possibilities.” “The Matted Mess?” he suggests. My jaw drops. “It’s not that bad!” Grinning, Kato pats my head. “Let’s get out of here.” Yes, please! “I have your clothes. They’re even dry, thanks to your Eternal Fires of the Underworld Cloak.” He quirks an eyebrow, taking the things I hand him. “That gets a name, too?” “I should think so,” I answer loftily.
Amanda Bouchet (Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #2))
See especially academia, which has effectively become a hope labor industrial complex. Within that system, tenured professors—ostensibly proof positive that you can, indeed, think about your subject of choice for the rest of your life, complete with job security, if you just work hard enough—encourage their most motivated students to apply for grad school. The grad schools depend on money from full-pay students and/or cheap labor from those students, so they accept far more master’s students than there are spots in PhD programs, and far more PhD students than there are tenure-track positions. Through it all, grad students are told that work will, in essence, save them: If they publish more, if they go to more conferences to present their work, if they get a book contract before graduating, their chances on the job market will go up. For a very limited few, this proves true. But it is no guarantee—and with ever-diminished funding for public universities, many students take on the costs of conference travel themselves (often through student loans), scrambling to make ends meet over the summer while they apply for the already-scarce number of academic jobs available, many of them in remote locations, with little promise of long-term stability. Some academics exhaust their hope labor supply during grad school. For others, it takes years on the market, often while adjuncting for little pay in demeaning and demanding work conditions, before the dream starts to splinter. But the system itself is set up to feed itself as long as possible. Most humanities PhD programs still offer little or nothing in terms of training for jobs outside of academia, creating a sort of mandatory tunnel from grad school to tenure-track aspirant. In the humanities, especially, to obtain a PhD—to become a doctor in your field of knowledge—is to adopt the refrain “I don’t have any marketable skills.” Many academics have no choice but to keep teaching—the only thing they feel equipped to do—even without fair pay or job security. Academic institutions are incentivized to keep adjuncts “doing what they love”—but there’s additional pressure from peers and mentors who’ve become deeply invested in the continued viability of the institution. Many senior academics with little experience of the realities of the contemporary market explicitly and implicitly advise their students that the only good job is a tenure-track academic job. When I failed to get an academic job in 2011, I felt soft but unsubtle dismay from various professors upon telling them that I had chosen to take a high school teaching job to make ends meet. It
Anne Helen Petersen (Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation)
You dare--?” said Voldemort again. “Yes, I dare,” said Harry, “because Dumbledore’s last plan hasn’t backfired on me at all. It’s backfired on you, Riddle.” Voldemort’s hand was trembling on the Elder Wand, and Harry gripped Draco’s very tightly. The moment, he knew, was seconds away. “That wand still isn’t working properly for you because you murdered the wrong person. Severus Snape was never the true master of the Elder Wand. He never defeated Dumbledore.” “He killed--” “Aren’t you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!” “But then, Potter, Dumbledore as good as gave me the wand!” Voldemort’s voice shook with malicious pleasure. “I stole the wand from its last master’s tomb! I removed it against its last master’s wishes! Its power is mine!” “You still don’t get it, Riddle, do you? Possessing the wand isn’t enough! Holding it, using it, doesn’t make it really yours. Didn’t you listen to Ollivander? The wand chooses the wizard…The Elder Wand recognized a new master before Dumbledore died, someone who never even laid a hand on it. The new master removed the wand from Dumbledore against his will, never realizing exactly what he had done, or that the world’s most dangerous wand had given him its allegiance…” Voldemort’s chest rose and fell rapidly, and Harry could feel the curse coming, feel it building inside the wand pointed at his face. “The true master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy.” Blank shock showed in Voldemort’s face for a moment, but then it was gone. “But what does it matter?” he said softly. “Even if you are right, Potter, it makes no difference to you and me. You no longer have the phoenix wand: We duel on skill alone…and after I have killed you, I can attend to Draco Malfoy…” “But you’re too late,” said Harry. “You’ve missed your chance. I got there first. I overpowered Draco weeks ago. I took this wand from him.” Harry twitched the hawthorn wand, and he felt the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon it. “So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does…I am the true master of the Elder Wand.” A red-gold glow burst suddenly across the enchanted sky above them as an edge of dazzling sun appeared over the sill of the nearest window. The light hit both of their faces at the same time, so that Voldemort’s was suddenly a flaming blur. Harry heard the high voice shriek as he too yelled his best hope to the heavens, pointing Draco’s wand: “Avada Kedavra!” “Expelliarmus!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Tell me, Princess Olivia... why do you have to stay in your tower?" The soft entreaty made Livia feel as if she were melting inside. She laughed unsteadily, wishing for a moment that she dared to trust him. But the habit of independence was too strong. Shaking her head, Livia approached him, expecting him to back away from the doorway. He retreated half a step, his hands still grasping the edges of the doorway, so that she couldn't help but walk into an open-armed embrace. The bonnet ribbons slipped from her fingers. "Mr. Shaw-" she began, making the mistake of looking up at him. "Gideon," he whispered. "I want to know your secrets, Olivia." A bitter half smile touched her lips. "You'll hear them sooner or later from other people." "I want to hear them from you." As Livia began to retreat into the glasshouse, Shaw deftly caught the little cloth belt of her walking dress. His long fingers hooked beneath the reinforced fabric. Unable to back away from him, Livia clamped her hand over his, while a hectic blush flooded her face. She knew that he was toying with her, and that she once might have been able to manage this situation with relative ease. But not now. When she spoke, her voice was husky. "I can't do this, Mr. Shaw." To her amazement, he seemed to understand exactly what she meant. "You don't have to do anything," he said softly. "Just let me come closer... and stay right there..." His head bent, and he found her mouth easily. The coaxing pressure of his lips made Livia sway dizzily, and he caught her firmly against him. She was being kissed by Gideon Shaw, the self-indulgent, debauched scoundrel her brother had warned her about. And oh, he was good at it. She had thought nothing would ever be as pleasurable as Amberley's kisses... but this man's mouth was warm and patient, and there was something wickedly erotic about his complete lack of urgency. He teased her gently, nudging her lips apart, the tip of his tongue barely brushing hers before it withdrew. Wanting more of those silken strokes, Livia began to strain against him, her breath quickening. He nurtured her excitement with such subtle skill that she was utterly helpless to defend against it. To her astonishment, she found herself winding her arms around his neck and pressing her breasts against the hard plane of his chest. His hand slid behind her neck, tilting her head back to expose her throat more fully. Still gentle and controlled, he kissed the fragile skin, working his way down to the hollow at the base of her throat. She felt his tongue swirl in the warm depression, and a moan of pleasure escaped her. Shaw lifted his head to nuzzle the side of her cheek, while his hand smoothed over her back. Their breaths mingled in swift puffs of heat, his hard chest moving against hers in an erratic rhythm.
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0))
There followed a three-year spectacle during which McCarthy captured enormous media attention by prophesying the imminent ruin of America and by making false charges that he then denied raising—only to invent new ones. He claimed to have identified subversives in the State Department, the army, think tanks, universities, labor unions, the press, and Hollywood. He cast doubt on the patriotism of all who criticized him, including fellow senators. McCarthy was profoundly careless about his sources of information and far too glib when connecting dots that had no logical link. In his view, you were guilty if you were or ever had been a Communist, had attended a gathering where a supposed Communist sympathizer was present, had read a book authored by someone soft on Communism, or subscribed to a magazine with liberal ideas. McCarthy, who was nicknamed Tailgunner Joe, though he had never been a tail gunner, was also fond of superlatives. By the middle of 1951, he was warning the Senate of “a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man.” McCarthy would neither have become a sensation, nor ruined the careers of so many innocent people, had he not received support from some of the nation’s leading newspapers and financing from right-wingers with deep pockets. He would have been exposed much sooner had his wild accusations not been met with silence by many mainstream political leaders from both parties who were uncomfortable with his bullying tactics but lacked the courage to call his bluff. By the time he self-destructed, a small number of people working in government had indeed been identified as security risks, but none because of the Wisconsin senator’s scattershot investigations. McCarthy fooled as many as he did because a lot of people shared his anxieties, liked his vituperative style, and enjoyed watching the powerful squirm. Whether his allegations were greeted with resignation or indignation didn’t matter so much as the fact that they were reported on and repeated. The more inflammatory the charge, the more coverage it received. Even skeptics subscribed to the idea that, though McCarthy might be exaggerating, there had to be some fire beneath the smoke he was spreading. This is the demagogue’s trick, the Fascist’s ploy, exemplified most outrageously by the spurious and anti-Jewish Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Repeat a lie often enough and it begins to sound as if it must—or at least might—be so. “Falsehood flies,” observed Jonathan Swift, “and the truth comes limping after it.” McCarthy’s career shows how much hysteria a skilled and shameless prevaricator can stir up, especially when he claims to be fighting in a just cause. After all, if Communism was the ultimate evil, a lot could be hazarded—including objectivity and conventional morality—in opposing it.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
ROUND UP A lot more can be said, but finally, this is your last lesson in this epic 30 -day quest to become a successful conversationalist. For the past 29 days, you’ve been tutored about different techniques to make things happen, and today you’ll kick start a conversation with more confidence and organization, because you are now a professional in the communication world. There are takeaways that you should not forget as you go forth as a small talk professional. You have learnt and practiced many truths about the nature and composition of small talk, but there are certain ones that should be placed next to your heart: Small talk may be seen as a waste of time, but it is actually time well spent; take note of this important point, people might want to convince and confuse you. Small talk with personal meaning orientation will scratch business shop talk off any time. Small talk should now be seen as an effective tool that is available right next to you and can be a gateway to success. You still have the chance to go back to the previous chapters you struggled with, this way, you’ll review and assimilate the important points, no one is an island of knowledge, and so I don’t expect you to have everything registered in your brain already, constant practices will bring out the best in you. Identifying your weakness is just as important as acknowledging your strength. I want to assure you that you’ll definitely excel since you’ve been able to lay hands on this book, and this how you can help others who are still in the position that you were when you started in day one. You’ve been instructed about many secrets of success, as well as the things to exploit and avoid. It’s up to you to make this permanent, and this can only be achieved if you keep following these instructions. You have to make the decision now; whether you would make use of this manual or not, but I would advise that you want it again and again as this is the only way to dedicate your spirit, soul and body to constant improvement. You definitely would have noticed some changes in you, you’re not the same person any more. One important thing is that you shouldn’t give up; try to redouble your efforts and realize that you know everything you’re supposed to know. This shouldn’t end here, endeavour to spread the word to make sure that you impact at least three people per day, this means that you would have impacted about 90 people at the end of the next 30 days and close to about 120 people in just two months. Now, you see how you can make the world a better place? It’s up to you to decide what you want and how you want it to be. Don’t waste this golden opportunity of becoming a professional in communication, you’ll go a long way and definitely be surprised at the rate at which you’ve gone in such a small time. Take time to attend to things that need attention, don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t go too soft on yourself, you’re one vessel that can’t be manipulated, so you have to be careful and sure about your status on communication skills. On the final note, I would like to congratulate you for reading this to the end, you’ve taken this course because you believe in the powers of small talks, so this shouldn’t be the last time I’m hearing from you. I would look forward to seeing your questions about any confusing aspect in the future. Till then, remain the professional that you are!
Jack Steel (Communication: Critical Conversation: 30 Days To Master Small Talk With Anyone: Build Unbreakable Confidence, Eliminate Your Fears And Become A Social Powerhouse – PERMANENTLY)
Hymn to Mercury : Continued 71. Sudden he changed his plan, and with strange skill Subdued the strong Latonian, by the might Of winning music, to his mightier will; His left hand held the lyre, and in his right The plectrum struck the chords—unconquerable Up from beneath his hand in circling flight The gathering music rose—and sweet as Love The penetrating notes did live and move 72. Within the heart of great Apollo—he Listened with all his soul, and laughed for pleasure. Close to his side stood harping fearlessly The unabashed boy; and to the measure Of the sweet lyre, there followed loud and free His joyous voice; for he unlocked the treasure Of his deep song, illustrating the birth Of the bright Gods, and the dark desert Earth: 73. And how to the Immortals every one A portion was assigned of all that is; But chief Mnemosyne did Maia's son Clothe in the light of his loud melodies;— And, as each God was born or had begun, He in their order due and fit degrees Sung of his birth and being—and did move Apollo to unutterable love. 74. These words were winged with his swift delight: 'You heifer-stealing schemer, well do you Deserve that fifty oxen should requite Such minstrelsies as I have heard even now. Comrade of feasts, little contriving wight, One of your secrets I would gladly know, Whether the glorious power you now show forth Was folded up within you at your birth, 75. 'Or whether mortal taught or God inspired The power of unpremeditated song? Many divinest sounds have I admired, The Olympian Gods and mortal men among; But such a strain of wondrous, strange, untired, And soul-awakening music, sweet and strong, Yet did I never hear except from thee, Offspring of May, impostor Mercury! 76. 'What Muse, what skill, what unimagined use, What exercise of subtlest art, has given Thy songs such power?—for those who hear may choose From three, the choicest of the gifts of Heaven, Delight, and love, and sleep,—sweet sleep, whose dews Are sweeter than the balmy tears of even:— And I, who speak this praise, am that Apollo Whom the Olympian Muses ever follow: 77. 'And their delight is dance, and the blithe noise Of song and overflowing poesy; And sweet, even as desire, the liquid voice Of pipes, that fills the clear air thrillingly; But never did my inmost soul rejoice In this dear work of youthful revelry As now. I wonder at thee, son of Jove; Thy harpings and thy song are soft as love. 78. 'Now since thou hast, although so very small, Science of arts so glorious, thus I swear,— And let this cornel javelin, keen and tall, Witness between us what I promise here,— That I will lead thee to the Olympian Hall, Honoured and mighty, with thy mother dear, And many glorious gifts in joy will give thee, And even at the end will ne'er deceive thee.' 79. To whom thus Mercury with prudent speech:— 'Wisely hast thou inquired of my skill: I envy thee no thing I know to teach Even this day:—for both in word and will I would be gentle with thee; thou canst reach All things in thy wise spirit, and thy sill Is highest in Heaven among the sons of Jove, Who loves thee in the fulness of his love. 80. 'The Counsellor Supreme has given to thee Divinest gifts, out of the amplitude Of his profuse exhaustless treasury; By thee, 'tis said, the depths are understood Of his far voice; by thee the mystery Of all oracular fates,—and the dread mood Of the diviner is breathed up; even I— A child—perceive thy might and majesty.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley)
The "kindness of giving you a body" means that, at first, our bodies are not fully matured nor are our pleasant complexions. We started in the mother's womb as just an oval spot and oblong lump, and from there we developed through the vital essence of the mother's blood and flesh. We grew through the vital essence of her food while she endured embarrassment, pain, and suffering. After we were born, from a small worm until we were fully grown, she developed our body. The "kindness of undergoing hardships for you" means that, at first, we were not wearing any clothes with all their ornamentation, did not possess any wealth, and did not bring any provisions. We just came with a mouth and stomach-empty-handed, without any material things. When we came to this place where we knew no one, she gave food when we were hungry, she gave drink when we were thirsty, she gave clothes when we were cold, she gave wealth when we had nothing. Also, she did not just give us things she did not need. Rather, she has given us what she did not dare use for herself, things she did not dare eat, drink, or wear for herself, things she did not dare employ for the happiness of this life, things she did not dare use for her next life's wealth. In brief, without looking for happiness in this life or next, she nurtured her child. She did not obtain these things easily or with pleasure. She collected them by creating various negative karmas, by sufferings and hardships, and gave them all to the child. For example, creating negative karma: she fed the child through various nonvirtuous actions like fishing, butchering, and so forth. For example, suffering: to give to the child, she accumulated wealth by working at a business or farm and so forth, wearing frost for shoes, wearing stars as a hat, riding on the horse of her legs, her hem like a whip, giving her legs to the dogs and her face to the people. Furthermore, she loved the unknown one much more than her father, mother, and teachers who were very kind to her. She watched the child with eyes of love, and kept it warm in soft cloth. She dandled the child in her ten fingers, and lifted it up in the sky. She called to it in a loving, pleasant voice, saying, "Joyful one, you who delight Mommy. Lu, lu, you happy one," and so forth. The "kindness of giving you life" means that, at first, we were not capable of eating with our mouth and hands nor were we capable of enduring all the different hardships. We were like feeble insects without strength; we were just silly and could not think anything. Again, without rejection, the mother served us, put us on her lap, protected us from fire and water, held us away from precipices, dispelled all harmful things, and performed rituals. Out of fear for our death or fear for our health, she did divinations and consulted astrologers. Through many ritual ceremonies and many other different things, in inconceivable ways, she protected the life of her child. The "kindness of showing you the world" means that, at first, we did not come here knowing various things, seeing broadly, and being talented. We could only cry and move our legs and hands. Other than that, we knew nothing. The mother taught us how to eat when we did not know how. She taught us how to wear clothes when we did not know how. She taught us how to walk when we did not know how. She taught us how to talk when we did not know how to say "Mama," or "Hi," and so forth. She taught us various skills, creative arts, and so forth. She tried to make us equal when we were unequal, and tried to make the uneven even for us. Not only have we had a mother in this lifetime, but from beginningless samsara she served as a mother countless times.
Gampopa (The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-Fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings)
Brahms uses the horns with great skill, as if calling the audience deep into a German forest. The sound carries with it an important part of Brahms' internal spiritual world. Behind the horns, the timpani pulsate softly but insistently, as if secretly waiting for something with real meaning. This is a part well worth the great care that has been lavished on its editing.
Haruki Murakami (Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa)
Stone works with you. It reveals itself. But you must strike it right. Stone does not resent the chisel. It is not being violated. Its nature is to change. Each stone has its own character. It must be understood. Handle it carefully, or it will shatter. Never let stone destroy itself. Stone gives itself to skill and to love. To kicks and curses, to hurry and dislike, it closed a hard stone veil around its soft inner nature. It could be smashed by violence but never forced to fulfill. To sympathy, it yielded: grew even more luminous and sparkling, achieved fluid forms and symmetry.
Irving Stone
He picked her up, took her into the bedroom, and placed her on the bed. Wow---it was like a floating cloud. Ramón reclaimed her lips before his mouth left hers to blaze a path down her body. Heat pooled in her belly as he made his descent. He leaned in to lavish attention on her right nipple, licking around in circle before sucking on it, and then her left. Julieta moaned as he worked his magic. Her buds hardened against the softness of his tongue. She came alive under his mouth, writhing beneath. This entire night seemed like such a fantasy, and it was only going to get better. His hand caressed her body, and he cupped her ass. She ran her hands through his thick black hair as he guided his mouth down to her panties. Julieta's core throbbed for him. The sight of his wide shoulders and strong back was almost enough to put her over the edge. She couldn't wait to ravage him---kiss down his chest, pleasure him, but Ramón was in control, and he was focused only on her. He kissed her belly and settled in between her legs. His lips pressed against her black lace panties, the heat of his mouth igniting her fire. He planted more kisses on her, focusing now on her thighs. Julieta was out of her mind with lust. "Stop teasing me." She wanted Ramón's mouth on her, and she wanted it now. She began to remove her panties, but Ramón quickly got the hint and took them off. He looked up at her, and a devilish grin graced his face. "Tell me what you want, babe." "Cómeme." "My pleasure." He began to lick her, starting with her thighs, before lapping in between her lips. Slow and sweet, deep and dirty, Julieta wanted all of him. Ramón's tongue pressed against her clit, and she gasped, a flash of pleasure overtaking her. "Ah, Ramón." "You taste so sweet." He hummed against her, and she ran her fingers through his hair, holding him as his tongue worked its magic. She cried out, desperate for release. Julieta wanted this moment---not just the intimacy, but the night---to last forever. Ramón was every fantasy she had ever had wrapped up into one---strong, sexy, sweet, and oh so skilled. His deep voice, his capable hands, his delicious mouth. Perfection. She completely surrendered to him. "Ramón." She couldn't hold back any longer, as he edged her over the top. One final lick and a wave of ecstasy crashed through her followed by shivers of joy radiating through her entire body.
Alana Quintana Albertson (Ramón and Julieta (Love & Tacos, #1))
O Lord, how wonderful in depth and height, But most in man, how wonderful Thou art! With what a love, what soft persuasive might Victorious o'er the stubborn fleshly heart, Thy tale complete of saints Thou dost provide, To fill the thrones which angels lost through pride! He lay a grovelling babe upon the ground, Polluted in the blood of his first sire, With his whole essence shatter'd and unsound, And coil'd around his heart a demon dire, Which was not of his nature, but had skill To bind and form his op'ning mind to ill. Then was I sent from heaven to set right The balance in his soul of truth and sin, And I have waged a long relentless fight, Resolved that death-environ'd spirit to win, Which from its fallen state, when all was lost, Had been repurchased at so dread a cost.
John Henry Newman (The Dream of Gerontius & Meditations on the Stations of the Cross: Newman's Meditations on The Last Things: A Newly Combined Work (Spirituality of St. John Henry Newman Book 1))
Remi’s lips parted as he panted. His eyes darkened. “Yes. I want you.” “Then what else is there? Mate me.” “Oh goddess. Yes!” Remi shuddered. “I… I’m going to bite you and take your blood. Then I’m going to make love to you—going to claim you. Take what’s mine. Then… then you’re going to do the same… exact… thing to me.” Holy. Fuck. Emotions flooded me, but I couldn’t seem to grasp any one thing. Desire, anxiety, confusion, need. They were all there. I wanted him. I wanted him desperately, but all this talk about making love… I had never made love. Oh, I fucked. A lot, actually. I couldn’t count the men and women who’d been in my bed. None of them I made love to, though. I damn sure hadn’t given my ass to any one of them either. Remi would be my first. “Can’t wait. Remi, I’ve never….” “I know. You’ve never… and my first experience was less than pleasant. What a pair we make.” Remi kissed my cockhead. “But I will do everything I can to make sure you like it.” My partners always came—I made sure of it and prided myself on my skills. I often took over and, well… controlled the whole thing. But for once I was going to lie back and let someone else do the work. No, not someone else. Remi. I was giving him control. Remi explored as much as he wanted, and I didn’t try to take over. He purred softly as he nosed my cock. I clenched the bedding. Oh God, please just…. He licked the tip, and my eyes rolled. I liked getting my cock sucked as well as the next dude, but this…. I had never been so desperate to have a mouth on me.
M.A. Church (It Takes Two to Tango (Fur, Fangs, and Felines #3))
Why is it all being done?” he thought. “Why am I standing here, making them work? What are they all so busy for, trying to show their zeal before me? What is that old Matrona, my old friend, toiling for? (I doctored her, when the beam fell on her in the fire)” he thought, looking at a thin old woman who was raking up the grain, moving painfully with her bare, sun-blackened feet over the uneven, rough floor. “Then she recovered, but today or tomorrow or in ten years she won’t; they’ll bury her, and nothing will be left either of her or of that smart girl in the red jacket, who with that skillful, soft action shakes the ears out of their husks. They’ll bury her and this piebald horse, and very soon too,” he thought, gazing at the heavily moving, panting horse that kept walking up the wheel that turned under him. “And they will bury her and Fyodor the thrasher with his curly beard full of chaff and his shirt torn on his white shoulders—they will bury him. He’s untying the sheaves, and giving orders, and shouting to the women, and quickly setting straight the strap on the moving wheel. And what’s more, it’s not them alone—me they’ll bury too, and nothing will be left. What for?” He thought this, and at the same time looked at his watch to reckon how much they thrashed in an hour. He wanted to know this so as to judge by it the task to set for the day.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
You've been keeping in touch with the reporter?" "He came by the diner the other day. And that reminds me, you told me he was a by-the-book detective. Calhoun has evidence to the contrary." He squared his shoulders and faced me head-on. Betsy was pushed out of the middle. "What are you implying?" he spat. "Hey, y'all," Betsy interjected. "I'm not implying anything. I just want to know if you still think Detective Thornton is a pristine detective." "Do you always believe everything people tell you?" Alex's jaw clenched. "No." I bared my teeth. If he wanted a fight, he'd certainly get one! He took a step closer to me. "You believe the reporter?" I jerked my head. His neck was corded and his arms tensed. Boy, was he angry. "Some asshole floats into town with tall tales, dangling bait in front of your pretty little face, and you just bite? You've known him for two damn seconds. Me, you've known your whole damn life." "Um... y'all," Betsy said louder. "Where is all this anger comin' from?" I shrieked. "Somebody is going around murdering people. And since the department had to march to the tune of a crooked cop, I felt I had to do something." That was a grave allegation I honestly didn't believe. He had ruffled my feathers and I was lashing out. "And your keen investigative skills led you to believe I was dirty? Perhaps you think I'm the one going around killing people?" His voice teetered on unhinged. "Don't be stupid," I said, more calmly. He felt patronized, that was beyond obvious. Guilt washed over me like a tidal wave and I was searching for the appropriate words to apologize effectively, when he said, "What's with you and older men? Daddy issues?" I gasped. "How dare you?" That was the ugliest thing he could have ever said in this moment. And he'd said it. His facial expression changed, and he took a step forward. I took one backward. Eddie's commanding voice boomed, "Enough." "I tried to warn y'all," Betsy said softly.
Kate Young (Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mystery, #1))
Softlogic Academy is well aware of the fact that a lack of soft skills and aptitude skills are contaminating the IT career dream of youth. Thus free training on soft skills, interview skills, and aptitude skills are offered along with every corporate IT training course.
Only as a young man playing pool all night for money had he been able to find what he wanted in life, and then only briefly. People thought pool hustling was corrupt and sleazy, worse than boxing. But to win at pool, to be a professional at it, you had to deliver. In a business you could pretend that skill and determination had brought you along, when it had only been luck and muddle. A pool hustler did not have the freedom to believe that. There were well-paid incompetents everywhere living rich lives. They arrogated to themselves the plush hotel suites and Lear Jets that America provided for the guileful and lucky far more than it did for the wise. You could fake and bluff and luck your way into all of it. Hotel suites overlooking Caribbean private beaches. Bl*wj*bs from women of stunning beauty. Restaurant meals that it took four tuxedoed waiters to serve, with the sauces just right. The lamb or duck in tureen sliced with precise and elegant thinness, sitting just so on the plate, the plate facing you just so on the heavy white linen, the silver fork heavy gleaming in your manicured hand below the broad cloth cuff and mother of pearl buttons. You could get that from luck and deceit even while causing the business or the army or the government that supported you to do poorly at what it did. The world and all its enterprises could slide downhill through stupidity and bad faith. But the long gray limousines would still hum through the streets of New York, of Paris, of Moscow, of Tokyo. Though the men who sat against the soft leather in back with their glasses of 12-year-old scotch might be incapable of anything more than looking important, of wearing the clothes and the hair cuts and the gestures that the world, whether it liked to or not, paid for, and always had paid for. Eddie would lie in bed sometimes at night and think these things in anger, knowing that beneath the anger envy lay like a swamp. A pool hustler had to do what he claimed to be able to do. The risks he took were not underwritten. His skill on the arena of green cloth, cloth that was itself the color of money, could never be only pretense. Pool players were often cheats and liars, petty men whose lives were filled with pretensions, who ran out on their women and walked away from their debts. But on the table with the lights overhead beneath the cigarette smoke and the silent crowd around them in whatever dive of a billiard parlor at four in the morning, they had to find the wherewithal inside themselves to do more than promise excellence. Under whatever lies might fill the life, the excellence had to be there, it had to be delivered. It could not be faked. But Eddie did not make his living that way anymore.
Walter Tevis (The Color of Money (Eddie Felson, #2))
The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career! —Earl Nightingale
John Z. Sonmez (Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual)
He thought of the words of the hymn he had always loved: Help of the helpless, O abide with me. He knew one could say - perhaps Rhonda Skillings might say - that this was merely the plea of a frightened child reaching up in the dark to hold the hand of Parent God. But Tyler, softly humming the tune as he stood beneath the elm - fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens, Lord with me abide - thought God existed in the hymn itself, in the yearning and sorrowful acknowledgment of the loneliness and fears that arrived in life.
Elizabeth Strout (Abide with Me)
that financial success is not a hard science. It’s a soft skill, where how you behave is more important than what you know.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money)
O the Swiss and the Swedes Are at it all right A bore of a war And no end in sight They’re killing each other With unlikely skill Who’d have believed it Neutral and Nil It’s a bore What a bore It’s a bore of a war Logically sound But soft at the core When Vienna surrenders To Cambridge symbolic The null class is Z The peace terms a frolic O bore What a bore It’s a bore of a war Deft but bereft Of a Renaissance roar VOICE 1: What’s black and white, left or right, growing little and has no middle? O bring on a genuine algebra war Del Ferro, Fontana, Cardano, Fior None of these formalist postulate sets Less of this Either and Or Fourth dimension Yorkshireman and versifying Jew Pedagogic modern logic came too late for you One is one, two is one, three is two anew Theory of invariants Turbulence serene Higher space contains a trace Of double umbral sheen (...) O recite a litany in extremis To the peaceful end of logical premise Our Lady of Inferred Entities Prey on us Wielder of Occam’s Razor Spare our multiplicities Expounder of the Unthinkable Have mercy on our system of signs Elucidator of Logical Form Guide our superstitions Annihilator of Tautologies Bless our refrains Language Inviolate Forgive us our stammer
Don DeLillo (Ratner's Star)
In design school, professional practices are usually grouped together and referred to as “soft skills,” taught in something called a “portfolio class” by whichever professor drew the short straw that semester. Unpacking professional practice is less glamorous than holding forth about creativity. To be fair, I doubt many high school seniors are excited to choose a design school based on how well they teach professional services. I certainly wasn’t. We choose design schools based on how amazingly creative and special they make us feel.
Mike Monteiro (Ruined by Design: How Designers Destroyed the World, and What We Can Do to Fix It)
And then someone asks if Callum is as skilled in the bedroom as he is in the kitchen. That's when my blood turns to magma. I slam my hand on top of the metal countertop. "Listen the hell up!" My shout silences every last one of the vloggers. The high schooler looks on with a shocked expression and mutters, "Yes, ma'am." "My personal life isn't up for discussion. I'm also not interested in name-dropping any of you in a commercial when you've been harassing me and my customers every day since the festival. I'm here to cook and serve food, and you goddamn piranhas are crowding around my truck, making it impossible for my mother and me to serve our customers. Either get the hell out of the way so my customers can order, or else." There's silence, followed by soft mutters. A scrawny, white guy in the back of the crowd tucks his phone into his pocket and crosses his arms, stubborn written across his frown. "Or else what?" Leaning my head back, I puff out all the hot air pent up in my body. He's the pissant who asked about Callum's bedroom performance. I swipe a bottle of lemon-lime soda from the counter and give it a dozen of the most violent shakes I can manage. I stomp out of the truck and up to the offending vlogger. Even when I'm standing two inches from him, he has the audacity to smirk. But when I twist off the cap, a stream of soda smashes him square in the face. My frustration dissipates with each violent burst of carbonated liquid.
Sarah Smith (Simmer Down)
In a world where intelligence is hyper-competitive and many previous technical skills have become automated, competitive advantages tilt toward nuanced and soft skills—like communication, empathy, and, perhaps most of all, flexibility.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
booming tone is often seen as either boisterous or confident, while a quiet and softer tone is seen as shy and reserved. This is also important, especially when you are responding to other people. If you tend to shout out your words, you are perceived as a person who lacks control. But if you are too soft-spoken, then you are perceived as someone who generally lacks confidence. As such, your only solution here is to be aware of your tone and voice. If you are not sure what tone to use in a situation, use something calm and collected. This is vital in business meetings and important deals. The FBI has been using the calm and collected voice to diffuse high-tension situations like a hostage-taking. By lowering their voice to something calm and non-threatening, they tend to help in calming the hostage-taker, so they don’t do something drastic. Use this voice when approaching potential contacts
James W. Williams (Communication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person)
Most software developers starting out in their careers make a few huge mistakes. The biggest of those mistakes, by far, is not treating their software development career as a business. Don’t be fooled; when you set out into the world to write code for a living, you’re no different than the blacksmith of old times setting up shop in a medieval town. Times may have changed, and most of us work for a company, but our skills and our trade belong to us and we can always choose to set up shop somewhere else.
John Z. Sonmez (Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual)
It’s better to think of an employer as a customer for your business of developing software.
John Z. Sonmez (Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual)
The service you provide is to create software. Just thinking about what you offer as a business in this way has a profound impact on how you view your career. Businesses are constantly revising their products and improving them. You should too. The service you provide as a software developer has a tangible value, and it’s your job to communicate not only what that value is, but what makes it different than the offerings of thousands of other software developers out there.
John Z. Sonmez (Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual)
Every step you take without a clear direction is a wasted step. Don’t randomly walk through life without a purpose for your career. Remember, not making a decision IS a decision, it’s just a decision to do nothing—and it’s usually the worst decision you can make.
John Z. Sonmez (Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual)
அறிவு சம்பந்தப்பட்டவை அல்ல. எல்லாமே ‘Soft Skills.
Soma. Valliappan (Emotional Intelligence (Tamil))
No, you do not understand me now, but later on you will remember what I am saying to you at this moment. A day comes, and it comes early for many, when there is an end to mirth, for behind everything one looks at one sees death. You do not even understand the word. At your age it means nothing; at mine it is terrible. Yes, one understands it all at once, one does not know how or why, and then everything in life changes its aspect. For fifteen years I have felt death assail me as if I bore within me some gnawing beast. I have felt myself decaying little by little, month by month, hour by hour, like a house crumbling to ruin. Death has disfigured me so completely that I do not recognize myself. I have no longer anything about me of myself—of the fresh, strong man I was at thirty. I have seen death whiten my black hairs, and with what skillful and spiteful slowness. Death has taken my firm skin, my muscles, my teeth, my whole body of old, only leaving me a despairing soul, soon to be taken too. Every step brings me nearer to death, every moment, every breath hastens his odious work. To breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work, dream, everything we do is to die. To live, in short, is to die. I now see death so near that I often want to stretch my arms to push it back. I see it everywhere. The insects crushed on the path, the falling leaves, the white hair in a friend's head, rend my heart and cry to me, "Behold it!" It spoils for me all I do, all I see, all that I eat and drink, all that I love; the bright moonlight, the sunrise, the broad ocean, the noble rivers, and the soft summer evening air so sweet to breathe.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
financial success is not a hard science. It’s a soft skill, where how you behave is more important than what you know.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money)
Dad went back to the front, taking Jovie with him, and Kye cornered me. Backing me up until my ass bumped into one of the workshop tables. “You have no sense of personal space, do you?” Not that I minded. Especially when he trapped me there, planting soft kisses against my throat and shoulder. “We could try for a workshop-table-baby.” His laughter rumbled in his chest, making my toes curl. “How about it?” It took an extreme amount of willpower to not let his kisses distract me. “First, we’re not trying for any kind of baby while Dad’s here.” He grunted, twisting the ends of my hair around his fingers. “We could come back after hours.” My brows hiked into my hairline. “Why would we come all the way back into town when we have a perfectly comfortable bed. And kitchen. And living room. And the armchair that we still have yet to christen.” We shared a wicked smirk before I gave him a quick, chaste kiss and whispered, “I don’t want a chisel poking my ass while you fuck me. Not sexy.” “Armchair baby it is,” he sighed, like he was accepting the next best option. “Should I at least buy you a drink first? Soften you up a bit?” “Hmmm,” I hummed, reaching up to tap his chin with my index finger. “Well, if you insist. How about hot cocoa?” He shook his head, laughter dancing in his eyes, and I had to keep myself from getting swept away by his gaze. “I know just the place.” Kye donned his coat and slid his hand into mine. We made our way to The Bowl, ordered our drinks, and met at the windows where, almost exactly one year ago, I’d dabbed whipped cream off his nose. I reached up now to do the same after he took his first sip, because he still didn’t have the skills to drink The Bowl’s monstrosity properly. “I’m starting to think you do it on purpose,” I accused, balling up the napkin. I’d never openly admit it was one of my favorite things. “Holly?” “Yes?” “Shut up and forking kiss me.” And I did. I forking kissed the big, Krampus-looking, kindhearted, funny, foul-mouthed, available all-months-of-the-year alien. It just happened to be another one of my favorite things.
Poppy Rhys (While You Were Creeping (Women of Dor Nye))
It’s a soft skill, where how you behave is more important than what you know.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
He had buried all softer emotions in favor of the combat soldier's two main preoccupations-duty and survival. For skillfully and without heroism, he had done his duty. And inflexibly, he had willed to survive. For what? So that one day he could cease to be a fearing, hating, expertly dangerous human being. So that one day he might forcibly lay hands on the hard husk and tear it off and restore to sunlight that young poet of life, a generously emotional, happy, affirmative creature. Johnny Shawnessy of Raintree County. So that one day he might sleep on a soft bed, eat good food, wear civilian clothes, walk freely where he pleased, work at some innocent task that didn't have homicide as its ultimate objective. So that one day-one impossibly remote, breath-taking day-he might put his arms around the supple waist of a young woman who loved him and whom he loved and kiss her upturned face and feel her bare arms on his shoulders.
Ross Lockridge Jr. (Raintree County)
More than domain expertise, what mattered was having work experience at all. It’s the soft skills like managing a team, hiring and firing, raising money, and working the Rolodex of connections that made a difference. Founders
Ali Tamaseb (Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups)
The root chakra is responsible for the processes of life and the place in physical reality to provide a brief overview. The sacral chakra reflects on imagination, individuality, addiction and the child within. The solar plexus talks about your personal power and the way you live your life. The chakra of the heart is responsible for your ability to be soft and loving towards yourself and others, to remain protected while still open and loving. The throat chakra speaks to your authenticity and good communication skills. The third eye chakra is centered on your intuition and your ability to balance both physical reality and mental chatter; and the crown chakra is about being able to see more than one perspective and be open minded.
Adrian Satyam (Energy Healing: 6 in 1: Medicine for Body, Mind and Spirit. An extraordinary guide to Chakra and Quantum Healing, Kundalini and Third Eye Awakening, Reiki and Meditation and Mindfulness.)
Few have cared to appreciate that the job of a switchboard operator demanded a high level of communication skills and an exceptional grip over the English language, besides decent telephone manners. This is a major reason why switchboard operating was one of the first careers completely dominated by women. Yet, the lady telephone operator has been parodied, often in bad taste, in the media, in films and on television soaps. One important reason why women were preferred is because they talked in soft tones, sometimes in whispers and had excellent telephone manners. This has been a trait injected into the female of the species almost from the time she learns how to speak. Imposing silence on women is one of the most invisible forms of violence perpetrated on girls and women across the world.
Shoma A. Chatterji (The Female Gaze: Essays on Gender, Society and Media)
In our time, we do not have an all-powerful state forcing this on us. This dictatorship is far more subtle. Under soft totalitarianism, the media, academia, corporate America, and other institutions are practicing Newspeak and compelling the rest of us to engage in doublethink every day. Men have periods. The woman standing in front of you is to be called “he.” Diversity and inclusion means excluding those who object to ideological uniformity. Equity means treating persons unequally, regardless of their skills and achievements, to achieve an ideologically correct result.
Rod Dreher (Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents)
It seems that what is important is having certain soft skills, like the ability to hire a group of talented people, managing them, building and maintaining strategic connections and partnerships across industries, excelling at sales, and thinking about problems in the right way—rather than knowing the technicalities of a specific industry sector. In
Ali Tamaseb (Super Founders: What Data Reveals About Billion-Dollar Startups)
as soft skills, que são as habilidades comportamentais como comunicação interpessoal, liderança e criatividade, e que moldam efetivamente os diferenciais de uma pessoa, passam a ser enfatizadas.
Marcelo Pimenta (Economia da Paixão: Como ganhar dinheiro e viver mais e melhor fazendo o que ama)
Robbie and I disagreed about guns. He believed that owning one was his right as an American, which he must’ve picked up when the Panthers out in Oakland were arming themselves. That was screamingly funny when I thought about it: a black man, one who’d been locked up twice, clinging to the Second Amendment. The strongest gun laws the country had ever passed were to prevent the men who’d inspired him, the Oakland Panthers, from having guns. If he’d been a little more intentional about his stance, it would have been subversive. But he wasn’t. He owned a gun because he liked them, and thought he was entitled to do so. Pop raised me to believe that guns weren’t for civilians. I think that stance was too soft; I think he shouldn’t have taught us to shoot. It wasn’t a beneficial skill, or even a neutral one. It was knowledge that had attracted and bred the violence in my life.
Lauren Wilkinson (American Spy)
I close my eyes and grit my teeth. My gut is screaming, no, no, no, yet my Highlander heart is bleeding for this woman. I read her as without guile, highly intelligent, self-possessed, socially inept, book-worldly yet life-innocent. If she’s telling me the truth, and I’m ninety-nine point nine percent certain of my truth-telling skills, everything she knows about life she learned from books. She certainly behaves as if that’s the case. Still, I need to know what her true form is. That’s nonnegotiable. If she wants trust from me, she’s going to have to fully reveal herself. “Please don’t put me back in a bottle. Not just yet. Let me live a little. Please,” she pleads softly. “I’m begging you. I’d settle for just a tiny slice of life. I can’t even imagine it. I’ve dreamed of it for so long.” I open my eyes and think, I am so fucked because now I can’t possibly make her go back into a bottle. If I force her in and cork her off, returning her to her miserable existence without even the solace of her Library, I’ll feel like the biggest shit in my kingdom, and I rather enjoy Sean owning that role. “Will you obey me if I let you stay out of it?
Karen Marie Moning (Kingdom of Shadow and Light (Fever, #11))
Soft skills require a lot of hard work.
David Bradford (Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships with Family, Friends, and Colleagues)
A fishing life changes and everyday offers the promise of a new experience. To the dedicated angler, fishing is not sport or recreation. It is discipline, serious and ever changing. Sure, there are basic rules to follow, but understanding and developing the necessary skills isn't dependent on strict adherence to convention. Fish are moving feast, a shimmering smorgasbord of life trying to eat in a harsh environment that is both different and the same @
Jadon Wilder
in essence, that’s what success is: not achieving something but becoming someone.
William Wyatt (Emotional Intelligence: Quick Guide to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence and Start Applying It Today (Communication Skills, Soft Skills, Interpersonal Skills, People Skills, Leadership Books Series))
He was a soft-hearted man when it came to anyone he felt was less practically talented than himself, and this covered a lot of people. He would help a man split wood, build a house, or cut a hole in the right place in the ice, not to show off his superior skills but to save the man time. He did these things out of pure helpfulness, with kindness thrown in.
Kathleen Winter (Annabel)
A Role Model for Managers of Managers Gordon runs a technical group with seven managers reporting to him at a major telecommunications company. Now in his late thirties, Gordon was intensely interested in “getting ahead” early in his career but now is more interested in stability and doing meaningful work. It’s worth noting that Gordon has received some of the most positive 360 degree feedback reports from supervisors, direct reports, and peers that we’ve ever seen. This is not because Gordon is a “soft touch” or because he’s easy to work for. In fact, Gordon is extraordinarily demanding and sets high standards both for his team and for individual performance. His people, however, believe Gordon’s demands are fair and that he communicates what he wants clearly and quickly. Gordon is also very clear about the major responsibility of his job: to grow and develop managers. To do so, he provides honest feedback when people do well or poorly. In the latter instance, however, he provides feedback that is specific and constructive. Though his comments may sting at first, he doesn’t turn negative feedback into a personal attack. Gordon knows his people well and tailors his interactions with them to their particular needs and sensitivities. When Gordon talks about his people, you hear the pride in his words and tone of voice. He believes that one of his most significant accomplishments is that a number of his direct reports have been promoted and done well in their new jobs. In fact, people in other parts of the organization want to work for Gordon because he excels in producing future high-level managers and leaders. Gordon also delegates well, providing people with objectives and allowing them the freedom to achieve the objectives in their own ways. He’s also skilled at selection and spends a great deal of time on this issue. For personal reasons (he doesn’t want to relocate his family), Gordon may not advance much further in the organization. At the same time, he’s fulfilling his manager-of-managers role to the hilt, serving as a launching pad for the careers of first-time managers.
Ram Charan (The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership))
Surely there is someone who would see you as a man and not as a war machine.” “I am one in the same.” She shook her head. “Untrue,” she countered firmly, softly. “Who you are as a man is completely different than who you are as a warrior.” He sat back, one big arm propped up on a bended knee. “Explain.” She looked thoughtful. “Well,” she said, “as a warrior, you are bent on death. I saw you in the battle today and you were focused, alert, and skilled.  That is the man they call the Black Angel.  But right now, as you sit here and converse with me, you are kind, interested, and thoughtful. You are concerned for my shoulder and concerned for me. To me, that speaks highly of who Brandt de Russe is as a man. You are more than the Bringer of Death; have a heart and a soul as well.
Kathryn Le Veque (Lord of War: Black Angel (De Russe Legacy, #1))
Thankfully, over time, I have come to realize those skills initially dismissed as “soft”—communicating a vision, providing feedback, or leading a team—are fundamental to everything we try to do in business. You don't create a successful, sustainable, and scalable organization unless you can engage the people within the organization to work together. The “best friend at work” from the
Morag Barrett (Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships)
Your interpretation of events either empower you or disempower you. Even the worst experiences of life, that feel like a curse, can be re-framed to find the silver lining or blessing contained within them.
Joeel and Natalie Rivera (Emotional Intelligence in the Work Place: Soft skills to control your emotions, prevent conflict, reduce stress, influence, and communicate effectively.)
The discovery of your purpose (the reason for your existence) generates the passion and dedication it takes to pursue and fulfill it...
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
5 Tips for Mirroring Others 1. Body language. When they smile, you smile. When they lean back in their chair, you lean back in your chair. When they cross their legs or fold their arms, you do the same. 2. Vocabulary or specific words. Notice their language and the words they choose and use—their keywords, expressions, expletives, or phrases. 3. Communication style. People receive, process, and deliver information in different ways. Notice whether someone is results driven or relaxed, emotional or pragmatic, talkative or observant. Recognizing their style will enable you to adapt your style to theirs to build rapport and improve communication. 4. Vocal style. a. Speech rate—If they are talking fast, you talk fast. If they are talking slowly, you talk slowly. Consider rhythm, pace, and tempo. b. Volume—If they are speaking quietly and softly, match their volume. c. Tone—Mirror their emotion, tone, and pitch. You can even seek to mirror their grammar and dialect, as long as it is discreet and respectful.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Body Language: 8 Ways to Optimize Non-Verbal Communication for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #3))
In the long run, relationships/partnerships get falter and ultimately break when there are no shared values, or one or both parties fail to live by the shared values.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Anyway, as soon as I got accepted to Grant this past summer my friend had doubtsabout Old Blue’s skills in the snow. She was rear wheel drive, you know. So I sold her and bought his aunt’s old car. It’s all-wheel drive, so it should be good when we get a big snow, right?” Keller shakes his head. “When did you get so soft, Katie? I thought you were a strong, independent woman. You’re scared of snow?” I widened my eyes for effect. “Dude, I’m not soft, I’m from Southern California. I was raised in captivity; I’ve never seen snow in the wild.
Kim Holden (Bright Side (Bright Side, #1))
no place on Earth had more fantastically big walls in a more gloriously accessible location than Yosemite. In the 1940s and 50s, a motley collection of climbing personalities descended on the park to put their skills to the test. Among the new arrivals was a 47-year-old Swiss ironworker named John Salathé, who pioneered an important new piece of climbing equipment: the steel piton. This strong metal spike, fashioned with an eye-hole at one end, could be hammered into cracks to provide a safe, secure anchor for ropes. Although pitons already existed in Europe, they were made with soft, malleable iron that often buckled in Yosemite’s hard granite cracks. Salathé’s steel pitons, by contrast, held strong and could be reused, which meant carrying much less equipment on big climbs. Salathé then unleashed another revolutionary concept in Yosemite: the multi-day climb. After climbing all day, Salathé spent the night strapped to the face of the rock. No longer constrained by equipment or daylight, climbers could rise as high as their bodies would take them.
James Kaiser (Yosemite: The Complete Guide: Yosemite National Park (Color Travel Guide))
As we all are unique, so is the greatness of each person. Only the individual knows whether he/she is fulfilled.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Without visionaries, humanity would have been still competing with other animals and living in cages...
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Without those who tapped into the invisible world, humanity would have remained in the dark and backward...
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Review history, visionaries advanced our civilization. Without them, we'd have been still in a barbaric and chaotic world. Thank you!!!
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
If we only depend on our physical eyes to measure our potential, we are doomed. We cannot value ourselves any better than other animals.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Without vision, we can't fully comprehend the unlimited potential packed within. When that happens, we can't attain greatness- our birthright.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Here our sexy masseuses are highly skilled when it comes to performing nuru massage. They will slide all over your body in a rhythmic, gradual manner while her soft hands play with you to allow you to release the moment you’re close to the point of best moment. Our expert highly qualified masseuses will ease out the tension in your body.
It makes a beautiful sound.” “You can play it?” I’m impressed. My dad tried me on his drum once or twice, but it wasn’t a skill that came naturally to me. “A little.” “How did you learn?” “A woman in my compound was teaching me before she passed. Now I’m teaching myself. This was hers.” “Can I see it?” We catch eyes for an instant, his as deeply brown as mine but the lashes thicker, making his expression gentle. I look away, at his hands where they grip the edge of the case. “Of course you can.” Something about the way he says it—soft—makes my face hot.
Olivia A. Cole (A Conspiracy of Stars (Faloiv, #1))
You have already manifested what you know. What you have known thus far could only take you this far. If you’re not happy and satisfied where you are in life, your career, and business, go to the next level. Unfortunately, you cannot go to the next height without discovering what you haven’t known.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
What you don’t commit to finding out, you don’t deserve to know. What you don’t uncover, you cannot manifest.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Behavior Rehearsal So far, we have used imagery to place ourselves in ideal relaxed settings. But mental imagery is also a valuable component in behavior rehearsal—picturing yourself succeeding at a stressful task. For example, a basketball player can imagine shooting the ball into the basket as a way of improving his or her performance. A golfer envisions putting the ball right into the hole as a means of practice. Both are relying on imagery to improve their games. When should you use imagery? In gearing up for public speaking class, Alan used imagery quite effectively—putting himself in front of a group, giving his speech successfully—just after doing the relaxation exercise we just went through, because the mind and body are more receptive to imagery in a relaxed state. I myself use imagery in preparing to give a speech—I find it useful to picture myself giving the speech, and to imagine the reaction of the audience. Again, practice makes perfect, and mental imagery offers an opportunity for a mental dress rehearsal of the situation you wish to confront. To add behavior rehearsal into your daily relaxation ritual, try the following: When you get close to the end of the relaxation exercise, when you know you are relaxed—right when you close your eyes—picture yourself in a group situation that so far has not been a success for you. Choose a scenario in which you would like to have success that does seem possible in the long term, such as a date, a work or school assignment, and so on. Walk into the room. Envision yourself as relaxed as you are now. You are in control. Your muscles are soft and loose, your face is relaxed, maybe even smiling. Your hands are warm and dry. Your breathing is even. If you get nervous as the scenario continues, pause to refocus your breathing and put your muscles at ease, pulling them back into a relaxed state. Experiment with behavior rehearsal as often as you like—this is a new skill, and there is no substitute for practice.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
Because of the unlimited potential packed within each person, attaining greatness should have been the norm, not an oddity.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
Poised Positioning • Be mindful of how you use your body to communicate. • Be fully present in the moment. • Be thoughtful and gracious in your actions. • Be fluid and elegant in your movements. • Express flow—walk in freedom and spontaneity. • Develop an unshakeable sense of authentic inner confidence and certainty. • Develop a deep respect for others. • Move slower and more deliberately. • Walk in integrity, class, and modesty. • Smile kindly and laugh softly. • Become a student of manners and etiquette.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Body Language: 8 Ways to Optimize Non-Verbal Communication for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #3))
In my view, you can increase your career options if you start by studying a “hard” subject instead of a “soft” one. A hard subject is one that is more rigorous, where there is generally a right answer and a wrong answer, such as physics. You should learn hard subjects first because they teach you the fundamental skills that are needed to evaluate softer subjects. For example, if you first obtain a rigorous education in statistical methods, you will have some of the tools necessary to analyze the impact of many public policies. Furthermore, softer subjects are easier to learn on your own. You might be able to pick up the main ideas of a certain field of sociology by reading some papers, but you probably can’t learn the fundamentals of neurophysiology without formal instruction.
Robert C. Pozen (Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours)
I, the most knowing hand in Granta — I, who if I did pique myself on any one thing, piqued myself on my skill and knowledge in managing the beau sexe — I, to be told I did not know women! I pocketed the affront, however, as best I might, for I felt a growing respect for the Colonel, with his myriad talents, his brilliant reputation, and mysterious reserve; and told him I did not believe De Vigne cared an atom more for the Trefusis than for twenty others before her. “I hope so,” he answered; “but that chess they are playing yonder ends too often in checkmate. However, we will not prophesy so bad a fate for our friend; for worse he could not have than to fall into those soft hands. By the way, though, her hands are not soft, they are not the hands of a lady.
Ouida (Delphi Collected Works of Ouida (Illustrated) (Delphi Series Eight Book 26))
You would have been impressed, Luke. She never flinched. She knew all the right things to do and remained perfectly calm. Efficient, skilled, confident.” Mel smiled. “She’s going to be an incredible nurse. You should be so proud of her.” “I am,” Luke replied. “And not at all surprised.” He draped an arm around her shoulders. And Shelby thought, Oh God. I have to get this over with. She didn’t need advice from Mel or anyone else. She’d given him every chance, but he never said a word about how he felt about her, not a syllable about wanting a life with her. She had to make herself move on before she couldn’t. Tears gathered in her eyes. “Let me finish up here, Luke. I’m going to follow Mel and Cameron back to the clinic, help clean up the Humvee, restock it. I’ll catch up with you later.” “Are you crying?” he asked softly. “I might be overwhelmed.” He frowned slightly at the glistening in her eyes. “Sure,” he said. He kissed her forehead. “Take your time.
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
My parents were two-faced. To me, they showed no mercy. They preached from theBook of Fallen Children - Commandment 1: The Child Is Always Ungrateful. At eighteen, the free ride would stop, and I'd be dumped into the mess of the world. But in their private moments, they were soft, cowed by love. They critiqued their own parenting skills and thought of all the ways the could help their kids get ahead.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood)
Next was the foursome I had been bracing myself to face all along: Tamara, Savona, the newly met Lady Elenet, and the Marquis of Shevraeth. Very conscious of Olervec’s pale eyes following me, I forced myself to greet the Marquis first: “Good morning,” I said, as if we’d been talking just the day before. “How much I wish to thank you for putting me in the way of finding the proper books for my project.” Again that laughter was evident in his glance as he sketched a bow. “If you have any further questions,” he said, “it would be my pleasure to accommodate you.” “I’d be honored.” I curtsied, my hands making the fan gesture of Unalloyed Gratitude. The shadow of humor in the corners of his mouth deepened. Then I turned to the others. Savona grinned at me, one hand moving slightly in the fencer’s salute of a good hit. I fought the urge to blush as Tamara murmured, “You’ll be in the race tomorrow?” “Of course,” I said, lifting my hands. “I have to prove whether my wins last time were luck, skill--or the kindness of well-wishers.” Tamara smiled a little. “And once you’ve proved which it is?” “Why then I either celebrate, commiserate--or fulminate!” They all laughed at that, even the quiet Elenet, though her laughter was so soft I scarcely heard it. I turned to Shevraeth and said, “Will you be there?” “I hope to be,” he said. “Riding your gray?” “Is that a challenge?” he replied with a hint of a smile. I opened my mouth, then a stray memory brought back our private wager before we reached Athanarel and nothing could prevent the heat that burned up my neck into my face; so I quickly bent over, making a business of ordering one of the flounces on my gown. After I had straightened up I’d have an excuse for a red face, or at least enough of one to pass the notice of the three who (presumably) knew nothing of that unpaid wager. “I think,” I said, retying a ribbon and patting it into place, then unbending with what I hoped was an expression of nonchalance, “I’d better find out if my luck is due to skill or kindness before I make any pledges.” “Very well,” he said. “A friendly race will suffice.” When the conversation came to a natural close, I retreated to Nee’s side and finished the rest of the picnic with her and Bran.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Dieter said softly, 'My doctor's love is as important to me as his chemotherapy, but he does not know.' Dieter's statement meant a great deal to me. I had not known either. For a long time, I had carried the belief that as a physician my love didn't matter and the only thing of value I had to offer was my knowledge and skill. My training had argued me out of my truth. Medicine is as close to love as it is to science, and its relationships matter even at the edge of life itself.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
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her wrist, warm and fragile, tugging it away from the other man. Instantly she drew a sharp, hissing breath. Her head swung round, eyes widening and pupils dilating as she saw him. Those soft brown eyes had once, too long ago, looked adoringly at him. And he, like a fool, had thought they always would. Matteo had learned his lesson. He took nothing for granted anymore. ‘Hello, Angela.’ His face felt tight as he smiled. Was he smiling or grimacing? He didn’t give a damn. He turned to the lanky crew member who, up till this point, he’d been so pleased to have work on this project. Now Matteo wished him to the devil, despite his cinematic skill. All trace of a smile disintegrated as he stared at the other man. ‘I see you already know my wife.’ CHAPTER TWO His wife! Angela flung open the lid of her suitcase and grabbed a pile of neatly folded clothes. She stalked across the vast, opulent room and pulled open an antique door, looking for the wardrobe. Instead she found a palatial dressing room, with sleek modern shelves and endless hanging spaces. She shoved her clothes onto a random shelf and pivoted on her heel. Matteo had referred to her as his wife, just as if he hadn’t received her request for a divorce. The paparazzi who’d snooped around for a story behind their separation would have a field day if they heard that. But more, Matteo had her checked into this extraordinary private hotel that was more like a palace than a place for a cash-strapped screenwriter. The walls were hung in exquisite eau de nil silk. The wide tester bed was topped with a gilt crown from which hung matching silk. Antiques, elegant and perfectly positioned, turned the room into a suite fit for royalty. Even the fresh flowers in their crystal vases were so gorgeous it was a shame she’d be the only one to see them.   When she was met at the vaporetto stop on the Grand Canal, fresh off the plane, she’d been only too grateful to relinquish her luggage, not knowing it would be taken somewhere like this. Having it taken on ahead had been a luxury, for dragging a heavy case over the quaint cobbled streets wasn’t fun. Besides, despite herself, she’d been eager to detour and catch a glimpse of the filming. Angela’s step faltered in the doorway of the dressing room and she sagged against the door frame. Face the truth. You wanted to see Matteo. Even now, even after his betrayal. Even knowing the pair of you were never meant to be together. Her heart crashed against her ribs and her knees turned
Annie West (The Italian's Bold Reckoning (Hot Italian Nights, #4))
While hard skills refer to the technical ability and the factual knowledge needed to do the job, soft skills allow you to more effectively use your technical abilities and knowledge. Soft skills encompass personal, social, communication, and self-management behaviors.
Peggy Klaus (The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Soft Skills for Succeeding in a Hard Wor)
They cover a wide spectrum of abilities and traits: being self-aware, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, critical thinking, attitude, initiative, empathy, confidence, integrity, self-control, organizational awareness, likability, influence, risk taking, problem solving, leadership, time management, and then some.
Peggy Klaus (The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Soft Skills for Succeeding in a Hard Wor)
75 percent of long-term job success depends on people skills, while only 25 percent on technical knowledge.
Peggy Klaus (The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Soft Skills for Succeeding in a Hard Wor)
What happens when you’re intimidated? Run to the nearest corner and hide, do you?” “I should say not,” she said primly, wondering if she were being teased. “I do what has to be done, no matter what the situation.” Winterborne’s smile widened until she saw the flash of white teeth against that deep bronze complexion. “I suppose I know that better than most,” he said softly. Understanding that he was referring to how she had helped him through the fever…and remembering how she had held that black head in the crook of her arm, and bathed his face and neck…Helen felt a blush start. Not the ordinary kind of blush that faded soon after it started. This one kept heating and heating, spreading all through her until she was so uncomfortable that she could scarcely breathe. She made the mistake of glancing into his simmering coffee-black eyes, and she felt positively immolated. Her desperate gaze settled upon the battered pianoforte in the corner. “Shall I play something for you?” She stood without waiting for a reply. It was the only alternative to bolting from the room. Out of the periphery of her vision, she saw Winterborne automatically grip the arms of his chair in preparation to rise, before he remembered that he was in a leg cast. “Yes,” she heard him say. “I’d like that.” He maneuvered the chair a few inches so that he could see her profile as she played. The pianoforte seemed to offer a small measure of protection as she sat at the keyboard and pushed up the hinged fallboard that covered the keys. Taking a slow, calming breath, Helen arranged her skirts, adjusted her posture, and placed her fingertips on the keys. She launched into a piece she knew by memory: the allegro from Handel’s Piano Suite in F Major. It was full of life and complexity, and challenging enough to force her to think about something besides blushing. Her fingers danced in a blur over the keys, the exuberant pace unfaltering for two and a half minutes. When she finished, she looked at Winterborne, hoping he had liked it. “You play with great skill,” he said. “Thank you.” “Is that your favorite piece?” “It’s my most difficult,” Helen said, “but not my favorite.” “What do you play when there’s no one to hear?” The gentle question, spoken in that accent with vowels as broad as his shoulders, caused Helen’s stomach to tighten pleasurably.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
You play with great skill,” he said. “Thank you.” “Is that your favorite piece?” “It’s my most difficult,” Helen said, “but not my favorite.” “What do you play when there’s no one to hear?” The gentle question, spoken in that accent with vowels as broad as his shoulders, caused Helen’s stomach to tighten pleasurably. Perturbed by the sensation, she was slow to reply. “I don’t remember the name of it. A piano tutor taught it to me long ago. For years I’ve tried to find out what it is, but no one has ever recognized the melody.” “Play it for me.” Calling it up from memory, she played the sweetly haunting chords, her hands gentle on the keys. The mournful chords never failed to stir her, making her heart ache for things she couldn’t name. At the conclusion, Helen looked up from the keys and found Winterborne staring at her as if transfixed. He masked his expression, but not before she saw a mixture of puzzlement, fascination, and a hint of something hot and unsettling. “It’s Welsh,” he said. Helen shook her head with a laugh of wondering disbelief. “You know it?” “‘A Ei Di’r Deryn Du.’ Every Welshman is born knowing it.” “What is it about?” “A lover who asks a blackbird to carry a message to his sweetheart.” “Why can’t he go to her himself?” Helen realized they were both speaking in hushed tones, as if they were exchanging secrets. “He can’t find her. He’s too deep in love--it keeps him from seeing clearly.” “Does the blackbird find her?” “The song doesn’t say,” he said with a shrug. “But I must know the ending to the story,” Helen protested. Winterborne laughed. It was an irresistible sound, rough-soft and sly. When he replied, his accent had thickened. “That’s what comes o’ reading novels, it is. The story needs no ending. That’s not what matters.” “What matters, then?” she dared to ask. His dark gaze held hers. “That he loves. That he’s searching. Like the rest of us poor devils, he has no way of knowing if he’ll ever have his heart’s desire.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Do you understand that ‘soft skills’ are now the hard money answers?
Fritz Shoemaker
Working successfully with people is immensely challenging and tough. This is not touchy-feely, this is heartfelt emotionalism. This is not soft-skills, this is hardcore.
Tobias Mayer (The People's Scrum: Agile Ideas for Revolutionary Transformation)
It might have been a moment or an hour. To this day I do not know. I listen to my poets sing of age-old fights and I think no, it was not like that, and certainly that fight aboard Haesten's ship was nothing like the version my poets warble. It was not heroic and grand, and it was not a lord of war giving out death with unstoppable sword-skill. It was panic. It was abject fear. It was men shitting themselves with fright, men pissing, men bleeding, men grimacing and men crying as pathetically as whipped children. It was a chaos of flying blades, of shields breaking, of half-caught glimpses, of despairing parries and blind lunges. Feet slipped on blood and the dead lay with curling hands and the injured clutched awful wounds that would kill them and they cried for their mothers and the gulls cried, and all that the poets celebrate, because that is their job. They make it sound marvelous. And the wind blew soft across the flooding tide that filled Beamfleot's creek with swirling water in which the new-shed blood twisted and faded, faded and twisted, until the cold green sea diluted it.
Bernard Cornwell (Sword Song (The Saxon Stories, #4))
The agile coach is a new role that requires a selection of soft skills to be successfully. A good agile coach will be able to build the team, and coach them in decision-making, problem solving and conflict resolution. The agile coach should also facilitate that the team learns from their experience, that project impediments are quickly removed, and that the stakeholder’s expectations are managed.
Gloria J. Miller (Going Agile Project Management Practices)
wished desperately that I could paint her in these moments and immortalize that look in her eyes. There was a softness in them that I rarely saw at other times, a total and complete vulnerability in someone who was normally so guarded and analytical in the rest of her life. But although I was a decent painter, capturing her on canvas was beyond my skill.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
In the absence of clamming tools, the operative can simply press the key against a soft patch of his own skin; the resulting mark will last several minutes.
Clint Emerson (100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative's Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation)
A pair of waiters brought a feast to the hotel room and arranged it in the sitting area. They unfolded the hot cart into a table, draped it in white linen, and brought out silver-domed plates. By the time the wine was poured and all the dishes were uncovered, I was trembling with hunger. Luke, however, became fractious after I changed his diaper, and he howled every time I tried to set him down. Holding him against one shoulder, I contemplated the steaming grilled steak in front of me and wondered how I was going to manage with only one hand. “Let me,” Jack murmured, and came to my side of the table. He cut the steak into small, neat bites with such adroitness that I gave him a look of mock-alarm. “You certainly know how to handle a knife.” “I hunt whenever I get the chance.” Finishing the task, Jack set down the utensils and tucked a napkin into the neckline of my shirt. His knuckles brushed my skin, eliciting a shiver. “I can field-dress a deer in fifteen minutes,” he told me. “That’s impressive. Disgusting, but impressive.” He gave me an unrepentant grin as he returned to his side of the table. “If it makes you feel better, I eat anything I catch or kill.” “Thanks, but that doesn’t make me feel better in the least. Oh, I’m aware that meat doesn’t magically appear all nicely packaged in foam and cellophane at the grocery store. But I have to stay several steps removed from the process. I don’t think I could eat meat if I had to hunt the animal and . . .” “Skin and gut it?” “Yes. Let’s not talk about that right now.” I took a bite of the steak. Either it was the long period of deprivation, or the quality of the beef, or the skill of the chef . . . but that succulent, lightly smoked, melting-hot steak was the best thing I had ever tasted. I closed my eyes for a moment, my tonsils quivering. He laughed quietly at my expression. “Admit it, Ella. It’s not so bad being a carnivore.” I reached for a chunk of bread and dabbed it in soft yellow butter. “I’m not a carnivore, I’m an opportunistic omnivore.” -Jack & Ella
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
You must think me the veriest ninny,” she said, “not knowing how to dance.” “I think you’re very brave, actually, for admitting it.” His free hand found hers and slowly lifted it into the air. “Most women of my acquaintance would have feigned an injury or disinterest.” She looked up into his eyes even though she knew it would leave her breathless. “I haven’t the acting skills to feign disinterest,” she admitted. The hand at the small of her back tightened. “Listen to the music,” he instructed, his voice oddly hoarse. “Do you feel it rising and falling?” She shook her head. “Listen harder,” he whispered, his lips drawing closer to her ear. “One, two, three; one, two, three.” Sophie closed her eyes and somehow filtered out the endless chatter of the guests below them until all she heard was the soft swell of the music. Her breathing slowed, and she found herself swaying in time with the orchestra, her head rocking back and forth with Benedict’s softly uttered numerical instructions. “One, two, three; one two three.” “I feel it,” she whispered. He smiled. She wasn’t sure how she knew that; her eyes were still closed. But she felt the smile, heard it in the tenor of his breath. “Good,” he said. “Now watch my feet and allow me to lead you.” Sophie opened her eyes and looked down. “One, two, three; one, two, three.” Hesitantly, she stepped along with him— right onto his foot. “Oh! I’m sorry!” she blurted out. “My sisters have done far worse,” he assured her. “Don’t give up.” She tried again, and suddenly her feet knew what to do. “Oh!” she breathed in surprise. “This is wonderful!” “Look up,” he ordered gently. “But I’ll stumble.” “You won’t,” he promised. “I won’t let you. Look into my eyes.” Sophie did as he asked, and the moment her eyes touched his, something inside her seemed to lock into place, and she could not look away. He twirled her in circles and spirals around the terrace, slowly at first, then picking up speed, until she was breathless and giddy. And all the while, her eyes remained locked on his. “What do you feel?” he asked. “Everything!” she said, laughing. “What do you hear?” “The music.” Her eyes widened with excitement. “I hear the music as I’ve never heard it before.” His hands tightened, and the space between them diminished by several inches. “What do you see?” he asked. Sophie stumbled, but she never took her eyes off his. “My soul,” she whispered. “I see my very soul.” He stopped dancing. “What did you say?” he whispered. She held silent. The moment seemed too charged, too meaningful, and she was afraid she’d spoil it. No, that wasn’t true. She was afraid she’d make it even better, and that would make it hurt all the more when she returned to reality at midnight. How on earth was she going to go back to polishing Araminta’s shoes after this? “I know what you said,” Benedict said hoarsely. “I heard you, and—” “Don’t say anything,” Sophie cut in. She didn’t want him to tell her that he felt the same way, didn’t want to hear anything that would leave her pining for this man forever. But it was probably already too late for that. He stared at her for an agonizingly long moment, then murmured, “I won’t speak. I won’t say a word.” And then, before she even had a second to breathe, his lips were on hers, exquisitely gentle and achingly tender. -Sophie & Benedict
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
you will quickly discover that soft skills do produce hard sales results. My
Colleen Stanley (Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success: Connect with Customers and Get Results)
schools). Don’t try to plan your entire college career in advance, because some of the most pivotal moments can be completely unexpected. Be sure to do something you like outside of class, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Travel far and wide. Studying, living, or working abroad can immensely widen your perspective of the world. Keep your focus on the big picture. Learn soft skills (people skills) as well as hard skills (technical skills). Socializing and collaborating sincerely can enrich and reward you more than comparing and competing obsessively. Connect, share, listen, discuss, learn, and work together open-mindedly with purpose and some humility. Conversing
Jason L. Ma (Young Leaders 3.0: Stories, Insights, and Tips for Next-Generation Achievers)
To communicate in a foreign language, you need to develop language skills, not scientific understanding. Language skills qualify as “soft skills”, meaning they cannot be proven by rigorous experimental testing. If they could, we would not have the current situation with a high failure rate for those learning a foreign language.
Arkady Zilberman (Language Bridge Technology: Speak Fluent English)
Working-class parents, who have less spare capacity, are more likely to demand that their kids simply obey them. In the short run this saves time; in the long run it prevents the kids from learning to organise their own lives or think for themselves. Poor parenting is thus a barrier to social mobility, and is becoming more so as the world grows more complex and the rewards for superior cognitive skills increase. Mr Putnam’s research team interviewed dozens of families to illustrate his thesis. Some of their stories are heart-rending. Stephanie, a mother whose husband left her, is asked if her own parents were warm. She is “astonished at our naïveté”. “No, we don’t do all that kissing and hugging,” she says. “You can’t be mushy in Detroit...You gotta be hard, really hard, because if you soft, people will bully you.” Just as her
In real life, the political and strategic games used by politicians and statesmen are in fact social games - requiring social intelligence as well as technical mastery of information. The skills of the orator, cultivated by ancient statesmen like Cicero and Demosthenes, or by modern statesmen like Benjamin Disraeli and Abraham Lincoln, require emotional maturity and the talent of seeing events through the eyes of others. A great statesman sets aside his own egoism. He takes a more objective view. In this way, he avoids the errors that attend a purely egoistic standpoint. The explanation which Kierkegaard offered, which is none too flattering, is that people no longer desire a great king, a heroic liberator or an authoritative religion. They don’t want strict rules or high standards. That is because they want an easy time of it. They want a soft existence which can only be guaranteed by eschewing the great and heroic, the true and the noble. This is the moral perspective of high politics and of true statesmanship. Only those who reach this fifth stage can transform world calamity into world regeneration.
J.R. Nyquist
I don't... we can't..." His white teeth flashed in his tanned face, and he pulled her up against him so that she stood on her toes, so that her balance depended on him. "I can't believe I've managed to wait so long." What did he mean, so long? They'd met only two days ago. Then she saw his expression as he lowered his head to hers, and she realized that for this man, two days of restraint were an eternity. The man saw what he wanted and he went after it- and he wanted her. Her eyes closed as his lips touched hers. Close-mouthed, gentle, seeking. She tried to pretend this wasn't happening. Madeline didn't want him and wouldn't wed him, yet it wasn't right for Eleanor to kiss her cousin's fiancé. But the crackle of hay beneath her feet and the scent of the horses gave this moment an unrelenting reality. The buttons on Mr. Knight's jacket dug into her sternum. His arms handled her with an expertise that bespoke familiarity in handling an unwilling woman, and he kissed... like a beast of sensual powers. His lips were silky soft, skilled in the art of love, giving pleasure with the lightest touch. He barely brushed her lips, yet she found herself lifting her face, seeking his touch like a flower follows the sun.
Christina Dodd (One Kiss From You (Switching Places, #2))
Irie serves me three ramens, including a bowl made with a rich dashi and head-on shrimp and another studded with spicy ground pork and wilted spinach and lashed with chili oil. Both are exceptionally delicious, sophisticated creations, but it's his interpretation of tonkotsu that leaves me muttering softly to myself. The noodles are firm and chewy, the roast pork is striped with soft deposits of warm fat, and the toppings- white curls of shredded spring onion, chewy strips of bamboo, a perfect square of toasted seaweed- are skillfully applied. Here it is the combination of tare, the culmination of years of careful tinkering, and broth, made from whole pig heads and knots of ginger, that defies the laws of tonkotsu: a soup with the savory, meaty intensity of a broth made from a thousand pigs that's light enough to leave you wanting more. And more. And more.
Matt Goulding (Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture)
Just as in Hollywood, what matters most is not the movie you made twenty years ago, ten years ago, or even just a couple of years ago, it’s the one you made most recently that counts. You need to be constantly refueling your brag campaign to reflect changes in your circumstances and audience.
Peggy Klaus (The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Soft Skills for Succeeding in a Hard Wor)
your brand follows you wherever you go—be sure it’s the you that you intend for everyone to know.
Peggy Klaus (The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Soft Skills for Succeeding in a Hard Wor)
what strikes me most about their stories of missed opportunities and derailed careers is this: The source of their anxiety and frustration is rarely a shortfall in technical or professional expertise. Instead, it invariably stems from a shortcoming in their soft skills repertoire—the nontechnical traits and behaviors needed for successful career navigation.
Peggy Klaus (The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Soft Skills for Succeeding in a Hard Wor)
Their only real endowments were soft skills such as a willingness to accept the help of strangers, stubborn practicality, and the ability to live with uncertainty.
Rinker Buck (The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey)
Pѕусhорhуѕiсѕ is the ѕtudу оf the intеrасtiоn between thе behavioural сараbilitiеѕ аnd limitations of thе humаn реrсерtuаl ѕуѕtеm аnd thе environment.
Daniel Anderson (Psychology 101: Understanding the Human Mind and How to Read people – A Brief History оf Social Pѕусhоlоgу Behaviorism – Psychiatry vs Psychology – Types ... Intelligence and Soft Skills Book 6))
Weber’s lаw of juѕt noticeable diffеrеnсе in mоdеrn dау Pѕусhоlоgу which ѕtаtеѕ thаt; “ѕimрlе differential ѕеnѕitivitу iѕ invеrѕеlу рrороrtiоnаl tо thе ѕizе оf thе components of the difference;
Daniel Anderson (Psychology 101: Understanding the Human Mind and How to Read people – A Brief History оf Social Pѕусhоlоgу Behaviorism – Psychiatry vs Psychology – Types ... Intelligence and Soft Skills Book 6))
Oh, no,” Kirihime whispered in horror. A naked Camellia running around the base was not something she wanted to deal with. This is not good! Kirihime burst out the door. She didn’t even bother locking up and just ran down the hall, using the enhancement technique to run faster. “Lady Camellia!” She turned a corner and was just in time to see Camellia standing inside of an elevator, the doors slowly sliding shut. “Bye, bye, Kiri-Kiri!” Camellia waved at Kirihime, who rushed for the door. However, not even the enhancement technique gave her enough speed to reach her mistress before the doors shut. Kirihime slammed into the door, then fell onto her back, staring up at the ceiling. “This… this is really not good. Not good at all.” *** Kevin, dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt that conformed to his torso, exited the locker room and began the long walk back to his apartment. His muscles ached from his most recent exercises. He and Kiara had been trying to discover more about his power. They had learned a lot through experimentation. It seemed his strange ability only worked on barriers, but they didn’t work on anything else, which he’d learned the hard way after suffering several full-on youki attacks from the powerful inu. Still, this power is pretty useful, even if it’s just the ability to break barriers. Kevin looked at his left hand. This hand seemed to be where this strange power was contained. He’d tried breaking through Kiara’s barrier with his right hand but had only received severe burns for his troubles. I wonder if it only works on barriers? Can I use it for anything else? Kiara had described his unique skill as the “ability to unlock barriers,” and indeed, when watching his power at work, it did look more like unlocking than destroying. When he touched Kiara’s aura, the red energy would peel apart like a blooming flower. The energy didn’t dissipate either. It still existed, but it moved around his hand, meaning that he wasn’t destroying it, just moving it out of the way. Kiara’s aura isn’t a barrier either, not really. It stands to reason this power can work on more than just barriers. “Kkkkkeeeeeevvvvviiiinnnnnn…………….” Kevin stopped walking, his head tilting in idle curiosity as he heard someone calling his name. “Kkkkkkyyyyyuuuuuunnnnnnnn!!!!” His eyes widening, Kevin swiftly spun around as the source of the voice got louder. He promptly found two large, round, soft things being shoved into his face. “Uwa!!” He tumbled to the floor, taking the other person with him. Delightful, childish laughter told him exactly who had crashed into him tits first. Kevin felt almost resigned. Why do these things keep happening to me?
Brandon Varnell (A Fox's Hostility (American Kitsune, #9))
He would spend entire days in the foothills, ostensibly searching for gazelle, but on the few occasions that he came close enough to any of the beautiful little animals to harm them he invariably allowed them to escape without so much as taking his rifle from its boot. The ape-man could see no sport in slaughtering the most harmless and defenseless of God's creatures for the mere pleasure of killing. In fact, Tarzan had never killed for "pleasure," nor to him was there pleasure in killing. It was the joy of righteous battle that he loved—the ecstasy of victory. And the keen and successful hunt for food in which he pitted his skill and craftiness against the skill and craftiness of another; but to come out of a town filled with food to shoot down a soft-eyed, pretty gazelle—ah, that was crueller than the deliberate and cold-blooded murder of a fellow man. Tarzan would have none of it, and so he hunted alone that none might discover the sham that he was practicing.
Edgar Rice Burroughs (The Return of Tarzan (Tarzan, #2))
According to my instructions, I’m supposed to laugh at you now.” “Go ahead?” The voice managed a kind of embarrassed chuckle. More soft tapping sounds, but the voice spoke again before they finished. “I won’t give you my identity. It’s not important. Know that I am an interested party, and I want you to begin booking your travel back home. You have no particular skills. You know this. You’re a fairly standard teenage boy. You have no use but to be used.” “I know it’s fun to be cryptic, but that last thing made zero sense.” I wanted the voice to keep talking, because as I wiggled my hands, I realized the zip tie wasn’t as tight as it needed to be. “Think of yourself as a package. It’s Christmas, so picture a nicely wrapped present. Charlotte carries it around. It’s heavy in her arms, but it’s pleasing to look at it. Maybe the package talks. It’s witty. It’s flattering. It makes her feel special, and she likes that feeling. And one day Charlotte leaves it somewhere in public, and poof, it is taken from her. Charlotte is sad. Then furious. Charlotte will do anything to get her present back. Horrible things. Things that will end in her death, or imprisonment. We don’t want Charlotte to do these things.” “So in this weird children’s story you’re telling me, I’m a talking package.” I’d put my wrists between my knees, and slowly, slowly, I worked one curled hand out of its binding. “That’s a pretty stupid extended metaphor. Did you fail English class? You were more of a math person, weren’t you?
Brittany Cavallaro (The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes, #2))
He suddenly thrust. Amanda blocked the blow, but barely. He thrust again and again, driving her back across the ship before she even knew what was happening. In mere seconds, she had her back at the rail and sweat was pouring down her body, pooling between her breasts and legs. She was even more furious than before at his display of skill. He smiled. “Come now, darling. I have no wish to fight with you, especially as your blade is not blunted. Besides, we both know you cannot best me.” But she would try. She would make him sit up and take real notice of her. She was not a fancy lady, but she could match him in every other way. Amanda growled and attacked. She thrust hard and he met her, taking a step back, a step aside, until they were moving rapidly in a vicious circle of hard blow after hard blow. Iron rang. Sweat burned in her eyes. Of course he was master here. She hadn’t expected to win. But she wanted to somehow hurt him. There was nothing she wanted more—she wanted him to feel what she had felt, damn him! Her arm was aching now. She was at her physical limit, but she would not give up. “Damn you!” she gasped, and she halted, pretending to be exhausted and ready to submit to his mercy. He bought her game, a grin appearing on his handsome face. “Well done,” he began. Amanda feinted, thrust and sliced off the rest of his shirt buttons. He was so surprised he simply stared down at his shirt, now shredded in two. Then, slowly, he looked up at her. His blue eyes were brilliant, hot, and he slowly, boldly smiled. He wasn’t angry. She understood the heat, and a savage sense of triumph rose up in her. He might not want her with his fine intellectual mind, but just now, she had provoked him so thoroughly that he wanted her right then. She knew, beyond any doubt, that reason had been conquered by lust. “What’s wrong, de Warenne?” she murmured seductively. “Maybe it isn’t a fancy lady that you really want.” Before she had even delivered this last call to arms, he attacked. He had the edge of both shirt and chemise hooked over his blade, and with one flick of his wrist, blunted tip or no, her clothes would be ripped in two. She stilled, breathing hard, her body pulsing in frenzied excitement. “Go ahead,” she managed. “Take my clothes.” His face hardened. He slowly lowered the big blunted tip of his sword between her breasts. “I believe we are done,” he said harshly. She stared at the tip, then lifted her gaze. “I am not done.” His brows lifted. “I have my blade against your heart, darling. In actual battle, you would be dead.” “Most men would prefer me warm and alive in their beds,” she challenged tauntingly. His eyes blazed. He removed the sword, tossing it aside and it clattered across the deck. “You have won, Amanda,” he said. “I concede defeat.” He was turning to walk away. Amanda thrust, catching the buttons of his breeches, and cut them free. He froze. “Maybe,” she said softly, “my opponent would be as easily deceived as you have been and throw his sword aside too soon, falsely thinking himself in no further danger. Maybe, in a real battle, skill will have little to do with the victory. Turn around,” she ordered.
Brenda Joyce (A Lady At Last (deWarenne Dynasty, #7))
Hard skills get your foot in the door, soft skills make you stand out
Nour Saidana
While there's nothing wrong with the quantitative, strategic, and analytical skills traditional taught in B-schools, those alone do not guarantee success in business, where things tend to be messier and more fluid, and where success often rests on the ability to form winning coalitions that will back a good idea. Here, the soft skills--such as a willingness to listen, forge trusting relationships, take and support responsible risks, adapt to change, and stay positive in the face of adversity--are seen as those essential to allowing people and businesses to respond with agility and nimbleness to the fast-moving information, opportunities, and challenges of today's workplace.
Kelly Leonard (Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City)
It started on September 11,2001. Like so many of us, Bruder turned his attention to the Middle East after the attacks to ask why something like that could happen. He understood that if such an event could happen once, it could happen again, and for the lives of his own daughters he wanted to find a way to prevent that. In the course of trying to figure out what he could do, he made a remarkable discovery that went much deeper than protecting his daughters or even the prevention of terrorism in the United States. In America, he realized, the vast majority of young people wake up in the morning with a feeling that there is opportunity for them in the future. Regardless of the economy, most young boys and girls who grow up in the United States have an inherent sense of optimism that they can achieve something if they want to—to live the American Dream. A young boy growing up in Gaza or a young girl living in Yemen does not wake up every day with the same feeling. Even if they have the desire, the same optimism is not there. It is too easy to point and say that the culture is different. That is not actionable. The real reason is that there is a distinct lack of institutions to give young people in the region a sense of optimism for their future. A college education in Jordan, for example, may offer some social status, but it doesn't necessarily prepare a young adult for what lies ahead. The education system, in cases like this, perpetuates a systemic cultural pessimism. Bruder realized the problems we face with terrorism in the West have less to do with what young boys and girls in the Middle East think about America and more to do with what they think about themselves and their own vision of the future. Through the EFE Foundation, Bruder is setting up programs across the Middle East to teach young adults the hard and soft skills that will help them feel like they have opportunity in life. To feel like they can be in control of their own destinies. Bruder is using the EFE Foundation to share his WHY on a global scale—to teach people that there is always an alternative to the path they think they are on. The Education for Employment Foundation is not an American charity hoping to do good in faraway lands. It is a global movement. Each EFE operation runs independently, with locals making up the majority of their local boards. Local leaders take personal responsibility to give young men and women that feeling of opportunity by giving them the skills, knowledge and, most importantly, the confidence to choose an alternative path for themselves. In Yemen, children can expect to receive nine years of education. This is one of the lowest rates in the world. In the United States, children can expect sixteen years. Inspired by Bruder, Aleryani sees such an amazing opportunity for young men and women to change their perspective and take greater control of their own future. He set out to find capital to jump-start his EFE operation in Sana'a, Yemen's capital, and in one week was able to raise $50,000. The speed at which he raised that amount is pretty good even by our philanthropic standards. But this is Yemen, and Yemen has no culture of philanthropy, making his achievement that much more remarkable. Yemen is also one of the poorest nations in the region. But when you tell people WHY you're doing what you're doing, remarkable things happen. Across the region, everyone involved in EFE believes that they can help teach their brothers and sisters and sons and daughters the skills that will help them change path that they think they are on. They are working to help the youth across the region believe that their future is bright and full of opportunity. And they don't do it for Bruder, they do it for themselves. That's the reason EFE will change the world.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Do not pay attention to his illusions. Never take your eyes off the vampire. He waits for your inattention. Alexandria's voice was soft and sweet in his mind, clearing away any cobwebs the illusionist was weaving to confuse him. He is skilled, this one, cara, he acknowledged. Not skilled enough, she responded with complete faith in him. The women on the ground set up a wail, a low, keening, mournful whine that rose on the wind. Aidan smiled at the vampire with a lazy, self-confident smile. "You are trying to call Gregori to our little battle? You are much more foolish than I thought. Even I, who have nothing to fear, would not want to disturb Gregori's solitude. With this racket, he is certain to join us." His golden eyes slashed at the vampire, found the dull, dead gaze, and locked onto it, holding the other man in their molten depths. "I worked closely with Gregori for several years. Did you know that, Diego? What he does, he does coolly and efficiently. There is no other like him. Perhaps in your final moment you wish to test your meager skills against his greatness.
Christine Feehan (Dark Gold (Dark, #3))
If you can't keep your mouth shy and silent then keep your words soft and sweet.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Untuk Indonesia bangsa ini bisa berkembang dengan regenerasi yang baik bukan karena selembar IPK yang tinggi. Tapi karena soft dan hard Skill yang di banggun dengan baik. Semua dosen harus bisa menjadi lagend bukan cuma di kenang sebagai pemberian tugas tugas BODOH
Kampus-INDO, Revolusi Dekdibud
Untuk Indonesia bangsa ini bisa berkembang dengan regenerasi yang baik bukan karena selembar IPK yang tinggi, tapi karena soft dan hard Skill yang di banggun dengan baik. Semua dosen harus bisa menjadi lagend bukan cuma di kenang dengan pemberian tugas tugasnya
Kampus-INDO, Dekdibud
Entering the city of Monrovia on Tubman Boulevard, the road suddenly became paved and a little smoother. Most of the other streets were made of sand and coated with used crankcase oil, making them extremely slick. I couldn’t believe the huge water-filled potholes everywhere; couldn’t they fill them in? A major problem was that there was no way of knowing how deep the holes were since they were full of water…. Jimmy had his hands full bouncing along in a car that didn’t seem to have shocks, and from the looks of the tires I don’t believe the front wheels had ever been aligned. Some of the streets went from being a rutted, muddy mess, to being exposed bed-rock with shale stone filling in the worst holes. Somehow Jimmy skillfully navigated these streets, at what I considered at the time, as being reckless speeds. We passed simple dwellings pieced together from flotsam, debris, and recycled planks or pieces of plywood, including what appeared to be random soft drink signs and the likes. It reminded me of some of the Mexican border towns I had been to. There were mangy dogs picking through the piles of garbage, without much hope of finding anything edible. The raw garbage, scattered on the streets, had obviously been picked through already by people or other feral beasts trying to live off the land. If the dogs and cats left anything behind, I could only imagine the rats getting it!
Hank Bracker
Hearing Jace sound uncertain—she thought maybe her heart was cracking, shattering into pieces. “No,” she whispered, and pulled him down again. They both tasted salt. “Kiss me,” she pleaded, and he did, hot languorous slow kisses that sped up as his heartbeat did, as the movement of their bodies quickened against each other. Each kiss was different, each rising higher and higher like a spark as a fire grew: quick soft kisses that told her he loved her, long slow worshipful kisses that said that he trusted her, playful light kisses that said that he still had hope, adoring kisses that said he had faith in her as he did in no one else. Clary abandoned herself to the kisses, the language of them, the wordless speech that passed between the two of them. His hands were shaking, but they were quick and skilled on her body, light touches maddening her until she pushed and pulled at him, urging him on with the mute appeal of fingers and lips and hands. And even at the final moment, when she did flinch, she pressed him to go on, wrapping herself around him, not letting him go. She kept her eyes wide open as he shuddered apart, his face against her neck, saying her name over and over, and when finally she closed her eyes, she thought she saw the cavern blaze up in gold and white, wrapping them both in heavenly fire, the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Are you telling me you want this? That you want to get married?” She arched a brow, and he couldn’t hold her gaze. For the first time in his life, Leo found himself truly nervous. Here was a situation he couldn’t hit, wrestle, or order into compliance. Baring feelings was all well and good, but talking about them sucked. But there came a time in a man’s life where he had to suck it up and gush, especially when he was a blind idiot for a while. “Would I be going through all this trouble if I didn’t want to get married? Listen, Vex, I know we got off to a rocky start. In my defense, you’re a little much for any man to handle. Not that I mind,” he hastened to add when her second brow shot up. “I like who you are, and I’m a big enough man to admit I might have reacted poorly when you declared I was your mate and that I couldn’t escape.” “I said what?” Again, she gaped in open surprise. Then laughed. Pretty damned hard as a matter of fact. He frowned. “Don’t you dare deny it, Vex. You had me all but in front a preacher within five minutes of us meeting. And it scared me. But you were right about us belonging together, even if it took me longer to realize it. You are the one for me, Meena. The chaos to balance my serenity. The colored rainbow to enrich the grayness of my current life. I want you, Vex. Catastrophes and all. I just hope, even after what I’ve done, and the fact I might sometimes have a stick up my ass, at least according to Luna, that you’ll forgive me and still want me too.” He ended his gush of words and stared at Meena hopefully, and a little fearfully, given she once again stared at him slack-jawed. Would she say something? She did, just not from her lips. No, Meena’s voice came from behind him. “Oh, Pookie, that has got to be the most beautiful thing I ever heard.” Either Meena had some mad ventriloquist skills or… Leo froze as he stared at the woman in front of him, a woman that he realized the more he stared was Meena and yet not. This one wore her hair in soft curls around her shoulders, a tiny scar marred the tip of her chin, and her scent… was all wrong. However, the body that jumped on his back and the lips that noisily kissed the flesh of his neck? That was his Vex. What the hell? “Who are you?” he asked. The Meena clone grinned and waved. “Teena, of course.” “My twin,” Meena added against his ear. “Identical twin?” “Well, duh. And it’s a good thing too, or I’d be a little miffed right now that you just said all those beautiful things to her.” “I thought it was you.” “Apparently. It happens a lot, which I totally don’t get. She looks nothing like me.” “I feel like such an idiot.” He tried to crane his head to see the Meena clinging to his back, but she slapped her hands over his eyes. “No, you can’t look. It’s bad luck.” “But…” “No buts. Although I will say yours looks awfully delicious in those pants. But it will look even better when it’s naked and wearing my teeth marks.” “Vex!” “I know. I know. Don’t start something we can’t finish. Consider yourself warned, however. As soon as that priest says I do, your ass is mine. All mine.” Such a low, husky promise. “Come on, Teena, you are just in time to help me get into my gown. Can you believe my Pookie arranged all this?” The pride in her voice made him smile, but he did have to shake his head at the whole twin sister thing. With one last kiss on his neck, Meena whispered, “See you in a little bit, Pookie.
Eve Langlais (When an Omega Snaps (A Lion's Pride, #3))
the “soft skills” are for making data useful. Determining what problem one is actually trying to solve, organizing results into something useful, translating vague problems or questions into precisely answerable ones, trying to figure out what may have been left out of an analysis, combining multiple lines or arguments into one useful result…the list could go on. These are the skills that separate the data scientist who can take direction from the data scientist who can give it, as much as knowledge of the latest tools or newest algorithms.
Max Shron (Thinking with Data)
My grandfather says that to be able to laugh in the face of what you’ve done, and what you will do again, is one of the most important skills we can learn,” she said softly. “It’s why we tell tales not only of success, but also of failure, not just to learn from them, but to learn to laugh at death.
Douglas Hulick (Sworn in Steel (Tales of the Kin, #2))
I saw another young man coming down the stairs from the third floor with my blanc de chine Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin, in his hand. [. . .] He swung the arm holding the Guanyin carelessly in the air and declared, 'This is a figure of Buddhist superstition. I'm going to throw it in the trash.' The Guanyin was a perfect specimen and a genuine product of the Dehua kiln in Fujian province. It was the work of the famous 17th century Ming sculptor Chen Wei and bore his seal on the back. The beauty of the creamy-white figure was beyond description. The serene expression of the face was so skillfully captured that it seemed to be alive. The folds of the robe flowed so naturally that one forgot it was cared out of hard biscuit. The glaze was so rich and creamy that the whole figure looked as if it were soft to the touch. [. . .] By this time, I no longer thought of them as my own possessions. I did not care to whom they belonged after tonight as long as they were saved from destruction.
Nien Cheng (Life and Death in Shanghai)