Steps In The Right Direction Quotes

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Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine. And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others. And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.
Louis Sachar
And a step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Player Piano)
A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
Richard Bach
We all make mistakes... but it's also a step in the right direction. If nothing else it's a step away from the wrong one.
Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not)
Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.
Maya Angelou (Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now)
Captain! To your left there’s a Lunar guard and on your right is a doctor who’s running tests on Lunars and I’m being held by one of Levana’s wolf hybrids and please be careful!” Thorne took a step back into the hallway a gun from his waistband. He spent a moment swiveling the barrel of the gun in each direction, but nobody moved to attack him. With some surprise, Cress realized that the operative’s grip had weakened. “Er…” Thorne furrowed his brow, aiming the gun somewhere near the window. “Could you describe all those threats again because I feel like I missed something.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
100 years ago, buying something you could make was considered wasteful; now making something you could buy is considered wasteful. I am not convinced this is a step in the right direction.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin)
Every step is a first step if it's a step in the right direction.
Terry Pratchett (I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld, #38; Tiffany Aching, #4))
People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.
Dorothy Day
The great body of our citizens shoot less as times goes on. We should encourage rifle practice among schoolboys, and indeed among all classes, as well as in the military services by every means in our power. Thus, and not otherwise, may we be able to assist in preserving peace in the world... The first step – in the direction of preparation to avert war if possible, and to be fit for war if it should come – is to teach men to shoot!
Theodore Roosevelt
The silence is all there is. It is the alpha and the omega, it is God's brooding over the face of the waters; it is the blinded note of the ten thousand things, the whine of wings. You take a step in the right direction to pray to this silence, and even to address the prayer to "World." Distinctions blur. Quit your tents. Pray without ceasing.
Annie Dillard (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters)
Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that has nothing to do with you, This storm is you. Something inside you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up the sky like pulverized bones.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
They walked back into the world together, wearing the gift that had been given them: just life. Pity was not love, Barbie reflected...but if you were a child, giving clothes to someone who was naked had to be a step in the right direction.
Stephen King (Under the Dome)
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
I was still hurting, my heart still aching with all of the loss, but I began to attempt to live again. To wake, to move, to try taking small steps in the right direction. I was alone in that path.
R.K. Lilley (Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika, #2))
Reyes. Alexander. Farrow," I said. Seconds after I spoke his name, Reyes walked into his bedroom, and I looked across the open space directly from my room into his. He waited for me to continue. "I feel like there's something missing from my bedroom." A dimple appeared at the corner of his mouth. "You don't say." "Any idea what that might be?" He glanced around my room as well, then shrugged. "I can't imagine." "Oh, wait," I said, stepping from my room into his, "wasn't there something here? Like, I don't know, a wall or something?" He looked up. "You could be right. I do seem to remember a barrier of some kind here." "Yep," I said, stepping closer, "I definitely remember a partition separating our apartments." When his only response was a mischievous tilt of his full mouth, I asked, "Where did you put my wall?" He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against his doorframe. "What makes you think I took it?" "It was there this morning." "And that means I took it? Maybe you just misplaced it. Where exactly did you see it last?" I pressed my lips together. "You tore down my wall." The smile he wore could've charmed the panties off a nun. Completely unrepentant, he admitted, "I tore down your wall.
Darynda Jones (Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6))
The thing that nobody warned you about adulthood was the number of decisions you’d have to make, the number of times you’d have to depend on an unreliable gut to point you in the right direction, the number times you’d still feel like an eight-year-old, waiting for your parents to step in and save you from peril.
Claire Lombardo (The Most Fun We Ever Had)
Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step.
Naeem Callaway
I was only able to get over my past when I decided I was going to! As I’ve discovered, that’s how everything starts. I decided to get out of bed this morning. I decided to get ready for work (D’oh! Another early morning). Everything I did today was because I made a decision. Although we can’t set ourselves free, getting up and making a decision to move on from our past is a step in the right direction. We can’t do God’s part, and He won’t do our part. He can’t make that decision for you, because only you can. But once you have made that decision, He can help you with the rest.
Corallie Buchanan (Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose)
He steps back, still looking. In the painting, Willem's torso is directed toward the viewer, but his face is turned to the right so that he is almost in profile, and he is leaning towards something or someone and smiling. And because he knows Willem's smiles, he knows that Willem has been captured looking at something he loves, he knows Willem in that instant is happy. Willem's face and neck dominate the canvas and although the background is suggested rather than shown, he knows that Willem is at their table. He knows it from the way that JB has drawn the light and shadows on Willem's face. He has the sense that if he says Willem's name that the face in the painting will turn toward him and answer; he has the sense that if he stretches his hand out and strokes the canvas he will feel beneath his fingertips Willem's hair, his fringe of eyelashes. But he doesn't do this, of course, just looks up at last and sees JB smiling at him, sadly. "The title card's been mounted already," JB says, and he goes slowly to the wall behind the painting and sees its title - "Willem Listening to Jude Tell a Story, Greene Street"-and he feels his beneath abandon him; it feels as if his heart is made of something oozing and cold, like ground meat, and it is being squeezed inside a fist so that chunks of it are falling, plopping to the ground near his feet.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
And when that day comes, it won’t matter so much whether every step was in the right direction because life is not a straight line. It will only matter that you took them. That you never let yourself stand still.
Cora Carmack (All Played Out (Rusk University, #3))
Just believe in yourself, and you will realize that even those small steps taken in the right direction can produce great results.
Prem Jagyasi
Seven Ways To Get Ahead in Business: 1. Be forward thinking 2. Be inventive, and daring 3. Do the right thing 4. Be honest and straight forward 5. Be willing to change, to learn, to grow 6. Work hard and be yourself 7. Lead by example
Germany Kent
I DECLARE that God has a great plan for my life. He is directing my steps. And even though I may not always understand how, I know my situation is not a surprise to God. He will work out every detail to my advantage. In His perfect timing, everything will turn out right. This is my declaration.
Joel Osteen (I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life)
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao Tzu. "Just try to make sure that you step in the right direction.
Lao Tzu
Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed a red-painted finger down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.” Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?” “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?” In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red—
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
A circular economy is a step in the right direction towards a permaculture economy.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr (Principles of a Permaculture Economy)
After Bajju delivered a few beaming salutations, we walked northward up the makeshift, winding path through protruding brush, not much but a few stones placed here and there for balance and leverage upon ascending or descending. Having advanced about hundred steps from the street below, a sharp left leads to Bajju’s property, which begins with his family’s miniature garden – at the time any signs of fertility were mangled by dried roots which flailed like wheat straw, but within the day Bajju’s children vehemently delivered blows with miniature hoes in preparation for transforming such a plot into a no-longer-neglected vegetable garden. A few steps through the produce, or preferably circumventing all of it by taking a few extra steps around the perimeter, leads to the sky-blue painted home. Twisting left, hundreds of miles of rolling hills and the occasional home peeps out, bound below by demarcated farming steppes. If you’re lucky on a clear day and twist to the right, the monstrous, perpetually snow-capped Chaukhamba mountain monopolizes the distance just fifteen miles toward the direction of Tibet in the north.
Colin Phelan (The Local School)
Even a tiny forward step is a step in the right direction, no matter how small.
Khloé Kardashian (Strong Looks Better Naked)
It's better to be slow and careful in the right direction than to be fast and careless on the wrong path. Be sure that you are on the right path before you begin to take your steps!
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.
Bill Wilson
He steps back, still looking. In the painting, Willem’s torso is directed toward the viewer, but his face is turned to the right so that he is almost in profile, and he is leaning toward something or someone and smiling. And because he knows Willem’s smiles, he knows Willem has been captured looking at something he loves, he knows Willem in that instant was happy. Willem’s face and neck dominate the canvas, and although the background is suggested rather than shown, he knows that Willem is at their table; he knows it from the way JB has drawn the light and shadows on Willem’s face. He has the sense that if he says Willem’s name, the face in the painting will turn toward him and answer; he has the sense that if he stretches his hand out and strokes the canvas, he will feel beneath his fingertips Willem’s hair, his fringe of eyelashes. But he doesn’t do this, of course, just looks up at last and sees JB smiling at him, sadly. “The title’s card’s been mounted already,” JB says, and he goes slowly to the wall behind the painting and sees its title—Willem Listening to Jude Tell a Story, Greene Street—and he feels his breath abandon him; it feels as if his heart is made of something oozing and cold, like ground meat, and it is being squeezed inside a fist so that chunks of it are falling, plopping to the ground near his feet.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
As the shock was too great, the muscles in my left foot suddenly lost their strength. This led to it bending at the wrong angle and kicking into the muscle at the back of my lower right leg, which in turn caused the angle of my right knee to be incorrect and rendered it unable to direct my thigh to move in such a way as for me to take a step forward... Although it all sounds terribly complicated, simply put, this situation can be summarized as— I tripped.
Yu Wo (騎士基本理論 (吾命騎士, #1))
As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home. I have seen so many women inadvertently discourage their husbands from doing their share by being too controlling or critical. Social scientists call this "maternal gatekeeping" which is a fancy term for "Ohmigod, that's not the way you do it! Just move aside and let me!"...Anyone who wants her mate to be a true partner must treat him as an equal--and equally capable partner. And if that's note reason enough, bear in mind that a study found that wives who engage in gatekeeping behaviors do five more hours of family work per week than wives who take a more collaborative approach. Another common and counterproductive dynamic occurs when women assign or suggest taks to their partners. She is delegating, and that's a step in the right direction. But sharing responsibility should mean sharing responsibility. Each partner needs to be in charge of specific activities or it becomes too easy for one to feel like he's doing a favor instead of doing his part.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a part of every tribute they can't own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I. "A few steps into the woods grows a bank of wildflowers. Perhaps they are really weeds of some sort, but they have blossoms in beautiful shades of violet and yellow and white. I gather an armful and come back to Rues's side. Slowly, one stem at a time, I decorate her body in the flowers. Covering the ugly wound. Wreathing her face. Weaving her hair with bright colors. "They'll have to show it. Or, even if they choose to turn the cameras elsewhere at this moment, they'll have to bring them back when they collect the bodies and everyone will see her then and know I did it. I step back and take a last look at Rue. She really could be asleep in that meadow after all. ""Bye, Rue," I whisper. I press the three middle fingers of my left hand against my lips and hold them out in her direction. Then I walk away without looking back.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Sometimes in order to keep moving forward, not only must you take one step at a time, but you must be willing to look back occasionally and evaluate your past, no matter how painful it is. Looking back lets you know whether or not you are headed in the right direction.
G.K. Adams
Small steps in the right direction will still get you to the destination, but no steps at all won’t get you anywhere.
Benjamin Chapin (Thinking by Design)
So, Violet." Zane turns his chair in my direction. "Is your day getting better yet?" "Pretty sure it's getting worse as we speak," I say. - Zane's dark eyes are sparkling with humor. "Come on," he says. "It's not that bad, is it?" "Oh, let's see." I stare up at the fancy glass ball lamps hanging from the ceiling. "I got dumped at Taco Bill's today; fell down, split my pants, and generally humiliated myself in front of a complete stranger; went to dinner at a snooty restaurant, found out said stranger is my future step brother; got called a stripper, hooker, and virgin by my mother...did I leave anything out?" "Well, I don't know. The night is still young — anything could happen." The corners of his beautiful mouth twitch upwards. "It can only get better, right?" I frown. "Don't say that, you'll jinx me. Now my mom will come back and blurt out how she and Bill had kinky bathroom sex, and I'll run away before she can go into detail, and trip over that waiter carrying that flaming dessert - he'll go crashing into the lady with way too much product in her hair, and then the whole restaurant will be on fire.
Nicole Christie (Falling for the Ghost of You)
Because this I know for sure: Who you're meant to be evolves from where you are right now. So learning to appreciate your lessons, mistakes, and setbacks as stepping-stones to the future is a clear sign you're moving in the right direction.
Oprah Winfrey
A walk begins with one step and then another and another. No matter how long your journey seems, if you take enough steps in the right direction, you will eventually arrive at your desired destination.
Joyce Meyer (The Mind Connection: How the Thoughts You Choose Affect Your Mood, Behavior, and Decisions)
Your dream can be realized right in the present moment. You live your life in such a way that every step in the right direction and every breath along the way becomes the realization of your dream. Your dream does not take you away from the present; on the contrary, your dream becomes reality in the present moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now)
The thing that nobody warned you about adulthood was the number of decisions you’d have to make, the number of times you’d have to depend on an unreliable gut to point you in the right direction, the number of times you’d still feel like an eight-year-old, waiting for your parents to step in and save you from peril.
Claire Lombardo (The Most Fun We Ever Had)
So don't come in here acting like you matter. You left and took your high horse with you," he takes another step in my direction. My throat constricts. He's not finished, "And you show up here at my club thinking you can just waltz right in and have a say? No bitch.
Bink Cummings (The Diary of Bink Cummings: Vol 2 (MC Chronicles, #2))
He wasn't going to send her to any hospital. He knew that now. At a hospital they'd just start shooting her full of drugs and tell her to adjust. What they wouldn't see is that she is adjusting. That's what the insanity is. She's adjusting to something. The insanity is the adjustment. Insanity isn't necessarily a step in the wrong direction, it can be an intermediate step in a right direction. It wasn't necessarily a disease. It could be part of a cure.
Robert M. Pirsig (Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals (Phaedrus, #2))
Take a step that has a purpose of leading you to where you have planned to go. When the destination is right and the direction is wrong, it is impossible to get there. Make a step.
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
Your life is always speaking to you. It speaks in whispers, guiding you to your next right step.
Oprah Winfrey (The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose)
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go... Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV. Except when they don't Because, sometimes they won't. I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you. All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot. And when you're alone, there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on... You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never foget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! So... be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, You're off the Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
Magnus threw the monkey a fig. The monkey took the fig. "There," said Magnus. "Let us consider the matter settled." The monkey advanced, chewing in a menacing fashion. "I rather wonder what I am doing here. I enjoy city life, you know," Magnus observed. "The glittering lights, the constant companionship, the liquid entertainment. The lack of sudden monkeys." He ignored Giuliana's advice and took a smart step back, and also threw another piece of fruit. The monkey did not take the bait this time. He coiled and rattled out a growl, and Magnus took several more steps back and into a tree. Magnus flailed on impact, was briefly grateful that nobody was watching him and expecting him to be a sophisticated warlock, and had a monkey assault launched directly to his face. He shouted, spun, and sprinted through the rain forest. He did not even think to drop the fruit. It fell one by one in a bright cascade as he ran for his life from the simian menace. He heard it in hot pursuit and fled faster, until all his fruit was gone and he ran right into Ragnor. "Have a care!" Ragnor snapped. He detailed his terrible monkey adventure twice. "But of course you should have retreated at once from the dominant male," Giuliana said. "Are you an idiot? You are extremely lucky he was distracted from ripping out your throat by the fruit. He thought you were trying to steal his females." "Pardon me, but we did not have the time to exchange that kind of personal information," Magnus said. "I could not have known! Moreover, I wish to assure both of you that I did not make any amorous advances on female monkeys." He paused and winked. "I didn't actually see any, so I never got the chance." Ragnor looked very regretful about all the choices that had led to his being in this place and especially in this company. Later he stooped and hissed, low enough so Giuliana could not hear and in a way that reminded Magnus horribly of his monkey nemesis: "Did you forget that you can do magic?" Magnus spared a moment to toss a disdainful look over his shoulder. "I am not going to ensorcel a monkey! Honestly, Ragnor. What do you take me for?
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
Certainty creates strength. Certainty gives one something upon which to lean. Uncertainty creates weakness. Uncertainty makes one tentative if not fearful, and tentative steps, even when in the right direction, may not overcome significant obstacles.
John M. Barry (The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History)
Starting isn’t like that. Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events. You decide to walk to Cleveland. So you take a first step in the right direction. That’s starting. You spend the rest of the day walking toward Cleveland, one step at a time, picking your feet up and putting them down. At the end of the day, twenty miles later, you stop at a hotel. And what happens the next morning? Either you quit the project or you start again, walking to Cleveland. In fact, every step is a new beginning. Sure, you’re closer than you were yesterday or last week, but you’re still...
Seth Godin (Poke the Box)
Right now, we are in a peak cycle. There’s tremendous energy out there, directed against the state. It’s not all focused, but it’s there, and it’s building. Maybe this will be sufficient to accomplish what we must accomplish over the fairly short run. We’ll see, and we can certainly hope that this is the case. But perhaps not. We must be prepared to wage a long struggle. If this is the case then we’ll probably see a different cycle, one in which the revolutionary energy of the people seems to have dispersed, run out of steam. But – and this is important- such cycles are deceptive. Things appear to be at low ebb, but actually what’s happening is a period of regroupment, a period in which we step back and learn from the mistakes made during the preceding cycle.
George L. Jackson
He turned her ninety degrees. "To get back to the ranger station and your car, you want to go southwest," he said. Right. She knew that, and she stalked off in the correct direction. "Watch out for bears," Matt called after her. "Yeah, okay," she muttered, "and I'll also keep an eye out for the Tooth Fairy." "Three o'clock." Amy craned her neck and froze. Oh sweet baby Jesus, there really was a bear at three o'clock. Enjoying the last of the sun, he was big, brown and shaggy, and big. He lay flat on his back, his huge paws in the air as he stretched, confident that he sat at the top of the food chain. "Holy shit," she whispered, every Discovery Channel bear mauling she'd ever seen flashing in her mind. She backed up a step, and then another, until she bumped into a brick wall and nearly screamed. "Just a brown bear," said the brick wall that was Matt.
Jill Shalvis (At Last (Lucky Harbor, #5))
A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction. —Kurt Vonnegut
Scott Galloway (Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity)
Pity was not love, Barbie reflected...but if you were a child, giving clothes to someone who was naked had to be a step in the right direction.
Stephen King (Under the Dome)
The difference between life and death could be as simple and as uncomfortably slight as a step you take in either direction. Which means that I am here today, alive today, because I made the right choices, however brief and insignificant they felt at the time. I made the right choices.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
If we are at war, we’re not fighting for a bewitched alchemical manuscript, or for my safety, or for our right to marry and have children. This is about the future of all of us.” I saw that future for just a moment, its bright potential spooling away in a thousand different directions. “If our children don’t take the next evolutionary steps, it will be someone else’s children. And whiskey isn’t going to make it possible for me to close my eyes and forget that. No one else will go through this kind of hell because they love someone they’re not supposed to love. I won’t allow it.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
Everyone used to seem so grown up," I say. "Nobody does anymore. Look at us. Forty, fifty years ago we would have been our parents. Who are we now?" ... "They passed," Leonard says, "that's all." Fifty years ago you entered a closet marked 'marriage.' In the closet was a double set of clothes, so stiff they could stand up by themselves. A woman stepped into a dress called 'wife' and the man stepped into a suit called 'husband.' And that was it. They disappeared inside the clothes. Today, we don't pass. We're standing here naked. That's all." He strikes a match and holds it to his cigarette. "I'm not the right person for this life," I say. "Who is?" he says, exhaling in my direction.
Vivian Gornick (The Odd Woman and the City: A Memoir)
If I were to measure my successes by the mistakes that I have made & only focus on the lessons that were learned along the way, then that in itself overall, would be a positive step in the right direction.
Christine Upton
When the Time Is Right: December 7 There are times when we simply do not know what to do, or where to go, next. Sometimes these periods are brief, sometimes lingering. We can get through these times. We can rely on our program and the disciplines of recovery. We can cope by using our faith, other people, and our resources. Accept uncertainty. We do not always have to know what to do or where to go next. We do not always have clear direction. Refusing to accept the inaction and limbo makes things worse. It is okay to temporarily be without direction. Say “I don’t know,” and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none. While waiting for direction, we do not have to put our life on hold. Let go of anxiety and enjoy life. Relax. Do something fun. Enjoy the love and beauty in your life. Accomplish small tasks. They may have nothing to do with solving the problem, or finding direction, but this is what we can do in the interim. Clarity will come. The next step will present itself. Indecision, inactivity, and lack of direction will not last forever. Today, I will accept my circumstances even if I lack direction and insight. I will remember to do things that make myself and others feel good during those times. I will trust that clarity will come of its own accord.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series)
Life's journey is but a series of steps. It only takes one step in a different direction to change that from good to bad, or from good to even better. Make sure your next step takes you in the right directions.
Jean Williams
I trudged along through each day in its turn, looking up only rarely, eyes locked on the endless swamp that lay before me, planting my right foot, raising my left, planting my left food, raising my right, never sure where I was, never sure I was headed in the right direction, knowing only that I had to keep moving, one step at a time.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
We learn from pain that some of the things we thought were castles turn out to be prisons, and we desperately want out, but even though we built them, we can't find the door. Yet maybe if you ask God for help in knowing which direction to face, you'll have a moment of intuition. Maybe you'll see at least one next right step you can take.
Anne Lamott (Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers)
Perhaps tomorrow I shall pick up one of the houses, any one, and, holding it gently in one hand, pull it carefully apart with my other hand, with great delicacy taking the pieces of it off one after another: first the door and then, dislodging the slight nails with care, the right front corner of the house, board by board, and then, sweeping out the furniture inside, down the right wall of the house, removing it with care and not touching the second floor, which should remain intact even after the first floor is entirely gone. Then the stairs, step by step, and all this while the mannikins inside run screaming from each section of the house to a higher and a more concealed room, crushing one another and stumbling and pulling frantically, slamming doors behind them while my strong fingers pull each door softly off its hinges and pull the walls apart and lift out the windows intact and take out carefully the tiny beds and chairs; and finally they will be all together like seeds in a pomegranate, in one tiny room, hardly breathing, some of them fainting, some crying, and all wedged in together looking in the direction from which I am coming, and then, when I take the door off with sure careful fingers, there they all will be, packed inside and crushed back against the wall, and I shall eat the room in one mouthful, chewing ruthlessly on the boards and the small sweet bones.
Shirley Jackson (Hangsaman)
On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholics Anonymous)
You spend so much time being upset about being in the hospital in the first place that it is almost jarring to realize how many people don’t ever leave. I could have been just like his sister. I could have never woken up. But I did. I’m one of the ones who did. I consider for a moment what would have happened if I’d been standing just a little bit farther in the road or a little bit off to the side. What if I’d been thrown to the left instead of to the right? Or if the car had been going five miles per hour faster? I might not have ever woken up. Today could have been my funeral. How weird is that? How absolutely insane is that? The difference between life and death could be as simple and as uncomfortably slight as a step you take in either direction. Which means that I am here today, alive today, because I made the right choices, however brief and insignificant they felt at the time. I made the right choices.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Fantasy imposes order on the universe. Or, at least, it superimposes order on the universe. And it is a human order. Reality tells us that we exist for a brief, beleaguered span in a cold infinity; fantasy tells us that the figures in the foreground are important. Fantasy peoples the alien Outside, and it doesn’t matter a whole lot if it peoples it with good guys or bad guys. Putting ‘Hy-Brasil’ on the map is a step in the right direction, but if you can’t manage that, then ‘Here Be Dragons is better than nothing. Better than the void.
Terry Pratchett
I miss my mother every day,” I said. “But this is my life and everything that has made me who I am, so I can’t dwell on what might have been.”    I’d always be out of step with most people my age who’d been given many more chances to get it right, whose parents were there to scoop them up when they faltered and to point them in the right direction when indecisions were met.    I had quickly learned that my own safety net had sizeable gaping holes in it, which likely explained why lately I felt like I was at sea without a life preserver.
Meredith Wild (Hardwired (Hacker, #1))
Action is commonplace, right action is not. As a discipline, it’s not any kind of action that will do, but directed action. Everything must be done in the service of the whole. Step by step, action by action, we’ll dismantle the obstacles in front of us. With persistence and flexibility, we’ll act in the best interest of our goals. Action requires courage, not brashness—creative application and not brute force. Our movements and decisions define us: We must be sure to act with deliberation, boldness, and persistence. Those are the attributes of right and effective action. Nothing else—not thinking or evasion or aid from others. Action is the solution and the cure to our predicaments.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault. As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses. There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination. Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor. A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor). In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time. To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly. Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow. The less you do, the more you will accomplish. Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed. Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader. The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership. Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong. Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk. You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
Get your hand off of her before I bury a bullet in your head" Warner's eyes close very slowly. He steps away very slowly. His lips twitch into a dangerous smile. "Kent" Adam's hands are steady, the barrel of his gun pressed into the back of Warner's skull. "You're going to clear our exit out of here." Warner actually laughs He opens his eyes and whips a gun out of his inside pocket only to point it directly at my forhead. "I will kill her right now." "You're not that stupid" Adam says. "If she moves even a millimeter, I will shoot her, and then rip you to pieces." Adam shifts quickly, slamming the butt of his gun into Warner's head. Warner's gun misfires and Adam catches his arm and twists his wrist until his grip on the weapon wavers. I grab the gun from Warner's limp hand and slam the butt into his face. I point it at Warner's eyes. "Don't underestimate me." Warner coughs through a laugh, steadies himself, and tries to smile as he wipes the blood from his nose. "I never underestimate you," he says to me. "I never have.
Tahereh Mafi
Do this: Start marching toward your ultimate goal by making the next task you perform, regardless of how unimportant it may seem, a step in the right direction. Commit this question to memory and use it to evaluate everything you do: “Will this help take me where I want to go?” If the answer is no, back off; if yes, press ahead.
David J. Schwartz (The Magic of Thinking Big)
Moments of doubt are inevitable, especially in a culture that embraces cynicism and mocks idealism as a fool’s errand. But if we look at life through a historical lens, we find that the proverbial rock can be rolled, if not to the top of the mountain, then at least to successive plateaus. Indeed, simply pushing the rock in the right direction is cause for celebration. History also shows that even seemingly miraculous advances are in fact the result of many people taking small steps together over a long period of time. For every Desmond Tutu, there are thousands of anonymous men and women who have been equally principled, equally resolute in the same causes.
Paul Rogat Loeb (The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear)
Bayleigh got up from the table and walked slowly toward Cade, the shirt she'd stolen from him barely buttoned and enticing him with every step. His pupils dilated with desire and she watched his cock swell beneath his jeans. She moved as if she were going to straddle his lap, but at the last second, she moved her knee so it was pressed directly against his balls. His indrawn breath was enough to know that she was using the right amount of pressure. "Don't you ever threaten me with my brothers", she whispered in his ears. "I get enough of that from them and I won't take it from you too, no matter how much control you think our sleeping together gives you. I'm old enough to make my own decisions and take the consequences of my actions. I control my life. No one else." She nipped at his ear and felt satisfaction at his indrawn breath.
Liliana Hart (Cade (The MacKenzie Family #5))
Anger begs us to make a powerful commitment to what we will or will not tolerate in our lives any longer, making it our best friend if we can turn it in the right direction.
Katherine Woodward Thomas (Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After)
You'll end up right where you're supposed to be. Don't be surprised when you get there. Everything you did was a step in that direction. There is no such thing as bad luck.
Henry Rollins (Solipsist)
It was hardly a boom-town, but it was a faltering step in the right direction.
Paul Harris (The Secret Keeper)
We all make mistakes. Every wrong job I take is a mistake, but it's also a step in the right direction. If nothing else, it's a step away from the wrong one.
Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not)
Better to take one small step in the right direction than run a mile in the wrong one.
Agatha Swanburne/Maryrose Wood
Sometimes heading in the right direction required taking a few steps backward.
Zoraida Córdova (A Crash of Fate (Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, #1))
When Iran starts to regulate USA nuclear facilities, it will be a step in the right direction for the safety and security of 300 million people.
Steven Magee
Astronomy needs to clean up its act and the first step in the right direction is the demolition of the biologically toxic Mauna Kea Observatories.
Steven Magee
He was just…half alive. He had no fucking clue how to get back to the land of the living, but he did know one step he could take now in the right direction.
Lauren Layne (I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford, #2))
Every change begins with a single step in the right direction.
Laura Hervey
Take the first step in the direction toward something that feels right and see where it leads you. And do it NOW. 3.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
Take a step in the right direction and you will find your smile again. It will be there beaming by the light of God’s amazing grace.
Calvin W. Allison (Standing at the Top of the Hill)
You’ve taken the first step.” “There’s a second step?” said Tiffany. “No; there’s another first step. Every step is a first step if it’s a step in the right direction.
Terry Pratchett (I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld, #38))
How do I get past it?” she mumbles, not necessarily to him. Hate. Hurt. Guilt. And grief. So much of it that I feel its thickness and its weight, like she is drowning and can’t breathe. “A single step at a time,” the man says, speaking from some profound experience of his own and with deep understanding, making me wonder if all pain might be the same regardless of its origin. “You’re still here,” he goes on. “So there’s not really a choice. An inch, a foot, not necessarily in the right direction, but onward nonetheless.” My mom shudders a deep breath, looks up at him. “Until eventually,” he says, “the present becomes the past, and you are somewhere else altogether, hopefully in a better place than you are today.
Suzanne Redfearn (In an Instant)
I'll be right here. Good luck, or break a leg, or something.” As Jay and Gregory turned and headed into the crowd, my traitorous eyes returned to the corner and found another pair or eyes staring darkly back. I dropped my gaze for three full seconds, and then lifted my eyes again, hesitant. The drummer was still staring at me, oblivious to the three girls trying to win back his attention. He put up one finger at the girls and said something that looked like, “Excuse me.” Oh, my goodness. Was he...? Oh, no. Yes, he was walking this way. My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy-a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something. He looked straight into my eyes, which threw me off guard, because nobody ever looked me in the eye like that. Maybe Patti and Jay, but they didn't hold my stare like he was doing now. He didn't look away, and I found that I couldn't take my gaze off those blue eyes. “Who are you?” he asked in a blunt, almost confrontational way. I blinked. It was the strangest greeting I'd ever received. “I'm...Anna.” “Right. Anna. How very nice.” I tried to focus on his words and not his luxuriously accented voice, which made everything sound lovely. He leaned in closer. “But who are you?” What did that mean? Did I need to have some sort of title or social standing to enter his presence? “I just came with my friend Jay?” Oh, I hated when I got nervous and started talking in questions. I pointed in the general direction of the guys, but he didn't take his eyes off me. I began rambling. “They just wrote some songs. Jay and Gregory. That they wanted you to hear. Your band, I mean. They're really...good?” His eyes roamed all around my body, stopping to evaluate my sad, meager chest. I crossed my arms. When his gaze landed on that stupid freckle above my lip, I was hit by the scent of oranges and limes and something earthy, like the forest floor. It was pleasant in a masculine way. “Uh-huh.” He was closer to my face now, growling in that deep voice, but looking into my eyes again. “Very cute. And where is your angel?” My what? Was that some kind of British slang for boyfriend? I didn't know how to answer without continuing to sound pitiful. He lifted his dark eyebrows, waiting. “If you mean Jay, he's over there talking to some man in a suit. But he's not my boyfriend or my angel or whatever.” My face flushed with heat and I tightened my arms over my chest. I'd never met anyone with an accent like his, and I was ashamed of the effect it had on me. He was obviously rude, and yet I wanted him to keep talking to me. It didn't make any sense. His stance softened and he took a step back, seeming confused, although I still couldn't read his emotions. Why didn't he show any colors? He didn't seem drunk or high. And that red thing...what was that? It was hard not to stare at it. He finally looked over at Jay, who was deep in conversation with the manager-type man. “Not your boyfriend, eh?” He was smirking at me now. I looked away, refusing to answer. “Are you certain he doesn't fancy you?” Kaidan asked. I looked at him again. His smirk was now a naughty smile. “Yes,” I assured him with confidence. “I am.” “How do you know?” I couldn't very well tell him that the only time Jay's color had shown mild attraction to me was when I accidentally flashed him one day as I was taking off my sweatshirt, and my undershirt got pulled up too high. And even then it lasted only a few seconds before our embarrassment set in.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Their other hands flipped up, palm to palm, and Merik’s only consolation as he and the domna slid into the next movement of the dance was that her chest heaved as much as his did. Merik’s right hand gripped the girl’s, and with no small amount of ferocity, he twisted her around to face the same direction as he before wrenching her to his chest. His hand slipped over her stomach, fingers splayed. Her left hand snapped up—and he caught it. Then the real difficulty of the dance began. The skipping of feet in a tide of alternating hops and directions. The writhing of hips countered the movement of their feet like a ship upon stormy seas. The trickling tap of Merik’s fingers down the girl’s arms, her ribs, her waist—like the rain against a ship’s sail. On and on, they moved to the music until they were both sweating. Until they hit the third movement. Merik flipped the girl around to face him once more. Her chest slammed against his—and by the Wells, she was tall. He hadn’t realized just how tall until this precise moment when her eyes stared evenly into his and her panting breaths fought against his own. Then the music swelled once more, her legs twined into his, and he forgot all about who she was or what she was or why he had begun the dance in the first place. Because those eyes of hers were the color of the sky after a storm. Without realizing what he did, his Windwitchery flickered to life. Something in this moment awoke the wilder parts of his power. Each heave of his lungs sent a breeze swirling in. It lifted the girl’s hair. Kicked at her wild skirts. She showed no reaction at all. In fact, she didn’t break her gaze from Merik, and there was a fierceness there—a challenge that sent Merik further beneath the waves of the dance. Of the music. Of those eyes. Each leap backward of her body—a movement like the tidal tug of the sea against the river—led to a violent slam as Merik snatched her back against him. For each leap and slam, the girl added in an extra flourishing beat with her heels. Another challenge that Merik had never seen, yet rose to, rose above. Wind crashed around them like a growing hurricane, and he and this girl were at its eye. And the girl never looked away. Never backed down. Not even when the final measures of the song began—that abrupt shift from the sliding cyclone of strings to the simple plucking bass that follows every storm—did Merik soften how hard he pushed himself against this girl. Figuratively. Literally. Their bodies were flush, their hearts hammering against each other’s rib cages. He walked his fingers down her back, over her shoulders, and out to her hands. The last drops of a harsh rain. The music slowed. She pulled away first, slinking back the required four steps. Merik didn’t look away from her face, and he only distantly noticed that, as she pulled away, his Windwitchery seemed to settle. Her skirts stopped swishing, her hair fluttered back to her shoulders. Then he slid backward four steps and folded his arms over his chest. The music came to a close. And Merik returned to his brain with a sickening certainty that Noden and His Hagfishes laughed at him from the bottom of the sea.
Susan Dennard (Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1))
Decision #7: I know my purpose and take daily action in the direction of my vision. Consistency is key. If you continually take steps in the right direction, you will eventually arrive at your destination. Consistent action yields consistent results. “For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words,” King Solomon promised in the book of Ecclesiastes (5:3 NKJV).
Valorie Burton (Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient)
I think it should be done over, Buddy. …Please make peace with your wit. It's not going to go away, Buddy. To dump it on your own advice would be as bad and unnatural as dumping your adjectives and your adverbs because Prof. B. wants you to. What does he know about it? What do you really know about your own wit? I've been sitting here tearing up notes to you. I keep starting to say things like 'This one is wonderfully constructed,' and 'The conversation between the two cops is terrific.' So I'm hedging. I'm not sure why. I started to get a little nervous right after you began to read. It sounded like the beginning of something your arch-enemy Bob B. calls a rattling good story. Don't you think he would call this a step in the right direction? Doesn't that worry you? Even what is funny about the woman on the back of the truck doesn't sound like something you think is funny. It sounds much more like something that you think is universally considered funny. I feel gypped. Does that make you mad? You can say our relatedness spoils my judgement. It worries me enough. But I'm also just a reader. Are you a writer or just a writer of rattling good stories. I mind getting a rattling good story from you.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
I always believed that once you take a decision, you have to give it your all. However, by doing so you will eventually miss a piece of your heart, or should I say, you will miss a wagon of your locomotive; like a locomotive that switches tracks and heads in a new direction, taking the rest of the train, but leaving one (or five) behind, and within it, some of your behavior, actions, habits and dreams — right along with it. Well, that's what the consequences of our decisions are all about. So every now and then, when I randomly think about my next step, goal or dream, I end up thinking about the old me Vs. me now.
Efrat Cybulkiewicz
I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and jumped when I turned and found Ren’s brother standing behind me as a man. Ren got up, alert, and watched him carefully, suspicious of Kishan’s every move. Ren’s tail twitched back and forth, and a deep grumble issued from his chest. Kishan look down at Ren, who had crept even closer to keep an eye on him, and then looked back at me. He reached out his hand, and when I placed mine in it, he lifted it to his lips and kissed it, then bowed deeply with great aplomb. “May I ask your name?” “My name is Kelsey. Kelsey hayes.” “Kelsey. Well, I, for one, appreciate all the efforts you have made on our behalf. I apologize if I frightened you earlier. I am,” he smiled, “out of practice in conversing with young ladies. These gifts you will be offering to Durga. Would you kindly tell me more about them?” Ren growled unhappily. I nodded. “Is Kishan your given name?” “My full name is actually Sohan Kishan Rajaram, but you can call me Kishan if you like.” He smiled a dazzling white smile, which was even more brilliant due to the contrast with his dark skin. He offered an arm. “Would you please sit and talk with me, Kelsey?” There was something very charming about Kishan. I surprised myself by finding I immediately trusted and liked him. He had a quality similar to his brother. Like Ren, he had the ability to set a person completely at ease. Maybe it was their diplomatic training. Maybe it was how their mother raised them. Whatever it was made me respond positively. I smiled at him. “I’d love to.” He tucked my arm under his and walked with me over to the fire. Ren growled again, and Kishan shot a smirk in his direction. I noticed him wince when he sat, so I offered him some aspirin. “Shouldn’t we be getting you two to a doctor? I really think you might need stitches and Ren-“ “Thank you, but no. You don’t need to worry about our minor pains.” “I wouldn’t exactly call your wounds minor, Kishan.” “The curse helps us to heal quickly. You’ll see. We’ll both recover swiftly enough on our own. Still, it was nice to have such a lovely young woman tending to my injuries.” Ren stood in front of us and looked like he was a tiger suffering from apoplexy. I admonished, “Ren, be civil.” Kishan smiled widely and waited for me to get comfortable. Then he scooted closer to me and rested his arm on the log behind my shoulders. Ren stepped right between us, nudged his brother roughly aside with his furry head, creating a wider space, and maneuvered his body into the middle. He dropped heavily to the ground and rested his head in my lap. Kishan frowned, but I started talking, sharing the story of what Ren and I had been through. I told him about meeting Ren at the circus and about how he tricked me to get me to India. I talked about Phet, the Cave of Kanheri, and finding the prophecy, and I told him that we were on our way to Hampi. As I lost myself in our story, I stroked Ren’s head. He shut his eyes and purred, and then he fell asleep. I talked for almost an hour, barely registering Kishan’s raised eyebrow and thoughtful expression as he watched the two of us together. I didn’t even notice when he’d changed back into a tiger.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The hands-off manager is a different kind of visionary. The hands-off manager's vision is not a vision for what the company will be in 10 years. It’s a vision that sees into the potential of his people right here and now. Your success as a hands-off manager will be directly related to your ever-increasing ability to see more in your people than they’re seeing in themselves. The next step is inviting them to your vision of them.
Steve Chandler (Hands Off Manager: How to Mentor People and Allow Them to Be Successful)
What is wrong with you?” I say in lieu of greeting. “You went to Morris’s dorm and declared your intentions?” He offers a faint smile. “Of course. It was the noble thing to do. I can’t be chasing after another guy’s girl without his knowledge.” “I’m not his girl,” I snap. “We went on one date! And now I’m never going to be his girl, because he doesn’t want to go out with me again.” “What the hell?” Logan looks startled. “I’m disappointed in him. I thought he had more of a competitive spirit than that.” “Seriously? You’re going to pretend to be surprised? He won’t see me again because your jackass self told him he couldn’t.” Astonishment fills his eyes. “No, I didn’t.” “Yes, you did.” “Is that what he told you?” Logan demands. “Not in so many words.” “I see. Well, what words did he actually use?” I grit my teeth so hard my jaw aches. “He said he’s backing off because he doesn’t want to get in the middle of something so complicated. I pointed out that there’s nothing complicated about it, seeing as you and I are not together.” My aggravation heightens. “And then he insisted that I need to give you a chance, because you’re a—” I angrily air-quote Morris’s words “—‘stand-up guy who deserves another shot.’” Logan breaks out in a grin. I stab the air with my finger. “Don’t you dare smile. Obviously you put those words in his mouth. And what the hell was he jabbering about when he told me you and him were ‘family’?” All the disbelief I’d felt during my talk with Morris comes spiraling back, making me pace the bedroom in hurried strides. “What did you say to him, Logan? Did you brainwash him or something? How are you guys family? You don’t even know each other!” Strangled laughter sounds from Logan’s direction. I spin around and level a dark glower at him. “He’s talking about the joint family we created in Mob Boss. It’s this role-playing game where you’re the Don of a mob family and you’re fighting a bunch of other mafia bosses for territory and rackets and stuff. We played it when I went over there, and I ended up staying until four in the morning. Seriously, it was intense.” He shrugs. “We’re the Lorris crime syndicate.” I’m dumbfounded. Oh my God. Lorris? As in Logan and Morris? They fucking Brangelina’d themselves? “What is happening?” I burst out. “You guys are best friends now?” “He’s a cool guy. Actually, he’s even cooler in my book now for stepping down like that. I didn’t ask him to, but clearly he grasps what you refuse to see.” “Yeah, and what’s that?” I mutter. “That you and I are perfect for each other.” No words. There are no words to accurately convey what I’m feeling right now. Horror maybe? Absolute insanity? I mean, it’s not like I’m madly in love with Morris or anything, but if I’d known that kissing Logan at the party would lead to…this, I would have strapped on a frickin’ chastity gag.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
significance of having “another” Counselor who is “just like” Christ? Right now, imagine what it would be like to have Christ standing beside you in the flesh, functioning as your personal Counselor. Imagine the peace that would come from knowing you would always receive perfect truth and flawless direction from Him. That sounds amazing, and none of us could deny the benefit of having Jesus here physically, guiding and enabling us every step of the way.
Francis Chan (Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit)
This intellectual approach is a good first step, and it can provide important information, but since it is based on guesswork and theory, it can’t give you a full, nuanced understanding of a part. And even if your guesses are right, it will be difficult to heal the part since you aren’t in direct contact with it. Full transformation requires direct experience of a part and a trusting relationship with it, something we will see clearly as the book unfolds.
Jay Earley (Self-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy)
You know what it was like? It was like being in a blizzard. You can’t see what’s right in front of your face, you can’t hear anything except this white-noise roar that never lets up, you don’t have a clue where you are or where you’re heading, and it keeps just coming at you from every direction, just coming and coming and coming. All you can do is keep on taking the next step—not because it’ll actually get you anywhere, just so that you don’t lie down and die. That was what it was like.
Tana French (Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4))
POULTRY As a general rule, it’s okay to have pork, duck, goose, chicken, or turkey a few times per week, but you’ll benefit less than you would from sticking with fish or grass-fed ruminants. One of the problems with poultry is that poultry fat is high in omega-6 fats. In addition, the vast majority of chickens you can buy (even organic ones) are fed corn and soy. This means the fats are even lower in quality than they naturally would be and tend to contain more toxins than you’d find in grass-fed animals. It’s incredibly hard to find good-quality chicken. If you can find pastured organic chicken from a local farmer, it will be a big step in the right direction, but the fat will still be lower in quality than grass-fed beef or lamb because of the high omega-6 content.
Dave Asprey (The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life)
What would it take to get you to leave me alone?" "I think you know exactly what it would take." "What if I make you a deal?" His eyebrows wrinkled. "A deal?" Lowering my voice,I said, "What if I promise to go with you,but not until right before the Tunnels come?" I took a step closer in my sudden enthusiasm, and he backed up. "As long as I go with you before the Tunnels actually come, it will work.If you give me these last moments with Jack alone, I'll go with you." I tried not to let my face show the lie I was telling. His face went blank,then it broke out in a wide grin. "Golly, do you pinky swear?" he said sarcastically. When I didn't answer,he continued, "Your little plan would involve me taking quite a bit of faith.You're not exactly a safe bet." I guess I wasn't surprised. But I was so tired of Cole. I looked him directly in the eye. "If you can tell when I'm lying, you should know without a doubt when I'm telling the truth." I put my face even closer to his. "Here's the truth. I.Will.Never.Ever.Go with you." Cole's eyes became tight,and then I saw something on his face I'd never seen before.Genuine pain. I took in a short breath of surprise, but I stood my ground. If the hurt on his face was as real as it looked, maybe that's what it would take to get him to back down.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
Don’t hesitate to begin because it seems to you that you have a long way to go. It is better to spend your life moving in the right direction one step at a time than to have no direction at all. No matter what your problems may be, things can get better with God’s help.
Joyce Meyer (The Mind Connection: How the Thoughts You Choose Affect Your Mood, Behavior, and Decisions)
The Peacemaker Colt has now been in production, without change in design, for a century. Buy one to-day and it would be indistinguishable from the one Wyatt Earp wore when he was the Marshal of Dodge City. It is the oldest hand-gun in the world, without question the most famous and, if efficiency in its designated task of maiming and killing be taken as criterion of its worth, then it is also probably the best hand-gun ever made. It is no light thing, it is true, to be wounded by some of the Peacemaker’s more highly esteemed competitors, such as the Luger or Mauser: but the high-velocity, narrow-calibre, steel-cased shell from either of those just goes straight through you, leaving a small neat hole in its wake and spending the bulk of its energy on the distant landscape whereas the large and unjacketed soft-nosed lead bullet from the Colt mushrooms on impact, tearing and smashing bone and muscle and tissue as it goes and expending all its energy on you. In short when a Peacemaker’s bullet hits you in, say, the leg, you don’t curse, step into shelter, roll and light a cigarette one-handed then smartly shoot your assailant between the eyes. When a Peacemaker bullet hits your leg you fall to the ground unconscious, and if it hits the thigh-bone and you are lucky enough to survive the torn arteries and shock, then you will never walk again without crutches because a totally disintegrated femur leaves the surgeon with no option but to cut your leg off. And so I stood absolutely motionless, not breathing, for the Peacemaker Colt that had prompted this unpleasant train of thought was pointed directly at my right thigh. Another thing about the Peacemaker: because of the very heavy and varying trigger pressure required to operate the semi-automatic mechanism, it can be wildly inaccurate unless held in a strong and steady hand. There was no such hope here. The hand that held the Colt, the hand that lay so lightly yet purposefully on the radio-operator’s table, was the steadiest hand I’ve ever seen. It was literally motionless. I could see the hand very clearly. The light in the radio cabin was very dim, the rheostat of the angled table lamp had been turned down until only a faint pool of yellow fell on the scratched metal of the table, cutting the arm off at the cuff, but the hand was very clear. Rock-steady, the gun could have lain no quieter in the marbled hand of a statue. Beyond the pool of light I could half sense, half see the dark outline of a figure leaning back against the bulkhead, head slightly tilted to one side, the white gleam of unwinking eyes under the peak of a hat. My eyes went back to the hand. The angle of the Colt hadn’t varied by a fraction of a degree. Unconsciously, almost, I braced my right leg to meet the impending shock. Defensively, this was a very good move, about as useful as holding up a sheet of newspaper in front of me. I wished to God that Colonel Sam Colt had gone in for inventing something else, something useful, like safety-pins.
Alistair MacLean (When Eight Bells Toll)
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
we thought were castles turn out to be prisons, and we desperately want out, but even though we built them, we can’t find the door. Yet maybe if you ask God for help in knowing which direction to face, you’ll have a moment of intuition. Maybe you’ll see at least one next right step you can take.
Anne Lamott (Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers)
Let's get it over with, so I can stop wondering. How many have there been?" Lauren stared at him."How many what?" "Lovers," he clarified bitterly. She could hardly believe her ears. After treating her as if her standards of morality were childish, after acting as if promiscuity was a virtue, after telling her how man preferred experienced women, he was jealous. Because now he cared. Lauren didn't know whether to hit him, burst out laughing or hug him. Instead she decided to exact just a tiny bit of revenge for all the misery and uncertainty he had put her through. Turning,she walked over to the bar and reached for a bottle of white wine. "Why should the number make any difference?" she asked innocently. "You told me in Harbor Springs that men don't prize virginity anymore, that they don't expect or want a woman to be inexperienced.Right?" "Right," he said grimly, glowering at the ice cubes in his glass. "You also said," she continued, biting back a smile, "that women have the same physical desires men have,and that we have the right to satisfy them with whomever we wish.You were very emphatic about that-" "Lauren," he warned in a low voice, "I asked you a simple question. I don't care what the answer is, I just want an answer so I can stop wondering. Tell me how many there were. Tell me if you liked the, if you didn't give a damn abou them,or if you did it to get even with me.Just tell me.I won't hold it against you." Like hell you wouldn't! Lauren thought happily as she struggled to uncork the bottle of wine. "Of course you won't hold it against me," she said lightly. "You specifically said-" "I know what I said," he snapped tersely. "Now,how many?" She flicked a glance in his direction, implying that she was bewildered by his tone. "Only one." Angry regret flared in his eyes,and his body tensed as if he had just felt a physical blow. "Did you...care about him?" "I thought I loved him at the time," Lauren said brightly, twisting the corkscrew deeper into the cork. "All right.Let's forget him," Nick said curtly. He finally noticed her efforts with the wine bottle and walked over to help her. "Are you going to be able to forget him?" Lauren asked, admiring the ease with which he managed the stubborn cork. "I will...after a while." "What do you mean,after a while? You said there was nothing promiscuous about a woman satisfying her biological-" "I know what I said,dammit!" "Then why do you look so angry? You didn't lie to me,did you?" "I didn't lie," he said, slamming the bottle onto the bar and reaching for a glass from the cabinet. "I believed it at the time." "Why?" she goaded. "Because it was convenient to believe it," he bit out. "I was not in love with you then." Lauren loved him more at that moment than ever. "Would you like me to tell you about him?" "No," he said coldly. Her eyes twinkled, but she backed a cautious step out of his reach. "You would have approved of him. He was tall, dark, and handsome, like you. Very elegant,sophisticated and experienced. He wore down my resistence in two days,and-" "Dammit, stop it!" Nick grated in genuine fury. "His name is John." Nick braced both hands on the liguor cabinet,his back to her. "I do not want to hear this!" "John Nicholas Sinclair," Lauren clarified.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Finally there are those who saw at once that the question was a trap. There is no answer. Instead of wasting time grappling with that trap. They decide to act. They look to their childhood and look for what filled them with enthusiasm then and disregarding the advice of their elders, devote their life to it. Because enthusiasm is the sacred fire. They slowly discover, their actions are linked to a mysterious impulse beyond human knowledge. And they bow their heads as a sign of respect for that mystery and pray that they will not be diverted from a path they do not know, a path which they have chosen to travel because of the flame burning in their hearts. They use their intuition when they can and resort to discipline when intuition fails them. They seem quite mad. And sometimes they behave like mad people. But they are not mad. They have discovered true love and will. And those two things reveal the goal and the direction that they should follow. Their will is crystalline, their love is pure and their steps determined. In moments of doubt or sadness they never forget: I am an instrument, allow me to be an instrument capable of manifesting your will. They have chosen their road, and they may understand what their goal is only when they find themselves before the unwanted visitor. That is the beauty of the person who continues onward with enthusiasm and respect for the mystery of life as his only guide. His road is beautiful, and his burden light. The goal will be large or small, it can be far away or right next door. He goes in search of it with respect and honor. He knows what each step means, and how much it costs in effort and training and intuition. He focuses not just on the goal to be reached but on everything happening around him. He often has to stop because his strength fails him. At such moments, love appears and says: You think you're heading toward a specific point, but the whole justification for the goals existence lies in your love for it. Rest a little. But as soon as you can, get up and carry on. Because ever since your goal found out that you were traveling toward it, it has been running to meet you.
Paulo Coelho
I don't even like the word ‘indoors’. It doesn’t make sense. According to you right now, by stepping through the doorway I’d be indoors. Yet I wouldn’t actually be standing in the doorway. If it’s supposed to refer to being inside a building, then they shouldn’t have used the word ‘door,’ since last time I checked, doors don’t make up every square inch of a building! And I’d assume that now, since I’m not indoors, you’d say I’m ‘out of doors’, right? But, shouldn’t out of doors just be everywhere that’s not directly under a door? You know what, from now on I insist that everyone refer to being in a building as being ‘under-roof’.
Natalie Bina (Vermilion Departure)
We don't have to see the whole road ahead of us to assure that we're going in the right direction. We take it in stride by staying positive, having faith, and maintaining that vision of happiness. Sometimes I obsess over trying to control the circumstances and wanting to always know the outcome, but the truth is, it is created all along the way. We aid it by our choices. The guidance is there. As soon as we take that single first step in the direction of our Destiny, signs are posted all along the way. All we have to do is keep our eyes peeled! If you want your life filled with abundance, be grateful for what you have. When you realize how abundant your life is already, you attract further abundance
Jason Micheal Ratliff
My turn,” Anthony barked. He gave the pink ball a disdainful glance, then gave it a good whack. It sailed splendidly over the grass, only to slam into a tree and drop like a stone to the ground. “Brilliant!” Colin exclaimed, getting ready to take his turn. Anthony muttered a few things under his breath, none of which were suitable for gentle ears. Colin sent the yellow ball toward the first wicket, then stepped aside to let Kate try her hand. “Might I have a practice swing?” she inquired. “No.” It was a rather loud no, coming, as it did, from three mouths. “Very well,” she grumbled. “Stand back, all of you. I won’t be held responsible if I injure anyone on the first try.” She drew back on her mallet with all her might and slammed it into the ball. It sailed through the air in a rather impressive arc, then smacked into the same tree that had foiled Anthony and plopped on the ground right next to his ball. “Oh, dear,” Daphne said, setting her aim by drawing back on her mallet a few times without actually hitting the ball. “Why ‘oh, dear’?” Kate asked worriedly, not reassured by the duchess’s faintly pitying smile. “You’ll see.” Daphne took her turn, then marched off in the direction of her ball. Kate looked over at Anthony. He looked very, very pleased with the current state of affairs. “What are you going to do to me?” she asked. He leaned forward devilishly. “What am I not going to do to you might be a more appropriate question.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
The crowd started going crazy. Like even crazier than when Romeo got up from the hit. I was clinging to the railing, wondering if I would like prison, when Ivy sighed. "I swear. You have all the luck." Confused, I glanced around. Romeo was jogging toward us, helmet in his hands. Quickly, I glanced at the big screen and it was showing a wide shot of me clinging onto the rails and him running toward us. When he arrived, he slapped the guard on his back and said something in his ear. The guard looked at me and grinned and then walked away. Romeo stepped up to where I was. At the height I was at one the railing, for once I was taller than him. "You're killing me, Smalls," he said. "I had to interrupt a championship game to keep you from going to the slammer." "I was worried. You didn't get up." "And so you were just going to march out on the field and what?" God, he looked so… so incredible right then. His uniform stretched out over his wide shoulders and narrow waist. The pads strapped to his body made him look even stronger. He had grass stains on his knees, sweat in his hair, and ornery laughter in his sparkling blue eyes. I swear I'd never seen anyone equal parts of to-die-for good looks and boy-next-door troublemaker. "I was going to come out there and kiss it and make it better." He threw back his head and laughed, and the stadium erupted once more. I was aware that every moment between us was being broadcast like some reality TV show, but for once, I didn't care how many people were staring. This was our moment. And I was so damn happy he wasn't hurt. "So you're okay, then?" I asked. "Takes a lot more than a shady illegal attack to keep me down." Behind him, the players were getting back to the game, rushing out onto the field, and the coach was yelling out orders. "I'll just go back to my seat, then," I said. He rushed forward and grabbed me off the railing. The crown cheered when he slid me down his body and pressed his lips to mine. It wasn't a chaste kiss. It was the kind of kiss that made me blush when I watched it on TV. But I kissed him back anyway. I got lost in him. When he pulled back, I said, "By the way, You're totally kicking ass out there." He chuckled and put me back on the railing and kept one hand on my butt as I climbed back over. Back in the stands, I gripped the cold metal and gave him a small wave. He'd been walking backward toward his team, but then he changed direction and sprinted toward me. In one graceful leap, he was up on the wall and leaning over the railing. "Love you," he half-growled and pressed a swift kiss to my lips. "Next touchdown's for you.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
He slammed his cup down. Coffee splashed over the rim and puddled around the base. “What on earth gave you the idea I want space? I want you here. With me. All the time. I want to come home and hear the shower running and get excited because I know you’re in it. I want to struggle every morning to get up and go to the gym because I hate the idea of leaving your warm body behind in bed. I want to hear a key turn in the lock and feel contented knowing you’re home. I don’t want fucking space, Harper.” Harper laughed. “What’s funny?” “I didn’t mean space. I meant space, like closet space, a drawer in the bedroom, part of the counter in the bathroom.” Trent’s mouth twitched, a slight smile making its way to his lips. “Like a compromise. A commitment that I want more. I seem to recall you telling me in the car about something being a step in the right direction to a goal we both agreed on. Well, I want all those things you just said, with you, eventually. And if we start to leave things at each other’s places, it’s a step, right?” Trent reached up, flexing his delicious tattooed bicep, and scratched the side of his head. Without speaking, he leapt to his feet, grabbing Harper and pulling her into a fireman’s lift. “Trent,” she squealed, kicking her feet to get free. “What are you doing?” He slapped her butt playfully and laughed as he carried her down the hallway. Reaching the bedroom, Trent threw her onto the bed. “We’re doing space. Today, right now.” He started pulling open his drawers, looking inside each one before pulling stuff out of the top drawer and dividing it between the others. “Okay, this is for your underwear. I need to see bras, panties, and whatever other girly shit you have in here before the end of the day.” Like a panther on the prowl, Trent launched himself at the bed, grabbing her ankle and pulling her to the edge of the bed before sweeping her into his arms to walk to the bathroom. He perched her on the corner of the vanity, where his stuff was spread across the two sinks. “Pick one.” “Pick one what?” “Sink. Which do you want?” “You’re giving me a whole sink? Wait … stop…” Trent grabbed her and started tickling her. Harper didn’t recognize the girly giggles that escaped her. Pointing to the sink farthest away from the door, she watched as he pushed his toothbrush, toothpaste, and styling products to the other side of the vanity. He did the same thing with the vanity drawers and created some space under the sink. “I expect to see toothbrush, toothpaste, your shampoo, and whatever it is that makes you smell like vanilla in here.” “You like the vanilla?” It never ceased to surprise her, the details he remembered. Turning, he grabbed her cheeks in both hands and kissed her hard. He trailed kisses behind her ear and inhaled deeply before returning to face her. “Absolutely. I fucking love vanilla,” he murmured against her lips before kissing her again, softly this time. “Oh and I’d better see a box of tampons too.” “Oh my goodness, you are beyond!” Harper blushed furiously. “I want you for so much more than just sex, Harper.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
In the living room Derek sprawled on the floor on a blanket, his eyes closed, his body human, corded with hard muscle, and covered only with a strategically placed towel. Julie knelt by him, long tweezers in her hand. “What’s going on?” “Quills,” she said. “Very thin quills. There was a magic plant and he decided it would be a good idea to give it a hug. Because he is smart that way.” So they had taken Julie with them. Considering where I’d gone and what I did while there, I didn’t have room to talk. Derek didn’t bother opening his eyes. “I wasn’t giving it a hug. I was shielding Ella.” “Mm-hm.” Julie plucked a thin needle from his stomach. “You shielded her really well. Because it’s not like we didn’t have Carlos with us.” Carlos was a firebug. The plant must’ve gotten torched. “We’ll need to work on mixed-unit tactics,” Curran said. He looked tired. It must’ve been hell. “So what did you do in Mishmar?” Umm. Ehh. In my head I had somehow expected Erra to stay in Mishmar. “I saw my father,” I said. Start small. “How was that?” Curran asked. “He’s a little upset with me.” “Aha.” “I broke Mishmar a little bit.” The three of them looked at me. “But it was mostly my grandmother who did it.” “How much is a little bit?” Derek asked. “There might be a crack. About maybe seven feet at the widest point.” Derek laughed. “And what else?” Curran asked. Perceptive bastard. “And this.” I pulled out the dagger and showed it to him. “You made a magic knife?” he asked. “Yes. In a manner of speaking.” “But you still have to get close enough to stab Roland with it,” Derek said. “That’s not how it works.” Help me, somebody. Curran was looking right at me. “Kate?” “It’s more of an advising kind of knife.” “You should come clean,” he said. “Whatever it is, it’s done and we can handle it.” My aunt tore into existence in the center of the room. “Hello, half-breed.” Curran exploded into a leap. Unfortunately, Derek also exploded at exactly the same time but from the opposite direction. They collided in Erra’s translucent body with a loud thud. Derek fell back and Curran stumbled a few steps. Erra pointed at Curran with her thumb. “You want to marry this? Is there a shortage of men?” Curran leapt forward and swiped at her head. His hand passed through my aunt’s face. Derek jumped to his feet and circled Erra, his eyes glowing. “I fear for my grandnephew,” Erra said. “He will be an idiot.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9))
Realize that everyone cannot see and understand as you do. Many times when God begins to lead you in a particular direction, He has been preparing you for a change for quite some time. You will perceive what He is doing and where He wants to take you in a deeply personal way. You may be able to see how the place you are going is exactly the right next step for you, and you may have the wisdom you need to go through the various steps of the journey. But because this is something God is doing in your life, the people around you cannot always sense or discern where and how God is leading you. They may not even recognize the general direction in which He is moving you during this particular time. When these dynamics enter into a relationship, I believe they are huge indicators of a need for transition.
Van Moody (The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose)
On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholics Anonymous)
A value-added step in a process is defined by three characteristics. First, the step must be something that the customer is willing to pay for. Second, the step must directly change the form, fit, or function of something to produce a product or service. The final characteristic of a value-added step is that it is so important that it must be done right every time to successfully produce the intended product or service.
Robert E. Hamm Jr. (Continuous Improvement; Values, Assumptions, and Beliefs for Successful Implementation: It's All About the Culture)
A close examination of the instructions in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta reveals that the meditator is never instructed to interfere actively with what happens in the mind. If a mental hindrance arises, for example, the task of satipaṭṭhāna contemplation is to know that the hindrance is present, to know what has led to its arising, and to know what will lead to its disappearance. A more active intervention is no longer the domain of satipaṭṭhāna, but belongs rather to the province of right effort (sammā vāyāma). The need to distinguish clearly between a first stage of observation and a second stage of taking action is, according to the Buddha, an essential feature of his way of teaching. The simple reason for this approach is that only the preliminary step of calmly assessing a situation without immediately reacting enables one to undertake the appropriate action.
Bhikkhu Anālayo (Satipaṭṭhāna: The Direct Path to Realization)
The people around me had gone on ahead long before, while my time and I hung back, struggling through the mud. I trudged along through each day in its turn, rarely looking up, eyes locked on the never-ending swamp that lay before me, planting my right foot, raising my left, planting my left foot, raising my right, never sure where I was, never sure I was headed in the right direction, knowing only that I had to keep moving, one step at a time.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
There are human boys here somewhere?” Zoey asked. Aurox’s face scrunched up as he frowned at her. “Not here. Outside—out there. ” He pointed in the general direction of the door to the field house behind them. “Outside the field house!” she almost yelled. “Zo, sometimes I think you don’t listen so good,” Aurox said. Still frowning at her, he continued speaking slowly, as if trying to get her to understand a foreign language. “Two boys. Outside the wall. With the keg. And cups. They. Want. Hot. Vampyre. Chicks.” “Okay, I think I get it.” Stark grabbed Aurox’s arm and started to drag him toward the door and away from Z before she went for his throat, although that would have been funny as hell. “You found two kids, with beer, trying to get over the wall, right?” “See, you listen better.” Aurox patted him on the back, almost knocking Stark over. “But they’re just looking through the hole for vampyre pussy, not trying to get over the wall.” “If you say pussy one more time I’m going to smack the crap out of you,” Zoey said, coming after them. “You can’t come!” Aurox stumbled to a stop. “You have legs and tits!” “Oh. My. Goddess. I’m going to kill him!” Stark stepped between the two of them. He faced Zoey. She’d gone from pale to bright red in zero-point-nothing seconds. “Z, I think this is something that a Warrior needs to handle.” Behind him, Aurox belched, sending a wave of beer air wafting over them. Zoey narrowed her eyes and pointed at Aurox. “You have never been able to drink!” Then she spun around and stomped back to the basement entrance, slamming the door behind her. “She seems mad. Should we bring her a beer?” Aurox said. Stark covered his laugh with a cough. “Ur, no. Z doesn’t like beer.” “Doesn’t like beer? She should. It would make her head feel bubbly and happy.” Stark didn’t bother to cover his laugh a second time. “I wish it worked that way with her, but it doesn’t.” “Because she has legs and tits?” Stark knew it was wrong, but he couldn’t stop himself. “I’m not sure. Maybe you should ask her next time you see her.” Aurox nodded, looking as serious as a drunk could look. “I will.” “That should be fun. But until then, show me where these humans are, and while we’re going there, start back at the beginning and tell me exactly what happened before and after you were introduced to the red Solo cup.
Kristin Cast (Revealed (House of Night, #11))
Leaders are not leaders because they’re smarter, more talented, or more organized than those around them. Nor because they’re tall or wealthy or more muscular. Leaders are the ones who take courage. Regardless of what is going on around them, they repeatedly exercise the courage to step up and use their influence to move others in the right direction. People will follow a leader even if he doesn’t have it all together. But they won’t follow a man without courage, because a man without courage won’t lead.
Stephen Kendrick (The Resolution for Men)
For quite a long time I have been examining myself concerning the pertinence of Birthdays, while the date and time is linear, What is the point of celebrating it every year over and over once more, and afterward I understand we invested the vast majority of our energy in attempting to substantiate ourselves the best on the boundaries, all set by others, be it kids, soul mate, guardians, companions, seniors and so forth, and in this journey we will generally fail to remember what initially we needed with ourselves. Birthday is one day which offers us a chance to make a huge stride towards the directions we at any point needed to set out for ourselves. It ought to be made consistently, as the principal right stride, towards your own objectives to provide guidance to every single further advance. I pray that you will actually assemble your entire existence today to take a step towards your own objectives, without blending your objectives in with the objectives of others. Enjoy more than ever and never later. Have an Extraordinary Birthday!!!
Manish Kejriwal
You really believe all that? About how there’s only one end in sight for people like you?” Amity said, tipping her chin back toward the sky and pulling her hat partway down her face, so only her nose and mouth were visible. “Horseshit. You only think that because you’ve never seen different.” Esther started to reply, but Amity held up a still-bloody finger. “Don’t interrupt me, pup. You know I’m right. You’re a woman and you love people who aren’t men, is that right?” Esther hesitated to make sure she wasn’t interrupting. “That’s right,” she said, “but—” “No but, it’s just true,” Amity said, proving that her rule about interruptions only ran in one direction. “And you’ve only ever read stories about people like you, right? You’ve never met one of your kind before now. Well, except for Beatriz,” she added. “Ain’t that so?” “Yeah,” Esther answered reluctantly. She sensed a trap coming, but she couldn’t figure out how to step around it. “All those stories you’ve read,” Amity said softly, pulling her hat back off her eyes by a few degrees. “Who gave ’em to you?
Sarah Gailey (Upright Women Wanted)
Now ease off the brake, I mean flip-flop.” The truck crawled backward. “Now, when you’re far enough back, step on the brake again.” The edge of the woods came closer. “Good. Just a little more.” We went another few feet. “Okay, stop.” The truck kept going. “Brake Morgan.” “Which one’s the brake?” “Left, I mean, flip-flop.” The truck jerked to a stop. I slammed my hand against the dash to keep from getting thrown around. “You’re not a very good copilot, Grant.” “You’re not a very good pilot.” “That’s because I don’t know how to drive.” Morgan flexed his hand on the steering wheel. I counted to ten before saying anything. “Now you need to put the truck in drive and make a right… I mean bare foot.” The truck shot forward. “Stop, Morgan. Stop. Flip-flop.” It jerked to a stop hard enough to dump me into the floorboard and crack my head on the dash. “Fuck.” I struggled to get back into the seat. “Should have brought a helmet.” “If I’d known you were going to try to kill me, I would have.” “You’re the one who said bare foot.” “I meant direction.” “We didn’t discuss direction, just flip-flops and bare feet.
Adrienne Wilder (In the Absence of Light (Morgan & Grant, #1))
I stepped to the tank's edge, leaned in, and concentrated on keeping my eyes open. Which fish would be the shooter? The fish were all facing me, but one in particular seemed to be staring directly at my left eye, like a hunter targeting his prey. Wham! The water hit my pupil with such force that I jerked back …. Laughing, I wiped my left eye but stayed by the tank, my left hand resting on its edge. Another fish quickly seized the opportunity to blast the diamond in my engagement ring, while a third targeted the red carnelian stone in my earring, and yet another shot my right eye.
Virginia Morell
Etien’s very depressed,” Ghosh said. “Not about the cancer, but over his colostomy. He can’t accept the idea of waste coming out from an opening in his abdomen.” Etien had the sheet over his head. When Ghosh examined him, and then said the colostomy looked beautiful, tears welled up in Etien’s big eyes. He wouldn’t look down there. All he said was “Who will marry me now?” Ghosh was surprisingly firm. “Etien, that’s not the part of your body I cut off, the marrying part. You’ll find a woman who loves you, and you’ll explain it to her. If she loves you for yourself, you’ll both be glad that you are alive.” Ghosh’s facial expression brooked no argument, but then he softened. “Etien, imagine if all humans were born with their anus on the belly and that’s where everyone’s waste emerged. Then imagine if someone said they were going to operate on you and reroute your bowel so it opened behind you, between your buttock cheeks, somewhere where you couldn’t see it except in a mirror, and where you could hardly reach it or easily keep it clean …” It took a few seconds, but then Etien smiled. He dabbed his eyes. He ventured a glance down at his colostomy. It was a small step in the right direction.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
Scared?” Terrified. “Of you? Nah. If you grow claws, I might get my sword, but I’ve fought you in your human shape.” It took all my will to shrug. “You aren’t that impressive.” He cleared the distance between us in a single leap. I barely had time to jump to my feet. Steel fingers grasped my left wrist. His left arm clasped my waist. I fought, but he outmuscled me with ridiculous ease, pulling me close as if to tango. “Curran! Let . . . “ I recognized the angle of his hip but I could do nothing about it. He pulled me forward and flipped me in a classic hip-toss throw. Textbook perfect. I flew through the air, guided by his hands, and landed on my back. The air burst from my lungs in a startled gasp. Ow. “Impressed yet?” he asked with a big smile. Playing. He was playing. Not a real fight. He could’ve slammed me down hard enough to break my neck. Instead he had held me to the end, to make sure I landed right. He leaned forward a little. “Big bad merc, down with a basic hip toss. In your place I’d be blushing.” I gasped, trying to draw air into my lungs. “I could kill you right now. It wouldn’t take much. I think I’m actually embarrassed on your behalf. At least do some magic or something.” As you wish. I gasped and spat my new power word. “Osanda.” Kneel, Your Majesty. He grunted like a man trying to lift a crushing weight that fell on his shoulders. His face shook with strain. Ha-ha. He wasn’t the only one who got a boost from a flare. I got up to my feet with some leisure. Curran stood locked, the muscles of his legs bulging his sweatpants. He didn’t kneel. He wouldn’t kneel. I hit him with a power word in the middle of a bloody flare and it didn’t work. When he snapped out of it, he would probably kill me. All sorts of alarms blared in my head. My good sense screamed, Get out of the room, stupid! Instead I stepped close to him and whispered in his ear, “Still not impressed.” His eyebrows came together, as a grimace claimed his face. He strained, the muscles on his hard frame trembling with effort. With a guttural sigh, he straightened. I beat a hasty retreat to the rear of the room, passing Slayer on the way. I wanted to swipe it so bad, my palm itched. But the rules of the game were clear: no claws, no saber. The second I picked up the sword, I’d have signed my own death warrant. He squared his shoulders. “Shall we continue?” “It would be my pleasure.” He started toward me. I waited, light on my feet, ready to leap aside. He was stronger than a pair of oxen, and he’d try to grapple. If he got ahold of me, it would be over. If all else failed, I could always try the window. A forty-foot drop was a small price to pay to get away from him. Curran grabbed at me. I twisted past him and kicked his knee from the side. It was a good solid kick; I’d turned into it. It would’ve broken the leg of any normal human. “Cute,” Curran said, grabbed my arm, and casually threw me across the room. I went airborne for a second, fell, rolled, and came to my feet to be greeted by Curran’s smug face. “You’re fun to play with. You make a good mouse.” Mouse? “I was always kind of partial to toy mice.” He smiled. “Sometimes they’re filled with catnip. It’s a nice bonus.” “I’m not filled with catnip.” “Let’s find out.” He squared his shoulders and headed in my direction. Houston, we have a problem. Judging by the look in his eyes, a kick to the face simply wouldn’t faze him. “I can stop you with one word,” I said. He swiped me into a bear hug and I got an intimate insight into how a nut feels just before the nutcracker crushes it to pieces. “Do,” he said. “Wedding.” All humor fled his eyes. He let go and just like that, the game was over.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
It's easy for the reader from his quiet vantage point high above the melee whence his eye sweeps over the whole horizon and he can see everything that is happening below--but a man down there can only see the subject nearest him. In the same way, in the world chronicle of mankind, there seem to be many centuries that could be crossed out and expunged as useless. There have been many errors committed in the world which we would not expect a child to commit today. What tortuous, blind, impassable, devious paths has mankind trodden in its search for eternal truth, while all the time, right before it, lay the straight road leading to the glittering edifice destined to be the palace of the ruler. This road is the clearest and the most beautiful of all, flooded by sunlight during the day and brightly illuminated at night, but the human throng flows past it in darkness. And how many times, even when inspired by God-given good sense, have men still managed to step back and turn away from it; succeeded again and again in losing themselves in back alleys in broad daylight; succeeded again and again in filling each others eyes with blinding smoke and trudging wearily after a mirage; again and again succeeded in coming to the very brink of the precipice, then asking each other, horrified, in which direction the road can be found. The present generation see all this clearly and is surprised at the erring and blundering of its ancestors, laughs at their folly. So it's not for nothing that mankind's chronicle is scarred out by heavenly flames, that each letter in it cries out, and that from every page a piercing finger is pointed at the present generation. But today's generation just laughs, sure of its strength and full of pride, and it starts off along a path of new errors over which its decedents in turn will pour their scorn.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
Alec?” Mark asked. “You okay there, big guy?” The man stumbled forward, almost fell down. But he righted himself and stood up straight and tall again. Mark hadn’t wanted to shine the light in his friend’s face, but he felt like he had no choice. He raised the flashlight and pointed it directly at Alec. He was flushed and sweating, his eyes wide and darting back and forth as if he expected a monster to leap from the shadows at any moment. “Hey, what’s wrong?” Mark asked. Alec took another laboring step forward. “I’m sick, Mark. I’m really, really sick. I need to die. I need to die and I don’t wanna die for nothing.
James Dashner (The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #4))
We can work it all out over time. Agreed?" She might not know where they were going, but it was definitely a step to the right direction. Taking a deep breath, she nodded. "Agreed." His expression turned serious, and he eased away from the wall. Without his body weight pinning her into place, she had to force her own shaky limbs to support her. Sliding his fingers lightly down her arm, he took her hand. "Come make love with me," he said. After all of that - after taking the time to create an understanding that was filled with respect and that gave her a sense of safety - how like him to make everything so classic and direct, and simple. She tightened her hand in his. "Yes.
Thea Harrison (Night's Honor (Elder Races, #7))
To make good choices, you need to make sense of the complexity of your environment. The strategy logic flow can point you to the key areas of analysis necessary to generate sustainable competitive advantage. First, look to understand the industry in which you play (or will play), its distinct segments and their relative attractiveness. Without this step, it is all too easy to assume that your map of the world is the only possible map, that the world is unchanging, and that no better possibilities exist. Next, turn to customers. What do channel and end consumers truly want, need, and value-and how do those needs fit with your current or potential offerings? To answer this question, you will have to dig deep-engaging in joint value creation with channel partners and seeking a new understanding of end consumers. After customers, the lens turns inward: what are your capabilities and costs relative to the competition? Can you be a differentiator or a cost leader? If not, you will need to rethink your choices. Finally, consider competition; what will your competitors do in the face of your actions? Throughout the thinking process, be open to recasting previous analyses in light of what you learn in a subsequent box. The basic direction of the process is from left to right, but it also has interdependencies that require a more flexible path through it.
A.G. Lafley (Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works)
Under the influence of the Greek spirit ideas and principles were considered to be prior to and more important than their “application.” Such an application was both a second and a secondary step and served to confirm and legitimize the idea or principle, which was understood to be both suprahistorical and supracultural. Churches arrogated to themselves the right to determine what the “objective” truth of the Bible was and to direct the application of this timeless truth to the everyday life of believers. With the advent of the Enlightenment this approach received a new lease of life. In the Kantian paradigm, for instance, “pure” or “theoretical” reason was superior to “practical reason.
David J. Bosch (Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (American Society of Missiology Book 16))
admitted I was powerless over food, that my life had become uninhabitable. Sure, there are folks who speak of lives unmanageable, but my life was always that! It took more to push me to the admission. I had a Hell Year when I turned 50 and it took me another ten to reach the crevice, to fall off the edge, to give up and go where a counselor had directed me for years, to the rooms of recovery. I knew she was right but I wasn’t broken enough to go. Unmanageable, I could life in. Uninhabitable I couldn’t. I fought it for nigh on sixty years but when I finally couldn’t keep on pretending, continue making do, I found what I needed, what I could finally accept, and soar out of there to recovery.
Barbara B. Rollins
The Relics" I slipped them into my friend’s palm —  the tiny crucifix, and dove, from off my mother’s pendant watch —  and I asked her to walk them up through the brush toward timberline, and find a place to hurl them, for safekeeping. Now, she writes, “I walked up the canyon at dusk, warm, with a touch of fall blowing down the canyon, came to an outcrop, above a steep drop — far below, a seasonal creek, green willows. I stood on a boulder and held out my hand. I wished your mother all the love in the world, and I sent the talismans flying off the cliff. They were so small, and the wind was blowing, so I never saw or heard them land.” My mother is where I cannot find her, she is gone beyond recall, she lies in her sterling shapes light as the most weightless bone in the body, her stirrup bone, which was ground up and sown into the sea. I do not know what a soul is, I think of it as the smallest, the core, civil right. And she is wild now with it, she touches and is touched by no one knows — down, or droppings of a common nighthawk, root of bird’s foot fern, antenna of Hairstreak or Echo Azure, or stepped on by the huge translucent Jerusalem cricket. There was something deeply right about the physical elements — atoms, and cells, and marrow — of my mother’s body, when I was young, and now her delicate insignias receive the direct touch of the sun, and scatter it, unseen, all over her home.
Sharon Olds
That was the moment Anna felt something inside her trip and fall, something come clean away from all the snares and traps and tangles of the propriety in which she’d been steeped all these years. And as he began to move, she pressed into him as he had shown her, looked up at him from beneath her lashes as he’d directed, and said, in a purring voice, “My, my, sir, how well you move us about the dance floor! One can’t help but wonder if you move as well in other, more intimate circumstances,” she said, and let her lips stretch into a soft smile. It worked. Grif’s grin faded; he slowed his step a little and blinked down at her for a moment. But that dangerous smile slowly appeared again, starting in his eyes and casually reaching his lips. “If ye were to pose such a question to me, lass, I’d say, ‘As fast or as slow, as soft or as hard as ye’d want, leannan. Pray tell, how would ye want?’” The tingling in her groin was a signal that she was on perilous ground. Anna looked into his green eyes, so dark and so deep that she couldn’t quite determine if this was a game they were playing or something far more dangerous. And her good sense, shaped and controlled from years of living among high society, quietly shut down, allowing the real Anna, the Anna who yearned to be loved, to be held and caressed and adored and know all manner of physical pleasure, to slide deeper into the circle of his arms. “I don’t rightly know how I’d want, sir, other than to say…” Her voice trailed away as she let her gaze roam his face, the perfectly tied neckcloth, the breadth of his shoulders, his thick arms. And then she lifted her gaze to his, saw something smoldering there, and recklessly whispered, “… that I’d most definitely want.” He said nothing. The muscles in his jaw bulged as if he refrained from speaking, and she realized that they had come to a halt. But then his hand spread beneath hers, his palm pressed to her palm, and he laced his fingers between hers, one by one, and with the last one, he closed his hand, gripping hers tightly. “Tha sin glè mhath,” he whispered hoarsely. Anna smiled, lifted a curious brow. “I said, that’s very good, lass. Very good indeed
Julia London (Highlander in Disguise (Lockhart Family #2))
I’ve been researching it. I listed to an interview with an actual astronaut on the radio. He said that when he was young and made up his mind that he wanted to go to space, the first thing he did was to figure out all the small steps he would need to take to get there. Because lots of small steps, if they’re good ones, can take you a long way if you’re heading in the right direction. What most people don’t do, this astronaut said, was to even take that first step – or if they do, they fail to plan the complete route to where they really want to be. Most people, he said, just stagger through life, one random step in one random direction at a time. But I’ve done it. I know what I want and how to get there. Now I just need to do it.
James T. Guthrie (Bullseye Bella)
But the third Emir, now seeing himself all alone on the quarter-deck, seems to feel relieved from some curious restraint; for, tipping all sorts of knowing winks in all sorts of directions, and kicking off his shoes, he strikes into a sharp but noiseless squall of a hornpipe right over the Grand Turk's head; and then, by a dexterous sleight, pitching his cap up into the mizentop for a shelf, he goes down rollicking so far at least as he remains visible from the deck, reversing all other processions, by bringing up the rear with music. But ere stepping into the cabin doorway below, he pauses, ships a new face altogether, and, then, independent, hilarious little Flask enters King Ahab's presence, in the character of Abjectus, or the Slave.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick; or, the White Whale)
FOR ALL COUPLES What aspects of your past did you hope remarriage would “cure”? Which of the following emotions have you felt in the past? Which still haunt you from time to time? Anger. Bitterness. Depression. Sadness. Longing. Hurt. Resentment. Guilt. Fear. Pain. Rejection. In what ways did you experience disillusionment, and at what point did you realize things weren’t working out like you expected? How have you adjusted your expectations? In what ways was your remarriage another loss for your children? How can you be sensitive to that loss without being guilt-ridden (or easily manipulated because you feel guilty)? Look again at the list of uncharted waters on page 19. Which of these represent areas of growth for you or your stepfamily? What areas do you consider to be the priority growth areas right now? In what ways have you or your stepfamily members experienced God’s leading or his healing hand? Be sure to share with your stepfamily how you see him at work in your lives. What Scriptures have been helpful or inspiring to you recently? If you haven’t been reading the Bible much lately, how can you begin to do so again? Share a time with your spouse when you weren’t sure the work was worth the effort. If that time is now, what do you need to help you stay determined? If you trusted God to bring you through, what would you be doing differently than you are now to work in that direction? Which, if any, of the Promised Land Payoffs have you experienced to some degree already?
Ron L. Deal (The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family)
And if (as I said before) what we are matters even more than what we do—if, indeed, what we do matters chiefly as evidence of what we are—then it follows that the change which I most need to undergo is a change that my own direct, voluntary efforts cannot bring about. And this applies to my good actions too. How many of them were done for the right motive? How many for fear of public opinion, or a desire to show off? How many from a sort of obstinacy or sense of superiority which, in different circumstances, might equally have led to some very bad act? But I cannot, by direct moral effort, give myself new motives. After the first few steps in the Christian life we realise that everything which really needs to be done in our souls can be done only by God.
C.S. Lewis
1. Decrease current human population below five hundred million and keep it in perpetual balance with nature. 2. Guide reproduction wisely—improving fitness and diversity. 3. Unite humanity with a “living” new language. 4. Redistribute global wealth under the more acceptable term “global public goods.” 5. Rebalance personal rights with “social duties.” 6. Replace passion, faith, and tradition with reason. 7. Make clever use of new technologies to go around national governments and establish direct ties with citizens. 8. Rebrand global governance as equitable, efficient, and the logical next step in human evolution. 9. Discredit, delegitimize, and dismantle the idea of the nation state/national sovereignty. 10. Prepare a mechanism to neutralize any challenges to United Nations’ authority.
Brad Thor (Code of Conduct (Scot Harvath, #14))
The most important form of selfishness involves spending time on your fitness, eating right, pursuing your career, and still spending quality time with your family and friends. If you neglect your health or your career, you slip into the second category—stupid—which is a short slide to becoming a burden on society. I blame society for the sad state of adult fitness in the Western world. We’re raised to believe that giving of ourselves is noble and good. If you’re religious, you might have twice as much pressure to be unselfish. All our lives we are told it’s better to give than to receive. We’re programmed for unselfish behavior by society, our parents, and even our genes to some extent. The problem is that our obsession with generosity causes people to think in the short term. We skip exercise to spend an extra hour helping at home. We buy fast food to save time to help a coworker with a problem. At every turn, we cheat our own future to appear generous today. So how can you make the right long-term choices for yourself, thus being a benefit to others in the long run, without looking like a selfish turd in your daily choices? There’s no instant cure, but a step in the right direction involves the power of permission. I’m giving you permission to take care of yourself first, so you can do a better job of being generous in the long run. What? You might be wondering how a cartoonist’s permission to be selfish can help in any way. The surprising answer is that it can, in my opinion. If you’ve read this far, we have a relationship of sorts. It’s an author-reader relationship, but that’s good enough.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
 I find myself humming as I reach the top of the steps, but then I halt. “Really now, Kearan,” I say. He’s facedown on the ground. Likely passed out in his own vomit, yet again. This can’t continue. I’ll have to think of some fitting punishment for him. I couldn’t care less what he does in his free time, but when he’s on duty, he’d better be ready to perform at his best. Suddenly his whole body jerks upward, and I take a step back in case he’s having some sort of sleeping fit. “Three,” he says on a raspy breath before leaning down to the ground again. Is he sleep talking? He’s been known to do that even with his eyes open. No, wait—“Are you doing push-ups?” I ask. “F-f-four,” he says as he rises again. “Sweet stars, you are. What’s gotten into you?” After five, he lies on the ground and rolls onto his back, breathing heavily. “Just passing the time, is all. We’ve a long journey ahead of us.” Yes, but he usually passes the time with drink. He reaches into one of his pockets. Ah, there he is. But what he pulls out isn’t a flask. It’s a canteen. The kind we use on the ship for storing water. He sits up and takes a few sips. “What’s in that?” He holds the canteen out to me, and I take a sniff. It’s water. “She dumped all of my flasks into the sea while I slept,” Kearan says. “Didn’t realize she cared so much.” He searches across the ship for Sorinda, but she must be belowdecks because he focuses on me once more. “Any more questions, Captain?” His tone sounds bored. “Are we headed in the right direction?” “Course, I’m keeping her steady.” “Good,” I say before moving on quickly. Lest Kearan break into song or sprout wings.
Tricia Levenseller (Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2))
God caught Day’s falling body before he was able to hit the floor. He dropped to his knees with his lover in his arms and held him close. “Breathe, Leo.” God coaxed while rubbing Day’s cheek. He felt Day take in a few quick breaths before he opened his eyes and stared up at him. God closed his eyes and pressed their foreheads together, not wanting to see what Day was saying. “If he had killed you, I would’ve swallowed my own gun. There’s no life without you,” God whispered just for Day to hear. He felt Day grab onto his neck, holding him close. “Let the paramedics take a look at him, Detective Godfrey.” God raised his head at his captain’s order and slowly lowered Day’s head while he moved back to let them tend to his partner. God watched them closely while they took a few quick vitals before placing him on the stretcher. One of them turned to look at God and his captain. God stepped forward. “His blood pressure’s high and pulse is erratic, so we're going to take him to the hospital to be monitored. He’ll be at St. Mary’s.” “I’m riding with him,” God demanded. “I’m sorry sir, but regulations don’t allow that.” The thin guy answered him as the other paramedic wheeled his man away. God bared his teeth right before he felt a hand come down hard on his shoulder. “Let them do their jobs, because you still have one to do too, Detective. Is that going to be a problem?” His captain leveled a hard stare on him. God paused for a second, then gave a quick jerk of his head and turned in the opposite direction that his love had gone. God walked through the hangar aware of the many eyes that were on him. He just wanted to finish his job so he could go home.    
A.E. Via (Nothing Special)
The dead man’s nephew, excused from this duty, walks far ahead out of earshot. We are free as we go stumbling and sweating along to say exactly what we please, without fear of offending. “Heavy son of a bitch.…” “All blown up like he is, you’d think he’d float like a balloon.” “Let’s just hope he don’t explode.” “He won’t. We let the gas out.” “What about lunch?” somebody asks; “I’m hungry.” “Eat this.” “Why’d the bastard have to go so far from the road?” “There’s something leaking out that zipper.” “Never mind, let’s try to get in step here,” the sheriff says. “Goddamnit, Floyd, you got big feet.” “Are we going in the right direction?” “I wonder if the old fart would walk part way if we let him out of that bag?” “He won’t even say thank you for the ride.” “Well I hope this learned him a lesson, goddamn him. I guess he’ll stay put after this.…” Thus we meditate upon the stranger’s death.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
Half inebriated, he vaulted up the stairs to find them lolling in chairs in the hall outside Maria’s door. Gabe clasped a bunch of violets in his hand while Jarret held a rolled-up piece of parchment in his. “What are you two louts doing here in the middle of the night?” he growled. “It’s nearly dawn,” Gabe said coolly. “Hardly the middle of the night. Not that you would have noticed, in your drunken state.” Scowling, Oliver took a step toward them. “It’s still earlier than you, at least, every rise.” Gabe glanced at Jarret. “Clearly, the old boy doesn’t remember what today is.” “I believe you’re right,” Jarret returned, a hint of condemnation in his tone. Oliver glared at them both as he sifted through his soggy brain for what they menat. When it came to him, he groaned. St. Valentine’s Day. That sobered him right up. “That doesn’t explain why you’re lurking outside Maria’s door.” Jarret cast him a scathing glance as he got to his feet. “Why do you care? You ran off to town to find your entertainment. Seems to me that you’re relinquishing the field.” “So you two intend to step in?” he snapped. “Why not?” Gabe rose to glower at him. “Since your plan to thwart Gran isn’t working, and it’s looking as if we’ll have to marry someone, we might as well have a go at Miss Butterfield. She’s an heiress and a very nice girl, too, in case you hadn’t noticed If you’re stupid enough to throw her over for a bunch of whores and opera dancers, we’re more than happy to take your place. We at least appreciate her finer qualities.” The very idea of his brothers appreciating anything of Maria’s made his blood boil. “In the first place, I didn’t throw her over for anyone. In the second, I am damned well not relinquishing the field. And I’m certainly not giving it over to a couple of fortune hunters like you.” The sound of footsteps coming down the hall from the servants’ stairs made them whirl in that direction. Betty walked slowly toward them, one hand shading her eyes. That’s when it hit him. His brothers were here because of that silly superstition about a maiden’s heart being joined to that of whoever was the first man she spotted on St. Valentine’s Day. “Good morning, gentlemen,” Betty murmured as she approached, carefully avoiding looking at any of them. A devilish grin lit Gabe’s face. “Betty, catch!” he cried and tossed a violet at her. She didn’t even move a finger to stop it from bouncing off her and falling to the floor. “If your lordships will excuse me,” she said in a decidedly snippy tone, “my mistress rang the bell for me.” With a sniff that conveyed her contempt for them, she slipped inside Maria’s rom and shut the door firmly behind her. “That was shameful,” Jarret told Gabe. “You know bloody well that Betty and John are sweethearts.” “It’s not my fault that John didn’t show up this morning so she could see him first,” Gabe said with a shrug.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
The only thing I can’t figure out is why you still eat the food your captors fed you. Why don’t you hate it as much as you hate them?” Fila glanced down at her plate. It contained a strange mixture of Afghan and Mexican dishes. She held up a flatbread. “This isn’t Taliban food—it’s Afghan food. It’s my mother’s food. I grew up eating it before I was ever captured. To me it means love and tenderness, not hate and violence.” “Taliban, Afghan—it’s all the same.” She waved the bread. “No, it’s not. Not one bit. Afghan culture is over two thousand years old. And it’s a conservative culture—it’s had to be—but it’s not a culture of monsters. Afghans are people like you, Holt. They’re born, they grow up, they live and love and they die just like we do. I didn’t study much history before I was taken, but I know this much. America’s story is that of the frontier—of always having room to grow. Afghanistan’s story is that of occupation. By the Russians, the British, the Mongols—even the ancient Greeks. On and on for century after century. Imagine all those wars being fought in Montana. Foreign armies living among us, taking over your ranch, stealing everything you own, killing your wife and children, over and over and over again.” She paused to catch her breath. “Death is right around the corner for them—all the time. Is it any wonder that a movement that turns men into warriors and codes everything else into rigid rules might seem like the answer?” She still wasn’t sure if Holt was following her. What analogy would make sense to him? She wracked her brain. “If a bunch of Californians overran Chance Creek and forced everyone to eat tofu, would you refuse to ever eat steak again?” He made a face. “Of course not!” “Then imagine the Taliban are the Californians, forcing everyone to eat tofu. And everyone does it because they don’t know what else to do. They still love steak, but they will be severely punished if they eat it—so will their families. That’s what it’s like for many Afghans living under Taliban control. It’s not their choice. They still love their country. They still love their heritage. That doesn’t mean they love the group of extremists who have taken over.” “Even if those Taliban people went away, they still wouldn’t be anything like you and me.” Holt crossed his arms. Fila suppressed a smile at his inclusion of her. That was a step in the right direction even if the greater message was lost on him. “They’re more like you than you think. Defensive. Angry. Always on the lookout for trouble.” Holt straightened. “I have four sons. Of course I’m on the lookout for trouble.” “They have sons, too.” She waited to see if he understood. Holt shook his head. “We’re going to see different on this one. But I understand about the food. Everyone likes their mother’s cooking best.” He surveyed her plate. “You got any more of that bread?” She’d take that as a victory.
Cora Seton (The Cowboy Rescues a Bride (The Cowboys of Chance Creek, #7))
Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.” He also said: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” But we are right now in a period of great vulnerability. As noted earlier, when television became the primary source of information in the United States, the “marketplace of ideas” changed radically. Most communication was in only one direction, with a sharp decline in participatory democracy. During this period of vulnerability for American democracy—while traditional television is still the dominant source of information and before the Internet is sufficiently developed and secured as an independent, neutral medium—there are other steps that can and should be taken to foster more connectivity in our self-government.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
After the plates are removed by the silent and swift waiting staff, General Çiller leans forward and says across the table to Güney, ‘What’s this I’m reading in Hürriyet about Strasbourg breaking up the nation?’ ‘It’s not breaking up the nation. It’s a French motion to implement European Regional Directive 8182 which calls for a Kurdish Regional Parliament.’ ‘And that’s not breaking up the nation?’ General Çiller throws up his hands in exasperation. He’s a big, square man, the model of the military, but he moves freely and lightly ‘The French prancing all over the legacy of Atatürk? What do you think, Mr Sarioğlu?’ The trap could not be any more obvious but Ayşe sees Adnan straighten his tie, the code for, Trust me, I know what I’m doing, ‘What I think about the legacy of Atatürk, General? Let it go. I don’t care. The age of Atatürk is over.’ Guests stiffen around the table, breath subtly indrawn; social gasps. This is heresy. People have been shot down in the streets of Istanbul for less. Adnan commands every eye. ‘Atatürk was father of the nation, unquestionably. No Atatürk, no Turkey. But, at some point every child has to leave his father. You have to stand on your own two feet and find out if you’re a man. We’re like kids that go on about how great their dads are; my dad’s the strongest, the best wrestler, the fastest driver, the biggest moustache. And when someone squares up to us, or calls us a name or even looks at us squinty, we run back shouting ‘I’ll get my dad, I’ll get my dad!’ At some point; we have to grow up. If you’ll pardon the expression, the balls have to drop. We talk the talk mighty fine: great nation, proud people, global union of the noble Turkic races, all that stuff. There’s no one like us for talking ourselves up. And then the EU says, All right, prove it. The door’s open, in you come; sit down, be one of us. Move out of the family home; move in with the other guys. Step out from the shadow of the Father of the Nation. ‘And do you know what the European Union shows us about ourselves? We’re all those things we say we are. They weren’t lies, they weren’t boasts. We’re good. We’re big. We’re a powerhouse. We’ve got an economy that goes all the way to the South China Sea. We’ve got energy and ideas and talent - look at the stuff that’s coming out of those tin-shed business parks in the nano sector and the synthetic biology start-ups. Turkish. All Turkish. That’s the legacy of Atatürk. It doesn’t matter if the Kurds have their own Parliament or the French make everyone stand in Taksim Square and apologize to the Armenians. We’re the legacy of Atatürk. Turkey is the people. Atatürk’s done his job. He can crumble into dust now. The kid’s come right. The kid’s come very right. That’s why I believe the EU’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us because it’s finally taught us how to be Turks.’ General Çiller beats a fist on the table, sending the cutlery leaping. ‘By God, by God; that’s a bold thing to say but you’re exactly right.
Ian McDonald (The Dervish House)
A large brand will typically spend between 10 and 20 percent of their media buy on creative,” DeJulio explains. “So if they have a $500 million media budget, there’s somewhere between $50 to $100 million going toward creating content. For that money they’ll get seven to ten pieces of content, but not right away. If you’re going to spend $1 million on one piece of content, it’s going to take a long time—six months, nine months, a year—to fully develop. With this budget and timeline, brands have no margin to take chances creatively.” By contrast, the Tongal process: If a brand wants to crowdsource a commercial, the first step is to put up a purse—anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000. Then, Tongal breaks the project into three phases: ideation, production, and distribution, allowing creatives with different specialties (writing, directing, animating, acting, social media promotion, and so on) to focus on what they do best. In the first competition—the ideation phase—a client creates a brief describing its objective. Tongal members read the brief and submit their best ideas in 500 characters (about three tweets). Customers then pick a small number of ideas they like and pay a small portion of the purse to these winners. Next up is production, where directors select one of the winning concepts and submit their take. Another round of winners are selected and these folks are given the time and money to crank out their vision. But this phase is not just limited to these few winning directors. Tongal also allows anyone to submit a wild card video. Finally, sponsors select their favorite video (or videos), the winning directors get paid, and the winning videos get released to the world. Compared to the seven to ten pieces of content the traditional process produces, Tongal competitions generate an average of 422 concepts in the idea phase, followed by an average of 20 to 100 finished video pieces in the video production phase. That is a huge return for the invested dollars and time.
Peter H. Diamandis (Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World)
Stepping closer, I wiped away a tear from her cheek. “You’ll make a great mom.” “I guess we’re going to find out,” she said, melting into my arms. “I was on the pill. I can’t even do that part right.” Taking a deep breath and accepting this direction in my life, I said softly, “Don’t listen to the crap in your head. Listen to my heart. It’s known you from the beginning.” Lark tightened her grip on me. “You’re not mad.” “Why would I be mad?” “We just started dating.” “Oh, I had our whole lives planned out before you walked into my shop to fix your worm.” Lark smiled up at me. “Do you feel like I tried to trap you?” “Shit, you really have no idea how I see you. None at all. In fact, I’m happy on two levels. As the guy who wants to spend his life with you, I’m excited to think of our baby growing inside you. Plus, the caveman part of me is just excited that I beat Cooper.” Laughing, Lark nuzzled my chest. “And you knocked me up when I was on the pill. You have the mighty Thor of sperm.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Cobra (Damaged, #3))
Jack took two steps towards the couch and then heard his daughter’s distressed wails, wincing. “Oh, right. The munchkin.” He instead turned and headed for the stairs, yawning and scratching his messy brown hair, calling out, “Hang on, chubby monkey, Daddy’s coming.” Jack reached the top of the stairs. And stopped dead. There was a dragon standing in the darkened hallway. At first, Jack swore he was still asleep. He had to be. He couldn’t possibly be seeing correctly. And yet the icy fear slipping down his spine said differently. The dragon stood at roughly five feet tall once its head rose upon sighting Jack at the other end of the hallway. It was lean and had dirty brown scales with an off-white belly. Its black, hooked claws kneaded the carpet as its yellow eyes stared out at Jack, its pupils dilating to drink him in from head to toe. Its wings rustled along its back on either side of the sharp spines protruding down its body to the thin, whip-like tail. A single horn glinted sharp and deadly under the small, motion-activated hallway light. The only thing more noticeable than that were the many long, jagged scars scored across the creature’s stomach, limbs, and neck. It had been hunted recently. Judging from the depth and extent of the scars, it had certainly killed a hunter or two to have survived with so many marks. “Okay,” Jack whispered hoarsely. “Five bucks says you’re not the Easter Bunny.” The dragon’s nostrils flared. It adjusted its body, feet apart, lips sliding away from sharp, gleaming white teeth in a warning hiss. Mercifully, Naila had quieted and no longer drew the creature’s attention. Jack swallowed hard and held out one hand, bending slightly so his six-foot-two-inch frame was less threatening. “Look at me, buddy. Just keep looking at me. It’s alright. I’m not going to hurt you. Why don’t you just come this way, huh?” He took a single step down and the creature crept forward towards him, hissing louder. “That’s right. This way. Come on.” Jack eased backwards one stair at a time. The dragon let out a warning bark and followed him, its saliva leaving damp patches on the cream-colored carpet. Along the way, Jack had slipped his phone out of his pocket and dialed 9-1-1, hoping he had just enough seconds left in the reptile’s waning patience. “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” “Listen to me carefully,” Jack said, not letting his eyes stray from the dragon as he fumbled behind him for the handle to the sliding glass door. He then quickly gave her his address before continuing. “There is an Appalachian forest dragon in my house. Get someone over here as fast as you can.” “We’re contacting a retrieval team now, sir. Please stay calm and try not to make any loud noises or sudden movements–“ Jack had one barefoot on the cool stone of his patio when his daughter Naila cried for him again. The dragon’s head turned towards the direction of upstairs. Jack dropped his cell phone, grabbed a patio chair, and slammed it down on top of the dragon’s head as hard as he could.
Kyoko M. (Of Fury and Fangs)
Setting down her own basket, Annabelle held a pin between her thumb and forefinger, and closed her eyes. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, she always made the same wish…to marry a peer. Strangely, however, a new thought entered her head, just as she cast the pin into the well. I wish I could fall in love. Surprised by the wilful, wayward notion, Annabelle wondered how it was that she could have wasted a wish on something that was obviously so ill-advised. Opening her eyes, Annabelle saw that the other wallflowers were staring into the well with great solemnity. “I made the wrong wish,” she said fretfully. “Can I have another?” “No,” Lillian said in a matter-of-fact tone. “Once you’ve thrown in your pin, it’s done.” “But I didn’t mean to make that particular wish,” Annabelle protested. “Something just popped into my head, and it wasn’t at all what I had planned.” “Don’t argue, Annabelle,” Evie advised. “You d-don’t want to annoy the well spirit.” “The what?” Evie smiled at her perplexed expression. “The resident spirit of the well. He’s the one to whom y-you make a petition. But if you annoy him, he may decide to demand a terrible price for granting your wish. Or he may drag you into the well with him, to live there forever as his c-consort.” Annabelle stared into the brown water. She cupped her hands around the sides of her mouth to help direct her voice. “You don’t have to grant my rotten wish,” she told the unseen spirit loudly. “I take it back!” “Don’t taunt him, Annabelle,” Daisy exclaimed. “And for heaven’s sake, step back from the edge of that well!” “Are you superstitious?” Annabelle asked with a grin. Daisy glowered at her. “There’s a reason for superstitions, you know. At some> point in time, something bad happened to someone who was standing right next to a well, just as you are.” Closing her eyes, she concentrated intently, then tossed her own pin into the water. “There. I’ve made a wish for your benefit—so there’s no need for you to complain about having wasted one.” “But how do you know what I wanted?” “The wish I made is for your own good,” Daisy informed her. Annabelle groaned theatrically. “I hate things that are for my own good.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
He plunged into the foliage, and was swept into a humid, wet world of towering trees, animal chirps and thick ferns. After a few steps, he turned, and could barely make out the village. He walked a few more steps. He could see nothing now except for the thick trees and long ferns and grasses that surrounded him. He was enveloped into the confined space between trees, surrounded by the jungle heat and staccato chirps. He turned in the direction of the village, but could only see thick, dense trees. Hoping his sense of direction had not been muddled, he turned back around to the direction of the alleged ocean, and kept walking. Now the calls he heard sounded more and more strange. How far had he walked by now? The jungle, or rain forest, whatever it was, did not relent, and he kept on weaving into narrow gaps between the sturdy ferns and towering trees, pressing onwards. This continued for a seemingly oppressive amount of time, and he began to doubt his decision. To come to this place. To take a chance with his life, which was going in the right direction. Why couldn’t he be happy with the normal and mundane, he cursed, scolding his own stubbornness
T.P. Grish (Maldives Malady: A Tropical Adventure)
I encounter forms of this attitude every day. The producers who work at the Ostankino channels might all be liberals in their private lives, holiday in Tuscany, and be completely European in their tastes. When I ask how they marry their professional and personal lives, they look at me as if I were a fool and answer: “Over the last twenty years we’ve lived through a communism we never believed in, democracy and defaults and mafia state and oligarchy, and we’ve realized they are illusions, that everything is PR.” “Everything is PR” has become the favorite phrase of the new Russia; my Moscow peers are filled with a sense that they are both cynical and enlightened. When I ask them about Soviet-era dissidents, like my parents, who fought against communism, they dismiss them as naïve dreamers and my own Western attachment to such vague notions as “human rights” and “freedom” as a blunder. “Can’t you see your own governments are just as bad as ours?” they ask me. I try to protest—but they just smile and pity me. To believe in something and stand by it in this world is derided, the ability to be a shape-shifter celebrated. Vladimir Nabokov once described a species of butterfly that at an early stage in its development had to learn how to change colors to hide from predators. The butterfly’s predators had long died off, but still it changed its colors from the sheer pleasure of transformation. Something similar has happened to the Russian elites: during the Soviet period they learned to dissimulate in order to survive; now there is no need to constantly change their colors, but they continue to do so out of a sort of dark joy, conformism raised to the level of aesthetic act. Surkov himself is the ultimate expression of this psychology. As I watch him give his speech to the students and journalists, he seems to change and transform like mercury, from cherubic smile to demonic stare, from a woolly liberal preaching “modernization” to a finger-wagging nationalist, spitting out willfully contradictory ideas: “managed democracy,” “conservative modernization.” Then he steps back, smiling, and says: “We need a new political party, and we should help it happen, no need to wait and make it form by itself.” And when you look closely at the party men in the political reality show Surkov directs, the spitting nationalists and beetroot-faced communists, you notice how they all seem to perform their roles with a little ironic twinkle.
Peter Pomerantsev (Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia)
Then Daniel stepped forward and a trumpet sounded, followed by a drum. The dance was beginning. He took her hand. When he spoke, he spoke to her, not to the audience,as the other players did. "The fairest hand I ever touched," Daniel said. "O Beauty, till now I never knew thee." As if the lines had been written for the two of them. They began to dance,and Daniel locked eyes with her the whole time. His eyes were crystal clear and violet, and the way they never strayed from hers chipped away at Luce's heart. She knew he'd loved her always,but until this moment,dancing with him on the stage in front of all these people,she had never really thought about what it meant. It meant that when she saw him for the first time in every life,Daniel was already in love with her. Every time. And always had been. And every time, she had to fall in love with him from scratch.He could never pressure her or push her into loving him. He had to win her anew each time. Daniel's love for her was one long, uninterrupted stream.It was the purest form of love there was,purer even than the love Luce returned. His love flowed without breaking,without stopping. Whereas Luce's love was wiped clean with every death, Daniel's grew over time, across all eternity. How powerfully strong must it be by now? Hundreds of love stacked one on top of the other? It was almost too massive for Luce to comprehend. He loved her that much,and yet in every lifetime,over and over again,he had to wait for her to catch up. All this time,they had been dancing with the rest of the troupe, bounding in and out of the wings at breaks in the music,coming back onstage for more gallantry,for longer sets with more ornate steps,until the whole company was dancing. At the close of the scene,even though it wasn't in the script,even though Cam was standing right there watching,Luce held fast to Daniel's hand and pulled him to her,up against the potted orange trees.He looked at her like she was crazy and tried to tug her to the mark dictated by her stage directions. "What are you doing?" he murmured. He had doubted her before,backstage when she'd tried to speak freely about her feelings.She had to make him believe her.Especially if Lucinda died tonight,understanding the depth of her love would mean everything to him. It would help him to carry on,to keep loving her for hundreds more years, through all the pain and hardship she'd witnessed,right up to the present. Luce knew that it wasn't in the script, but she couldn't stop herself: She grabbed Daniel and she kissed him. She expected him to stop her,but instead he swooped her into his arms and kissed her back.Hard and passionately, responding with such intensity that she felt the way she did when they were flying,though she knew her feet were planted on the ground. For a moment, the audience was silent. Then they began to holler and jeer.Someone threw a shoe at Daniel, but he ignored it. His kisses told Luce that he believed her,that he understood the depth of her love,but she wanted to be absolutely sure. "I will always love you,Daniel." Only, that didn't seem quite right-or not quite enough. She had to make him understand,and damn the consequences-if she changed history,so be it. "I'll always choose you." Yes, that was the word. "Every single lifetime, I'll choose you.Just as you have always chosen me.Forever." His lips parted.Did he believe her? Did he already know? It was a choice, a long-standing, deep-seated choice that reached beyond anything else Luce was capable of.Something powerful was behind it.Something beautiful and- Shadows began to swirl in the rigging overhead. Heat quaked through her body, making her convulse,desperate for the fiery release she knew was coming. Daniel's eyes flashed with pain. "No," he whispered. "Please don't go yet." Somehow,it always took both of them by surprise.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
Weak and trembling from passion, Major Flint found that after a few tottering steps in the direction of Tilling he would be totally unable to get there unless fortified by some strong stimulant, and turned back to the club-house to obtain it. He always went dead-lame when beaten at golf, while Captain Puffin was lame in any circumstances, and the two, no longer on speaking terms, hobbled into the club-house, one after the other, each unconscious of the other's presence. Summoning his last remaining strength Major Flint roared for whisky, and was told that, according to regulation, he could not be served until six. There was lemonade and stone ginger-beer. You might as well have offered a man-eating tiger bread and milk. Even the threat that he would instantly resign his membership unless provided with drink produced no effect on a polite steward, and he sat down to recover as best he might with an old volume of Punch. This seemed to do him little good. His forced abstemiousness was rendered the more intolerable by the fact that Captain Puffin, hobbling in immediately afterwards, fetched from his locker a large flask of the required elixir, and proceeded to mix himself a long, strong tumblerful. After the Major's rudeness in the matter of the half-crown, it was impossible for any sailor of spirit to take the first step towards reconciliation. Thirst is a great leveller. By the time the refreshed Puffin had penetrated half-way down his glass, the Major found it impossible to be proud and proper any longer. He hated saying he was sorry (no man more) and he wouldn't have been sorry if he had been able to get a drink. He twirled his moustache a great many times and cleared his throat--it wanted more than that to clear it--and capitulated. "Upon my word, Puffin, I'm ashamed of myself for--ha!--for not taking my defeat better," he said. "A man's no business to let a game ruffle him." Puffin gave his alto cackling laugh. "Oh, that's all right, Major," he said. "I know it's awfully hard to lose like a gentleman." He let this sink in, then added: "Have a drink, old chap?" Major Flint flew to his feet. "Well, thank ye, thank ye," he said. "Now where's that soda water you offered me just now?" he shouted to the steward. The speed and completeness of the reconciliation was in no way remarkable, for when two men quarrel whenever they meet, it follows that they make it up again with corresponding frequency, else there could be no fresh quarrels at all. This one had been a shade more acute than most, and the drop into amity again was a shade more precipitous.
E.F. Benson
When I burst into the terminal, my eyes swept around, bouncing from person to person in the crowded, bustling space. My stomach fell a little when I didn’t see him, but I knew he probably couldn’t come this far. He was probably at baggage claim. I looked around for a sign to point me in the right direction and finally saw one labeled Baggage Claim with an arrow pointing off to the left. But I didn’t follow the arrow. My eyes fixed on someone standing beneath the sign. His hands were jammed into the pockets of his well-worn slouchy jeans. The relaxed action pulled the waistband low, highlighting his flat, narrow waist his Henley tee molded to. As usual, he was wearing his varsity jacket and his blond hair was a mess. My gaze locked on his sapphire-blue eyes and didn’t let go. His eyes, ohmigod, his eyes. The blue was so intense it served as an emergency brake on everything in my life. The second I looked at him, everything else came to a screeching halt. I no longer noticed the huge crowd rushing around. The anxiety-causing flight was just a distant memory, and the two weeks I spent longing for his touch became something I would live through ten times over just to be in this moment with him again. His lips pulled into a smile and the charm that oozed from every pore in his body made me almost lightheaded. Romeo pulled his hands out of his pockets and straightened, motioning for me. I rushed across the space separating us, my bag slapping against my side as I, for once, gracefully maneuvered around the people in my path. His chuckle brushed over me when I was just steps away, and I threw myself at him with a little sigh of relief. My legs wrapped around his waist and his arms locked around my back. I burrowed my head into his shoulder and inhaled deep, taking in his distinctive scent. “Rim,” he murmured, his voice low. I pulled back and his lips were on mine instantly. The moment our lips touched, he stilled, his body and mouth pausing against mine. Before I could wonder why, he muttered a garbled curse against my mouth and then his lips began to move. He kissed me softly but fiercely. There was so much possession in the way he kissed me, in the way his arms locked around me that my heart stuttered. I parted my lips so his tongue could sweep inside, and when my tongue met his, desire, hot and heavy, unfurled within me. Someone chuckled as they walked by, and Romeo retreated slightly, still letting his mouth linger on mine before completely pulling away. He rested his forehead against mine and he smiled. “I really fucking missed you.” “Me too,” I whispered. -Romeo & Rimmel
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
Oria and I walked into the kitchen to find Julen staring at a handsome young man with curly black hair and fine new livery in Astiar colors. His chin was up, and he swept a cool glance over us all as he said, “My errand is with my lady, the Countess of Tlanth.” “I am she.” I stepped forward. He gave me one incredulous look, then hastily smoothed his face as he bowed low. In the background, Julen clucked rather audibly. Next to me Oria had her arms crossed, her face stony. The young man looked about with the air of one who knows himself in unfriendly territory, and I reflected that for all his airs my brother had hired him or he wouldn’t be here, and he deserved a chance to present himself fair. “Surely you’ll have been warned that we are very informal here,” I said, and gave him a big smile. And for some reason he flushed right up to his fine hairline. Bowing again, he said courteously, “My lady, I was to give this directly to you.” I held out one hand, noticed the dirt smudges, and hastily wiped it on my clothes before putting it out again. When I glanced up at the equerry, I saw in his eyes just a hint of answering amusement at the absurdity of the situation, though his face was strictly schooled when he handed me the letter. “Welcome among us. What is your name?” I said. “Jerrol, as it pleases you, my lady.” And again the bow. “Well, it’s your name if it pleases me or not,” I said, sitting on the edge of the great slate prep table. Julen clucked again, but softly, and I looked to the side, saw the preparations for tarts lying at the ready, and hastily jumped down again. “Tell me, Jerrol,” I said, “if a great Court lady mislikes the name of a new equerry, will she rename him or her?” “Like…Frogface or Stenchbelly?” Calaub asked from the open window, and beyond him three or four urchins snickered. Jerrol glanced about him, his face quite blank, but only for a moment. He then swept me a truly magnificent bow--so flourishing that no one could miss the irony--and he said, “An my lady pleases to address me as Stenchbelly, I shall count myself honored.” He pronounced it all with awful elegance. And everyone laughed! I said, “I think you’ll do, Jerrol, for all your clothes are better than any of us have seen for years. But you will have heard something of our affairs, I daresay, and I wonder how my brother managed to hire you, and fit you out this splendidly, in our colors?” “Wager on it yon letter will explain,” Julen said grimly, turning to plunge her hands into her flour. “Oh!” I had forgotten Jerrol’s original purpose for arriving, and looked down at the letter with my name scrawled above the seal in Branaric’s careless hand.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
But how can anyone tell you what your life is supposed to be like? How can another person decide how you’re going to spend your time when they aren’t you? The answer is that it’s possible only if we give up our power of choice. But no legend, visionary, or hero has ever done that. They don’t give up their right to decide their own destiny. The old adage “Live your life” simply means live your life. It does not mean: “Live Mommy’s life,” or “Live Daddy’s life that he never had the courage to live,” or “Live Justin Bieber’s life,” or “Live the life that everyone else says you should live,” or “Live the life of what’s easiest and most normal,” or “Live the life that your teachers tell you is right, smart, and safe.” “Live your life” means live your own life, and nobody else’s. To make this happen you must take the first step in living the life you want, which is to create the terms of your life. You must have a dream—a direction. However, this is often the moment when a voice in our heads creeps in and says, What if people think I am crazy? When this happens you need to reason with your mind and say, “Who cares if people think I’m nuts? It’s better to be strange to others than to be a stranger to myself.” Be yourself—whoever that is. And that is only possible if you don’t settle until you find what you love and do it with all of your heart and focus!
Jake Ducey (The Purpose Principles: How to Draw More Meaning into Your Life)
Two sailors hauled on ropes, hoisting the jolly boat up to the ship’s side, revealing two apocryphal figures standing in the center of the small craft. At first glance, Sophia only saw clearly the shorter of the two, a gruesome creature with long tangled hair and a painted face, wearing a tight-fitting burlap skirt and a makeshift corset fashioned from fishnet and mollusk shells. The Sea Queen, Sophia reckoned, a smile warming her cheeks as the crew erupted into raucous cheers. A bearded Sea Queen, no less, who bore a striking resemblance to the Aphrodite’s own grizzled steward. Stubb. Sophia craned her neck to spy Stubb’s consort, as the foremast blocked her view of Triton’s visage. She caught only a glimpse of a white toga draped over a bronzed, bare shoulder. She took a jostling step to the side, nearly tripping on a coil of rope. “Foolish mortals! Kneel before your king!” The assembled sailors knelt on cue, giving Sophia a direct view of the Sea King. And even if the blue paint smeared across his forehead or the strands of seaweed dangling from his belt might have disguised him, there was no mistaking that persuasive baritone. Mr. Grayson. There he stood, tall and proud, some twenty feet away from her. Bare-chested, save for a swath of white linen draped from hip to shoulder. Wet locks of hair slicked back from his tanned face, sunlight embossing every contour of his sculpted arms and chest. A pagan god come swaggering down to earth. He caught her eye, and his smile widened to a wolfish grin. Sophia could not for the life of her look away. He hadn’t looked at her like this since…since that night. He’d scarcely looked in her direction at all, and certainly never wearing a smile. The boldness of his gaze made her feel thoroughly unnerved, and virtually undressed. Until the very act of maintaining eye contact became an intimate, verging on indecent, experience. If she kept looking at him, she felt certain he knees would give out. If she looked away, she gave him the victory. There was only one suitable alternative, given the circumstances. With a cheeky wink to acknowledge the joke, Sophia dropped her eyes and curtsied to the King. Mr. Grayson laughed his approval. Her curtsy, the crew’s gesture of fealty-he accepted their obeisance as his due. And why should he not? There was a rightness about it somehow, an unspoken understanding. Here at last was their true leader: the man they would obey without question, the man to whom they’d pledge loyalty, even kneel. This was his ship. “Where’s the owner of this craft?” he called. “Oh, right. Someone told me he’s no fun anymore.” As the men laughed, the Sea King swung over the rail, hoisting what looked to be a mop handle with vague aspirations to become a trident. “Bring forth the virgin voyager!
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Is it Randall?” Oscar sounded out the name with care, as if testing dangerous waters. Camille closed her eyes and turned her face away from him, not wanting to have to see him when she said what she needed to say. “I have a duty, Oscar, just like my mother did. She failed at hers and look what happened; she destroyed so much. My father asked me not to say anything, but if I don’t marry Randall…I’m sorry, Oscar, I just have to.” Camille tried to edge by him, but Oscar held her back with his arm. “Do you think I’m a fool, Camille? Don’t try to blame marrying Randall on some duty you think you have.” She parted her lips to insist he was wrong. He cut her off. “If this is how you really feel, then you had no right to ask me to stay with you that night. You gave me a taste of what being with you might be like, and now you’re asking me to walk away. Who do you think you are?” Camille shook her head. He wasn’t listening. He had no idea how difficult it was for her, too, to have that one taste, that single moment of pure bliss to feed off of for the rest of her life. “I don’t have a choice-“ He slammed his fist against the pantry shelf behind her. “I don’t have a bank vault filled with money, or ten suits hanging in my closet to choose from each morning. I know I couldn’t give you all the things he could, but I can give you something he’ll never be able to. I love you, Camille,” he said, his mouth so close to hers his breath moistened her lips. “I love you. Not your last name or your pretty face or all the business opportunities you could bring me.” He laid his palm just beneath her neck, his thumb caressing the skin above where her heart lay. “Just you.” She stared at him, unblinking, unable to breathe, let alone speak. Oscar’s arm fell away. “You do have a choice, Camille. Or should I already be calling you Mrs. Jackson?” He stormed from the pantry, Camille on his heels. Promise or no promise to her father, she had to tell Oscar everything. “Please, Oscar, wait, if you’ll just listen-“ The companionway steps rattled, and Ira bounded into the galley. Oscar scooped up his shirt and shoved his arms inside the sleeves as Ira kicked out a bench at the table and sat down. “I’ve never been so friggin’ tried in my life,” Ira said, grabbing a mug for coffee. “And I once played a game of poker that lasted two days. Camille ignored him, Oscar’s anger still stinging. She’d created a massive mass. Ira peered at her, then at Oscar. “Why’re you two all red in the face?” he asked. Then his cheeks drew up and his teeth glistened. Oscar caught him before he could speak. “Save it, Ira,” he said, quickly glancing at Camille. She couldn’t plead with him to listen to her explain with Ira there. Oscar buttoned his shirt and left the galley. Ira directed his wily grin toward her. “Save it, Ira,” she echoed, and resumed scrubbing the floor.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment. "You are right, Heidi; it is a beautiful tale," he replied, but he looked so grave as he said it that Heidi grew silent herself and sat looking quietly at her pictures. Presently she pushed her book gently in front of him and said, "See how happy he is there," and she pointed with her finger to the figure of the returned prodigal, who was standing by his father clad in fresh raiment as one of his own sons again. A few hours later, as Heidi lay fast asleep in her bed, the grandfather went up the ladder and put his lamp down near her bed so that the light fell on the sleeping child. Her hands were still folded as if she had fallen asleep saying her prayers, an expression of peace and trust lay on the little face, and something in it seemed to appeal to the grandfather, for he stood a long time gazing down at her without speaking. At last he too folded his hands, and with bowed head said in a low voice, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am not worthy to be called thy son." And two large tears rolled down the old man's cheeks. Early the next morning he stood in front of his hut and gazed quietly around him. The fresh bright morning sun lay on mountain and valley. The sound of a few early bells rang up from the valley, and the birds were singing their morning song in the fir trees. He stepped back into the hut and called up, "Come along, Heidi! the sun is up! Put on your best frock, for we are going to church together!" Heidi was not long getting ready; it was such an unusual summons from her grandfather that she must make haste. She put on her smart Frankfurt dress and soon went down, but when she saw her grandfather she stood still, gazing at him in astonishment. "Why, grandfather!" she exclaimed, "I never saw you look like that before! and the coat with the silver buttons! Oh, you do look nice in your Sunday coat!" The old man smiled and replied, "And you too; now come along!" He took Heidi's hand in his and together they walked down the mountain side. The bells were ringing in every direction now, sounding louder and fuller as they neared the valley, and Heidi listened to them with delight. "Hark at them, grandfather! it's like a great festival!" The congregation had already assembled and the singing had begun when Heidi and her grandfather entered the church at Dorfli and sat down at the back. But before the hymn was over every one was nudging his neighbor and whispering, "Do you see? Alm-Uncle is in church!" Soon everybody in the church knew of Alm-Uncle's presence, and the women kept on turning round to look and quite lost their place in the singing. But everybody became more attentive when the sermon began, for the preacher spoke with such warmth and thankfulness that those present felt the effect of his words, as if some great joy had come to them all.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi)
For many people, money is an index of how successful one is. And so they fear competition and attach themselves to their shadows. Such path drives one towards materialism rather than spiritualism. So what’s the difference between such individuals and those that work in the hope of quitting their job? Well, the main difference is that materialist people separate the two realities in the hope they can earn money from the work they love and then quit the work they don’t like. And by creating such division they remain there, in the middle, trapped. They think that by following what they love to do, step by step, they’ll be guided towards the right direction. But if their thoughts were clear, they would know they’re diving themselves and perpetuating their fate, rather than solving it. They neglect the mental barriers stopping them from achieving their goal. And anyone is responsible for determining the result that one holds in his thoughts. In other words, if you had not made such division in the first place, and instead accepted the lack of duality, you would achieve your result much faster. That is why almost all entrepreneurs rather work hard and be poor when starting a business than waiting for the right time to quit their job. There’s not such thing as the right time, or a shift from one reality unto another, because you create both things, your fortune and your unfortunate, and you own your luck and results, all the time. Whatever you believe in present time, perpetuates that same present time.
Robin Sacredfire
Reth narrowed his eyes and looked from me to the gate and back again. “Don’t even think about it,” I said, suddenly scared. “If you so much as take a step to drag me through, I will drain your soul and send it through the gate in the stars you’re so scared of. And you know you can’t fight me right now.” His lips jutted out petulantly, then he sighed. “I really will miss you, my love. If nothing else you were always entertaining.” I smiled. “I think I might miss you, too. So few things left in this world to terrorize me and look pretty while doing it. Now get out of here and enjoy your eternity.” He glanced calculatingly at the gate once again, and I raised my hand in warning. “I can drain faster than you can run.” He looked torn, then leaned forward and pressed his smooth lips against mine in a whisper of a kiss. I staggered back, putting my fingers to my lips and still feeling his heat there. “Perhaps if I had done that earlier you would be coming with me now.” He smiled at me, that enigmatic faerie smile that I realized with a pang I really would miss, then turned and walked, stooped and unsteady, through the gate. “Good-bye, Reth,” I whispered, letting the wind carry my words through the gate and wondering if he heard them on the other side. Something tight around my heart released as he grew taller and brighter, healed, his features smoothing until they were so much less human than they had ever been. He turned his head ever so briefly in my direction, smiled, and then ran on dancing feet to join the rest of his brothers and sisters.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
Then a step in the grass made me look up. The Marquis was right in front of me, and he was a lot taller than he looked seated across a campfire. In one hand were the horse’s reins, and he held the other hand out in an offer to boost me up. I noticed again that his palm was crossed with calluses, indicating years of swordwork. I grimaced, reluctantly surrendering my image of the Court-bred fop who never lifted anything heavier than a fork. “Ready?” His voice was the same as always--or almost the same. I tipped my head back to look at his face, instantly suspicious. Despite his compressed lips he was clearly on the verge of laughter. For a moment I longed, with all my heart, to swing my stick right at his head. My fingers gripped…and his palm turned, just slightly; but I knew a block readying when I saw one. The strong possibility that anything I attempted would lead directly to an ignominious defeat did not improve my mood at all, but I dropped the stick and wiped my hand down the side of my rumpled tunic. Vowing I’d see that smile wiped off his cursed face, I said shortly, “Let’s get it over with.” He put his hands on my waist and boosted me up onto the horse--and I couldn’t help but notice it didn’t take all that much effort. All right, defeat so far, I thought as I winced and gritted my way through arranging my leg much as it had been on the previous ride. All I have to do is catch him in a single unwary moment…He mounted behind me and we started off, while I indulged myself with the image of grabbing that stick and conking him right across his smiling face.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
She stared in horror at the pie table. Each of Nick’s hands had landed in a pie. His gray shirt was splattered with crust and whipped cream and berries. Even worse, his face was completely covered. The pie ladies and the other judges rushed to help, trying to right the remaining pies while keeping Nick from dripping berry juice all over the table. At one time Maddie might have done something as impulsive as push Ashby back. But now she took a step away. When she looked at Ashby, she was holding a pie. Actually, she was a second away from launching it. “Just put down the pie and walk away, and we’ll let bygones be bygones.” Maddie felt like she should be wearing a police uniform and holding a stun gun instead of contemplating arming herself with pies. Ashby tossed her a defiant look and cranked up the pie. “Let’s just talk like civilized—” Too late. Ashby tossed the pie, a direct hit to Maddie’s face. The pie splattered all over—her hair, her clothes, blinding her and covering her nose so she couldn’t breathe. This was war. Maddie scooped enough pie off her face so she could see. “Okay, I guess we’re past talking.” Something devilish came over her, that feeling of pure kicking-someone’s-butt that she hadn’t felt since she was nine and Derrick ambushed her Barbies with his GI Joes and held them for ransom money. Maddie picked up a certain pie from the table. One of Ashby’s. It hovered in Maddie’s hands like a Frisbee. Clearing both her pie eyes for good aim, she let it rip. Fluffs of whipped cream spread everywhere, in Ashby’s perfect hair and all over her designer sundress.
Miranda Liasson (Heart and Sole (Kingston Family, #1))
When I reached the end of the patch of forest I was ready to run out into the bright sunshine--but before I’d passed the last tree I saw a line of riders racing across a distant field. Ducking instinctively behind the tree, I peered over a branch, shading my eyes against the glare of the sun, and saw that they rode in two-by-two formation, and that they were not following any road. Now, it might have been the riders had nothing to do with me, but I was not about to take that chance. As I looked out across the rolling terrain, I realized that they probably had me boxed in. They knew approximately where I was---that business the night before made it pretty clear--but not exactly. As for my part, I had to spot their perimeter…and cross it. And get something to eat. Without endangering any innocent people. Standing there watching the diminishing formation, I was intensely aware of how alone I was--but it was not the same terrible, helpless feeling I’d had when I first discovered that I was a prisoner. Then I couldn’t walk and couldn’t get free. Now I was free, and I could walk, and as I remembered what Ara had said about that accursed Shevraeth and his abominable friend making sport of finding me, I got angry. There is nothing like good, honest, righteous anger to infuse a person with energy. All right, I thought. Either I keep blundering about in all four directions, or else I locate these searchers--they have to be a limited number--and then move when and where they are least expecting it. And so I turned my steps west and started stumping along in the direction the cross-country racers had gone.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The devil took hold of her tongue. There was no other explanation for it. "Behoove," she said. The angle of his mouth leveled out, and his voice turned exceedingly, dangerously soft. "Yes. Behoove." She opened her mouth. Shut it. Opened it again. "Don't say it." Gray-green eyes narrowed, daring her to cross the line. --- A sense of peace and contentment filled him. He loved music, and he loved to dance. Teaching Tess to waltz was going to be a pleasure. A half an hour later, he had revised his opinion drastically, as she stepped on his foot again. Instantly, they both stopped moving and glared at each other. "Young lady, you are not an elephant," he told her. "Kindly refrain from imitating one." --- "We can work it all out over time. Agreed?" She might not know where they were going, but it was definitely a step to the right direction. Taking a deep breath, she nodded. "Agreed." His expression turned serious, and he eased away from the wall. Without his body weight pinning her into place, she had to force her own shaky limbs to support her. Sliding his fingers lightly down her arm, he took her hand. "Come make love with me," he said. After all of that - after taking the time to create an understanding that was filled with respect and that gave her a sense of safety - how like him to make everything so classic and direct, and simple. She tightened her hand in his. "Yes." --- "What's she like?" Gavin's tone was elaborately non-chalant. Defiant. Devious. Delicious. He didn't say any of those adjectives aloud. Instead, as his silence grew too long and Gavin lifted up his head to look at him curiously, he finally settled on "Unforgettable.
Thea Harrison (Night's Honor (Elder Races, #7))
I loved you from the beginning,” she said, forcing herself to look directly at him. “I can see that now, although at the time I didn't realize what was happening. I haven't wanted to face the truth, that I am exactly what you called me—a coward.” Her gaze searched Zachary's dark face for a reaction to her admission, but there was no sign of emotion. He downed another two fingers of brandy, consuming the distillation with slow, deliberate swallows. “When George died in my arms,” Holly continued raggedly, “I wanted to die, too. I never wanted to feel such pain again, and I knew the safest thing would be to never let myself love anyone that way. And so I used my promise to George as an excuse to hold you at bay.” Holly paused uncertainly, realizing that for some reason her words had caused a flush to rise from Zachary's throat to his ears. Taking courage from that telltale wash of color, she forced herself to go on. “I was willing to use any reason I could find to keep from loving you. And then… when you and I… in the summerhouse…” Too distraught to look at him any longer, Holly lowered her head. “I had never felt that way before,” she said. “I was utterly lost. I had no control over my heart or my thoughts, and so I was frantic to leave you. Ever since then I've tried to step back into my old life, but the fit isn't right anymore. I've changed. Because of you.” Suddenly she could barely see him through a scalding rush of tears. “I've finally realized that there is something worse than possibly losing you… and that is never having you at all.” Her voice cramped and faltered, and she could only whisper. “Please let me stay, Zachary—on any terms you desire. Don't make me live without you. I love you so desperately.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
In the very beginning of life, you were acquainted with the exquisite natural resources of your breath, body, and inner life. You breathed deeply into your belly. You loved your body. You were in touch with the wisdom within your own life. Over time, however, the girl-child becomes disconnected from the “home” within her. Caught in the swirls of others, twisted in the shapes of others, depleted by the demands of others, she becomes outer-directed and loses touch with herself. Her breath becomes shallow. She ignores her body. She looks to saviors outside of herself for salvation and validation, forgetting the rich resources within her. In the fullness of time, we become dizzy from swirling; our lives ache from being twisted out of shape; and our spirits become depleted from servicing others with our energy and attention. Weary, we reach out to a counselor, spiritual community, or self-help group. We are offered information, insight, and tools of support. We are inspired by the experience, strength, and hope of others who are turning toward their own lives with vulnerability, courage, and truth. Insight, information, and camaraderie point us in the right direction, but the journey begins as we turn toward our own lives and look within to re-connect to our natural resources: breath, woman-body, and inner life. Home is always waiting. It is as near as a conscious breath, conscious contact with your woman-body, and a descent into the abundant resources of your inner life. The meaning, recovery, and transformation you seek ‘out there’ is found within your own heart, mind, body, and life. It is accessed in the present moment and released into your experience with each mindful breath. Return home often—you have everything you need there.
Patricia Lynn Reilly (A Deeper Wisdom: The 12 Steps from a Woman's Perspective)
As they walked toward the dance floor, Pamela barely felt the bruises on her feet from Henry. The thrill of waltzing with Mr. Carter practically banished the ache. On the floor, he took her into his arms. She liked the feel of his hand on her waist, the press of their gloved palms together. For the first time, the intimate posture, which had always made her feel uncomfortable and stiff, seemed right, and she wished he would pull her closer. Throughout the beginning of the waltz, they remained silent. She had the sense that Mr. Carter was concentrating on his steps, and she didn't want to distract him. He frowned. "I'm sorry I'm not a very good dancer." "Not at all." Pamela thought of Henry and had to restrain a laugh. She didn't want Mr. Carter to think she was making fun of him. "You couldn't possibly be worse than my previous partner, who led me in the wrong direction and trod on my toes!" His troubled expression cleared. "Well, then, I'm grateful you decided to risk your toes again with me. I promise, I'll try to keep my boots on the floor where they belong." He wiggled his eyebrows. Pamela laughed at his playful act. "I watched you with Elizabeth, and you were fine. So accepting your invitation to dance was not such a risk as you're making it out to be." As they bantered, Pamela found herself relaxing. Conversing with this stranger she'd only met twenty minutes ago was far easier than talking with some men she'd known all her life. Mr. Carter also seemed to become comfortable. His lead became more expert, and he picked up their speed. As they became in tune with each other, they flowed in perfect step to the music. Exhilaration welled up in Pamela. She'd never known dancing could feel like this. She glanced up at him, feeling a smile as wide as the moon stretch across her face. "We're flying!
Debra Holland (Beneath Montana's Sky (Mail-Order Brides of the West, #0.5; Montana Sky, #0.5))
There was a man in the garden with the little girl. He was turning over the soil in a garden bed. He had obviously heard the car, because he raised his hand in greeting, but then he had gone back to his work. He had actually turned his back on the car. Tina thought she knew what that meant. The man had not wanted to see Pete the policeman. Maybe he thought Pete was bringing bad news. Tina smiled. Here was good news. Finally, here was good news for this family. The man dug the garden fork into the soil with a little bit of effort. He was deliberately not looking at Pete. The little girl walked down the driveway towards them. Pete said quietly, ‘No real way to prepare them. You go ahead, Lockie.’ Lockie squeezed Tina’s hand. ‘Go on, Lockie, it’s your dad. He’s been looking for you for a long time. Go on.’ She pulled her hand slowly out of Lockie’s grip. She wanted to save him from his fear, but she had saved him once. Lockie would have to do this by himself. The little girl who was surely Sammy looked back at her father, but he was still concentrating on his work. She smiled in Pete’s direction and then she focused on Lockie. She stared at him, as if trying to work out exactly who he was. Lockie pushed his hood back, exposing his short blond hair. He stood, and Tina could sense him holding his breath, waiting for his sister to see him. To really see him. Sammy stared hard at Lockie now, frowning. And then Tina saw recognition light up her face. She looked at her father who had still not looked up. She looked back at Lockie. She started jumping up and down. ‘Lockie!’ she screamed. ‘Lockie, Lockie, Lockie!’ Lockie smiled.The man jerked upright and dropped the garden fork. ‘Stop that, Samantha,’ he whispered angrily. ‘Jesus, stop that! Be quiet. Stop that.’ ‘Lockie, Lockie, Lockie!’ The little girl flew down the driveway and launched herself at her brother, who went, ‘Oof,’ but he steadied himself and wrapped his arms around her. ‘Lockie, Lockie, Lockie,’ she repeated, as if to make the moment real for herself. The man stood and stared at his children, still without realising that he was indeed looking at both his children. He started walking down the driveway. He began with an angry quick stride but the closer he got the more unsure his steps became. He was a big man in charge of a big farm but his steps became small and faltering. Tina could see the disbelief spreading across his face. Sammy let go of Lockie and took his hand. She started pulling him up the driveway. ‘It’s Lockie, Dad. Look, it’s Lockie, come look, Dad, Lockie’s home. He’s home, Dad. I knew he home. He’s home, Dad. I knew he would come home. I told you, Dad. Look its Lockie. Lockie, Lockie, Lockie’s home. Lockie’s home.’ The man stopped a few feet away from Lockie. His mouth was open. He moved it once or twice, but no words came out, and then came a sound that Tina had never heard before. It was a moaning, keening sound, but rough with the depth of his voice. It was four months of agony and the ecstasy of this moment all rolled into one. It was his heart right out there in the open for everyone to see. He opened his arms and dropped to his knees. Lockie let go of Sammy’s hand and continued alone up the driveway towards his father. He was twisting his hands and pulling at his jumper. He walked into his father’s arms and was completely surrounded by the large man. ‘I’m sorry, Dad,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry, Dad, I’m sorry.’ At the bottom of the driveway Tina watched Lockie and his father. Lockie’s voice was muffled by his father’s arms, but Tina could still hear him repeating, ‘I’m sorry.’ Say it, Tina begged the man silently. Please, please, just say it. ‘Oh, Lockie,’ said the man through his tears, his large shoulders heaving. ‘It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t your fault. I’m sorry, Lockie. I’m sorry. I’ve been looking for you, Lockie. Where did you go, mate? Where did you go?
Nicole Trope (The Boy Under the Table)
Germany’s rearmament was first met with a “supine”134 response from its future adversaries, who showed “little immediate recognition of danger.”135 Despite Winston Churchill’s dire and repeated warnings that Germany “fears no one” and was “arming in a manner which has never been seen in German history,” Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain saw Hitler as merely trying to right the wrongs of Versailles, and acquiesced to the German annexation of the Sudetenland at Munich in September 1938.136 Yet Chamberlain’s anxiety grew as Hitler’s decision to occupy the remainder of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 indicated his broader aims. Chamberlain asked rhetorically: “Is this the end of an old adventure, or is it the beginning of a new? Is this the last attack upon a small State, or is it to be followed by others? Is this, in fact, a step in the direction of an attempt to dominate the world by force?”137 France, meanwhile, as Henry Kissinger explains, “had become so dispirited that it could not bring itself to act.”138 Stalin decided his interests were best served by a non-aggression pact signed with Germany, which included a secret protocol for the division of Eastern Europe.139 One week after agreeing to the pact with Stalin, Hitler invaded Poland, triggering the British and French to declare war on September 3, 1939. The Second World War had begun. Within a year, Hitler occupied France, along with much of Western Europe and Scandinavia. Britain was defeated on the Continent, although it fought off German air assaults. In June 1941, Hitler betrayed Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union. By the time Germany was defeated four years later, much of the European continent had been destroyed, and its eastern half would be under Soviet domination for the next forty years. Western Europe could not have been liberated without the United States, on whose military power it would continue to rely. The war Hitler unleashed was the bloodiest the world had ever seen.
Graham Allison (Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?)
The CEO answered by saying the bill was too high, that he’d pay half of it and that they would talk about the rest. After that, he stopped answering her calls. The underlying dynamic was that this guy didn’t like being questioned by anyone, especially a woman. So she and I developed a strategy that showed him she understood where she went wrong and acknowledged his power, while at the same time directing his energy toward solving her problem. The script we came up with hit all the best practices of negotiation we’ve talked about so far. Here it is by steps: A “No”-oriented email question to reinitiate contact: “Have you given up on settling this amicably?” A statement that leaves only the answer of “That’s right” to form a dynamic of agreement: “It seems that you feel my bill is not justified.” Calibrated questions about the problem to get him to reveal his thinking: “How does this bill violate our agreement?” More “No”-oriented questions to remove unspoken barriers: “Are you saying I misled you?” “Are you saying I didn’t do as you asked?” “Are you saying I reneged on our agreement?” or “Are you saying I failed you?” Labeling and mirroring the essence of his answers if they are not acceptable so he has to consider them again: “It seems like you feel my work was subpar.” Or “… my work was subpar?” A calibrated question in reply to any offer other than full payment, in order to get him to offer a solution: “How am I supposed to accept that?” If none of this gets an offer of full payment, a label that flatters his sense of control and power: “It seems like you are the type of person who prides himself on the way he does business—rightfully so—and has a knack for not only expanding the pie but making the ship run more efficiently.” A long pause and then one more “No”-oriented question: “Do you want to be known as someone who doesn’t fulfill agreements?” From my long experience in negotiation, scripts like this have a 90 percent success rate. That is, if the negotiator stays calm
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It)
Let’s take the threshold idea one step further. If intelligence matters only up to a point, then past that point, other things—things that have nothing to do with intelligence—must start to matter more. It’s like basketball again: once someone is tall enough, then we start to care about speed and court sense and agility and ball-handling skills and shooting touch. So, what might some of those other things be? Well, suppose that instead of measuring your IQ, I gave you a totally different kind of test. Write down as many different uses that you can think of for the following objects: a brick a blanket This is an example of what’s called a “divergence test” (as opposed to a test like the Raven’s, which asks you to sort through a list of possibilities and converge on the right answer). It requires you to use your imagination and take your mind in as many different directions as possible. With a divergence test, obviously there isn’t a single right answer. What the test giver is looking for are the number and the uniqueness of your responses. And what the test is measuring isn’t analytical intelligence but something profoundly different—something much closer to creativity. Divergence tests are every bit as challenging as convergence tests, and if you don’t believe that, I encourage you to pause and try the brick-and-blanket test right now. Here, for example, are answers to the “uses of objects” test collected by Liam Hudson from a student named Poole at a top British high school: (Brick). To use in smash-and-grab raids. To help hold a house together. To use in a game of Russian roulette if you want to keep fit at the same time (bricks at ten paces, turn and throw—no evasive action allowed). To hold the eiderdown on a bed tie a brick at each corner. As a breaker of empty Coca-Cola bottles. (Blanket). To use on a bed. As a cover for illicit sex in the woods. As a tent. To make smoke signals with. As a sail for a boat, cart or sled. As a substitute for a towel. As a target for shooting practice for short-sighted people. As a thing to catch people jumping out of burning skyscrapers.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Do you believe that?” Melinda says, directing her wonderment at Irv. “That if someone commits suicide they go to hell?” “No.” “But many Christians do, right?” “There’s a debate, but it’s doctrine.” “But you don’t think so?” “No.” “Why not?” “For the same reason the Catholics believe in the Trinity, Melinda.” The appetizers arrive with a speed that Sigrid finds suspicious. “Which is . . . what?” “It’s how I understand Jesus’s words spoken from the cross,” says Irv, taking a calamari. “Jesus spoke seven times on the cross. In Matthew Twenty-Seven, verse forty-six and in Mark Fifteen verse thirty-four he says, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ This led to the Trinity,” Irv said, sucking cocktail sauce and grease from his thumb. “The thinking is, if Jesus was Lord, who was he speaking to? He was obviously speaking to someone or something other than himself, unless . . . ya know.” Irv makes a circular cuckoo motion by his head with a piece of squid. “So perhaps he was speaking to the Father, or to the Holy Spirit. In this act, he distinguishes himself from the eternal and embodies everything that is Man. The fear, the sadness, the tragedy. The longing. The recognition of betrayal. We see him, in that moment, only as the Son, and because of that, as ourselves. As I read it, Melinda, we are not invited in that moment to be cruel to him for his despair, or to mock him. Instead we are asked to feel his pain. When Jesus says, ‘It is finished’ I don’t read, ‘Mission accomplished.’ I see a person resigned. A person who has lost hope. A person who has taken a step away from this life. And our pity for him grows. And finally he says, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Now, I’m not going to equate Jesus letting go with suicide, but any decent and forgiving Christian person would have to admit that we are looking at a person who cannot fight anymore. We are being taught to be understanding of that state of mind and sympathetic to the suffering that might lead a person to it. It does not follow to me that if someone succumbs to that grief we are to treat them with eternal contempt. I just don’t believe it.
Derek B. Miller (American by Day (Sigrid Ødegård #2))
Every day, the markets were driven less directly by human beings and more directly by machines. The machines were overseen by people, of course, but few of them knew how the machines worked. He knew that RBC’s machines—not the computers themselves, but the instructions to run them—were third-rate, but he had assumed it was because the company’s new electronic trading unit was bumbling and inept. As he interviewed people from the major banks on Wall Street, he came to realize that they had more in common with RBC than he had supposed. “I’d always been a trader,” he said. “And as a trader you’re kind of inside a bubble. You’re just watching your screens all day. Now I stepped back and for the first time started to watch other traders.” He had a good friend who traded stocks at a big-time hedge fund in Stamford, Connecticut, called SAC Capital. SAC Capital was famous (and soon to be infamous) for being one step ahead of the U.S. stock market. If anyone was going to know something about the market that Brad didn’t know, he figured, it would be them. One spring morning he took the train up to Stamford and spent the day watching his friend trade. Right away he saw that, even though his friend was using technology given to him by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and the other big firms, he was experiencing exactly the same problem as RBC: The market on his screens was no longer the market. His friend would hit a button to buy or sell a stock and the market would move away from him. “When I see this guy trading and he was getting screwed—I now see that it isn’t just me. My frustration is the market’s frustration. And I was like, Whoa, this is serious.” Brad’s problem wasn’t just Brad’s problem. What people saw when they looked at the U.S. stock market—the numbers on the screens of the professional traders, the ticker tape running across the bottom of the CNBC screen—was an illusion. “That’s when I realized the markets are rigged. And I knew it had to do with the technology. That the answer lay beneath the surface of the technology. I had absolutely no idea where. But that’s when the lightbulb went off that the only way I’m going to find out what’s going on is if I go beneath the surface.
Michael Lewis (Flash Boys)
The First Amendment protects our freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to practice religion, to peacefully assemble, and the right to petition the government. This is true tolerance as defined by our founding documents. This is the right of all American citizens. Does the right of free speech end on college campuses of higher learning? Does it end when you step into a designated "safe space" at your local university? Does it end if your choice of words is construed to be a "trigger warning" when you walk into a classroom? The answer obviously should be no. Unfortunately, the answer today on most college campuses is yes. And take this warning seriously: it won't end there. The commentator Andrew Sullivan has noted the student anti-free-speech movement "manifests itself . . . almost as a religion". He continues: "It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained--and through which all speech must be filtered. Its version of original sin is the power of some identity groups over others. To overcome this sin, you need first to confess, i.e., "check your privilege", and subsequently live your life and order your thoughts in a way that keeps this sin at bay. This sin goes so deep into your psyche, especially if you are white or male or straight, that a profound conversion is required. It operates as a religion in one other critical dimension: If you happen to see the world in a different way, if you're a liberal or libertarian or even, gasp, a conservative, if you believe that a university is a place where any idea, however loathsome, can be debated and refuted, you are not just wrong, you are immoral . . . your heresy is a direct threat to others, and therefore needs to be extinguished. You can't reason with heresy. You have to ban it". Ironically, Christians, and others committed to the free expression of ideas, are the ones who are often accused of trying to force our beliefs on others. But that's not the case. Because we believe in objective truth, we believe reason and a robust exchange of ideas, with good, healthy debate can guide us to the truth. It is the radical Left that denies objective truth and therefore always relies on forced compliance and fascist tactics.
Everett Piper (Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth)
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to be upset, to be frustrated, and to be offended. Maybe the day’s plans didn’t work out, or somebody was rude at the office, or a job that should have taken one hour took three. Life is full of inconveniences. There will always be interruptions and difficult people. We can’t control all our circumstances, but we can control our reactions. I’ve heard it said that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. Go into each day positive, hopeful, and expecting God’s favor. But at the same time be realistic, knowing that most days will not go exactly as you planned. If you become stressed because you are off schedule, frustrated because someone offended you, or upset because your child wouldn’t eat breakfast, you are giving away your power. It’s good to have plans, but at the first part of every day submit those plans to God and just say, “God, this is what I would like to accomplish today. But I know You’re in control, so I submit my plans to You. And I’ve decided in advance that no matter what comes my way, I will stay in peace, knowing You are directing my steps and that all things will work together for my good.” But too many people these days have the wrong approach to life. They think they can’t be happy unless they control all their circumstances and everything goes their way. But that’s not realistic. You have to come to the place where you can say, “I don’t have to have my way to have a good day. My plans don’t have to work out for me to be happy. Everybody doesn’t have to treat me right for life to be enjoyable. I have already made up my mind: No matter what does or doesn’t happen, I will stay in peace and enjoy this day.” The Scripture says that “no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22 NIV). No circumstance can take your peace. No interruption can take your enthusiasm. You have to give it away. The next time you’re tempted to be upset and frustrated, ask yourself, Is this worth giving my power away? Or, This man is rude to me on the phone. I don’t even know him. Is it worth giving him my joy? Or, This coworker left me out of a meeting; is it worth giving away my peace? You may not have the victory, not because you can’t, but because you keep giving it away. Life is too short to be upset and offended. If you allow your circumstances to control your joy, there will always be some reason to be discouraged.
Joel Osteen (Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week)
As it is written, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Ti 2:15  But how can we rightly divide the word of truth? Where does the truth come from? The Lord no doubt. But without His wisdom how can we rightly divide it? Where does this wisdom come from and how do we come to the knowledge of the truth which is the word of God? But as it is also written, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” Joh 16:13  Seeing that He guides us into all truth, we can find the power to retain the word of truth through the Holy Spirit. He likewise will bring the scriptures to remembrance when it comes time to apply them. But as we discussed earlier, the scriptures need to be speaking out to us first when we read. This is the Holy Spirit breathing life into the word of God and speaking it to you. This is the scripture He is teaching you and wants you to memorize and meditate on. We as good pupils and students, need to be listening to the voice of our Teacher and Master. We need to pay attention in class, and let Him teach the lesson. He is the one who guides us through the workbook (the Bible) even as the schoolteacher leads a student to the textbook. In school the teachers tell us what we should memorize. Likewise the Holy Spirit will tell you what you should memorize. Whatever speaks out to you, God is speaking to you. Whatever God is speaking to you, you should be memorizing for later practice. If you do this, you will be able to recall the scriptures better at all the appropriate times as we discussed earlier. But you need to lean on the Lord for strength to remember them. The Holy Spirit will speak to you in the time that you need to remember the scriptures. But only if you have sought Him in memorizing it and meditating on it. When we allow the first fruits to be the work of God in us, then all fruit will be the work of God. We are not called to walk about by our strength nor are we called to gain the wisdom of God with our own strength. Rather in ALL our ways we are called to lean on Him. As it is written, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Pro 3:5-6 And earlier we said in James 1:5 that if we lack wisdom we need to ask God for it. But what does that scripture tell us? It says to ask in faith.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
When we speak of God’s will, we are usually speaking only of some recognizable sign of His will. The signpost that points to a distant city is not the city itself, and sometimes the signs that point to a great place are in themselves insignificant and contemptible. But we must follow the direction of the signpost if we are to get to the end of our journey. Everything that exists and everything that happens bears witness to the will of God. It is one thing to see a sign and another thing to interpret that sign correctly. However, our first duty is to recognize signs for what they are. If we do not even regard them as indications of anything beyond themselves, we will not try to interpret them. Of all the things and all the happenings that proclaim God’s will to the world, only very few are capable of being interpreted by men. And of these few, fewer still find a capable interpreter. So that the mystery of God’s will is made doubly mysterious by the signs that veil it from our eyes. To know anything at all of God’s will we have to participate, in some manner, in the vision of the prophets: men who were always alive to the divine light concealed in the opacity of things and events, and who sometimes saw glimpses of that light where other men saw nothing but ordinary happenings. And yet if we are too anxious to pry into the mystery that surrounds us we will lose the prophet’s reverence and exchange it for the impertinence of soothsayers. We must be silent in the presence of signs whose meaning is closed to us. Otherwise we will begin incontinently to place our own superstitious interpretation upon everything— the number of steps to a doorway, a card pulled out of the pack, the shadow of a ladder, the flight of birds. God’s will is not so cheap a mystery that it can be unlocked by any key like these! Nevertheless, there are some signs that everyone must know. They must be easily read and seen, and they are indeed very simple. But they come sparingly, few in number; they show us clearly enough the road ahead but not for more than a few paces. When we have taken those few paces, what will happen? We must learn to be poor in our dependence on these clear signs, to take them as they come, not to demand more of them than we need, not to make more of them than they really tell. If I am to know the will of God, I must have the right attitude toward life. I must first of all know what life is, and to know the purpose of my existence.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
Dom stood dumbfounded as Jane disappeared into the street. Then he hurried to catch up to her, to get some answers. She knew. How the blazes did she know? The answer to that was obvious. “So, Nancy told you the truth, did she?” he snapped as he fell into step beside her. Jane didn’t reply, just kept marching toward the inn like a Hussar bent on battle. “When?” he demanded. “How long have you known?” “For nine years, you…you conniving…lying--” “Nine years? You knew all this time, and you didn’t say anything?” “Say anything!” She halted just short of the innyard entrance to glare at him. “How the devil was I to do that? You disappeared into the streets of London as surely as if you were a footpad or a pickpocket.” She planted her hands on her hips. “Oh, I read about your heroic exploits from time to time, but other than that, I neither heard nor saw anything of you until last year, when you showed up at George’s town house. It was only pure chance that I happened to be at dinner with Nancy that day. As you’ll recall, you didn’t stay long. Nor did you behave as if you would welcome any confidences.” Remembering the cool reception he’d given her, he glanced away, unable to bear the accusation in her eyes. “No, I suppose I didn’t.” “Besides,” she said, “it hardly mattered that I knew the truth. I assumed that if you ever changed your mind about making a life with me, you would seek me out. Since you never did, you were clearly determined to remain a bachelor.” His gaze shot back to her. “It was more complicated than that.” She snorted. “It always is with you. Which is precisely why I’m happy I’m engaged to someone else.” That sent jealousy roaring through him. “Yet you let me kiss you.” A pretty blush stained her cheeks. “You…you took me by surprise, that’s all. But it was a mistake. It won’t happen again.” The blazes it wouldn’t. He intended to find out if the past was as firmly in the past as she claimed. But obviously he couldn’t do it here in the street. He glanced up at the gloomy sky. Or right now. She followed the direction of his gaze. “Yes,” she said in a dull voice. “It looks like we’ll have a rainy trip back.” She headed into the innyard. “Perhaps if we hurry, we can reach Winborough before it starts. Besides, we’ve got only three hours until sunset, and it’s not safe to ride in an open phaeton after dark.” She was right, but he didn’t mean to drop this discussion. He needed answers, and once they were on the road, he meant to get them.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
Something I can help you find?” he asks. Because to be fair, I’m digging through his drawer. “Nope,” I tell him. “Found it.” “Everly, what in the hell are you doing?” He’s finished buttoning his shirt and is staring at me, hands on hips, the corners of his eyes creased as he frowns. “I’m putting on your underwear,” I tell him, stepping into a pair of his briefs. I was digging around for a black pair. Why the hell do they even sell them in white? Just, no. “Why?” He still looks bewildered, but he’s stopped staring at me to tuck in his shirt. “You got me all worked up and horny in there.” I point a thumb in the direction of the bathroom. “I gave you an orgasm.” He seems confused by my accusation. I snort. “Right. Which you know only makes me want your dick more.” I glance over at the clothing I brought, contemplating what will work with this underwear. I’ve been chatting with his assistant Sandra all week about what people wear to this party. Sawyer was zero help on that front. “Wear whatever you want,” he’d said. As if I can pick an outfit with that kind of direction. “I hope you’re wearing your new cufflinks with that shirt,” I tell him, eyeing his outfit of black slacks and grey dress shirt. He holds up the cat cufflinks I gave him at Christmas and fastens his left sleeve. “I still don’t understand what my underwear has to do with anything.” “Oh!” I pull a solid black sleeveless dress with a full skirt and a wide waistband off the hanger and step into it. “Because you’re obviously planning on having your way with me at this party. Probably gonna shove me into a coat closet and fuck me with your hand over my mouth so no one hears us. And if anyone’s panties are getting left behind at this party, it’s gonna be yours.” He nods slowly and fastens his right sleeve. “Do women your age still use the phrase ‘having your way with me?’” “I just did. Anyway, yours are more absorbent. Can you zip me?” I turn my back to him and swipe my hair over one shoulder, waiting. I feel his fingers on the zipper, the fabric gathering slowly up my back. He finishes and rests his thumbs on the back of my neck, rubbing small circles into my skin as he kisses the nape of my neck. I shudder, feeling his touch all the way to the black briefs. “That’s a pretty elaborate plan I came up with,” he murmurs. I turn and nod, sadly. “I know. You’re kind of a menace.” “It’s good of you to put up with me.” I shrug. “Someone’s got to.” “I’m not going to be able to rip those underwear off of you.” “Haha!” I point at him with one hand and slip a heel on with my other. “I knew it!
Jana Aston (Right (Cafe, #2))
What the devil was Davy doing up there with a marlinespike? That’s what I’d like to know. It’s a sailors duty.” She put her head in her hands. “I’m afraid that’s my fault, too. I’d been talking to him about moving up to the forecastle, and I…I think he wanted to impress me.” Gray choked on a laugh. “Well, of course he did. You ought to take care how you bat those eyelashes, sweetheart. One of these days, you’re likely to knock a man overboard.” The legs of her chair scraped the floor as she stood. The color returned to her cheeks. “If Davy was trying to impress me, it’s as much your fault as mine.” “How is that my fault?” Gray’s frustration came right back to a boil. He hated himself for growling at her, but he couldn’t seem to help it. “You’re the one who humiliated him in front of the crew, with all those questions. You goaded him into saying he…well, you know what he said.” “Yes, I know what he said.” Gray stepped toward her until only the table separated them. “I know what he said. And don’t pretend you didn’t enjoy it. Don’t pretend you don’t use those men to feed your vanity.” “My vanity? What would you know about feeding my vanity? You don’t so much as breathe in my direction. At least the sailors speak to me. And if that entire ‘Kind of the Sea’ display wasn’t one long exercise in feeding your own vanity, I’m sure I don’t know what is.” She jabbed one finger on the tabletop and lowered her voice. “Those men may flirt with me, but they worship you. You know it. You wanted to feel it. Bask in it. And you did so at Davy’s expense.” “At least I only teased the boy. I’m not the one poised to break his heart.” She blinked. “It’s only infatuation. He’s not really in love with me.” He pounded the table. “Of course the boy’s in love with you! They all are. You talk to them, you listen to their stories-even Wiggins’s prattling, God only knows why. You draw them little sketches, you make them paintings for Christmas. You remind them of everything they’ve left behind, everything they pray they’ll one day hold again. And you do it all looking like some sort of Botticelli goddess, surely the most beautiful thing they’ve ever laid eyes on. Damn it, how’s a man to keep from falling in love with you?” Silence. She stared at him. She blinked. Her lips parted, and she drew a quick breath. Say something, Gray silently pleaded. Anything. But she only stared at him. What the hell had he just said? Was it truly that bad? He frowned, reliving the past minute in his mind. Oh, God. Gray rubbed his face with one hand, then gave a sharp tug on his hair. It was that bad. Damn it to hell. If Joss were here, he’d have a good laugh at his expense.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Switch from a Performance Focus to a Mastery Focus There’s a way to keep your standards high but avoid the problems that come from perfectionism. If you can shift your thinking from a performance focus to a mastery focus, you’ll become less fearful, more resilient, and more open to good, new ideas. Performance focus is when your highest priority is to show you can do something well now. Mastery focus is when you’re mostly concerned with advancing your skills. Someone with a mastery focus will think, “My goal is to master this skill set” rather than “I need to perform well to prove myself.” A mastery focus can help you persist after setbacks. To illustrate this, imagine the following scenario: Adam is trying to master the art of public speaking. Due to his mastery goal, he’s likely to take as many opportunities as he can to practice giving speeches. When he has setbacks, he’ll be motivated to try to understand these and get back on track. His mastery focus will make him more likely to work steadily toward his goal. Compare this with performance-focused Rob, who is concerned just with proving his competence each time he gives a talk. Rob will probably take fewer risks in his style of presentation and be less willing to step outside his comfort zone. If he has an incident in which a talk doesn’t go as well as he’d hoped, he’s likely to start avoiding public speaking opportunities. Mastery goals will help you become less upset about individual instances of failure. They’ll increase your willingness to identify where you’ve made errors, and they’ll help you avoid becoming so excessively critical of yourself that you lose confidence in your ability to rectify your mistakes. A mastery focus can also help you prioritize—you can say yes to things that move you toward your mastery goal and no to things that don’t. This is great if you’re intolerant of uncertainty, because it gives you a clear direction and rule of thumb for making decisions about which opportunities to pursue. Experiment: What’s your most important mastery goal right now? Complete this sentence: “My goal is to master the skills involved in ___.” Examples include parenting, turning more website visitors into buyers, property investment, or self-compassion. Based on the mastery goal you picked, answer the following questions. Make your answers as specific as possible. How would people with your mastery goal: 1. React to mistakes, setbacks, disappointments, and negative moods? 2. Prioritize which tasks they work on? What types of tasks would they deprioritize? 3. React when they’d sunk a lot of time into something and then realized a particular strategy or idea didn’t have the potential they’d hoped it would? 4. Ensure they were optimizing their learning and skill acquisition? 5. React when they felt anxious?
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Here is my six step process for how we will first start with ISIS and then build an international force that will fight terrorism and corruption wherever it appears. “First, in dedication to Lieutenant Commander McKay, Operation Crapshoot commenced at six o’clock this morning. I’ve directed a handpicked team currently deployed in Iraq to coordinate a tenfold increase in aerial bombing and close air support. In addition to aerial support, fifteen civilian security companies, including delegations from our international allies, are flying special operations veterans into Iraq. Those forces will be tasked with finding and annihilating ISIS, wherever they walk, eat or sleep. I’ve been told that they can’t wait to get started. “Second, going forward, our military will be a major component in our battle against evil. Militaries need training. I’ve been assured by General McMillan and his staff that there is no better final training test than live combat. So without much more expenditure, we will do two things, train our troops of the future, and wipe out international threats. “Third, I have a message for our allies. If you need us, we will be there. If evil raises its ugly head, we will be with you, arm in arm, fighting for what is right. But that aid comes with a caveat. Our allies must be dedicated to the common global ideals of personal and religious freedom. Any supposed ally who ignores these terms will find themselves without impunity. A criminal is a criminal. A thief is a thief. Decide which side you’re on, because our side carries a big stick. “Fourth, to the religious leaders of the world, especially those of Islam, though we live with differing traditions, we are still one people on this Earth. What one person does always has the possibility of affecting others. If you want to be part of our community, it is time to do your part. Denounce the criminals who besmirch your faith. Tell your followers the true meaning of the Koran. Do not let the money and influence of hypocrites taint your religion or your people. We request that you do this now, respectfully, or face the scrutiny of America and our allies. “Fifth, starting today, an unprecedented coalition of three former American presidents, my predecessor included, will travel around the globe to strengthen our alliances. Much like our brave military leaders, we will lead from the front, go where we are needed. We will go toe to toe with any who would seek to undermine our good intentions, and who trample the freedoms of our citizens. In the coming days you will find out how great our resolve truly is. “Sixth, my staff is in the process of drafting a proposal for the members of the United Nations. The proposal will outline our recommendations for the formation of an international terrorism strike force along with an international tax that will fund ongoing anti-terrorism operations. Only the countries that contribute to this fund will be supported by the strike force. You pay to play.
C.G. Cooper (Moral Imperative (Corps Justice, #7))
It’s my turn next, and I realize then that I never turned in the name of my escort--because I hadn’t planned on being here. I glance around wildly for Ryder, but he’s nowhere to be seen, swallowed up by the sea of people in cocktail dresses and suits. Crap. I thought he realized that escorting me on court was part of the deal, once I’d agreed to go. I guess he’d figured it’d be easier on me, what with the whole Patrick thing, if I was alone onstage. But I don’t want to be alone. I want Ryder with me. By my side, supporting me. Always. I finally spot him in the crowd--it’s not too hard, since he’s a head taller than pretty much everyone else--and our eyes meet. My stomach drops to my feet--you know, that feeling you get on a roller coaster right after you crest that first hill and start plummeting toward the ground. Oh my God, this can’t be happening. I’ve fallen in love with Ryder Marsden, the boy I’m supposed to hate. And it has nothing to do with his confession, his declaration that he loves me. Sure, it might have forced me to examine my feelings faster than I would have on my own, but it was there all along, taking root, growing, blossoming. Heck, it’s a full-blown garden at this point. “Our senior maid is Miss Jemma Cafferty!” comes the principal’s voice. “Jemma is a varsity cheerleader, a member of the Wheelettes social sorority, the French Honor Club, the National Honor Society, and the Peer Mentors. She’s escorted tonight by…ahem, sorry. I’m afraid there’s no escort, so we’ll just--” “Ryder Marsden,” I call out as I make my way across the stage. “I’m escorted by Ryder Marsden.” The collective gasp that follows my announcement is like something out of the movies. I swear, it’s just like that scene in Gone with the Wind where Rhett offers one hundred and fifty dollars in gold to dance with Scarlett, and she walks through the scandalized bystanders to take her place beside Rhett for the Virginia reel. Only it’s the reverse. I’m standing here doing the scandalizing, and Ryder’s doing the walking. “Apparently, Jemma’s escort is Ryder Marsden,” the principal ad-libs into the microphone, looking a little frazzled. “Ryder is…um…the starting quarterback for the varsity football team, and, um…in the National Honor Society and…” She trails off helplessly. “A Peer Mentor,” he adds helpfully as he steps up beside me and takes my hand. The smile he flashes in my direction as Mrs. Crawford places the tiara on my head is dazzling--way more so than the tiara itself. My knees go a little weak, and I clutch him tightly as I wobble on my four-inch heels. But here’s the thing: If the crowd is whispering about me, I don’t hear it. I’m aware only of Ryder beside me, my hand resting in the crook of his arm as he leads me to our spot on the stage beside the junior maid and her escort, where we wait for Morgan to be crowned queen. Oh, there’ll be hell to pay tomorrow. I have no idea what we’re going to tell our parents. Right now I don’t even care. Just like Scarlett O’Hara, I’m going to enjoy myself tonight and worry about the rest later. After all, tomorrow is another…Well, you know how the saying goes.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I was standing lost, sunk, my hands in my pockets, gazing toward Tinker Mountain and feeling the earth reel down. All at once, I saw what looked like a Martian spaceship whirling towards me in the air. It flashed borrowed light like a propeller. Its forward motion greatly outran its fall. As I watched, transfixed, it rose, just before it would have touched a thistle, and hovered pirouetting in one spot, then twirled on and finally came to rest. I found it in the grass; it was a maple key…Hullo. I threw it into the wind and it flew off again, bristling with animate purpose, not like a thing dropped or windblown, pushed by the witless winds of convection currents hauling round the world’s rondure where they must, but like a creature muscled and vigorous, or a creature spread thin to that other wind, the wind of the spirit that bloweth where it listeth, lighting, and raising up, and easing down. O maple key, I thought, I must confess I thought, o welcome, cheers. And the bell under my ribs rang a true note, a flourish of blended horns, clarion, sweet, and making a long dim sense I will try at length to explain. Flung is too harsh a word for the rush of the world. Blown is more like it, but blown by a generous, unending breath. That breath never ceases to kindle, exuberant, abandoned; frayed splinters spatter in every direction and burgeon into flame. And now when I sway to a fitful wind, alone and listing, I will think, maple key. When I see a photograph of earth from outer space, the planet so startlingly painterly and hung, I will think, maple key. When I shake your hand or meet your eyes, I will think two maple keys. If I am maple key falling, at least I can twirl. Thomas Merton wrote, “There is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It’s no self-conscious, so apparently moral, simple to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus. Ezekiel excoriates false prophets who have “not gone up into the gaps.” The gaps are the thing. The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare and clean that the spirit can discover itself for the first time like a once blind man unbound. The gaps are the cliffs in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God; they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through, the icy narrowing fjords splitting the cliffs of mystery. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock- more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend the afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Sophie!” Val spotted her first and abandoned all ceremony to wrap his arms around her. “Sophie Windham, I have missed you and missed you.” He held her tightly, so tightly Sophie could hide her face against his shoulder and swallow back the lump abruptly forming in her throat. “I have a new étude for you to listen to. It’s based on parallel sixths and contrary motion—it’s quite good fun.” He stepped back, his smile so dear Sophie wanted to hug him all over again, but St. Just elbowed Val aside. “Long lost sister, where have you been?” His hug was gentler but no less welcome. “I’ve traveled half the length of England to see you, you know.” He kissed her cheek, and Sophie felt a blush creeping up her neck. “You did not. You’ve come south because Emmie said you must, and you want to check on your ladies out in Surrey.” Westhaven waited until St. Just had released her. “I wanted to check on you.” His hug was the gentlest of all. “But you were not where you were supposed to be, Sophie. You have some explaining to do if we’re to get the story straight before we face Her Grace.” The simple fact of his support undid her. Sophie pressed her face to his shoulder and felt a tear leak from her eye. “I have missed you so, missed all of you so much.” Westhaven patted her back while Valentine stuffed a cold, wrinkled handkerchief into her hand. “We’ve made her cry.” St. Just did not sound happy. “I’m just…” Sophie stepped away from Westhaven and dabbed at her eyes. “I’m a little fatigued is all. I’ve been doing some baking, and the holidays are never without some challenges, and then there’s the baby—” “What baby?” All three men spoke—shouted, more nearly—as one. “Keep your voices down, please,” Sophie hissed. “Kit isn’t used to strangers, and if he’s overset, I’ll be all night dealing with him.” “And behold, a virgin shall conceive,” Val muttered as Sophie passed him back his handkerchief. St. Just shoved him on the shoulder. “That isn’t helping.” Westhaven went to the stove and took the kettle from the hob. “What baby, Sophie? And perhaps you might share some of this baking you’ve been doing. The day was long and cold, and our brothers grow testy if denied their victuals too long.” He sent her a smile, an it-will-be-all-right smile that had comforted her on many an occasion. Westhaven was sensible. It was his surpassing gift to be sensible, but Sophie found no solace from it now. She had not been sensible, and worse yet, she did not regret the lapse. She would, however, regret very much if the lapse did not remain private. “The tweenie was anticipating an interesting event, wasn’t she?” Westhaven asked as he assembled a tea tray. While Sophie took a seat at the table, St. Just hiked himself onto a counter, and Val took the other bench. “Joleen,” Sophie said. “Her interesting event is six months old, a thriving healthy child named… Westhaven, what are you doing?” “He’s making sure he gets something to eat under the guise of looking after his siblings,” St. Just said, pushing off the counter. “Next, he’ll fetch the cream from the window box while I make us some sandwiches. Valentine find us a cloth for the table.” “At once, Colonel.” Val snapped a salute and sauntered off in the direction of the butler’s pantry, while Westhaven headed for the colder reaches of the back hallway. “You
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
Excuse me, sir.” One the young officers put his hand up to stop them. “Are you Furious Barkley?” “Maybe. Maybe not. Is there a problem, officers?” Doug stepped in front of Furi. “Damn straight there’s a problem.” Syn stepped inside the door, yanking his dark aviator glasses off his face. The scowl he wore told Furi this was not a pleasant coincidence. “Thanks guys, you can go.” Furi stood with his mouth hanging open while Syn dismissed the officers. “Seriously, Starsky. You gonna track my boy down every time he leaves the house?” Doug said angrily, still blocking Furi. “He’s not your boy. And what I do regarding Furi is none of your goddamn business.” Syn’s clenched jaw made his words sound like an evil hiss. He shouldered past Doug and got directly in Furi’s face. “When I’ve been calling him for over six hours and he hasn’t picked up or returned any of my calls, I’ll send a fuckin’ SWAT team to find him if I want to.” Syn spun and pointed his finger in Doug’s face, “That’s my say, not yours.” Syn’s voice was rising with his growing temper, and all eyes were on them. “Okay, let’s get out of here.” Furi pushed at both men, urging them out the door. As soon as they were out in the brisk fall air, Syn rounded on Furi, pushing their chest together. “Where have you been, Furious? I’ve been going crazy trying to check on you, and you’re sitting here casually eating pancakes,” Syn growled. “Hey, back up, man.” Doug tried to wedge in between Furi and Syn. Syn looked up in annoyance. “Doug, I swear, if you touch me, I’m gonna ensure that you never regain the use of that hand.” “Okay, okay.” Furi put both hands flat on Syn’s chest, feeling his rapid heartbeat underneath all that muscle. Fuck. He really was scared. What was I thinking turning off my phone with everything that’s going on? “Syn. I’m so sorry. I turned my phone off because–” “You don’t owe him an explanation. You’re a grown man, Furious. You were having a business meeting; he has no right to demand you be available to him at all times, just like Patrick.” Furi and Syn both snapped at Doug. But Furi took control. “Hey! Don’t you ever say that again. This man is nothing like that asshole.” Furi shook his head at the absurdity of Doug’s accusation. “Don’t even say his name in the same sentence as Patrick’s.” Doug looked at Furi as if he were a stranger. “Doug, you don’t know everything that’s been going on. But I promise I’ll catch you up, okay? Then you’re going to feel pretty shitty about what you just said about Syn.” Furi nodded his head. “Go home. I’ll call you when I’m back at Syn’s place.” “You’re staying with him?” Doug yelled. “Doug. You know it’s not safe at my place,” Furi said softly, his eyes pleading with his friend for him to understand. “Then you should come to stay with me. I don’t trust this guy!” “This is fuckin’ crazy,” Syn snarled. “I know you’re his friend, but you’re sounding more pissed than a friend should be.” “Don’t try to read me, Detective. Furi is my best friend, and I’ve had his back since the first day he got here.” Doug wasn’t backing down from Syn’s intimidating posture. Syn’s dark glasses were back on, creating a perfectly badass look with his black leather coat and boots. All the hardware Syn had tucked under his arms and the shiny badge hanging around his neck was a sight right out of a sexy cop porno.
A.E. Via
When it was done and he took the mess away to bury, I lay back and breathed deeply, doing my best to settle my boiling stomach. “All right,” he said, “that’s that. Now it’s time to go, if we’re to reach Lumm by green-change.” He whistled, and the dapple-gray trotted obediently up, head tossing. I realized I ought to have been more observant about chances for escape, and I wondered if there were any chance of taking him by surprise now. First to see if I could even stand. As he went about the chore of resaddling the horse, I eased myself to my feet. I took my time at it, too, not just because my ankle was still protesting its recent rebandaging; I wanted to seem as decrepit as possible. My head felt weirdly light when I made it to my feet, and I had to hang on to a branch of the oak--my foot simply wouldn’t take any weight. As soon as I tried it, my middle turned to water and I groped for the branch again. Which meant if I did try anything, it was going to have to be within reach of the horse. I watched for a moment as he lashed down the saddlebags then rammed the rapier into the saddle sheath. There was already that knife at his belt. This did not look promising, I thought, remembering all the lessons on close fighting that Khesot had drilled into us. If your opponent is better armed and has the longer reach, then surprise is your only ally. And then you’d better hope he’s half asleep. Well, the fellow had to be tired if he’d sat up all night, I thought, looking around for any kind of weapon. The branch he’d handed me to hang on to was still lying at my feet. I stooped--cautiously--and snatched it up. Dropping one end, I discovered that it made a serviceable cane, and with its aid I hobbled my way a few paces, watching carefully for any rocks or roots that might trip me. Then a step in the grass made me look up. The Marquis was right in front of me, and he was a lot taller than he looked seated across a campfire. In one hand were the horse’s reins, and he held the other hand out in an offer to boost me up. I noticed again that his palm was crossed with calluses, indicating years of swordwork. I grimaced, reluctantly surrendering my image of the Court-bred fop who never lifted anything heavier than a fork. “Ready?” His voice was the same as always--or almost the same. I tipped my head back to look at his face, instantly suspicious. Despite his compressed lips he was clearly on the verge of laughter. For a moment I longed, with all my heart, to swing my stick right at his head. My fingers gripped…and his palm turned, just slightly; but I knew a block readying when I saw one. The strong possibility that anything I attempted would lead directly to an ignominious defeat did not improve my mood at all, but I dropped the stick and wiped my hand down the side of my rumpled tunic. Vowing I’d see that smile wiped off his cursed face, I said shortly, “Let’s get it over with.” He put his hands on my waist and boosted me up onto the horse--and I couldn’t help but notice it didn’t take all that much effort. All right, defeat so far, I thought as I winced and gritted my way through arranging my leg much as it had been on the previous ride. All I have to do is catch him in a single unwary moment…He mounted behind me and we started off, while I indulged myself with the image of grabbing that stick and conking him right across his smiling face.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I hadn’t noticed, through all my inner torture and turmoil, that Marlboro Man and the horses had been walking closer to me. Before I knew it, Marlboro Man’s right arm was wrapped around my waist while his other hand held the reins of the two horses. In another instant, he pulled me toward him in a tight grip and leaned in for a sweet, tender kiss--a kiss he seemed to savor even after our lips parted. “Good morning,” he said sweetly, grinning that magical grin. My knees went weak. I wasn’t sure if it was the kiss itself…or the dread of riding. We mounted our horses and began walking slowly up the hillside. When we reached the top, Marlboro Man pointed across a vast prairie. “See that thicket of trees over there?” he said. “That’s where we’re headed.” Almost immediately, he gave his horse a kick and began to trot across the flat plain. With no prompting from me at all, my horse followed suit. I braced myself, becoming stiff and rigid and resigning myself to looking like a freak in front of my love and also to at least a week of being too sore to move. I held on to the saddle, the reins, and my life as my horse took off in the same direction as Marlboro Man’s. Not two minutes into our ride, my horse slightly faltered after stepping in a shallow hole. Having no experience with this kind of thing, I reacted, shrieking loudly and pulling wildly on my reins, simultaneously stiffening my body further. The combination didn’t suit my horse, who decided, understandably, that he pretty much didn’t want me on his back anymore. He began to buck, and my life flashed before my eyes--for the first time, I was deathly afraid of horses. I held on for dear life as the huge creature underneath me bounced and reared, but my body caught air, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d go flying. In the distance, I heard Marlboro Man’s voice. “Pull up on the reins! Pull up! Pull up!” My body acted immediately--it was used to responding instantly to that voice, after all--and I pulled up tightly on the horse’s reins. This forced its head to an upright position, which made bucking virtually impossible for the horse. Problem was, I pulled up too tightly and quickly, and the horse reared up. I leaned forward and hugged the saddle, praying I wouldn’t fall off backward and sustain a massive head injury. I liked my head. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to it. By the time the horse’s front legs hit the ground, my left leg was dangling out of its stirrup, even as all my dignity was dangling by a thread. Using my balletic agility, I quickly hopped off the horse, tripping and stumbling away the second my feet hit the ground. Instinctively, I began hurriedly walking away--from the horse, from the ranch, from the burning. I didn’t know where I was going--back to L.A., I figured, or maybe I’d go through with Chicago after all. I didn’t care; I just knew I had to keep walking. In the meantime, Marlboro Man had arrived at the scene and quickly calmed my horse, who by now was eating a leisurely morning snack of dead winter grass that had yet to be burned. The nag. “You okay?” Marlboro Man called out. I didn’t answer. I just kept on walking, determined to get the hell out of Dodge. It took him about five seconds to catch up with me; I wasn’t a very fast walker. “Hey,” he said, grabbing me around the waist and whipping me around so I was facing him. “Aww, it’s okay. It happens.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
I hate like hell to go, especially with things still so up in the air between us.” Liv was watching him from the bed. “Nothing’s up in the air. You’re determined to keep me and I’m determined to go.” His face darkened. “You’re not so damn determined when I have you in the bathing pool.” Liv felt a heated blush creep into her cheeks but she refused to back down. “Be that as it may, what I say or do in the, uh, in the heat of passion doesn’t change how I feel.” A look that was almost despair crossed over his chiseled features. “Damn it, Olivia, can’t you admit to yourself that you feel for me what I feel for you? Can’t you just try to imagine having a life here with me on the ship?” “I could…if I didn’t already have a life waiting for me back on Earth.” She sighed. “Look, let’s not fight about this right now. You have to go, fine. I’ll manage okay on my own here.” To be honest she was looking forward to a reprieve from the constant lust she felt while being cooped up with him in close quarters. He frowned. “I shouldn’t be leavin’ you alone during our claiming period. If I hadn’t had a direct order from my CO—” “It’s okay, really. I’ll find something to keep me occupied. I’ll try the translator and read one of your books. And I can work the wave well enough to make my own lunch without burning a finger off now.” “All right, fine.” He looked slightly mollified. “But whatever you do, stay in the suite. Don’t leave for any reason.” “Yes, sir!” She gave him a mocking salute. “To hear is to obey, oh my lord and master.” “Lilenta…” He sighed. “This is for your safety. I’m not trying to order you around for the hell of it.” “No, you just want to make my decisions for me. Stay here, don’t go there. Live the rest of your life on the ship instead of ever seeing your loved ones on Earth again. Why should this be any different?” Liv knew an edge of bitterness had crept into her voice but she couldn’t seem to help it. Baird scowled. “In time you’ll see that this is best. The only way I can protect you is to keep you close to me.” “Funny how much being protected feels like being owned.” “I thought you didn’t want to fight.” “You started it.” Liv knew it sounded childish but she didn’t care. He ran a hand through his hair. “Damn it, Olivia…” Then he shook his head, as though sensing the futility of any argument. He pointed a finger at her instead. “I’m going but I’ll be back tonight in time for the start of our tasting week.” “You…I’m surprised you want to…to do anything at all.” Liv worked hard to keep the tremble out of her voice but didn’t quite succeed. He raised an eyebrow. “You mean with you trying to pick a fight at every opportunity and generally resisting me every step of the way? I have news for you, Lilenta, none of that affects the way I feel for you—the way I need you—one bit.” He walked over to the bed where she was sitting on the edge and pulled her to her feet. “I still want you more than any other woman I’ve ever seen. Still need to be inside you, bonding you to me, making you mine,” he growled softly, pulling her close. “Baird, stop it!” She wanted to beat against his broad chest in protest but she somehow found herself melting against him instead. “Don’t you want to give me a kiss goodbye?” There was a flicker of bitter amusement in his golden eyes. “No, I guess you don’t. Too bad.” Leaning down, he took her lips in a rough yet tender kiss that took Liv’s breath away.
Evangeline Anderson (Claimed (Brides of the Kindred, #1))
The Reign of Terror: A Story of Crime and Punishment told of two brothers, a career criminal and a small-time crook, in prison together and in love with the same girl. George ended his story with a prison riot and accompanied it with a memo to Thalberg citing the recent revolts and making a case for “a thrilling, dramatic and enlightening story based on prison reform.” --- Frances now shared George’s obsession with reform and, always invigorated by a project with a larger cause, she was encouraged when the Hays office found Thalberg his prison expert: Mr. P. W. Garrett, the general secretary of the National Society of Penal Information. Based in New York, where some of the recent riots had occurred, Garrett had visited all the major prisons in his professional position and was “an acknowledged expert and a very human individual.” He agreed to come to California to work with Frances for several weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas for a total of kr 4,470.62 plus expenses. Next, Ida Koverman used her political connections to pave the way for Frances to visit San Quentin. Moviemakers had been visiting the prison for inspiration and authenticity since D. W. Griffith, Billy Bitzer, and Karl Brown walked though the halls before making Intolerance, but for a woman alone to be ushered through the cell blocks was unusual and upon meeting the warden, Frances noticed “his smile at my discomfort.” Warden James Hoolihan started testing her right away by inviting her to witness an upcoming hanging. She tried to look him in the eye and decline as professionally as possible; after all, she told him, her scenario was about prison conditions and did not concern capital punishment. Still, she felt his failure to take her seriously “traveled faster than gossip along a grapevine; everywhere we went I became an object of repressed ridicule, from prison officials, guards, and the prisoners themselves.” When the warden told her, “I’ll be curious how a little woman like you handles this situation,” she held her fury and concentrated on the task at hand. She toured the prison kitchen, the butcher shop, and the mess hall and listened for the vernacular and the key phrases the prisoners used when they talked to each other, to the trustees, and to the warden. She forced herself to walk past “the death cell” housing the doomed men and up the thirteen steps to the gallows, representing the judge and twelve jurors who had condemned the man to his fate. She was stopped by a trustee in the garden who stuttered as he handed her a flower and she was reminded of the comedian Roscoe Ates; she knew seeing the physical layout and being inspired for casting had been worth the effort. --- Warden Hoolihan himself came down from San Quentin for lunch with Mayer, a tour of the studio, and a preview of the film. Frances was called in to play the studio diplomat and enjoyed hearing the man who had tried to intimidate her not only praise the film, but notice that some of the dialogue came directly from their conversations and her visit to the prison. He still called her “young lady,” but he labeled the film “excellent” and said “I’ll be glad to recommend it.” ---- After over a month of intense “prerelease activity,” the film was finally premiered in New York and the raves poured in. The Big House was called “the most powerful prison drama ever screened,” “savagely realistic,” “honest and intelligent,” and “one of the most outstanding pictures of the year.
Cari Beauchamp (Without Lying Down: Screenwriter Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood)
I hopped over a little flower border. The blooms--ghostly white in the soft glow from the lamps around the park’s circumference--ran up the brick walkway and gripped the stone lip of the fountain. I opened my mouth, leaned in, and took a deep gulp. And heard hooves. Boots. “You, there, girl! Halt!” Who in the universe ever halts when the enemy tells them to? Of course I took off in the opposite direction, as fast as I could: running across grass, leaping neatly tended flowers. But the park was a circle, which made it easy for the riders to gallop around both ways and cut me off. I stopped, looked back. No retreat. Meanwhile another group came running across the lawns, swords drawn. I backed up a step, two; looked this way and that; tried to break for it in the largest space, which of course was instantly closed. There must have been a dozen of them ringing me, all with rapiers and heavier weapons gleaming gold tipped in the light from the iron-posted glowglobes and the windows of the houses. “Report,” someone barked; and then to me, “Who are you? Don’t you know there is a sunset curfew?” “Ah, I didn’t know.” I smoothed my skirts nervously. “Been sick. No one mentioned it…” “Who are you?” came the question again. “I just wanted a drink. I was sick, I think I mentioned, and didn’t get any water…” “Who are you.” This time it wasn’t even a question. The game was up, of course, but who said I had to surrender meekly? “Just call me Ranisia.” I named my mother, using my hardest voice. “I’m a ghost, one of Galdran Merindar’s many victims.” Noises from behind caused the ring to tighten, the weapons all pointing a finger’s breadth from my throat. My empty hands were at my sides, but these folks were taking no chances. Maybe they thought I was a ghost. No one spoke, or moved, until the sound of heels striking the brick path made the soldiers withdraw silently. Baron Debegri strode up, his rain cape billowing. Under his foppish mustache his teeth gleamed in a very cruel grin. He stopped within a pace of me, and with no warning whatever, backhanded me right across the face. I went flying backward, landing flat in a flower bed. The Baron stepped onto my left knee and motioned a torch bearer over. He stared down at the half-healed marks on my ankle and laughed, then jerked his thumb in a gesture of command. Two soldiers sprang to either side of me, each grabbing an arm and pulling me to my feet. “What have you to say now, my little hero?” the Baron gloated. “That you are a fool, the son of a fool, and the servant of the biggest--“ He swung at me again, and I tried to duck, but he grabbed me by the hair and then hit me. The world seemed to explode in stars--for a long time all I could do was gasp for breath and fight against dizziness. When I came out of it, someone was binding my hands; then two more someones grabbed my arms again, and I was half carried back to the street. My vision was blurry. I realized hazily that a gem on his embroidered gloves must have cut my forehead, for a warm trickle ran nastily down the side of my face, which throbbed even worse than my ankle. I got thrown over the back of a horse, my hands and feet bound to stirrups. From somewhere I heard Debegri’s harsh voice: “Lift the curfew, but tell those smug-faced Elders that if anyone harbored this criminal, the death penalty still holds. You. Tell his lordship the Marquis that his aid is no longer necessary, and he can return to Remalna-city, or wherever he wants.” Quick footsteps ran off, and then the Baron said, “Now, to Chovilun. And don’t dawdle.” Chovilun… One of the four Merindar fortresses. I closed my eyes.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
Get dressed. We’re going hunting,” he says randomly. In my half-woke state, I feel like I’ve missed something crucial, because I don’t understand how those words are supposed to make sense. “I’m sorry, but what?” I ask, sipping the coffee like the lack of caffeine is the reason I heard him wrong. “We’re going hunting. Emit has some rogue, unregistered wolves who’ve just done something heinous and stupid, and we’re taking you with us, apparently.” “I don’t want to hunt wolves,” I point out, taking a step back, since he’s acting very un-Vance-like. “I don’t want you to hunt wolves, but apparently you’re going with us, or you’re going with him,” he says bitterly, glancing over his shoulder to where there’s a large SUV. Emit’s behind the wheel, smirking like he’s proud of all this. “Yeah, no. Thanks for the offer,” I say as I shut the door…and lock it. I sip my coffee again, as Lemon drinks hers in the kitchen. Her phone rings, and she stands and answers it, while I go to the fridge in search of something to eat. I hear the door unlocking, and look over my shoulder, as Lemon gives me a very unapologetic grin. “Sorry,” she says, confusing me. “But he’s still my alpha.” Emit walks in, filling up my doorway, before he grins over at me in a way that’s sort of…scary. “It’s not really optional,” he says before he stalks to me so fast I don’t have time to react, and I’m unceremoniously slung over his shoulder. My breath comes out in a surprised rush, and I bounce against him as my mind comes to terms with why the world has tipped upside down. Ingrid comes down the stairs with a small bag, giving me a shitty excuse for a contrite smile. “I’ll remember this,” I tell the traitorous omegas dryly, as they give me a little wave and send me on my way like this is a planned vacation. I don’t really put up a fight. I’ve never seen Emit actually determined to do anything, but clearly I’m outnumbered and out wolfed on this one... I allow a small smile as I’m dropped to my feet, and then wipe the smile away because I’m supposed to be annoyed... I climb in as my backpack and small duffel finish flopping to a stop, and close my robe a little more before digging for my boots. “We’ve got everything here under control! Don’t worry about deliveries or the store,” Leiza calls very excitedly, bouncing on her feet. “This is a hunting trip to kill things, right?” I ask Vance directly, though my eyes are on the very happy omegas, who are animatedly waving from the porch now. “Yes,” he states in a tone that assures me he’s not one bit happy I’m here. “Why are they treating it like I’m going on spring break?” I ask, genuinely concerned about their level of enthusiasm. I thought they were a little saner than this. Emit snorts, but clears his expression quickly. “Do I want to know what spring break is a euphemism for?” Vance asks Emit. “You’re really that old?” I groan. “Do you know how long a century is?” Vance asks me dryly. “I averaged a C on vocab tests, so yeah,” I retort, matching his condescension. Emit releases a rumble of laughter, as his body shakes with the force. Then he pulls out and begins to drive us off on our hunt. I’m so not adjusting this fast, but it seems I have no choice in the matter. It’s like a snowball rolling downhill, gaining size and momentum. Either I’ll boulder through anything when I reach the bottom, or I’ll simply go splat into a mountainside. “Do you know how quickly the vernacular shifts and accents devolve, evolve, or simply cease to exist?” Vance asks me. Now I feel a little talked down to. “No.” “I swear he used to be fun,” Emit tells me, smiling at me through the rearview
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Origins (All The Pretty Monsters #3))
flicker?" He points to the screen and pauses the vid. "That's when they switched the footage." I stare at the screen. "How do I know you're not the ones lying?" "You saw it yourself on the street," Meyer says. I glance up from the pad and lock eyes with Meyer. "What else are they lying about?" Jayson chuckles. "Well… that's going to take longer than we have." "Here's one," Meyer says. "Remember that last viral outbreak that killed a bunch of Level Ones?" "3005B?" My heart races. That's the virus that ultimately killed Ben thirteen years ago. "That's it. The one they use in all the broadcasts to remind citizens how important it is to get your MedVac updates? It wasn't an accident." We were always told a virus swept through Level One because they hadn't gotten their updated VacTech yet. Hundreds of people died in the day it took to get everyone up to date. "My brother died because of that." Everything I've found out over the last week suddenly grips me with fear. This can't be real. My breath shortens, and suddenly my head starts slowly spinning. Everything goes blurry. Then black. ~~~ "It's all right, kid," a distant voice, which must be Jayson's, echoes in the back of my mind. The room swirls around me. Their faces blur in and out of focus. "Meyer, get her." Blinking a couple of times, I try to sit up. I guess I fell. Meyer's warm hands rest on the back of my neck, my head in his lap. "Don't stand. You could pass out again," he says. He helps me sit up. "Are you okay?" "No, I'm not okay," I mumble. "This is too much." I feel like I should be crying, but I'm not. The reality is that the anger I feel is so much greater than any sadness. Neither Meyer nor Jayson speak, and let me mull over what I've just heard. "Why did they do that?" I eventually ask. "Two reasons, kid," Jayson says. "To cull the Level Ones, and to scare Elore into taking the VacTech. If viral outbreaks are still a threat, no one questions it, and continues believing inside the perimeter is the safest place for them." "I'm sorry about your brother," Meyer says as he stands, offering me his hand. His words are genuine, filled with the emotions of someone who has also experienced loss. "I hate to end this," Jayson interrupts, "but it's time to go." Meyer eyes Jayson, and then me. "I understand if you're not ready, but you need to choose soon. Within the next few days." I take his hand and pull myself to my feet. Words catch somewhere between my heart and throat. The old me wants to tell them to get lost and to never bother me again. It's so risky. Then again, I can't stand by while Manning and Direction kill people to keep us in the dark. Joining is the right thing to do. Feelings I've never experienced before well inside my chest, and I long to shout, When do we start? Instead, I stuff them down and stare at the ground. Subtle pressure squeezes my hand, bringing me back to the present. I never let go of Meyer's hand. How long have we been like that? He releases my hand as he mutters and steps back. The heat from his touch still flickers on my skin. You didn't have to go. I clear my throat and turn toward Meyer. Our eyes lock. "I've already decided," I tell him. "I'll do it. For Ben. Direction caused his death, and there's no way I'm standing by and letting them do this to more people." I barely recognize my own voice as I ask, "What do I do?" A slap hits my back and I choke. Jayson. "Atta girl. Meyer and I knew you had it in you." "Jayson, you have to give Avlyn some time." Meyer steps toward me and holds his handheld in the air toward Jayson. "I'll bring her up to speed." "Sure thing." Jayson throws his hands in the air and walks to the other side of the room. "Sorry," Meyer murmurs. "Jayson is pretty… overwhelming. At least until you know him. Even then…" "Oh, it's fine." A white lie. "He's a nice guy. Now, why don't you tell me the instructions
Jenetta Penner (Configured (Configured, #1))
Who will have their strength renewed? “Those who wait upon the Lord”. Waiting could signify passivity: being still. Waiting could also indicate action: serving. Waiting — either kind — can be nearly impossible while we are being run by our emotions. In learning to balance your emotions with wisdom, learning to wait upon the Lord in both senses of the word, you will find that your strength is renewed every day in every situation. On the other hand, operating out of emotions can be exhausting. In your Christian walk, the ability to discern seasons is vital. There are times in your life where immediate action is not only unnecessary, it can be damaging. There are situations in which your best course of action is to “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). Allowing Him to speak to you in the midst of your storm, finding your peace in Christ when your life seems upside down may be exactly what is needed. There are times when patience is the order of the day, and waiting on the Lord to move or instruct you in the way you are to move is exactly what is needed. Sometimes the most difficult course to take is to wait and allow the Lord to direct your heart “into the love of God and the patience of Christ” (2 Thessalonians3:5). However difficult it may be, practicing waiting will serve you well. “Waiting” can also signify an action. A waitress will wait on you in your favorite restaurant. You may wait on, or serve, your family. In being able to discern the seasons of waiting passively, we must also be able to discern the seasons of waiting actively. Even in times when you might feel unsure of the next step, there are continually ways for you to serve the Lord: prayer, study, service to others being a few examples. In times when everything is going along smoothly, waiting actively on the Lord is always in order. Paul encourages young Timothy to “be diligent to show yourself approved” (2 Timothy 2:15). In learning to wait actively on the Lord, it is good advice for us as well. Applying ourselves to faithful service to the Lord (active waiting) will sustain us through times when the waiting requires patience and stillness. In our Christian walk, both kinds of “waiting” are needed: an active waiting on or serving the Lord, and likewise a passive waiting for the Lord to move on your behalf. As everything in our relationship with the Lord is a partnership or covenant, this waiting is a “two way street”. As we serve the Lord, He is moved to action on our behalf. Psalm 37:3-7 speaks to both kinds of waiting (parentheses mine): “Trust in the LORD (passive), and do good (active); Dwell in the land (passive), and feed on His faithfulness (active). Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD (active), Trust also in Him (passive), And He shall bring it to pass (the Lord’s action). He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday (the Lord’s action). Rest in the LORD (passive), and wait patiently for Him (passive)”. Tremendous and amazing results can come from this kind of waiting. Of course, the Lord in His generous and kind manner will send you opportunities to practice if you want to learn to wait! In His providence, those opportunities are already provided — it is for you to take advantage of them. Will you? Unfortunately, patience is not one of Ahasuerus’ virtues. He is motivated by his emotions, and seems to rush right into whatever comes into his mind without much forethought. Let’s return to Persia, and find out what Ahasuerus is rushing into today. After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered... Esther 2:1 “After these things”…. By the beginning of chapter two, four years have passed since King Ahasuerus dethroned Queen Vashti. God was working through this Persian chronicler as he wrote this history
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)