Stop A While Quotes

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When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
Anyway, if you stop tellin' people it's all sorted out afer they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Whenever Percy stopped by to see [Annabeth], she was so lost in thought that the conversation went something like this: Percy: 'Hey, how's it going?' Annabeth: 'Uh, no thanks.' Percy: 'Okay...have you eaten anything today?' Annabeth: 'I think Leo is on duty. Ask him.' Percy: 'So, my hair is on fire.' Annabeth: 'Okay, in a while.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.
Tennessee Williams (The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore)
Travis took a step, but America pointed her finger at him. "So help me God, Travis! If you try to stop her, I will douse you with gasoline and light you on fire while you sleep!
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.
Phyllis Diller
I’m stuck babysitting turtle eggs while a volleyball player slash grease monkey slash aquarium volunteer tries to hit on me.” I’m not hitting on you,” he protested. No?” Believe me, you’d know if I was hitting on you. You wouldn’t be able to stop yourself from succumbing to my charms.
Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.' If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you'd seen. They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the 'mind adventures' got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren't unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.' So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
My heart stopped. It just stopped beating. And for the first time in my life, I had that feeling. You know, like the world is moving all around you, all beneath you, all inside you, and you're floating. Floating in midair. And the only thing keeping you from drifting away is the other person's eyes. They're connected to yours by some invisible physical force, and they hold you fast while the rest of the world swirls and twirls and falls completely away.
Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped)
Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Sky, I'm not kissing you tonight but believe me when I tell you, I've never wanted to kiss a girl more. So stop thinking I'm not attracted to you because you have no idea just how much I am. You can hold my hand, you can run your fingers through my hair, you can straddle me while I feed you spaghetti, but you are not getting kissed tonight. And probably not tomorrow, either. I need this. I need to know for sure that you're feeling every single thing that I'm feeling the moment my lips touch yours. Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it'll never end. But however hard you try you can't run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. (In the library, the Doctor walks back to the TARDIS. He stops, looking at the doors. Then he raises his hand, and stands there poised like that for a long moment. Finally he snaps his fingers. The doors open. He smiles slowly and walks in, joining Donna. Then he snaps his fingers again, and the doors close. River's voice continues over this.) Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call... everybody lives.
Steven Moffat
Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruits, polish furniture. But while I am doing this I feel I am not living.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
In the afternoon, they stopped to eat on a rocky outcrop. Perry brushed a kiss on her cheek while she was chewing, and she learned that it was the loveliest thing to be kissed for no reason, even while chewing food. It brightened the woods, and the never sky, and everything.
Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1))
If you can't stop the bad thoughts from coming to visit, at least you can make fun of them while they're hanging around.
Jim Butcher (Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, #11))
There seemed to be three choices: to give up trying to love anyone, to stop being selfish, or to learn to love a person while continuing to be selfish.
Lydia Davis
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door — Only this, and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore — For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore — Nameless here for evermore. And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door — Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; — This it is, and nothing more." Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"— here I opened wide the door; — Darkness there, and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" — Merely this, and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice: Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore — Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; — 'Tis the wind and nothing more." Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door — Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door — Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore — Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning— little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door — Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven)
I like the dark part of the night, after midnight and before four-thirty, when it's hollow, when ceilings are harder and farther away. Then I can breathe, and can think while others are sleeping, in a way can stop time, can have it so – this has always been my dream – so that while everyone else is frozen, I can work busily about them, doing whatever it is that needs to be done, like the elves who make the shoes while children sleep.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
I don't see what's so triffic about creating people as people and then gettin' upset cos' they act like people", said Adam severely. "Anyway, if you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Human relationships were strange. I mean, you were with one person a while, eating and sleeping and living with them, loving them, talking to them, going places together, and then it stopped. Then there was a short period when you weren't with anybody, then another woman arrived, and you ate with her and fucked her, and it all seemed so normal, as if you had been waiting just for her and she had been waiting for you. I never felt right being alone; sometimes it felt good but it never felt right.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Oh shut up. Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you hurt, you heal. After darkness, there is always light and you get reminded of this every morning but still you choose to believe that the night will last forever. Nothing lasts forever. Not the good or the bad. So you might as well smile while you're here.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You (I Wrote This For You #4))
See? Injustice. Here we are, risking our lives to rescue Kai and this whole planet, and Adri and Pearl get to go to the royal wedding. I’m disgusted. I hope they spill soy sauce on their fancy dresses.” Jacin’s concern turned fast to annoyance. “Your ship has some messed-up priorities, you know that?” “Iko. My name is Iko. If you don’t stop calling me the ‘ship,’ I am going to make sure you never have hot water during your showers again, do you understand me?” “Yeah, hold that thought while I go disable the speaker system.” “What? You can’t mute me. Cinder!
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
A heart can stop beating for a while, one can still live.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
After all, the appeal to stop being yourself, even for a little while, is very great.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Look, it’s not ever going go stop hurting. That’s the reality. But after a while, it’ll get…easier. You’ll get used to living with it.
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
I know now, after fifty years, that the finding/losing, forgetting/remembering, leaving/returning, never stops. The whole of life is about another chance, and while we are alive, till the very end, there is always another chance.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Time has completely stopped, and all I'm thinking about while we kiss is how this is what saves people. Moments like these with people like her are what make all the sufferings worth it.
Colleen Hoover (Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2))
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Ferris Bueller
The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews Not to be born is the best for man The second best is a formal order The dance's pattern, dance while you can. Dance, dance, for the figure is easy The tune is catching and will not stop Dance till the stars come down from the rafters Dance, dance, dance till you drop.
W.H. Auden
Fury didn’t stop her prep. “Bryce was a ghost for a long while, Hunt. She pretended she wasn’t, but she was.” The helicopter finally pulled into the air. “You brought her back to life.
Sarah J. Maas (House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1))
A Short Alternative Medical Dictionary Definitions courtesy of Dr Lemuel Pillmeister (also known as Lemmy) Addiction - When you can give up something any time, as long as it's next Tuesday. Cocaine - Peruvian Marching Powder. A stimulant that has the extraordinary effect that the more you do, the more you laugh out of context. Depression - When everything you laugh at is miserable and you can't seem to stop. Heroin - A drug that helps you to escape reality, while making it much harder to cope when you are recaptured. Psychosis - When everybody turns into tiny dolls and they have needles in their mouths and they hate you and you don't care because you have THE KNIFE! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Nikki Sixx (The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star)
The Yogic sages say that all the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to define our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras (I'm a failure... I'm lonely... I'm a failure... I'm lonely...) and we become monuments to them. To stop talking for a while, then, is to attempt to strip away the power of words, to stop choking ourselves with words, to liberate ourselves from our suffocating mantras.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
If you stopped tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it all out while they're alive.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
I love you," he said. "You're more dear to my heart than I ever knew anyone else can be. And I've made you cry; and there I'll stop." She was crying, but not because of his words. It was because of a certainty she refused to consider while she sat before him.
Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
Halfway down the aisle, Jamie suddenly seemed to tire, and they stopped while she caught her breath...It was, I remembered thinking, the most difficult walk anyone ever had to make. In every way, a walk to remember.
Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember)
...quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean “love” in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
But then I think, this happens sometimes, doesn’t it? People you have a history with, they won’t let you go, and as hard as you might try, you can’t disentangle yourself, can’t set yourself free. Maybe after a while you just stop trying.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Winston Gallagher!" I said, recognizing the first ghost I'de met. Then my eyes narrowed & I covered my hand in front of my crotch as I saw Winstons gaze fasten there next. "Don't even think about poltergeisting my panties again". "This is the sod? Come here you scurvy little--" "Bones don't!" I interrupted. He stopped, giving a last glare to him while mouthing YOU. ME. EXORCIST. before returning to my side.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
Life, unfortunately, doesnʹt seem to care what we want. Act now while you can actually stop it from being a disaster.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. ;) I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)
Got you. You're mine now. For the rest of the day, week, month, year, life. Have you guessed who I am? Sometimes I think you have. Sometimes when you're standing in a crowd I feel those sultry, dark eyes of yours stop on me. Are you too afraid to come up to me and let me know how you feel? I want to moan and writhe with you and I want to go up to you and kiss your mouth and pull you to me and say "I love you I love you I love you" while stripping. I want you so bad it stings. I want to kill the ugly girls that you're always with. Do you really like those boring, naive, coy, calculating girls or is it just for sex? The seeds of love have taken hold, and if we won't burn together, I'll burn alone.
Bret Easton Ellis (The Rules of Attraction)
I was blessed with another trait I inherited from my mother, her ability to forget the pain in life. I remember the thing that caused the trauma, but I don't hold onto the trauma. I never let the memory of something painful prevent me from trying something new. If you think too much about the ass kicking your mom gave you or the ass kicking that life gave you, you’ll stop pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules. It’s better to take it, spend some time crying, then wake up the next day and move on. You’ll have a few bruises and they’ll remind you of what happened and that’s ok. But after a while, the bruises fade and they fade for a reason. Because now, it’s time to get up to some shit again.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
The Way It Is There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread. ~ William Stafford ~
William Stafford
Why? You want to know why? Step into a tanning booth and fry yourself for two or three days. After your skin bubbles and peels off, roll in coarse salt, then pull on long underwear woven from spun glass and razor wire. Over that goes your regular clothes, as long as they are tight. Smoke gunpowder and go to school to jump through hoops, sit up and beg, and roll over on command. Listen to the whispers that curl into your head at night, calling you ugly and fat and stupid and bitch and whore and worst of all, "a disappointment." Puke and starve and cut and drink because you don't want to feel any of this. Puke and starve and drink and cut because you need the anesthetic and it works. For a while. But then the anesthetic turns into poison and by then it's too late because you are mainlining it now, straight into your soul. It is rotting you and you can't stop. Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you. "Why?" is the wrong question. Ask "Why not?
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place.
Elisabeth Elliot
I'll follow you to the next life if I have to," he whispered harshly in her ear. "You'll never be free of me. I'll chase you through heaven and hell and beyond." He continued to whisper without stopping while his hands gripped her body close to his. "You stay with me, Holly," he muttered savagely. "Don't do this to me. You stay, damn you.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
It's amazing--my parents call everything a discussion. If I were standing across the street, firing a bazooka at my mother, while my father was launching mortar back at me, and Jeffery was charging down the driveway with a grenade in his teeth, my parents would say we should stop having this public "discussion".
Jordan Sonnenblick (Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie)
My panties were still on but he didn’t let that stop him, nosing them out of the way and tonguing my sex, making low, growling noises in his throat like a big cat purring with pleasure while it devoured its prey.
Emme Rollins (Dear Rockstar (Dear Rockstar, #1))
In the first century CE, Roman authorities punished St. Apollonia by crushing her teeth one by one with pliers. Colin often thought about this in relationship to the monotony of dumping: we have thirty-two teeth. After a while, having each tooth individually destroyed probably gets repetitive, even dull. But it never stops hurting.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
But now...it's like when part of you stops hurting and suddenly you're yourself again, healthy and whole, and only then do you understand that you've been in pain for a while.
Cynthia Hand (Boundless (Unearthly, #3))
For awhile I taped soap operas and watched them at night when I thought I might be forgetting what it was like to be human. After a while I stopped, because from the examples I saw on those shows, forgetting humanity was a good thing.
Charlaine Harris (Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1))
For gods' sake, Strider," Torin snapped. "Open your mouth and form some words. While you're at it, stop staring at the angel like he's a tasty treat.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld, #7))
Anything else?” asked Matthias. “I like singing,” said Alys. Wylan shook his head frantically, mouthing, No, no, no. “Shall I sing?” Alys asked hopefully. “Bajan says that I’m good enough to be on the stage.” “Maybe we save that for later—” suggested Jesper. Alys’ lower lip began to wobble like a plate about to break. “Sing,” Matthias blurted, “by all means, sing.” And then the real nightmare began. It wasn’t that Alys was so bad, she just never stopped. She sang between bites of food. She sang while she was walking through the graves. She sang from behind a bush when she needed to relieve herself. When she finally dozed off, she hummed in her sleep. “Maybe this was Van Eck’s plan all along,” Kaz said glumly when they’d assembled outside the tomb again. “To drive us mad?” said Nina. “It’s working.” Jesper shut his eyes and groaned. “Diabolical.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Thankfully the rest of the world assumed that the Irish were crazy, a theory that the Irish themselves did nothing to debunk. They had somehow got it into their heads that each fairy lugged around a pot of gold with him wherever he went. While it was true that LEP had a ransom fund, because of its officers' high-risk occupation, no human had ever taken a chunk of it yet. This didn't stop the Irish population in general from skulking around rainbows, hoping to win the supernatural lottery.
Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1))
You can be a pawn, be someone’s reward, and spend the rest of your immortal life bowing and scraping and pretending you’re less than him, than Ianthe, than any of us. If you want to pick that road, then fine. A shame, but it’s your choice.” The shadow of wings rippled again. “But I know you—more than you realize, I think—and I don’t believe for one damn minute that you’re remotely fine with being a pretty trophy for someone who sat on his ass for nearly fifty years, then sat on his ass while you were shredded apart—” “Stop it—” “Or,” he plowed ahead, “you’ve got another choice. You can master whatever powers we gave to you, and make it count. You can play a role in this war. Because war is coming one way or another, and do not try to delude yourself that any of the Fae will give a shit about your family across the wall when our whole territory is likely to become a charnel house.” I stared
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
don’t believe for one damn minute that you’re remotely fine with being a pretty trophy for someone who sat on his ass for nearly fifty years, then sat on his ass while you were shredded apart—” “Stop
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about? Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.” “Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?” “That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.” “Waiting for the perfect love?” “No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.” “I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement. “It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.” “Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?” “Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?” “So then what?” “So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.” “Sounds crazy to me.” “Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain ‘good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back ‘bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
A child that’s being abused by its parents doesn’t stop loving its parents, it stops loving itself.
Shahida Arabi (Becoming the Narcissist's Nightmare: How to Devalue and Discard the Narcissist While Supplying Yourself)
And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us from being swept away into the night.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Let us find the dam snack bar," Zoe said. "We should eat while we can." Grover cracked a smile. "The dam snack bar?" Zoe blinked. "Yes. What is funny?" "Nothing," Grover said, trying to keep a straight face. "I could use some dam french fries." Even Thalia smiled at that. "And I need to use the dam restroom." Maybe it was the fact that we were so tired and strung out emotionally, but I started cracking up, and Thalia and Grover joined in, while Zoe just looked at us. "I do not understand." "I want to use the dam water fountain," Grover said. "And…" Thalia tried to catch her breath. "I want to buy a dam T-shirt." I busted up, and I probably would've kept laughing all day, but then I heard a noise: "Moooo." The smile melted off my face. I wondered if the noise was just in my head, but Grover had stopped laughing too. He was looking around, confused. "Did I just hear a cow?" "A dam cow?" Thalia laughed.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
But it became clear very quickly that I'd underestimated how much I liked him. Not him, perhaps, but the fact that I had someone on the other end of an invisible line. Someone to update and get updates from, to inform of a comic discovery, to imagine while dancing in a lonely basement, and to return to, finally, when the music stopped.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
Your dream is worth fighting for, and while you’re not in control of what life throws at you, you are in control of the fight.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be)
Feel. Grieve. Let yourself fell the anger at the fact that he was taken from you. Feel the loss of him . Feel the sadness and the missing him. Don't block it out, don't cut so it so stop, don't drink yourself numb. Just sit and let it all rip you apart. And then get up and keep breathing. One breath at a time. One day at a time. Wake up, and be shredded. Cry for a while. Then stop crying and go about your day. You're not okay but you're alive, and you will be okay, someday
Jasinda Wilder (Falling into You (Falling, #1))
When tragedy hits close to home, like your neighbor’s house, it really makes you stop and think. And while you’re thinking, I’ll be speeding off in the getaway car.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
There was rarely an obvious branching point in a person's life. People changed slowly, over time. You didn't take on step, then find yourself in a completely new location. You first took a little step off a path to avoid some rocks. For a while, you walked alongside the path, but then you wandered out a little way to step on softer soil. Then you stopped paying attention as you drifted farther and farther away. Finally, you found yourself in the wrong city, wondering why the signs on the roadway hadn't led you better.
Brandon Sanderson (The Emperor's Soul)
Would she understand that time had stopped while she was gone.
Miranda July (No One Belongs Here More Than You)
I remember asking myself one night, while I was curled up in the same old corner of my same old couch in tears yet again over the same old repetition of sorrowful thoughts, 'Is there ANYTHING about this scene you can change, Liz?' And all I could think to do was stand up, whle still sobbing, and try to balance on one foot in the middle of the living room. Just to prove that - while I couldn't stop the tears or change my dismal interior dialogue - I was not yet totally out of control: at least I could cry hysterically while balanced on one foot.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?" "They are the days of a long time ago, Laura," Pa said. "Go to sleep, now." But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods,… She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not. All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it, I see them carried away headlong, grim and obsessed, in the general onrush of the human herd, unable to stop themselves or to change their direction. All the while they claim to be just on the point of attaining happiness.
Zhuangzi
One breath at a time. One day at a time. Wake up, and be shredded. Cry for a while. Then stop crying and go about your day. You're not okay, but you're alive, and you will be okay, someday.
Jasinda Wilder (Falling into You (Falling, #1))
When you are angry try your best to go to sleep, it keeps you away from speaking, writing and thinking while you are angry.
Amit Kalantri
They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true. I think that’s crap. I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes)
You love each other until you can't live without each other. And even if you stop loving each other for a little while, you can't...you can't live without each other.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
The gremlin stopped, blinking up at me with an almost hurt expression. 'Master punish bad kitty?' he said in a pitiful voice. 'No I'm not going to punish the bad kitty,' I said and Grimalkin snorted. 'And you aren't either. I want to talk to you. Will you stay and not run off if we let you go?' He bobbed his head, as best as he could while his ears were gripped tightly by Puck. 'Master wants Razor stay, Razor stay. Not move until told. Promise.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
We were five. You had a plaid dress and your hair...it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out while we were waiting to line up. He said, 'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.' And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.' So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She put you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, ever bird outside the windows fell silent. And right when your song ended, I knew -just like your mother- I was a goner.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
What if the worst is true? What if there's no God, and you only go around once, and that's it? Don't you want to be a part of the experience? You know, what the hell? It's not all a drag, and I'm thinking to myself: Geez! I should stop ruining my life searching for answers I'm never gonna get and just enjoy it while it lasts. And, you know, after--who knows? Maybe there is something, nobody really knows. I know that maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that's the best we have.
Woody Allen (Hannah and Her Sisters)
Good question. (Acheron) I have a better one. How are we going to clean up this mess? (Kyrian) Nah, mine’s even better. How do you hide a chainsaw in your locker at school? I’m thinking they’re not going to stop, and while the school has a strict no-weapons policy, I don’t think the plastic sporks in the cafeteria are going to do much to combat them. I need protection, man. Serious protection. (Nick)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
Depression is all about if you loved me you would. As in, if you loved me you would stop doing your schoolwork, stop going out drinking with your friends on a Saturday night, stop accepting starring roles in theater productions, and stop doing everything besides sitting here by my side and passing me Kleenex and aspirin while I lie and creak and cry and drown myself and you in my misery.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Once in a while I experience an emotion onstage that is so gut-wrenching, so heart-stopping, that I could weep with gratitude and joy. The feeling catches and magnifies so rapidly that it threatens to engulf me.
Julie Andrews Edwards (Home: A Memoir of My Early Years)
This is how we bring about our own damnation, you know-by ignoring the voice that begs us to stop. To stop while there's still time.
Stephen King (Revival)
I've just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here for ever and ever. It was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
After a while you learn that everything stops.
Bret Easton Ellis
The stranded, walking a fine line between reality and illusion, constantly weaving through disappointment and hope, despite all, never stop dreaming of empathy and good feeling, while craving for attention and endorsement. ("No monsters hide at this point" )
Erik Pevernagie
My mind, I know, I can prove, hovers on hummingbird wings. It hovers and it churns. And when it's operating at full thrust, the churning does not stop. The machines do not rest, the systems rarely cool. And while I can forget anything of any importance--this is why people tell me secrets--my mind has an uncanny knack for organization when it comes to pain. Nothing tormenting is ever lost, never even diminished in color or intensity or quality of sound.
Dave Eggers (You Shall Know Our Velocity!)
Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?’ He couldn’t believe it. ‘Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were—‘ ‘I don’t understand the first one yet,’ Buttercup interrupted. She was starting to get very excited now. ‘Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is the size of a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images just confuse me so—is this universal business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Westley. I have the feeling we’re on the verge of something just terribly important.’ ‘I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids….Is any of this getting through to you, Buttercup, or do you want me to go on for a while?’ ‘Never stop.’ ‘There has not been—‘ ‘If you’re teasing me, Westley, I’m just going to kill you.’ ‘How can you even dream I might be teasing?’ ‘Well, you haven’t once said you loved me.’ ‘That’s all you need? Easy. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.’ ‘You are teasing now; aren’t you?’ ‘A little maybe; I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
At last he stopped, and she stared down at the printed column of words, unable to comprehend a single one. His hand, warm and steady, wound its way around hers, wrapping it like a spider would its prey. She surrendered it to him, unable to watch even as his thumb traced the place, just above her knuckles, where he had once written his number in deep violet. Isobel ceased to breathe. Her heart pounded in her chest, her thoughts shattering into senseless fragments. All the while, her eyes remained trained and unblinking on the open page. Lines without meaning stared up at her, little more than black sticks in an otherwise white world.
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
His cheeks were slick with tears that spilled over his diamond eyes, a ceaseless flow he neither noticed nor appeared to care about. And she had a feeling it was going to be a while before the leaking stopped-an inner artery had been nicked and this was the blood of his heart, spilling out of him, covering him.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
..the fields might fall to fallow and the birds might stop their song awhile; the growing things might die and lie in silence under snow, while through it all the cold sea wore its face of storms and death and sunken hopes...and yet unseen beneath the waves a warmer current ran that, in its time, would bring the spring.
Susanna Kearsley (The Winter Sea (Slains, #1))
*Some dudes like to say that men have the instinct to spread their seed, while women are supposed to protect their reproductive organs from everything but the best sperm for the strongest potential offspring. By that logic every woman in the world should be saving herself for Dwayne "The Rock' Johnson and never let any of you shitheads touch her. Seriously, you guys should stop using that argument.
Anna Kendrick (Scrappy Little Nobody)
Tell me, was I the sort of person who took your elbow when cars passed on the street, touched your cheek while you talked, combed your wet hair, stopped by the side of the road in the country to point out certain constellations, standing behind you so that you had the advantage of leaning and looking up?
Nicole Krauss (Man Walks into a Room)
Codependents make great employees. They don’t complain; they do more than their share; they do whatever is asked of them; they please people; and they try to do their work perfectly—at least for a while, until they become angry and resentful.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Stop wandering about! You aren't likely to read your own notebooks, or ancient histories, or the anthologies you've collected to enjoy in your old age. Get busy with life's purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue-if you care for yourself at all-and do it while you can.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I stopped trying to figure it out a long time ago. I'm never going to figure it out,any more than a normal person will figure out his or her own existence. After a while, you have to be at peace with the fact that you simply are. There is no way to know why. You can have theories, but there will never be proof.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Van Houten, I’m a good person but a shitty writer. You’re a shitty person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently. Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease. I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion. (Okay, maybe I’m not such a shitty writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.) We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic piss, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop pissing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other. Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either. People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm. The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox. After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar. A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse. What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
For the record, while it's very charming that you keep trying to protect me, I would like to remind you that I actually know how to defend myself." He grimaced. "I know. It's just... instinct." "Well, stop it." He held his hands up. "Won't happen again." He hesitated. I mean, unless I'm pretty sure you're about to die, then I'm absolutely going to rescue you, whether you like it or not.
Marissa Meyer (Renegades (Renegades, #1))
Stupidity is like bumping into a wall all the time. After a while you get tired of it and try to look the situation over and see if there’s a doorway somewhere. I think most people eventually do look for the doorway and stop bumping into the wall
Robert Anton Wilson
Annabelle’s eyes stung as she stared at him, while need and inexhaustible tenderness gathered like an ache in her body. “I realized something,” she said huskily, “when I was standing outside the foundry, watching it burn and knowing you were inside.” She swallowed hard against the thickness in her throat. “I would rather have died in your arms, Simon, than face a lifetime without you. All those endless years… all those winters, summers… a hundred seasons of wanting you and never having you. Growing old, while you stayed eternally young in my memories.” She bit her lip and shook her head, while her eyes flooded. “I was wrong when I told you that I didn’t know where I belonged. I do. With you, Simon. Nothing matters except being with you. You’re stuck with me forever, and I’ll never listen when you tell me to go.” She managed a tremulous smile. “So you may as well stop complaining and resign yourself to it.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
Bronwyn: Well, I'd like to try. I f you want to. Not because we're thrown together in this weird situation and I think you're hot, altough I do. But because you're smart, and funny, and you do the right thing more often than you give youerself credit for. I like your horrible taste in movies and the way you never sugarcoat anything and the fact that you have an actual lizard. I'd be proud to be your girlfriend, even in a nonoffical capacity while we're, you know, being investigated for murder. Plus, I can't go more than a few minutes without wanting to kis you, so - there's that. Nate: You're doing better than me. I never stop thinking about kissing you.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
If, as a culture, we don’t bear witness to grief, the burden of loss is placed entirely upon the bereaved, while the rest of us avert our eyes and wait for those in mourning to stop being sad, to let go, to move on, to cheer up. And if they don’t — if they have loved too deeply, if they do wake each morning thinking, I cannot continue to live — well, then we pathologize their pain; we call their suffering a disease. We do not help them: we tell them that they need to get help.
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough)
But monotony doesn't make for painlessness. In the first century CE, Roman authorities punished St. Appollonia by crushing her teeth one by one with pliers. Colin often thought about this in relationship to the monotony of dumping: we have thirty two teeth. After a while, having each tooth individually destroyed probably gets repetitive, even dull. But it never stops hurting.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
She ripped the wild bun down from the crown of her head, and then brushed her long hair with her fingers. I couldn’t stop staring while she rewrapped it and tied it back again. I imagined that this was what she looked like in the morning, and then had to think about the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan to keep my dick from getting hard.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Sex. Love. Fucking. Call it what you want but they are all the same. Each one requires you to give a piece of yourself that you can never get back. But with the right person, everything will align perfectly. The world stops turning on its axis, time slows and you realize that while you're losing a piece of yourself, you're also gaining something in return. What they give you fits you just right.
Calia Read (Unravel (Fairfax, #1))
Well finish your story anyway." Where was I?" The bubonic plague. The bulldozer was stalled by corpses." Oh, yes. Anyway, one sleepless night I stayed up with Father while he worked. It was all we could do to find a live patient to treat. In bed after bed after bed we found dead people. And Father started giggling," Castle continued. He couldn't stop. He walked out into the night with his flashlight. He was still giggling. He was making the flashlight beam dance over all the dead people stacked outside. He put his hand on my head and do you know what that marvelous man said to me?" asked Castle. Nope." 'Son,' my father said to me, 'someday this will all be yours.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
When I was twelve, my parents had two talks with me. One was the usual birds and bees. Well, I didn't really get the usual version. My mom, Lisa, is a registered nurse, and she told me what went where, and what didn't need to go here, there, or any damn where till I'm grown. Back then, I doubted anything was going anywhere anyway. While all the other girls sprouted breasts between sixth and seventh grade, my chest was as flat as my back. The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me. Momma fussed and told Daddy I was too young for that. He argued that I wasn't too young to get arrested or shot. "Starr-Starr, you do whatever they tell you to do," he said. "Keep your hands visible. Don't make any sudden moves. Only speak when they speak to you." I knew it must've been serious. Daddy has the biggest mouth of anybody I know, and if he said to be quiet, I needed to be quiet. I hope somebody had the talk with Khalil.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
So, explain this," Avery said, "You just, what, hang around the Academy all day? Are you trying to redo your high school experience?" "Nothing to redo," said Adrian loftily. "I totally ruled my high school. I was worshiped and adored—not that that should come as a shock." Beside him, Christian nearly choked on his food. "So. . .You're trying to relive your glory days. It's all gone downhill since then, huh?" "No way," said Adrian. "I'm like a fine wine. I get better with age. The best is yet to come." "Seems like it'd get old after a while," said Avery, "I'm certainly bored, and I even spend part of the day helping my dad." "Adrian sleeps most of the day," noted Lissa, "So he doesn't actually have to worry about finding things to do." "Hey, I spend a good portion of my time helping you unravel the mysteries of spirit," Adrian reminded her. "And," he added, "I can visit people in their dreams." Christian held up a hand. "Stop. I can feel there's a comment coming on about how women already dream about you. I just ate, you know." "I wasn't going to go there," said Adrian. But he kind of looked like he wished he'd thought of the joke first.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
Derek and I went out for our walk after dinner. Alone. There was an open field behind the motel and we headed there. Finally, when we were far enough from the motel, Derek led me into a little patch of woods. He hesitated then, unsure, still just holding my hand. When I stepped in front of him, though, his free hand went around my waist. "So," I said. "Seems you're going to be stuck with me for a while." He smiled. A real smile that lit up his whole face. "Good," he said. He pulled me against him. Then he bent down, breath warming my lips. My pulse was racing so fast I could barely breathe. I was sure he'd stop again and I tensed, waiting for that hesitation, stomach twisting. His lips touched mine, and still I kept waiting for him to pull back. His lips pressed against mine, then parted. And he kissed me. Really kissed me- arms tightening around me, mouth moving against mine, firm, like he'd made up his mind that this was what he wanted and he wasn't backing down again. I slid my arms around his neck. His tightened around me and he scooped me up, lifting me off his feet, kissing me like he was never going to stop, and I kissed him back the same way, like I didn't want him to ever stop. It was a perfect moment, one where nothing else mattered. All I could feel was him. All I could taste was his kiss. All I could hear was the pounding of his heart. All I could think about was him, and how much I wanted this, and how incredibly lucky I was to get it, and how tight I was going to hold onto it. This was what I wanted. This guy. This life. This me. I was never getting my old life back, and I didn't care. I was happy. I was safe. I was right where I wanted to be.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
I look down at our knees, slightly touching. Jeans against jeans. Does she notice the heat transferring from her body to mine? Does she even realize what she's doing to me? I know, I know. I'm not a virgin and the slightest touch of a girl's knee is driving me insane. I don't even know what I'm feeling for Maggie, I just know that I'm feeling. It's something I've tried to avoid and deny until yesterday, when I held her in my arms while her tears spilled onto my shirt. God, our knees touching isn't enough. I need more. She's knotting her fingers together on her lap as if she doesn't know what to do with them. I want to touch her, but what if she pulls away like before? I've never been such a wuss with a girl in my life. I bite my bottom lip as I slide my hand about millionth of a millimeter closer to her hand. She doesn't seem fazed so I move closer. And closer. When the tips of my fingers touch her wrist, she freezes. But she doesn't jerk her hand away. God, her skin is so soft, I think as my fingers trail a path from her wrist to her knuckles to her smooth, manicured nails. I swear touching her like this is driving me nuts. It's more erotic, more intense than any other time with Kendra. I feel awkward and inexperienced as a freshman again. I look up. Everyone else is oblivious to the intensity of emotions running rampant in the back of the public bus. When I look back down at my hand covering hers, I'm grateful she hasn't come to her senses and pulled away. As if she knows my thoughts, we both turn our hands at the same time so our hands are palm against palm...finger against finger. Her hand is dwarfed against mine. It makes her seem more delicate and petite than I'd realize. I feel a need to protect her and be her champion should she ever need one. With a slight shift of my hand, I lace my fingers through hers. I'm holding hands. With Maggie Armstrong. I'm not even going to think about how wrong it is because it feels so right. She's avoided looking right at me, but now she turns her head and our eyes lock. God, how come I never noticed before how long her lashes were and how her brown eyes have specks of gold that sparkle when the sun shine on them? The bus stops suddenly and I look out the window. It's our stop. She must have realized this because she pulls her hand away from mine and stands. I follow behind, still reeling.
Simone Elkeles (Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1))
Franz Kafka is Dead He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me." The people whispered and nodded among themselves. They put their arms around each other, and touched their children's hair. They took off their hats and raised them to the small, sickly man with the ears of a strange animal, sitting in his black velvet suit in the dark tree. Then they turned and started for home under the canopy of leaves. Children were carried on their fathers' shoulders, sleepy from having been taken to see who wrote his books on pieces of bark he tore off the tree from which he refused to come down. In his delicate, beautiful, illegible handwriting. And they admired those books, and they admired his will and stamina. After all: who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of his loneliness? One by one families broke off with a good night and a squeeze of the hands, suddenly grateful for the company of neighbors. Doors closed to warm houses. Candles were lit in windows. Far off, in his perch in the trees , Kafka listened to it all: the rustle of the clothes being dropped to the floor, or lips fluttering along naked shoulders, beds creaking along the weight of tenderness. It all caught in the delicate pointed shells of his ears and rolled like pinballs through the great hall of his mind. That night a freezing wind blew in. When the children woke up, they went to the window and found the world encased in ice. One child, the smallest, shrieked out in delight and her cry tore through the silence and exploded the ice of a giant oak tree. The world shone. They found him frozen on the ground like a bird. It's said that when they put their ears to the shell of his ears, they could hear themselves.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
The hardest thing about being an outcast isn't the love you don't receive. It's the love you long to give that nobody wants. After a while, it backs up into your system like stagnant water and turns toxic, poisoning your spirit. When this happens, you don't have many choices available. You can become a bitter loner who goes through life being pissed off at the world; you can fester with rage until one day you murder your classmates. Or, you can find another outlet for your love, where it will be appreciated and maybe even returned.
Jodee Blanco (Please Stop Laughing at Me... One Woman's Inspirational Story)
Westley: Hear this now: I will always come for you. Buttercup: But how can you be sure? Westley: This is true love-you think this happens every day? Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me? Buttercup: Well...you were dead. Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while. Buttercup: i will never doubt again. Westley: There will never be a need.
William Goldman
I said ”I love you so much it’s killing me” and you kept saying sorry so I stopped explaining for it never made sense to you what always did to me to let what you love kill you and never regret. As Romeo is dying Juliet says ”I am willing to die to remain by your side” and love was never a static place of rest but the last second of euphoria while throwing yourself out from a 20 store window to be able to say ”I flew before I hit the ground”, and it was glorious. Don’t be sorry. The fall was beautiful, dear. The crash was beautiful.
Charlotte Eriksson
Yeah, I need sex or I die. So stop with the obnoxious chaperone shit, because I really don't want you anywhere nearby while I'm doing it, and I don't think you want that either." She gave them the sweetest smile. "And know that the second you're gone, I'm going to ride Con until he begs for mercy." Eidolon sighed. Shade swore. And Con muttered something that sounded strangely like "Mercy". ~Sin
Larissa Ione (Sin Undone (Demonica #5))
When we miss a plane, lose a job, or find ourselves unable to marry the person we want, have we ever stopped to consider the possibility that it may have been for our own good? Allah tells us in the Qur’an: “…But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Qur’an, 2:216)
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart)
It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. We're on a planet that somehow knows how to rotate on its axis and follow a defined path while it hurtles through space! Our hearts beat! We can see! We have love, laughter, language, living rooms, computers, compassion, cars, fire, fingernails, flowers, music, medicine, mountains, muffins!
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Bilbo almost stopped breathing, and went stiff himself. He was desperate. He must get away, out of this horrible darkness, while he had any strength left. He must fight. He must stab the foul thing, put its eyes out, kill it. It meant to kill him. No, not a fair fight. He was invisible now. Gollum had no sword. Gollum had not actually threatened to kill him, or tried yet. And he was miserable, alone, lost. A sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror, welled up in Bilbo’s heart: a glimpse of endless unmarked days without light or hope of betterment, hard stone, cold fish, sneaking and whispering.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, or There and Back Again)
Bloody men are like bloody buses — You wait for about a year And as soon as one approaches your stop Two or three others appear. You look at them flashing their indicators, Offering you a ride. You’re trying to read the destinations, You haven’t much time to decide. If you make a mistake, there is no turning back. Jump off, and you’ll stand there and gaze While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by And the minutes, the hours, the days.
Wendy Cope (Serious Concerns)
He found it so easy and so pleasant to cry that he didn’t try to stop for a while, until he realized he was forcing his sobs a little, exaggerating their depth with unnecessary shudders. … The whole point of crying is to quit before you coined it up. The whole point of grief itself was to cut it out while it was still honest, while it still meant something. Because the thing was so easily corrupted
Richard Yates
you once said to would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing one self to excess; that utmost of self-revelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind...That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Life is similar to a bus ride. The journey begins when we board the bus. We meet people along our way of which some are strangers, some friends and some strangers yet to be friends. There are stops at intervals and people board in. At times some of these people make their presence felt, leave an impact through their grace and beauty on us fellow passengers while on other occasions they remain indifferent. But then it is important for some people to make an exit, to get down and walk the paths they were destined to because if people always made an entrance and never left either for the better or worse, then we would feel suffocated and confused like those people in the bus, the purpose of the journey would lose its essence and the journey altogether would neither be worthwhile nor smooth.
Chirag Tulsiani
Peaches and Cheese”: The vagabond sun winks down through the trees, While lilacs, like memories, waft on the breeze, My friend, I was born for days such as these, To inhale perfume, And cut through the gloom, And feast like a king upon peaches and cheese! I’ll travel this wide world and go where I please, Can’t stop my wand’ring, it’s like a disease. My only regret as I cross the high seas: What I leave behind, Though I hope to find, My own golden city of peaches and cheese!
Rachel Hartman (Seraphina (Seraphina, #1))
Ever since people first existed, they have been doing all the things we label "codependent." They have worried themselves sick about other people. They have tried to help in ways that didn't help. They have said yes when they meant no. They have tried to make other people see things their way. They have bent over backwards avoiding hurting people's feelings and, in so doing, have hurt themselves. They have been afraid to trust their feelings. They have believed lies and then felt betrayed. They have wanted to get even and punish others. They have felt so angry they wanted to kill. They have struggled for their rights while other people said they didn't have any. They have worn sackcloth because they didn't believe they deserved silk.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
The first seven years of the Joshua tree's life, it's just a vertical stem. No branches," she told me while we were hiking. "It takes years before it blossoms. And every branching stem stops growing after it blossoms, so you've got this complex system of dead areas and new growth." I used to think about that, sometimes, when I wondered what parts of her might still be alive.
Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1))
I need a book that says 'Here's how to defeat Spring and restore power to your king, and while you're at it, here's how to prove you matter when no one else thinks you do—” I stop. I'm staring at the bookshelves and not at Theron, and I don't think I'll ever be able to look at him again without shriveling up from embarrassment. I can still hear what I said hanging around me, my weak, weak admission, and I can't bring myself to breathe, let alone face him. Theron doesn't give me a choice. He crawls up onto his knees and moves into my line of sight, his forehead wrinkled and his eyes darting over mine like he's trying to figure me out the same way he figured out that passage. After a moment of silence, he grimaces. “You matter,” is all he says.
Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1))
The boy took a step toward her. Lex jumped back, her contentious instincts kicking in. "Stop right there," she warned. "I punch, I kick, and I feel compelled to warn you, I can bite harder than the average Amazonian crocodile." He smirked and leaned against the doorframe. "And I feel compelled to warn YOU that the bathroom we now share has a leaky ceiling," he said, pointing up. "There's an umbrella under the sink, if you're going to be in here for a while.
Gina Damico (Croak (Croak, #1))
That’s a funny thing: you think, when awful things happen, everything else just stops, like you would forget to pee and eat and get thirsty, but it’s not really true. It’s like you and your body are two separate things, like your body is betraying you, chugging on, idiotic and animal, craving water and sandwiches and bathroom breaks while your world falls apart.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
In life, a person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they're doing. Then they find that they're hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops. Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener's constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure. Gardeners always recognize each other, because they know that in the history of each plant lies the growth of the whole World.
Paulo Coelho
Even though I didn't notice it while it was happening, I got reminded in ninth grade of a few things I guess I should have known all along. 1. A first kiss after five months means more than a first kiss after five minutes. 2. Always remember what it was like to be six. 3. Never, ever stop believing in magic, no matter how old you get. Because if you keep looking long enough and don't give up, sooner or later you're going to find Mary Poppins. And if you're reall lucky, maybe even a purple balloon.
Steve Kluger (My Most Excellent Year)
A few minutes later, he said suddenly: 'Kath, can we stop? I'm sorry, I need to get out a minute.' ...I could make out in the mid-distance, near where the field began to fall away, Tommy's figure, raging, shouting, flinging his fists and kicking out. I caught a glimpse of his face in the moonlight, caked in mud and distorted with fury, then I reached for his failing arms and held on tight. He tried to shake me off, but I kept holding on, until he stopped shouting and I felt the fight go out of him. Then I realised he too had his arms around me. And so we stood together like that, at the top of the field, for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us being swept away into the night.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Peeta and I sit on the damp sand, facing away from each other, my right shoulder and hip pressed against his. ... After a while I rest my head against his shoulder. Feel his hand caress my hair. "Katniss... If you die, and I live, there's no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You're my whole life", he says. "I would never be happy again." I start to object but he puts a finger to my lips. "It's different for you. I'm not sayin it wouldn't be hard. But there are other people who'd make your life worth living." ... "Your family needs you, Katniss", Peeta says. My family. My mother. My sister. And my pretend cousin Gale. But Peeta's intension is clear. That Gale really is my family, or will be one day, if I live. That I'll marry him. So Peeta's giving me his life and Gale at the same time. To let me know I shouldn't ever have doubts about it. Everithing. That's what Peeta wants me to take from him. ... "No one really needs me", he says, and there's no self-pity in his voice. It's true his family doesen't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me. "I do", I say. "I need you." He looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that's no good, no good at all, because he'll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I'll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss. I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those Games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more. But my head wound started bleeding and he made me lie down. This time, there is nothing but us to interrupt us. And after a few attempts, Peeta gives up on talking. The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I love you.' 'I'm a little stuck for words here,' she said. 'I'm just trying to get my head around it, trying to find the right way for... Okay, yeah, I have it now. Caelan, cop on to yourself.' 'But I love you.' 'Here we go.' 'When will you admit that you are in love with me too?' 'I swear, talking to you is like talking to a really good looking and mildly stupid brick wall. Look, I like you okay? I think you're cute. You could probably ease up on the brooding self-loathing, though. That stopped being attractive a while ago. But, I mean, on the whole, I like you, and you like me-' 'I love you.' 'Yeah, well...
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
Anyone who says that economic security is a human right, has been to much babied. While he babbles, other men are risking and losing their lives to protect him. They are fighting the sea, fighting the land, fighting disease and insects and weather and space and time, for him, while he chatters that all men have a right to security and that some pagan god—Society, The State, The Government, The Commune—must give it to them. Let the fighting men stop fighting this inhuman earth for one hour, and he will learn how much security there is.
Rose Wilder Lane
When you're facing down multiple attackers, you always want to make the first move. It lets them know that you're ready to fight and that you're crazy enough to get the party started. One rule of thumb in fighting is that crazy can often overcome skill and numbers, because, while a trained fighter might actually enjoy going up against another trained fighter, no one really wants to wrestle with crazy. Crazy doesn't know when it's winning. And crazy doesn't know when to stop. If you can't pull off crazy, if, for instance, you're handcuffed in a small van with six armed assailants, stupid is a decent substitute for crazy.
Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1))
The first step is to care, Tukks’s voice seemed to whisper. Some talk about being emotionless in battle. Well, I suppose it’s important to keep your head. But I hate that feeling of killing while calm and cold. I’ve seen that those who care fight harder, longer, and better than those who don’t. It’s the difference between mercenaries and real soldiers. It’s the difference between fighting to defend your homeland and fighting on foreign soil. It’s good to care when you fight, so long as you don’t let it consume you. Don’t try to stop yourself from feeling. You’ll hate who you become.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
She heard footsteps thumping from the crew quarters and Jacin appeared in the cargo bay, eyes wide. “What happened? Why is the ship screaming?” “Nothing. Everything’s fine,” Cinder stammered. “No, everything is not fine,” said Iko. “How can they be invited? I’ve never seen a bigger injustice in all my programmed life, and believe me, I have seen some big injustices.” Jacin raised an eyebrow at Cinder. “We just learned that my former guardian received an invitation to the wedding.” She opened the tab beside her stepmother’s name, thinking maybe it was a mistake. But of course not. Linh Adri had been awarded 80,000 univs and an official invitation to the royal wedding as an act of gratitude for her assistance in the ongoing manhunt for her adopted and estranged daughter, Linh Cinder. “Because she sold me out,” she said, sneering. “Figures.” “See? Injustice. Here we are, risking our lives to rescue Kai and this whole planet, and Adri and Pearl get to go to the royal wedding. I’m disgusted. I hope they spill soy sauce on their fancy dresses.” Jacin’s concern turned fast to annoyance. “Your ship has some messed-up priorities, you know that?” “Iko. My name is Iko. If you don’t stop calling me the ‘ship,’ I am going to make sure you never have hot water during your showers again, do you understand me?” “Yeah, hold that thought while I go disable the speaker system.” “What? You can’t mute me. Cinder!
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there—but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
You'd better get onto MI6. They'll be in charge of security at the airport." "Of course." Sir Graham moved toward the door. He stopped and turned around. "And what happens if you're wrong?" he inquired. "What happens if these soccer players do somehow get killed?" Kellner shrugged. "At least we'll know what we're dealing with," he said. "And they lost every single one of their games while they were in Nigeria. I'm sure we can put together another team.
Anthony Horowitz (Scorpia (Alex Rider, #5))
Jean grinned down at her, and she handed him something in a small silk bag. 'What's this?' 'Lock of my hair, ' she said. 'Meant to give it to you days ago, but we got busy with all the raiding. You know. Piracy. Hectic life. ' 'Thank you, love, ' he said. 'Now, if you find yourself in trouble wherever you go, you can hold up that little bag to whoever's bothering you, and you can say, "You have no idea who you're fucking with. I'm under the protection of the lady who gave me this object of her favour. "' 'And that's supposed to make them stop?' 'Shit no, that's just to confuse them. Then you kill them while they're standing there looking at you funny.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
And that's my problem. I love to be alone and hate being around people, but I love to be with people and hate being alone. I don't know what I like and I don't know what I want. Time is a difficult thing. It moves too slowly and speeds up when you finally wish it would slow down or stop. You get to the aftermath and all you have are your memories. Precious memories. The kind that make you smile and laugh like you're living it again, while a nostalgic tear falls. And then another. And then another, until you want to just forget it all to stop the painfully happy memories because at the end of the day, those - not the sad ones - are the memories that hurt us most.
Caitlyn Paige
I hate to burst your bubble, but you're really not as scary as you think you are. I don't find you scary at all, actually," I lied casually. He stopped, raising his eyebrows in blatant disbelief. Then he flashed a wide, wicked smile. "You really shouldn't have said that," he chuckled. He growled, a low sound in the back of his throat; his lips curled back over his perfect teeth. His body shifted suddenly, half-crouched, tensed lika a lion about to pounce. I backed away from him, glaring. "You wouldn't." I didn't see him leap me - it was much too fast. I only found myself suddenly airborne, and then we crashed onto the sofa, knocking it into the wall. All the while, his arms formed an iron cage of protection around me - I was barely jostled. But I still was gasping as I tried to right myself. He wasn't having that. He curled me into a ball against his chest, holding me more securely than iron chains. I glared at him in alarm, but he seemed well in control, his jaw relaxed as he grinned, his eyes bright only with humor. "You were saying?" he growled playfully. "That you are a very, very terrifying monster," I said, my sarcasm marred a bit my breathless voice. "Much better," he approved.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1))
Do you know when you've lost something—like your favorite T-shirt or a set of keys—and while looking for it, you come across something else you once missed but have long since forgotten? Well whatever it was, there was a point where you decided to stop searching, maybe because it was no longer required or a new replacement was found. It is almost as if it never existed in the first place—until that moment of rediscovery, a flash of recognition. Everyone has one—an inventory of lost things waiting to be found. Yearning to be acknowledged for the worth they once held in your life. I think this is where I belong—among all your other lost things. A crumpled note at the bottom of a drawer or an old photograph pressed between the pages of a book. I hope someday you will find me and remember what I once meant to you.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
The other side’s got an energy that our side en’t got. Comes from their certainty about being right. If you got that certainty, you’ll be willing to do anything to bring about the end you want. It’s the oldest human problem, Lyra, an’ it’s the difference between good and evil. Evil can be unscrupulous, and good can’t. Evil has nothing to stop it doing what it wants, while good has one hand tied behind its back. To do the things it needs to do to win, it’d have to become evil to do ’em.
Philip Pullman (The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust #2))
Your job then, should you choose to accept it, is to keep searching for the metaphors, rituals and teachers that will help you move ever closer to divinity. The Yogic scriptures say that God responds to the sacred prayers and efforts of human beings in any way whatsoever that mortals choose to worship—just so long as those prayers are sincere. I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshipping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light. The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: "Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite." But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed ... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn't our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don't we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while? That's me in the corner, in other words. That's me in the spotlight. Choosing my religion.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
While archetypes may emanate through us for short periods of time, in what we call numinous experience, no woman can emanate an archetype continuously. Only the archetype itself can withstand such projections such as ever-able, all giving, eternally energetic. We may try to emulate these, but they are ideals, not achievable by humans, and not meant to be. Yet the trap requires that women exhaust themselves trying to achieve these unrealistic levels. To avoid the trap, one has to learn to say 'Halt' and 'Stop the music,' and of course mean it.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
Horses are of a breed unique to Fantasyland. They are capable of galloping full-tilt all day without a rest. Sometimes they do not require food or water. They never cast shoes, go lame or put their hooves down holes, except when the Management deems it necessary, as when the forces of the Dark Lord are only half an hour behind. They never otherwise stumble. Nor do they ever make life difficult for Tourists by biting or kicking their riders or one another. They never resist being mounted or blow out so that their girths slip, or do any of the other things that make horses so chancy in this world. For instance, they never shy and seldom whinny or demand sugar at inopportune moments. But for some reason you cannot hold a conversation while riding them. If you want to say anything to another Tourist (or vice versa), both of you will have to rein to a stop and stand staring out over a valley while you talk. Apart from this inexplicable quirk, horses can be used just like bicycles, and usually are. Much research into how these exemplary animals come to exist has resulted in the following: no mare ever comes into season on the Tour and no stallion ever shows an interest in a mare; and few horses are described as geldings. It therefore seems probable that they breed by pollination. This theory seems to account for everything, since it is clear that the creatures do behave more like vegetables than mammals. Nomads appears to have a monopoly on horse-breeding. They alone possess the secret of how to pollinate them.
Diana Wynne Jones (The Tough Guide to Fantasyland)
Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh's starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we'd run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving. I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide - I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he'd pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself. In the weeks we'd been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we've always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
I'm just saying that I don't want to go through any of this anymore. With anyone. I want to buy a cat, or lease one, or do whatever it is that lonely people do these days. Call it quits. And that's what I don't get, because no matter how much I tell myself it's all useless and it's all a waste of time and energy, there just doesn't seem to be a way to stop myself from looking for the right person. You know? From looking at every face on every escalator that's going up while I'm going down and wondering whether the right guy for me just went by... Why isn't there a fuse box somewhere that I can go peer at with a flashlight until I find the fuse with 'Heart' written underneath it and then throw that switch and let the rest of them keep humming merrily along and just, I don't know, opt out of the whole thing?
Paul Schmidtberger (Design Flaws of the Human Condition)
…quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean "love" in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
We reach the corner, and I begin to head back in the direction of the apartment complex, but I notice he’s stopped walking. I turn around, and he’s pulling something out of the bag he’s holding. He tears away a tag, and a blanket unfolds. No, he didn’t. He holds the blanket out to the old man still there bundled up on the sidewalk. The man looks up at him and takes the blanket. Neither of them says a word. Miles walks to a nearby trash can and tosses the empty bag into it, then heads back toward me while staring down at the ground. He doesn’t even make eye contact with me when we both begin walking in the direction of the apartment complex. I want to tell him thank you, but I don’t. If I tell him thank you, it would seem like I assume he did that for me. I know he didn’t do it for me. He did it for the man who was cold.
Colleen Hoover (Ugly Love)
Extroverts are more likely to take a quick-and-dirty approach to problem-solving, trading accuracy for speed, making increasing numbers of mistakes as they go, and abandoning ship altogether when the problem seems too difficult or frustrating. Introverts think before they act, digest information thoroughly, stay on task longer, give up less easily, and work more accurately. Introverts and extroverts also direct their attention differently: if you leave them to their own devices, the introverts tend to sit around wondering about things, imagining things, recalling events from their past, and making plans for the future. The extroverts are more likely to focus on what's happening around them. It's as if extroverts are seeing "what is" while their introverted peers are asking "what if.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.” “Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.” He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.” She hadn’t thought she was curious. It hadn’t been an option, after all. Not being able to kiss someone was a lot like being poor. She tried not to dwell on the things she couldn’t have. But now— “Okay,” she said. “What?” “I said okay.” He blushed. Or rather, because he was dead, he became normal colored. “Uh.” He propped himself on an elbow. “Well.” She unburied her face from the pillow. “Just, like—” He leaned toward her. Blue felt a thrill for a half a second. No, more like a quarter second. Because after that she felt the too-firm pucker of his tense lips. His mouth mashed her lips until it met teeth. The entire thing was at once slimy and ticklish and hilarious. They both gasped an embarrassed laugh. Noah said, “Bah!” Blue considered wiping her mouth, but felt that would be rude. It was all fairly underwhelming. She said, “Well.” “Wait,” Noah replied, “waitwaitwait.” He pulled one of Blue’s hairs out of his mouth. “I wasn’t ready.” He shook out his hands as if Blue’s lips were a sporting event and cramping was a very real possibility. “Go,” Blue said. This time they only got within a breath of each other’s lips when they both began to laugh. She closed the distance and was rewarded with another kiss that felt a lot like kissing a dishwasher. “I’m doing something wrong?” she suggested. “Sometimes it’s better with tongue,” he replied dubiously. They regarded each other. Blue squinted, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” “Hey!” he protested. “It’s weird for me, ‘cause it’s you.” “Well, it’s weird for me because it’s you.” “We can stop.” “Maybe we should.” Noah pushed himself up farther on his elbow and gazed at the ceiling vaguely. Finally, he dropped his eyes back to her. “You’ve seen, like, movies. Of kisses, right? Your lips need to be, like, wanting to be kissed.” Blue touched her mouth. “What are they doing now?” “Like, bracing themselves.” She pursed and unpursed her lips. She saw his point. “So imagine one of those,” Noah suggested. She sighed and sifted through her memories until she found one that would do. It wasn’t a movie kiss, however. It was the kiss the dreaming tree had showed her in Cabeswater. Her first and only kiss with Gansey, right before he died. She thought about his nice mouth when he smiled. About his pleasant eyes when he laughed. She closed her eyes. Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
That night we played truth or dare. You said that after a while you stopped trying to earn your mother's affection." I pause. "Why didn't you give up with me, too?" "You know why," he says quietly. I close my eyes. I do know, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to hear it. But some part of me must be, because I wouldn't have asked the question otherwise, not of Bishop, the boy who never chooses to say something easy just because the truth is hard. Maybe I want to hear it so that i will know, once and for all, that there is no going back. "Because I'm in love with you, Ivy," he whispers. "Giving up on you isn't an option." He lifts my hair away from the back of my neck and kisses the delicate skin there. My breath shudders out of me. The silence spirals into the dark room, and maybe it was foolish to ask the question, but I'm not sorry. I uncurl his hand and kiss his palm, his skin cool and dry. I place his hand over my heart, cover it with my own. We fall asleep that way. His lips on my neck. My heart in his hand.
Amy Engel (The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1))
People think of education as something that they can finish. And what’s more, when they finish, it’s a rite of passage. You’re finished with school. You’re no more a child, and therefore anything that reminds you of school - reading books, having ideas, asking questions - that’s kid’s stuff. Now you’re an adult, you don’t do that sort of thing any more. You have everybody looking forward to no longer learning, and you make them ashamed afterward of going back to learning. If you have a system of education using computers, then anyone, any age, can learn by himself, can continue to be interested. If you enjoy learning, there’s no reason why you should stop at a given age. People don’t stop things they enjoy doing just because they reach a certain age. What’s exciting is the actual process of broadening yourself, of knowing there’s now a little extra facet of the universe you know about and can think about and can understand. It seems to me that when it’s time to die, there would be a certain pleasure in thinking that you had utilized your life well, learned as much as you could, gathered in as much as possible of the universe, and enjoyed it. There’s only this one universe and only this one lifetime to try to grasp it. And while it is inconceivable that anyone can grasp more than a tiny portion of it, at least you can do that much. What a tragedy just to pass through and get nothing out of it.
Isaac Asimov
Knowledge equals power... The string was important. After a while the Librarian stopped. He concentrated all his powers of librarianship. Power equals energy... People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library. Energy equals matter... He swung into an avenue of shelving that was apparently a few feet long and walked along it briskly for half an hour. Matter equals mass. And mass distorts space. It distorts it into polyfractal L-space. So, while the Dewey system has its fine points, when you're setting out to look something up in the multidimensional folds of L-space what you really need is a ball of string.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1))
If you have ever peeled an onion, then you know that the first thin, papery layer reveals another thin, papery layer, and that layer reveals another, and another, and before you know it you have hundreds of layers all over the kitchen table and thousands of tears in your eyes, sorry that you ever started peeling in the first place and wishing that you had left the onion alone to wither away on the shelf of the pantry while you went on with your life, even if that meant never again enjoying the complicated and overwhelming taste of this strange and bitter vegetable. In this way, the story of the Baudelaire orphans is like an onion, and if you insist on reading each and every thin, papery layer in A Series of Unfortunate Events, your only reward will be 170 chapters of misery in your library and countless tears in your eyes. Even if you have read the first twelve volumes of the Baudelaires' story, it is not too late to stop peeling away the layers, and to put this book back on the shelf to wither away while you read something less complicated and overwhelming. The end of this unhappy chronicle is like its bad beginning, as each misfortune only reveals another, and another, and another, and only those with the stomach for this strange and bitter tale should venture any farther into the Baudelaire onion. I'm sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
I believe that sometimes, the moment you say goodbye could be as painful as a lifetime worth of pain that you can experience while living with the memories of your loved ones. I couldn’t stop myself from hallucinating about all those things that could have happened, while you were walking away from me today. I stopped walking and turned my head, expecting for you to do the same. I stayed there, motionless, and waited – for you to turn once, to smile, or wave. But you didn’t. You just continued walking away from me, while I stayed there watching your silhouette becoming smaller, and smaller with time, until it disappeared completely. There was nothing else to wait. “What happened?” she asked me when I turned my head again towards the platform. “She let me go, finally,” was all I could say.
Bhavya Kaushik
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Rosa Parks turned to me sweetly and asked, 'Now, Bryan, tell me who you are and what you're doing.' I looked at Ms. Carr to see if I had permission to speak, and she smiled and nodded at me. I then gave Ms. Parks my rap. 'Yes, ma'am. Well, I have a law project called the Equal Justice Initiative, and we're trying to help people on death row. We're trying to stop the death penalty, actually. We're trying to do something about prison conditions and excessive punishment. We want to free people who've been wrongly convicted. We want to end unfair sentences in criminal cases and stop racial bias in criminal justice...Ms. Parks leaned back smiling. 'Ooooh, honey, all that's going to make you tired, tired, tired.' We all laughed. I looked down, a little embarrassed. Then Ms. Carr leaned forward and put her finger in my face and talked o me just like my grandmother used to talk to me. She said, 'That's why you've got to be brave, brave, brave.' All three women nodded in silent agreement and for just a little while, they made me feel like a young prince.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Clay, did you ever love me?" I'm studying a billboard and say that I didn't hear what she said. "I asked if you ever loved me?" On the terrace the sun bursts into my eyes and for one blinding moment I see myself clearly. I remember the first time we made love, in the house in Palm Springs, her body tan and wet, lying against cool, white sheets. "Don't do this, Blair," I tell her. "Just tell me." I don't say anything. "Is it such a hard question to answer?" I look at her straight on. "Yes or no?" "Why?" "Damnit, Clay," she sighs. "Yeah, sure, I guess." "Don't lie to me." "What in the fuck do you want to hear?" "Just tell me," she says, her voice rising. "No," I almost shout. "I never did." I almost start to laugh. She draws in a breath and says, "Thank you. That's all I wanted to know." She sips her wine. "Did you ever love me?" I ask her back, though by now I can't even care. She pauses. "I thought about it and yeah, I did once. I mean I really did. Everything was all right for a while. You were kind." She looks down and then goes on. "But it was like you weren't there. Oh shit, this isn't going to make any sense." She stops. I look at her, waiting for her to go on, looking up at the billboard. Disappear Here. "I don't know if any other person I've been with has been really there, either ... but at least they tried." I finger the menu; put the cigarette out. "You never did. Other people made an effort and you just ... It was just beyond you." She takes another sip of her wine. "You were never there. I felt sorry for you for a little while, but then I found it hard to. You're a beautiful boy, Clay, but that's about it." I watch the cars pass by on Sunset. "It's hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn't care." "Yeah?" I ask. "What do you care about? What makes you happy?" "Nothing. Nothing makes me happy. I like nothing," I tell her. "Did you ever care about me, Clay?" I don't say anything, look back at the menu. "Did you ever care about me?" she asks again. "I don't want to care. If I care about things, it'll just be worse, it'll just be another thing to worry about. It's less painful if I don't care." "I cared about you for a little while." I don't say anything. She takes off her sunglasses and finally says, "I'll see you later, Clay." She gets up. "Where are you going?" I suddenly don't want to leave Blair here. I almost want to take her back with me. "Have to meet someone for lunch." "But what about us?" "What about us?" She stands there for a moment, waiting. I keep staring at the billboard until it begins to blur and when my vision becomes clearer I watch as Blair's car glides out of the parking lot and becomes lost in the haze of traffic on Sunset. The waiter comes over and asks, "Is everything okay, sir?" I look up and put my sunglasses on and try to smile. "Yeah.
Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero)
Mr. Normal stepped forward and offered him a Scotch bottle. "You look like you could use some." Yeah, you think? Butch took a swig. "Thanks." "So can we kill him now?" said the one with the goatee and the baseball hat. Beth's man spoke harshly. "Back off, V." "Why? He's just a human." "And my shellan is half-human. The man doesn't die just because he's not one of us." "Jesus, you've changed your tune." "So you need to catch up, brother." Butch got to his feet. If his death was going to be debated, he wanted in on the discussion. "I appreciate the support," he said to Beth's boy. "But I don't need it." He went over to the guy with the hat, discreetly switching his grip on the bottle's neck in case he had to crack the damn thing over a head. He moved in tight, so their noses were almost touching. He could feel the vampire heating up, priming for a fight. "I'm happy to take you on, asshole," Butch said. "I'll probably end up losing, but I fight dirty, so I'll make you hurt while you kill me." Then he eyed the guy's hat. "Though I hate clocking the shit out of another Red Sox fan." There was a shout of laughter from behind him. Someone said, "This is gonna be fun to watch." The guy in front of Butch narrowed his eyes into slits. "You true about the Sox?" "Born and raised in Southie. Haven't stopped grinning since '04." There was a long pause. The vampire snorted. "I don't like humans." "Yeah, well, I'm not too crazy about you bloodsuckers." Another stretch of silence. The guy stroked his goatee. "What do you call twenty guys watching the World Series?" "The New York Yankees," Butch replied. The vampire laughed in a loud burst, whipped the baseball cap off his head, and slapped it on his thigh. Just like that, the tension was broken.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
Sometimes we’re on a collision course, and we just don’t know it. Whether it’s by accident or by design, there’s not a thing we can do about it. A woman in Paris was on her way to go shopping, but she had forgotten her coat - went back to get it. When she had gotten her coat, the phone had rung, so she’d stopped to answer it; talked for a couple of minutes. While the woman was on the phone, Daisy was rehearsing for a performance at the Paris Opera House. And while she was rehearsing, the woman, off the phone now, had gone outside to get a taxi. Now a taxi driver had dropped off a fare earlier and had stopped to get a cup of coffee. And all the while, Daisy was rehearsing. And this cab driver, who dropped off the earlier fare; who’d stopped to get the cup of coffee, had picked up the lady who was going to shopping, and had missed getting an earlier cab. The taxi had to stop for a man crossing the street, who had left for work five minutes later than he normally did, because he forgot to set off his alarm. While that man, late for work, was crossing the street, Daisy had finished rehearsing, and was taking a shower. And while Daisy was showering, the taxi was waiting outside a boutique for the woman to pick up a package, which hadn’t been wrapped yet, because the girl who was supposed to wrap it had broken up with her boyfriend the night before, and forgot. When the package was wrapped, the woman, who was back in the cab, was blocked by a delivery truck, all the while Daisy was getting dressed. The delivery truck pulled away and the taxi was able to move, while Daisy, the last to be dressed, waited for one of her friends, who had broken a shoelace. While the taxi was stopped, waiting for a traffic light, Daisy and her friend came out the back of the theater. And if only one thing had happened differently: if that shoelace hadn’t broken; or that delivery truck had moved moments earlier; or that package had been wrapped and ready, because the girl hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend; or that man had set his alarm and got up five minutes earlier; or that taxi driver hadn’t stopped for a cup of coffee; or that woman had remembered her coat, and got into an earlier cab, Daisy and her friend would’ve crossed the street, and the taxi would’ve driven by. But life being what it is - a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone’s control - that taxi did not go by, and that driver was momentarily distracted, and that taxi hit Daisy, and her leg was crushed.
Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay)
Write it. Just write it. Write it on receipts in the car while you wait for your kid to finish their piano lessons, scribble on napkins at lunch with friends. Type on crappy typewriters or borrow computers if you have to. Fill notebooks with ink. Write inside your head while you’re in traffic and when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office. Write the truth, write lies. Write the perfect spouse. Write your dreams. Write your nightmares. Write while you cry about what you’re writing, write while you laugh out loud at your own words. Write until your fingers hurt, then keep writing more. Don’t ever stop writing. Don’t ever give up on your story, no matter what “they” say. Don’t ever let anybody take away your voice. You have something to say, your soul has a story to tell. Write it. There is never any reason to be afraid. Just write it and then put it out there for the world. Shove it up a flag pole and see who salutes it. Somebody will say it’s crap. So what? Somebody else will love it. And that’s what writing’s about. Love. Love of the art, love of the story, and love for and from the people who really understand your work. Nobody else matters. Love yourself. Love your work. Be brave. Just write.
Melodie Ramone
[Kevin and Molly's adorable banter] "I'm not carrying anything until I see what's on your panties." "It's Daphne, okay?" "I'm supposed to believe you're wearing the same underpants you had on yesterday?" "I have more than one pair" "I think you're lying. I want to see for myself." He dragged her deeper into the pines. While Roo circled them barking, he reached for the snap on her shorts. "Quiet, Godzilla! There's some serious business going on here." Roo obediently quieted. She grabbed his wrists and pushed. "Get away." "That's not what you were saying last night." "Somebody'll see." "I'll tell them a bee got you, and I'm taking out the stinger." "Don't touch my stinger!" She grabbed for her shorts, but they were already heading for her knees. "Stop that!" He peered down at her panties. "It's the badger. You lied to me." "I wasn't paying attention when I got dressed." "Hold still. I've just about found that stinger." She heard herself sigh. "Oh, yeah..." His body moved against hers. "There it is.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars, #5))
Students of public speaking continually ask, "How can I overcome self-consciousness and the fear that paralyzes me before an audience?" Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that some horses feed near the track and never even pause to look up at the thundering cars, while just ahead at the next railroad crossing a farmer's wife will be nervously trying to quiet her scared horse as the train goes by? How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—graze him in a back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he would frequently see the machines? Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and fear: face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop shying. You can never attain freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise. A book may give you excellent suggestions on how best to conduct yourself in the water, but sooner or later you must get wet, perhaps even strangle and be "half scared to death." There are a great many "wetless" bathing suits worn at the seashore, but no one ever learns to swim in them. To plunge is the only way.
Dale Carnegie (The Art of Public Speaking)
When I hear the phrase “Asians are next in line to be white,” I replace the word “white” with “disappear.” Asians are next in line to disappear. We are reputed to be so accomplished, and so law-abiding, we will disappear into this country’s amnesiac fog. We will not be the power but become absorbed by power, not share the power of whites but be stooges to a white ideology that exploited our ancestors. This country insists that our racial identity is beside the point, that it has nothing to do with being bullied, or passed over for promotion, or cut off every time we talk. Our race has nothing to do with this country, even, which is why we’re often listed as “Other” in polls and why we’re hard to find in racial breakdowns on reported rape or workplace discrimination or domestic abuse. It’s like being ghosted, I suppose, where, deprived of all social cues, I have no relational gauge for my own behavior. I ransack my mind for what I could have done, could have said. I stop trusting what I see, what I hear. My ego is in free fall while my superego is boundless, railing that my existence is not enough, never enough, so I become compulsive in my efforts to do better, be better, blindly following this country’s gospel of self-interest, proving my individual worth by expanding my net worth, until I vanish.
Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning)
Finally, don’t put on a Let’s Be Fair tone and say “But black people are racist too.” Because of course we’re all prejudiced (I can’t even stand some of my blood relatives, grasping, selfish folks), but racism is about the power of a group and in America it’s white folks who have that power. How? Well, white folks don’t get treated like shit in upper-class African-American communities and white folks don’t get denied bank loans or mortgages precisely because they are white and black juries don’t give white criminals worse sentences than black criminals for the same crime and black police officers don’t stop white folk for driving while white and black companies don’t choose not to hire somebody because their name sounds white and black teachers don’t tell white kids that they’re not smart enough to be doctors and black politicians don’t try some tricks to reduce the voting power of white folks through gerrymandering and advertising agencies don’t say they can’t use white models to advertise glamorous products because they are not considered “aspirational” by the “mainstream.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go, we will generally know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we generally will be lost. While this is obvious, it is something that most people to a greater or lesser degree choose to ignore. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy. First of all, we are not born with maps; we have to make them, and the making requires effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and perceive reality, the larger and more accurate our maps will be. But many do not want to make this effort. Some stop making it by the end of adolescence. Their maps are small and sketchy, their views of the world narrow and misleading. By the end of middle age most people have given up the effort. They feel certain that their maps are complete and their Weltanschauung is correct (indeed, even sacrosanct), and they are no longer interested in new information. It is as if they are tired. Only a relative and fortunate few continue until the moment of death exploring the mystery of reality, ever enlarging and refining and redefining their understanding of the world and what is true.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
There are a number of things a woman can tell about a man who is roughly twenty-nine years old, sitting in the cab of a pickup truck at 3:37 in the afternoon on a weekday, facing the Pacific, writing furiously on the back of pink invoice slips. Such a man may or may not be employed, but regardless, there is mystery there. If this man is with a dog, then that's good, because it means he's capable of forming relationships. But if the dog is a male dog, that's probably a bad sign, because it means the guy is likely a dog, too. A girl dog is much better, but if the guy is over thirty, any kind of dog is a bad sign regardless, because it means he's stopped trusting humans altogether. In general, if nothing else, guys my age with dogs are going to be work. Then there's stubble: stubble indicates a possible drinker, but if he's driving a van or a pickup truck, he hasn't hit bottom yet, so watch out, honey. A guy writing something on a clipboard while facing the ocean at 3:37 P.M. may be writing poetry, or he may be writing a letter begging someone for forgiveness. But if he's writing real words, not just a job estimate or something business-y, then more likely than not this guy has something emotional going on, which could mean he has a soul.
Douglas Coupland (Hey Nostradamus!)
So what now?" he said. "What do you mean?" "What do we do now? We can't just be roommates." "You said you didn't like me." "I don't like you. I don't like how your hair smells, and how I can't stop thinking about waking up and seeing your face. I hate how my bed felt empty when you left. I don't like how good you were with my family, especially Harper, and how I wanted to see you with then again, but not just as a guest. As a member. You're right. I don't like you at all." "When did you change your mind?" "My mind never changed. I've wanted you since the moment you opened the door and had that stunned look on your face. It just took me a while to admit it. Why deny it now? It is what it is and it's not going to change." "Oh." "This doesn't mean I'm going to be nice. I'm still going to be an ass. I'll just be an ass who apologizes and brings you flowers to say he's been a dick." "Chocolate," I said. "What?" "I'd rather have chocolate when you apologize." "Chocolate it is." He smiled. "So does that mean what I think it means?" "No. It just means that you get to bring me chocolate when you've been an ass. I'm going to weigh three hundred pounds." I focused my attention back on the peppers. I couldn't think about Hunter's declaration of... whatever it was. Footsteps didn't make me look up. "Taylor, look at me. Please." Damn. If only he didn't say please. "I can't promise to not make you mad. I can't promise that I won't hurt you. All I can promise is that I want you in my life, and I'll do anything to keep you there.
Chelsea M. Cameron (My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake, #1))
Gansey despised raising his voice (in his head, his mother said, People shout when they don't have the vocabulary to whisper), but he heard it happening despite himself and so, with effort, he kept his voice even. "Not like this. At least you have a place to go. 'End of the world'... What is your problem, Adam? I mean, is there something about my place that's too repugnant for you to imagine living there? Why is it that everything kind I do is pity to you? Everything is charity. Well, here it is: I'm sick of tiptoeing around your principles." "God, I'm sick of your condescension, Gansey," Adam said. "Don't try to make me feel stupid. Who whips out repugnant? Don't pretend you're not trying to make me feel stupid." "This is the way I talk. I'm sorry your father never taught you the meaning of repugnant. He was too busy smashing your head against the wall of your trailer while you apologized for being alive." Both of them stopped breathing. Gansey knew he'd gone too far. It was too far, too late, too much. Adam shoved open the door. "Fuck you, Gansey. Fuck you," he said, voice low and furious. Gansey close his eyes. Adam slammed the door, and then he slammed it again when the latch didn't catch. Gansey didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to see if people were watching some kid fight with a boy in a bright orange Camaro and an Aglionby jumper. Just then he hated his raven-breasted uniform and his loud car and every three- and four-syllable word his parents had used in casual conversation at the dinner table and he hated Adam's hideous father and Adam's permissive mother and most of all, most of all, he hated the sound of Adam's last words, playing over and over. He couldn't stand it, all of this inside him. In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year. They were always walking away from him. But he never seemed able to walk away from them. Gansey opened his eyes. The ambulance was still there, but Adam was gone.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
While all doctors treat diseases, neurosurgeons work in the crucible of identity: every operation on the brain is, by necessity, a manipulation of the substance of our selves, and every conversation with a patient undergoing brain surgery cannot help but confront this fact. In addition, to the patient and family, the brain surgery is usually the most dramatic event they have ever faced and, as such, has the impact of any major life event. At those critical junctures, the question is not simply whether to live or die but what kind of life is worth living. Would you trade your ability - or your mother's - to talk for a few extra months of mute life? The expansion of your visual blind spot in exchange for eliminating the small possibility of a fatal brain hemorrhage? Your right hand's function to stop seizures? How much neurologic suffering would you let your child endure before saying that death is preferable? Because the brain mediates our experience of the world, any neurosurgical problem forces a patient and family, ideally with a doctor as a guide, to answer this question: What makes life meaningful enough to go on living?
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
Little did they know that the place they were about to burgle -- the shop, and the flat above it -- had already been burgled the week before: yes, and the week before that. And the week before that. It was all burgled out. Indeed, burgling, when viewed in Darwinian terms, was clearly approaching a crisis. Burglars were finding that almost everywhere had been burgled. Burglars were forever bumping into one another, stepping on the toes of other burglars. There were burglar jams on rooftops and stairways, on groaning fire-escapes. Burglars were being burgled by fellow burglars, and were doing the same thing back. Burgled goods jigged from flat to flat. Returning from burgling, burglars would discover that they themselves had just been burgled, sometimes by the very burglar that they themselves had just burgled! How would this crisis in burgling be resolved? It would be resolved when enough burglars found burgling a waste of time, and stopped doing it. Then, for a while, burgling would become worth doing again. But burglars had plenty of time to waste -- it was all they had plenty of, and there was nothing else to do with it -- so they just went on burgling.
Martin Amis
This wasn’t what she expected. Never, in her wildest dreams. This... this was the Blood Queen of Garbhán Isle? Scourge of the Madron lands? Destroyer of Villages? Demon Killer of Women and Children? She who had blood pacts with the darkest of gods? This was Annwyl the Bloody? Talaith watched, fascinated, as Annwyl held onto Morfyd the Witch’s wrists. Morfyd — the Black Witch of Despair, Killer of the Innocent, Annihilator of Souls, and all around Mad Witch of Garbhán Isle or so she was called on the Madron lands — had actually tried to sneak up on Annwyl to put ointment on the nasty wound the queen had across her face. But as soon as the warrior saw her, she squealed and grabbed hold of her. Now Annwyl lay on her back, Morfyd over her, trying her best to get Annwyl to stop being a ten year old. “If you just let me—” “No! Get that centaur shit away from me, you demon bitch!” “Annwyl, I’m not letting you go home to my brother looking like that. You look horrific.” “He’ll have to love me in spite of it. Now get off!” ... “Ow!” “Crybaby.” No, this isn’t what Talaith expected. Annwyl the Blood Queen was supposed to be a vicious, uncaring warrior bent on revenge and power. She let her elite guard rape and and pillage wherever they went, and she used babies as target practice while their mothers watched in horror. That’s what she was supposed to be and that’s what Talaith expected to find. Instead, she found Annwyl. Just Annwyl. A warrior who spent most of her resting time reading or mooning over her consort. She was silly, charming, very funny, and fiercely protective of everyone. Her elite guard, all handpicked by Annwyl, were sweet, vicious fighters and blindingly loyal to their queen.
G.A. Aiken (About a Dragon (Dragon Kin, #2))
I think you can tell by now that I'm not the type of man to beat around the bush. I'll tell you exactly what I want from you." Maxon took a step closer. My breath caught in my throat. I'd just walked into the very situation I feared. No guards, no cameras, no one to stop him from doing whatever he wanted. Knee-jerk reaction. Literally. I kneed His Majesty in the thigh. Hard. Maxon let out a yell and reached down, clutching himself as I backed away from him. "What was that for?" "If you lay a single finger on me, I'll do worse!" I promised. "What?" "I said, if you-" "No, no, you crazy girl, I heard you the first time." Maxon grimaced. "But just what in the world do you mean by it?" I felt the heat run through my body. I'd jumped to the worst possible conclusion and set myself up to fight something that obviously wasn't coming. The guards ran up, alerted by our little squabble. Maxon waved them away from an awkward, half-bent position. We were quiet for a while, and once Maxon was over the worst of his pain, he faced me. "What did you think I wanted?" he asked. I ducked my head and blushed. "America, what did you think I wanted?" He sounded upset. More than upset. Offended. He had obviously guessed what I'd assumed, and he didn't like that one bit. "In public? You thought...for heaven's sake. I'm a gentleman!" He started to walk away but turned back. "Why did you even offer to help if you think so little of me?" I couldn't even look him in the eye. I didn't know how to explain I had been prepped to expect a dog, that the darkness and privacy made me feel strange, that I'd only ever been alone with one other boy and that was how we behaved.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
It’s to do with knowing and being known. I remember how it stopped seeming odd that in biblical Greek knowing was used for making love. Whosit knew so-and-so. Carnal knowledge. It’s what lovers trust each other with. Knowledge of each other, not of the flesh but through the flesh, knowledge of self, the real him, the real her, in extremis, the mask slipped from the face. Every other version of oneself is on offer to the public. We share our vivacity, grief, sulks, anger, joy ... we hand it out to anybody who happens to be standing around, to friends and family with a momentary sense of indecency perhaps, to strangers without hesitation. Our lovers share us with the passing trade. But in pairs we insist that we give ourselves to each other. What selves? What’s left? What else is there that hasn’t been dealt out like a pack of cards? Carnal knowledge. Personal, final, uncompromised. Knowing, being known. I revere that. Having that is being rich, you can be generous about what’s shared – she walks, she talks, she laughs, she lends a sympathetic ear, she kicks off her shoes and dances on the tables, she’s everybody’s and it don’t mean a thing, let them eat cake; knowledge is something else, the undealt card, and while it’s held it makes you free-and-easy and nice to know, and when it’s gone everything is pain. Every single thing. Every object that meets the eye, a pencil, a tangerine, a travel poster. As if the physical world has been wired up to pass a current back to the part of your brain where imagination glows like a filament in a lobe no bigger than a torch bulb. Pain.
Tom Stoppard (The Real Thing)
Sometimes when I get up and emerge from the mists of slumber, my whole room hurts, my whole bedroom, the view from the window hurts, kids go to school, people go shopping, everybody knows where to go, only I don't know where I want to go, I get dressed, blearily, stumbling, hopping about to pull on my trousers, I go and shave with my electric razor - for years now, whenever I shave, I've avoided looking at myself in the mirror, I shave in the dark or round the corner, sitting on a chair in the passage, with the socket in the bathroom, I don't like looking at myself any more, I'm scared by my own face in the bathroom, I'm hurt even by my own appearance, I see yesterday's drunkenness in my eyes, I don't even have breakfast any more, or if I do, only coffee and a cigarette, I sit at the table, sometimes my hands give way under me and several times I repeat to myself, Hrabal, Hrabal, Bohumil Hrabal, you've victoried yourself away, you've reached the peak of emptiness, as my Lao Tzu taught me, I've reached the peak of emptiness and everything hurts, even the walk to the bus-stop hurts, and the whole bus hurts as well, I lower my guilty-looking eyes, I'm afraid of looking people in the eye, sometimes I cross my palms and extend my wrists, I hold out my hands so that people can arrest me and hand me over to the cops, because I feel guilty even about this once too loud a solitude which isn't loud any longer, because I'm hurt not only by the escalator which takes me down to the infernal regions below, I'm hurt even by the looks of the people travelling up, each of them has somewhere to go, while I've reached the peak of emptiness and don't know where I want to go.
Bohumil Hrabal (Total Fears: Selected Letters to Dubenka)
And what does it amount to?" said Satan, with his evil chuckle. "Nothing at all. You gain nothing; you always come out where you went in. For a million years the race has gone on monotonously propagating itself and monotonously reperforming this dull nonsense--to what end? No wisdom can guess! Who gets a profit out of it? Nobody but a parcel of usurping little monarchs and nobilities who despise you; would feel defiled if you touched them; would shut the door in your face if you proposed to call; whom you slave for, fight for, die for, and are not ashamed of it, but proud; whose existence is a perpetual insult to you and you are afraid to resent it; who are mendicants supported by your alms, yet assume toward you the airs of benefactor toward beggar; who address you in the language of master to slave, and are answered in in the language of slave to master; who are worshiped by you with your mouth, while in your heart--if you have one--you despise yourselves for it. The first man was hypocrite and a coward, qualities which have not yet failed in his line; it is the foundation upon which all civilizations have been built. Drink to their perpetuation! Drink to their augmentation! Drink to--" Then he saw by our faces how much we were hurt, and he cut his sentence short and stopped chuckling...
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories)
This time we weren’t disturbed either by traveling through time or a cheeky gargoyle demon. While “Hallelujah” was running, the kiss was gentle and careful, but then Gideon buried both hands in my hair and held me very close. It wasn’t a gentle kiss anymore, and my reaction surprised me. I suddenly felt very soft and lightweight, and my arms went around Gideon’s neck of their own accord. I had no idea how, but at some point in the next few minutes, still kissing without a break, we landed on the green sofa, and we went on kissing there until Gideon abruptly sat up and looked at his watch. “Like I said, it really is a shame I’m not allowed to kiss you anymore,” he remarked rather breathlessly. The pupils of his eyes looked huge, and his cheeks were definitely flushed. I wondered what I looked like myself. As I’d temporarily mutated into some kind of human blancmange, there was no way I could get out of my half-lying position. And I realized, with horror, that I had no idea how much time had passed since Bon Jovi stopped singing “Hallelujah.” Ten minutes? Half an hour? Anything was possible. Gideon looked at me, and I thought I saw something like bewilderment in his eyes. “We’d better collect our things,” he said at last. “And you need to do something about your hair—it looks as if some idiot has been digging both hands into it and dragging you down on a sofa. Whoever’s back there waiting for us will put two and two together—oh, my God, don’t look at me like that.” “Like what?” “As if you couldn’t move.” “But I can’t,” I said, perfectly seriously. “I’m a blancmange. You’ve turned me into blancmange.” A brief smile brightened Gideon’s face, and then he jumped up and began stowing my school things in my bag. “Come along, little blancmange. Stand up.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
Citizens of Luna, I ask that you stop what you’re doing to listen to this message. My name is Selene Blackburn. I am the daughter of the late Queen Channary, niece to Princess Levana, and the rightful heir to Luna’s throne. You were told that I died thirteen years ago in a nursery fire, but the truth is that my aunt, Levana, did try to kill me, but I was rescued and taken to Earth. There, I have been raised and protected in preparation for the time when I would return to Luna and reclaim my birthright. In my absence, Levana has enslaved you. She takes your sons and turns them into monsters. She takes your shell infants and slaughters them. She lets you go hungry, while the people in Artemisia gorge themselves on rich foods and delicacies. But Levana’s rule is coming to an end. I have returned and I am here to take back what’s mine. Soon, Levana is going to marry Emperor Kaito of Earth and be crowned the empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, an honor that could not be given to anyone less deserving. I refuse to allow Levana to extend her tyranny. I will not stand aside while my aunt enslaves and abuses my people here on Luna, and wages a war across Earth. Which is why, before an Earthen crown can be placed on Levana’s head, I will bring an army to the gates of Artemisia. I ask that you, citizens of Luna, be that army. You have the power to fight against Levana and the people that oppress you. Beginning now, tonight, I urge you to join me in rebelling against this regime. No longer will we obey her curfews or forgo our rights to meet and talk and be heard. No longer will we give up our children to become her disposable guards and soldiers. No longer will we slave away growing food and raising wildlife, only to see it shipped off to Artemisia while our children starve around us. No longer will we build weapons for Levana’s war. Instead, we will take them for ourselves, for our war. Become my army. Stand up and reclaim your homes from the guards who abuse and terrorize you. Send a message to Levana that you will no longer be controlled by fear and manipulation. And upon the commencement of the royal coronation, I ask that all able-bodied citizens join me in a march against Artemisia and the queen’s palace. Together we will guarantee a better future for Luna. A future without oppression. A future in which any Lunar, no matter the sector they live in or the family they were born to, can achieve their ambitions and live without fear of unjust persecution or a lifetime of slavery. I understand that I am asking you to risk your lives. Levana’s thaumaturges are powerful, her guards are skilled, her soldiers are brutal. But if we join together, we can be invincible. They can’t control us all. With the people united into one army, we will surround the capital city and overthrow the imposter who sits on my throne. Help me. Fight for me. And I will be the first ruler in the history of Luna who will also fight for you.
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
You were right to end it with us,” I said harshly. “And I’m not willing to do it again.” He stared at me, shocked. My words were a lie, of course. Part of me wanted to try again, to endure anything to be with him. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Maddie. Couldn’t stop thinking about the hurt she would go through. It was ironic, really. Last time, he’d gone out of his way to hurt me purposely because it was for the greater good. Now I was doing the same for both of them, saving her from heartache and him from more grief with me. We were in an endless cycle. “You can’t mean that. I know you can’t.” His face was a mixture of incredulity and pain. I shook my head. “I do. You and me are a disaster. What we did during this stasis...it was wrong. It was disgraceful. Immoral. We betrayed someone who loves both of us, who wishes nothing but the best for us. How could we do that? What kind of precedent is that? How could we expect to have a solid relationship that was built on that sort of sordid foundation? One that was built on lies and deceit?” Saying those words hurt. It was tarnishing the beauty of these precious few days we had, but I needed to make my case. Seth was silent for several moments as he assessed me. “You’re serious.” “Yes.” I was a good liar, good enough that the person who loved me most couldn’t tell. “Go back to her, Seth. Go back to her and make it up to her.” “Georgina...” I could see it, see it hitting him. The full weight of betraying Maddie was sinking in. His nature couldn’t ignore the wrong he’d done. It was part of his good character, the character that had gone back to save Dante, the character that was going to make him leave me. Again. Hesitantly, he extended his hand to me. I took it, and he pulled me into an embrace. “I will always love you.” My heart was going to burst. How many times, I wondered, could I endure this kind of agony? “No, you won’t,” I said. “You’ll move on. So will I.” Seth left not long after that. Staring at the door, I replayed my own words. You’ll move on. So will I. In spite of how much he loved me, how much he was willing to risk, I truly felt he’d go back to Maddie, that he’d believe what I said. I’d driven home the guilt, made it trump his love for me. You’ll move on. So will I. The unfortunate part about being a good liar, however, was that while I could get other people to believe my words, I didn’t believe them myself.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, #4))
At this stage of the game, I don’t have the time for patience and tolerance. Ten years ago, even five years ago, I would have listened to people ask their questions, explained to them, mollified them. No more. That time is past. Now, as Norman Mailer said in Naked and the Dead, ‘I hate everything which is not in myself.’ If it doesn’t have a direct bearing on what I’m advocating, if it doesn’t augment or stimulate my life and thinking, I don’t want to hear it. It has to add something to my life. There’s no more time for explaining and being ecumenical anymore. No more time. That’s a characteristic I share with the new generation of Satanists, which might best be termed, and has labeled itself in many ways, an ‘Apocalypse culture.’ Not that they believe in the biblical Apocalypse—the ultimate war between good and evil. Quite the contrary. But that there is an urgency, a need to get on with things and stop wailing and if it ends tomorrow, at least we’ll know we’ve lived today. It’s a ‘fiddle while Rome burns’ philosophy. It’s the Satanic philosophy. If the generation born in the 50’s grew up in the shadow of The Bomb and had to assimilate the possibility of imminent self destruction of the entire planet at any time, those born in the 60’s have had to reconcile the inevitability of our own destruction, not through the bomb but through mindless, uncontrolled overpopulation. And somehow resolve in themselves, looking at what history has taught us, that no amount of yelling, protesting, placard waving, marching, wailing—or even more constructive avenues like running for government office or trying to write books to wake people up—is going to do a damn bit of good. The majority of humans have an inborn death wish—they want to destroy themselves and everything beautiful. To finally realize that we’re living in a world after the zenith of creativity, and that we can see so clearly the mechanics of our own destruction, is a terrible realization. Most people can’t face it. They’d rather retreat to the comfort of New Age mysticism. That’s all right. All we want, those few of us who have the strength to realize what’s going on, is the freedom to create and entertain and share with each other, to preserve and cherish what we can while we can, and to build our own little citadels away from the insensitivity of the rest of the world.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close." I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine." "This isn't going to work. It never would have." "Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us." "God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess." A mess? "You 're beautiful." "I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability." "Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability." "But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?" Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open. "Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked. I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you." She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours." To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together." Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose." She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me. I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair. She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might. If immediate intervention would have circumvented the genocide in Rwanda or stopped the Janjaweed in Darfur, would I choose pacifism? Of course not. Scott Simon, the reporter for National Public Radio and a committed lifelong Quaker, has written that it took looking into mass graves in former Yugoslavia to convince him that force is sometimes the only option to deter our species' murderous impulses. While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better. Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing. Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever. Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions. Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them. Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides. Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not. Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to. Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced. Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real. There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla: There is no wrong way to have a body. I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body. And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap. You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real. Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me
Hanne Blank
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.” It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze. Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.” Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor. Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him. He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist. When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch. I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger. He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret. He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.” I nodded my head hesitantly. “First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.” He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.” I sucked in a deep breath. He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.” He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer. “Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed--run over, maimed, destroyed--but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each. Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error,a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime. There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled;it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because any one of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself,I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful. If there was any "sin," it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene deceased To Ray deceased To Francy permanent psychosis To Kathy permanent brain damage To Jim deceased To Val massive permanent brain damage To Nancy permanent psychosis To Joanne permanent brain damage To Maren deceased To Nick deceased To Terry deceased To Dennis deceased To Phil permanent pancreatic damage To Sue permanent vascular damage To Jerri permanent psychosis and vascular damage . . . and so forth. In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))