Try My Best Quotes

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I have tried my best to keep my country alive by writing about it.
Nuruddin Farah
And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.
Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year)
Breckin, this is Holder. Holder is not my boyfriend, but if I catch him trying to break the record for best first kiss with another girl, then he'll soon be my not breathing non-boyfriend.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Ginny, listen...I can't be involved with you anymore. We've got to stop seeing each other. We can't be together." "It's for some stupid noble reason isn't it?" "It's been like...like something out of someone else's life these last few weeks with you. But I can't...we can't...I've got to do things alone now. Voldemort uses people his enemies are close to. He's already used you as bait once, and that was just because you were my best friend's sister. Think how much danger you'll be in if we keep this up. He'll know, he'll find out. He'll try and get me through you." "What if I don't care?" "I care. How do you think I'd feel if this was your funeral...and it was my fault...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
JUDGE: Are you trying to show contempt for this court? MAE WEST: I was doin' my best to hide it.
Mae West
His lips touched mine again, breathing me in like I was his air, then he tore his mouth from mine; panting. "Please Grace, whatever it is you're going after, please try to find it here in me. I will try my best to be the man that you need me to be.
Christine Zolendz (Fall From Grace (Mad World, #1))
That's why I loved being with you. We could do the simplest things, like toss starfish into the ocean and share a burger and talk and even then I knew that I was fortunate. Because you were the first guy who wasn't constantly trying to impress me. You accepted who you were, but more than that, you accepted me for me. And nothing else mattered-- not my family or your family or anyone else in the world. It was just us.
Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me)
The Death Eaters can't all be pure-blood, there aren't enough pure-blood wizards left," said Hermione stubbornly. "I expect most of them are half-bloods pretending to be pure. It's only Muggle-borns they hate, they'd be quite happy to let you and Ron join up" "There is no way they'd let me be a Death Eater!" said Ron indignantly...."My whole family are blood traitors! That's as bad as Muggle-borns to Death Eaters!" "And they'd love to have me," said Harry sarcastically. "We'd be best pals if they didn't keep trying to do me in.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun)
Here's to the kids. The kids who would rather spend their night with a bottle of coke & Patrick or Sonny playing on their headphones than go to some vomit-stained high school party. Here's to the kids whose 11:11 wish was wasted on one person who will never be there for them. Here's to the kids whose idea of a good night is sitting on the hood of a car, watching the stars. Here's to the kids who never were too good at life, but still were wicked cool. Here's to the kids who listened to Fall Out boy and Hawthorne Heights before they were on MTV...and blame MTV for ruining their life. Here's to the kids who care more about the music than the haircuts. Here's to the kids who have crushes on a stupid lush. Here's to the kids who hum "A Little Less 16 Candles, A Little More Touch Me" when they're stuck home, dateless, on a Saturday night. Here's to the kids who have ever had a broken heart from someone who didn't even know they existed. Here's to the kids who have read The Perks of Being a Wallflower & didn't feel so alone after doing so. Here's to the kids who spend their days in photobooths with their best friend(s). Here's to the kids who are straight up smartasses & just don't care. Here's to the kids who speak their mind. Here's to the kids who consider screamo their lullaby for going to sleep. Here's to the kids who second guess themselves on everything they do. Here's to the kids who will never have 100 percent confidence in anything they do, and to the kids who are okay with that. Here's to the kids. This one's not for the kids, who always get what they want, But for the ones who never had it at all. It's not for the ones who never got caught, But for the ones who always try and fall. This one's for the kids who didnt make it, We were the kids who never made it. The Overcast girls and the Underdog Boys. Not for the kids who had all their joys. This one's for the kids who never faked it. We're the kids who didn't make it. They say "Breaking hearts is what we do best," And, "We'll make your heart be ripped of your chest" The only heart that I broke was mine, When I got My Hopes up too too high. We were the kids who didnt make it. We are the kids who never made it.
Pete Wentz
Here I am alive, and it's not my fault, so I have to try and get by as best I can without hurting anybody until death takes over.
Leo Tolstoy (Война и мир)
It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me. When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.
Aldous Huxley (Island)
My formula for life is very simple: in the morning, wake up; at night, go to sleep. In between I try and occupy myself as best I can.
Cary Grant
My best advice is to be yourself. Unless you’re psychotic, then you might want to try a different tactic.
Gwen Hayes (So Over You)
I was told love should be unconditional. That's the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge? I am supposed to love Nick despite all his shortcomings. And Nick is supposed to love me despite my quirks. But clearly, neither of us does. It makes me think that everyone is very wrong, that love should have many conditions. Love should require both partners to be their very best at all times.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I've done my best, and I begin to understand what is meant by 'the joy of strife'. Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
No. Never. I have to try my best or I'll become worse and worse. Even if I can't make up with them. Even if they all ignore me. I still have to try my best.
Natsuki Takaya
It’s the way he had a cup of tea waiting for me when I woke up. It’s the way he turned on his laptop especially for me to look up all my Internet horoscopes and helped me choose the best one. He knows all the crappy, embarrassing bits about me that I normally try to hide from any man for as long as possible… and he loves me anyway.
Sophie Kinsella (Can You Keep a Secret?)
Maybe there were no villains in my mother’s story at all. Just men and women, trying to do their best by each other. And failing.
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Well, I try my best to be just like I am, But everybody wants you to be just like them, They sing while you slave and I just get bored
Bob Dylan
The things that go wrong often make the best memories.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun)
A demigod!" one snarled. "Eat it!" yelled another. But that's as far as they got before I slashed a wide arc with Riptide and vaporized the entire front row of monsters. "Back off!" I yelled at the rest, trying to sound fierce. Behind them stood their instructor--a six-foot tall telekhine with Doberman fangs snarling at me. I did my best to stare him down. "New lesson, class," I announced. "Most monsters will vaporize when sliced with a celestial bronze sword. This change is completely normal, and will happen to you right now if you don't BACK OFF!" To my surprise, it worked. The monsters backed off, but there was at least twenty of them. My fear factor wasn't going to last that long. I jumped out of the cart, yelled, "CLASS DISMISSED!" and ran for the exit.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Where you're concerned, I'll try my best, Ava. I already told you, I've waited too long for you. You're my little piece of heaven. Nothing will rob you from me. Nothing.
Jodi Ellen Malpas (Beneath This Man (This Man, #2))
I was a little worried she might try to drag me off to hell and drain my essence at some point, but I figured that was still better than having Gretchen for a best friend.
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1))
I do my best to please everybody, far more than they'd ever guess. I try to laugh it all off, because I don't want to let them see my trouble.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you're going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life... it's a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world, by keeping it alive in yourself.
Patrick Swayze (The Time of My Life)
Why me?" He said finally. "Are you on some sort of mission to fuck up my life?" "I try my best to avoid you." "You're doing a hell of a job." "I honestly don't mean to cause you problems." "You don't cause problems. An unpiloted vampire causes problems. You cause catastrophes.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
I'm brilliant as well as skilled," he said modestly. "It's a great burden, all of that on top of my angelic good looks. But I try to soldier on as best I can.
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
Zach walked away, but I stood there for a long time, wondering if I should go to my mother; if I should go to my friends; but instead I slipped into the corridors I hadn't used in months, pushed my way through cobwebs and darkness, trying to walk away from the tears that burned hot down my cheeks, because maybe I didn't want to admit weakness; maybe I wanted to wallow in my solitude and grief. Or maybe crying is like everything else we do—it's best if you don't get caught.
Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2))
People often ask me why my style is so simple. It is, in fact, deceptively simple, for no two sentences are alike. It is clarity that I am striving to attain, not simplicity. Of course, some people want literature to be difficult and there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.
Ruskin Bond (Best Of Ruskin Bond)
I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Oh, I see;" said the Tin Woodman. "But, after all, brains are not the best things in the world." Have you any?" enquired the Scarecrow. No, my head is quite empty," answered the Woodman; "but once I had brains, and a heart also; so, having tried them both, I should much rather have a heart.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can’t even remember who he is. “Where am I?” he asks, desperate, and then, “Who am I? Who am I?” And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. “You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. “You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. “You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. “You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. “You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
The guys were totally skuzzy, grinning horribly, showing holes where teeth should be. “Boys, God doesn’t like you,” Fang intoned behind them. Whaaat? I thought, dumbfounded. “Wha!” they said, whirling. At that moment, Fang snapped out his huge wings and shone the penlight under his chin so it raked his cheekbones and eyes. My mouth dropped open. He looked like the angel of death. His dark wings filled the hallway almost to the ceiling, and he moved them up and down. “God doesn’t like bad people,” he said, using a really weird, deep voice. “What the heck?” one of the squatters murmured shallowly, his mouth slack, his eyes bugging out of his head. I whipped my own wings open. Fun, anyway. “This was a test,” I said, using my best spooky voice. “And guess what? You both failed.” The bums stopped dead, looks of horror and amazement on their faces. Then Fang growled, “Rowr!” He stepped forward, sweeping his wings up and down: the avenging demon. I almost cracked up. “Rowr!” I said myself, shaking my wings out. “Ahhhhh!” the guys yelled, backpedaling fast. Unfortunately, they were standing at the top of the staircase. They fell awkwardly, trying to grab each other, and rolled down two flights like lumpy bags of potatoes, shrieking the whole way. Fang and I slapped each other a quick high five—and we were out of there, jack.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
Interviews seem like such artificial situations, everyone on their best behavior trying desperately to hide behind a professional facade. Did my face fit? I shall have to wait and see.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
The six squares of our love didn’t add up to a cube. Still, I took the oddly-shaped box down to the post office and tried to mail it into the future, when I’d be more prepared to open it.

Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
Another fresh new year is here . . . Another year to live! To banish worry, doubt, and fear, To love and laugh and give! This bright new year is given me To live each day with zest . . . To daily grow and try to be My highest and my best! I have the opportunity Once more to right some wrongs, To pray for peace, to plant a tree, And sing more joyful songs!
William Arthur Ward
Daisy said to me that I was trying to find ways to protect my heart but I was doing it wrong. She told me the best way to protect my heart was to trust it to someone who will protect it for me. More silence but his body went completely still. “That’s you. It’s always been you.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
You better think real carefully before you say anything, cateyes, because if you give me your love, I’m not going to let you take it back. I can’t keep worrying about whether or not I can make you happy. I’ll try my best but there isn’t going to be any changing your mind later. Do you understand what I’m saying? If you’re going to be my woman, there’s no way in hell I’ll ever let you go.
Johanna Lindsey (A Heart so Wild (Straton Family #1))
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
That's what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I'm trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it's over and there's one more person in the world who thinks I'm a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I'm going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand on the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don't.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
I know the best moments can never be captured on film, even as I spend nearly half my life trying to do just that.
Rosie O'Donnell
What I have learned so far had been an incredible journey and adventure. I remained in my own character even when I was not well liked. I now enter a room looking for people I may like rather than for those who will like me. There are people who change their demeanor between regular people and professional people. Just try to be who you are consistently and let those closest to you see your best, along with those you work with. People around you should not be the cause of change in your personal character.
Gaylan D. Wright (Slave to the Dream: Everyone’s Dream)
I even tried to tell myself to live my best life today.
John Green
It's Lila--come on, Jack. She might be a little impulsive but that doesn't make her a sociopath.' I swivelled my gaze to Jack, trying my best not to look like a sociopath.
Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila (Lila, #1))
I do look for the good in everyone. I also give them a chance to be their best, and I try to cope with my disappointment when they're not
Laura Taylor (Intimate Strangers)
I tried to give him my best you're-so-sexy-and-I'm-impressed look, but I don't think it worked.
Jessica Verday (The Hollow (The Hollow, #1))
So I'll do that, and I'll do my best and if my best isn't good enough, at least I will have done everything I could, everything that is in me. I don't have to try to be someone else, someone I could never be.
Garth Nix (Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3))
You wouldn’t try to mow your lawn with an electric razor, like it was a green beard, so why would you try to deny the existence of nonexistence?

Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
It's come at last," she thought, "the time when you can no longer stand between your children and heartache. When there wasn't enough food in the house you pretended that you weren't hungry so they could have more. In the cold of a winter's night you got up and put your blanket on their bed so they wouldn't be cold. You'd kill anyone who tried to harm them - I tried my best to kill that man in the hallway. Then one sunny day, they walk out in all innocence and they walk right into the grief that you'd give your life to spare them from.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I'm still willing to continue living with the burden of this memory. Even though this is a painful memory, even though this memory makes my heart ache. Sometimes I almost want to ask God to let me forget this memory. But as long as I try to be strong and not run away, doing my best, there will finally be someday...there will be finally be someday I can overcome this painful memory. I believe I can. I believe I can do it. There is no memory that can be forgotten, there is not that kind of memory. Always in my heart.
Natsuki Takaya
I had become awkward and tried my best to avoid everyone. I hated attention, people asking me questions or putting me in the spotlight; I preferred to blend into the background unnoticed. I felt safer that way
Giovanna Fletcher (Billy and Me)
This is my report on how to live... They say the best way is just to live one day at a time... If you try to live seven days at a time, the week will be over before you know it...
Charles M. Schulz
You have an amazing ability to depress me sometimes, you know that?" "I try my best.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
Look. I don’t want to push you into anything, but do you maybe want to —” “Call Magnus? Look, that’s a dead end, I know you’re trying to be helpful, but —” “—kiss me?” Jace finished. Alec looked as if he were about to fall off his chair. “WHAT? What? What?” “Once what would do.” Jace did his best to look as if this were the sort of suggestion one made all the time. “I think it might help.” Alec looked at him with something like horror. “You don’t mean that.” “Why wouldn’t I mean it?” “Because you’re the straightest person I know. Possibly the straightest person in the universe.” “Exactly,” Jace said, and leaned forward, and kissed Alec on the mouth. The kiss lasted approximately four seconds before Alec pulled forcefully away, throwing his hands up as if to ward Jace off from coming at him again. He looked as if he were about to throw up. “By the Angel,” he said. “Don’t ever do that again.” “Oh yeah?” Jace grinned, and almost meant it. “That bad?” “Like kissing my brother,” said Alec, with a look of horror in his eyes. “I thought you might feel that way.” Jace crossed his arms over his chest. “Also, I’m hoping we can just gloss over all the irony in what you just said.” “We can gloss over whatever you want to,” Alec said fervently. “Just don’t kiss me again.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Who am I? Who am I?” “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.” "And who are you?" "I'm Willem Ragnarsson. And I will never let you go.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
You're trying to find it. You're probably trying to find- the reason that you live- all by yourself. Because...because, in reality, there aren't any people who are born with reasons to live. I think that...that everyone has to find their reason to live. A reason to live. A reason to say that it's okay to be here. A reason for being. Everyone must find out and then decide. Maybe in a dream, or in a job, or in a person. "The reason" you find might be unclear, uncertain, and unstable. Even though you may lose it, I want to have a reason for as long as I live. I also want one. And then, if it's possible, I want to find it in somebody's heart. I want to be able to live for someone. I hope that someday, someone would tell me, 'You can think of it that way.' At times I want to give up, but I try my best. That's why...that's why it's okay, for sure, to be shameless. Because if you lead a bold life, someday you might meet someone with whom you'll want to eat takoyaki together.
Natsuki Takaya
I’ll tug at your breasts like a thirsty child. Try not to burn your nipples in my hot coffee. While you’re at it, I also like sugar in my coffee.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
You are everything good in my life. Even when I thought all I had was the darkness, you were there. And you gave me something to live for. I couldn’t let you go. No matter how hard I tried. I know now that’s because to lose you would be losing the very best part of myself.
A. Meredith Walters (Light in the Shadows (Find You in the Dark, #2))
I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in blurry, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as a starfish loves a coral reef and as a kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fettuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. i will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and as an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of people who talk too much. I will love you as a cufflink loves to drop from its shirt and explore the party for itself and as a pair of white gloves loves to slip delicately into the punchbowl. I will love you as the taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock.
Lemony Snicket
You destroy me." "Juliette," he says and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he's pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death. "I want you," he says. He says "I want all of you. I want you inside and out and catching your breath and aching for me like I ache for you." He says it like it's a lit cigarette lodged in his throat, like he wants to dip me in warm honey and he says "It's never been a secret. I've never tried to hide that from you. I've never pretended I wanted anything less." "You-you said you wanted f-friendship-" "Yes," he says, he swallows, "I did. I do. I do want to be your friend. He nods and I register the slight movement in the air between us. "I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend," he says. "The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette-" "No," I gasp. "Don't-don't s-say that-" "I want to know where to touch you," he says. "I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me." I feel his chest rising, falling, up and down and up and down and "Yes," he says. "I do want to be your friend." He says "I want to be your best friend in the entire world." "I want so many things," he whispers. "I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time." His fingers graze the hem of my top and he says "I want this up." He tugs on the waist of my pants and says "I want these down." He touches the tips of his fingers to the sides of my body and says, "I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it's racing because of me, because you want me. Because you never," he says, he breathes, "never want me to stop. I want every second. Every inch of you. I want all of it." And I drop dead, all over the floor. "Juliette." I can't understand why I can still hear him speaking because I'm dead, I'm already dead, I've died over and over and over again. He swallows, hard, his chest heaving, his words a breathless, shaky whisper when he says "I'm so-I'm so desperately in love with you-
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Advice to my younger self: 1 Start where you are with what you have 2 Try not to hurt other people 3 Take more chances 4 If you fail, keep trying
Germany Kent
So long as you don’t go falling in love with me.” I don’t know why I say it. Call it battlements around my helpless heart. Percy looks away from me fast, shoulders curling up. It almost looks like a flinch. But then he says, “I’ll try my best.” He
Mackenzi Lee (The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1))
This next song is about when you get your heart broken and you try your best to glue it back together and you wake up one morning and you’re so happy because you realize, Oh my God, the tape’s holding!
Sara Quin
that there are many things that we cant understand. the past. the bad things that happened... and we become afraid. of what might happen in the future. its okay to be afraid. but we have to keep hoping and believeing... to keep hoping and trying our best to be good and do good. even when we're afraid
Nafisa Haji (The Writing on My Forehead)
So here's the truth - I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you're not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You're as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what's best in themselves. You've changed my life. You've given me the words I need to become whatever I want. I love how you talk to lytlings. You don't talk down to them. You respect them, and anybody can tell you're actually interested in what they have to say. I love the way you ride a horse – how you stick there like an upland thistle, whooping like a Demonai. I love the way you throw back your head and stomp your feet when you dance. I love how you go after what you want – whether it's kisses or a queendom. I love your skin, like copper dusted over with gold. And your eyes – they're the color of a forest lake shaded by evergreens. One of the secret places that only the Demonai know about. I love the scent of you – when you've been out in the fresh air, and that perfume you put behind your ears sometimes. Believe it or not, I even love your road smell – of sweat and horses and leather and wool. I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4))
Ms. Iparis told me about what you did to her on the streets. How dare you force yourself onto someone of her rank." Ah.Here is what's really bothering him-I guess he found out about the kiss. I can't help grinning,even though my face screams in pain. "Awww. Is that what's got you down? I've seen the way you look at her.You want her bad,yeah? Is that something you're also trying to earn your way up to, trot? Hate to burst your bubble,but I didn't force her into anything." A deep scarlet rage flashes across his face. "She's looking forward to your execution,Mr. Wing. I can guarantee you that." I laugh. "Sore loser,huh? Here,I'll make you feel better. I'll tell you all about what it was like.Hearing about it is the next best thing,isn't it?
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
I always get so overwhelmed trying to do everything perfectly. I can't do a job and not put everything I have into it. I need to be the best employee, the best co-worker, the best whatever. I need everyone to like me and I just burn out bending over backward to make that happen. Having people be mad at me is my worst fear. I can't stand it. There is this crazy fear I have of being rejected by anyone - even people I don't really care about. It's always better to leave them first, cut all ties, and disappear. They can't hurt me that way - no one can.
Nic Sheff (Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines)
Words Be careful of words, even the miraculous ones. For the miraculous we do our best, sometimes they swarm like insects and leave not a sting but a kiss. They can be as good as fingers. They can be as trusty as the rock you stick your bottom on. But they can be both daisies and bruises. Yet I am in love with words. They are doves falling out of the ceiling. They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap. They are the trees, the legs of summer, and the sun, its passionate face. Yet often they fail me. I have so much I want to say, so many stories, images, proverbs, etc. But the words aren't good enough, the wrong ones kiss me. Sometimes I fly like an eagle but with the wings of a wren. But I try to take care and be gentle to them. Words and eggs must be handled with care. Once broken they are impossible things to repair.
Anne Sexton (The Complete Poems)
I’m just going to do my best and live under the assumption that if there are things in this life that we are supposed to do, if there are people in this world we are supposed to love, we’ll find them. In time. The future is so incredibly unpredictable that trying to plan for it is like studying for a test you’ll never take. I’m OK in this moment.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
Once upon a time, I tried to have dinner with my best friend, and the apocalypse happened.
Chloe Neill (Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires, #8))
For a great many people, the evening is the most enjoyable part of the day. Perhaps, then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day. After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
I took another bite of my ice cream as the girl tried to stop the fight. Ice cream and a fight? Best mall trip ever.
Aileen Erin (Becoming Alpha (Alpha Girl, #1))
The way he said her name made my heart cramp. In all my years of word collecting, I've learned this to be a tried and true fact: I can very often tell how much a person loves another person by the way they say their name. I think that's one of the best feelings in the world, when you know your name is safe in another person's mouth. When you know they'll never shout it out like a cuss word, but say it or whisper it like a once-upon-a-time.
Natalie Lloyd (A Snicker of Magic)
Bingo pup. It's a lesson best learned early. They're all afraid of us." He strolled over to Derek. "You're trying to be a good kid, aren't you? You think that'll show them they're wrong. So how'd that working out for you? Guess what? They don't care. To them, you're a monster, and nothing you do--or don't do--will change their minds. My advice? Give 'em what they want. It's a short, brutal life." He smiled. "Live it up." Derek stared straight ahead, patiently waiting. "He can't hear a word I'm saying, can he?" Liam said. "Nope.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
On Waterloo Bridge where we said our goodbyes, the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes. I wipe them away with a black woolly glove And try not to notice I've fallen in love On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think: This is nothing. you're high on the charm and the drink. But the juke-box inside me is playing a song That says something different. And when was it wrong? On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair I am tempted to skip. You're a fool. I don't care. the head does its best but the heart is the boss- I admit it before I am halfway across
Wendy Cope (Serious Concerns)
I slashed a wide arc with Riptide and vaporized the entire front row of monsters. Back off!” I yelled at the rest, trying to sound fierce. Behind them stood their instructor—a six-foot-tall telekhine with Doberman fangs snarling at me. I did my best to stare him down. New lesson, class,” I announced. “Most monsters will vaporize when sliced with a celestial bronze sword. This change is perfectly normal, and will happen to you right now if you don’t BACK OFF!
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Jocelyn,” his voice was rough, like he was struggling to get the words out. “You’re my best friend. My everything. I love you and I want to be with you always. Marry me. I promise to try not to fuck it up if you promise to try not to fuck it up.
Samantha Young (Castle Hill (On Dublin Street, #3.5))
I would've missed out on some of the best moments of my life if I weren't spontaneous. Honestly, I try not to think about the future too much. I'm a huge fan of the present.
Kim Holden (Bright Side (Bright Side, #1))
I try to be confident, always have, but despite my best efforts, sometimes I come off like I'm a total..." "Dick?" I finished for him. "I'm just randomly picking words out of the air. Tell me if you think I'm close.
Michelle Rowen (Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1))
I heard the car door shut and then Fabian's voice. "You won't believe what I found around the edge of your property," the ghost announced. "A cave with prehistoric painting inside it!" I rolled my eyes. That was the best tactic Fabian could come up with? This was a vampire he was trying to stall, not a paleontologist.
Jeaniene Frost (The Bite Before Christmas (Argeneau, #15.5; Night Huntress, #6.5))
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))
Ryodan doesn’t like Mac. He never has. She got between him and his best boy-bud. I give him a look. “I’ll tell you a secret, Ryodan. You mess with her, Barrons’ll kill you.” I drag a finger across my neck. “Just like that. You aren’t all that. Barrons’ll stomp your ass, hand’s down.” He smiles faintly. “I’ll be damned. You have a crush on Barrons.” “I do not have a crush—“ “You do, too. It’s all over your face. Anybody could see it.” “Sometimes, boss, you’re just wrong.” “I’m never wrong. You might as well take out a billboard. ‘Dani O’Malley thinks Jericho Barrons is hot.’ My offer to teach you is still open. Save you from future embarrassment. If I can see it on your face, he can, too. ” “He never figured it out before,” I grumble then realize I just admitted it. Ryodan has a tricky way of wording things that makes you say things you didn’t mean to say. “Maybe I’ll ask Barrons to teach me,” I mutter and turn away from the stairs, heading for his office. I run smack into his chest. “Dude, move. Trying to get somewhere here.” “No one but me is ever going to teach you, Dani.” He touches me before I see it coming, has his hand under my chin, turning my face up. My shiver is instant and uncontrollable. “That’s non-negotiable. You signed a contract with me that grants exclusivity. You won’t like it if you try to break it.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
The things a man has heard and seen are threads of life, and if he pull them carefully from the confused distaff of memory, any who will can weave them into whatever garments of belief please them best. I too have woven my garment like another, but I shall try to keep warm in it, and shall be well content if it do not unbecome me.
W.B. Yeats
Rosie, I'm returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing from this pen and I'm leaving this letter for you so that you don't feel that I'm putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say. I no what's going on, Rosie. You're my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I no that Greg isn't away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Your eyes betray you time and time again. Don't pretend that everything is perfect because I see it isn't. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick. He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with and if you're OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing-on-air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try. I am not scared any more, Rosie. I am not afraid to try. I no what the feeling was at your wedding - it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, a man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me - years stretching ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to. Twice we've stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston. I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh. Always. Please think about it. Don't waste your time on Greg. This is our opportunity. Let's stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I'll make you happy. All my love, Alex
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
And now I was trying to brush my hair,you know,when I thought about it,and looking at myself in mirrors,wondering if I was pretty.Pretty! A year ago,when my haair got in my eyes I hacked it off with a knife.The only thing important about my clothes was whether they were to stiff to move fast in battle. And Fang had been my best friend and an excellent fighter.
James Patterson
To the most inconsiderate asshole of a friend, I’m writing you this letter because I know that if I say what I have to say to your face I will probably punch you. I don’t know you anymore. I don’t see you anymore. All I get is a quick text or a rushed e-mail from you every few days. I know you are busy and I know you have Bethany, but hello? I’m supposed to be your best friend. You have no idea what this summer has been like. Ever since we were kids we pushed away every single person that could possibly have been our friend. We blocked people until there was only me and you. You probably haven’t noticed, because you have never been in the position I am in now. You have always had someone. You always had me. I always had you. Now you have Bethany and I have no one. Now I feel like those other people that used to try to become our friend, that tried to push their way into our circle but were met by turned backs. I know you’re probably not doing it deliberately just as we never did it deliberately. It’s not that we didn’t want anyone else, it’s just that we didn’t need them. Sadly now it looks like you don’t need me anymore. Anyway I’m not moaning on about how much I hate her, I’m just trying to tell you that I miss you. And that well . . . I’m lonely. Whenever you cancel nights out I end up staying home with Mum and Dad watching TV. It’s so depressing. This was supposed to be our summer of fun. What happened? Can’t you be friends with two people at once? I know you have found someone who is extra special, and I know you both have a special “bond,” or whatever, that you and I will never have. But we have another bond, we’re best friends. Or does the best friend bond disappear as soon as you meet somebody else? Maybe it does, maybe I just don’t understand that because I haven’t met that “somebody special.” I’m not in any hurry to, either. I liked things the way they were. So maybe Bethany is now your best friend and I have been relegated to just being your “friend.” At least be that to me, Alex. In a few years time if my name ever comes up you will probably say, “Rosie, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years. We used to be best friends. I wonder what she’s doingnow; I haven’t seen or thought of her in years!” You will sound like my mum and dad when they have dinner parties with friends and talk about old times. They always mention people I’ve never even heard of when they’re talking about some of the most important days of their lives. Yet where are those people now? How could someone who was your bridesmaid 20 years ago not even be someone who you are on talking terms with now? Or in Dad’s case, how could he not know where his own best friend from college lives? He studied with the man for five years! Anyway, my point is (I know, I know, there is one), I don’t want to be one of those easily forgotten people, so important at the time, so special, so influential, and so treasured, yet years later just a vague face and a distant memory. I want us to be best friends forever, Alex. I’m happy you’re happy, really I am, but I feel like I’ve been left behind. Maybe our time has come and gone. Maybe your time is now meant to be spent with Bethany. And if that’s the case I won’t bother sending you this letter. And if I’m not sending this letter then what am I doing still writing it? OK I’m going now and I’m ripping these muddled thoughts up. Your friend, Rosie
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
so here i sit. a sum of the parts. about a third way down this wonderful path, so to speak. and i've been thinking lately about a friendship that fell apart with time, with distance, and with the misunderstanding of youth. i'm trying not to confuse sadness with regret. not the easiest thing at times. i dont regret that certain things happened. i understand that perhaps i had a choice in the matter, or perhaps i believe in fate. probably not, but so far actions as small as the quickest glance to events as monumental as death have pushed me slowly along to right here, right now. there was no other way to get here. the meandering and erratic path was actually the straightest of lines. take away a handful of angry words, things once thought of as mistakes or regrets, and i'm suddenly a different person with a different history, a different future. that, i would regret. so here i sit. thinking about a person i once called my best friends. a man who might be full of sadness and regret, who might not give a damn, or who might, just might, remember the future and realize that's where its at.
Chris Wright
Uh-uh, dude. I tried it your way with the dating and the girls and the kissing and the drama, and man, I didn't like it. Plus, my best friend is a walking cautionary tale of what happens to you when romantic relationships don't involve marriage. Like you always say, kafir, everything ends in breakup, divorce, or death. I want to narrow my misery options to divorce or death - that's all.
John Green (An Abundance of Katherines)
Right now I feel guilty to be alive. Why? Because I’m wasting it. I’ve been given this life and all I do is mope it away. What’s worse is, I am totally aware of how ridiculous I am. It would be a lot easier if I believed I was the center of the universe, because then I wouldn’t know any better NOT to make a big deal out of everything. I know how small my problems are, yet that doesn’t stop me from obsessing about them. I have to stop doing this. How do other people get happy? I look at people laughing and smiling and enjoying themselves and try to get inside their heads. How do Bridget, Manda, and Sara do it? Or Pepe? Or EVERYONE but me? Why does everything I see bother me? Why can’t I just get over these daily wrongdoings? Why can’t I just move on and make the best of what I’ve got? I wish I knew.
Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1))
Then the best thing I can do is—" He froze. The brown eyes that had been narrowed with aggravation suddenly went wide with...what? Amazement? Awe? Or perhaps that stunned feeling I kept having when I saw him? Because suddenly, I was pretty sure he was experiencing the same thing I had earlier. He'd seen me plenty of times in Siberia. He'd seen me just the other night at the warehouse. But now...now he was truly viewing me with his own eyes. Now that he was no longer Strigoi, his whole world was different. His outlook and feelings were different. Even his soul was different. It was like one of those moments when people talked about their lives flashing before their eyes. Because as we stared at one another, every part of our relationship replayed in my mind's eye. I remembered how strong and invincible he'd been when we first met, when he'd come to bring Lissa and me back to the folds of Moroi society. I remembered the gentleness of his touch when he's bandaged my bloodies and bettered hands. I remembered him carrying me in his arms after Victor's daughter Natalie had attacked me. Most of all, I remembered the night we'd been together in the cabin, just before the Strigoi had taken him. A year. We'd known each other only a year but we'd lived a lifetime in it. And he was realizing that too, I knew as he studied me. His gaze was all-powerful, taking in every single one of my features and filing them away. Dimly, I tried to recall what I looked like today. I still wore the dress from the secret meeting and knew it looked good on me. My eyes were probably bloodshot from crying earlier, and I'd only had time for a quick brushing of my hair before heading off with Adrian. Somehow, I doubted any of it mattered. The way Dimitri was looking at me...it confirmed everything I'd suspected. The feelings he'd had for me before he'd been turned-the feelings that had become twisted while a Strigoi—were all still there. They had to be. Maybe Lissa was his savior. Maybe the rest of the Court thought she was a goddess. I knew, right then, that no matter how bedraggled I looked or how blank he tried to keep his face, I was a goddess to him.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
All of my lower-middle-class Boston issues rose to the surface. I don’t like it when bratty, privileged old white guys speak to me like I am their mouthy niece. I got that amazing feeling you get when you know you are going to lose it in the best, most self-righteous way. I just leaned back and yelled, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOU.” Then I chased him as he tried to get away from me.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I shudder to think. I might wear lace collars and laugh flower petals and pearls. People might try to pat me. I see them think it. My height triggers the puppy-kitten reflex- Must touch-and I've found that since you can't electrify yourself like a fence, the next best thing is to have murderer's eyes.
Laini Taylor (Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5))
God preserve you, my dear boy, from ever asking forgiveness for a fault from a woman you love. From one you love especially, however greatly you may have been in fault. For a woman--devil only knows what to make of a woman: I know something about them, anyway. But try acknowledging you are in fault to a woman. Say, "I am sorry, forgive me," and a shower of reproaches will follow! Nothing will make her forgive you simply and directly, she'll humble you to the dust, bring forward things that have never happened, recall everything, forget nothing, add something of her own, and only then forgive you. And even the best, the best of them do it. She'll scrape up all the scrapings and load them on your head. They are ready to flay you alive, I tell you, every one of them, all these angels without whom we cannot live! I tell you plainly and openly, dear boy, every decent man ought to be under some woman's thumb. That's my conviction--not conviction, but feeling. A man ought to be magnanimous, and it's no disgrace to a man! No disgrace to a hero, not even a Caesar! But don't ever beg her pardon all the same for anything...
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
You’ve seen me at my worst. Maybe you should see me at my best.” My words hang between us, heavy and charged, and I don’t know what the fuck I am doing. “When are you at your best?” she asks hesitantly. And I can see from the determined look on her face that she is trying hard not to feel intimidated. I’m impressed. She’s like a kitten standing up to a lion. “In bed.
Courtney Cole (If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1))
There have always been people like you, Nicholas Flamel. People who think they know what's best, who decide what people should see and read and listen to, who ultimately try to shape how the rest of the world think and acts. I've spent my entire life fighting the likes of you.
Michael Scott (The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #3))
You couldn't find nobody more pig-headed if you tried, he says. An she's always thinkin she knows best, even when she don't, especially when she don't. She's prickly and stubborn an everythin you'd put at the bottom of a list if you was makin a... a list of that kind. Which I aint. I didn't. But? says Molly. But ohmigawd Molly, she shines so bright, he says. The fire of life burns so strong in her. I never realized till I met her... I bin cold my whole life, Moll. I know, she says softly. It's jest that... aw, hell. She thinks I'm a better man than I really am. Well, yer a better man than you think you are.
Moira Young (Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2))
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate. Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader. That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations. Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies? Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge. The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
China Miéville
I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent. The indifference is the deadweight of history. The indifference operates with great power on history. The indifference operates passively, but it operates. It is fate, that which cannot be counted on. It twists programs and ruins the best-conceived plans. It is the raw material that ruins intelligence. That what happens, the evil that weighs upon all, happens because the human mass abdicates to their will; allows laws to be promulgated that only the revolt could nullify, and leaves men that only a mutiny will be able to overthrow to achieve the power. The mass ignores because it is careless and then it seems like it is the product of fate that runs over everything and everyone: the one who consents as well as the one who dissents; the one who knew as well as the one who didn’t know; the active as well as the indifferent. Some whimper piously, others curse obscenely, but nobody, or very few ask themselves: If I had tried to impose my will, would this have happened? I also hate the indifferent because of that: because their whimpering of eternally innocent ones annoys me. I make each one liable: how they have tackled with the task that life has given and gives them every day, what have they done, and especially, what they have not done. And I feel I have the right to be inexorable and not squander my compassion, of not sharing my tears with them. I am a partisan, I am alive, I feel the pulse of the activity of the future city that those on my side are building is alive in their conscience. And in it, the social chain does not rest on a few; nothing of what happens in it is a matter of luck, nor the product of fate, but the intelligent work of the citizens. Nobody in it is looking from the window of the sacrifice and the drain of a few. Alive, I am a partisan. That is why I hate the ones that don’t take sides, I hate the indifferent.
Antonio Gramsci
Well, I’m an abridger, so I’m entitled to a few ideas of my own. Did they make it? Was the pirate ship there? You can answer it for yourself, but, for me, I say yes it was. And yes, they got away. And got their strength back and had lots of adventures and more than their share of laughs. But that doesn’t mean I think they had a happy ending, either. Because, in my opinion, anyway, they squabbled a lot, and Buttercup lost her looks eventually, and one day Fezzik lost a fight and some hot-shot kid whipped Inigo with a sword and Westley was never able to really sleep sound because of Humperdinck maybe being on the trail. I’m not trying to make this a downer, understand. I mean, I really do think that love is the best thing in the world, next to cough drops. But I also have to say, for the umpty-umpth time, that life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
I am trying to see things in perspective. My dog wants a bite of my peanut butter chocolate chip bagel. I know she cannot have this, because chocolate makes dogs very sick. My dog does not understand this. She pouts and wraps herself around my leg like a scarf and purrs and tries to convince me to give her just a tiny bit. When I do not give in, she eventually gives up and lays in the corner, under the piano, drooping and sad. I hope the universe has my best interest in mind like I have my dog’s. When I want something with my whole being, and the universe withholds it from me, I hope the universe thinks to herself: "Silly girl. She thinks this is what she wants, but she does not understand how it will hurt.
Blythe Baird
Obstinate are the trammels, but my heart aches when I try to break them. Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed. I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend, but I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room. The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death; I hate it, yet hug it in love. My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet when I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.
Rabindranath Tagore
And your people tried to kill my best friend, so you'll forgive me if I'm not overly keen on learning the secret handshake." She shook her head sadly. "You should be going on dates and hanging out at the mall. Not wearing stakes on your belt." I shrugged one shoulder. "The mall sucks.
Alyxandra Harvey (My Love Lies Bleeding (Drake Chronicles, #1))
I didn't invent the rainy day, man. I just own the best umbrella. That’s one of my favorite lines of all time. It’s from a movie called Almost Famous. I think what it means is that life is going to throw all kinds of stuff at you, good and bad. But all you can do is get out there and try to stay dry.
Valerie Thomas (From What I Remember...)
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
So can I ask…?” I waved my hands vaguely. I didn’t have the words. “How it does work?” She smirked. “As long as you don’t ask me to represent every gender-fluid person for you, okay? I’m not an ambassador. I’m not a teacher or a poster child. I’m just”—she mimicked my hand-waving—“me. Trying to be me as best I can.
Rick Riordan (The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2))
I said that I am in love with you. I've tried not to be, I really have, but it's just useless. I know you don't feel the same way about me, but I had to tell you because... well, you're all I think about. All the time. I miss you every second that you're not with me... and I know you won't want to be around me anymore, but, Camilla... you're one of the best friends I've ever had. You're smart and amazing and weird and probably the most beautiful person I've ever seen... and before I met you, all I wanted was just to fast-forward through everything. But, really, I think my life was just paused, or something. You... made me press play. You made everything move. And no matter where you go, or whatever you feel about me... I will love you forever for that.
Melissa Keil (Life in Outer Space)
I met a girl in a U-Haul. A beautiful girl And I fell for her. I fell hard. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way. Life definitely got in my way. It got all up in my damn way, Life blocked the door with a stack of wooden 2x4's nailed together and attached to a fifteen inch concrete wall behind a row of solid steel bars, bolted to a titanium frame that no matter how hard I shoved against it- It wouldn't budge. Sometimes life doesn't budge. It just gets all up in your damn way. It blocked my plans, my dreams, my desires, my wishes, my wants, my needs. It blocked out that beautiful girl That I fell so hard for. Life tries to tell you what's best for you What should be most important to you What should come in first Or second Or third. I tried so hard to keep it all organized, alphabetized, stacked in chronological order, everything in its perfect space, its perfect place. I thought that's what life wanted me to do. This is what life needed for me to do. Right? Keep it all in sequence? Sometimes, life gets in your way. It gets all up in your damn way. But it doesn't get all up in your damn way because it wants you to just give up and let it take control. Life doesn't get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to hand it all over and be carried along. Life wants you to fight it. It wants you to grab an axe and hack through the wood. It wants you to get a sledgehammer and break through the concrete. It wants you to grab a torch and burn through the metal and steel until you can reach through and grab it. Life wants you to grab all the organized, the alphabetized, the chronological, the sequenced. It wants you to mix it all together, stir it up, blend it. Life doesn't want you to let it tell you that your little brother should be the only thing that comes first. Life doesn't want you to let it tell you that your career and your education should be the only thing that comes in second. And life definitely doesn't want me To just let it tell me that the girl I met, The beautiful, strong, amazing, resilient girl That I fell so hard for Should only come in third. Life knows. Life is trying to tell me That the girl I love, The girl I fell So hard for? There's room for her in first. I'm putting her first.
Colleen Hoover
Sometimes I think of atoms as tiny people who are extremely scared and hold hands with each other a lot. I imagine that my body is made of tiny, scared people, and they pick up mugs and books, which are made of other tiny, scared people. And when you sex someone it's just lots of tiny, scared people holding hands. I think about the tiny people that are me and I feel less alone. I'm an army of tiny people, trying their best.
Ben Brooks (Lolito)
My feet are always cold. I'm a vampire," he said in a teasing voice, almost as if he was trying to chase away Holiday's somberness. "And if I remember correctly, you complained about that last night." He slowed down and slipped his arm around Holiday. "Marrying you doesn't scare me a bit. It's the best thing that could ever happen to me. I'd never run out on you. I'll be the first one to the church.
C.C. Hunter (Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls, #5))
I’m afraid of committing myself,” she thought to herself. “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” “Don’t bother trying to explain your emotions. Live everything as intensely as you can and keep whatever you felt as a gift from God. The best way to destroy the bridge between the visible and invisible is by trying to explain your emotions.” “But how will I know who my Soulmate is?” Brida felt that this was one of the most important questions she had ever asked in her life. “By taking risks” she said to Brida. ‘ By risking failure, disappointment, disillusion, but never ceasing in you search for Love. As long as you keep looking, you will triumph in the end.” Nothing is completely wrong. Even a broken watch is right twice a day.
Paulo Coelho (Brida)
When my dad died, it was like everything felt really shaky, you know? And trying to be the best I could be, it gave me something to focus on. If I could just do everything right, then I was safe.' I couldn't believe I was saying this, not ere, at a party packed with classates and strangers. In fact, I couldn't imagine saying it anywhere, really, except in my own head where it somehow made sense. 'That sucks, though,' Wes said finally, his voice low. 'You're jsut setting yourself up to fail, because you'll never get everything perfect.' 'Says who?' He just looked at me. 'The world,' he said, gsturing all around us, as if the party, the deck encompassed it all. 'The universe. There's just no way.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
I realized that I don't want to try to change you in order to be with you. That's not fair to you. And I deserve to share my life with someone who's on the same path as me, and right now, that's not you. But I need you to know that you have been such a strength and a comfort to me when I had nothing and," I started to cry, "I love you so much. You truly are my best friend. I don't want to have to imagine my world without you in it. But if following my truth creates that, then know that I will always love you no matter what you choose to do with your life.
The Hippie
I missed her so much I wanted to die: a hard, physical longing, like a craving for air underwater. Lying awake, I tried to recall all my best memories of her—to freeze her in my mind so I wouldn’t forget her—but instead of birthdays and happy times I kept remembering things like how a few days before she was killed she’d stopped me halfway out the door to pick a thread off my school jacket. For some reason, it was one of the clearest memories I had of her: her knitted eyebrows, the precise gesture of her reaching out to me, everything. Several times too—drifting uneasily between dreaming and sleep—I sat up suddenly in bed at the sound of her voice speaking clearly in my head, remarks she might conceivably have made at some point but that I didn’t actually remember, things like Throw me an apple, would you? and I wonder if this buttons up the front or the back? and This sofa is in a terrible state of disreputableness.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Good to meet you, Patrick," Will said. "And thank you for the...advice." "Oh, just trying to help my girlfriend get the best out of her job," he said. "That's all." There was a definite emphasis on the word my. "Well, you're a lucky man," Will said, as Nathan began to steer him out. "She certainly gives a good bed bath." The words came out so quickly that the door was closed before Patrick even realized what he had said.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
I keep trying to forget, but I must remember. And gather the scattered continents of a self, once whole. Before they plant flags and boundary my destiny. Push down the watered mountains that blemish this soiled soul before the valleys of my conscience get the best of me. I'll need a passport just to simply reach the rest of me. A vaccination for a lesser god's bleak history.
Saul Williams
I am not a finished poem, and I am not the song you’ve turned me into. I am a detached human being, making my way in a world that is constantly trying to push me aside, and you who send me letters and emails and beautiful gifts wouldn’t even recognise me if you saw me walking down the street where I live tomorrow for I am not a poem. I am tired and worn out and the eyes you would see would not be painted or inspired but empty and weary from drinking too much at all times and I am not the life of your party who sings and has glorious words to speak for I don’t speak much at all and my voice is raspy and unsteady from unhealthy living and not much sleep and I only use it when I sing and I always sing too much or not at all and never when people are around because they expect poems and symphonies and I am not a poem but an elegy at my best but unedited and uncut and not a lot of people want to work with me because there’s only so much you can do with an audio take, with the plug-ins and EQs and I was born distorted, disordered, and I’m pretty fine with that, but others are not.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
An odd by-product of my loss is that I’m aware of being an embarrassment to everyone I meet. At work, at the club, in the street, I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not. I hate it if they do, and if they don’t. Some funk it altogether. R. has been avoiding me for a week. I like best the well brought-up young men, almost boys, who walk up to me as if I were a dentist, turn very red, get it over, and then edge away to the bar as quickly as they decently can. Perhaps the bereaved ought to be isolated in special settlements like lepers.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
It's after school, after my double detentions for gym and chemistry, and I'm at Knead, about to begin working on a new piece. I wedge the clay out against my board, enjoying the therapeutic quality of each smack, prod, and punch. As the clay oozes between my fingers and pastes against my skin, images of all sorts begin to pop into my head. I try my best to push them away,to focus instead on the cold and clammy sensation of the mound and the way it helps me relax. But after only a few short minutes of solitude, I hear someone storm their way up the back stairwell. At first I think it's Spencer, but then I hear the voice: "I'm coming up the stairs," Adam bellows. "I'm approaching the studio area, about to pass by the sink." I turn to look, noticing he's standing only a few feet behind me now. "I hope I didn't startle you this time," he says. "Ha-ha." I hold back my smile. "I would have called your cell to tell you I was coming up, but you never gave me your number." "I'm fine," I assure him, unable to stifle a giggle.
Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Lies (Touch, #2))
Here's another poem, like all others before and after, dedicated to you. There isn't anything left to be said but I will spend my life trying to put you into words. You who is every goodness, every optimism and hope. Your love is a better fate for me than anything I could wish for. If you are a part of me, then you’re the best part. And if you're separate from me, then you are my destination. But I’ve become a weary traveller, so please, let us never be apart.
Kamand Kojouri
I do my best to simplify and refine, to be logical and harmonious. But I also try to keep an open mind, to listen to my intuition and allow for the unexpected, the coincidental, even the quirky to enter into my work. Ultimately, my aim is to entertain, and sometimes to enlighten, the child who still lives inside of me. This is always where I begin. And just as in my boyhood, making pictures is how I express my truest feelings.
Eric Carle
I think about how there are certain people who come into your life, and leave a mark. I don’t mean the usual faint impression: he was cute, she was nice, they made me laugh, I wish I’d known her better, I remember the time she threw up in class. And I don’t just mean that they change you. A lot of people can change you – the first kid who called you a name, the first teacher who said you were smart., the first person who crowned you best friend. It’s the change you remember, the firsts and what they meant, not really the people. Ethan changed me, for instance, but the longer we are apart the more he sort of recedes into the distance as a real person and in his place is a cardboard cutout that says first boyfriend. I’m talking about the ones who, for whatever reason are a part of you as your own soul. Their place in your heart is tender; a bruise of longing, a pulse of unfinished business. My mom was right about that. Just hearing their names pushes and pulls at you in a hundred ways, and when you try to define those hundred ways, describe them even to yourself, words are useless. If you had a lifetime to talk, there would still be things left unsaid.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
I sat there for several moments, trying to decide how best I should respond. None of the advice I'd gotten from the books or my friends really prepared me for how to handle discussions about alternative energy sources. One of the books - one I'd chosen not to finish - had a decidedly male-centric view that said women should always make men feel important on dates. I suspected that Kristin and Julia's advice right now would have been to laugh and toss my hair - and not let the discussion progress. But I just couldn't do that. "You're wrong," I said.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might. When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology. The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim. I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study. ...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
You need to come with us right now," one of the queen's guards said. "If you resist, we'll take you by force." "Leave him alone!" I yelled, looking from face to face. That angry darkness exploded within me. How could they still not believe? Why were they still coming after him? "He hasn't done anything! Why can't you guys accept that he's really a dhampir now?" The man who'd spoken arched an eyebrow. "I wasn't talking to him." "You're...you're here for me?" I asked. I tried to think of any new spectacles I might have caused recently. I considered the crazy idea that the queen had found out I'd spent the night with Adrian and was pissed off about it. That was hardly enough to send the palace guard for me, though...or was it? Had I really gone too far with my antics? "What for?" demanded Dimitri. That tall, wonderful bod of his—the one that could be so sensual sometimes—was filled with tension and menace now. The man kept his gaze on me, ignoring Dimitri. "Don't make me repeat myself: Come with us quietly, or we will make you." The glimmer of handcuffs showed in his hands. My eyes went wide. "That's crazy! I'm not going anywhere until you tel me how the hell this—" That was the point at which they apparently decided I wasn't coming quietly. Two of the royal guardians lunged for me, and even though we technically worked for the same side, my instincts kicked in. I didn't understand anything here except that I would not be dragged away like some kind of master criminal. I shoved the chair I'd been sitting in earlier at the one of the guardians and aimed a punch at the other. It was a sloppy throw, made worse because he was taller than me. That height difference allowed me to dodge his next grab, and when I kicked hard at his legs, a grunt told me I'd hit home. [...] Meanwhile, other guardians were joining the fray. Although I got a couple of good punches in, I knew the numbers were too overwhelming. One guardian caught hold of my arm and began trying to put the cuffs on me. He stopped when another set of hands grabbed me from the other side and jerked me away. Dimitri. "Don't touch her," he growled. There was a note in his voice that would have scared me if it had been directed toward me. He shoved me behind him, putting his body protectively in front of mine with my back to the table. Guardians came at us from all directions, and Dimitri began dispatching them with the same deadly grace that had once made people call him a god. [...] The queen's guards might have been the best of the best, but Dimitri...well, my former lover and instructor was in a category all his own. His fighting skills were beyond anyone else's, and he was using them all in defense me. "Stay back," he ordered me. "They aren't laying a hand on you.
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
The Standover Man. all my life, I've been scared of men standing over me. I suppose my first standover man was my father, but he vanished before I could remember him. For some reason when I was a boy, I liked to fight. a lot of the time, I lost. Another boy, sometimes with blood falling from his nose, would be standing over me. Many years later, I needed to hide. I tried not to sleep because I as afraid of who might be there when I woke up. But I was lucky. It was always my friend.When I was hiding. I dreamed of a certain man. The hardest was when I traveled to find him. Out of sheer luck and many footsteps, I made it. I slept there for a long time. Three days, they told me...and what did I find when I woke up? Not a man, but someone else standing over me. As time passed by the girl and I realized we had things in common. But there is one strange thing. The girl says I look like something else. Now I live in a basement. Bad dreams still live in my sleep. One night, after my usual nightmare, a shadow stood above me. She said, "Tell me what you dream of." So I did. In return, she explained what her own dreams were made of. Now I think we are friends, this girl and me. It was she who gave me a gift - to me. It makes me understand that the best standover man I've ever known is not a man at all...
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Where am I?" Magnus croaked. "Nazca." "Oh, so we went on a little trip." "You broke into a man's house," Catarina said. "You stole a carpet and enchanted it to fly. Then you sped off into the night air. We pursued you on foot." "Ah," said Magnus. "You were shouting some things." "What things?" "I prefer not to repeat them," Catarina said. "I also prefer not to remember the time we spent in the desert. It is a mammoth desert, Magnus. Ordinary deserts are quite large. Mammoth deserts are so called because they are larger than ordinary deserts." "Thank you for that interesting and enlightening information," Magnus croaked. "You told us to leave you in the desert, because you planned to start a new life as a cactus," Catarina said, her voice flat. "Then you conjured up tiny needles and threw them at us. With pinpoint accuracy." "Well," he said with dignity. "Considering my highly intoxicated state, you must have been impressed with my aim." "'Impressed' is not the word to use to describe how I felt last night, Magnus." "I thank you for stopping me there," Magnus said. "It was for the best. You are a true friend. No harm done. Let's say no more about it. Could you possibly fetch me - " "Oh, we couldn't stop you," Catarina interrupted. "We tried, but you giggled, leaped onto the carpet, and flew away again. You kept saying that you wanted to go to Moquegua." "What did I do in Moquegua?" "You never got there," Catarina said. "But you were flying about and yelling and trying to, ahem, write messages for us with your carpet in the sky." "We then stopped for a meal," Catarina said. "You were most insistent that we try a local specialty that you called cuy. We actually had a very pleasant meal, even though you were still very drunk." "I'm sure I must have been sobering up at that point," Magnus argued. "Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your own plate." "I'm a very open-minded sort of fellow!" "Ragnor is not," Catarina said. "When he found out that you were feeding us guinea pigs, he hit you over the head with your plate. It broke." "So ended our love," Magnus said. "Ah, well. It would never have worked between me and the plate anyway. I'm sure the food did me good, Catarina, and you were very good to feed me and put me to bed - " Catarina shook her head."You fell down on the floor. Honestly, we thought it best to leave you sleeping on the ground. We thought you would remain there for some time, but we took our eyes off you for one minute, and then you scuttled off. Ragnor claims he saw you making for the carpet, crawling like a huge demented crab.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
The Doors The End This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend The end of our elaborate plans The end of ev'rything that stands The end No safety or surprise The end I'll never look into your eyes again Can you picture what will be So limitless and free Desperately in need of some strangers hand In a desperate land Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain And all the children are insane All the children are insane Waiting for the summer rain There's danger on the edge of town Ride the king's highway Weird scenes inside the goldmine Ride the highway West baby Ride the snake Ride the snake To the lake To the lake The ancient lake baby The snake is long Seven miles Ride the snake He's old And his skin is cold The west is the best The west is the best Get here and we'll do the rest The blue bus is calling us The blue bus is calling us Driver, where you taking us? The killer awoke before dawn He put his boots on He took a face from the ancient gallery And he walked on down the hall He went into the room where his sister lived And then he paid a visit to his brother And then he walked on down the hall And he came to a door And he looked inside Father? Yes son I want to kill you Mother, I want to............. Come on, baby, take a chance with us Come on, baby, take a chance with us Come on, baby, take a chance with us And meet me at the back of the blue bus This is the end, beautiful friend This is the end, my only friend The end It hurts to set you free But you'll never follow me The end of laughter and soft lies The end of nights we tried to die This is the end
Jim Morrison (The Doors: The Complete Lyrics)
Fury wagged his tail and smiled wickedly, then tried to look up Bride’s dress. Vane caught him quickly by the neck. “Stop!” he snarled mentally to Fury. “Or I’ll rip your head off.” Bride frowned at them. “Don’t you like my wolf?” “Yeah,” Van said, patting him roughly on the head. “He’s my new best friend.” “I’m your only friend, dickhead.” Vane balled his fist in the wolf’s fur as a warning to him. “You know you have to be firm with wolves. Let them know who the alpha is.” “Your father?” Vane smacked Fury’s head. “Ow!”
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Play (Dark-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #1))
The Armful For every parcel I stoop down to seize I lose some other off my arms and knees, And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns, Extremes too hard to comprehend at. once Yet nothing I should care to leave behind. With all I have to hold with hand and mind And heart, if need be, I will do my best. To keep their building balanced at my breast. I crouch down to prevent them as they fall; Then sit down in the middle of them all. I had to drop the armful in the road And try to stack them in a better load.
Robert Frost
I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good. To be admired, loved, and respected. To have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy. My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Little Women #1))
Lord, set a guard over my lips today and search my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any evil way in me and lead me in the way everlasting (Ps. 139:23–24). If there is anything in my life that displeases You, Father, remove it in Jesus’s name. Circumcise my heart, and cause my desires and my words to line up with Yours. In Jesus’s name, amen. January 8 REAP WHAT YOU SOW For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. —HOSEA 8:7, ESV What occupies your mind determines what eventually fills your mouth. Your outer world showcases all that has dominated—and at times subjugated—your inner world. Are you aware of the true meaning of the things you are speaking out? As the prophet Hosea remarked, each one of us must take responsibility for what we experience in life. We are the sum total of every choice we have ever made or let happen. If you do not like where you are, you are only one thought away from turning toward the life you desire. Father, make me more aware of the power of my words today. I declare that my season of frustration is over. As I guard my tongue, my life is changing for the best. In the name of Jesus I declare that everything this season should bring to me must come forth. Every invisible barrier must be destroyed. I declare that I am a prophetic trailblazer. I am taking new territory spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and professionally. I decree and declare that You are opening
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Here's to the kids. This one's not for the kids, who always get what they want, But for the ones who never had it at all. It's not for the ones who never got caught, But for the ones who always try and fall. This one's for the kids who didnt make it, We were the kids who never made it. The Overcast girls and the Underdog Boys. Not for the kids who had all their joys. This one's for the kids who never faked it. We're the kids who didn't make it. They say "Breaking hearts is what we do best," And, "We'll make your heart be ripped of your chest" The only heart that I broke was mine, When I got My Hopes up too too high. We were the kids who didnt make it. We are the kids who never made it.
Pete Wentz
And Jazz snapped. He didn't snap the way a normal person might snap. A normal person would fling his arms around and stomp his feet and rant at the top of his lungs, bellowing to the sky. There might be tears, from a normal person. Jazz went quiet. He darted out one hand and grabbed the wrist of the paramedic who had been trying to cuff him and pulled the man close, holding his gaze. In a moment, he channeled every last drop of (his father). "Who am I? I'll tell you. I'm the local psychopath, and if you don't save my best friend's life, I will hunt down everyone you've ever cared about in your life and make you watch while I do things to them that will have you begging me to kill them. That's who I am.
Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers (I Hunt Killers, #1))
But I realized something. About art. And psychiatry. They're both self-perpetuating systems. Like religion. All three of them promise you a sense of inner worth and meaning, and spend a lot of time telling you about the suffering you have to go through to achieve it. As soon as you get a problem in any one of them, the solution it gives is always to go deeper into the same system. They're all in rather uneasy truce with one another in what's actually a mortal battle. Like all self-reinforcing systems. At best, each is trying to encompass the other two and define them as sub-groups. You know: religion and art are both forms of madness and madness is the realm of psychiatry. Or, art is the study and praise of man and man's ideals, so therefore a religious experience just becomes a brutalized aesthetic response and psychiatry is just another tool for the artist to observe man and render his portraits more accurately. And the religious attitude I guess is that the other two are only useful as long as they promote the good life. At worst, they all try to destroy one another. Which is what my psychiatrist, whether he knew it or not, was trying, quite effectively, to do to my painting. I gave up psychiatry too, pretty soon. I just didn't want to get all wound up in any systems at all.
Samuel R. Delany (Dhalgren)
You’re right,” Jacks said. “You’re not part of my world. You’re not one of those girls. And maybe that’s why.” “Why what?” “Why I can’t stop thinking about you.” Maddy rolled her eyes. “Guys like you don’t say that to girls like me.” “I’ve never said that to anyone, actually,” Jacks corrected. “In fact, I’ve never done anything like this before.” He let out a little laugh. “How am I doing?” He swallowed hard, trying to push down his nervousness. He was astonished to realize he was nervous. Somehow being around Maddy just put him in a different space. Jacks felt so present. Maddy stared at him, letting the anger and frustration surge through her. “Why are you doing this to me?” she asked finally. He paused, considering. “I’m being honest. I know you may not believe me. But I haven’t been able to not think about you. When we were in the back at the restaurant, and . . .” Jacks’s voice trailed off, his face coloring. “I still feel terrible about what I did. I lied to you and, even though I had good reasons for it, it was wrong of me.” Maddy studied him. Was he telling the truth? Jacks smiled. “I mean this in the best possible way: I’m not going to leave you alone until you let me make it up to you. I’m serious. I’ll be here every night. You might as well get me some pajamas and a toothbrush.” Despite her best efforts not to, Maddy laughed. She looked at Jacks and could see the faintest twinkle of light in his eyes. “So what you’re saying is that I should just give in and let you make it up to me. Otherwise you’ll be tormenting me like this for the rest of my life?” “Pretty much. Yeah.” “Well.” She sighed. “What do you have in mind?” “Come fly with me.
Scott Speer (Immortal City (Immortal City, #1))
In the shower today I tried to think about the best advice I'd ever been given by another writer. There was something that someone said at my first Milford, about using style as a covering, but sooner or later you would have to walk naked down the street, that was useful... And then I remembered. It was Harlan Ellison about a decade ago. He said, "Hey. Gaiman. What's with the stubble? Every time I see you, you're stubbly. What is it? Some kind of English fashion statement?" "Not really." "Well? Don't they have razors in England for Chrissakes?" "If you must know, I don't like shaving because I have a really tough beard and sensitive skin. So by the time I've finished shaving I've usually scraped my face a bit. So I do it as little as possible." "Oh." He paused. "I've got that too. What you do is, you rub your stubble with hair conditioner. Leave it a couple of minutes, then wash it off. Then shave normally. Makes it really easy to shave. No scraping." I tried it. It works like a charm. Best advice from a writer I've ever received.
Neil Gaiman
I squint my eyes and glare at him. “I don’t have a crush on Quinn anymore.” He raises a golden eyebrow. “No?” I shake my head. “No.” “Why is that?” I stare at him long and hard, trying to decide what to say. Should I be downright, painfully honest? I’ve always found that the best way to be, so I nod. “Two words.” He waits. “Dante. Giliberti.” I hear him suck in his breath and I smile. Sometimes, honesty is refreshing and so very worth it. “Me?” He sounds so surprised, as though he doesn’t know that he is practically a living breathing Adonis. I nod. “You.” He studies me again and I fight the need to fidget as I wait for his reaction. After a minute of nerve-wracking silence, he finally answers. “So, will you keep the bracelet?” I nod. “Can I kiss you again?” I nod. So he does.
Courtney Cole (Dante's Girl (The Paradise Diaries, #1))
I should like to make life beautiful--I mean everybody's life. And then all this immense expense of art, that seems somehow to lie outside life and make it no better for the world, pains one. It spoils my enjoyment of anything when I am made to think that most people are shut out from it." I call that the fanaticism of sympathy," said Will, impetuously. "You might say the same of landscape, of poetry, of all refinement. If you carried it out you ought to be miserable in your own goodness, and turn evil that you might have no advantage over others. The best piety is to enjoy--when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth's character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight--in art or in anything else. Would you turn all the youth of the world into a tragic chorus, wailing and moralising over misery? I suspect that you have some false belief in the virtues of misery, and want to make your life a martyrdom.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
You're asking yourself, Can I give this child the best possible upbringing and keep her out of harm's way her whole life long? The answer is no, you can't. But nobody else can either. Not a state home, that's for sure. For heaven's sake, the best they can do is turn their heads while the kids learn to pick locks and snort hootch, and then try to keep them out of jail. Nobody can protect a child from the world. That's why it's the wrong thing to ask, if you're really trying to make a decision." So what's the right thing to ask?" Do I want to try? Do I think it would be interesting, maybe even enjoyable in the long run, to share my life with this kid and give her my best effort and maybe, when all's said and done, end up with a good friend.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Bean Trees (Greer Family, #1))
Ayame: In fact, perhaps it would be easier if we just discussed me instead. Yuki: What would be the point in that? Ayame: Oh, in that case, I should be prepared to talk about why I chose this lyrical professional overflowing with fantasy! It's because I wanted to create something. Even I, who have a charisma that wafts of noble refinement, have times when I lose confidence! Ans so I had this uncontrollable urge to try making something. Anything, it didn't matter what. It just so happened that dress-making suited me best.... I just wanted to make sure that I had the power to make something. Maybe I wanted to know if I could create something with my own hands. If there could be something that couldn't exist without me.
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 8)
He pressed another kiss to her lips as he took her hand into his. "I'm sorry for being a jerk last night and almost making the biggest mistake of my life. I was afraid of hurting you. I know what I am and I also know you deserve a guy that can spoil you rotten and take you to all the nice places that you deserve. I-" "Jason, I don't care about those things," she said softly. He shook his head stubbornly. "It doesn't mean that you don't deserve them, but if you give me a chance to make up for my past stupidity, and I'm not just talking about with you, I promise that I will do my best to make you happy." "Jason-" "I want to try this. You and me, I mean. I know I'll most likely fuck up along the way and you'll want to ring my neck, but I want to try. I'll do my best not to hurt you.
R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1))
I just make the best book that I can and try to not worry about audience or if it will sell. The odds are against you, so why abuse your talent for the sake of a chimera? The only real pleasure for me in writing comes from pleasing myself. What readers think is interesting and illuminating (and it may even be correct), but that is nothing compared to the excitement of seeing a world develop. Besides, even though I like most individuals I meet, I have a pretty low opinion of people in general. So if I were to write for people in general, I would have to drastically lower my estimation of the intelligence of my reader. Rather than doing that, I write the way it seems the book has to appear. I don’t think that’s egotistic. There are often things I would like to include in my books—things about me personally and other materials—that I feel I have to leave out because they aren’t relevant to the book. I’m fairly ruthless along those lines, because I try to let nothing come in the way of what’s best for the book. If that means that the book won’t sell or that a publisher won’t buy it, then that’s my problem. I’ll suffer for that, but I won’t let the book suffer for it.
William T. Vollmann
He gave her a quick devastating kiss, then drew back, the look in his eyes making her melt. "You know what I want? I want to enjoy you, Chloe. Everything about you, for the rest of my life. Learn all the miracles that make you who you are. Be your best friend, your lover, your everything. I'll worship you, protect you and love you til the day I die. And then I'll defy whatever higher powers are out there to try and keep me away from you, because I won't even let death come between us." "Wow," she whispered, completely dazzled. "And you're going to marry me." "Her eyes went wide, "I am?" "Oh, yeah," he breathed out.
Rhyannon Byrd (Touch of Temptation (Primal Instinct, #6))
For a while, I'll think obsessively about her, I'll become embittered, I'll bore my friend because all I ever talk about is my wife leaving me. I'll try to justify what happened, spend days and nights reviewing every moment spent by her side, I'll conclude that she was too hard on me, even though I always tried to do my best. I'll find other women. When I walk down the street, I'll keep seeing women who could be her. I'll suffer day and night, night and day. This could take weeks, months, possibly a year or more... Until one morning, I'll wake up and find I'm thinking about something else, and then I'll know the worst is over. My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and became capable of seeing the beauty of life once more. It's happened before, it will happen again, I'm sure. When someone leaves, it's because someone else is about to arrive--I'll find love again.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
Dear Son, I would call you by name, but I’m waiting for your mother to decide. I only hope she is joking when she calls you Albert Dalbert. For weeks now I have watched your mother zealously gather her tokens for this box. She’s so afraid of you not knowing anything about her, and it bothers me greatly that you’ll never know her strength firsthand. I’m sure by the time you read this, you’ll know everything I do about her. But you’ll never know her for yourself and that pains me most of all. I wish you could see the look on her face whenever she talks to you. The sadness she tries so hard to hide. Every time I see it, it cuts through me. She love you so much. You’re all she talks about. I have so many orders from her for you. I’m not allowed to make you crazy the way I do your Uncle Chris. I’m not allowed to call the doctors every time you sneeze and you are to be allowed to tussle with your friends without me having a conniption that someone might bruise you. Nor am I to bully you about getting married or having kids. Ever. Most of all, you are allowed to pick your own car at sixteen. I’m not supposed to put you in a tank. We’ll see about that one. I refuse to promise her this last item until I know more about you. Not to mention, I’ve seen how other people drive on the roads. So if you have a tank, sorry. There’s only so much changing man my age can do. I don’t know what our futures will hold. I only hope that when all is said and done, you are more like your mother than you are like me. She’s a good woman. A kind woman. Full of love and compassion even though her life has been hard and full of grief. She bears her scars with a grace, dignity, and humor that I lack. Most of all, she has courage the likes of which I haven’t witnessed in centuries. I hope with every part of me that you inherit all her best traits and none of my bad ones. I don’t really know what more to say. I just thought you should have something of me in here too. Love, Your father (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
I just want you to know, before I make my promises, that I'm super stubborn. You already know I'm hard to live with, and you've made it clear on dozens of occasions that I drive you crazy. And I'm sure I've driven anyone who's watched these last few months crazy with my indecision and uncertainty. But I want you to know that whatever love is, this has got to be it. We were best friends first, and we tried not to fall in love, and we did anyway. If you're not with me, it's not where I want to be. I'm in this. I'm with you. We might be impulsive, and absolutely insane to be standing here at our age, six months after we met. This whole thing might play out to be a completely wonderful, beautiful disaster, but I want that if it's with you.
Jamie McGuire (A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful, #2.5))
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak—not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we’ve legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Are you sure that’s a real spell?’ said the girl. ‘Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and its all worked for me. Nobody in my family’s magic at all. It was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard – I’ve learnt all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough – I’m Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?’ She said all this very fast. Harry looked at Ron, and was relieved to see by his stunned face that he hadn’t learned all the course books by heart either. ‘I’m Ron Weasley,’ Ron muttered. ‘Harry Potter,’ said Harry. ‘Are you really?’ said Hermione. ‘I know all about you, of course – I got a few extra books for background reading, and you’re in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.’ ‘Am I?’ said Harry, feeling dazed. ‘Goodness, didn’t you know, I’d have found out everything I could if it was me,’ said Hermione.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1))
Babe, best wool men ever pulled was lettin’ women think we think with our dicks. We pay a fuckuva lot of attention. We know your shit maybe more than you do because we live it right along with you and some of you try to make us eat it. It’s just that some of us choose not to get sucked in the drama and instead focus on getting laid regularly.” I felt my eyes get big right before I wrapped my arms around him and started giggling, but I managed to push through my giggles, “Honey, not sure you should share the brotherhood’s secrets.” “You talk, no woman will listen. They prefer to think a man’s brain is in his dick. Gives ’em something to bitch about.
Kristen Ashley (Fire Inside (Chaos, #2))
Did they all live happily ever after? They did not. No one ever does, in spite of what the stories may say. They had their good days, as you do, and they had their bad days, and you know about those. They had their victories, as you do, and they had their defeats, and you know about those, too. There were times when they felt ashamed of themselves, knowing that they had not done their best, and there were times when they knew they had stood where their God had meant them to stand. All I'm trying to say is that they lived as well as they could, each and every one of them; some lived longer than others, but all lived well, and bravely, and I love them all, and am not ashamed of my love.
Stephen King (The Eyes of the Dragon)
You promised to be on your best behavior,” I reminded him, breathless. “You kissed me,” he growled. His voice had gone very deep. “Well, but you started it by kissing my neck.” “True. I hadn't planned that.” His sultry voice, paired with those blazing eyes, told me I needed to get away from him. I hurried to the end of the bed, where I jumped off and began to pace back and forth, yanking out my loose hairband and pulling my hair back into a tight ponytail. I tried hard not to think about the taste of his lips. I'd had my first kiss, and I'd never be the same. “Why did you stop?” he asked. “Because you were moving on to other things.” He scratched his chin and cheek. “Hmm, moved too quickly. Rookie mistake.” I crossed my arms again, watching him speculate internally like a coach outlining a play that had gone wrong. Incredible. Then he sized me up in his sights again. “But I can see you still want me.” I gave him my meanest stare, but it was hard to look at him. Gosh, he was hot! And a total player. The kiss meant nothing to him. “Oh,” he said with mock sadness, “there it goes. Mad instead? Well, sort of. You can't seem to muster a really good anger—” “Stop it!” “Sorry, was I saying that out loud?” “I can read people, too, you know. Well, not you, but at least I have the decency to try not to notice, to give them some sort of emotional privacy!” “Yes, how very decent of you.” He hadn't moved from his languid position on my bed. I leaned forward, grabbing a pillow and throwing it at him. “Pillow fight?” He raised an eyebrow. “Get off my bed. Please. I'm ready to go to sleep.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
I watched them tearing a building down, A gang of men in a busy town. With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell, They swung a beam, and the side wall fell. I asked the foreman: "Are these skilled-- And the men you'd hire if you had to build?" He gave me a laugh and said: "No, indeed! Just common labor is all I need. I can wreck in a day or two What builders have taken a year to do." And I thought to myself as I went my way, Which of these roles have I tried to play? Am I a builder who works with care Measuring life by a rule and square? Am I shaping my deeds to a well made Plan, Patiently doing the best I can? Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town Content with the labor of tearing down?
Edgar A. Guest
Quinn and Lisa He pulled her to her feet. "Let's go home." "Sure." "Want to ride double?" "On your horse?" "I promise Thunder will be on his best behavior." "Quinn, he has no manners. He tried to take a nip out of my hat yesterday." He groaned. "He didn't." She held it out. "Look at it. You can see the teeth marks." "Lizzy, you promised not to make a pet out of my horse." "What?" "He's falling in love with you." She burst out laughing at his grim pronouncement. "I'm serious," Quinn insisted. "What have you been feeding him?" "I wasn't supposed to?" "Lizzy." "Sugar cubes. He likes them." "You're hopeless, you know that?" "I didn't mean to." He wrapped his arm around her shoulders. "Sure you didn't. Please remember the cattle are sold as beef. This is a working ranch." "Quinn-" she couldn't resist-"even the pretty little ones?
Dee Henderson
I cling to him, wishing I could ease his pain. I wish I could take his burdens and make them mine. "It's weird, isn't it?" he says. "What is?" "If we were naked right now, I'd be dead." "Shut up," I say, laughing against his chest. We're both wearing long sleeves, long pants. As long as my face and hands don't touch his skin, he's perfectly safe. "Well, it's true." "In what alternate universe would I ever be naked with you?" "I am just saying," he says. "Shit happens. You never know." "I think you need a girlfriend." "Nah," he says. "I just need a hug from my friend." I lean back to look at him. Try to read his eyes. "You're my best friend, Kenji. You know that, right?" "Yeah, kid." He grins at me. "I do. And I can't believe I got stuck with your skinny ass.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
I nodded. “Where’s your hunter?” She flinched. “He went home. We thought it would be best.” Her eyes went from worried to warning. “He’s under Drake protection.” “So am I, or so I’ve been led to understand.” “Of course you are,” Lucy said, her nose pressed to the window. “Misunderstanding. No big deal.” Solange quirked a half smile. “You might try complete sentences, Lucy.” “Can’t. Busy.” I was curious despite myself. “What are you doing?” “Drooling,” Solange explained fondly. “I totally am,” Lucy admitted, unrepentant. “Just look at them.” Lucy moved over to give me space. She was watching five of the seven Drake boys repairing the outside wall of the farmhouse, under our window." "Solange leaned back against the wall, bored. “Are you done yet?” “Hell no,” Lucy said. She’d left nose prints on the glass. Nicholas smirked up at her. She blushed. “Ooops. Busted.” “I told you they could hear your heartbeat,” Solange said. “Even from up here.” “I can’t help it. Even if they all know they’re pretty and are insufferably arrogant,” she added louder. “Can they hear that?” “Yes.” “Good.” She glanced at me. “Yummy, right?” “I’m sure Isabeau would rather recover, not ogle my brothers,” Solange said. “You remember how stressed you were after the Hypnos?” “Please,” Lucy scoffed. “This is totally soothing.
Alyxandra Harvey (Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles, #2))
Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And sometimes it just manifest itself even if you not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think. Sorrow, lord. Feeling like shit. It? I ast. Yeah, It. God ain't a he or a she, but a It. But what do it look like? I ast. Don't look like nothing, she say. It ain't a picture show. It ain't something you can look at apart from anything else, including yourself. I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you've found It. Shug a beautiful something, let me tell you. She frown a little, look out cross the yard, lean back in her chair, look like a big rose. She say, My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds. Then other people. But one day when I was sitting quiet and feeling like a motherless child, which I was, it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can't miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh. Shug! I say. Oh, she say. God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like. God don't think it dirty? I ast. Naw, she say. God made it. Listen, God love everything you love? and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration. You saying God vain? I ast. Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. What it do when it pissed off? I ast. Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. Yeah? I say. Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect. You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say. Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk? Well, us talk and talk bout God, but I'm still adrift. Trying to chase that old white man out of my head. I been so busy thinking bout him I never truly notice nothing God make. Not a blade of corn (how it do that?) not the color purple (where it come from?). Not the little wildflowers. Nothing. Now that my eyes opening, I feels like a fool. Next to any little scrub of a bush in my yard, Mr. ____s evil sort of shrink. But not altogether. Still, it is like Shug say, You have to git man off your eyeball, before you can see anything a'tall. Man corrupt everything, say Shug. He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. Whenever you trying to pray, and man plop himself on the other end of it, tell him to git lost, say Shug. Conjure up flowers, wind,water, a big rock. But this hard work, let me tell you. He been there so long, he don't want to budge. He threaten lightening, floods and earthquakes. Us fight. I hardly pray at all. Every time I conjure up a rock, I throw it. Amen
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
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))
Like you? I go out of here every morning… bust my butt…putting up with them crackers everyday…cause I like you? You about the biggest fool I ever saw. It’s my JOB. It’s my RESPONSIBILITY! You understand that? A man got to take care of his family. You live in my house… sleep on my bed clothes…fill you belly up with my food… cause you my son. You my flesh and blood. Not ‘cause I like you! Cause it’s my duty to take care of you. I OWE a responsibility to you! Let’s get this straight right here… before it go along any further… I ain’t got to like you. Mr. Rand don’t five me money come payday cause he likes me. He gives me cause he OWE me. I done give you everything I had to give you. I gave you your life! Me and your mama worked that out between us. And liking your black ass wasn’t part of the bargain. Don’t try and go through life worrying about if somebody like you or not. You best be making sure they doing right by you. You understand what I’m saying, boy?” - August Wilson, Fences, 1986.
August Wilson (Fences (The Century Cycle #6))
When I walk into [the studio] I am alone, but I am alone with my body, ambition, ideas, passions, needs, memories, goals, prejudices, distractions, fears. These ten items are at the heart of who I am. Whatever I am going to create will be a reflection of how these have shaped my life, and how I've learned to channel my experiences into them. The last two -- distractions and fears -- are the dangerous ones. They're the habitual demons that invade the launch of any project. No one starts a creative endeavor without a certain amount of fear; the key is to learn how to keep free-floating fears from paralyzing you before you've begun. When I feel that sense of dread, I try to make it as specific as possible. Let me tell you my five big fears: 1. People will laugh at me. 2. Someone has done it before. 3. I have nothing to say. 4. I will upset someone I love. 5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind. "There are mighty demons, but they're hardly unique to me. You probably share some. If I let them, they'll shut down my impulses ('No, you can't do that') and perhaps turn off the spigots of creativity altogether. So I combat my fears with a staring-down ritual, like a boxer looking his opponent right in the eye before a bout. 1. People will laugh at me? Not the people I respect; they haven't yet, and they're not going to start now.... 2. Someone has done it before? Honey, it's all been done before. Nothing's original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself. 3. I have nothing to say? An irrelevant fear. We all have something to say. 4. I will upset someone I love? A serious worry that is not easily exorcised or stared down because you never know how loved ones will respond to your creation. The best you can do is remind yourself that you're a good person with good intentions. You're trying to create unity, not discord. 5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind? Toughen up. Leon Battista Alberti, the 15th century architectural theorist, said, 'Errors accumulate in the sketch and compound in the model.' But better an imperfect dome in Florence than cathedrals in the clouds.
Twyla Tharp (The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life)
In the movie I was played by an actor who actually looked more like me than the character the author portrayed in the book: I wasn't blond, I wasn't tan, and neither was the actor. I also suddenly became the movie's moral compass, spouting AA jargon, castigating everyone's drug use and trying to save Julian. (I'll sell my car," I warn the actor playing Julian's dealer. "Whatever it takes.") This was slightly less true of Blair's character, played by a girl who actually seemed like she belonged in our group-- jittery, sexually available, easily wounded. Julian became the sentimentalized version of himself, acted by a talented, sad-faced clown, who has an affair with Blair and then realizes he has to let her go because I was his best bud. "Be good to her," Julian tells Clay. "She really deserves it." The sheer hypocrisy of this scene must have made the author blanch. Smiling secretly to myself with perverse satisfaction when the actor delivered that line, I then glanced at Blair in the darkness of the screening room.
Bret Easton Ellis (Imperial Bedrooms)
Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain. Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it. Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.
Antwone Quenton Fisher (Finding Fish: A Memoir)
He rolled his eyes and took my hand. His hand was hard and calloused, tough with muscle and old scars. The night settled around us like a blanket. I could hear the water lapping against the dock. We were totally alone. “You’re . . . ,” he began, and I waited, heart throbbing in my throat. “Such a pain,” he concluded. “What?” I asked, just as his head swooped in and his mouth touched mine. I tried to speak, but one of Fang’s hands held the back of my head, and he kept his lips pressed against me, kissing me softly but with a Fanglike determination. Oh, jeez, I thought distractedly. Jeez, this is Fang, and me, and . . . Fang tilted his head to kiss me more deeply, and I felt totally lightheaded. Then I remembered to breathe through my nose, and the fog cleared a tiny bit. Somehow we were pressed together, Fang’s arms around me now, sliding under my wings, his hands flat against my back. It was incredible. I loved it. I loved him. It was a total disaster. Gasping, I pulled back. “I, uh—,” I began oh so coherently, and then I jumped up, almost knocking him over, and raced down the dock. I took off, flying fast, like a rocket.
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
You're the best man I ever met," I said. "I only meant...it's such a strain, to try and live for two people. To try to make them fit your ideas of what's right...You do it for a child, of course, you have to, but even then, it's dreadfully hard work. I couldn't do it for you - it would be wrong even to try." I'd taken him back more than a little. He sat for some moments, his face turned half away. Do ye really think me a good man?" he said at last. There was a queer note in his voice, that I couldn't quite decipher. Yes," I said, with no hesitation. Then added, half jokingly, "Don't you?" After a long pause, he said, quite seriously, "No, I shouldna think so." I looked at him speechless, no doubt with my mouth hanging open. I am a violent man, and I ken it well," he said quietly. He spread his hands out on his knees; big hands, which could wield a sword and dagger with ease, or choke the life from a man. " So do you - or ye should." You've never done anything you weren't forced to do!" No?" I don't think so." I said, but even as I spoke, a shadow of doubt clouded my words. Even when done from the most urgent necessity, did such things not leave a mark on the soul? {Claire Fraser & Jamie Fraser. Drums of Autumn}
Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
My Sabine, I just left your room. You were so beautiful lying there sound asleep that I couldn’t bear to wake you. But I’m not feeling so great and there are things I promised to tell you that I fear I may not get the chance to. I know you had once hoped that I would be the one to pass on your letters to Maddie once you were gone. But, as it turns out, I think it is going to be me who ends up leaving the letters behind. Be mad at me. You should. But after that try to understand that I did what I thought was best. I wanted to tell you. So many times I snuck down to your room planning on telling you everything, but I just couldn’t. Partly it was for you – yes. You needed time and I didn’t want to influence your choices, even once I realised what was happening between us, even more so then. Falling in love with you only made those choices more complicated and I feared that you might choose to stay for me and then, after I was gone, change your mind. I couldn’t let that happen. Partly the choice was selfish, and for that I am sorry. For so long now people have been trying to fix me, but where they failed, you succeeded. You’ve given me more life in the last couple of weeks that I’ve had in years. Being with you, loving you, making memories with you, fearing for you, wanting to show you the beauty of life instead of the terror – it was bittersweet, but more importantly Sabine, it was real. I know this is the part when I beg you to go on, live your life and be happy. But I don’t need to say those things. I know you. Your lives will be extraordinary. You certainly made mine feel that way. Please find it in your heart to forgive me one day. I wish we had more time, but I want to thank you – for giving me life in my time of death. My love for you is eternal. Ethan.
Jessica Shirvington (Between the Lives)
So often, we're told that women's stories are unimportant. After all, what does it matter what happens in the main room, in the kitchen, or in the bedroom? Who cares about the relationships between mother, daughter, and sister? A baby's illness, the sorrows and pains of childbirth, keeping the family together during war, poverty, or even in the best of days are considered small and insignificant compared with the stories of men, who fight against nature to grow their crops, who wage battles to secure their homelands, who struggle to look inward in search of the perfect man. We're told that men are strong and brave, but I think women know how to endure, accept defeat, and bear physical and mental agony much better than men. The men in my life—my father, Z.G., my husband, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and my son—faced, to one degree or another, those great male battles, but their hearts—so fragile—wilted, buckled, crippled, corrupted, broke, or shattered when confronted with the losses women face every day...Our men try to act strong, but it is May, Yen-yen, Joy, and I who must steady them and help them bear their pain, anguish, and shame.
Lisa See (Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1))
Have you ever been to Florence?” asked Dr. Igor. “No.” “You should go there; it’s not far, for that is where you will find my second example. In the cathedral in Florence, there’s a beautiful clock designed by Paolo Uccello in 1443. Now, the curious thing about this clock is that, although it keeps time like all other clocks, its hands go in the opposite direction to that of normal clocks.” “What’s that got to do with my illness?” “I’m just coming to that. When he made this clock, Paolo Uccello was not trying to be original: The fact is that, at the time, there were clocks like his as well as others with hands that went in the direction we’re familiar with now. For some unknown reason, perhaps because the duke had a clock with hands that went in the direction we now think of as the “right” direction, that became the only direction, and Uccello’s clock then seemed an aberration, a madness.” Dr. Igor paused, but he knew that Mari was following his reasoning. “So, let’s turn to your illness: Each human being is unique, each with their own qualities, instincts, forms of pleasure, and desire for adventure. However, society always imposes on us a collective way of behaving, and people never stop to wonder why they should behave like that. They just accept it, the way typists accepted the fact that the QWERTY keyboard was the best possible one. Have you ever met anyone in your entire life who asked why the hands of a clock should go in one particular direction and not in the other?” “No.” “If someone were to ask, the response they’d get would probably be: ‘You’re crazy.’ If they persisted, people would try to come up with a reason, but they’d soon change the subject, because there isn’t a reason apart from the one I’ve just given you. So to go back to your question. What was it again?” “Am I cured?” “No. You’re someone who is different, but who wants to be the same as everyone else. And that, in my view, is a serious illness.” “Is wanting to be different a serious illness?” “It is if you force yourself to be the same as everyone else. It causes neuroses, psychoses, and paranoia. It’s a distortion of nature, it goes against God’s laws, for in all the world’s woods and forests, he did not create a single leaf the same as another. But you think it’s insane to be different, and that’s why you chose to live in Villete, because everyone is different here, and so you appear to be the same as everyone else. Do you understand?” Mari nodded. “People go against nature because they lack the courage to be different, and then the organism starts to produce Vitriol, or bitterness, as this poison is more commonly known.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
I hurried out of the lobby and turned the corner into the English hall, so I didn’t see the guy in front of me until it was too late. “Oh!” I exclaimed as we bumped shoulders. “Sorry!” Then I realized who I’d bumped into, and I immediately regretted my apologetic tone. If I’d known it was David Stark, I would have tried to hit him harder, or maybe stepped on his foot with the spiky heel of my new shoes for good measure. I did my best to smile at him, though, even as I realized my stomach was jumping all over the place. He must have scared me more than I’d thought. David scowled at me over the rims of his ridiculous hipster glasses, the kind with the thick black rims. I hate those. I mean, it’s the 21st century. There are fashionable options for eyewear. “Watch where you’re going,” he said. Then his lips twisted in a smirk. “Or could you not see through all that mascara?” I would’ve loved nothing more than the tell him to kiss my ass, but one of the responsibilities of being a student leader at The Grove is being polite to everyone, even if he is a douchebag who wrote not one, but three incredibly unflattering articles in the school paper about what a crap job you’re doing as SGA president. And you especially needed to be polite to said douchebag when he happened to be the nephew of Saylor Stark, President of the Pine Grove Junior League, head of the Pine Grove Betterment Society, Chairwoman of the Grove Academy School Board, and, most importantly, Founder and Organizer of Pine Grove’s Annual Cotillion. So I forced myself to smile even bigger at David and said, “Nope, just in a hurry. Are you, uh… are you here for the dance?” He snorted. “Um, no. I’d rather slam my testicles in a locker door. I have some work to do on the paper.
Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1))
Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about controlabout who is snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship's bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don't want just to make sure it's kept from my kid; I want to make sure it's kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: "If it's bad for me and my family, it's bad for everyone's family." Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out of school libraries as a result of this idea, I'm never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don't get mad, get even. Don't spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don't walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they're trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that's exactly what you need to know.
Stephen King
Had I catalogued the downsides of parenthood, "son might turn out to be a killer" would never have turned up on the list. Rather, it might have looked something like this: 1. Hassle. 2. Less time just the two of us. (Try no time just the two of us.) 3. Other people. (PTA meetings. Ballet teachers. The kid's insufferable friends and their insufferable parents.) 4. Turning into a cow. (I was slight, and preferred to stay that way. My sister-in-law had developed bulging varicose veins in her legs during pregnancy that never retreated, and the prospect of calves branched in blue tree roots mortified me more than I could say. So I didn't say. I am vain, or once was, and one of my vanities was to feign that I was not.) 5. Unnatural altruism: being forced to make decisions in accordance with what was best for someone else. (I'm a pig.) 6. Curtailment of my traveling. (Note curtailment. Not conclusion.) 7. Dementing boredom. (I found small children brutally dull. I did, even at the outset, admit this to myself.) 8. Worthless social life. (I had never had a decent conversation with a friend's five-year-old in the room.) 9. Social demotion. (I was a respected entrepreneur. Once I had a toddler in tow, every man I knew--every woman, too, which is depressing--would take me less seriously.) 10. Paying the piper. (Parenthood repays a debt. But who wants to pay a debt she can escape? Apparently, the childless get away with something sneaky. Besides, what good is repaying a debt to the wrong party? Only the most warped mother would feel rewarded for her trouble by the fact that at last her daughter's life is hideous, too.)
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
We got hungry around three in the morning, and ordered a ton of pizza from an all-night pizza place. Afterward, Blake talked a guy into letting him borrow his skateboard, and he once again entertained all of us. If it had wheels, Blake could work it. “Is he your boyfriend?” a girl behind me asked. I turned to the group of girls watching Blake. They were all coifed and beautiful in their bikinis, not having gone in the water. My wet hair was pulled back in a ponytail by this point and I was wrapped in a towel. “No, he’s my boyfriend’s best friend. We’re watching his place while he’s . . . out of town.” A pang of fear jabbed me when I thought about Kai. “What’s your name?” asked a brunette with glossy lips. “Anna.” I smiled. “Hey. I’m Jenny,” she said. “This is Daniela and Tara.” “Hey,” I said to them. “So, your boyfriend lives here?” asked the blonde, Daniela. She had a cool accent—something European. “Yes,” I answered, pointing up to his apartment. The girls all shared looks, raising their sculpted eyebrows. “Wait,” said Jenny. “Is he that guy in the band?” The third girl, named Tara, gasped. “The drummer?” When I nodded, they shared awed looks. “Oh my gawd, don’t get mad at me for saying this,” said Jenny, “but he’s a total piece of eye candy.” Her friends all laughed. “Yum drum,” whispered Tara, and Daniela playfully shoved her. Jenny got serious. “But don’t worry. He, like, never comes out or talks to anyone. Now we know why.” She winked at me. “You are so adorable. Where are you from?” “Georgia.” This was met with a round of awwws. “Hey, you’re a Southern girl,” said Tara. “You should like this.” She held out a bottle of bourbon and I felt a tug toward it. My fingers reached out. “Maybe just one drink,” I said. Daniela grinned and turned up the music. Fifteen minutes and three shots later I’d dropped my towel and was dancing with the girls and telling them how much I loved them, while they drunkenly swore to sabotage the efforts of any girl who tried to talk to my man.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
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))
we begin to notice besides our particular sinful act, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in the cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not creat the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.
C.S. Lewis
EDMUND *Then with alcoholic talkativeness You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! *He grins wryly. It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death! TYRONE *Stares at him -- impressed. Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right. *Then protesting uneasily. But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death. EDMUND *Sardonically The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Give me the strongest cheese, the one that stinks best; and I want the good wine, the swirl in crystal surrendering the bruised scent of blackberries, or cherries, the rich spurt in the back of the throat, the holding it there before swallowing. Give me the lover who yanks open the door of his house and presses me to the wall in the dim hallway, and keeps me there until I’m drenched and shaking, whose kisses arrive by the boatload and begin their delicious diaspora through the cities and small towns of my body. To hell with the saints, with martyrs of my childhood meant to instruct me in the power of endurance and faith, to hell with the next world and its pallid angels swooning and sighing like Victorian girls. I want this world. I want to walk into the ocean and feel it trying to drag me along like I’m nothing but a broken bit of scratched glass, and I want to resist it. I want to go staggering and flailing my way through the bars and back rooms, through the gleaming hotels and weedy lots of abandoned sunflowers and the parks where dogs are let off their leashes in spite of the signs, where they sniff each other and roll together in the grass, I want to lie down somewhere and suffer for love until it nearly kills me, and then I want to get up again and put on that little black dress and wait for you, yes you, to come over here and get down on your knees and tell me just how fucking good I look. - “For Desire
Kim Addonizio
I don't get it?" she asked "I don't get it? Let me tell you something about what I get. You think you're so smart? I spent three years on a full academic scholarship at the best college-prep school in the country. And when they kicked me out I had to petition-petition!-to keep them from wiping out my four-point-oh transcript." Daniel moved away, but Luce pursued him, taking a step forward for every wide-eyed step he took back. Probably freaking him out, but so what? He'd been asking for it every time he condescended to her. "I know Latin and French, and in middle school, I won the science fair three years in a row." She had backed him up against the railing of the boardwalk and was trying to restrain herself from poking him in the chest with her finger. She wasn't finished. "I also do the Sunday crossword puzzle, sometimes in under an hour. I have an unerringly good sense of direction... though not always when it comes to guys." She swallowed and took a moment to catch her breath. "And someday, I'm going to be a psychiatrist who actually listens to her patients and helps people. Okay? So don't keep talking to me like I'm stupid and don't tell me I don't understand just because I can't decode your erratic, flaky, hot-one-minute-cold-the-next, frankly"-she looked up at him, letting out her breath-"really hurtful behavior." She brushed a tear away, angry with herself for getting so worked up.
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
Harry’s letter to his daughter: If I could give you just one thing, I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it. The truth is simply this: No one owes you anything. Significance How could such a simple statement be important? It may not seem so, but understanding it can bless your entire life. No one owes you anything. It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel. When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be. It means no one has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you, so that you’ll be loved even more. When people do things for you, it’s because they want to — because you, in some way, give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything. No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes others happy so they’ll want to be near you. No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either. Living your Life No one owes you anything. You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them. Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problem your problem. Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts. If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friends’ respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them. My Experience A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out —physically and emotionally — trying to collect them. No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy, or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do. That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects, and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring me what I want. And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. And I can save the important relationships for th
Harry Browne
As if I didn't have enough to worry about. My kingdom is threatened by war, extinction, or both, and the only way to solve it is to give up the only thing I've ever really wanted. Then Toraf pulls something like this. Betrays me and my sister. Galen cant imagine how things could get worse. So he's not expecting it when Emma giggles. He turns on her. "What could be funny?" She laughs so hard she has to lean into him for support. He stiffens against the urge to wrap his arms around her. Wiping tears from her eyes, she says, "He kissed me!" The confession makes her crack up all over again. "And you think that's funny?" "You don't understand, Galen," she says, the beginnings of hiccups robbing her of breath. "Obviously." "Don't you see? It worked!" "All I saw was Toraf, my sister's mate, my best friend, kissing my...my..." "Your what?" "Student." Obsession. "Your student. Wow." Emma shakes her head then hiccups. "Well, I know you're mad about what he did to Rayna, but he did it to make her jealous." Galen tries to let that sink in, but it stays on the surface like a bobber. "You're saying he kissed you to make Rayna jealous?" She nods, laugher bubbling up again. "And it worked! Did you see her face?" "You're saying he set Rayna up." Instead of me? Galen shakes his head. "Where would he get an idea like that?" "I told him to do it." Galen's fists ball against his will. "You told him to kiss you?" "No! Sort of. Not really though." "Emma-" "I told him to play hard to get. You know, act uninterested. He came up with kissing me all on his own. I'm so proud of him!" She thinks Toraf is a genius for kissing her. Great. "Did...did you like it?" "I just told you I did, Galen." "Not his plan. The kiss." The delight leaves her face like a receding tide. "That's none of your business, Highness." He runs a hand through his hair to keep from shaking her. And kissing her. "Triton's trident, Emma. Did you like it or not?" Taking several steps back, she throws her hands on her hips. "Do you remember Mr. Pinter, Galen? World history?" "What does that have to do with anything?" "Tomorrow is Monday. When I walk into Mr. Pinter's class, he won't ask me how I liked Toraf's kiss. In fact, he won't care what I did for the entire weekend. Because I'm his student. Just like I'm your student, remember?" Her hair whips to the side as she turns and walks away with that intoxicating saunter of hers. She picks up her towel and steps into her flip-flops before heading up the hill to the house. "Emma, wait." "I'm tired of waiting, Galen. Good night.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
STEVE CARELL IS NICE BUT IT IS SCARY It has been said many times, but it is true: Steve Carell is a very nice guy. His niceness manifests itself mostly in the fact that he never complains. You could screw up a handful of takes outside in 104-degree smog-choked Panorama City heat, and Steve Carell’s final words before collapsing of heat stroke would be a friendly and hopeful “Hey, you think you have that shot yet?” I’ve always found Steve gentlemanly and private, like a Jane Austen character. The one notable thing about Steve’s niceness is that he is also very smart, and that kind of niceness has always made me nervous. When smart people are nice, it’s always terrifying, because I know they’re taking in everything and thinking all kinds of smart and potentially judgmental things. Steve could never be as funny as he is, or as darkly observational an actor, without having an extremely acute sense of human flaws. As a result, I’m always trying to impress him, in the hope that he’ll go home and tell his wife, Nancy, “Mindy was so funny and cool on set today. She just gets it.” Getting Steve to talk shit was one of the most difficult seven-year challenges, but I was determined to do it. A circle of actors could be in a fun, excoriating conversation about, say, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and you’d shoot Steve an encouraging look that said, “Hey, come over here; we’ve made a space for you! We’re trashing Dominique Strauss-Kahn to build cast rapport!” and the best he might offer is “Wow. If all they say about him is true, that is nuts,” and then politely excuse himself to go to his trailer. That’s it. That’s all you’d get. Can you believe that? He just would not engage. That is some willpower there. I, on the other hand, hear someone briefly mentioning Rainn, and I’ll immediately launch into “Oh my god, Rainn’s so horrible.” But Carell is just one of those infuriating, classy Jane Austen guys. Later I would privately theorize that he never involved himself in gossip because—and I am 99 percent sure of this—he is secretly Perez Hilton.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
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)
Pink Balloons My name is Olivia King I am five years old My mother bought me a balloon. I remember the day she walked through the front door with it. The curly hot pink ribbon trickling down her arm, wrapped around her wrist . She was smiling at me as she untied the ribbon and wrapped it around my hand. "Here Livie, I bought this for you." She called me Livie. I was so happy . I'd never had a balloon before. I mean, I always saw balloon wrapped around other kids wrist in the parking lot of Wal-Mart , but I never dreamed I would have my very own. My very own pink balloon. I was excited! So ecstatic! So thrilled! i couldn't believe my mother bought me something! She'd never bought me anything before! I played with it for hours . It was full of helium and it danced and swayed and floated as I drug it around from room to room with me, thinking of places to take it. Thinking of places the balloon had never been before. I took it in the bathroom , the closet , the laundry room , the kitchen , the living room . I wanted my new best friend to see everything I saw! I took it to my mother's bedroom! My mothers Bedroom? Where I wasn't supposed to be? With my pink balloon... I covered my ears as she screamed at me, wiping the evidence off her nose! She slapped me across the face as she told me how bad I was! How much I misbehaved! How I never listened! She shoved me into the hallways and slammed the door, locking my pink balloon inside with her. I wanted him back! He was my best friend! Not her! The pink ribbon was still tied around my wrist so I pulled and pulled , trying to get my new best friend away from her. And it popped. My name is Eddie. I'm seventeen years old. My birthday is next week. I'll be big One-Eight. My foster dad is buying me these boots I've been wanting. I'm sure my friends will take me out to eat. My boyfriend will buy me a gift, maybe even take me to a movie. I'll even get a nice little card from my foster care worker, wishing me a happy eighteenth birthday, informing me I've aged out of the system. I'll have a good time. I know I will. But there's one thing I know for sure I better not get any shitty ass pink balloons!
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
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))
With time to think, the full reality of what had happened hit Thomas like a falling boulder. Ever since Thomas had entered the Maze, Newt had been there for him. Thomas hadn’t realized just how much of a friend he’d become until now. His heart hurt. He tried to remind himself that Newt wasn’t dead. But in some ways this was worse. In most ways. He’d fallen down the slope of insanity, and he was surrounded by bloodthirsty Cranks. And the prospect of never seeing him again was almost unbearable. [...] He pulled the envelope out of his pocket and ripped it open, then took out the slip of paper. The soft lights that ringed the mirror lit up the message in a warm glow. It was two short sentences: Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me. Thomas read it over and over, wishing the words would change. To think that his friend had been so scared that he’d had the foresight to write those words made him sick to his stomach. And he remembered how angry Newt had been at Thomas specifically when they’d found him in the bowling alley. He’d just wanted to avoid the inevitable fate of becoming a Crank. And Thomas had failed him. [...] “Newt suddenly twisted around and grabbed Thomas by the hand holding the gun. He yanked it toward himself, forcing it up until the end of the pistol was pressed against his own forehead. “Now make amends! Kill me before I become one of those cannibal monsters! Kill me! I trusted you with the note! No one else. Now do it!” Thomas tried to pull his hand away, but Newt was too strong. “I can’t, Newt, I can’t.” “Make amends! Repent for what you did!” The words tore out of him, his whole body trembling. Then his voice dropped to an urgent, harsh whisper. “Kill me, you shuck coward. Prove you can do the right thing. Put me out of my misery.” The words horrified Thomas. “Newt, maybe we can—” “Shut up! Just shut up! I trusted you! Now do it!” “I can’t.” “Do it!” “I can’t!” How could Newt ask him to do something like this? How could he possibly kill one of his best friends? “Kill me or I’ll kill you. Kill me! Do it!” “Newt …” “Do it before I become one of them!” “I …” “KILL ME!” And then Newt’s eyes cleared, as if he’d gained one last trembling gasp of sanity, and his voice softened. “Please, Tommy. Please.” With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
Margery," I blurted out in a passion of frustration. "I don't know what to make of you!" Nor I you, Mary. Frankly, I cannot begin to comprehend the motives of a person who dedicates a large portion of her life to the contemplation of a God in whom she only marginally believes." I felt stunned, as if she had struck me in the diaphragm. She looked down at me, trying to measure the effect of her words. Mary, you believe in the power that the idea of God has on the human mind. You believe in the way human beings talk about the unknowable, reach for the unattainable, pattern their imperfect lives and offer their paltry best up to the beingless being that created the universe and powers its continuation. What you balk as it believing the evidence of your eyes, that God can reach out and touch a single human life in a concrete way." She smiled a sad, sad smile. "You mustn't be so cold, Mary. If you are, all you will see is a cold God, cold friends, cold love. God is not cold-never cold. God sears with heat, not ice, the heat of a thousand suns, heat that inflames but does not consume. You need warmth, Mary-you, Mary, need it. You fear it, you flirt with it, you imagine that you can stand in its rays and retain your cold intellectual attitude towards it. You imagine that you can love with your brain. Mary, oh my dear Mary, you sit in the hall and listen to me like some wild beast staring at a campfire, unable to leave, fearful of losing your freedom if you come any closer. It won't consume you; I won't capture you. Love does not do either. It only brings life. Please, Mary, don't let yourself be tied up by the bonds of cold academia." Her words, the power of her conviction, broke over me like a great wave, inundating me, robbing me of breath, and, as they receded in the room, they pulled hard at me to folllow. I struggled to keep my footing against the wash of Margery's vision, and only when it began to lose its strength, dissipated against the silence in the room, was I seized by a sudden terror at the nearness of my escape.
Laurie R. King (A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #2))
Dear friend…' The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on “Dear friend.” Now he had his just deserts. 'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend, and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it. I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list? Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay, and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend. Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure. Your friend Yennefer' The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries. Geralt cursed.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?" Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious. "Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined." "But surely there's something more to it than that." "It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once." De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?" The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next. "Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-" "No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling." De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise. "Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'" The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance. He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
I 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))
Dear Madam Vorsoisson, I am sorry. This is the eleventh draft of this letter. They’ve all started with those three words, even the horrible version in rhyme, so I guess they stay. You once asked me never to lie to you. All right, so. I’ll tell you the truth now even if it isn’t the best or cleverest thing, and not abject enough either. I tried to be the thief of you, to ambush and take prisoner what I thought I could never earn or be given. You were not a ship to be hijacked, but I couldn’t think of any other plan but subterfuge and surprise. Though not as much of a surprise as what happened at dinner. The revolution started prematurely because the idiot conspirator blew up his secret ammo dump and lit the sky with his intentions. Sometimes these accidents end in new nations, but more often they end badly, in hangings and beheadings. And people running into the night. I can’t be sorry that I asked you to marry me, because that was the one true part in all the smoke and rubble, but I’m sick as hell that I asked you so badly. Even though I’d kept my counsel from you, I should have at least had the courtesy to keep it from others as well, till you’d had the year of grace and rest you’d asked for. But I became terrified that you’d choose another first. So I used the garden as a ploy to get near you. I deliberately and consciously shaped your heart’s desire into a trap. For this I am more than sorry, I am ashamed. You’d earned every chance to grow. I’d like to pretend I didn’t see it would be a conflict of interest for me to be the one to give you some of those chances, but that would be another lie. But it made me crazy to watch you constrained to tiny steps, when you could be outrunning time. There is only a brief moment of apogee to do that, in most lives. I love you. But I lust after and covet so much more than your body. I wanted to possess the power of your eyes, the way they see form and beauty that isn’t even there yet and draw it up out of nothing into the solid world. I wanted to own the honor of your heart, unbowed in the vilest horrors of Komarr. I wanted your courage and your will, your caution and your serenity. I wanted, I suppose, your soul, and that was too much to want. I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. Victories can’t be gifts. But gifts can be victories, can’t they. It’s what you said. The garden could have been your gift, a dowry of talent, skill, and vision. I know it’s too late now, but I just wanted to say, it would have been a victory most worthy of our House. Yours to command, Miles Vorkosigan
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
But as I stood across from Archer, I couldn't forget that I was completely, stupidly in love with the one person I could never have. The laughter died on my lips, and I dashed at my eyes with the back of my hand. "I need to get back," I said. "Right," he replied. He was still holding his sword in his right hand, and he twirled the hilt, the point sratching the wooden floor. "So this is it. We're done." "Yeah," I said, my voice cracking. I cleared my throat. "And I have to say, the world's first and last Eye-demon reconnaissance mission went pretty well." It was a struggle to meet his eyes, but I managed it. "Thank you." He shrugged, his dark gaze full of something I couldn't quite read. "We were a good team." "We were." In more ways than one, I thought. Which is why this sucked so bad. I stepped back. "Anyway, I should go. See ya,Cross." Then I laughed, only it sounded suspiciously like another sob. "Except I won't, will I So I guess I should say goodbye." I felt like I was about to shatter into a million tiny shards, like the mirrors I'd broken with Dad. "okay, well, best of luck with the whole Eye thing, then. Try not to kill anyone I know." I turned away, but he reached out and caught my wrist. I could feel my pulse hammering under his fingers. "Mercer, that day in the cellar..." He searched my face, and I could sense him struggling for what he wanted to say. Then finally, "I didn't kiss you back because I had to. I kissed you because I wanted to." His eyes dropped to my lips,and it was like the whole world had shrunk to just me and him and the shaft of light between us. "I still want to," he said hoarsely. He tugged my wrist and pulled me into his arms. My brain registered the sound of his sword clattering to he ground as his other hand came up to grab the back of my neck, but once his lips were on mine, everything else faded away. I clutched at his shoulders, raising up on my tiptoes, and kissed him with everything I had in me. As the kiss deepened, we held each other tighter, so I didn't know if the pounding heartbeat I felt was mine or his. How stupid,I thought dreamily, to have ever thought I could give this up. Not just the kissing, although, as Archer's hands cupped my face, I had to admit that part was pretty awesome. But all of it: joking with him and working beside him. Being with a guy who was my friend and could still make me feel like this.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
When I got to school the next morning I had stepped only one foot in the quad when he spotted me and nearly tackled me to the ground. “Jamie!” he hollered, rushing across the lawn without caring the least bit about the scene he was creating. The next thing I knew, my feet were off the ground and I was squished so tightly in Ryan’s arms that I could barely breathe. “Okay, Ryan?” I coughed in a hushed tone. “This is exactly the kind of thing that can get you killed.” “I don’t care, I’m not letting go. Don’t ever disappear like that again!” he scolded, but his voice was more relieved than angry. “It’s been days! You had your mother worried sick!” “My mother?” I questioned sarcastically. Ryan laughed as he finally set me back on my feet. “Okay, fine, me too.” He still wouldn’t let go of me, though. He was gripping my arms while he looked at me with those eyes, and that smile… You know, being all Ryan-ish. And then, when I got lost in the moment, he totally took advantage of how whipped I was and he kissed me. The jerk. He just pulled my face to his right then and there, in the middle of a crowded quad full of students, where I could have accidentally unleashed an electrical storm at any moment. And okay, maybe I liked it, and maybe I even needed it, but still! You can’t just go kissing Jamie Baker whenever you want, even if you are Ryan Miller! “Ryan!” I yelled as soon as I was able to pull away from him—which admittedly took a minute. “I’m sorry.” Ryan laughed with this big dopey grin on his face and then kissed me some more. I had to push him away from me. “Don’t be sorry, just stop!” I realized I was screaming at him when I felt a hundred different pairs of eyes on me. I tried to ignore the audience that Ryan seemed oblivious to and dropped the audio a few decibels. “I wasn’t kidding when I said this has to stop. Look, I will be your friend. I want to be your friend. But that’s it. We can’t be anything more. It’ll never work.” Ryan watched me for a minute and then whispered, “Don’t do that.” I was shocked to hear the sudden emotion in his voice. “Don’t give up.” It was hopeless. “Fine!” I snapped. “I’ll be your stupid girlfriend!” Big shocker, me giving Ryan his way, I know. But let’s face it—it’s just what I do best. I had to at least act a little tough, though. “But!” I said in the harshest voice I was capable of. “You can’t ever touch me unless I say. No more tackling me, and especially no more surprise kissing.” He actually laughed at my request. “No promises.” Stupid, cocky boyfriend. “You’re crazy. You know that, right?” Ryan got this big cheesy smile on his face and said, “Crazy about you.” “Ugh,” I groaned. “Would you be serious for a minute? Why do you insist on putting your life in danger?” “Because I like you.” His stupid grin was infectious. I wanted to be angry, but how could I with him looking at me like that? “I’m not worth it, you know,” I said stubbornly. “I have issues. I’m unstable.” “You’re cute when you’re unstable,” Ryan said, “and I like your issues.” The stupid boy was straight-up giddy now. But he was so cute that I cracked a smile despite myself. “You really are crazy,” I muttered.
Kelly Oram (Being Jamie Baker (Jamie Baker, #1))
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
When I went on my first antidepressant it had the side effect of making me fixated on suicide (which is sort of the opposite of what you want). It’s a rare side effect so I switched to something else that did work. Lots of concerned friends and family felt that the first medication’s failure was a clear sign that drugs were not the answer; if they were I would have been fixed. Clearly I wasn’t as sick as I said I was if the medication didn’t work for me. And that sort of makes sense, because when you have cancer the doctor gives you the best medicine and if it doesn’t shrink the tumor immediately then that’s a pretty clear sign you were just faking it for attention. I mean, cancer is a serious, often fatal disease we’ve spent billions of dollars studying and treating so obviously a patient would never have to try multiple drugs, surgeries, radiation, etc., to find what will work specifically for them. And once the cancer sufferer is in remission they’re set for life because once they’ve learned how to not have cancer they should be good. And if they let themselves get cancer again they can just do whatever they did last time. Once you find the right cancer medication you’re pretty much immune from that disease forever. And if you get it again it’s probably just a reaction to too much gluten or not praying correctly. Right? Well, no. But that same, completely ridiculous reasoning is what people with mental illness often hear … not just from well-meaning friends, or people who were able to fix their own issues without medication, or people who don’t understand that mental illness can be dangerous and even fatal if untreated … but also from someone much closer and more manipulative. We hear it from ourselves. We listen to the small voice in the back of our head that says, “This medication is taking money away from your family. This medication messes with your sex drive or your weight. This medication is for people with real problems. Not just people who feel sad. No one ever died from being sad.” Except that they do. And when we see celebrities who fall victim to depression’s lies we think to ourselves, “How in the world could they have killed themselves? They had everything.” But they didn’t. They didn’t have a cure for an illness that convinced them they were better off dead. Whenever I start to doubt if I’m worth the eternal trouble of medication and therapy, I remember those people who let the fog win. And I push myself to stay healthy. I remind myself that I’m not fighting against me … I’m fighting against a chemical imbalance … a tangible thing. I remind myself of the cunning untrustworthiness of the brain, both in the mentally ill and in the mentally stable. I remind myself that professional mountain climbers are often found naked and frozen to death, with their clothes folded neatly nearby because severe hypothermia can make a person feel confused and hot and convince you to do incredibly irrational things we’d never expect. Brains are like toddlers. They are wonderful and should be treasured, but that doesn’t mean you should trust them to take care of you in an avalanche or process serotonin effectively.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary. Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history. Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people. At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies” (New York Times 11/25/95). Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.
Michael Parenti (Dirty Truths)